We know that figuring out the best kayak to purchase can be a bit difficult and that is why we hope to streamline your decision making process with our Sun Dolphin Journey 10 ss review.
There are a few things you should consider before purchasing the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 ss. For starts, it is a sit-on angler kayak. This means that it may not provide the best protection for colder and windier climates. You also want to think of the types of water you’ll be paddling in, as not all hull shapes are made equal.
That being said, we believe the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 ss has some awesome features and was made to bring your fishing experience to the next level in terms of comfort and reliability.
If you are looking for a kayak that is not only incredibly affordable, but also easy to transport and paddle around in, look no further than the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 ss.
The Journey 10 ss Review
Features and Benefits
Even at 10’ long, the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 ss is packed with storage options that are actually quite surprising for a kayak of its caliber. The first storage hatch is located conveniently behind the seat and is sealed watertight to provide protection to any goods you want to keep safe and dry. This is also known as the Portable Accessory Holder according to Sun Dolphin. There is a similar but smaller dry hatch at the bow of the kayak. Both storage hatches come complete with bungee cord rigging atop to provide extra deck storage and protection. Besides the larger ones, there is another smaller dry hatch that is located right in front of the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 ss seat. This one is just big enough to hold keys, wallets, cellphones, etc. Just in front of that, in all its glory, is your standard kayak cup holder to keep your cold one nice and secure as you battle it out with some fish. The thing we really love most is how easy-access all of these storage compartments are, as needing to constantly jump around to grab things from every edge of the yak can get annoying fast.
When you compare this to the Journey 12 ss, a 12’ kayak that is 33” wide, the length and width on the Journey 10 ss make it a lot more stable. That being said, it’s not going to cut like a knife as well as the Journey 12 ss, though you will be able to stand up on it more easily and take it out on rougher waters without fear of flipping. The high-density polyethylene is reinforced with Sun Dolphin’s unique Fortiflex formula, which not only gives the kayak flex in necessary areas, but also protects it from UV damage. This is great if you’re out on the lake for long periods of time in the hot sun or you don’t have anywhere shady and cool to store your kayak.
While it’s not at all like laying in a La-Z-Boy, you will find that the addition of the padded seatback does a little bit for keeping you comfortable during longer fishing sessions. One thing that we do love is that there is plenty of room for people who are a bit larger and might need extra space to spread themselves out. The foot braces are completely adjustable too, allowing anyone of any size getting on the yak to adjust to their optimal foot position. Lastly, though it is a sit-on kayak, the seat is actually located quite deep inside the hull. This can create problems with your upper legs and thighs, as trying to brace yourself against the inner walls can make your legs extremely sore. Luckily, Sun Dolphin placed a pad on each side to make up for that.
The main thing that makes the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 ss a fishing kayak is that it has rod-holding capabilities throughout the design. On the back, conveniently located right behind the seat, there are two flush mount rod holders on each side. These are great because the make it easy to adjust the reels without having to get up or reach far back. They are also flushed down deep enough where you don’t feel sketchy having them hang off of the side, as you do with some rod holders on cheap kayaks. Sun Dolphin also added their swiveling rod holder that is located right in front of the cup holder. This is honestly one of the most unique things about this kayak that separates it from other ones we have seen before.
This kayak is so lightweight, that even a little kid could throw it over their back and carry it down to the water. It also has two carrying handles located on the bow and stern if you need help getting it into tighter places. The handles are also completely retractable. In terms of its length, you’ll find that it fits in the beds of most standard pickup trucks, even with the hatches down.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the differences between the Journey 10 ss and the Journey 12 ss?
There are a couple main differences to note between these two kayaks before making your purchase. The most obvious one is size. The Journey 10 ss is 10’ long and 44lbs while the Journey 12 ss is 12’ long and 48lbs. The Journey 12 ss comes with a nice padded seat and the bottom, which while it is a nice addition, can simply be added to the Journey 10 ss even though it doesn’t come stock. The shape of the Journey 12 ss is much more knife-like than the Journey 10 ss and therefore makes it better for cutting through waves with its longer keel. That shape, however, makes it much less stable than the Journey 10 ss. You’re really weighing speed against stability with these two. While the Journey 12 ss provides more on-deck storage, especially near the bow, you’ll find that it is much more difficult to access the things you need on board. Besides that, they offer quite a bit of the same features, are both very high quality, and are both great entry-level fishing kayaks that you can purchase for a great price!
