Dagger Kayaks Review | Epic Kayaks or Rip Off? [2020] + Guide

If you are a nature lover and enjoy different kinds of water activities, such as water sports, fishing, touring, and the like, you need a type of boat that is versatile enough to do all these.

Although you can choose any boat to perform all your water hobbies, you want to buy a single product that will allow you to do all these. That is why you should try using a kayak.

One of the best and popular kayak brands are Dagger. It is an award-winning brand that won the Paddling Magazine Industry  Awards in 2019 in the Best Whitewater Boat category.

Because of this, if you are looking for the best kayak to use for your water activities, it is more rightful and reliable to buy from a trusted and award-winning brand.

Top 10 Best Dagger Kayaks Reviewed

In this article, you will get to know more about Dagger Kayaks. You will learn how to buy and pick the best product for yourself.

In this section, you will know some of the best Dagger products that you can select from if you want a quick suggestion or idea on what to purchase.

  1. Rewind
  2. Phantom
  3. Mamba Creeker
  4. Nomad
  5. Jitsu
  6. The Green Boat
  7. Katana
  8. Roam
  9. Zydeco
  10. Stratos 12.5

#1. Rewind

Dagger Rewind Whitewater Kayak

The first on this list should be something that brought Dagger the Paddling Magazine Industry Award, the Rewind.

Knowing its features, you will not feel surprised why it bagged the Best Whitewater Boat award. With this boat, paddlers, on any level, can use this kayak in downriver. It performs more than what you can expect from it.

It can withstand the challenges thrown by piercing whitewater while not losing its playability. It is also highly durable with a classic design but performs in the downriver with its modern features. Using this boat, you can learn and master new tricks.

The Rewind can ride class one to five rivers, making it a versatile product that even beginners can use. It has lots of rocker and volume that help in the kayak’s speed and buoyancy.

At the advanced level, paddlers can still appreciate the boat because its stern is low in volume, making this kayak playful.

This kayak features a roto-molded seat with ergonomic design. It also has a left lifter and adjustments for comfort. This Dagger kayak model is available in different sizes.


#2. Phantom

Dagger Phantom Kayak

The Phantom is one of the eight whitewater kayak models of this brand. Its performance reaches almost the same levels as the Mamba and the Green boat.

This kayak is extremely fast, while still providing a balance between tracking and maneuverability to respond to sudden changes in direction. Aside from that, it has a volume that balances the boat’s performance, and the paddler’s built.

It features grab handles, adjustable backhand, adjustable ConTour hip pads, roto-molded seating, adjustable thigh braces, leg lifter, and more.


#3. Mamba Creeker

Dagger Mamba Kayak

The Mamba Creeker is one of the kayaks that the Dagger is most proud of because of its ability to trudge through rough water conditions and punch holes.

Its 8.6 version is for large paddlers who need more features that will keep them safe such as more volume. Aside from these, the Mamba Creeker provides a forgiving and excellent ride.

This kayak features Ergo Outfitting contour, roto-molded seating, adjustable foot brace, ConTour hip pads, grab handles, step-out wall, adjustable backhand, leg lifter, and adjustable thigh braces.


#4. Nomad

Dagger Nomad Kayak

This Dagger model is available in three sizes. Dagger claims that Nomad is the most excellent creek boat. This model is one of the brands eight whitewater models along with the Rewind, Katana, The Green Boat, and Mamba.

The Nomad is famous for its forgiveness, stability, and predictability, while still allowing you to ride the rough water conditions in the creek. This model has enhanced volume, reshaped decks, and new rocker. These features allow the Nomad boat to stay floating on whitewater, help to resurface and provide more acceleration.

Plus, it features Ergo Outfitting, roto-molded seating, step out wall, adjustable foot brace, adjustable thigh braces, grab handles, leg lifter, adjustable backhand, and more.


#5. Jitsu

Dagger Jitsu Kayak 5.9

The Jitsu is the smallest among the Dagger’s whitewater category. This kayak has a unique rocker, and it provides a well-distributed volume.

It also has the tips designed for punching holes for looseness, speed, and wave release. It has a carving rail located at the release edge to provide a better whitewater grip for better control in carving.

Aside from these features, Jitsu can provide a responsive edge to edge transition. That is why it is a perfect model for big waves or freestyle competition.

Though it seems smaller among the other models, its 5.9 version is under the mid-size range.


#6.  The Green Boat

THE GREEN BOAT

The Green Boat is a unique boat that does not function as a kayak. It is highly versatile. If you want, you can use it in a whitewater competition because of its performance and speed. It has hard edges and a hollow hull.

Despite its speed, the Green Boat also provides stability and impressive tracking. It handles almost any kind of water conditions, even the roughest and steepest ones. 

Aside from whitewater competitions, the Green Boat is also an impressive kayak to perform other types of water activities. If you are up for a multi-day kayak adventure, you will never go wrong with this Dagger kayak model.

This kayak features an adjustable backband, step out wall, adjustable foot brace, grab handles, roto-molded seating, adjustable thigh braces, and more.


