85% Decided on Dagger Stratos 14L -- But when and where to get one?


New member here. After selling my Swift Keewaydin 15 canoe last year (beautiful boat, full carbon), I’ve decided to get back into paddling but in a kayak. I had a Prijon Seayak many years ago, but was put off by its excessive weathercocking. (The boat did not have a skeg, rudder, or experienced paddler.)

I live in Michigan and have access to lots of small lakes and occasional access to the big lakes plus a few navigable rivers: Au Sable, Manistee, etc. I did several trips with the canoe including a few in Algonquin but having almost gotten wind-bound on a couple occasions, I’ve decided I want the increased seakeeping abilities of a kayak for paddling on larger lakes. In addition to camping trips, we usually take our RV to sites on the shores of the big lakes at least once per year if not twice. So I also envision taking the kayak out on the great lakes when there’s a bit of small surf running.

I’m 5’10" and 180-ish pounds with long arms and legs and my research has shown the Dagger Stratos 14.5L to quite probably be the ideal boat for my purposes. I’m aware of other contenders, but I’m not willing to pop for composite construction and there’s too much chance of bouncing off the odd rock or log for me to trust an ABS boat.

To get to the point, there don’t appear to be any Dagger dealers near Detroit. The Dagger website only shows REI and Moosejaw and neither appear to have the ability to order precisely the boat I think I want and there is no mention of an ability to order direct from the Dagger factory. Does anyone have any advice on how to ensure I can get the boat I want by the time spring rolls around again?



Good choice. A superb all around kayak that can handle just about any condition or modest multi-day trip. It does everything well and is even an easy roll for it’s design.

I had to order mine online shortly before C-19 broke out since there were none within 12 hours drive for me. I ordered from Appomattox River Company & had it delivered. You might also find one used on FB or craigslist.

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Next Adventure says they have one in red and offer low shipping but I have no idea where they are.
Sunrift Adventures in Traveler’s Rest, SC has one in red. They have found boats for me.

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Good suggestions re: FB and Craigslist, but none are listed right now. Probably not a common time of year for selling kayaks. Just checked Appomattox and they didn’t list the 14.5 and are sold out of 12.5. I bookmarked them to contact in the future if needed.

Thanks for the suggestions. Next Adventure appears to be in Oregon and even “low shipping” is likely to be prohibitively costly. I wasn’t able to view inventory at Sunrift, but since I have six months until I actually must have the boat, I’m going to hold out hope for the Cosmo color scheme. I’d really prefer something other than a solid color.

I’ve bookmarked Sunrift and. will contact them if a more convenient option isn’t found. It would cost me about $350 including a night in a hotel to drive down and pick one up, but I wouldn’t have to worry about damage in shipping.


Although with REI you get member bonus cash back

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Keep checking FB and craigslist in your area at least once or twice a week. Fall is a good time to buy kayaks/canoes as many people want to sell rather than let it sit around all winter. In the used, online process patience is your friend, but you must be ready to move quickly if one locally is priced right. Good luck.

Check your sources DAILY good deals go fast. Few clicks and you can search many spots in a minute literally.

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This retailer is in MI, near Detroit. You would have to order and wait:


Rutabaga Paddlesports in Madison WI says they have Daggers in stock, both 12.5 and 14.5.

We have some Stratos 145s left at our Chicago area store, and the new colors in the boat coming in November. One note: with your dimensions, you might find the S version the better fit than the L, so definitely something you’ll want at least sit in before you commit to buying either one.

Terrific boats, both in the L and S versions, just slightly different fits.


Excellent. I had been all over their website, but the “Retail” link was dead in my browser and I couldn’t determine they are a Dagger dealer from the links that did work. I’ll be giving them a call. :+1:

@Buffalo_Alice Madison would be an overnight trip for me, but that’s not an insurmountable problem. I’ve gotten two additional leads from this thread that are closer. But if those don’t pan out… :slight_smile:

@Offshore Offshore would be a day’s drive for me, but very doable. I’ve saved off a link to the website and will be checking regularly if the one closer option doesn’t pan out. As for trying the S version, fully clothed I’d be right at the edge of the weight range.

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Good luck!

Second what @Offshore said that the Stratos 14.5S might be better for you. I have both, and finding I prefer the S. Though I do prefer a smaller boat for my size, which others may not. I am 6’ and 220-225 pounds.

Edit - should add that I am right at the top of the range for the boat. Felt a bit too tight when I was some 10 pounds heavier back in the spring.

There is a Stratos in the classifieds section, looks to be located in the Washington DC area.

Depends if you are intent on using the Stratos mostly as a daytripping/play boat. I am 5’3" @ 150lbs. I used the Stratos 14.5.s as a surf/rock play boat. I feel like it’s got a tad bit more volume and space in the cockpit area than I need. But, it’s not so much that I can’t maintain good contact and control of the boat when playing.

Definitely worth sitting in the 14.5s first, especially if you are looking just for a dayboat.


For comparison, I’m 5’10, between 185 and 190 lbs depending on the day, and the S fits as if it was built for me. The L is a comfortable fit for one of our employees who’s 6’ 2" and 240, but feels a little deeper than I’d need, even though on paper, I’m in between the two.


@offshore @sing @Peter-CA I’d be willing to consider a 14.5s, but I have enough concerns to preclude buying an “S” without being able to compare side-by-side with an “L”. Camping trips are definitely on the agenda and I like my comforts when camping. I could easily have about 30 pounds of gear with me on just an overnight.

Put a deposit on the 14.5 at Rutabaga earlier this afternoon. Driving over tomorrow to finalize the deal. Thanks for the lead! :slight_smile: