In the last few years, there have been several new entries on the list of fishing kayaks for sale. There are now so many options on the market it can become overwhelming, especially when you start looking at the wide range of features available.
We, therefore, decided to let you know everything about one of our favorites in this Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak Review. We’ll be discussing all the major features, uses, and specs, as well as it’s pros and just as importantly, it’s cons.
So, let’s get to it as we help you to decide if this is the right kayak for you…
Before we jump into the specifications and features, it’s best to know what you’re looking at. The Journey 10 by Sun Dolphin is a 9-½ ft long sit-on-top style kayak. It’s been designed with anglers in mind, to help you better enjoy your day fishing.
Let’s look at the various features this kayak has onboard…
The Journey 10 is one of the easiest kayaks in its category to transport. Fortunately, even with the lightweight hull, there are still a surprising number of features to keep you comfortable. When you consider the price point of this kayak, you’ll really be wowed at how good it is overall.
It’s available in Olive Green and Sand color.
- Weight: 44 lb. (20 kg)
- Length: 114.5 in (291 cm)
- Width: 29.5 in (75 cm)
- Height: 15.75 in (40 cm)
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 250 lb. (113 kg)
- Hull Material: UV-stabilized Fortiflex® high-density polyethylene
- Warranty: Limited Lifetime Warranty
- Manufactured and Assembled in the USA
Top Features Of The Sun Dolphin Journey 10
One of the most important aspects of any kayak is its intended use.
If you’re looking for a kayak for a multi-day kayaking trip, this may not be the best option. However, if you’re looking for a kayak for regular days out fishing lakes and rivers, keep reading.
Great for beginners and experienced kayak anglers…
Being short and light has its advantages and its disadvantages but it has a shorter length and lower weight capacity than many of its rivals. This is great for transportation and the Journey 10 is also one of the best light fishing kayaks on the market.
This smaller stature does have its limitations though. The weight capacity is limited to 250 pounds, which means you won’t be able to take a great deal of gear. There’s space for a good day out, but not for a trip of multiple days.
Keep your essentials secure and dry…
Located just behind the seat, there is a large dry-storage hatch. You may not be able to take a great deal of weight (depending on your own weight), but there is a fair amount of space. On top of this storage compartment is a bungee cord rigging, great for security in rough weather. You can store your jacket here so it’s close at hand when the weather changes.
There is also a small storage area at the bow of the ship. This one is not enclosed with a cover but rather designed for a small ice chest. There is another bungee cord rigged up here to keep things nice and secure.
Great access options…
There are also special cargo accessories specifically designed for anglers. This includes three rod holders. One swivels and is located on the left side near the cup holder. The other two are flush-mounted to allow you to fish from either side of the kayak.
We really like the small dry hatch located in front of the seat. It’s perfect for your phone, keys, or anything else you want handy. If that isn’t enough there is also a bungee cord topping a water bottle slot. You’ll be able to spend all day on the water and have everything you need at hand.
Easy paddle store…
There are also paddle straps on either side of the kayak. You can easily slip your paddle away when you need both of your hands free. For anglers, this is an important feature, as you’ll have your rod and reel in hand most of the day.
Excellent for transportation…
Transportation is the main aspect where the size of the kayak comes into play. The Journey 10 by Sun Dolphin weighs only 44 pounds which makes it rather easy to move to and from the waterfront or jetty. If you are heading out alone this is a very important feature.
The Journey 10 is also small enough to fit in most pickup trucks with the tailgate down. It’s light enough that most anglers can load and unload it on their own. This is made even easier with retractable carrying handles but we recommend having someone assist you with the moving when possible. Still, it’s pretty lightweight.
Great stability too…
When choosing a kayak you also want to consider its stability in the water. This is another point where the shorter, and slightly wider hull creates a benefit for anglers. The Journey 10 is more stable than the more narrow and longer kayaks available. It can handle slightly rough waters, but it’s really meant for lakes and slow-moving rivers.