#7. Katana

KATANA 10.4

The Dagger’s Katana model is one of its three kayaks that are under the multi-water category. Its 10.4 version won the Outside Magazine Gear award in 2014. The larger version of the Katana 9.7 can accommodate paddlers who are on the heavy side.

The 10.4  is spacious enough to accommodate plus-sized individuals or simply anyone who wants to have more room for the gears’ storage. The Katana performs excellently in the water, and it can boost the paddlers’ confidence. It has a balanced rocker that gives speed while giving extra maneuverability to also perform well in the white water.

The Katana’s hull design and beveled sidewalls provide better stability. It also has a rounded stern that resembles the Dagger’s Mamba kayak model that makes this model more forgiving.

This kayak features a roto-molded seat,  carry handles, stern hatch, deck rigging, leg lifter, adjustable thigh braces, adjustable hip pads, ergonomic contour, and flexible skeg system.


#8. Roam

ROAM 9.5

The Roam Dagger model is one of the three multi-water kayaks of this brand. Whether you are a beginner or a pro paddler, you will love the Roam Dagger model.

If you are a beginner, the Roam can be an excellent addition on your quiver if you want a boat that provides better paddling. If you are a professional looking for a go-to product for a class three river, you will never go wrong with the Roam model.

This kayak is portable enough to take with you if you want to perform other activities, such as hiking and climbing. This model is a sit-on-top kayak that weighs only 26 kilograms.

It features ConTour surround, foot brace, deck rigging, carries handles, paddle park, adjustable skeg system, and stern hatches.


#9. Zydeco

ZYDECO 9.0

The Zydeco is one of the two recreational kayaks offered by Dagger. It is available in two versions, the 9.0 and 11.0.

Both series provide excellent turnability and edging.

The 9.0 version provides speed and maneuverability. Dagger claims that it has the features that you cannot find in other kayaks under the same category. The 9.0 offers are a comfortable and spacious cockpit design, unlike the small ones in the others.

It has a CFS-R seating system that is flexible because of its flexible option to ensure proper fitting. This version of Zydeco is lightweight enough to be transportable from places to places. This kayak only weighs 17 kilograms.

The 11.0 has a stern bulkhead and hatch that provides more storage. It is two feet longer than it enhances speed. These products come with extra bungee for more accessible gears.

According to Dagger, this Zydeco version is an excellent choice for paddlers who use a lot of gears. It is also perfect for outdoor adventurers. Most users love this versions’ maneuverability in slow-moving water conditions.

The Zydeco features the ConTour CFS-R seating system, foot braces, stern hatch, stern bulkhead, and ConTour knee pad.


#10. Stratos 12.5

STRATOS 12.5 S

The Stratos 12.5 is one of the two performance touring kayaks offered by Dagger. The other one is Stratos 14.5. The 12.5 is available in 12.5 S and 12.5 L. This version of Stratos 12.5, won in the Paddling Magazine Product and Industry Award as the Best Touring and Recreational Kayak in 2018.

The Stratos 12.5 is famous for its playful nature, while still strong enough to use as a day trip kayak. The 12.5 S version is advisable for paddlers who consider themselves under the small to medium size or having a short torso.

These kayak provide better acceleration because of its small size and some maneuverability. This 12.S can accommodate paddlers who are up to 250 pounds.

The 12.5 L is the larger version of the 12.5 S, but this one’s deck is taller to accommodate the paddlers who are on the large size. This size can fit paddlers who are up to 300 pounds.

This kayak never lacks the features you need. It includes CFS seating system, bulkhead foot brace, bow and stern bulkheads, and more.


About Dagger Kayaks

Dagger admits that every brand or company has its strength. Dagger claims that what makes it different from the others is that it masters every type of water to enable it to produce the best products.

Dagger started only as a small shop. It says that what made it become what it is now is its people who have a passion for making its products. It states that it still adheres to its core principles until now, even though it has become successful in the boating industry.

It claims that its products run in various processes. The first is through research, development, and design. After getting through several stages of operations, the Team Dagger tests these products. This team consists of experienced paddlers, such as Andre Holcombe and Ben Brown, to name a few.

Dagger says that it does not allow its products to get through the market without approval from this team.

Dagger does what it does because of its goal: to allow you to experience the perks of being in the water. Because of this, Dagger offers its products that will enable you to undergo various water activities. It sells kayaks for whitewater, recreational, multi-water, and performance touring.

It takes pride in its whitewater products that will allow anyone to have an opportunity to experience being in the whitewater, whether you are a novice or a pro.

Dagger guarantees quality from design to performance. It claims to have knowledgeable staff that can help you deal with any issues. It also has available online resources to help.

Aside from Kayaks, Dagger also sells accessories.


Factors to Consider When Buying a Kayak

Even though you now know some of the best Dagger products, there is still no guarantee that you will like one of them, unless you know what to look for when buying one.

Here are the factors that you should consider.

Type of Activity

Kayaks are one of the most versatile types of boats. However, kayaks come in different varieties. It is crucial to pick the one that has the appropriate design based on the activity that you want to pursue.

Dagger categorizes its products according to your purpose for buying a kayak, whether for recreation, touring, whitewater, and multi-water.

