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Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 Review

Updated On April 26, 2020


high performance great features

  • Price = 5/5
  • Design = 4.5/5
  • Stability = 4.5/5
  • Features = 4.5/5
  • Quality = 5/5

This was one of the first kayaks we ever used and it most definitely on a lift for 2 just fine. We usually put it down flat because of how wide the kayak it. We usually use it on a medium size lake with little waves with my daughter and it definitely holds its own. I paddle at the back usually with my wife at the front and the kayak tracks fine I am a 200 pound 6 foot guy and my wife is about 110 pounds and we had no problem tracking the yak. I would recommend this yak for families and anyone out on the lake or other calm waters. I would definitely rebuy this kayak it was a good purchase.

So why the Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5?

Well one of the major selling points of this kayak is definitely the space and size for the price. If you have seen the other options in the market like the hobie options you can see the price of these can range in the high 1000's. The Sun Dolphin brand attempts to be the most reasonably priced brand while still maintaining most of the features of the larger names.

For its purpose and size the kayak is definitely great at handling 2 people. Even when I tried this kayak with 3 people we still had no trouble tracking or staying stable. I also tried to take this kayak out on the water on my own and didn't have much trouble. The obvious issue was that by myself I did need to exert a little extra force to get it going but what do you expect with a 13.5 inch kayak. For you to paddle alone there is a middle seat area which you could move one of the other seats to.

With regards to the seating I wouldn't say its uncomfortable but it can definitely be improved. there are a bunch of aftermarket options for this. I recommend a new seat with a little extra padding. I'm a bigger guy and my wife didn't have an issue but for me I could definitely feel a difference with an aftermarket seat.

The kayak comes with a ton of extra storage and hatches. Both in the front and back there are hatches to include anything you might want to bring alone as well as dry storage for your cellphone or other items. The kayak has some mesh bungees and space at the back aswell for extra items you might have.

I would not say this kayak was made for fishing but if you do want to take it out I would say the spacing and storage is adequate for adding your fishing gear. the one thing you would have to upgrade is putting in some rod holders on it and you may be good to go!

The kayak also comes with two paddle holders in case you do choose to rod up and put those paddles down and it has some nice clean carry options such as the carrying handles and its really easy to store compared to other kayaks I have had.

If the water level gets too high the scupper plugs are well positioned to filter out any water and drain the kayak.

Features Of The Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5

sun dolphin 13.5 features

Pros and Cons of the Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5


  • The price, hard to beat for a 3 person kayak
  • good tracking for its side
  • storage options are impressive for the price range
  • comes with features that you would see on a more expensive model


  • seats are not that great you may want to get an aftermarket seat

Final Verdict:

The Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 (that's a mouthful haha) is a great kayak for the price range. Honestly if your looking for a hard material 3 person kayak I don't think you will be able to beat this offering from sun-dolphin. A brand that has excelled in affordable kayaks for years this is perfect for a family or anyone starting out with kayaks but still wants something useful for the cottage. I would definitely recommend this kayak and think you'll love it when you try it.


See Our Best Fishing Kayaks Guide - Kayakerguide

Sun Dolphin Official Website

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About the author 

Andrew Bell

Andrew is a seasoned kayaker with 15 years of experience under his belt. He began kayaking as a way to reduce work stress but quickly became an avid kayak fisher and lure expert. He currently enjoys both lake and ocean kayaking and loves to write and share his experiences.

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