If you’re looking for a kayak to use in white water than you should definitely check out the Dagger Phantom which is a just under 9 foot creek boat designed for rapids and fast water. Made for intermediate and advanced paddlers, this nifty river runner cuts through waves and boils plus it’s unique design and high volume means you resurface again quickly and cleanly.
In this post we’ll look at some of it’s great features and design elements that make it so popular in our Dagger Phantom review.
Overview of the Dagger Phantom
As whitewater kayaks go, the Dagger Phantom is certainly one that should not be ignored. It is designed to give you a high-performance level. This is mainly down to the sturdiness that the kayak gives you. One of the first things that will catch your eye is perhaps the molded seat. It provides you with a comfortable and steady platform to sit on.
The Dagger Phantom has been around since 2019. While this is not too long a period, it is long enough for prospective users to understand what it has to offer. What you get is a boat that is designed for speed. The surprising thing is how well it also performs when it comes to making sharp turns and maneuvers as is often required for taking on whitewater.
- Weight – 49.5 lbs
- Weight capacity – 255 lbs
- Length – 8′ 11″
- Width – 26.75″
Construction and build
The Dagger Phantom is constructed to accommodate a weight of up to 116kgs, which is 25.7lbs or 18.3 stone. It is a fairly generous weight capacity considering that this is a one-person boat. The kayak is 8ft 11inches / 271 cm long. This is an exterior measurement, so it would not be an accurate representation of how tall the user ought to be.
When transporting the boat, its weight will always become of utmost importance. As such, it is worth noting that this kayak weighs 23kgs. It is the sort of weight that can be carried by one person. This makes it quite easy to transport.
One of the first things that we fell in love with when taking the Dagger Phantom out into the water is the seat. It is a Contour Ergo Creek seat that has a ratchet adjustable leg-lifter. What that means is that you have the option to adjust the position of your legs. This is not something that you get from most kayaks. Being able to adjust your seating position allows for users with different needs to find a position that is best suited to their needs.
Speaking of comfort, the seat also has hip pads and a seat pad. Oftentimes, being seated in the same position without sufficient padding can get uncomfortable. Having this additional padding will go a long way.
Being able to lean backward with some support is absolutely necessary when taking on whitewater. What is even better, in this case, is that you can also adjust this backrest using a ratchet.
Speaking of things that are adjustable, the thigh braces certainly deserve a mention. You can tighten or loosen them as required by the user. The conditions that you face out on the water may demand different positions for the same user. The same can be said of the footplate. It allows for height-related adjustments as well as those that may become necessary due to fatigue.
The front safety step out pillar makes life a lot easier when getting the boat out onto the water. It provides you with a steady platform to get onto without shaking the boat up too much. The design is such that a person within the weight capacity of the boat can safely utilize this feature.
The stern foam pillar buoyancy is one of those features that you would hope to never need. Knowing that it is available if it was ever needed gives you peace of mind. It means that even if the boat was to be damaged, it would still provide you with a platform on which to remain afloat.
Together with the foam pillar buoyancy, the anodized grab/security handles can go a long way as emergency safety features. Under normal circumstances, they can also be used as handles to move the boat around safely when transporting it.
For whitewater kayaking, the drain bung is a necessity. There is bound to be water coming onto the surface of the boat and into the seating area. Having the drain bung in place ensures that the risk of flooding is negated.
While we can debate whether throwlines are necessary for a kayak. The one thing that we can all agree on is that having a feature provision in place can only be good. There is always limited storage room on a kayak. To be able to safely hang your bottle or throwline on the provided bottle/throwline straps is great. You can also use these straps to hang other things.
The last feature that cannot be ignored is the outfitting kit. It includes a seat booster and a footplate foam. This is a key feature for adjusting your positioning when looking to changing gear while out on the water. When using this feature, the kayak remains steady as you wiggle or move around. The booster seat lets you rise to a level where you can change comfortably without having to stand up.
Dagger is one of the biggest brands in the kayaking space. Their products cater for users of all levels. Whether you are starting out or looking to turn this into a profession, there is Dagger gear available for you. Their products are stocked across the world.
- It is a very sturdy kayak
- It is reasonably lightweight.
- Comes with bottle/throwline straps.
- It has a very comfortable seat.
- There is provision of adjustments.
- Sold in various colors.
- Has an effective drainage system.
- Provides speed and maneuverability.
- Tracking performance could be better.
- Turning needs to improve in some instances.
- Wish the seat adjustment didn’t require a tool
- Whitewater kayak suitable for use on Class i-v
- Achieves the perfect balance of tracking and maneuverability with the ability to rapidly change direction
- Optimized volume for both Performance and fit with sizing that can accommodate various paddler heights and sizes
While the aesthetics are not the most important features of a boat. It is always pleasing to find that there are several colors that you can choose yours from. You can purchase your Dagger Phantom in either red, aqua fresh, aurora, or cosmos. This should cater to most reasonable preferences. Those that do not find what they want can take heart in the fact that they could always customize it to their needs.
Based on the features that we have already described as well as research that we carried out on this product. We would certainly recommend the Dagger Phantom as a great boat for white water kayaking.