Dagger Mamba 8.1 Kayak Review

When going through the process of buying virtually anything you are probably going to come across certain brands that are household industry names. Some companies have made a name for themselves for having high-quality products others are known for being cheap. What we can’t ignore though is that there are plenty of advantages to buying from strong established companies that have a wide variety of products that you just can’t get from startups or custom made products.

Especially when it comes to things like cars, tools, or in this case boats! When it comes to whitewater kayaks, you really need to find a brand you can trust with your life, literally! This makes the buying process all the more complicated. Add to that you may end up visiting many stores online and in person until you find that specific boat you are looking for. 

source: dagger kayaks

Today we will specifically be taking a look at the Dagger Mamba 8.1 Kayak, but we want to highlight the entire Dagger line. Boats sometimes vary in the slightest things from one model to the other, but even the slightest things can make a world of a difference.

About The Product

The Dagger Mamba 8.1 Kayak is an 8.1-foot boat specially made to get you through some of the roughest waters on the planet. That is why the guys at dagger have made it very light and maneuverable. It only weighs 47 pounds which is something that will benefit you in and out of the water. It has multiple features that serve as both safety and comfort assets to help you out in the water. It has adjustable thigh braces that really a must in whitewater.

The seat is also adjustable so that riders of many different sizes can be seated comfortably. The creek seat style is a big step in comfort in our book. Most of these sit in kayaks are difficult to get accustomed too because the seating is usually not that comfortable. That is not the case here, though. On the contrary the seat really opens the door for a rider to use this kayak for longer periods of time in different types of conditions. 

A Quick Summary 

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    Boat length: 8' 1 inch
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    Boat weight: 47 lbs
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    Ratchet Adjustable Backband
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    Tank Style Roto Molded Seating with Leg Lifter
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    Safety Step Out Wall
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    ConTour Adjustable Bulkhead Foot Brace with Foam Padding
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    Precision Adjustable Thigh Braces
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    Multi-Adjustable, ConTour Hip Pads
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    Security Grab Handles

What We Like

One of the main concerns that riders into whitewater kayaks have is safety. This boat really was made having the riders safety in mind every step of the way. The pads, the adjustable seat and the straps are all great assets. That fact that all of these are adjustable means that it might take a while for you to find the most comfortable position on the boat.

This shouldn’t go down as something bad, though. It is one of the best boats for transitioning from slow rivers to whitewater kayaking. Because of its maneuverability and the comfort and safety levels, it is capable of providing. The fact that you can potentially ride this boat on different types of waters makes it a great buy regardless of your riding experience. 

source: youtube.com

The initial investment may be a little steep for some, but this boat will give you fun experiences for years to come! Durability, stability, and maneuverability are three things we love on a boat, and this one has them all!

What We Do Not Like

This may sound like a bit of a contradiction because we know that we said we liked this boat’s overall versatility. Specifically the fact that you can potentially ride it out in all sorts of waters. The thing is you can ride it an all sorts of waters, but there is just not enough storage room on the boat in our opinion to enjoy other types of kayaking.

You won’t be able to hold things like bait and even if you are out in rapids there are not that many compartments to keep your things dry. There is essentially a dry compartment behind the seat, but it doesn’t keep things constantly dry. If you flip or get a lot of water on your boat for any other reason all your things at risk of getting wet or worse.

Staying on the storage topic, you could potentially adapt a paddle holding feature on the boat. It this come with that feature standard though, so we can also shave a couple of points off for that. In spite of this, we still consider it a very good boat. 

Where To Buy

Like we had previously talked about this boat has many adjustable features. This is a great asset, but finding the most comfortable position to paddle out on can take some time. That is why we recommend that you visit authorized Dagger dealerships before you buy. If you are committed to finding the right boat, the best thing to do is put in the right amount of work.

It may take a little more time while shopping, but if you end with the boat that you are going to ride for the next couple of years it will probably be worth it. Rather than just buying the first one you see in the showroom. In the end, good research saves money. If you are keen on buying online though then we suggest you go through all of the boat’s features very carefully.

Especially if you happen to be a bigger person. You don’t want to buy a boat, and then realize you don’t actually fit in it. 

source: amazon.com


Dagger kayaks are mostly very good boats. The only real issue is that you really have to be sure what kind of activity you are most likely going to be doing while out on the water. If you are mostly into whitewater kayaking, we strongly recommend Dagger boats as an option to consider. Their boats are mostly very safe and durable. You never want to go out into whitewater with a boat that is not built to handle the pounding this type of riding takes on boats!

Our Rating

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