A Comparison of The Best Sub $400 Kayaks On The Market

Outdoors Magazine is reader-supported. When you buy through links on this site, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 Sit-In Kayak is primarily designed as an entry level boat, but is a great option for recreational fishing and for hobbies.

It is widely well-reviewed and has been acknowledged as one of the best kayaks under 400 of the year, if not the best. It is excellent for fishing and is surprisingly spacious despite its smaller size, making it convenient and fisherman-friendly.

The Best Fishing Kayak Under 400 – Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 Sit-In Kayak

Sun Dolphin Aruba Sit-in Kayak (Lime, 10-Feet)
  • Large open cockpit with adjustable padded seat with high back support
  • Convenient gear storage with shock cord deck rigging
  • Adjustable foot braces
  • Rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex High Density Polyethylene
  • Carrying handles and water bottle holder

Features And Specifications

  • Made from rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex® High Density Polyethylene
  • Shock cord deck rigging
  • Fitted with adjustable padded seat and foot braces
  • Comes with a water bottle holder, a paddle holder, carrying handles, and a storage compartment
  • Large open cockpit
  • Has protective thigh pads
  • Built-in spray-deflecting collar
  • Length: 10’ / 305cm
  • Width: 30” / 76cm
  • Height: 13” / 33cm
  • Weight: 40 lbs. / 18kg
  • Weight capacity: 250 lbs. / 113kg
  • Comes in blue, lime, ocean, pink, orange or red.

Click to check the current price & availability on Amazon

An Affordable, Great Recreational Kayak For Enthusiasts Of All Experience Levels

The plastic material of the kayak is very high density, making it incredibly sturdy and durable, and it can withstand a couple of hits into rocks, logs, and other obstacles with no problem.

Plus, the polyethylene material is lightweight, so you will find it easy to maneuver and relatively easy to transport. Yet this lightness does not affect its strength! At the very worst, a dent may form in the body of the boat, but a breech or hole is very unlikely. Dents are also easily fixable, and on top of that, the company offers a two-year warranty on all its kayaks.

The kayak is also very stable and has a narrow bow and stern which helps to properly direct it in the direction you want it to go. This sharp design really allows you to cut through water easily.

Once more, thanks to how light it is and also thanks to its flat, wide base which is 30” in width, it will easily sit atop water and will also track well.

Finally, the Aruba allows for comfort thanks to nice padded seating accompanied by high back support so you do not easily become fatigued even after long periods of riding. In addition, the adjustable foot braces and protective thigh pads help with the comfort factor, and a deflecting collar is fitted into the kayak to prevent too much water spray from getting to you.

However, there are some drawbacks to this kayak. Being only 10’, the storage area can be reduced to nothing if you are taller or take up more room. In addition, the Aruba comes on its own and does not include any accessories, like some other boats come with.

No oars or other items arrive with the product, so you will have to buy those separately, which is strange for an entry-level product. It also worth noting that for some odd reason, the kayak is differently priced depending on where it is purchased from.

From stores, you can purchase the kayak from anywhere between $180 to $400 depending on where you go. So, keep your eye out for good bargains!

Click to check the current price & availability on Amazon

You Will Love This Boat If…

  • If you are planning to use it on flat water. This kayak works wonderfully on rivers and lakes with calm and minimal waves.
  • If you are new to kayaks. This is an excellent entry-level option for those who are yet to get used to the ins and outs of the boating world.
  • You need the boat to carry a good amount of weight. Most 10’ kayaks are unable to hold a lot of weight, but this one can sustain up to 250lbs!

You Won’t Love This Boat If…

  • You plan to use it on higher waves, or anything other than flat water. This kayak is not built to handle anything other than wakes from other boats.
  • You need a lot of storage. If you plan to use this boat for fishing and want a little storage space, then be careful. It is a small kayak without that much storage room, especially if you are over the height of about 5’8”. Any taller, and the extra room in the cockpit might be entirely taken up.
  • You are very tall. This ties in with our previous point. If you are tall, then you might not be comfortable in this kayak at all, and you may have insufficient leg room.
  • You want something specialized. This kayak is a Jack of all trades – it does well in many conditions, but isn’t particularly excellent at any area.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can you lock the kayak; are there pre-made holes for this purpose?

There are no holes made specifically for the purpose of locking, but the handle hole, drain, and plug are all available to use to lock the kayak onto something.

  1. What will happen to the kayak if it capsizes?

The kayak is designed to float even if it is filled with water. As such, it will not sink upon capsizing, and can be held onto and used as a float in dire situations if needed.

  1. Is the seat elevated?

It is slightly elevated, although not obviously so; it is not entirely flat to the base of the boat.

  1. Where can I find an owner’s manual for this product?

You can find it on Sun Dolphin’s website or speak to their customer service advisors directly over the phone if you have any questions.


The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 Sit-In Kayak offers fantastic value for money and is great for recreational fishing.

While it is not designed to handle tough waters and is smaller than others, it will serve its purpose well on most waters and will keep you comfortable, safe, and stable through long excursions. Happy fishing!

Click to check the current price & availability on Amazon

Spread The Word

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest