5 Best Sit-On-Top Kayak Seats

Kayak seats are detachable seats which can be added onto your kayak. Instead of straddling a center console or sitting down inside of the boat, sit-on-top kayaks (like the Sun Dolphin kayak seats) have a nice advantage because they allow you to attach a comfortable seat of your choosing. Sit-on-top kayaks allow you to customize your watercraft a little better and make it a little more comfortable for yourself. Sun Dolphin kayak seats come with Sun Dolphin kayaks, but there are many other sit-on-top varieties which are perfect for your customization. We have reviewed the five best ones (receiving 4.5 stars or higher on Amazon) for you and have listed them below:

Comparison Chart of 5 Best Sit-On-Top Kayak Seats

Product Comfort Usability Seat Anchoring Cushioning Non-slip Surface
Vibe Brand YES YES YES NO NO
Pactrade Brand YES NO YES YES YES
Ocean Brand YES YES YES NO YES
iGuerburn Brand YES NO YES YES NO
BKC Brand NO YES NO NO YES

BFT’s Pick — 5 Best Sit-On-Top Kayak Seats

Vibe BrandDeluxe Cushioned and Padded Kayak Seat

Vibe Kayaks Deluxe Padded Kayak Seat

This Vibe kayak seat is great for large, muscular people who want a bit of extra space, support, width and cushioning. It is water resistant and there is additional storage space in a bag which is detachable. The additional back support really holds up for long trips and the need to feel comfortable for long sitting periods.

Pros:
– Easily supports 200 lb passengers
– Width and support easily hold up over long travel

Cons:
– No instructions included
– Stitching came loose on one purchaser’s item

Pactrade Brand – Marine Kayak Seat

Pactrade Marine Adjustable Padded Deluxe Kayak Seat

This kayak seat comes ready for heavy-duty anchoring on both the front and the back. The additional anchoring keeps you in place and prevents you from sliding around on watery rapids and when shifting your position around on your kayak. This kayak seat also comes with a very highly contoured non-slip surface which makes it great for women, children, and men with low back pain.

Pros:
– Detachable storage bag
– Heavily contoured design
– Non-slip surface all around

Cons:
– Not a high amount of cushioning in the seat

Ocean BrandComfort Tech Kayak Seat

Ocean Kayak Comfort Tech Seat for a sit-on-top Kayak

This slingback design (as opposed to a contoured seat) makes this a perfect kayak seat for someone who wants to shift around a lot from side to side. A large amount of padding in the seat, combined with additional ventilation, makes this the perfect kayak seat for hot weather kayaking and full sun boating. The additional padding in the seat makes it especially comfortable for long trips and the padding is thick from corner to corner.

Pros:
– Additional padding in the seat
– Slingback design for an added feeling of security

Cons:
– No anchor on the base of the seat (seat slid forward when leaning back hard)

iGuerburn BrandAdjustable Padded Boat Seat

iGuerburn Adjustable Padded Kayak Boat Seat

This particular kayak seat has the best rating on Amazon. It is, by far, one of the best sit on top kayak seats available. It is strong, durable, heavily padded from stem to stern and it is heavily comfortable for a wide variety of people who have bad backs. Both the back and the seat can be adjusted so that nothing slips at all.

Pros:
– Copper hooks prevent rusting or seawater corrosion
– Massive back and cushion support
– Seat adjustment support added

Cons:
– No lumbar support

Brooklyn Kayak Company (BKC) BrandUniversal Sit on Top Full Kayak Seat

Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC Universal Sit on Top Full Kayak Seat

This is one of the simplest and most basic of the sit on top kayak seats. If you want to try out a kayak seat but you don’t want extra cushioning or features, this is the best seat for you. The 4-way adjustable straps can be lengthened out to 32 inches. This is a great beginner kayak seat for kids and for adults who just want a cheaper option with less fuss involved.

Pros:
– Clean, simple design for efficient users
– Won’t get waterlogged or retain water in the cushions
– Ocean-friendly hardware and UV resistant materials

Cons:
– Little to no seat padding
– Streamlined design
– No additional seat anchoring to prevent slipping

Buyer’s Guide

Your kayak seat needs to fit your body and your needs like a glove. It should move around as much as you want it to or be as non-stick as you want it to be. It should be as lightweight or as padded as you desire. Additional storage bags which detach from the back are perfect for simply reaching back and sampling a bottle of water or some snacks (and maybe a map). What are some other things you should consider when looking at your new kayak seat?

Breathability

The fabric that your kayak seat is made up of is very important. All kayaks and seats are UV resistant, but some are more breathable than others. Consider the location of your kayaking. Will you be in hot weather where you will need a more breathable fabric? Will you be in cold areas where the insulation is more important than the breathability? A damp breeze can be felt in cold weather and a hot sun can make your back more sweaty. Consider the area of your kayaking and plan accordingly.

Seat Anchoring

Some seats come with only front and back anchoring for the back of the seat. However, some seats come with additional seat anchoring to tie it down further and prevent the seat from sliding forward when you lean back. Perhaps you would like to be able to adjust your position and thus retain comfort over long periods of time or perhaps you would like to feel anchored at all times. Whichever one of these is the case, you will be able to pick a seat which offers that support.

Seat and Back Padding

Some people prefer extra back padding in their seat while others prefer additional seat cushioning. Fortunately, your kayak seat can come with just about any combination of these you can think of. Some questions to ask yourself can be: How long do I sit in my office chair? Is my office chair particularly padded in the seat or the back? When I work, do I normally have extra lumbar support? Do I prefer couches or hammocks? These questions can help to pinpoint any special needs you may have for your posture, back, lower back, and seat cushions.

Contour and Design

Slingbacks are a great way to feel as if you are held in a hammock, while contoured designs are stiff and rigid and make you feel sturdier. With either option, you will need to think about how you want your body to be positioned for long hours at a time. Not all kayak seats retain their comfort over time.

Kayaking is a wonderful sport and the right seat can make or break your good time. Always pack additional bottled water and food, stay safe on the rapids, and follow your tour guide’s instructions. Happy Kayaking!

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