It tracks well and glides with ease. Plus, the shorter length means that it is easier to maneuver. For those anglers who like finding narrow channels around lakes, this is ideal, as you’ll be able to turn around in those tighter spaces.
Comfort is key…
This is a sit-on-top style kayak, meaning you are not fully enclosed within the hull. This provides more freedom for casting and reeling in your catch. It also means there’s a chance of getting wet.
Most fishing kayaks these days are sit-on-top kayaks and it provides great comfort throughout the day. You can easily access your gear, you just might get a bit wet if you get splashed for some reason.
But, comfort is more related to the sitting position. The Journey 10 has an adjustable, padded seat and back. However, it does not have a raised seat bottom.
This means there is nothing between your bum and the molded kayak floor. Note, you’ll be sitting on the kayak floor, so you’ll be sitting in any water that makes its way in. You can close the scupper holes, you’ll just need some scupper plugs.
Padded for leg protection…
On the plus side, the kayak does offer a wider seat area. There is plenty of space to move around and get comfortable. The adjustable foot braces also help to keep you comfortable for longer periods on the water and padded sides protect your legs when stabilizing.
We wouldn’t recommend this as the most comfortable fishing kayak ever as it certainly has some features that could use an upgrade, though that would increase its weight and price. So, for what you get for your buck, this is one of the best angling kayaks available.
Durable but will likely pick up scratches…
This kayak is made from a highly durable UV-stabilized Fortiflex® polyethylene. For the price, this is a mighty fine material. It won’t be the most durable kayak on the water but, again, you get what you pay for.
However, this material scratches and picks up dings rather easily. Therefore, you will end up with small plastic curls along the hull as you gain experience. This is part of learning, but, over time, it will affect the overall drag.
Oh, those beginner solo days on the water…
Part of why it’s better to save money and learn in an entry-level kayak is due to these little annoyances, which require experience to overcome. Kayaks that are designed for anglers offer a few custom features that are hard to pass up on, but it may be worth upgrading to a more durable hull once you get the hang of things. For beginners, however, we think this a great first fishing kayak.
It is certainly also a great option for those looking to purchase a fishing kayak without breaking the bank. For the price, you get an excellent fishing kayak that you can easily get to, and on to the water.
We would, therefore, highly recommend this as one of the best entry-level fishing kayaks. It’s sturdy and durable enough to last. It maneuvers well and glides pretty smoothly for its short hull. You could, of course, upgrade all of these factors further, but for the price, this is one of the best fishing kayaks.
Pros And Cons Of Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak
- Tracks and paddles well for maximum stability.
- One swiveling and two flush-mounted fishing rod holders.
- Carry handles and lightweight for easy transportation.
- Large open cockpit makes for easy entry and exit.
- Paddle storage straps located on either side.
- Adjustable foot braces
- Protective thigh pads for increased comfort.
- Padded and adjustable seat keeps you comfortable longer.
- Self-bailing scupper holes keep you afloat.
- Portable Accessory Carry for additional storage.
- Shock cord deck rigging for quick-access storage.
- Dry-storage compartment for your valuables.
- Constructed of UV-Protected High-Density Polyethylene.
- 5-Year Limited Warranty.
- Not ideal for bigger guys with lots of gear.
- Not suitable for multi-day trips.
- Glide inferior to longer kayaks.
- Not the fastest kayak
- You may need some scupper plugs to achieve top buoyancy with cargo.
Looking For Other Great Kayak Reviews?
If you’re looking for a burden-free fishing kayak, the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 might be perfect for you. In the end, we love how easy it is to move around. It’s not the most kitted-out kayak, but for the price, it’s hard to beat.
We covered the stability, comfort, durability, portability, and cargo storage features. But we hope you take note of our discussion on why you’ll have a better day in a kayak designed for anglers.
Now it’s time to go buy one and catch something to BBQ.