The Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS is one of the best budget sit-on-top kayaks of 2023 and fares well as a simple fishing kayak good for short trips, reviewers agree. However, it’s let down by a lack of reliable tracking and speed. That said, experts tend to agree you likely won’t need those attributes from this kind of vessel!
This boat arrives with tons of storage options and is very easy to lift, move and store. Experts agree that the price point is likely the biggest selling point, though you may need to get creative with the scupper holes!
Experts agree that the Journey 10 SS is a cheap and cheerful kayak that “gives you what you pay for.” They say it’s a nice fishing kayak for light fishing trips or recreational paddling. It doesn’t achieve bracing speeds, and reviewers agree that its tracking is fairly poor, even on flat water.
However, it does pick up praise for its multiple storage options, such as flush mount rod holders, shock cord deck rigging, a portable accessory carrier, and tackle holders. There’s a paddle holder too to free your hands for fishing. That said, reviewers note that the boat’s relatively low max capacity means you may not be able to make complete use of them.
This kayak also scores fairly well on durability. Its hard plastic shell, experts claim, gives it more than enough resistance against spikier adventures.
However, reviewers also note that users may wish to plug the scupper holes on their own accord, as they’re not always reliable. One expert even used third party ear plugs to fill the gaps!
Comfort-wise, experts feel the lack of a padded seat is notable, but the flexible and slight-padded back rest does offer some relief. It also has adjustable foot braces. There are foot and thigh pads onboard, but reviewers query whether or not this is a great option for shorter riders (e.g. under six feet tall).
The general consensus otherwise is that it’s a fantastically affordable boat, but you might not expect “kayak of the year” features out of it.
Expert Reviews of the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS
6.3Happiness WithoutI'm fairly mixed on the Journey 10 SS. It's great for beginners who want to get to grips with tighter paddling from the get-go, but it really isn't the best at tracking. It's also pretty light on capacity. That said, I find it's a reasonable enough boat for day trips and light kayak fishing here and there.Read more
6.3Creating A Simpler Life Off GridDespite the fact this kayak is definitely not going to win any races (and its tracking is fairly poor), it's great for gentle adventures and is reasonably supportive. For the money, it's a great value kayak that doesn't try to compete beyond its station.Read more
7.0Monkey N AroundThis is a seriously cheap kayak option that I think makes for a good introduction to fishing kayaks in general. I'd consider this a good purchase if you're in the market for an inexpensive kayak first and foremost, but it really doesn't track well when fishing on the flat.Read more
Handling of the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS
Expert Rating: 5.3
4.5Happiness WithoutThe size and weight of this kayak make it really easy to maneuver through tight spots - I think it's great for beginners. However, its tracking is very poor - I wouldn't recommend it to experienced paddlers. It suffers a lot in brisk weather, and I'd advise against taking it out in strong currents. Speed is not one of its strong suite either; this boat really does plod through the water!Read more
4.5Creating A Simpler Life Off GridThis kayak's tracking really isn't very good at all - it goes nowhere fast, but if that's not a priority for you, I don't see this being a deal-breaker. Just don't take this kayak out if you're competing with others on the water!Read more
7.0Monkey N AroundThis boat handles reasonably well, and that's mainly thanks to the fact it's pretty short. That said, it's not the best at tracking on flat water (which is to be somewhat expected).Read more
Stability of the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS
Expert Rating: 6.0
5.0Happiness WithoutThis boat's width and classic angling boat design make it built for stability, though it's actually a little less stable than other kayaks in a similar line. It's not stable enough to hold steady while you stand, for example, and it really starts rocking if you're sailing on anything but calm, flat waters.Read more
7.0Creating A Simpler Life Off GridThis boat is nice and easy to sit still in, depending on how you use it and to what extent. In my experience, taking a short fishing trip on slightly choppy waters, this kayak managed to hold its own fairly well. It might feel a little "tippy" but it's actually a very stable kayak.Read more
Comfort of the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS
Expert Rating: 6.2
5.5Happiness WithoutThe Journey 10 is by no means an uncomfortable boat, but if you're as experienced as I am, you've likely ridden in comfier kayaks. It could really use additional padding - and while I think the thigh straps are nice additions for taller paddlers, shorter riders will likely miss out. I'd recommend padding the boat out yourself if you're paddling it for long periods.Read more
6.0Creating A Simpler Life Off GridThere's no bottom pad to sit on while you paddle, but the back seat is at least nice and adjustable if you need to bring yourself forward during a paddle. I'd recommend you invest in some seat cushions of your own. Protective thigh pads are nice touches, but I couldn't reach them! It's not built with comfort for all heights in mind.Read more
7.0Monkey N AroundIt's got leg and foot pads to help ease you in, and the seat has a slight pad towards the rear. The seat is at least slightly adjustable, which is a plus. However, the weight capacity is pretty small - it's not great for larger riders.Read more
Onboard Storage of the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS
Expert Rating: 7.0
6.5Happiness WithoutDespite the fact this boat is fairly light on capacity, I am impressed by the storage space onboard. There's a watertight hatch with bungees and two additional hatches down in the cockpit. The two extra bungees to the bow are great touches, too. However, in my experience, this kayak really only fares well on day trips and short bursts of kayak fishing here and there. There's no room to customize your boat if you want to add fishing gear tracks, for example. It's a shame I really can't make the most out of the storage potential here.Read more
7.5Creating A Simpler Life Off GridThere's some nice-sized container storage onboard this kayak, which I think works perfectly for dry well or wet storage. However, not all of it is easy to access. The three rod holders are handy enough, but the swivel rod holder doesn't really live up to its name. The bungees seem to slip a little bit, meaning I wouldn't say they're the most secure - but they are easy enough to hold down. I like the extra storage compartments inside the boat, which I don't think get enough coverage from reviewers!Read more
7.0Monkey N AroundThere are a few interesting storage points across the boat, such as the front bungee and the bottle holder in the center of the kayak, which is easy to secure. I like the fishing rod port in the middle, too. The two pockets on either side of the seat also work well for holding your tacklebox.Read more
Portability of the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS
Expert Rating: 7.5
9.0Happiness WithoutI found this kayak amazingly portable as it's so light weight and relatively short. The polyethylene adds to the weight a little, but I still find this boat easy enough to carry in the back of a truck or on a rack. It's even easy to drag via kayak cart thanks to its keel design. No problems here.Read more
7.0Monkey N AroundThis boat is really easy to haul around - it's extremely lightweight, simple to handle, and has a low weight capacity, too.Read more
Durability of the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS
Expert Rating: 7.5
7.5Happiness WithoutThe plastic hull is impressively durable, and I was impressed at how well it held up against some of the rockier parts of the journeys I sailed down. I think it's durable enough for beginners, though the polyethylene does make the kayak heavier than you might expect.Read more