Katak Type

Kayaks come either as a sit-on or sit-in. Both types are available in Dagger.

Sit-On

Sit-ons are user-friendly, and they are ideal for recreational use, such as for fishing and touring. It is also a versatile type.

Because of this, it is the suggested type that beginners should use. The sit-ons are also self-bailing because most of these types of kayaks have scupper holes that automatically drains the water that might seep in the boat. Water can get inside because you can get splashes as you take a ride. That is why it is advisable to use these boats in warmer days.

Sit-In

The sit-ins have traditional designs, and they have a cockpit. Unlike the sit-ones, the sit-ins can protect you from the wind and water. It comes with a waterproof cover that prevents the water from getting into the kayak.

What makes a sit-in kayak more ideal is its roomy storage space. Also, these boats usually have foot braces.

Hull Type

The hull refers to the shape of the kayak’s bottom. It plays a significant role in the boat’s stability and performance. That is why you should know what you can get from each type.

Flat

The ones with a flat hull are maneuverable and offer initial stability.

The flatter the hull is, the more stability they offer.

Because of these perks, the flat hull is an ideal choice for recreational use.

It is best to use them in flat water. Because of these features, the boat with this type of hull is also beginner-friendly.

V-Shape

Because of its shape, boats with this type of hull can efficiently cut through the water and travel in a straight direction. Boats with this hull make an excellent choice for recreational paddling and touring.

The only problem with this type is that it does not have excellent initial stability, but it becomes better when you start paddling.

Rounded

The rounded hull type offers better speed. It provides exceptional maneuverability and excellent stability when you start paddling.

Chine

It refers to the design of the way the sides meet the hull, which is either soft or hard. Soft chine refers to rounded, while the hard type refers to its angled design. Most kayaks come in multi-chine.

The softer the chine is, the better the stability it can give when you start paddling.

Pontoon

Pontoon hull offers excellent initial and secondary stability. The only problem is that it is slow.

Size

Selecting the proper size is easier when you purchase from Dagger because the brand indicates the kayaks that are best to use in different activities. Its models also come in different sizes, and it also shows the weight capacity of its products.

Commonly, recreational kayas are 8 to 12 feet long, and the ones that are for touring are 14 to 18 feet long.

Aside from the product’s size, you also have to consider your height and your torso height.

Weight Capacity

The best thing you can do is read the product description and not forget to know the kayak’s weight capacity before your purchase. Besides your weight, you also need to include the weight of your gears, cargoes, and luggage.


Conclusion

There are thousands of kayaks on the market. That is why choosing the best product to use can be overwhelming, especially for first-time buyers.

In this Dagger Kayaks review, you have learned about one of the best kayak brands on the Dagger market. You have also seen some information about its products that can help you decide if one suits your riding style or preference. It also tackles the factors that you should consider when buying one.

Hopefully, this article has helped you choose the best kayak to buy to suit your riding style and preference.


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Can I Trust the Quality of Dagger Kayaks?

A: Now that you reach this section of this article, you probably have seen several hints that Dagger is a trustworthy brand. First, its product has received several awards from Paddling Magazine. That is why you cannot doubt the quality of its products. Besides that, you can ensure that you will never lose anything from purchasing kayaks from this brand. It offers a three-year warranty for manufacturing defects in the kayak’s deck and hull. The other parts have a warranty of one year. You can return your defective products within 30 days, and the company will pay the shipping cost.

Q: Why Are the Dagger Kayaks Durable?

A: Dagger calls the construction of its kayaks roto because of its linear polyethylene construction. Because of this, your kayaks only need minimal maintenance and care while maintaining their excellent qualities and features. According to Dagger, the polyethylene tends to become more flexible in warmer temperatures. That is why you might probably notice slight deformities during these days, but they are temporary. If it happens, you can use a sturdy sport rack to maintain the shape of your kayak. Note that you use the carry handles in transporting your boat.

Q: How to Clean My Dagger Kayak?

A: As mentioned, because of the roto construction of the Dagger kayaks, you only need minimal maintenance of your product. After using it, a quick rinse of fresh water will do, primarily if you used it in saltwater. Even though it requires fast rinsing, you should not ignore washing the crucial parts, such as the foot braces, rudders, and rudder cables. When you want to remove scratches on the boat, never use a sander or any abrasive material, you can get rid of the scratches or protect it from sun exposure by using a boat polish and a UV protectant.

Q: I Am Not From the US, Can I Purchase a Kayak From Dagger?

A: Currently, Dagger only ships in the 48 states of the US. Because of this, you cannot purchase a product directly from its site, unless you are from one of its supported regions. However, you can buy it from other online retailers.

Q: I Purchased a Product From Dagger’s Website, When Can I Expect My Product to Arrive?

A: According to Dagger, because of the massive demand for its products, you should expect three to five weeks. It includes processing and delivery. Dagger uses FedEx and UPS services to deliver its products and offers only a standard shipping option. It does not have rush order services. After processing your order, you can expect your order to arrive from 5 to 10 days. To enjoy free shipping, you have to order as much as 25 USD or above.

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