Sun Dolphin Bali SS Review

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

Are you in the market for a new kayak? If you are, you should know that the Sun Dolphin Bali SS is a practical and affordable option.

This sit-on kayak is available in three lengths, which are eight feet, ten feet and twelve feet. Today, we’re going to give you the lowdown on this popular kayak’s features and benefits.

This sleek and stylish kayak is perfect for paddling through rivers and lakes. It’s also simple to carry because it’s light in weight. Paddle and track with ease as you enjoy superb stability.

Ideal for recreational users, due to its sit-on design, which makes getting on and off of the kayak a total breeze, this fun boat will be just right for local beaches and enclosed waterways.

Once you’ve learned about this kayak, you’ll be ready to decide whether or not it suits your needs.

Sun Dolphin Bali SS: The Details

red kayak from Sun Dolphin


The Look

All three sizes of Sun Dolphin Bali SS kayaks look good. They have sleek shapes which are ultra-modern and they also have a touch of sporty style.

While prices will vary, you’ll be happy to know that Bali SS designs typically fit into the “under 500 bucks” price bracket. The shorter lengths cost less than the longer lengths. If this budget-to-mid-range price point works for you, you’ll find that these kayaks offer superlative style, especially in light of their affordability.

While high-end kayaks which cost a bundle may have more design elements, this is an attractive kayak with a traditional shape and a shot of contemporary color.

The length that you choose will determine which color choices you will have.

The eight-foot style is available in:

  • tangerine
  • ocean blue
  • red

The ten-foot style comes in:

  • ocean blue
  • red
  • lime green
  • tangerine
  • pink
  • blue (darker than ocean blue)

The twelve-foot style may be ordered in:

  • green
  • blue
  • red

Each bright kayak features attractive black accents which add a bit of welcome contrast.

The eight-footer has a total weight of thirty pounds, the ten-footer weighs in at forty-four pounds and the twelve-footer has a weight of forty-eight pounds.

While weight doesn’t impact appearance much (although a heavier kayak will have a bulkier look), we want you to know that these kayaks are light enough to be portable, thanks to their intelligent design. They are also easy to get onto vehicle roof racks!


  • Weight: 8-foot style (30 pounds), 10-foot style (44 pounds), 12-foot style (48 pounds)
  • Dimensions: 8-foot style (12-foot length by 30-inch width by 14-inch height), 10-foot style (10-foot length by 30-inch width by 11-inch height ), 12-foot style (8-foot length by 28-inch width by 15-inch height) 
  • Capacity: 8-foot (197 pounds), 10-foot (250 pounds), 12-foot (395 pounds) – Canadian standards for capacity may vary; these capacities are American.



This kayak doesn’t come with any extras.

The Company

KL Outdoor is the company behind the Sun Dolphin collection of thermoformed kayaks. KL Outdoor employees make these kayaks by heating plastic sheets until they are pliable and then shaping the heated plastic in molds.

KL Outdoor has been in business since 1982 and you’ll find this company on Sun Dolphin Drive in Muskegon, Michigan, USA.

World-renowned for its recreational products, KL Outdoor is a business with proven track record. In addition to its Sun Dolphin kayaks, KL Outdoor produces canoes, paddleboards, fishing boats, dinghies, pedal boats and jon boats.

This company has an A+ rating at the Better Business Bureau. In summer of 2017, KL Outdoor expanded… and added plenty of new jobs in the process. Clearly, business is booming for this reputable and trusted American kayak producer.

The Warranty

A Manufacturer’s Warranty may be requested from KL Outdoor upon purchase.


Features vary a bit based on length. To give you an idea of which features you’ll access, let’s look at the Sun Dolphin Bali SS 8-Foot Sit-on Top Kayak. It’s a strong seller and has most of the features that kayaking fans (and total newbies) want and need.

First, we should mention that kayaks which have shorter lengths are easier to maneuver. Longer styles track better (stay in a straight line when paddlers want them to), but lack the same maneuverability. So, think about speed versus tracking when you’re trying to decide on length.

The eight-foot style will definitely be great for beginners. Newbies (or recreational users with more experience) will get more than enough speed from this model, and tracking should be good, too, although it won’t go as fast as a longer Bali SS, or track as straight as a longer model.

First off, this design is low in weight. This means that portaging (the act of carrying the kayak across land, from one waterway to another) and storing this kayak will be easy. Also, it’ll be simple to put it on your roof rack.

This design comes with a seat back which is adjustable and padded, so you’ll find that accessing premium seat fit and comfort is simple.

This eight-foot kayak has a open-style cockpit, which allows for quick and simple entry.

We also like the graduated foot wells. Once your feet are in the foot wells, you’ll find that the wells give you plenty of stability and also promote good balance.

Lastly, we love this kayak’s onboard storage. You’ll have room for your snacks, drinks and other gear. The onboard storage system includes deck rigging of the shock cord type, which is rugged and allows for quick and easy storage and retrieval.

Sun Dolphin Bali SS Review

blue twelve-foot kayak from Sun Dolphin

Via Amazon

The Positives

We like the fact that three sizes are available and tons of color choices are out there. It’s nice that you’ll be able to choose a Sun Dolphin Bali SS which is just the right length and color for you. As well, we like the build quality. This is a durable kayak which is rugged enough to take what you dish out on the waters.

We also appreciate the tried and tested reputation of the Sun Dolphin brand. This brand has been popular for decades. It’s a trusted name in kayaks.

The low price point of these Sun Dolphin Bali SS kayaks makes them ideal choices for entry-level consumers, who want their first recreational kayaks for competitive prices. However, they are also great choices for people with intermediate or expert skills, who want to buy kayaks for fun, rather than sea voyages or whitewater rafting.

The Negatives

This is a sit-on top style. This means that you’re going to get wet while you kayak, rather than sitting inside of the kayak and getting protection from the water that splashes as you paddle.

As well, this collection of Sun Dolphin kayaks (8-foot, 10-foot and 12-foot) do not have scupper holes. Scupper holes self-bail. When there are scupper holes, water which comes over a kayak’s deck will drain out. The lack of scupper holes is a bit of a downside, but so many people love these kayaks anyway. They don’t mind getting wet sometimes on lazy river kayaking expeditions. You probably won’t, either.

This kayak isn’t made for open-sea adventures. You’ll need a sit-in kayak for that, which includes a spray skirt and other high-performance features and accessories. If you want to chill out on the water near a local beach or explore a local lake or creek, this kayak will suit your needs to perfection.

Overall Verdict

We recommend this kayak to anyone who wants a recreational boat that is affordable and easy to use. While it doesn’t have every feature of the most expensive kayaks, it’s not really supposed to and it does offers premium value for the money.

Also, it’s just a fun boat.

No matter which length of Sun Dolphin Bali SS you choose, you’ll find that you’re picking a winner. We rate this model a solid four and a half stars.

9.0 Perfect for recreation
  • Kayak Judge Rating 9
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Leave A Reply