Dagger Mamba Review: 7.1, 8.1 & 8.6

If you’re looking for a versatile kayak that not only is fast, stable and suitable for rapids, but also makes a perfect kayak for beginners, then check out the Dagger Mamba. It’s the sort of kayak that is great for the first time you ever get in a kayak and can stay with you all the way up to Class V+ white water. It’s massively popular with veteran kayakers and has won multiple extreme races all over the world.

In this post, we’re going to take a look at what makes this little river running kayak so popular within the kayaking community in our Dagger Mamba review.

Overview of the Dagger Mamba

The Dagger Mamba has been around for a while but saw a revamp in its design back in 2012. What came out of this redesign is a product that is more refined with The manufacturers took customer feedback and coupled it with newer research to produce what you see today. One of the key improvements is better volume distribution. 

This results in a kayak that is faster than its predecessor. With speed comes the need for better control, they’ve managed to give the Dagger Mamba better stability and control. Other notable differences include the ball grab handle that has been repositioned to make it easier to access. 

Beyond the bright colors, one of the things that will immediately catch your eye is the seat. It comes in a new design that we will cover in more detail later on. 

Specifications of The Dagger Mamba Series

Mamba 7.6

  • Weight – 44lbs
  • Capacity – 170 lbs
  • Length – 7′ 7″
  • Width – 25.5″

Mamba 8.1

  • Weight – 47lbs
  • Capacity – 220lbs
  • Length – 8′ 1″
  • Width – 26.75″

Mamba 8.6

  • Weight – 51lbs
  • Capacity – 260lbs
  • Length – 8′ 6″
  • Width – 27.5″

Construction and build

All of the Mamba kayaks can only accommodate one person at a time. The design of the kayak is suitable for those that want a boat that is forgiving yet responsive. These two characteristics do not often go hand in hand.

Just to be clear this kayak was made for use in creeks and rivers. Since its release it is is one of the favorite kayaks among those that frequent rivers. Such is its structural integrity that the Dagger Mamba is also popular among some of the top performers on white water.  Let us look at some of the features that make it as popular as it is.

They have gone with a tank-style rotomoulded seating. This is a design that gives the user a good balance between comfort and support. There is sufficient back support provided, as is stability. The grids that run on the bottom of the seat reduce the chances of slipping and sliding. 

There are 5 horizontal security grab handles spread from the back, sides, and the front of the kayak. Not only do they make it easier to carry the boat when transporting it. They also give the user safety spots to hold on to when the need arises. 

All of the comfort that you will need is provided by the fixed ergonomic seat with padding and gear attachment loops. We have already mentioned the contours that are on the seat’s pad. You will also find that the entire seat is well thought out. There seem to be no pointless features. 

The seat’s features are enhanced by the presence of the multi-adjustable, contoured hip pads. The contours on the pads provide you with enough padding to not only take on direct impact but to keep you stable when going at top speed. 

Buoyancy could never be overstated when it comes to kayaks. The Dagger Mamba comes with a mini-cell foam center pillar for buoyancy. This provides such a subtle effect that will often go unnoticed. Perhaps we have high expectations in this regard.

Another feature that will often go unnoticed is the contour lite backrest. It is a backrest that provides you a comfortable yet steady place to rest your back. Whether you are going at high speed or at a leisurely pace, this is a backrest that will maintain a high level of comfort. You will pay more notice to it as you begin to fatigue.

While kayaks tend to have a limited amount of storage space. We cannot bemoan that fact with the Dagger Mamba. The addition of gear attachments on the rear end of the kayak is a touch of class. Putting them at the back also means that they do not get in your way or obstruct your line of sight as you travel. 

To keep the inside of the kayak as dry as possible, this one comes with a molded drain bung. It is a fairly simple mechanism that does the job. The water is for all intents and purposes funnel back into the source.  

Speaking of storage space, there is also a bottle holder on this kayak. You will appreciate this when out on the water for long days. Even if you were to never need the water, just having the provision for storing it is important. It allows you the choice of carrying it along or not. 

About the brand

Dagger is one of the biggest brands at both leisure and competitive level of kayaking as well as canoeing. Their products are synonymous with high quality. This is what keeps the brand at the forefront of these sports. They are always working on improving on previous models based on the feedback that the users provide. 

Pros

  • It is a very comfortable kayak.
  • There are various storage provisions on board.
  • It comes in various sizes.
  • It is fairly easy to control.
  • It is also attractive to look at with lovely colors.
  • There are various colors to choose from.
  • It is a beginner-friendly kayak.

Cons

  • We have yet to fully establish an opinion on durability.
  • It may require more than one person to transport.

Conclusion

For those of us that like the Dagger Mamba, having the additional sizes to choose from is amazing. Whether you would prefer your kayak to be slightly longer or indeed shorter, you have the option. This is not something that happens often. You usually have to look at other models if the one that you like does not have provisions for your personal requirements. 

All three options are packed with interesting features and storage options that we appreciate. So, if you are on the market for a kayak that is rapid on the water and somewhat easy to handle, the Dagger Mamba is a credible option. There are over 10 colors that you can find this kayak in. This is not a common phenomenon. It is certainly one that we appreciate.