Sun Dolphin 51320 Aruba Sit-in Review: Inexpensive Recreational Kayak

Sun Dolphin 51320 Aruba Sit-in Review

Photo: kajakkbutikken.no

What We Like

  • Lightweight enough for one person to carry
  • Comfortable seat with enough padding
  • Roomy cockpit accommodates most adults
  • Does not fade, crack or peel easily
  • Accommodates different rider heights
  • Easy to carry with nice handles

What We Don’t Like

  • Thigh protectors do not stick well
  • Not very good for high wave streams

Bottom Line

With a lightweight and more affordable recreational kayak like this one, you will get a fun and more budget-friendly way to enjoy the water.


It is always about the build quality with kayaks because, if what you buy is not tough enough, it will not serve you well. Hence, the fact that Sun Dolphin 51320 Aruba Sit-in is made from a durable high-density polyethylene material makes it a fantastic buy.

But, its good traits will not stop at the superior build quality as this kayak will also offer a lot more. It will include a comfortable and spacious cockpit and also has a decent capacity storage compartment for your gear.

Sun Dolphin 51320 Aruba Sit-in Review

Sun Dolphin 51320 Aruba

Build Quality: Well-Built from a High-Quality Material

With the Fortiflex high-density polyethylene material, kayakers can be confident that they will be buying a solid and well-built product that will deliver exceptional service for countless recreational kayaking trips.

Also, you will never have to worry about this kayak fading, cracking, or peeling as besides being highly durable, this material will also be UV stabilized to make sure the surface will be more resistant to the effects of the sun’s rays.

Apart from being a rugged kayak, it is also made to be lightweight as it will only weigh around 40 pounds, which is still lightweight enough even for a one-person kayak.

And to give you some assurances that this kayak has been designed to last, Sun Dolphin will also back it with a limited lifetime warranty.

Maneuverability: Easily Maneuverable in Calm Water

Because the hull on this kayak is just 10-feet long, it will be much easier to maneuver even for the less experienced kayakers when compared to the relatively longer ones. Larger kayaks tend to be tedious to maneuver and will take a lot of muscle power and skill to move.

Also, the smaller weight of this kayak makes it more sensitive to every paddle, and so even the lightest touch will be enough to get it to move in a certain way, which means you can easily change the movement or direction of your kayak.

However, this easy maneuverability is only for calm water because when you subject this kayak to high waves, it will not be that easy to control. Its high sensitivity becomes its main drawback for rough waters as it will be subjected to more force from different directions.

Stability: Steady and Sturdy

For its price and size, it is hard to get a kayak that is more stable than this one because its smaller size means it will be more stable on the water, and there will be less likelihood of tipping over.

And while the hull is still not the widest out there, 30 inches is still wide enough to keep this 10-foot long steady in the water, and this makes it a perfect choice for use by beginner kayakers in calm or flat water.

Overall, this kayak has also been designed to paddle and track with ease besides ensuring that you also get maximum stability. But, it is also important to keep in mind that the weight of your gear and how you arrange it on the kayak will affect the overall stability of the kayak, and so you need to take extra precaution.

Design: Spacious and Comfortable

For a one-person kayak, the Sun Dolphin 51320 Aruba Sit-in is quite spacious as there is enough room on the kayak to ensure that you seat comfortably and enjoy your rides without ending up with sore and aching feet.

Besides being spacious, the cockpit will also include an adjustable and padded bottom seat, which when combined with the included backrest will ensure you get the most comfortable seating position.

And for an even better seating posture and to accommodate different rider heights, this kayak will also include adjustable foot braces. Also, there are protective thigh pads that will help keep your upper leg section comfortable and ensure you get a better degree of control.

The design will also incorporate a paddle holder that will ensure you can easily store the paddle when not in use. And although it is almost impossible to keep water out of the cockpit completely, this kayak still has a spray deflector collar to minimize splashing.

Storage Compartment: Decent Storage Space Provided

There is also a storage compartment on this kayak, which many kayakers will appreciate as it will allow them to store their gear securely and away from water splashes.

And for such a small kayak, the storage compartment has a decent capacity to ensure you can carry everything you will need as you enjoy kayaking.

To make things even better, there is also shock cord rigging, which besides providing more areas to keep the essentials that you need when fishing will also make it easy to keep everything tightly secure as you row.

There is also a nice and deep enough water bottle that will allow you to keep your water or favorite beverage close as you kayak. And because the holder is deep enough, you can be sure there will be less likelihood of spilling the drink.

Transport: Light and Easy to Carry

At just 40 pounds, it should be clear that this kayak is made to be super easy to carry around and will hence give users an easy time. But, at 10-foot long, when it comes to transporting it, you will still need to have it on the roof rack or truck bed like any other kayak.

Besides the lightweight design, this kayak also seems to be molded with ease of carrying in mind because it will have several points where you can grasp and hold it securely to carry on your side. And there are also some comfortable carry handles at the front and back.

You can also pull this kayak in and out of the water with ease as it will include nice grip lines. Given the compact and light design, you should also have an easy time pushing it over the sand on the shore.

Price: Nice Inexpensive Kayak

If you are looking for an inexpensive kayak that will still not compromise on the quality and functionality that you get, the Sun Dolphin 51320 Aruba Sit-in is a choice that you will never regret making.

For an under $500 one-person kayak, this model has all the bells and whistles that you can wish for, and it is also made for a lifetime of great service as the manufacturer provides a lifetime warranty to make this an even better buy.

Even if you still prefer to customize this kayak to suit other applications such as fishing by investing in a better quality paddle or even buying rod holders, in the end, you will still not spend much. Hence, no matter how you look at it, this kayak still offers good value for money.


An inexpensive kayak that is built for both beginner and experienced kayakers and is also made from highly durable materials for many years of exceptional service.

Whether it is the heavy-duty polyethylene material that makes this a tough and durable kayak or the spacious and comfortable cockpit, there are many reasons why you need to give this kayak a try. Also, it will not cost much to buy, it will provide a decent storage capacity and is quite stable and easy to maneuver.


  • Product Name: Sun Dolphin 51320 Aruba Sit-in
  • Product Brand: Sun Dolphin
  • Material: Fortiflex High-Density Polyethylene 
  • Capacity: 1-person
  • Weight Capacity: 250 pounds
  • Weight: 40 pounds
  • Length: 10 foot
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty

Key Features

  • Storage compartment provides a lot of room for your gear
  • Limited lifetime warranty gives you the quality assurance you need
  • At only 40 pounds is quite lightweight
  • Spray deflector collar helps keep the cockpit dry
  • Adequately padded and adjustable seat with backrest for user comfort
  • Open cockpit will ensure entry and exit is easy
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