Whether you picture yourself angling from a fishing kayak or just paddling and enjoying nature, you are on the right path considering the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS.
It’s not a kayak for everyone, but it does suit very well a wide range of paddlers and anglers out there. The objective of this review is to inform you and help you decide if you are among those people who could benefit and have a happy experience with the Journey 10.
We will cover its stability, performance, fishing features, tips about comfortable paddling and much more. By the end of this review, you will know everything you should to make a proper and informed decision.
For those of you that are in a hurry and want to get an awesome deal on the Journey 10 right now, click here and check this great fishing kayak price and cool accessories in Amazon.com.
If you have any question about the Sun Dolphin 10 SS, please check the table of contents below as we might’ve answered it there already. Or dive in and continue reading to discover all about this kayak.
Quick and easy setup for solo anglers
The Journey 10 is a very compact and lightweight fishing kayak. With only 44 lbs. (20 Kg.) and 10” (305 cm) long, it’s really easy to carry, even for children. This kayak is very well suited for lightweight solo anglers that wish to be ready on the water and fishing quickly.
You won’t need help to carry it, no cart and no extra pair of hands. This is the perfect yak for short fishing sessions. If you find yourself asking if you should go paddling when you have just a short time, with the Journey 10 you’ll be answering YES all the time! There is no complicated setup, and no help from a cart or other person to carry it. This will allow you to maximize your time on the water, and be able to go on those short paddling / angling sessions, that with some other yak you would’ve abstained.
If you only have a short time, then the time it takes to prepare everything at the start, and then to collect and store it at the end, tends to be a deciding factor. With the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS, you will be getting one of the shortest setup and store times of any fishing kayaks out there.
One word of caution though. We already mentioned that this yak is a nice fit for lightweight paddlers. It would serve you very good if you are not taller than 6’ (182 cm), and weight 200 lbs or less (90 Kg). But if you are bigger and heavier that that, we would recommend something different, like the Ocean Prowler 13 Angler or the Vibe Sea Ghost 110 Angler. Even though the Journey 10 can carry a 250 lbs (113 Kg) load on the water, we would recommend to have a buffer and not reach the limit, specially if you are planning on bringing some gear too.
The Journey 10 stability and performance in water
This fishing kayak is not the fastest kid on the block, but you are not looking for a speed boat, are you? It is very stable and secure, which is a great feature for yak anglers. Being that compact and wide (30” / 76 cm) certainly helps with stability, and it’s also the reason why you won’t be winning any kayak races soon with it. But really, don’t be discouraged about speed. As a fisherman, you want to approach as smoothly and silently as possible to your selected spot. And don’t think for a minute that is slow, not at all. You will be able to go at fairly decent speed when needed.
This fishing kayak comes equipped with protective thigh pads to care for your legs, allowing you to keep them comfortably pressed to the sides of the hull. This also helps providing more stability when you paddle.
In relation to tracking, it has a good hull design that will allow you to paddle straight without much effort, if you are not bigger or heavier than our recommendation. You might hear a lot of different opinions regarding to this feature of the Journey 10. Some people will say it tracks well, others will mention the opposite. The truth is that this really depends on the paddler, not only in skill, but also in body type. Are you big and heavy? Are you correctly seated and balanced in the kayak?… You get my point, right?
All in all, if you keep an eye open for the limits we mentioned on the previous section, and you have a basic knowledge of positioning and paddling in kayaks, you will be just fine and tracking nicely in the Journey 10, as it comes out of the box. But you always have the option of adding a skeg, that will just improve a lot the tracking in case you feel this is not good for you. You can check this skeg, that can be easily glued to the bottom rear of your kayak’s hull. We recommend glue instead of drilling holes, as that will definitely void any decent manufacturer’s warranty!
Make those scupper holes work for you!
Another feature of this fishing kayak is its scupper holes. All sit-on-tops will have scupper holes in their hulls. This allows water that comes in while paddling or due to bad weather conditions, to quickly find its way out and into the water again. This is what is called a self-bailing kayak. You don’t want a kayak that fills with water and have to manually take out, do you? The Journey 10 has this feature, and as with any other kayak that has scupper holes, you must also know the other side of the story.
Scupper holes will not only let the water out, but also the water in from underneath when your are heavy. This is not a big deal, as it happens in every kayak. But you have to keep an eye open on the weight that makes this happen in your kayak. For the Journey 10, a good weight to keep in mind is 180 lbs (81 Kg). There’s no problem on passing this limit though, as you can find scupper hole plugs to keep your hull from letting more water in than out!
The fishing features of the Sun Dolphin Journey 10, and more…
The Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS is a fishing kayak after all, so let’s dive right into the features that are important to anglers.
You will have 3 fishing rod holders. One is placed right in front of the padded seat, between your legs. A swivel rod holder that will allow you to cast and leave the rod in place. The other two are flush mount rod holders to the sides and a bit behind the seating area, where you can place your extra rods.
Although this is a very lightweight and compact kayak, it’s amazing how much space it provides for its small size. At the rear you have a two in one storage compartment called by Sun Dolphin the “P.A.C” or Portable Accessory Carrier. It is a portable box that you can take out of its flushed place in the yak’s hull, and use it as a portable and towable box. It’s actually a pretty clever way of doubling your space.
The flushed space that is left open is useful and comes with bungee cord to keep any gear secure. When you are bringing more gear than what seems to fit, this feature can save the day. Remove the P.A.C. and tow it behind your kayak! The P.A.C. is water-tight, but not water-proof. This means that it will keep most of the water out, but you should expect a few drops to come in. The smartest and safest thing to do is to use a dry bag inside the P.A.C. and put any valuables that you want to keep perfectly dry in it. Better safe than sorry!
