Category Archives: KL Outdoors

Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 Tandem – Solid Room Or An Uncomfortable Fit?

Reviewing the Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 Tandem kayak is not the hardest thing to do. Why?

 

Because within Sun Dolphin’s range of kayaks, there are a number of more attractive and handy choices. That statement, however, should not be misinterpreted to mean that this sit-on-top kayak is not up-to-par to its sibligns. In fact, it’s far from it, as this boat provides much more than you would expect from just taking a glimpse at it.

Let’s take a look at what that means in the following Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 Tandem review.

 

Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 tandem

Check out the Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 Tandem on Amazon!

Find out the top 5 Sun Dolphin Kayaks!

Frame of the Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 Tandem Kayak

As you might have guessed already, the 13.5 in the Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 Tandem denotes the length in feet. With that length, it is okay for any prospective owner to expect more than a handsome looking cockpit. Measuring 34 inches in width, the boat has enough wiggle space, comfortably accommodating up to three people. However, it works best when used by 2 people, and can function as a solo kayak with just the middle seat.

The Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 Tandem’s hull is made of UV-protected HDPE (high density polyethylene), as are all Sun Dolphin boats. This material protects the kayak from big scratches and dents. The use of polyethylene goes a long way in granting the user a lightweight, yet tough vessel, making it ideal for all categories of kayakers.

Rinsing it off after use, especially in salt water, will make the Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 Tandem retain it’s strength and it will therefore last longer.

The kayak’s hull is well shaped to cut through the water with acuity. At a hull depth of 17″, the Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 Tandem’s overhang is commendably done and leads to an upraised bow area. As such, when paddling in rough waters, the kayak’s bow area sheer lines are still retained way higher than the waterline. This negates the need to get skirting to prevent front water splashes. Additionally, the Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 Tandem’s angular stance while in water gives it a self-bailing capability, which enables the ejection of water from the cockpit.

The cockpit area is not dull either. Even before rigging, the Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 Tandem provides a glimpse into a well thought out style. For starters, the three seating areas are done in a stress-free fashion, perfectly situated.

There is a long depressed area that sits up to two people. The stern section, on the other hand, is a little raised to provide for the last kayaker. Also within this last area is space for an open cargo holding area.

Check out the Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 Tandem on Amazon!

Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 Tandem Features

The Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 Tandem is sold as a three person kayak, but its maximum capacity threshold would not be conducive to carry three adults on a serious fishing expedition. The kayak is only able to accommodate up to a maximum of 500 pounds, which translates into three average weight adults without fishing gear and other items. As such, it is safe to assume that the third seat could accommodate a child, dog, or extra gear. Fully rigged, the Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 Tandem weighs only 70 lbs.

 

The seats that come with this boat will serve you pretty well. The adjustable foam padded seats are accompanied by a wide backrest. To hold them in place, they are restrained by strong shock absorbing straps attached to D-rings that are fitted on to the hull.

With the understanding of how tiresome paddling can be, the Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 Tandem has two pairs of adjustable foot braces. Should you wish to go on a solo adventure, you can detach one seat and set your seat in the middle position.

Sadly, the Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 Tandem only comes with two seats. If you want to add one more person, you need to purchase an extra seat. Also, the bottom padding is not that thick, so if you want extra comfort, you’ll need more padding as well.

Check out the Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 Tandem on Amazon!

Rigged onto the boat’s hull are four carry handles, with two of them located on either side of the hull. The kayak’s posterior and anterior are also fitted with low slung horizontal bar handles. Thus, carrying the Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 Tandem does not present a challenge to its users.

 

Storage

The Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 Tandem is fitted with three storage points plus the molded in storage platform. The front storage hatch is located just in front of the forward kayak seat. The middle storage compartment, which offers a larger space for more gear, is situated close to the middle seating position. The rear hatch follows the same suit as the front hatch positioning, being situated in front of the last seat.

 

The stern storage platform is fitted with bungee straps to make sure that your nets, damp wetsuits and bags hold during turbulence. Unlike a good number of similar sized kayaks, the Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 Tandem’s storage platform is a little smaller. So you might be forced to be economical. Both storage hatches are accompanied by tightly fitted flip lids. Conversely, the middle storage compartment is fitted with an easy turn-and-lift lid. This makes it idyllic to use even in rough waters.

