A quick review of the Dagger Stratos 14.5 + video
I just spent the last few days paddling the Dagger Stratos 14.5S. Its dubbed as a high performance ocean tourer that is ideal for beginners and expert alike which is a pretty broad spectrum to cover but I think they have pulled it off. I was in the market for a new sea kayak recently and I had decided I wanted a 14-15ft boat that surfs well has good speed and would be comfortable for doing daily tours, rock hopping and some day touring. After a bit of searching online I had a few contenders to consider.(The P&H Delphin, Venture Jura, North Shore Aspect and a few more.) Then I gave Colm in I-Canoe a call to see what he had available and he mentioned he was paddling the Dagger Stratos and really liked it.
To be honest I was a little surprised as I never think of Dagger and touring/sea kayaks. Anyway the feedback was good and it sounded like it was worth a try. The next day the boat arrived and a soon as it came out off the truck you could tell there was something good wrapped up. As soon as I got it opened I was impressed, the rocker profile and sleek lines looked great. I have failed to find a picture that does the boat justice and give a good sense of the rocker profile so I didn't include one. It really has to be seen in the flesh.
The outfitting is simple but very comfortable. The leg lifters are a really nice feature and provided great support. I had it fully set up in about 5 minutes. The only negative I could find with the outfitting and the boat in general was the tight braces. They are a bit flexible but once set up correctly they are not to bad.
That evening I headed straight for the surf. 5-6 ft with lots of reformers and a long slow shoulder was perfect conditions to test this boat. It surfs great! Very easy to turn, accelerate and catch waves on the fly. The rocker means it doesn't peril even in the whitewater. Paddling out is a joy, the bow cuts through breaking waves and rides high over foam piles.
I have to say this boat has surpassed my expectations, it looks fantastic and is a real joy to paddle. Definitely worth considering if you want to put some fun into your (sea) paddling or are looking for a good all round kayak. It is well equipped with full deck lines, two hatches and skeg. Not bad for RRP €1000
Did I mention how good it looks? so good!
If you have paddled this kayak and have anything to add please leave a comment.
Check out this quick video I put together below. This is 3ft surf at Enniscrone Beach in Co. Sligo
9/8/2014 02:44:26 am
I to own one of these. ..I was looking for a sea kayak that would be fun to paddle. ..its a Exellent boat. ..it ticks all the right boxes its fast in a straight line. .handles off shore blow ups with ease. ..I totally agree that it was a tall order for dagger to pull off but they have done it. .and in the uk they retail at £650...so excellent value for money. .t
14/8/2014 09:44:49 pm
6/12/2014 12:43:08 am
We bought three of theses beauties so got a great deal. Great to look at, excellent in the sea, super on rivers with its quick take off. Its a perfect fit and easy to paddle. Easy to edge, turn and plough through any water. Lovely.
12/4/2015 09:10:01 pm
Great video! I've just brought a Stratos and can't wait to get out in it!! 😊
Lloyd Bower, NZ
24/6/2015 09:04:37 pm
I bought one of these a year ago, having done a fair bit of research wanting a small tourer/day boat with skeg instead of rudder. It cost a wee bit more getting it exported to NZ! but it's been worth every penny, a super boat, easy turn and control, great in all conditions.
25/6/2015 12:27:54 am
18/3/2017 02:28:41 am
Hi Lloyd . Where did you buy it and how much $$ to land one here in NZ ?
4/7/2015 01:07:18 am
Just a bit of a update. ..i have been living with the stratos for a year now and what can i say...firstly im still i love with it...only last weekend i took it to a local grade 2 white water spot..and it made my Jackson hero2 look like a old clunker. ..everyone joked at why would you take a sea kayak. ...until they had ago..it surfs standing waves like a dream...most of the day i hand paddled the play spots as its so eager you dont really need a paddle..!..please anyone thinking of buying onw reading this don't be put off by daggers ideal beginner's kayak spiel...it really is a great boat...and my boat of choice for most occasions. .t
5/7/2015 07:29:32 pm
11/7/2015 12:13:17 am
7/10/2015 12:43:20 am
After a lot of searching, I bought 2 of these boats in March 2015, for myself and my son - both beginners to the sport.
