Journey 12 SS

Width (in)
Weight (lb)

This Product Has Been Discontinued

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Journey 12 SS Description

The Journey 12 SS is great for lakes and rivers and to get to those excluded fishing spots and tracks and paddles with ease while offering maximum stability. Features two flush mount and one swivel fishing rod holders.

Journey 12 SS Specs and Features

  • Structure: Rigid / Hard Shell
  • Cockpit Type: Sit on Top / Open Cockpit
  • Seating Configuration: Solo
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate

Additional Attributes

  • Storage and shock cord deck rigging
  • P.A.C. (Portable Accessory Carrier) can be used as extra storage
  • Large, comfortable seating area with protective thigh pads
  • Adjustable Foot Braces
  • Storage and shock cord deck rigging
  • Retractable carrying handles
  • Paddle Holder

Sun Dolphin
Journey 12 SS Reviews

Read reviews for the Journey 12 SS by Sun Dolphin as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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I use this kayak for fishing…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/1/2022

I use this kayak for fishing in the Mississippi sound. I have flipped way too many times in this thing when there are no waves at all. Fishing is almost impossible, and the hull is shredded from dragging on sand. The lowest point is by your but so it gets soaked, and it doesn’t have scupper holes by it. I’ve had it for 3-4 years and I’m going to sell it to get something better.


Not happy with it. The clips…

Submitted by: paddler859891 on 8/23/2020

Not happy with it. The clips that hold the straps that hold the seat backrest upright the third time that I used it. I even bought a cover for the kayak in order to keep direct sunlight off of it.


Easy to load and not too…

Submitted by: AmyJoy on 7/19/2019

Easy to load and not too heavy. Open fishing Kayak so it's easy to get in and out. I rigged a couple of extra rod holders because it only had one in the center that I use for a drink instead. For the price it's been adequate for my 6 to 10 times of fishing from a kayak per year. stable.


The Journey 12 SS is a…

Submitted by: paddler520186 on 6/24/2019

The Journey 12 SS is a decent entry level sit on top kayak. It's fairly stable and tracks alright in the water. It's fairly light weight and has a decent amount of storage. I purchased mine from a local retailer and had very little scrapes on the bottom, other than that it was in great condition. I took it out once and had fun, but ended up returning it to the retailer. Below is why.

I'm a pretty large individual weight wise, 5'10" at 300 lbs. This Kayak is rated to a maximum capacity of 395 lbs. The capacity rating is why I picked this budget friendly kayak.

However, having a rating of 395 lbs. and sitting a 300 lb. person in the seat causes this kayak to sit really low in the water at the back and high in the air in the front. While this wasn't a deal breaker for me, it did cause it to be a lot more at the mercy of the wind. I feel that having the seat moved towards the center might have helped this a bit but that would make it difficult to reach the rear storage and fishing pole holders.

Many people have complained about the seat being the lowest part of the cockpit and that your rear end gets wet. This is true, but to me this wasn't an issue for me. I expect to get wet while kayaking.

However as a big guy the seat was horrendous. Not the bottom part but the back support!. In the semi reclined position you put a lot of pressure on the back support and being as big as I am, I caused the back rest to go all the way reclined. Sure I could have tied knots in the webbing but the height of the back still caused issues supporting me.

Overall this kayak is a good one and most of my issues are more because of me not being a good fit for the kayak, this is why I give it a 4/5 rating. This might work better for someone around 250 lbs.

Some suggestion for the manufacturer would be a slightly elevated seat that is more centered with a more rigid back, easier access to the front storage space.


I started with a 10 foot Sun…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/18/2018

I started with a 10 foot Sun Dolphin sit in as a starter kayak after several years of canoes and jon boats due to having kids, needing the extra seats/capacity. I have owned this kayak from the beginning of spring and outfitted it with 2 extra pole holders for depth/fish finder and camera mounts. I also installed a storage box behind the saddle with 4 pole holders. I have plenty of storage and carrying capacity for a short weekend trip. It is very stable while standing and tracks well during rowing, I cant wait until my wife wants to upgrade so we can both enjoy a weekend camping.


