As we’re starting to see the Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 kayaks out on the water a lot more these days, we wanted to write up our own little Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 review to give you all the details on what we think about these ever-popular sit-in kayaks.
To begin, one of the coolest things about the Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 is that it is incredibly inexpensive. They don’t sacrifice capabilities for price though, and you’ll find that this kayak matches up really well to other higher end kayaks on the market.
All in all, the Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 is a great kayak for people who are just getting into the sport.
Sun Dolphin has also upgraded the Excursion 10 to and Excursion 10 ss model, which we will also be covering. This upgrade has a few additional features that make it slightly more advanced than the original one.
The Excursion 10 Review
Features and Benefits
Being a small sit-in kayak, we didn’t expect this kayak to have tons of onboard storage. The one storage area that they did decide to include is a lot bigger than you would think though. This thing is like having a car trunk on your kayak. It is a sealed dry storage area that is located on the stern of the kayak and easily unscrews so that you can have access to all of your belongings without needing to get up. Because the sit-in design offers room near your legs, you also have ample room to store your belongings inside as well. If you look near the front of the kayak atop the bow, you’ll see they have also included a small water bottle holder that is equipped with bungee cords.
The Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 is made from a high-density polyethylene that is not only very durable, but is also UV resistant and flexible in all the right places because of the added Fortiflex material that is unique to Sun Dolphin. The craft comes in two colors, sand and olive green, both of which are perfect for fishing in murkier waters to help your craft remain a bit more inconspicuous. The fact that it is 10’ gives your legs more than enough room under deck to stretch out and stay comfortable throughout the ride.
Having additional rod holders onboard fishing kayaks has pretty much become standard practice throughout the yakking community. Sun Dolphin got with it and added two flush mount rod holders that you can find placed right behind the seat. This makes them incredibly easy to access and fix your reels if need be. It also makes it so you can cast out multiple lines at once to optimize your fishing game. They are pretty deep within the hull as well as opposed to some kayaks, so you won’t have to worry about having your rods fall out. It also comes with Sun Dolphin’s unique swiveling rod holder that is placed conveniently within arm’s reach right in front of the seat.
The Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 comes equipped with a mesh seatback cushion that adds some extra comfort and back support to your ride. It is also easily adjustable through the help of two durable and UV resistant straps on each side. There are also two thigh pads that are on both sides of the inner walls to make riding a bit more comfortable. We wish more sit-in kayaks had this, as your thighs can get pretty sore after a day of trying to brace yourself, so kudos to Sun Dolphin for taking that into consideration when making this kayak.
The Excursion 10 ss Review
Features and Benefits
The storage is pretty similar to the Excursion 10 model. You have one storage space that is right behind the seat and is pretty easily accessible. If you’re looking for storage that is a bit more accessible, we would recommend storing things in the “secret” compartment that is located right under the seat. It can easily be unscrewed while you are riding out and goes deep all the way to the back of the boat. You’d be surprised by the amount of stuff you can store under there. The cockpit offers a bit of storage, as well as the area where your feet are, and is perfect for storing things such as life vests, backpacks, tackle boxes, and more. Each storage area, including the one at the front for your water bottle, comes complete with bungee cord add-ons to keep your stuff safe and secure.
The Excursion 10 ss is made with the same UV resistant high-density polyethylene that the Excursion 10 is. It is made a bit heavier with a higher capacity load than the Excursion 10 though, making it better if you are carrying more cargo aboard. The fact that it is a bit heavier makes it slightly more stable on the water. The Excursion 10 can also be purchased in dark olive green or sand. At the very front and back of the kayak are two conveniently placed handles in case you don’t feel like hauling it down all by yourself. In all, the size of this kayak makes it extremely easy to get out in places where there isn’t much launch and also maneuver in tighter quarters. They also added scupper holes at the front and the back of the kayak so that it drains without you need to get a bilge pump.
As with the Excursion 10, you have two flush mount rod holders that are located conveniently behind the seat for easy access. You also have the swiveling rod holder located right in front of the seat within arm’s reach. They are set in just as deep as the ones on the Excursion 10.
As with the Excursion 10, this model comes with a nice little mesh-like seatback cushion to give you some support while you’re out on longer adventures. It is adjustable as well with the two UV resistant straps on either side. It also comes equipped with two thigh pads on the inside to keep those legs nice and protected during your turbulent ride.
Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 vs. Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 ss
These two models are similar in many ways when you look at them from the outside and you only start to notice the differences once you get in the water. The Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 ss is definitely the most stable out of the two, as it is built a bit heavier and wider. Many people complained about the tracking capabilities of the Excursion 10, so the guys at Sun Dolphin have upgraded that too. If you want to spend a bit less money, by all means, go with the Excursion 10. If you want the small upgrades that will bring your kayaking experience to the next level, get the Excursion 10 ss.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why buy a sit-in kayak vs. a sit-on kayak?
Each of these kayaks has their own advantages and disadvantages. Sit-in kayaks are definitely the most traditional types of kayaks and have many good qualities about them. You have the ability to brace yourself within the walls at the kayaks so that you can really put your body into the strokes more than you would be able to on a sit-on kayak. You will also get less wet when you’re riding in a sit-in kayak, as every paddle with a sit-on kayak seems to come with a nice splash. This is why they excel in places that are windy or have less friendly climates.
For a deeper look at some of our other favorite sit-in and sit-on kayaks, make sure to check out our best kayaks page!
What kind of water is the Sun Dolphin Excursion 10 best suited for?
We would highly recommend taking this out on flatter lakes or calmer waters in general. This type of kayak is not suited for whitewater rapids or ocean waves. That being said, it is extremely durable, you’ll just find it difficult to remain stable and keep up good speed when you get into choppier conditions.
Is it easier to flip over in a sit-in kayak?
This is the number one reason why many people fear sit-in kayaks. If you are flipping your kayak constantly, you are either in waters that are WAY too strong, or the design of the hull is WAY off. The sit-in kayaks that Sun Dolphin makes are plenty stable enough that you should never have to worry about flipping over. If you do end up flipping over, it is very easy to come to the surface.
How large is the storage unit in the back?
It is about the size of a small milk crate. You could probably fit a decent sized tackle box in there without any fuss. The well is shaped a bit like a pear. We would not recommend taking this kayak out any longer than a day, as there really isn’t enough storage room to sustain any longer than that.
Final Thoughts – Should You Buy?
For the price, we couldn’t recommend a better sit-in kayak than the Sun Dolphin Excursion 10. It is also incredibly high quality for how inexpensive it is. Because it is made with the UV resistant high-density polyethylene, you’ll find that this thing will hold up over the years.
It is an especially great sit-in kayak if you want to add fishing to your experience, as you have tons of mounting and storage capabilities that are necessary for a solid fishing session.
If you are a more experienced kayaker, we would recommend looking into brands like Vibe. However, if you are just starting out, the Excursion 10 is the perfect the kayak in its price range. Have fun yakking!
Sun Dolphin Excursion 10