Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 Review

As with our loads of other kayak reviews, we hope that our Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 review can give you all the information you need to pick up.

Sun Dolphin is known for their wide range of high-quality yet inexpensive kayaks, which span over an array of different builds and designs. 

More...

​If you’re looking at a kayak like the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10, you are most likely just getting into kayaking. Any newbie should keep in mind that it is very crucial to get a kayak that fits the place you are trying to paddle out in.

The only way to optimize your experience out in the water is having the kayak with the proper build for your skills and environment.

Luckily, the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 is an excellent beginner kayak that is not only incredibly affordable, but also offers reliable and easy-to-learn-with characteristics that will have you paddling like a pro in no time.

Without further ado, here’s the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10.

Specifications

  • ​10’ in length
  • ​30” in width
  • ​40lbs in weight
  • ​250lb capacity
  • ​Single person sit-in design
  • ​UV-stabilized Fortiflex High-Density Polyethylene

Pro's

  • ​Easy to transport and launch
  • ​Very stable and durable build
  • ​Padding and foot braces for added comfort
  • ​Very inexpensive
  • ​Solid amount of onboard storage

Con's

  • ​Does not fair well in ocean chop
  • ​Does not come with drain plugs
  • ​No seat bottom cushion
  • ​No rod holders for fishing poles

Features and Benefits

Comfort


The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 ss is pretty similar to the Sun Dolphin 10 in terms of comfort. It comes with the nice adjustable back pad that can help give you support over longer trips. You also have the adjustable foot braces that can be customized to support you based on your height. Not only are they a comfortable addition to the Aruba 10 ss, but they can also help to optimize your stability so that you can paddle more efficiently. The protective thigh pads are awesome too and help give a bit of extra stability and comfort so that you don’t bang your legs up on the inside of the hull.



Storage


Even more so than the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10, the Aruba 10 ss has onboard storage that really trumps most kayaks of its size and price point. Onboard, located right behind the seat, is a dry storage compartment that they refer to as the Portable Accessory Carrier or PAC for short. Though it isn’t the biggest in the world, you should definitely be able to stow a larger backpack or small tackle box if you really want to take this thing out for a fish. Don’t fret either, as the back storage compartment is completely sealed to keep water from getting in and your stuff from getting out. For an added layer of protection and security, Sun Dolphin has added some shock cord rigging that you can pull tightly across the PAC to hold it down in case of rough water.

Right in front of the seat you have two conveniently placed cup holders that are just about big enough for your standard soda or beer can. In front of that is the Sun Dolphin standard water bottle holder that also comes complete with the shock cord rigging to keep it nice and secure. For a boat of its size, we were pretty surprised to see the amount of onboard storage available. If that isn’t enough for you, remember that it is also a sit-in kayak, so you can also store stuff beneath without worrying about it getting too wet.

Aruba-10-with-woman-kayaking
Aruba-10-being-paddled-on-lake
Man-Kayaking-Aruba-10
aruba top view

Build


The build and design of the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 ss is ultra strong and is manufactured with high-quality components. The high-density polyethylene is molded with Sun Dolphin’s special Fortiflex material that is UV-resistant. The fact that it is UV-resistant will help prolong the life and look of the kayak immensely. It’s also perfect if you’re kayaking in areas where the sun beats down or if you don’t have any shady storage to keep the kayak in when it’s not in use. Sun Dolphin has also added a nice little spray-deflecting collar that is built in to the yak. This can help keep you staying dry when you are splashing around in the water for the first few times. Want to put a little bit of flare into your kayak to give it some personality? Luckily for you, the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 ss comes in a few different color options including Ocean Blue, Lime Green, Bright Pink, and Neon Orange.


Transportation


At only 40lbs and 10’ long, the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 ss is super easy to transport. Like its predecessor, the ss model comes with small towing handles that built in to the front and rear of the hull. So yes, if you really need the help getting it to and from the water, it’s possible for a friend to help. That being said, most people find that it is very easy to get it out in the water all by themselves without a big fuss.


