Does this sound familiar? You loved the idea of kayaking so much that you invested in a good kayak and gear and started exploring the waters in your area. However, you get out into the nearby lakes, rivers, or even ocean waters and are paddling happily for all of an hour (and often less) before the pins and needles, sore hips and tailbone and other issues kick in.
All of the sudden, you are hurrying to get to your destination or finish up the trip. The visions you had of days spent kayaking are ruined because you are too uncomfortable to have fun, too distracted by discomfort to paddle really well, and even suffer after effects like sore back, weary arms and shoulders, a stiff neck, and more.
There is good news if this is something you can relate to, and a solution is available. In fact, it is the easiest thing imaginable – a sit-on-top kayak seat. In this article, we’ll review the nine best options on the market and help you identify what you need, what works best for you, and how to turn it all around and begin loving your kayaking adventures.
Keep in mind that these kayak seat reviews are just a brief itemization of the standout features of the individual options. You should really go online to compare and explore each of the models described and make the best choice for your needs, budget and goals.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Best Kayak Seat
- 2 Vibe Hero Seat Bundle
- 3 Vibe Kayaks Deluxe Padded Kayak Seat
- 4 Pactrade Marine Adjustable Padded Deluxe Kayak Seat
- 5 Ocean Kayak Comfort Tech Seat
- 6 Leader Accessories Deluxe Kayak Seat
- 7 Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat
- 8 Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC Profesional Universal Sit on Top Full Kayak Seat
- 9 GCI Outdoor SitBacker Adjustable Canoe Seat
- 10 OceanMotion Ergo-Fit
The Best Kayak Seat
Vibe Hero Seat Bundle
When kayak makers also make seats, it is a good thing. This is probably why this one rates as one of the top kayak seats on the list.
Those eager for a plush and padded ride will appreciate the design of this highly supportive kayak seat. It is unusual in that it uses a rigid steel frame along with adjustable straps. They are not attached to the seat but are included with the bundle and are secured to the loops or d-rings manually. There is also an adjustable strap between the backrest and seat.
Covered in a breathable mesh fabric, the upper and lower cushions give support while offering flexibility, wicking and circulation.
The taller than average back gives loads of support, and this is among the best for fishing, paddling or both.
- Easily adjusts
- High backrest gives lots of support
- Does not fit all kayaks
- Some may find mounting a challenge with independent strap design
Vibe Kayaks Deluxe Padded Kayak Seat
The name on this one says a lot as it is a deluxe design with one of the tallest backrests (24”) as well as a long list of pros that make it one of the most popular kayak seats available.
This model features a removable storage bag made of water and UV proof materials. The entire seat is upholstered in similarly durable materials and heavily padded. It has extra support on the backrest for those who want to enjoy longer paddles.
With four adjustable straps attached with marine grade brass swivel clasps, it can work well for most body sizes. It adapts to all models of kayak that feature deck loops or d-rings, and comes with a storage bag of its own.
Simple and easy to use, this is a highly supportive option that makes it a favorite.
- Made of durable materials
- Tall backrest for optimal support
- Heavily padded for comfort
- Padding on seat not as thick as backrest
- Some complaints that the straps not as durable as the rest of the materials
Pactrade Marine Adjustable Padded Deluxe Kayak Seat
Another of the best kayak seats for those who simply enjoy paddling, more active rides or fishing from their kayaks. This is a highly adjustable option that emphasizes comfort and adaptability.
It is made with a non-slip treatment on the seat to ensure stability at all times, and is made of neoprene +600D polyester and EVA foam. A PE plate adds stability while thick and well-molded padding offers even more support.
Generous in size, it is almost 22” wide along the backrest and over 18” in height. The seat is also wide and deep, ensuring support and comfort.
With four adjustable straps (two at the rear and two at the front), fitted with copper swivel clasps at the end, this is adaptable to all body sizes.
- Generously sized
- Non-slip surface gives added grab
- Durable materials
- Some complaints of stitching not holding
- Not adaptable to all kayaks
Ocean Kayak Comfort Tech Seat
Rating highly with those who want the most comfortable and supportive seating option, this kayak seat puts an emphasis on comfort. This is a pliable and heavily padded model that offers a lot of comfort and support. It features four adjustable straps that ensure it is adaptable to almost any body size.
Crafted of UV resistant materials, it won’t fade or lose its flexibility over years of use – even in hot climates or if left in the kayak at all times. With reflective elements it is even good for dawn and dusk paddling.
The flexible, brass swivel buckles make mounting and removing the seat easy and quick, and the brass means users get as much durability as they enjoy with the fabric.
This kayak seat is also designed with a built-in ventilation system to ensure you remain cool and comfortable when paddling briskly or sitting in the sun while fishing.
- Works with most kayaks on the market
- Designed for extended use and comfort
- Durable materials will last longer than some other options
- Not as tall as other options
- Seat padding not as thick as other models
- Straps not made of materials as durable as the seat and clasps
Leader Accessories Deluxe Kayak Seat
This is touted as a deluxe option, and with its generous proportions and adjustability as well as its thicker than average padding, it lives up to it. This spacious kayak seat has a generous 15” wide seat and 20” wide back rest. Seat depth is 12” and the height of the backrest at 18” guarantees adequate support.
