Gear Review: Dagger Phantom Whitewater Kayak
Value Rating: 10
Durability Rating: 10
Overall Rating: 10
Location of Test: Class 3-5 whitewater
Duration of Test: 6 months
Product Name: Phantom
Product Brand: Dagger
Best Use: Whitewater
The Full Review:
The Dagger Phantom has really hit the nail on the head when it comes to a sporty creek boat that can run some crazy whitewater. I've owned the boat for 6 months now and absolutely love it. The first thing that drew me to the Phantom was its speed. After paddling on the west coast for about a year now I've learned that carrying speed through holes and over drops increases your likelihood of passing through unscathed. The Phantom very fast and comes in right under 9ft long. The other big thing that I love about the Phantom is the extra pronounced bow rocker. This allows you to skip over holes with ease as opposed the having to punch through all of them. It is also super nice coming off of drops, the bow always stays dry. Though the boat is 9 ft long, the extra bow and stern rocker give it the ability to spin on a dime. I've watched friends catch micro eddy's above waterfalls that I would have never dreamed of in a big creek boat like this. I've also done some tight creaking in this boat and was surprised at the agility it has.
Besides how well it handles, Dagger has a few more things that it brings to the table where other manufacturers don't. First is the contour ergo outfitting. In my opinion, they have the most comfortable outfitting of any kayak out there. Their hip pads are perfectly shaped, and the boats come with plenty of extra foam if you want to add more. Their bag band sits comfortably against my lower back without causing any pressure points or rubbing. They also have a "thigh lifter" adjustment that allows you to get more contact with the seat for better all-around control. Lastly, Dagger has very strong plastic to begin with, but if you end up with a crack or any problems Daggers warranty is #1 in business hands down.
Boofs like a dream (extra rocker)
Can handle the hardest whitewater
You might lose your job because your skipping work to go kayaking every day.
The Bottom Line:
The bottom line is that things boats brings the speed, agility, and stability all in the same boat which will absolutely crush some gnarly whitewater. The extra bow rocker will have you smiling after every drop. I've been in lots of other creek boats but this is my #1.