Choosing the best kayak seat has a great impact on your kayaking experience. Having a seat with extra padding and better support is crucial to your comfort as well as your ability to steer your kayak well.
Some kayaks might come with a low-quality kayak seat that wears out easily which can definitely ruin your trip and even cause severe damage to your back in the long run.
Luckily, you can get an upgrade since most kayak seats are removable, meaning you can buy them separately and attach them to your kayak.
Even though it is quite easy to remove and replace your kayak seat, it can be overwhelming to pick a better replacement as kayak seats come in a wide range of designs and each design has its advantages and disadvantages.
There are many factors you would need to consider in order to choose the best kayak seat that will suit your body type and kayaking style.
That is why we have reviewed the features of some of the seats on the market and put together a compilation of the best kayak seats that are currently available on Amazon to help you make your decision, so you can avoid wasting your time and money.
Comparison Table – Best Kayak Seats in 2021
|Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Kayak Seat||Nylon, Foam||Adjustable mounting straps with brass swivel buckles||23″ x 15″ x 2”||1.74 lbs.||$79.95|
|Woowave Kayak Seat||210D Polyester, EVA Foam||Adjustable straps with snap hooks||12.2″ x 17.7″ x 15″||3.64 lbs.||$60.99|
|Pelican Boats Sit On Top Kayak Seat||Nylon, Foam||Adjustable straps with swivel clips||9 x 19 x 8”||1.5 Ibs||$35.99|
|Skwoosh Expedition kayak Seat||Gel padding||Adjustable triangular strapping system||23 x 9.8 x 4”||3 lbs.||$126.24|
|Pactrade Marine Adjustable DeluxeKayak Seat||Neoprene, 600D Polyester, EVA Foam, PE plate||Adjustable front and rear straps||12″ x 17″ x 14.5″||8 lbs.||$46.01|
|Skwoosh Fishing Kayak Seat||Nylon, Polyester, Gel Padding||Adjustable straps||13″ x 16″ x 1″||4 lbs.||$129.95|
|CLIO Deluxe Padded Kayak Seat||Marine-grade Polyester, EVA Foam||Adjustable front and rear straps||20.5” x 19.5” x 2”||3.2 lbs.||$59.99|
|Harmony Gear Standard Sit-on-Top Seat||Nylon, foam||Two straps with corrosion-resistant clips||21.5” x 14” x 1”||1.65 lbs.||$49.99|
|Harmony Gear Kid’s Seat||Durable fabric, Foam||No straps||11.5” x 11.5” x 13.5”||0.75 lbs.||$44.99|
|Solstice Inflatable Kayak Seat||PVC||No straps||Variable||1.32 lbs.||$34.99|
The 10 Best Kayak Seats in 2021
1. Best Overall Kayak Seat – Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat Back
Our top pick for the best kayak seat is this one-of-a-kind design from Ocean Kayak. It comes in black color and it’s made from a highly durable and UV resistant nylon fabric that offers UV an excellent ventilation system that will ensure you stay cool and dry during your trip.
The ocean kayak comfort plus seat is very light in weight and it has extra foam padding that provides you with more comfort and better lumbar support as it helps relieve the pressure on your back and bottom. The high backrest and wrap-around sides provide you with additional support as well.
This kayak seat is mainly designed for the ocean kayak brand but it comes with adjustable mounting straps with brass swivel buckles, which makes it very easy to be fitted on any kind of kayak from any brand.
It also comes with reflective logos on the back of the seat that glow in the dark after being exposed to sunlight for some time. This allows your kayak to be more visible if you’re kayaking in low light conditions.
Pros Vs Cons
- It’s highly durable and UV resistant
- Its design provides additional support for your back and sides
- It has an excellent ventilation system
- It enhances your visibility in low light conditions
- It comes with adjustable straps for easy installation
- You need to make sure the size of the seat is compatible with your kayak brand
- It doesn’t provide extra storage space.
This kayak seat would be the best option for you if you’re looking for a product that combines high-quality material, back support, and comfort.
