Malibu Kayaks X-Factor 14 Fish and Dive Review

UPDATED: Check out the new X-Factor 14 foot model here

You can’t talk about the top rated fishing kayak without mentioning the Stealth-14 by Malibu. One of the industry’s most complete kayaks, the 14 is a must-have for a true angler that demands only the best kayak.

And this model comes with it all, from a variety of color choices to over 550-pounds of storage capacity.

Features That All Angler Boats Need

The Stealth-14 was designed by people that understand the needs and wants of an angler. From the ground up, you’ll find features that make your outing fun and exciting. Before we dive into the fun parts, let’s take a look at this kayak’s measurements at a glance:

  • Length: 14.4”
  • Width: 33”
  • Depth: 12”
  • Hull Weight: 62 pounds
  • Max Capacity: 550 pounds

Then we get down into the huge number of features from the front of the kayak to the back:

1. Bow & Stern Handles

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2. Gator Hatch

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3. Adjustable Footrest

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4. Cup Holder

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5. 2x Front Rod Holders

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6. Standing Platform / Side Hatch

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7. Bait Tank System (more on that soon)

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8. Side Carry Handles & Paddle Holders

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9. Trolling Motor Mount

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10. Fish Finder Transducer Mount

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11. 2x Rear Rod Holders

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12. Rear Rectangular Hatch (bag included)

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13. Rear Bungee Storage

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14. Rudder Inserts

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The Stealth-14 has a standing deck that allows for greater traction when standing on the deck. Up to two people can comfortably sit on the kayak in different positions thanks to the gator hatch, and the live bait tank is an exceptional addition to any kayak.

A 5-gallon live bait tank allows you to keep live bait with you the entire time you’re out on the water.

If you’re an avid angler, you know that live bait means you’ll catch more fish in the process. This is a major addition to any kayak on the market, and it’s just one of many that make this one of the best kayaks on the market today.

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There is a fish finder hookup, which is the real accessory friendliness of this kayak. This will allow you to see any fish that may be below your kayak at any given time so that you can fish more efficiently than ever before.

But if you want to dig deeper into this kayak, it also includes:

  • Cup Holder: Ideal for a beer or cup of coffee.
  • Bait Tank: Store up to 5 gallons of bait right in the center of the kayak.
  • Storage: At the rear of the kayak is a bungee storage compartment. A bag is included, too, which makes it even easier to get started.

These are the only real accessory options aside from upgrading panels. You can use Malibu’s X-Tank accessory to add a cooler on the rear hatch if you like.

Stability / Standing

This kayak is extremely stable while standing. Have a look at the tricks pulled by Nick in this video while on the Malibu Stealth

Comfort and Design

When you’re out on the water for hours, it can get very uncomfortable. Your legs and ankles may ache, and your bottom may hurt due to prolonged sitting. The Stealth-14 does everything possible to make your time out on the water more comfortable.

Adjustable footrests allow you to maintain proper foot position while also adding to the comfort of the kayak.

Sturdy and durable, you’ll feel like you’re sitting on dry land when out on the water. We’ve sat for over 9 hours without any aches or pains along the way. If you want to stretch your legs, the standing deck allows you to have a firm, stable base that you can stand up on at any time during your outing.

The best part is that Malibu truly took their time with the design of this kayak.

When you enter into the Stealth-14, you’re entering one of the most stable kayaks on the market. This model is able to handle any water condition thanks to its enhanced stability. You can go sight casting on flats and then decide to paddle through breaking waves to get in the surf.

Easy to turn, the kayak is wider than most yet easy to paddle.

The larger width is what allows users to stand on the deck and remain stable no matter the water condition.

When it comes to the casting platform, it’s equally as stable and is the most stable on the sit-on-top market today. Novices and experienced users alike will find that this is a kayak worth owning. It’s stable, reliable and affordable. You’ll be able to go fishing, exploring and confidently take over the waters.

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What’s New for 2016?

You’ll find that there isn’t much new with this model from the time it came out years ago. A few of the additional features deal with correcting user complaints more than adding new features to the kayak itself.

There isn’t much more you could ask for when using the Stealth-14.

But the updates deal with the updated hatches. The hatches allow you to hold a lot of gear and supplies, but users often complained about the hatches leaking. New, updated hatches have been introduced that keep these minor leaks to a minimum.

The only time the leaking occurs is when the water is rough, and this can be because of water getting into the kayak itself.

For the most part, and for most users, the leaking hatch is a thing of the past and never hampered an outing on the water. Hatches allow you to carry a lot of gear for a weekend on the water, so their benefits greatly outweigh the former leaking issues.

UPDATED

Check out the X-Factor model here. It holds more gear and has more recent updates than the Stealth-14. 

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