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Top Sun Dolphin Kayaks Compared and Reviewed

Mark Armstrong
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​Looking for a top-notch kayak without emptying your wallet?

I understand the quest for value.

There are gems out there that are not only budget-friendly but also perfect for leisure and fishing outings.

So…I’ll get on with it, shall I?

​The History Of Sun Dolphin Kayaks

Sun Dolphin launched back in 1982 as a small family owned company that produced a small pedal boat. The company has its roots in Muskegon, Michigan and their kayaks are still designed and made in this small town on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Sun Dolphin is known for producing affordable recreational and fishing kayaks, as well as a range of other watercrafts.

​Why Buy A Sun Dolphin Kayak?

A Sun Dolphin kayak can be a great choice if you’re a beginner or if you’re looking for a durable craft at an affordable price. Sun Dolphin yaks can be ideal entry level boats, as they tend to offer basic standard features.

If you’re already an avid paddler, you’ll probably find that a Sun Dolphin boat is not for you. However, you can always add your own accessories to customize it for your needs. But you may find that the range of Sun Dolphin kayaks may not offer you the speed and high performance you’re after.

Sun Dolphin vessels are generally pretty tough and are made out of high density polyethylene, which can be ideal for recreational trips. They make a range of kayaks, both sit-on-tops and sit-insides, so their boats can appeal to a wide range of paddlers, including anglers.

Many of their vessels tend to be on the shorter side, which can be great if you’re a beginner, as they can be more stable and easier to maneuver than a longer one. Their short hulls can also make them more convenient to store at home and to transport to and from the water.

Both kids and adults can find Sun Dolphin kayaks fun and easy to use, and most of them are pretty lightweight for easier carrying.

​5 Best Sun Dolphin Kayaks Reviewed

​1: Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 (Sit-Inside Kayak)

Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 KayakPin
  • ​Length: 10 foot
  • ​Width: 29 inches
  • ​Weight: 40 pounds
  • ​Weight Capacity: 250 pounds

The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 is a 10 foot sit-inside kayak that is designed for paddling on slow moving rivers and lakes.

It’s lightweight and can be a convenient size for transportation and storage. Its short hull also means it can be easy to maneuver on small bodies of water and can be ideal for beginners looking for their first kayak. Its large, spacious cockpit can also make it feel a little less confined if you’re a beginner compared to other kayaks.

​Video: Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 Kayak

It features a bungee paddle holder so you can keep your paddle safe if you want to take a photo or grab a snack. It also benefits from having a water bottle holder on the front deck, with bungee cords to keep it in place.

For comfort, the cockpit has a padded seat back, which can be adjusted. The foot braces can be adjusted to suit your leg length and there are thigh pads for increased comfort. However, there is no padded seat bottom.

The yak has a rear storage compartment where you can keep your gear covered. There is also bungee rigging for securing additional gear.


  • Storage compartment
  • ​Adjustable seat back
  • ​Spacious cockpit

> Full Aruba 10 Review

​2: Sun Dolphin Bali 10 SS (Recreational Kayak)

Sun Dolphin Bali 10 SSPin
  • ​Length: 10 foot
  • ​Width: 30 inches
  • ​Weight: 44 pounds
  • ​Weight Capacity: 250 pounds

The Sun Dolphin Bali 10 SS is a single sit-on-top recreational kayak that can be great for exploring lakes and slow moving rivers. Being 10 foot long it can be easy to maneuver on and off the water.

The Bali features an open cockpit, which can be ideal for a range of paddlers, as it can be easy to get in and out of. It also has a spacious seat area with a padded seat back. There are adjustable foot braces to suit different sizes of paddlers.

It’s a durable, stable craft that can be ideal for warm weather paddling.

There’s storage space for your gear too, with bungee rigging at the bow and a Portable Accessory Carrier (PAC) compartment at the stern. This PAC can be towed behind the boat, giving you even more room in the stern for additional gear. There’s also bungee rigging at the stern for securing either your PAC or other items.