2. Second Runner – WOOWAVE Kayak Seat
The second best kayak seat on the list is this fantastic design is from WOOWAVE. It comes in black color and offers the most versatility as it can be fitted to any type of kayak. It also comes at a very reasonable price and offers a 1-year replacement warranty in case it sustains any damage.
The material this seat is made of is 210D polyester fabric filled with a thick layer of EVA foam padding which provides more comfort and the high backrest that is designed in an L- shape that provides you with excellent lumbar support.
It’s light in weight and very easy to install and remove. It comes with 4-way adjustable straps with snap hooks that will help you adjust the position of the backrest to any angel you desire to increase your comfort.
It also comes with a waterproof storage bag that can be attached to its back which will provide you with extra storage space.
Pros Vs Cons
- It fits on all kayak types
- It offers a high degree of comfort
- It has durable and has thick padding
- It provides effective back support
- It’s adaptable and easy to install
- It provides extra storage space
- The metal in the adjustable straps is not very durable
- the detachable storage back will not be accessible in a sit-in kayak.
This kayak seat would be the best option for you if you’re looking for a comfortable seat that’s reasonably priced and can be adapted to any kind of kayak.
3. Best on A budget – Pelican Boats Sit On Top Kayak Seat
This kayak seat from Pelican Boats is designed to be affordable while maximizing seat comfort. It’s mainly built for the kayaks from the Pelican brand but it can also fit on sit-on-top kayaks from other brands as well.
The seat is made from nylon fabric which makes it very durable and highly resistant to UV damage. The fabric is also water-proof so it’s good for keeping you dry.
It’s easy to install as the straps come with swivel clips that can easily be attached to the D-rings in your kayak. It also comes with multiples straps that allow you to adjust the position of the seat to your liking to maximize your stability.
Pros Vs Cons
- It’s durable and water-proof
- It’s easy to install and adjust the position of the backrest
- It’s very affordable
- The seat cushion doesn’t have enough padding.
- It can only work with sit-on-top kayaks
- It doesn’t come with extra storage space
This kayak seat would be the best option for you if you’re on a budget and looking for something that offers more durability at a reasonable price.
4. Best for Professionals – Skwoosh Expedition Kayak Seat
This kayak seat design from Skwoosh is the best for professional kayakers. It offers the best back support and comfort for kayaking for a long period of time.
The seat is made from waterproof material and comes with gel padding that offers consistent comfort as it ensures that the seat cushion won’t get compressed with prolonged use.
The tall backrest is reinforced with two strong plastic battens to keep it as solid as possible, so it provides more lumbar support for your upper and lower back.
This gel seat also comes with additional features for storage such as a bungee net attached to the back of the seat and two built-in insulated water bottle holders.
It also comes with a triangular adjustable strapping system with corrosion-resistant swivel clips that makes the seat very stable and easy to install.
Pros Vs cons
- It offers more support and stability
- It’s made from a long-lasting material
- It doesn’t lose its shape over time
- It comes with a waterproof gel seat cushion
- It comes with extra storage space
- The bungee net and bottle holders will not be accessible with a sit-in kayak
This kayak seat would be the best option for you if you’re going on a long expedition that would require consistent back support and comfort.
5. Best for Rough Waters – Pactrade Marine Adjustable Padded Deluxe Kayak Seat
This deluxe seat from Pactrade Marine comes in black and grey color. It is designed to withstand the harshest conditions without degrading or tearing as it’s made of 600D polyester and neoprene fabrics and comes with EVA foam padding and a PE plate on its internal layer.
The materials used to manufacture this seat give it a non-slip surface that provides you with more stability as it allows the kayak seat to hold more securely in place no matter how much water is spilled into the kayak and on the seat.
It comes with adjustable front and rear straps to secure the seat on the kayak and an adjustable backrest that can be positioned to suit your body. It also comes with a detachable bag that can provide extra storage, however, this bag is only accessible with a sit-on-top kayak.
