Gear Up: with Sun Dolphin kayaks


Explore your rivers, lakes and coastlines unlike ever before. Sun Dolphin kayaks offer you the opportunity to see the world from the water, without the giant price tag.

The quick and dirty:


Aruba 10 sit-in kayak

Length 10′ / 305cm
Width: 30″ / 76cm
Height: 13″ / 33cm
Weight: 40 lbs. / 18kg
Capacity: 250 lbs. / 113kg

Bali 10 ss sit on top kayak

Length 10′ / 305cm
Width: 30″ / 76cm
Height: 11″ / 28cm
Weight: 44 lbs. / 20kg
Capacity: 250 lbs. / 113kg

The brand:

Sun Dolphin makes a bunch of watercraft, from recreational and fishing kayaks to pedal boats. The company is based in Muskegon, Michigan (right on Lake Michigan). The boats are designed, molded and assembled in the U.S.A.

Nature tested:

My partner and I purchased two Sun Dolphin kayaks  – the Aruba 10 and the Bali 10 ss. The Aruba is a traditional sit-in kayak, while the Bali is a sit on top one. We typically throw them in the bed of a pickup truck to get to our paddling destinations. These kayaks are not lightweight, but they’re also not so heavy that I can’t carry mine alone (uncomfortably).

Once in the water, they’re easy to maneuver whether you’re paddling upriver or gliding across a lake.

The company says the boats are made for lake and river paddling, but we’ve taken ours to a protected cove down in Florida and they did great. We’ve also cruised down Class 1 rapids on a river float and both the Aruba and Bali remained stable.

Let’s talk money:

These kayaks are available for around $300 apiece on Amazon right now. We got ours from Walmart and Sears, for around $250 each after coupons.

Here’s my take:

For the price, these boats can’t be beat. They come tricked out with fun little features like adjustable foot braces, an adjustable, padded seat, storage compartments, shock cord deck rigging for gear and your paddle and a water bottle holder. Honestly, I was surprised to find so many neat features on such a well priced kayak.

The Sun Dolphin Aruba and Bali are excellent budget kayak options. They’re excellent choices for dipping your toes into the sport without making too large of an investment.

DO YOU HAVE A SUN DOLPHIN KAYAK? what do you think? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS – make sure to note the model!