When deciding on which Kayak…

Submitted by: AmyJoy on 6/18/2018

When deciding on which Kayak would best suit my needs, I used to compare the many options that were available. I decided on the Journey SunDolphin 12 SS because it offered both covered and open storage, rod holder, and paddle holders, it was a sit on which was needed and the price was affordable. This kayak steers easily in both calm and choppy water and I felt secure when paddling in the latter. It's maneuverable and I'm able to load it onto my SUV roof with just a bit of effort. (I'm a 58 yr old woman) . The only reason I gave it 4 stars is because I wish it had additional handles on it for dragging and loading.


This is a great starter boat…

Submitted by: Pepe on 6/4/2018

This is a great starter boat that accommodates a person over 6' tall and over 200 lbs. It has adjustable foot pads and plenty of storage for day trips or overnighters. Center console has a port great for mounting your electronics (or anything) and puts the device right in front of you for easy access. The rod holder can serve 2 purposes (hold poles or outriggers). I purchased a box ( sits between rod holders ) with rod holders so if I want to take more than 2 rods for different fishing styles and also lets me install outriggers when I take my dog out hunting or just for ride, just undo front bungee that opens up an area for my dog to lay or sit without falling off the boat. The boat tracks well and does not take a lot of energy to propel.


Have had a few problems with…

Submitted by: Russ_Suender on 5/24/2018

Have had a few problems with the kayak.At least tracking is better than average.I'm in the process of ordering an anchor quick release system,and anchor float for it for safety sake.I added two handles port and starboard as the kayak didn't come with them(you'd think Sun Dolphin could've added them)I put on my own anchor trolley system,with anchor.The lettering(Sun Dolphin Journey 12 SS)is peeling off on it's own possibly from moisture/water splashing on it.I'll just peel it off.You'd think the boat was made in China,cheaply made.Otherwise,it gets me in the water.I almost returned it to buy a better kayak because the seat,the worst part of it,is very uncomfortable.I bought my own seat which is much better.I bought it because the price seemed right,$359.You get what you pay for.Altogether it's just a little less than average.


This is a terrible kayak for…

Submitted by: paddler237044 on 8/16/2016
This is a terrible kayak for the price. Do NOT buy it! If you are dropping 400-500+ dollars on a fishing kayak buy anything else!

Despite what you are reading in other reviews, this kayak is not stable at all! It wobbles back and forth from left to right with the slightest movement or shift in weight, or even paddling and I mean it wobbles A LOT. It does however take a good amount of tilt to tip it over in the water, but when every second you are using it it's wobbling back and forth in the water, it makes for a horrible experience.

And fishing kayak? Sorry absolutely not! If you load gear on to the front or rear to go fishing, such as a crate with fishing supplies, or a small cooler to the front, it becomes even less stable! Yes I even tried just front, just rear, and then rear and front matching the load weights. It will not work! You can see people talking about standing in this kayak, there's no way, you'd end up in the water instantly. Do not be fooled like I was by these reviews!

Also if you do buy it, buy a kayak cart at the same time, or at least buy a carrying strap to install on the side so you can carry it by yourself. The plastic this is made out of is so soft, it'll be scratched to pieces if you drag it through the dirt, much less across sticks or rocks which are quite common on your way to good fishing spots in creeks/rivers.

Now for a cheap fishing kayak, I didn't find the seat that bad at all. It also tracks pretty well, especially for not having a rudder! You can get going pretty fast in it as well. The foot pedals are nice and deep, the adjustment is excellent. The pedals even come completely off if you wanna really stretch out and you are a tall guy like me (6'1). I put a couple cheap scupper plugs in the front two holes by the feet and the only water that comes in is from my paddle.

After buying this product based on the reviews on this site, I wondered if something was wrong with my particular kayak. I flipped it over, and can see no symmetry problems or damage to the hull. Maybe there's just a few things that are slightly off in the production run I got? It's possible.

But if you are an adult 6' 200lbs+ do NOT get this kayak. My friend who is 5'8 and 165lbs even tried it out and found it very unstable. Trust me when I say this! Invest in something better. Yes it'll cost more, but you'll actually be able to fish out of it.