1/2/2016 04:27:49 am
I have just bought a good demo model from Colm at iCanoe ( Dublin ) . Im looking forward to testing it out on the estuary / and sea . I went for the Dagger because I did not need a 17 foot kayak , also it is stable which suits me as I only kayak as a means of keeping fit .
4/5/2016 07:03:34 am
4/5/2016 07:06:00 am
4/5/2016 09:30:06 am
Hi ron...in 75kg. .but i load it right up and have no issues. .and mines a small. ..a friend has a large model and he's about your weight if not more in winter gear....t
5/5/2016 12:26:30 pm
28/7/2016 04:31:00 am
Hi Tony, thanks for a great review. I'm going to buy my first kayak this summer and I weigh in around 210-217lbs (95-98Kg) at 5'11. I may not be able to get to a dealer to test. In your opinion do you think the larger Stratos would be good for me? Thanks in advance, Mike.
23/9/2016 05:16:14 am
Great review really enjoyed that but what I would like to know is how much gear are you able to carry , would love to get one of these for exploring the West Wales coast and then stopping on the beaches but would like to know what amount of gear are you able carry
23/9/2016 06:00:42 am
Hi jon....i can easily get enough in for two nites...there is equally as much space as my p&h bahiya and thats 18ft but a lot narrower. ..it really depends on how lifht you are prepared to travel. ..have fun out in Pembrokeshire. .i was over there a couple of weeks ago some exellent paddling. .t
12/2/2017 02:32:03 am
Yeah likewise, despite the skeg taking up a wee big of room in the rear hatch, and being relatively short, there's easily ample room for a couple of days. I've managed 4 night summer camping trips in it on NZ lakes fitting in some lightweight walking gear too.
27/12/2016 07:52:35 am
Just bought one of these boats. Only paddled it once this morning, but I love it. Very manoeuvrable, and not too sluggish either. It also looks awesome - loads of rocker.
25/6/2017 12:45:59 pm
Great review and very helpful. I am looking at buying a used kayak and have the option to buy one of these. Thanks.
1/7/2017 02:01:26 am
I am about to buy a dagger stratos 14.5. I am 5ft 9inches and wieght is 75kg. I want to buy it for open sea and only for a day tour which one shell I go for? The large or Small.
1/7/2017 02:30:19 am
The large will be more comfortable for you. I'm the same size, and glad I went for the large. Beautiful boat and never fails to impress!
7/7/2017 09:45:29 am
15/10/2017 04:42:39 am
Nice video, David. At first, I thought you were broaching, then I realised (unless I'm mistaken) that the kayak was allowing you to run along the wave face. That's impressive for sea kayak as the mostly just bus-drive, the trick being to run straight and not broach for as long as possible.
7/7/2018 02:49:24 pm
Great article, thank you
7/7/2018 03:00:50 pm
There are two sizes. .can't remember the full specs ... but I still have my small youngest daughter uses it mostly but I'm 80kk now and it's fine at that empty and loaded ...
7/9/2018 07:30:45 am
1/11/2018 10:05:36 am
Hi, I never did anything with the thigh braces, just got used to it! David
18/9/2018 12:09:26 am
I bought the Stratos S this Summer for surfing in Cornwall Uk. We also did a short trip around Lands End in a 3 gusting 4 beaufort wind and chop. It is really good.
18/9/2018 12:17:09 am
Sorry about all the grammatical errors... I posted before I meant to!
18/9/2018 02:54:19 am
It seems that i'm the only one to complain of the softness of the tight braces :)
31/10/2018 07:07:41 pm
Great review! I completely agree with your summation. The Stratos is a great little kayak, especially in anything white & frothy and apart from perhaps testing (and finding I prefer the smaller Stratos S) I'll be keeping this boat until I can nae mair.
1/11/2018 10:06:22 am
Thanks, glad you like it. I still have mine and love it.
31/1/2021 06:37:33 pm
Any reviews of the 12.5? Interested in Alabama
Leave a Reply.
David Horkan from Paddle & Pedal. Posting info on various outdoor adventures in Mayo and around Ireland.