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Gear Review: Dagger Roam 9.5 Whitewater Kayak

Gear Review: Dagger Roam 9.5 Whitewater Kayak

Gear Review: Dagger Roam 9.5 Whitewater Kayak

Value Rating: 8
Durability Rating: 7
Overall Rating: 8

Location of Test: Carnage Run - Clackamas River
Duration: 2 hrs

Product Name: Roam 9.5
Product Brand: Dagger
Best Use: Recreational whitewater boating
Sizes Available/ Specs: 9' 9" long, 31.5" wide, 56 lbs, max weight 250 lbs

Roam 9.5 Sit-On-Top Kayak

Dagger Roam 9.5 Sit-On-Top Kayak


The Full Review 

The Roam is Dagger's sit-on-top recreation/whitewater crossover listed as being capable of class 3 whitewater. The whitewater capabilities of this boat were tested on a class 3/3+ run. The primary stability of this boat was awesome which for the recreational side is great. However, the secondary stability of the Roam is minimal. The lack of secondary stability became problematic in the class 3 range but was otherwise not too detrimental for its performance. The roam sits the paddler high out of the water which made braces awkward with a 197cm whitewater paddle. A longer paddle would be recommended for this boat for that reason.

Also, due to the width of the boat it practically impossible to roll however it can be easily flipped and climbed back on in calm water. The outfitting was comfortable and I felt I could get locked in well with the thigh straps. The hatch covers were not very water proof and a dry bag would be needed for a whitewater trip but the amount of storage work for a 2-3 day trip. The ability of the Roam to perform ferry glides and peel outs surpassed my expectations and was even capable of basic surfing. The drop skeg made the Roam track beautifully on flat water and would be great on lakes and flat water day trips.

The Good:

Excellent Primary Stability.
Easy recovery with no need to drain water.

The Bad:

Minimal secondary stability.
Non water tight hatches.

The Bottom Line:

It is important to keep in mind that this is a recreational Kayak. That can do whitewater. From that standpoint the Roam is a success. This would be an excellent choice of boat for someone wanting a recreational boat for flat water but possibly wanting to do basic whitewater.

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