Pros Vs Cons
- It’s made from a highly durable material
- It has a non-slip surface
- It’s very stable and secure
- It comes with adjustable straps
- It offers excellent back support
- The detachable storage bag is not accessible with sit-in kayaks.
- The amount of seat padding doesn’t provide the most comfort.
This kayak seat would be the best option for you if you want more stability when kayaking in rough waters.
6. Best for Fishing – Skwoosh Fishing Kayak Seat
This kayak seat from Skwoosh is designed specifically for kayak anglers. The material used to make the back and sides is polyester while the bottom cushion is made of nylon and padded with fluidized gel. It also comes with 4 adjustable straps with corrosion-resistant clips that allow for easy installation on a fishing kayak.
The high bag is reinforced with 2 fiberglass battens and adjustable side wings which increases your stability on the water to help you cast better and adjustable lumbar support makes it more comfortable to stay still for a long time.
What makes it perfect for fishing is that it comes with additional storage features. It has an easily accessible bungee net big enough to carry a tackle box as well as two built-in rod holders with PVC interior sleeves and adjustable safety tied-downs to secure the rods in place.
Pros Vs Cons
- It’s made from durable and waterproof materials
- It comes with extra storage space
- It comes with secure rod holders
- It provides more stability and comfort
- It comes with adjustable straps
- It’s more expensive compared to other kayak brands
- The PVC material in the interior sleeve of the rod holder is easily damaged
This kayak seat would be the best option for you if you’re a kayak angler looking for a seat that combines durability, comfort, stability, and extra gear storage.
This deluxe kayak seat from CLIO is designed to be long-lasting. That is because the exterior layer is made of high-quality polyester and the interior is padded with EVA foam. All the materials, including the straps and clips, have a marine glade quality that makes the seat extremely durable
The foam cushion and the padded backrest offer a good degree of comfort and support. It also comes with a waterproof bag for extra storage.
It is highly stable because of the anti-slip surface and 4 adjustable straps that hold securely the seat in place. The strap design makes it very easy to install on different kayak types.
Pros Vs Cons
- It’s highly durable
- It comes with adjustable straps and extra storage
- It’s made from marine grade materials
- It offers consistent support and stability
- It has a non-slip bottom
- The detachable storage bag is made from weaker materials
- The padding on the seat and backrest could be thicker
This kayak seat would be perfect for you if you’re looking for a reliable seat that would last you a long time.
This standard design from Harmony Gear offers simplicity and value. The backrest and seat pad are covered with nylon fabric and padded with foam. The material is waterproof and light in weight.
The seat is very soft and with high flexibility, so it will take the shape of your body and increase your comfort. The bottom surface of the seat is skid-resistant which adds to the seat’s stability.
It also comes with two straps with corrosion-resistant clips and fits well on most sit-on-top kayaks.
Pros Vs Cons
- It’s completely waterproof
- It’s lightweight, soft, and flexible
- It’s easy to install
- It’s skid resistant
- It doesn’t come with extra storage
- It doesn’t provide the best back support
- The seat pad is not very thick
This kayak seat would be the best option for you if you want a simple design that offers good value and comes at a good price.
9. Harmony Gear Kid’s Seat – Great for Kids
This kayak seat from Harmony Gear is specifically designed for children. You can simply install it in the bottom of your kayak in front of your own seat with no clipping or fastening required.
The seat is covered with durable fabric with foam padding. The padded seat is thick and the backrest is adjustable which will make the paddling trip a lot more comfortable for a child.
It also has a skid-resistant bottom that offers more stability as it will ensure the seat remains secured in place which increases the safety of your child.
Pros Vs Cons
- It offers stability and safety for children
- It’s soft and comfortable
- The seat back is fully adjustable
- It’s easy to install and fits in most kayaks
- The back pad is very thin
- It’s suitable for carrying heavyweight (over 85 lbs.)
This kayak seat would be the best option for you if you’re taking your kids along on your trip and want to ensure their safety.
