Dagger Katana

L: 10'4; W: 27.25" 104 gals., 56 lbs., also available in 9'4" length

"This is the boat I want on trips when I need my creature comforts, like a bigger tent and some beer," said one hedonistic tester as he easily popped out the front bulkhead to reveal ample bow storage. The Katana was the widest and highest-riding crossover in the fleet, and had the best primary stability. Nonetheless, it sliced through eddies and turned on a dime in current thanks to its hard chines. This 10-foot-4-incher had the largest cockpit of the group, requiring a larger sprayskirt. On top of the space for entry ease, testers' knees also sat higher in the Katana cockpit, which definitely adds to its merits as an aspirational whitewater boat—testers noted that it felt the least claustrophobic for paddlers new to hard-shell confinement. The heavily built Contour Ergo outfitting was the most comfortable that we tested but did not do the Katana any favors in terms of weight (a full 10 pounds heavier than the Fusion in spite of having relatively similar size dimensions). The Katana's 27.25-inch width accompanied by its large deck made the 104-gallon kayak the toughest to roll out of these boats. But with that said, it was also the toughest to flip upside-down.



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