As for extras, you get a nice pair of retrofitted paddle holders. The paddle holders are situated on either side of the hull next to the front and back seats. In addition to the holders, each seating section on the Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 Tandem has a single molded cup holder.

 

Pros

  • Easily accommodates tandem and solo usage
  • Offers a fast means of rigging, with very little additional effort
  • Perfect way to introduce your children to kayaking with the third seat available
  • Sufficient storage space for a light fishing expedition
  • Comfortable, easy to use and maneuver, even for inexperienced users

 

Cons

  • Not an optimal fishing kayak, lacks devices like transducing spots, fish rod holders, etc
  • Prepare yourself for water splashes, common for sit-on-top kayaks
  • This Sun Dolphin kayak may prove to be less watertight than expected

Check out the Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 on Amazon!

Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 Tandem Review Conclusion

Just to reiterate, the Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 Tandem is not the superstar of its league. However, functionally, this 13.5 feet will be great for a good time out on the water for a few hours. It is made for the type of person who embraces high impact kayaking, interspersed with some light fishing.

 

If you are the angling, ‘basket has to be filled’ type, then the Sun Solphin Bali 10 sit on kayak might be a better choice for you, although it is not a tandem. But since we all have to start from somewhere, this particular Sun Dolphin kayak gets the green light, especially for beginners.

Top 5 Sun Dolphin Kayaks To Consider!

Sun Dolphin is a line of kayaks, paddleboards, and other boats created by KL Outdoor. They will merge with Future Beach to bring you even more boating possibilities, and they also have other sites that sell various outdoor products.

Here, we will take a quick look into 5 of their best kayaks (which is most of them) to see their main attributes, for those who don’t have time to read whole Sun Dolphin kayak reviews:

 

1. Sun Dolphin Excursion 12 SS Kayak

Sun Dolphin Excursion 12 SS

The Sun Dolphin Excursion 12 SS kayak is an excellent choice for serious anglers looking forward to having fun in the water. This kayak tracks and paddles with great ease while offering maximum stability. It’s perfectly suited for calm waters such as slow moving rivers and lakes, and its maneuverability is exceptional.

 

 

This Sun Dolphin Excursion 12 SS model is lightweight, with only 47 lbs and a capacity of 395 pounds. This makes it an ideal one-person kayak that’s easy to carry to your favorite fishing spot. Because of its low weight, you can easily place it on the roof racks of your car for easy transportation.

For superior comfort, the Sun Dolphin Excursion sit on top kayak is outfitted with large seating parts with a covered console. Also included for comfort and safety are high-quality, protective thigh pads. The Excursion is fitted with a portable accessory carrier for use as extra storage, backpack, or tow behind. The open cockpit allows for quick, hassle-free entry.

Other high-performance key features in this kayak include retractable carrying handles, adjustable foot braces, shock cord deck rigging, 1 swivel rod holder, 2 flush mount rod holders, rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex, high-density polyethylene, and a water bottle holder.

Check out the Sun Dolphin Bali 12 kayak SS on Amazon!

The Sun Dolphin Excursion 12 SS kayak is the perfect choice for fishing fanatics who are also looking to work out their bodies. Wherever you want to go fishing, even in secluded spots that your boat cannot reach, this kayak has your back!  Does this Sun Dolphin kayak review have you sold on the Sun Dolphin 12 yet?  If not, keep reading!

 

2. Sun Dolphin Bali 10 SS Kayak

Sun Dolphin Bali 10 SS Kayak

There is absolutely everything to love about this 10 foot sit-on-top kayak! The Sun Dolphin Bali 10 SS kayak is the perfect one-person kayak suited for recreational use on the lake and rivers. Weighing a mere 44 lbs, this kayak is lightweight yet stable enough to accommodate a maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds. Carrying it to your favorite spot is easy, thanks to its light weight.

 

For lasting durability, the Sun Dolphin Bali 10 SS kayak is constructed with rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex high-density polyethylene. You will get to enjoy many years of paddling without the need to purchase a new kayak. The Bali is great for calm water padding, which makes it perfect for beginners especially. It tracks and paddles with great ease while offering maximum stability.