Are there any Sun Dolphin Journey 10 ss mods that you can recommend?
Absolutely! We would be very cautious about modifying your kayak though, as it does void your warranty depending on what you do. They won’t cover the cost if you end up busting up your kayak, so be careful! That being said, here are some of the most common Journey 10 ss mods that we see out there:
- Seat mod: We would highly recommend getting some sort of padding for the seat if you are planning on taking longer trips with your kayak, as the plastic bottom can get extremely uncomfortable very quickly. Make sure that you get something with a mesh or neoprene-type material so that it will dry quickly. No one wants to sit on a soggy seat. If you want a better vantage point while you are fishing, or you want to stay a bit more dry, you may want to consider purchasing a stadium-style kayak seat and rigging it so it sits higher off the deck of the kayak.
- PVC Pipe Rod Holders: While we believe the rod holders are deep enough to keep your rods nice and secure, some people find them a bit too shallow. If you are one of those people with the better-safe-than-sorry mentality, we would highly recommend modifying your rod holders with PVC Pipe to increase the length.
- Anchor Trolley: Having an anchor trolley can make a major difference in your fishing experience. It can help to keep you sitting in one spot without you having to put any work into it. Unfortunately the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 ss does not come with any mounting points for an anchor trolley, but there are tons of people that have modified them by drilling holes so that they could easily place one on board.
Why buy a sit-on kayak vs. a sit-in kayak?
Each kayak type has its own advantages and disadvantages. There are many reasons we would suggest purchasing a sit-on kayak though. One of the reasons is that you have a lot more freedom when it comes to moving around and getting in and out. While a sit-in kayak may provide protection from the wind and waves a bit more, you’ll have to learn how to get in and out properly without tipping over. You’ll also have to make sure you know what to do in the case of a tip so you don’t end up getting pinned under. You’ll also find that, as a beginner, it is much easier to paddle and get going in a sit-on kayak, as you won’t be hitting the side with every stroke.
What kind of water is the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 ss best suited for?
While the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 ss is a pretty versatile watercraft, we would not recommend taking it out in rough chop. Yes, it may be pretty stable, but the way that the hull is designed is a catamaran-style, and it’s not the best for cutting through high waves. There are also no scupper plugs in the hull meaning water that gets inside does not have any way to drain. The fact that it is 10’ and very lightweight does make it perfect for paddling out in spots that don’t have very much launch or that have tighter quarters. We would recommend only using this boat if you’re rolling out on a solo trip for less than a day. Any more than that and you’ll find that it can’t accommodate an ample amount of gear.
Does this kayak have a height limit?
Many people that are over 6’0” are complaining that it is difficult to stay straightened out. If you are taller than 6’0”, we would recommend looking into the Sun Dolphin Journey 12 ss instead, as it offers a lot more leg room.
Does this vessel come in different colors?
Yes! Sun Dolphin was actually really smart with the colors they decided on. One is an olive green and the other is desert sand. These are perfect if you’re paddling out in murky waters and want to a bit more inconspicuous when fishing. After all, a bright red yak would give off a pretty obvious warning to any suspecting sea life.
Final Thoughts – Should You Buy?
If you are just starting out in the world of kayaking and want to get a vessel that allows you to fish, we would recommend the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 ss over just about any other kayak on the market.
It’s hard to think of another kayak in this price range that is packed with the same fish-focused features that the Journey 10 ss is. Most other fishing oriented kayaks are a whole lot more expensive. All in all, the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 ss is extremely portable and easy to transport, is incredibly easy to paddle, and is a durable kayak overall that will get the job done. Have fun yakking!