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Sun Dolphin Camino 8 Review

Updated On December 24, 2019

While a number of people opt for larger kayaks, which truthfully come with more stability and a bit better performance, there is also a crowd that doesn’t want to struggle with having to ask for help every time they want to unload the kayak from their car, or put it back on top. These people would rather get something that is a bit smaller, yet doesn’t sacrifice a lot of performance, and can carry them along with some small amount of gear. However, the market for such small, lightweight kayaks isn’t that big, yet you might be confused. You might think that an inflatable kayak would be better for storage and carrying, but the performance of a hard shell is undoubtedly better, and the best compromise between both worlds would be to get a small, hard shell kayak that you can carry around by yourself and that won’t take up much of your precious space, be it on your car, in it, or in your storage shed back at home. If you’re such a person with these demands, you might want to read on for the full review of the Sun Dolphin Camino SS 8-Foot sit-on-top kayak – a small, yet wonderfully designed vessel that offers great performance at an amazing price.

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So why the Sun Dolphin Bali 8?

As its name suggests, the Camino is the smaller, 8-foot brother of the Bali 12-foot kayak. It’s a sit on top kayak, and the seat is padded and adjustable, meaning it will fit a number of various people, and they can all adjust it to their liking. This is an important point, as there are a number of users who find themselves uncomfortable in a number of kayaks, even though they try a few different positions. An adjustable seat solves this with ease. The seat is very comfortable, comes with a high padded backrest, and you can go for a few hours without stopping for a break without having any issues with seating. The large, open cockpit will grant you easy access to the seat, and ensures enough wiggle room so you don’t feel clamped down in the kayak when you stay in it for extended periods of time.

When discussing performance, you will notice that due to its size, it’s not really meant for speed. However, with a little experience, you can more than make up for this with good paddling technique. The hull is solid, and will offer great performance on the water. The kayak offers a smooth ride, and will track great on both calm or mild waters. What you should be careful about is the square stern, as it tends to fishtail when you’re paddling too fast, so if you want to have a smoother ride, you should keep a steady pace and you won’t be let down. However, that same square stern will add a lot of stability, and turning is extremely easy due to the size of the kayak. Keep in mind though that it is primarily meant for a relaxing trip, and not speed.

Storage is actually as good as it can be with a kayak of this size. It does come with a couple of storage compartments, but you can’t really fit much more than the essentials for a day out. It should also be noted that the maximum weight limit for the kayak is 225 lbs, however there are quite a few people who noticed that even with around 200 pounds, the kayak sits fairly low in the water.

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Features Of The Sun Dolphin Bali 8

Final Verdict:

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on an expensive kayak, and you don’t have where to store it, the Sun Dolphin Camino SS 8-foot sit-on-top kayak is an excellent choice. It’s a small, cheap, lightweight kayak that can take you out on a relaxing trip with ease, and you won’t struggle with putting it back in or on your vehicle to take back home. It’s a great choice for both experienced paddlers and beginners alike, so if the aforementioned description fits your requirements, look no further than the Camino SS 8-foot, as you can’t really go wrong with it.

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Resources

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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  1. Just bought my wife this little gem. She is a total rookie and has only been one two other kayaks, my Journey 10 ss and my brothers Lifetime Monterey 8.6. She liked the size of the lifetime compared to the Journey, but, we couldn’t find any in the area. We came across the Camino at Dunham’s for about $150.00 and decided to give it a try, took it out right away and had a hard time getting her off the water.

  2. Kayak is approx 40#, I’m 67yrs, 5’7”,145#, I am able to load & unload by myself in back window of my Jeep Wrangler. According to Nevada DMV regs, the kayak can’t extend more than 4’ from tail lights, the Camino only extends out 2 feet. The Camino is stable & maneuvers well on a still lake. It’s perfect for what I want which is just a couple hours on the lake. I do wish the back rest was sturdier & more comfy.

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