On the front of the kayak you will have another open storage compartment with bungee cord, not as big as the rear one, but enough to allow you to put in some important gear. And also a small compartment just in front of the seat, for any small items that you wish to keep somewhat protected. Remember this is also water-tight but not water-proof, the same advice as for the P.A.C. applies here.
Tackle box holders? Check! On the sides of the seating area you will find two flushed recesses, one to each side. You will be able to keep your tackle boxes secured with corded mesh, or anything else that fits for that matter. Those two spaces are not exactly what you need or you brought even more stuff? No problem, as you will have an additional small flushed storage space in between your legs, and with bungee cord to keep it secured.
Last but not least… it won’t be a proper fishing kayak without a holder for your favorite cup or beverage bottle!
How comfortable the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 is?
Let’s start talking about the Journey 10 padded seat. It is molded in the hull with an adjustable and padded backrest, and with cushioned bottom. It does the job but is not the most comfortable seat for long fishing sessions. If you are planning to be several hours on the water, you might want to get an extra cushion and give your butt a nicer time while fishing.
Your legs can rest freely on the open cockpit, but this kayak comes with adjustable foot braces where you can rest your feet and legs if you need to. Also to the sides of the cockpit you will find protective thigh pads to protect your legs when paddling and keeping them pressed to the sides of the hull.
What current owners say about the Journey 10?
As we always do in all our product reviews in Gear Priest, we researched and evaluated what the current owners of the Journey 10 think, what is the overall ranking they give it and our own appreciation of this research.
At the moment of this writing, there were 123 ratings and reviews of the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS in Amazon.com. Its overall rating is 3.5 stars out of 5. 25% of the ratings are in the lower range of 1-2 stars.
After several hours of reading and separating the shaft from the wheat, this is what we found out. There are a few reasons that are repeated among the lower-end reviews. The most significant being the complains about bad stability, poor tracking and scupper holes that fill the cockpit with water. We think that most of these bad reviews are actually misplaced and in fact the customers are the ones responsible for their poor research before purchasing the kayak.
We already mentioned in this analysis that the Journey 10 SS is a compact yak, not suited for big nor heavy anglers. This kayak is a good choice for mid to small people, that are also lightweight. The kayak will be unstable if you are big or heavy, thus making a real nightmare to paddle and try to keep it tracking well. Also, for heavy paddlers, the scupper holes will let the water in, as we also mentioned already.
Another repeated bad review that we see across any kayak research that we perform, is the problems with the delivery. Again, this has nothing to do with the kayak, its performance, nor manufacturing quality; and all to do with the delivery company that handles it. Please, take a look at this article for a more detailed advice on how to avoid this problem.
We think that this kayak should be rated higher that what it is, and that if you follow our recommendations and guidelines described in this article, you will be pretty satisfied with it. But all in all, and and even with all the “wrong” reviews it had received, the 3.5 stars rating is good.
What’s in the box?
If you purchase the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 you will get the fishing kayak itself with the best warranty you could expect: Lifetime Warranty. This is great, and reflects that Sun Dolphin is really confident that it will deliver an outstanding product, with great quality. For the warranty to be properly functional, you will need to register your boat within the first 30 days of your purchase. And please keep in mind that it only applies to the kayak original owner. If you got it second hand, or are planning to do it, be sure to check first about the proper kayak registration with the current owner, and keep his/her contact info on file.
The Journey 10 SS is delivered without any paddles, nor personal flotation devices (PFD). This is the case with any kayak in the market, unless you find a retailer or online store that offers a deal as a bundle. But it is not a usual practice for manufacturers to provide additional tools and accessories with their kayaks. You can check this selection of paddles and PFDs if you need them.
You won’t receive scupper plugs neither, so keep this in mind. This a good starting point for finding ones that fit for the Sun Dolphin Journey 10.
Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS Specifications
|Length||10′ / 305 cm.|
|Width||30″ / 76 cm.|
|Depth||11″ / 28 cm.|
|Weight||44 lbs. / 20 Kg.|
|Capacity||250 lbs. / 113 Kg.|
|– Two flush mount and one swivel fishing rod holders.|
– One swivel rod holder.
– Large, comfortable seating area with adjustable padded seat.
– P.A.C. (Portable Accessory Carrier) can be used as extra storage.
|– Open cockpit allows the easiest of entry.|
– Adjustable foot braces.
– Self-bailing and storage compartments.
– Shock cord deck rigging.
– Protective thigh pads.
If you are a newcomer to the yak angling sport looking for and affordable and easy to carry kayak, the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS is an excellent choice. Or perhaps you are already initiated in this sport, but you are looking for an affordable option for those quick and easy solo sessions, without too much setup time nor hassle. For both cases, and provided you are not a big or heavy person, this yak would be a great choice.
The Journey 10 SS is so lightweight and compact that even a child would be able to carry it easily without any help back and forth the water. Ready to go fishing and with enough storage compartments and space for your gear, you will love how easy and quick you will be on the water, enjoying nature, angling and paddling. How many times you wanted to go out for a quick fishing or paddling session but decided not to because of all the hassle involved and not having that much time or energy? With the Journey 10 SS you would’ve paddled those days! And the extra two flush mount rod holders are very convenient.
For those of you that are taller than 6”, the adjustable foot braces in this fishing kayak might not enough. If your budget can stretch some more, we recommend to check the Ocean Prowler 13 Angler, one of the best overall fishing kayaks in the market. Or for those that would like to go even further in terms of investment, a very nice option is the Perception Pescador Pilot 12, a great fishing kayak with an awesome seat and a pedal drive system.
But if you still want to check more fishing kayaks at the same budget level, check out the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100, another good low budget option.