Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 Sit-In Fishing Kayak Review

Features

  • Rugged Fortiflex high-density polyethylene construction gives the Excursion 10 strength and durability while the Fortiflex component makes it flexible.
  • The kayak shell is UV stabilized to ensure it doesn’t peel, crack, or fade even after hours spent kayaking under the harsh rays emitted by the sun.
  • The hull is designed for optimal tracking and turning performance while maintaining stability.
  • There are three fishing rod holders on the Sun Dolphin Excursion 10. Two flush mount rod holders on the back and one rotating rod holder on the front. 
  • Gear and accessories storage options include a storage compartment on the stern and shock cord deck rigging. There is also a water bottle holder and a paddle holder.
  • Comfort features include a spacious cockpit area, adjustable foot braces, protective thigh pads, and an adjustable seat with a padded back.
  • It comes in three colors: gray, sand, and olive green. These hues are perfect for fishing in the murky waters of streams, ponds, and lakes and won’t spook the fish.
  • It is lightweight and has carrying handles at the front and back for ease of handling.

Specifications

Length: 10’ (305m)

Width: 30″ (74cm)

Height: 14″ (36cm)

Cockpit Size: 17″ W x 35″L (43cm x 89cm)

Capacity: 250lbs (113kg)

Weight: 41lbs. (19kg)

Warranty: Limited Lifetime Warranty

User Experience

Usability: A compact and lightweight kayak, handling this kayak alone is not going to be a problem. Your pair of hands is all you need to lift and load this kayak into your vehicle and carry it to and from the water. 

A sit-in kayak with a spacious cockpit area, there is plenty of room to move and stretch one’s legs. Freedom of movement to cast and pull fish isn’t restricted. Got long legs? No problem. The seat is adjustable and some footpegs adjust to accommodate different leg lengths. The adjustment levers are easy to use. This kayak also features protective thigh pads on both sides.

The seat is the only area that is lacking in comfort. Only the seatback is soft and padded. You will be sitting on the molded hard bottom of the hull. Paddling and fishing for hours seated on the bare seat can get uncomfortable and even painful. You will want to carry a seat cushion or use a paddle float as a seat cushion. Since this kayak sits high out of the water, you will stay mostly dry.

As for storage space, the Sun Dolphin Sit-in Kayak is no kayak for camping with tons of storage room on board. The dry storage on the stern is decently sized for a basic, little kayak. This will hold all your fishing gear and kayaking accessories for a day-long excursion. With the bungees cord on deck, you can personalize the kayak by adding accessories such as an anchor system, front deck wedding, and crate. 

For your fishing rods, there are three spots on this kayak making it possible to have multiple lines in the water as well as fish hands-free. There is a rotating rod holder conveniently located in front of the paddler for easy access. This is a great holder for the rod and reel setup you are currently using. There are two more rear-mounted holders for backup rods. All these holders are deep enough to hold your poles securely.

Next to the swivel rod holder at the front is a place to keep your water bottle within easy reach and secured by bungee cords. When you’re not paddling and want your hands free to fish, there is a convenient and quick access paddle holder.

Performance: This is a fishing and recreational kayak designed for calm waters in lakes, ponds, rivers, and creeks but is also comfortable in the wakes and mild waves. Its flat bottom means that its tracking performance where there is wind or currents is not good and the paddler has to work harder to keep it going straight. It is not equipped for use in the surf or the ocean with big waves. 

Stability is essential in a beginner fishing kayak. A sit-in Kayak, the Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 has a low center of gravity and the paddler sits low inside it. This and its 30 inches width make it stable on the water and even beginners can paddle it and fish from it confidently and without tipping it. This stability makes it a great kayak to fish from and anglers have caught all kinds of fish from bass, catfish, to Northern Pike in it. The flat bottom also makes it hard to flip over.

On flat water, it tracks well with gentle strokes and is a lot of fun to ride on. Its narrow shape and ease of maneuverability enable it to navigate challenging waterways with ease. It can fit in narrow creeks and snake along winding tracks to get to those lucrative out of the way fishing spots.

No boat can excel in everything. With the Excursion 10, the width and flat bottom that give it its stability take away its speed. For beginners and anglers, this isn’t a deal-breaker though.

Pros

  • Friendly kayak for beginners
  • Super stable due to the sit-in design and width
  • Paddles and tracks well in flatwater
  • Navigates challenging waterways with ease
  • Roomy cockpit area
  • Adjustable foot braces for different leg lengths
  • Very maneuverable and able to access tight spots
  • Lightweight and easy to handle
  • Two flush mount rod holders and one swivel fishing rod holder
  • Two protective thigh pads
  • ​Durable UV resistant high-density polyethylene construction
  • Inexpensive yet great quality

Cons

  • The seat bottom is not padded
  • Does not handle choppy conditions well
  • Flush mount rod holders are not positioned very well
  • It is not a speedy kayak

Overall Rating

  • Material: 95% – High-density polyethylene is a great material for kayaks and is what this kayak is built using. Even more expensive kayaks are made of this material. This material makes the Excursion 10 rugged and durable while keeping it lightweight and easy to carry. Sun Dolphin has also added Fortiflex to make it flexible and very maneuverable.
  • Design: 95% – This kayak is designed to be stable, easy to paddle and to track well and it manages to fulfill these design objectives when on the water. It is also sturdy to feel safe in the water while also being lightweight enough to be easy to carry. This kayak is also sporty and a lot of fun to paddle. 
  • Price: 95% – As a basic starter kayak, it is appropriately priced. The best thing is that the manufacturer didn’t sacrifice the quality of construction and performance to keep the price low. It is great value for money.
  • Overall: 95% – The price, performance, and reliability of the Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 make it one of the best beginner kayaks on the market. As you can expect with a kayak manufactured and assembled in the USA, its construction quality is great and a pleasant surprise for the price. The quality level of this kayak is similar to that of many higher-end kayaks. 

Globo Surf Overview

The Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 has everything you want in a first kayak for fishing and recreational use in rivers, creeks, ponds, and lakes. Super stable, very maneuverable, and equipped with three fishing rod holders, it is a great kayak for fishing. Inexpensive and beginner-friendly, it is ideal for kayakers and anglers who are just getting started in the sport. 

If you’re on a budget or just don’t get out on the water that often and need a kayak for occasional use, this one will be a smart purchase. Its construction quality and performance on the water are awesome for their price. This kayak holds up well and is a great value for money.

If you kayak in the ocean or want a vessel with bells and whistles, this is not the kayak for you. It is a basic leisure boat and speed is not one of its strong points.

Does the Sun Dolphin Sit-In Kayak sound like the perfect kayak for you? Please let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 Sit-In Fishing Kayak Review
Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!