The journey 12ss is a good…

Submitted by: Ziegled1 on 7/1/2016
The journey 12ss is a good kayak.,it is and entry level kayak but is stable,tracks well, and sturdy. The seat could use an upgrade but I just added some padding to the back and bottom and it does fine.

Purchased this kayak at…

Submitted by: oarlock on 6/21/2016
Purchased this kayak at walmart. Worst mistake I ever made. I own eight other kayaks and this is the worst. No scuppers so water runs to the lowest point, that is under your butt this is bad enough, but it seems they saw fit to punch holes in the hull to put plastic rivets to hold down the seat bottom. Don't know why they felt this was necessary. This results in water running into the interior. A lot of water. and guess what, no access to the hull. If it rains, the thing fills with water and the only drain is the plug on one end. Also the plastic is extremely soft and damages very easily. This thing was so bad that when it blew off my dock I didn't even bother to go look for it. Chalked it up to a lesson well learned: Stay clear of Sun Dolphin.

I rated this boat a ten…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 2/18/2016
I rated this boat a ten because number one, the price cheap, 2nd it's ease of carrying the boat! Very light and since I am 60,that's a blessing. 3rd I like the features - it has plenty of storage, rod holders and dry compartment that can be floated behind the boat for overnighter to store more gear on board. The boat is stable and tracks well. Since it will hold water I would not take this boat in class 3 plus whitewater.

Enough said I love the boat. Been a kayaker for 30 plus years have 4 canoes and 3 kayaks and the Sundolphin 12ss is one of them. Use a life jacket and happy boating!


Being new to fishing and…

Submitted by: cwentling on 7/8/2015
Being new to fishing and kayaking, I was looking for an upgrade to my 4-man raft, something that would track better, offer more fishing features, and be easier to organize! Since my budget was extremely limited, I had resigned myself to a low end kayak. I purchased my Journey 12SS from Walmart for about $225. It was externally damaged and had been reduced by 50%! Because the damage was cosmetic, I decided to make the purchase.

Since this is my first kayak, I am writing this eval based on what I have experienced compared to what I believe the high end kayaks would be like.

The Journey 12 SS does track better than a raft! It paddles easy enough and tracks decent. It comes with two flush mount rod holders which, in my opinion, work better for carrying your rods in transit than for actually providing a rod holder while the line is in the water. The center rod holder in front of me works fine, but it is noisy when adjusting the rod. If you need stealth, I doubt this is an advantage.

The Journey 12 SS comes with at least one waterproof insert to place in the bow (under the bungees) or in the stern (under the bungees). For a short trip, I don't think they are beneficial. Perhaps they could be beneficial for longer storage but the access ports are small and the triangular shape does not assist organized storage.

The seat that comes with the Journey 12 SS is probably what you would expect for a low end kayak. It is fine for an hour or two, but after about 4 hrs, my legs and lower back are aching! I have not looked into replacing the seat with a better unit.

Another thing to consider is that there are no self-baling scuppers. Any water taken on board must be baled manually. Since I fish primarily on lakes, this is a minimal problem.

I think the biggest discouragement is that the customer service from the manufacturer is severely lacking. I called to ask about replacing a couple of the bungee holders. They would not give me a recommendation and said any alterations void the warranty. I should have expected that!

While I have commented negatively on what I purchased, the next section will record how I have adjust to make the Journey 12 SS more effective for my use.

I have resorted to using a fishing backpack instead of a tackle box. I stock and organize the backpack according to my daily needs. When I am in transit, I place the back pack in the stern so I can row more effectively. Once I am ready to cast, I place the backpack in front of me for easy access.

I have also used a Sharpie to mark at least 24" of length on one side of my kayak. This allows me to measure the length of my catch quickly and eliminates the need to carry a tape.

I have rated the Journey 12 SS compared to what I imagine a high end kayak to be. On a scale of all kayaks, this one is probably a 2. If I were to rate it based on my experience related to my expectations, I would give it a 5.


I purchased the Sun Dolphin…

Submitted by: Bethhebert on 7/1/2015
I purchased the Sun Dolphin Journey from Walmart because I thought it was a good kayak for the price. I must say, the "Journey" is ideal for fishing the bayous and rivers of Louisiana! The high density polyethylene makes it very durable. When you get a ding or a dent, just place it in the sun for a few minutes and they pop right out.

