Surfango - The #1 Source for Water Sports Reviews
Sun Dolphin Journey 10 kayak reviewSun Dolphin Journey 10 kayak review

Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS Kayak Review

Finding the perfect kayak can be a daunting task for anyone, especially for first time kayakers. There are just so many things to consider, and with all the different options on the market, it might feel like it’s impossible to know where to start.

For starters, you need to be able to differentiate between misconceptions and helpful tips that are proven and tested. A common example is the assumption that heavier kayaks are better quality kayaks, when in fact, the best kayaks are those that are solid, sturdy, and lightweight. Not to mention, it should also be comfortable, stable, and budget-friendly.

One of the few kayaks we found that actually meets (and exceeds) these requirements is the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS. It’s one of the most popular fishing kayaks for beginners thanks to the way it combines comfort, stability, and solid build in one lightweight package.

If you want to know more about this kayak, keep reading our detailed Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS review below:

At a glance: The Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS Kayak is best for…

  • Solo kayakers who want to explore new frontiers, take the less traveled path, and go kayak fishing in those hard-to-reach spots
  • Beginner and experienced anglers who prefer the ease of use, stability, self-bailing capabilities, and open layout of sit on top kayaks
  • Casual kayakers and watersports enthusiasts who want to spend a few hours of fun and excitement on a lake or mild river

Detailed Review Of The Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS

There’s just so much to say about the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS so we’ll jump right in.

First, it’s a user-friendly sit-on-top kayak that’s relatively short with a beam length of 30”, making it decidedly stable on calm waters and moderate currents. This alone is a strong reason why many kayakers are keen on buying this kayak, especially novice kayakers who need a lot more stability as compared to speed.

Given its compact size that’s no larger than 10 feet, and its lightweight profile, it’s very easy for one person to transport from the garage to a car then to the shore. Trust us, it’s perfectly doable even for a petite person. Of course, that’s not to say that this kayak can only seat petite kayakers; in fact, a 250 pound weight capacity is quite decent for such a compact kayak.

Not only that, the Journey 10 SS kayak also proves to be easily manageable, and boasts of various other features, too, such as an ideal hull design, built-in rod holders, excellent tracking, and many more, all of which we’ll talk about below.

Build Quality

Perhaps the best thing about the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 is that despite its affordable price tag, it’s made with high quality materials that you’re more likely to see in its higher-end counterparts. Its Fortiflex high density polyethylene construction is rigid, UV resistant, and can withstand the rigors of the water.

You can trust that this kayak won’t succumb to scrapes and bumps, nor risk capsizing as you load it with your fishing gear.

Check out this review of other amazing budget fishing kayaks.

Design

When it comes to appearances, the Sun Dolphin Journey looks like your typical sit-on-top fishing kayak. Meaning, it has a wide open cockpit with plenty of legroom, a couple of storage areas at the bow and stern, and a built-in rod holder.

This means that you won’t have any problem getting in and out of the kayak, and you won’t feel confined while sitting. The open layout also makes it easier to stand on the kayak when casting lines and reeling in your catch.

Comfort

We hinted earlier that the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS is a comfortable kayak, but is it really true? Here’s what we like and don’t like about this kayak:

When we said that there’s lots of legroom in this kayak, we mean it. It’s pretty roomy, so you can move around freely and get comfy without feeling constricted whatsoever. It also has other comfort features like the adjustable seat and foot braces, padded thigh pads, a cup holder, and a portable accessory carrier.

However, the seat doesn’t have any cushion (only the backrest does), so sitting can get uncomfortable pretty fast unless you buy a separate padding.

Stability

Now, the main selling point of the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS kayak is its stability on the water, which is all thanks to its 10-foot length and 30-inch beam coupled with its optimized hull design. Sure, it may not be the fastest watercraft available, but it’s definitely superior especially when it comes to kayak fishing.

One thing to note is that this kayak is rated for calm waters and lakes, although it does perform well against moderate current and can safely handle such waters without overturning.

Maneuverability

Another excellent feature of the Journey kayak is its exceptional maneuverability. It’s able to quickly cut through the water, as well as perform swift and effortless turns, which is quite surprising for such a small and stout watercraft.