The final recommendation on this list is this inflatable seat from Soltice. It works best with inflatable kayaks but can also be fitted on a rigid kayak. The size of the seat depends on how much you inflate it, so you can easily adjust it to your liking.
It’s made from a durable PVC material. It will not inflate on its own while you’re out on the water. The seat pad is comfortable and the tall back offers adequate support. It’s also very convenient as it can be easily deflated to transport or store.
Pros Vs Cons
- It’s easy to inflate and deflate
- It’s convenient and highly adjustable
- It’s made from a durable material
- It’s more prone to punctures
- It doesn’t come with any attachment points
This kayak seat would be the best option for you if you have an inflatable kayak or if you’re looking for a convenient easy-to-store seat.
How to Choose the Best Kayak Seats for You?
In order to choose the best kayak seat, there are 3 important things you need to know which are the main types of kayak seats, the factors you need to consider before you make your purchase to determine if this seat works for you, and the key features that all good kayak seats should have.
Let’s break down each of them in more detail.
Types of kayak seats
Basic Kayak Seat
These kayak seats have padded cushions to help make you more comfortable in your cockpit. They’re ideal for recreational uses and short trips.
They’re not the best option if you’re looking for a seat that would improve your posture on a long-term basis.
Deluxe Kayak Seat
These kayak seats are higher in quality than basic seats as they have extra padding and better back support. They’re more suited for going on a longer trip.
You need to make sure the seat is compatible with your kayak, as some of them do not fit well on sit-on-top kayaks because of the height of the backrest.
High Back Kayak Seat
These seats are popular with fishing kayaks because they provide anglers with excellent back support when they’re sitting still for long periods of time as well as a more stable position for casting accurately.
They’re also ideal for kayakers who are taller than average as a high-backed seat provides more support and comfort.
Inflatable Kayak Seat
These kayak seats are the best when it comes to convenience since they can be deflated. They’re easy to store and carry around. They’re also easy to handle in the water.
However, they have a downside which is that the seatback doesn’t provide the same level of comfort and back support compared to the other types of kayak seats.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Kayak Seat
Comfort is your highest priority when choosing a seat, no matter what kind of kayaking you do. If you’re a recreational kayaker, a basic seat or an inflatable seat might be best for you. If you’re touring or fishing, a deluxe kayak seat or a high seat back might be more ideal.
Your position in the cockpit has a great impact on how you maneuver your kayak better. Having more stability and support will allow you to steer your kayak into tighter turns much more easily.
The straps that secure the seat to the kayak help achieve more stability as they allow you to position the seat to your liking. So, these straps need to be adjustable and made of durable material.
Size and Compatibility
You need to double-check the size of the seat to make sure it will fit on your kayak. The majority of kayak seats fit well on all sit-on-top kayaks.
While with sit-in kayaks, it can be more complicated because all the height of the backrest might not fit well on some sit-in kayaks.
You also need to measure the periphery of your hips and your thighs when you are in a seated position as well as the length of your torso.
These measurements will help you ensure that you have the best support and that you can sit more comfortably in the seat especially if you’re taller than average.
The material of the kayak seat fabric has a direct impact on its durability. It’s important to consider durability as a factor to avoid wasting money by replacing your seat every year when it wears out.
Here the 3 main types of kayak seat fabric materials:
- The most common type and the least expensive
- It’s lightweight and durable.
- It’s also UV resistant and waterproof.
- It’s almost as durable as nylon.
- It’s softer and won’t chafe because of its wicking technology.
- It absorbs moisture so it’s good for keeping you dry.
- It’s not very popular but it’s still a great choice and perfect for staying dry while paddling as it is the same material used to make wetsuits.
Your budget is often the deciding factor when you’re buying a kayak seat. It’s a good thing that you have a good range of prices and options.
You just need to keep in mind that if you go for a cheaper kayak seat you might have to replace it a lot sooner than a more expensive one.
Important Features That a Good Kayak Seat Should Have
A good backrest doesn’t need to have thick padding as it still needs to be somewhat inflexible to support your back better.
