One of the nice things about having our contributors spread out around the country is that we can diversify our reviews, even if the weather doesn’t cooperate. At our home base in Utah, three guys spent the morning of January 1st riding their fat tire mountain bikes across a local lake and back, since the ice was several inches thick. Temps have been consistently in the single digits for much of the year so far. Yet in Southern California, we’ve got someone out kayaking. Seems wrong (because I’m the one freezing), but we’ll roll with it.
I’ve been kayaking for over 10 years and was very happy to find a sit-in kayak with all the features of a sit on top model. The Sierra 10 from Malibu Kayaks was a great find. Its cockpit area was very comfortable, with a seat that supplied plenty of back support, making long days on the water that much more enjoyable. There’s loads of room for tackle, and the built in rod holders were also designed for easy access. Dimensions for this polyethylene boat are as follows: overall length is ten feet, with a maximum width of 31 inches, and a deck height of 15.25 inches. At only 45 pounds, the weight of the boat made transport a snap, as loading and unloading is easily accomplished by one person. Despite the low overall weight, the Sierra 10 has a capacity of 325 pounds. Even if you want to utilize all the storage options, you’re still unlikely to hit the weight limit.
I was able to test the boat on a small lake in Southern California during a weekend fishing outing. It was a productive day on the water, as I was able to catch several bass in the 2-3 pound range. Landing the fish on this boat was a dream, in part due to its exceptional stability on the water. We launched from a harbor as well as the beach, with equally good results. If there was one complaint, it’s that paddling in the wind was a bit challenging. Otherwise, the Sierra 10 tracks excellent and as mentioned previously, was very stable. Overall, the Sierra 10 offers an excellent combination of comfort and stability, plus there’s plenty of storage options. Malibu Kayaks recommends this model for for recreational use, including fishing, fitness, light touring, or just getting out on the water to get a little closer to nature, and they seem to have covered all that pretty well.
I’d feel comfortable recommending the Sierra 10 to anyone looking for a kayak suitable for small and enclosed bodies of water such as smaller lakes, harbors and ponds. Malibukayak.com has a great selection of both surf and recreational kayaks as well as an extensive accessory line. I’m certainly hoping to test more of their boats in the future.
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