I especially appreciate the light weight, the ease of handling and the tracking ability of the kayak. It has plenty of storage, portable accessory carrier and paddle holders. The Sun Dolphin Journey 12 SS is very stable. I'm really getting my money's worth!


First, let me start by saying…

Submitted by: bds1550 on 6/8/2015
First, let me start by saying I find reading low rating reviews on the many different model Kayaks out there very entertaining. Seems many people have no clue about different styles, types, and price kayaks. They buy a cheap kayak and the complain it doesn't perform like a Ferrari. The other thing I never get is people down grading a product because of the buying experience, or the support they get after the purchase. These are important, but are unrelated to the performance and quality of the actual product.

So, my review of the Dolphin Journey 12 SS is this: It is a budget kayak, quality isn't superb, and it isn't a kayak to take out on big water or long trips involving big water. I purchased this kayak with the expectation that I was getting a budget kayak to play on small lakes, rivers, and ponds here in northeastern Wisconsin. It fit the bill for me. I am a big guy, and had no issues with performance from this boat.

Keep in mind I didn't buy a $450.00 kayak and expect it to perform like a $1000 kayak. This boat does everything I need it to. I can relax and paddle it, I can fish out of it, and I can take it on short trips down the river without any hesitation. In fact I plan I buying a second one next week. The other thing that is great about this kayak is that you don't mind getting a few dings and scratches in it as you would with a more expensive boat.

I would recommend this kayak to anyone looking to get into kayaking without spending a pile of money. You can always upgrade to a better boat later on if you decide kayaking is something you really enjoy.
Hope this review was helpful and clear.


I ordered this Kayak thru…

Submitted by: paddler235968 on 9/8/2014
I ordered this Kayak thru Wal-Mart with delivery to the house which was only $10. The Kayak was delivered wrapped in a torn, plastic bag which contributed to minor dents and scratches with only one that was a bit deeper but not that noticeable as it was near the bow handle. One of thigh pads was missing as well as one of the crews on one side of the adjustable foot rest. A bungee that holds the paddle was broken. One of the rod holders slightly overlapped the bungee rear cleat so it appears that quality control was somewhat lacking. The sand color, on the other hand, was nice and in contrast to the black accessories, covers, and bungees looked really nice. It has 4 scupper holes but recommend that you plug the seat scuppers. The kayak came with a nice two piece paddle.

I took the kayak out the same afternoon and being new to kayaking except for rentals had to get used to the 10ft length. It seemed tipsy at first but as I improved so did the stability. I was out for about 40 minutes on the Swift Creek Reservoir and got fairly close to a couple of Blue Herons that were fishing. The kayak did not tire me out like the rental one did.

Now for the positive, Wal-Mart realized that there were issues and offered to take it back or give a discount on the price. I took the discount as I generally liked the Kayak. A call to KL Industries was very positive as I explained the problems. One of the problems with the rod holder I did not notice prior to calling them. They agreed to send the missing parts and a touch up kit. So, I do recommend this kayak with reservations. It is a good starter Kayak but be prepared to send it back if the one you get has issues.


Not a bad beginner kayak, but…

Submitted by: Tazcop on 9/6/2014
Not a bad beginner kayak, but at 29.5 inches wide I felt it could have been slightly wider for a little more stability. The P.A.C.(Portable Accessory Carrier) is nice as it can be left in place or taken out and used as a tow behind to open up a little more on board space.

As it has a deep seat well and no scupper holes, if water gets into the boat it tends to pool up in the seat. The supplied swivel mount rod holder is a little flimsy but can easily swapped out for an upgraded model. It could also benefit from a side mounted carrying handle for times when you're going out alone.

Overall it was a pretty good purchase and I have enjoyed using it, it tracks well and has a 395 lb. capacity enabling you to bring plenty of gear. I have recommended it to friends and would again.


My wife and I recently bought…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/26/2013
My wife and I recently bought 2 of the same kayak. We love them! We previously used a 10' and found that this 12' boat tracks much better. There is very little wobble when paddling and my wife feels much safer and will go anywhere now. Really recommend this boat to anyone.