If you suffer from back problems, however, you could go for a more ergonomic seat that can be adjusted to support the shape of your body.
The height of the backrest is important as well. Your upper back might get sore if the backrest only reaches halfway up your back.
Your kayak seat needs to have a good ventilation system that allows for sufficient airflow so you won’t get overheated in high temperatures.
A ventilated seat will have little holes in the fabric which help in reducing the amount of sweat that builds up on your back because having a sweaty back could cause you a lot of discomforts while kayaking.
Every kayak seat should be well padded to provide the most comfort. The type and amount of padding inside the seat differ from one product to another.
Here are the 4 main types of padding:
- Eva foam is the most common type of foam padding used in kayak seats
- It is reasonably priced and offers good ventilation, however, it’s not the most durable.
- This molded foam provides more cushioning and more comfort for longer trips, however, it doesn’t have the best ventilation in hot weather and it’s more prone to getting compressed after prolonged use.
Pressure Molded Foam
- This the only type of molded foam that doesn’t compress over time.
- It’s very durable, but it also doesn’t do very well in hot weather because of its poor ventilation.
- It’s the most comfortable and offers the best weight distribution and support.
- It also doesn’t compress over time as the gel can return to its original position.
This one of the most important features of any kayak seat because these straps are what tie down your seat to keep it anchored to the kayak and to increase your stability prevent you from sliding while you’re paddling.
Most kayak seats come with adjustable straps which are anchored at four attachment points to the kayak. The straps ideally need to be strong and made of waterproof material. They also come with swivel hooks or clips that need to be made of material that can resist corrosion and rust.
Having extra storage is mostly important to kayak anglers because it allows them to carry more fishing gear and keep it within reach.
This feature is more common in kayak seats with a tall back as they have more room for storage to be added.
A marine-grade material can withstand the harsh conditions of the water such as strong waves, salt, sun, and moisture. So, if the clips on your kayak seat are from marine-grade brass that means they can resist corrosion or rust.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Install a Kayak Seat?
Kayak seats usually come with the instructions so you can install yours easily. The process might differ depending on the kayak type but it is generally very simple and shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes. You just need to make sure that the seat is positioned correctly and that the straps are secured tightly.
How to Maintain Your Kayak Seat?
To maintain your kayak seat’s condition and make it last longer you can remove it when you’re done kayaking and store it separately in a protective bag away from any dust. You also need to make sure it’s clean and dry before storing it to avoid damaging the material.
How to Clean Your Kayak Seat?
To clean your kayak seat you need to make sure you’re using warm water with a very small amount of detergent and avoid using any bleach. You also need to use a soft brush particularly with seats made from nylon fabrics. That is because using a harsh brush to clean your seat will cause more damage and scratches. It’s best
Do Sit-On-Top Kayak Seats Work with Sit-in Kayaks?
Sit-on-top kayak seats are usually compatible with sit-in kayaks because all kayak types come with clips and straps that allow you to easily attach your new seat. The straps make it easy to adjust the position of the seat. However, some of the storage features of sit-on-top kayak seats might not be accessible in sit-in kayaks.
Which Is More Comfortable a Sit-in Kayak or Sit-On-Top Kayak?
A Sit-on-top kayak is more comfortable if you’re new to kayaking. It’s easier to use, cheap, and relatively safer. While a sit-in kayak would be more comfortable if you’re an advanced paddler. It’s suited for touring, surf, and paddling longer distances. The degree of comfort will mainly depend on your skill and preferences.
Feel free to check out my complete sit-in VS sit-on-top Kayak comparison here.
Do I Need to Upgrade My Kayak Seat?
If your kayak comes with a low-quality kayak seat that causes you any back pain it would be ideal to upgrade your seat. Having a more comfortable padded seat will make your kayaking experience much more enjoyable as you can paddle for a long time without any issues and you can also get additional benefits such as better ventilation and more storage space.
Recreational Kayaking: The Ultimate Guide By Ken Whiting (you can get this book on Amazon here)
Kayak your way to Freedom
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