Sun Dolphin Bali 6
Priced affordably under $200, the Sun Dolphin Bali 6 is the ultimate weekend play boat for kids and youths. With its lightweight and rugged materials, this kayak is easily handled by a child and durable enough to stand up to years of abuse. This is not a boat for an adult or a serious kayaker. The Bali 6 will not be winning any speed races, but it makes an excellent weekend toy for a child to take out on a pond or a small lake for a fun, casual day out with their friends.
Sun Dolphin Bali 6 Prices
- Super affordable
- Roomy cockpit
- No padded seat
Size and Weight
Sun Dolphin’s compact Bali 6 measures 6 feet / 183 cm in length, 25.25 inches / 64 cm in width, and stands 8.75 inches / 20 cm in height.
It weighs 28 lbs / 13 kg, which is significantly heavier than another kayak designed specifically for children, the Pelican Ultimate 60 which is the same length but weighs 19 lbs / 8.6 kg. Nevertheless, the Bali 6 is still easy for a child or a smaller person to handle during transportation and launch.
The Bali 6 has a maximum payload of 140 lbs / 64 kg, which makes it suitable for children and small youths. In contrast, the Pelican Ultimate 60 can only accommodate 100 lbs / 45 kg, and wouldn’t be able to accommodate a teenager without a significant decrease in performance.
Keep in mind that the kayak should only be loaded up to about 80% of its maximum, which means the Bali 6 should not carry more than 112 lbs / 51 kg or risk sacrificing speed and maneuverability or having the scupper holes filled with water.
The Bali 6 is made of rugged UV-resistant Fortiflex high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which will withstand loads of dings and scrapes and still hold up to rough use.
At the bow of the kayak is the first t-handle for easy carrying and transportation as well as a drain plug to rid the kayak of any excess water that might have found its way in.
Further down the kayak are some molded footrests so there’s some flexibility for smaller paddlers to get comfortable. The roomy, open cockpit leaves some wiggle room, and there are grooves along the gunnels to rest your paddle for a short time without having them pitch forward.
The open cockpit makes entries and exits easy and you can basically just jump on the kayak.
There is no padded or removable seat, so you’ll need to rig one up and secure it if you want more comfort, especially on longer days.
Behind the seat is a small storage area, but it isn’t secured by a bungee so if you want more peace of mind, you’ll need to modify the kayak to include some kind of system to secure your belongings.
This area also has molded grooves and makes it easy for kids to yank themselves up onto the kayak again if they fall into the water.
At the stern is the second t-handle for carrying as well as another drain plug. The Sun Dolphin Bali 6 comes with a very basic two-piece aluminum paddle.
This is a very basic kayak that will suit children and youths. Its maximum payload of 140 lbs / 64 kg means that a child could get many years of use out of this kayak before outgrowing it.
It doesn’t track the best, but it is stable and not tippy at all, which will give many parents peace of mind. Because of its length, it is also easy to maneuver, especially for a playful or inexperienced kid. It will only handle ponds and lakes well and will struggle in currents or waves.
The lack of a padded seat makes it uncomfortable for longer paddles, but you can always get a separate cushion or padding and modify the kayak to secure it.
This kayak isn’t going to win any speed races, but for a fun play boat that kids can take out on a lake and knock around all day. Like many other kid’s kayaks, the Bali 6 is designed and built to be durable and will hold up to many years of rough use.
Jack tries out his Sun Dolphin Bali 6 kid kayak
Specification: Sun Dolphin Bali 6