The adjustable foot braces provide a customized fit, ensuring great comfort and versatility throughout the trip. Added to that is the large, comfortable seating area with protective thigh pads. You will definitely enjoy your ride on the lake or river with complete relaxation.

Check out the Sun Dolphin Bali 10 SS Kayak on Amazon!

The Sun Dolphin Bali 10 SS is also equipped with a Portable Accessory Carrier (P.A.C) that you can use as an extra storage compartment or tow behind. The open cockpit allows for easy entry to the kayak. Also included is a shock cord deck rigging, a paddle leash/holder, and a water bottle holder. Overall, this Sun Dolphin Bali kayak is a great option for both the novice and professional. You can read a more in-depth discussion here.

 

3. Sun Dolphin Aruba 12 SS Sit-In Kayak

Sun Dolphin Aruba 12 SS

The Sun Dolphin Aruba 12 SS kayak is a 12 foot one-person kayak that tracks and paddles extremely well, while at the same time offering maximum stability. It’s one incredible kayak that is designed to allow you to have plenty of fun and an unforgettable experience on your fishing adventure.

 

 

The state-of-the-art Sun Dolphin Aruba 12 SS kayak has a large seating area with protective thigh pads, and a covered console for maximum comfort all through the trip. It’s equipped with adjustable foot braces that allow a customized fit, maximizing comfort and versatility while paddling.

With its rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex high-density polyethylene construction, the Aruba is designed to withstand wear and tear from prolonged use and exposure to weather elements. The flush mount fishing rod holders provide compact storage for your fishing rods, while the portable accessory carrier can be used as an extra storage compartment, a tow-behind, or a backpack.

Check out the Sun Dolphin Aruba SS on Amazon!

Also included are retractable carrying handles and a paddle holder. This kayak is lightweight yet sturdy enough to hold a maximum weight capacity of 395 pounds. The Sun Dolphin Aruba 12 SS kayak is spacious and roomy, so you won’t ever regret making the purchase.

 

4. Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 SS Tandem Kayak

Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 SS

The Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 SS Tandem Kayak lets you enjoy the summer waters with your friends, as it’s large enough to accommodate one to three people all at once. The middle seat is designed for a single-person operation. This sit-on-top model provides maximum comfort, stability, and maneuverability in slow moving waters.

 

The Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 SS kayak features two padded seats with high, padded backrests for maximum comfort throughout the trip. It’s also equipped with three covered storage compartments for extra storage space for your fishing gear and personal essentials.

The kayak is equipped with adjustable foot braces that provide a customized fit for superior comfort while paddling. For lasting durability, it’s constructed with a high-density, impact-resistant polyethylene material.

Check out the Sun Dolphin Bali SS 13.5 Tandem Kayak on Amazon!

The Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 SS features an incredible self-bailing design that helps drain water much more effectively. Also included in the kayak are carrying handles and paddle holders. Have plenty of fun throughout the summer season with friends/family with the Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 SS Kayak.

 

5. Sun Dolphin Journey 12 Sit-on-Top Kayak

Sun Dolphin Journey 12 kayak

Navigating secluded fishing spots on the lakes and rivers with the Sun Dolphin Journey 12 foot sit-on-top kayak is a breeze! This lightweight and sturdy kayak is a great option for relaxed fishing in the summer as it tracks and paddles very well. It’s designed for maneuverability and easy tracking on calm waters.

 

The Sun Dolphin Journey 12 kayak has a large, comfortable seating area with padded seat backrests, and protective thigh pads for maximum comfort throughout your fishing trip. It comes with adjustable foot braces that provide a customized fit for comfortable padding. The open cockpit allows for quick, hassle-free entry.

This kayak is equipped with two flush mount rod holders and one swivel rod holder for keeping your fishing rods in place while paddling. It features a Portable Accessory Carrier for use as an extra storage compartment, tow-behind, or as a backpack. Also included is a shock cord deck rigging, paddle holders, and retractable carrying handles.

Check out the Sun Dolphin Journey 12 on Amazon!

The Sun Dolphin Journey 12 kayak is available in different finish options, so you can choose the one that suits you best. This kayak is a one of a kind kayak that will make your fishing adventures incredibly fun and unforgettable.

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