As such, Sun Dolphin Journey 10 ft fishing kayak is perfect for small waters where there’s a lot of overhanging vegetation and shoreline obstacles that you’ll have to navigate through. And as a bonus, since it weighs only 44 pounds and features a pair of retractable carry handles, it’s also easily maneuverable on dry ground. Meaning, you can easily get it in and out of the water.

Portability

As the name suggests, the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 foot sit on top fishing kayak is nowhere near a humongous beast like some of the other kayaks on the market. As a matter of fact, it’s the smallest Sun Dolphin kayak in existence. It’s also fairly lightweight, making it a conveniently portable watercraft.

What this means is that you’ll be able to easily carry and transport the kayak even by yourself, making it perfect for solo kayaking trips. It also fits quite nicely on a standard size pickup truck, so you won’t even need a trailer or those costly kayak racks.

Looking for something even more portable? Here are the best inflatable fishing kayaks in 2021.

Storage

What’s even more interesting about this kayak is that despite its compact footprint, it still manages to offer adequate storage options, which is a must when it comes to kayak fishing, since you need to bring enough gear, equipment, and accessories like fishing rods, fish finders, tackle boxes, and so on.

You can place all your gear in the behind-the-seat dry storage hatch, utilize the extra storage compartment by the bow, make use of the bungee cord rigging available on deck, and pack a few snacks, drinks, extra clothes, and rain gear. There’s also a nice, accessible spot for your valuables, and along with the cup holder, it’s located right in front of your seat.

Amenities

Finally, the Journey 10 SS should also be commended for all the different amenities that it offers. For instance, there are two flush-mount rod holders and a swivel one, which, in all honesty, is a bit of an overkill, but so what?

There are also paddle holders located on both sides of the kayak. Now, this is so important for kayak fishing, since you’ll need to put your paddle down several times to deal with your fishing rods and reels, and you won’t have time to worry about a misplaced or sunk paddle. 

Pros and Cons

As you have read above, the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS kayak comes with its fair share of pros and cons, which is to be expected for any kayak, especially one that is at the lower end of the price range. But, to help you better decide whether this kayak is worth the investment, let’s see and compare just how many more advantages there are as opposed to the drawbacks:

Pros:

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Built with quality materials
  • Exceptionally stable and easily maneuverable
  • Great set of features for kayak fishing
  • Spacious seating area with adjustable footrests
  • Adequate storage space for day kayak fishing trips
  • Affordable price, great value for money

Cons:

  • Not suitable for heavier paddlers
  • Only rated for calm waters
  • No padding on the seat
  • Not intended for long fishing trips

Kayak Specifications

Details: single person sit-on-top fishing kayak

Dimensions: 10 feet (length) by 30 inches (width)

Kayak weight: 44 pounds

Weight capacity: 250 pounds

Material: Rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex® High Density Polyethylene

Rating: Class I (calm waters)

Should you buy the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS?

Finally, now that you’ve gone through our Sun Dolphin kayak reviews, it’s time for you to decide whether the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS kayak is right for you.

Going by everything we discussed earlier, you should definitely get this kayak if you…

  • Are a solo kayaker who wants to try kayak fishing,
  • Are planning on fishing in calm, shallow waters like lakes and rivers, and dream of getting into tricky, tucked away fishing spots,
  • Want an easy-to-use sit-on-top kayak that makes for easy paddling and tracks well,
  • Want a versatile kayak that is lightweight, compact, and easy to transport,
  • Want your kayak to be made with durable, impact-resistant materials, and is built to last,
  • Want a highly rated kayak that is relatively affordable but well-made and comes from a reputable brand,
  • Prefer stability and maneuverability over speed,
  • Are willing to purchase a seat cushion for the hard plastic seat of this kayak, and if you..
  • Will not be going on lengthy kayaking excursions and fishing trips

Final Thoughts

Sun Dolphin as a kayak brand has been around long enough that they have successfully perfected their techniques and know-how in creating marvelous kayaks for various kinds of kayakers. As such, it’s no surprise that the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS is one of the brand’s best kayaks to date.

Truth be told, this kayak offers a great value for your money. You’re getting so much functionality and performance, along with many superior features- many of which you won’t be able to find at this price point. Simply put, this kayak is a dream come true for most anglers, beginner and seasoned alike.