Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10ft Kayak Review
Finding a good kayak that won’t break the bank can be a struggle. But there are yaks out there that will let you get out on the water for less.
The Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10ft kayak could offer you everything that you’ve been looking for. But will it be right for what you want it for? We have given it a once over to check out its main features and help you decide if this is the one for you.
Is A Budget Kayak For You?
There shouldn’t be anything holding you back from getting out on the water, least of all your budget. And that’s why a budget kayak could be just what you need. While they may not have all the bells and whistles that you might find on a more expensive yak, they can be great entry level yaks for all ages.
A budget yak can be a fantastic option if you plan to use it for recreation. They can also be ideal for kids, as you’re less likely to worry about them hitting rocks and dragging it along the ground if it didn’t cost a fortune.
Budget yaks like the Bali 10 SS can be great for letting you get some fresh air and exercise on the lake or other flatwater. With many of them, including the Bali, you can also rig them for fishing, which can be a low-cost alternative to buying a fishing yak.
If you’re looking to load up a yak and head off on a week-long adventure, a budget vessel may not be your best choice, as you might find you need a little more storage space and a more hydrodynamic hull.
Best Features Of The Bali SS
The Bali 10 SS is a 10 foot recreational sit-on-top kayak that promises to be easy to use, good value and great for lakes and rivers. So let’s look at the features and see if it’s what it’s cracked up to be.
Portable Accessory Carrier
For being such a compact yak, there are surprisingly a lot of places you can store your gear. One of the storage features is the Portable Accessory Carrier, or P.A.C, which sits in the cargo area to the rear. The P.A.C. has a built-in sealed hatch, that could be useful for safely storing smaller items.
The P.A.C. has a carrying handle to make it easy to lift the whole accessory system out, if you want to carry it closer to your campsite. It also means you have a choice of whether to put the P.A.C. in your yak or leave the rear cargo area open. Without the P.A.C. you have an open tank well with bungee cords. With it you have the sealed storage and still have use of the bungee rigging on the top of it.
Room For A Day Trip
As well as the rear storage deck and P.A.C system, there are other useful storage options on the Bali SS. Just in front of the seat there’s a handy sealed storage hatch, where you can keep smaller items close to hand. You’ll also find a cup holder there too, so you can stay hydrated while you’re on the water.
Video: Bali SS 10ft Kayak Overview
At the bow there’s a small storage well with bungee cords, which could be ideal for holding a small dry bag, a lunch box or some camping gear. If you take the P.A.C. out of the yak at the rear, you can also store some larger items, secured with the bungee rigging. You might even have room for a small cooler.
For snacks or items you need to keep close to you, there are also side pockets on either side of the cockpit. Just in front of the cup holder there’s even a little area with bungee cords that could be great for storing a water bottle or a small travel Thermos.
When it comes to paddling, there are a couple of things on this yak that are designed to make your day on the water a little more comfortable, such as the adjustable foot braces. These can easily slide into a position that suits your leg length and can help you feel more stable on the water.
Another feature is the padded thigh braces, which means there’s a little bit of protection between your legs and the sides of the vessel.
The seat is molded into the hull of the yak but comes with a padded seat back. The seat back features straps that can be adjusted to suit different sizes of paddlers. The seating area is designed to be spacious, and with the width of the yak being 30 inches, you should have plenty of room.
Maneuvering On The Water
The Bali 10 SS is designed to be easy to maneuver on the water and this is helped by its 10 foot hull length, as short, wide vessels tend to be easier to control on the water than long, narrow ones.
This yak is also lightweight, being only 44 pounds, which can also help when paddling. However, if the wind picks up you might find it more difficult to stay on course because it’s a lighter vessel.
To boost performance, the hull is designed to offer good stability and tracking due to the more V-shaped hull at the bow and stern.
Bali SS Alternatives
Lifetime Lotus 80
The Lotus comes in at around the same price as the Bali SS but is just 8 foot long, which could be better if you’re looking for a more compact craft. It’s the same width as the Bali, has a storage well at the rear and comes complete with a paddle.
Sun Dolphin Bali SS 12
Similar in style is the Bali 12 SS, the 12 foot version of the Bali 10. It has many of the same features, including the P.A.C, but with a little extra room for your legs (and a 395 pound capacity), larger storage and the benefit of rod holders.
Sevylor Quikpak K1
This Quikpak yak can fold into a backpack and inflates to 8 foot 7 inches long, which could be ideal for traveling. It has a capacity of 400 pounds and comes with a seat, a paddle and has tie-down points and net covered storage.
With the Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10 you can get a compact entry level yak that can be ideal for paddling in lakes, bays or rivers. Being easy to use and lightweight, it can be a good choice for beginners. It has the stability and storage for a fun day on the water and has the neat feature of the removable storage container.
Now that you’ve read our opinions, you can check it out here for yourself. Let us know your thoughts. Maybe you already have the Bali 10? Why not share your experience in our comments. You can also help out fellow kayakers by sharing this review.
Questions and Answers
Can I Use The Bali SS As A Fishing Kayak?
Yes, although you would need to attach rod holders and other mounting points for accessories.
Would This Kayak Work For A 40 pound Dog?
Yes, there is a little space at the front where a 40 pound dog could go, although the yak isn’t designed to hold a second person or dog. You would need to make sure your combined weight doesn’t exceed 250 pounds.
Is This Kayak OK For A Big Guy?
If you’re over 6 foot, you might struggle to find a comfortable seating position, especially with the foot braces. With the 250 pound maximum capacity, you’d also need to make sure that you and your gear don’t weigh more than that.