Sun Dolphin Aruba vs Aruba 10 ss

The biggest and most obvious difference between the Aruba 10 and the Aruba 10 ss is that the Aruba 10 ss comes with a much bigger onboard storage compartment. These stern tank well storage on the Aruba 10 ss is much better for keeping your stuff dry, as it comes with optional dry bags, and are is also much bigger so that you can store a bit more than your pocket essentials. The Aruba 10 ss is conveniently built with a small electronics compartment that is directly beneath the rider so that you can have easy access to your phone when you need it. Sun Dolphin has a mini Bluetooth speaker that they have manufactured to, which unlike the Aruba 10, can be attached to the dry console on the Aruba 10 ss. So if you want some tunes out on the lake or if storage is a crucial component in your decision, we would definitely recommend going with the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 ss.

The second major difference is the seat in the Aruba 10 ss. It is by far a more ergonomically designed seat and has a bit more room. It’s cool that they were able to do this without adding to the dimensions or weight of the kayak. Right in front of the seat you have dual cup holders, a feature that the Aruba 10 manufacturers hadn’t thought of yet.

The one advantage that we would say the Aruba 10 has over the Aruba 10 ss is that it is about 4lbs lighter. So yea, there’s not really much of a challenge. If you’re just starting out or want to get a good kayak for the little one, the original Aruba 10 is just fine. If you want to take it a step up, get better tracking, stability, onboard storage, comfort, and can deal with the extra 4lbs when transporting, there’s no question that you should get the Aruba 10 ss.


Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 ss vs. Pelican Bounty 100X Exo

If you can afford to shell out a bit more cash for a kayak, the Pelican Bounty 100X Exo offers quite a bit more features than the Aruba 10 or 10 ss. It is also a 10’ recreating kayak, though comes in at a much lighter weight at 36lbs, and has a 275lb capacity, great for a kayak of its size and weight. One of the biggest pros about the Pelican Bounty 100X EXO is that it also comes equipped with a seat cushion, as well as a padded backrest. This makes it far more ideal for taking out on longer kayaking excursions. The Pelican Bounty also comes equipped with more storage than the Sun Dolphin models, with two dry storage compartments in the front and rear. Lastly, the Pelican Bounty comes equipped with drain plugs. It might not seem like that big of a deal until your kayak gets filled with water that you want to get out. Is it worth the extra money for the Pelican Bounty 100X Exo? It truly all comes down to your preference, so ultimately you will have to decide what is best for you.


Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 perform in the water?

While you’re not going to get any extreme performance with these things, the overall performance is pretty solid considering it is such an inexpensive yak. Because of its dimensions, it’s actually fairly stable. This makes it perfect for beginners who are just getting the hang of paddling. Because it is so lightweight and has a slimmer build than many other kayaks, you’ll even find that turning and maneuvering is incredibly easy.


What kinds of water is the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 best suited for?

You’re much better off taking this kayak out into calmer waters. We would not recommend any ocean chop, as you’ll most likely find yourself fighting against the water more than anything. The cool thing about it being so lightweight and maneuverable is that tighter quarter environments won’t stop you from getting out there. You’ll also be able to launch in spots that is next to impossible in larger kayaks.


Is the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 good for fishing?

If you’re serious about fishing and want something that can store your necessary gear and provide the features to optimize fishing, we would highly recommend going with a fishing-specific model of Sun Dolphin kayak such as the Journey. You’ll find that the lack of storage, rod holders, and stand up stability on the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 will not be in your favor when you ultimately get out in the water.


Does the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 come with a paddle?

The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 only comes with a paddle dependent on where you buy it. Some websites offer the paddle complete with the package, as well as the Bluetooth speaker. We would highly recommend buying it separately and upgrading to a stronger and more flexible paddle that is adjustable. Not only will you be able to grow with a better paddle, but it will also be much easier to learn with.


Conclusion - Should You Buy?

The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 ss has quite a bit to offer, especially for the low price. It has a high-quality and durable build, has excellent stability and tracking properties, is easy to transport and maneuver in tighter waters, and is perfect for yakkers on a budget.

If you’re new to the kayaking game, we highly recommend checking out the Aruba 10 or Aruba 10 ss. Even veteran kayakers like to take these things out when the days are a little slower.

All in all, it is a great craft that comes from a reputable kayak manufacturer. Now get out there and get your paddle on!

should you buy?