Sun Dolphin Camino SS
The Sun Dolphin Camino 8 SS is a sit-on-top recreational kayak specially designed for smaller paddlers, youths, and children. Retailing slightly about $200, it will make an excellent first boat for young, budding paddlers. It has decent tracking and maneuverability and is relatively stable enough for a kid to fidget and play around with. While this isn’t a kayak for the experienced paddler, it will be an awesome play boat for the casual paddler that wants to have a few hours of fun on the water.
Sun Dolphin Camino SS Prices
- Small and easily loaded
- Relatively stable
- No padded seat
- Not the fastest
- Will not suit heavier or taller paddlers
Size and Weight
Sun Dolphin’s Camino 8 SS measures 8 feet / 241 cm in length, 31.5 inches / 80 cm in width, and 9.5 inches / 24 cm in height.
It weighs 40 lbs / 18 kg, which is relatively heavier than other sit-on-top recreational kayaks designed for kids such as the Pelican Clipper 80x which weighs 27 lb / 12.2 kg, or the Old Town Heron Junior which weighs 26 lbs / 11. 8 kg.
The Camino 8 SS has a maximum payload of 225 lbs / 102 kg, which is more than enough for a young adult, child, or smaller paddler as well as some gear.
The capacity of the Camino is comparable to the Pelican Clipper which can take up to 200 lb / 91 kg but is significantly more than the Old Town Heron Junior which can only take 115 lbs / 52.2 kg.
Like most Sun Dolphin kayaks, the Camino 8 SS is built with rugged UV-resistant Fortiflex high-density polyethylene that will last for years to come and take all kinds of abuse thrown at it.
At the tip of the bow is the first molded handle that’s built into the kayak for easy transportation. There is also a drain plug for you to remove any excess water that manages to find its way into the kayak’s hull.
Right after that are molded footrests that can be used by smaller paddlers of varying sizes. However, larger paddles above 6 feet / 183 cm will likely struggle to find adequate leg room.
On the main deck is a cup holder where you can place a small thermos or bottle, and right in front of the seat is a small, watertight circular container to store small stuff like a phone, keys, or a wallet.
The seat has a padded backrest that is adjustable to suit the angle that you want to lean back on, but the seat doesn’t have a bottom, so you’ll need to get that separately if you want more comfort.
At the stern is a small storage area where things like a dry bag can be strapped down using a bungee tie-down system and some j-hooks.
At the very back are a second drain plug and another molded carry handle for easy transportation.
Depending on the retailer, the Camino 8 SS includes a basic two-piece aluminum paddle.
The Camino 8 SS is built to be a child’s play boat, so it won’t be performing like a touring or racing kayak anytime soon. It is maneuverable enough but does better in still waters like calm lakes and gentle rivers. It will not handle rough seas or strong winds well.
It tracks fairly well but it takes some getting used to, especially if you are used to paddling a longer kayak.
It rides fairly low on the waterline and a small wave could flood the kayak. There are four scupper holes, but if the kayak is too overloaded, the water can get in.
In addition, the screw-in points for accessories like the drain plugs and the D-rings for the seat are not sealed, which means the kayak can take in water into the hull if you flood the boat or hit some waves.
However, it is stable, a breeze to paddle, and easily managed by one person to load the car, truck, or launch the boat.
Overall, the Camino will suit a very small adult, a youth, or a child. It is lightweight and easily paddled and will make a great boat for a fun day out.
You wouldn’t be touring for a whole day in this or doing any overnighters, but for a few hours of fun on a lake or calm river, this kayak will make an excellent piece of outdoor equipment for the casual or budding paddler.
kid on a sun dolphin camino 8 ss
Specification: Sun Dolphin Camino SS