  • ​Towable storage compartment
  • ​Stable
  • ​Open cockpit

> Full Bali 10 SS Review

​3: Sun Dolphin Camino 8 SS (Compact Sit-On-Top Kayak)

Sun Dolphin Camino 8 SS KayakPin
  • ​Length: 8 foot
  • ​Width: 31.5 inches
  • ​Weight: 40 pounds
  • ​Weight Capacity: 225 pounds

The Sun Dolphin Camino 8 SS is a compact sit-on-top kayak that has a square stern, which can further increase its stability. It has a short, wide hull that can be easy to maneuver in small areas and can be ideal for beginners, whether you’re a child or a small adult.

This is a lightweight recreational craft that can be great for flatwater paddling. For comfort, there’s an adjustable seat back, a spacious seating area and molded foot wells for different leg lengths.

There is even space for your gear in the rear cargo deck, which benefits from having bungee cords to keep your load from falling overboard.

Another great feature of this kayak is the molded-in carry handles at the bow and stern, which can make it easier to lift. Its lightweight and compact design can also mean it can be carried by just one person and could even fit in the back of a pickup truck.


  • ​Compact
  • ​Ideal for beginners and kids
  • ​Cargo deck

> Full Camino 8 SS Review

​​4: Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS (Sit-On fishing kayak)

Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SSPin
  • ​Length: 10 foot
  • ​Width: 30 inches
  • ​Weight: 44 pounds
  • ​Weight Capacity: 250 pounds

The Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS is a lightweight, compact fishing kayak. It’s a sit-on-top fishing kayak so it can be easy for you to get in and out of. And it can also be easier to move around in while you’re fishing.

The hull is short and wide, which can aid stability and make it ideal for fishing in lakes and rivers. It can also be a good vessel if you’re a beginner.

The spacious open cockpit features an adjustable padded seat for added comfort. There are adjustable foot braces to help stabilize yourself in the seat and thigh pads on the sides.

The yak has two flush mounted fishing rod holders and one swivel rod holder, as well as a small storage deck at the bow with bungee rigging for added security. At the stern there is also a storage compartment (PAC) that can be towed behind the boat freeing up additional cargo space in the stern.


  • ​Towable storage compartment
  • ​Built-in rod holders
  • ​Stable

> Full Journey 10 SS Review

​5: Sun Dolphin Excursion (Sit-in fishing kayak)

Sun Dolphin Excursion Sit-In Fishing Kayak newPin
  • ​Length: 12 foot
  • ​Width: 30 inches
  • ​Weight: 47 pounds
  • ​Weight Capacity: 395 pounds

The Sun Dolphin Excursion is a single sit-inside fishing kayak. It comes in both a 12 foot and a 10 foot version. The 12 foot Excursion is a stable craft with more space and a higher weight capacity than the 10 foot model.

It features a Portable Accessory Carrier in the stern, which can be towed, giving you use of the rear cargo deck for additional gear.

The Excursion benefits from having three rod holders and bow and stern bungee rigging for storing fishing gear and dry bags. The spacious cockpit features a padded seat with seat back and adjustable foot braces for comfort and stability. It could be an ideal choice if you like to paddle and fish year round.

The 10 foot model is a more compact version, with reduced storage and weight capacity (250 pounds), but it still offers three built-in rod holders, a spacious cockpit and an adjustable seat back.


  • ​Built-in rod holders
  • ​Sit-inside fishing kayak
  • ​Lightweight

> Full Excursion 12 Review

​In Conclusion

A Sun Dolphin kayak can be a great choice if you’re looking for an affordable craft for exploring your local lake or slow moving river. They can be ideal for both kids and adults, whether you’re a beginner or you already have some paddling experience.

Their compact, lightweight designs can make them good options for ease of transportation and maneuverability.

Do you have a Sun Dolphin kayak? Let us know your thoughts and give this a share if you found it helpful.

Top Sun Dolphin Kayaks Reviewed - Pinterest ImagePin

1 thought on “Top Sun Dolphin Kayaks Compared and Reviewed”

  1. Hi. I am interested in purchasing a kayak and was wondering what would be best for me. Iam 6 feet, 200 pounds. It’s just for lazy rivers and quiet lakes. Not for speed just to relax on a quiet body of water. Thanks


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