One of the most important questions to consider when shopping for a kayak is whether you want a sit-in or sit-on model. The former is the classic shape most of us associate with kayaks, where your feet and legs are tucked under a hollowed out area beneath the hull as you sit in a cockpit-shaped area in the boat. By contrast, the latter design raises the seat area to give you more leg room and more room inside the kayak to place fishing gear at the cost of speed and stability. Sit-in kayaks are also speedier and more maneuverable, which are among the best advantages offered by this model from Dolphin.
In choosing a sit-in kayak, you also accept the downsides, such as less space and thus a harder time fishing. However, a good model such as this one from Sun Dolphin Aruba will try and mitigate those natural weaknesses with improvements in their design. We all have limitations, and it’s how we respond to them that helps define who we are, and the same is true of kayaks.
With that in mind, let’s take a deeper look at the overall design of the Sun Dolphin Aruba Sit-in Kayak and see how well it embodies the upside of the sit-in style and answers its limitations.
Features of the Sun Dolphin Aruba Kayak
The Sun Dolphin Aruba Sit-in Kayak is 10 ft long, weighs 40 lbs, and has a weight capacity of 250 lbs. While this is a sleek kayak, that carrying capacity is less than other models of a comparable size. On the flip side, 40 lbs is a bit lighter than other options, making it easier to carry from place to place. The model is also quite durable, being made from high-density polyethylene.
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This model boasts a largely traditional sit-in kayak build, complete with a flatter bottom, which grants it greater stability. While V-shaped hulls are typically able to glide along the water at a faster clip, this model doesn’t lag behind, either.
The interior of the model is more slimmed down, in keeping with the sit-in style. That said, while sitting in kayaks can offer less leg room and thus be less comfortable as a result of this design decision, this model attempts to compensate for that with three key features. First, it offers high back support, making it easier to lay back and relax. It also offers adjustable foot braces, which can be moved to create more leg room. In addition to that, its spray collar can help keep you from wet, which can also be a concern with sit-in style kayaks, which situate the occupants closer to the water than the elevated seating offered by sit-on models. The seat can also be moved forward and backward, so if you’re on the taller or shorter side, this could be a huge plus.
Not Very Spacious
Taken together, these three features help address some of the most common comfort issues with sit-in kayaks. While it still isn’t as spacious as many sit-on models, the Sun Dolphin Aruba Sit-in Kayak has improved upon the sit-in design where possible, and thus does a good job of making the kayaking experience more comfortable for its users. Users have also appreciated the durable polyethylene build. The biggest complaint seems to be with the paddles, which some users see as a bit lacking or, on rare occasions, were not shipped at all.
Pros and Cons
Conclusion – Is Sun Dolphin Aruba Worth It?
Our rating: 4.4 / 5
There we have it. By amplifying the sit-in style’s strengths and addressing some of its weaknesses, the Sun Dolphin Aruba is a shining if smaller example of an improved sit-in kayak.