This kayak seat offers marine grade solid brass connectors and adjustable webbing straps for optimal comfort and adaptability to almost any kayak on the market. The overall design is meant to conform to the body and the strap placement with two straps in front and two in back means complete support. This one is also ventilated to help overcome sweating from exertion or heat.
With a small (removable) storage pack built into the backrest, and a foldable design, this is a seat well suited to fishing and day paddling.
- Generous proportions
- Marine-grade materials
- Thick, molded foam
- Not as tall as other options
- Needs to be broken in, making it too stiff for some buyers
Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat
This kayak seat ranks as highly as the other Ocean Kayak model in the list as it is designed with the greatest comfort in mind. Made of rugged UV resistant materials on the seat and back, it features a handy and removable storage pack. Everything is waterproof for ease of use and durability.
Attached with four adjustable straps that are affixed with marine grade, solid brass swivel clasps, it is optimally adjustable for all body types. The stays along the back are reinforced for extra support, and since the back is 24” in height, this is quite handy.
This kayak seat also has reflective components for dawn, dusk and evening paddles. The padding is thicker on the back than the seat, which can be a point of concern for some.
- Tall, reinforced back rest for optimal support
- Waterproof and long-wearing materials
- Detachable storage is very useful
- Straps are not as durable as rest of seat
- Padding on seat is not as comfortable or generous
Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC Profesional Universal Sit on Top Full Kayak Seat
This is the best kayak seat for those eager to find a universally adaptable seat with loads of support and comfort.
This model offers 18” of backrest and a wide and generally sized seat and back, as well. It is also very adaptable thanks to the four adjustable straps that attach to the front and back for optimal stability.
The heavy padding on the seat and backrest are also a plus, and the durability of the materials, as well as the webbing of the straps and the metal swivel clasps used to secure the seat, are also a definite “pro”.
- Universally adaptable to almost any kayak
- High backrest for optimal support
- Well padded
- Not breathable
- No extra storage included
GCI Outdoor SitBacker Adjustable Canoe Seat
As you can see from the name, this is designed specifically for canoes, but can be used as a sit-on-top kayak seat, too. That is due to the dual buckle bench attachment built right into the seat bottom. Interestingly, this does well as a travel chair, as well, and will fold flat and secure easily for transport or storage.
This makes a list for its patented back comfort technology that allows a user to adjust the recline angle. It holds up to 250 body weight and features generous amount of seating at 16.5” wide and 18” high. There is lumbar cushioning and an innovative, split-contour seat design for complete comfort even if used for house.
- Generously sized
- Innovative cushioning for optimal support
- Adjustable recline for back comfort
- May not work with all kayaks
- Not as durably designed as kayak-specific seats
This kayak seat is popular for it’s design and positioned padding. The backrest has remarkable amounts of reinforcement and yet none of the stiffness due to the engineering and pad placement.
The seat has two and a half inches of padding that is also angled and structured to give support, ensure breathability and optimal comfort at all times. The bottom cushion’s measurements are larger than most, which is also part of the ergonomic design.
The four straps attach at the front and back and can adjust from six to 22 inches for optimal support and adaptability. The seat also remains firmly in place thanks to its anti-slip treatment along the bottom.
The detachable storage bag is a nice addition, and the durable materials include waterproofing, as well as marine-grade metal swivel clasps at the ends of the durable webbing straps.
- Ergonomic design
- Firm and well placed padding
- Larger size and extra storage
- Some dislike the firmness of the padding
- May be too firm for those who have lighter bodyweights
As we have seen from the selection of seats above, it is not easy to know immediately which sort of seat is ideal for you. You’ll always want to consider:
- The height of the backrest
- The amount of padding
- Whether it is upholstered in breathable and/or UV resistant materials
- The number of straps and/or the way the kayak seat will attach to your kayak
- What other materials are used, i.e. marine-grade swivel clasps, webbing straps, and so on
- Bonus features such as removable storage, a carrying case, or a foldable design
You cannot look only at prices or sizes to make the right choice. In fact, you may not even get a fair number of choices if you seek specifically for “kayak seats”.
You need to consider sit-on-top seats if you are eager to purchase the most adaptable options, but don’t ignore choices if they are designated for a canoe or even just a basic outdoor-style seat.
It is not extremely challenging to begin to recognize what you need in a kayak fish seat, as well as what features you can do without. Our brief reviews of the top kayak chairs certainly run the gamut from the basic and simple to the larger and more adjustable options.
While any of those we have recommended is likely to will outperform the other options on the market, you still need to make your decisions based exclusively on your personal criteria. This could include height, weight, health or back issues, budget, type of kayak and even the type of activities you will do in the kayak. You will also want to consider whether or not the right seat for you can be quickly removed or stowed should you need to also keep your kayak in storage or make it easily transportable. The good news is that you have a great variety from which to choose in the best kayak seat reviews above. After all, you may like the looks, color, or style of two similar seats or find that you dislike the way padding appears.
You have lots of choices for a kayak seat, and now is the perfect time of year to go out and find yourself the top choice for you.
Ryan is an extreme kite surfer. When Ryan isn’t shredding in on the waves he spends time with his riding his bike, canoeing, and surfing.