A good kayak will go a long way but having the correct one will ensure that your kayaking adventures are a success and you are comfortable during your experience. This will only be possible if you have the right kayak seat since it is as essential as the kayak itself. Otherwise you may have had to cut short your kayaking trips due to pain in your back or your body getting sore.
The reason your seat is not comfortable enough is probably because there is just a thin line that separates comfort from support when it comes to kayak seats. So what to do if you already own a kayak? You wouldn’t want to spend another grand getting a new kayak! There is, however, the option of changing your kayak seat. Now you do not have to cut short your kayaking experiences just because your back hurts. In fact, you have plenty of options to choose from kayak seats which can have pressure molded foam, precise adjustments, and even more extensive seating options, all depending upon your preferences.
As such, we have reviewed some of the best kayak seats in the market and compiled a buying guide which can be resourceful for all those who are shopping for kayak seats for their sore backs.
Buying Guide – Things to consider
There are plenty of options to choose from when you decide to buy a kayak seat which can be overwhelming for a first-time buyer. You need to be sure that you are picking up the right seat for your kayak that is comfortable and durable. Before you decide on which one to buy, it is crucial to consider a few factors that can help you make the right decision.
One of the key reasons why a person may want to change their kayak seat is because their existing one is not comfortable enough. As such, this should be number priority when choosing a kayak seat. The seat should be comfortable enough to give you the support for moving around and for shifting your weight. You may move around a lot or not even at all, depending on your style of paddling and as such, the seat should be suited to your preferences. There are plenty of different shapes, sizes, and materials which are involved in making a kayak seat comfortable and it may be quite overwhelming to decide.
When you decide to buy the kayak seat, one point which you must consider is what you want to use the kayak for. Is it for recreational purposes only or more serious ones? The recreational kayakers generally use the boat occasionally for a few hours and can make sure of plush kayak seats. On the other hand, the professional or the touring kayakers spend a lot more time sitting on their seats. As such, if your use requires you to spend a lot of time sitting on the seat then go for one which is more durable and comfortable.
What kind of material is used in the construction of the seat is also crucial when buying a kayak seat. There are different types of materials which are used in its construction, and the most popular ones are neoprene fabric, polyester, tekpad, and molded foam. The polyester fabric is delicate as compared to nylon and can be used for kayak seat where moisture or sweat or water can build up on hot days. The nylon fabric is, however, stronger than polyester and is a water repellent instead of moisture-wicking fabric; this means it may not feel very “cool” during the hot summer days. Since you will be spending a lot of time in the water, it is advisable to choose a material which is easy to wipe and dries out fast. Moreover, you may also consider a fabric that stays dry and is protected from UV rays to avoid fading.
Type of Kayak seat
There are many different types of kayak seats in the market. You should be familiar with all of them, so you can decide which one you prefer. Some of the different options in kayak seats that you have are necessary kayak seats, fishing kayak seats, deluxe kayak seats, tall back kayak seats, and inflatable kayak seats.
Basic Kayak Seats
The basic ones, as the name suggest, have the bare minimum comfort without any added benefits. These are generally used for recreational purposes and only for a short period. This type of seat is not the best choice if you are looking for something to help with your posture and when comfort is your priority.
Tall back Kayak Seats
The tall back seat provides excellent support for the neck and back. This is the best choice for those who are tall, and the sizes are from 38 to 50 cm.
Fishing Kayak Seats
The fishing kayak seats are designed for fishing purposes as it allows the user to cast their fishing lines in all directions as the seat swivels in all directions. The seat is also a bit high on the kayak, this way you get to have a wide range of motion.
Inflatable Kayak Seat
The inflatable kayak seat is portable and very light in weight. It folds easily and ideal when you have storage issues. It helps to give you a comfortable experience as you enjoy your water activities.
Deluxe Kayak Seat
There is also a deluxe kayak seat, which has a wide range of sitting positions and is equipped with ergonomic settings which make it a little pricier than the rest. It does, however, offer great comfort during extreme activities. The type of seat which the user may choose depends on their preferences.
When you measure the dimensions of the kayak seat to fit in your kayak, you must also consider how far you would like it to extend. Do consider the support for your back, thighs, and shoulders. You should have a well-padded seat in all these areas, especially if your main concern is the comfort level. It is important to know that if any part of your body is not well supported, then other parts of the body will probably become sore as well.
If you are changing your seat because of back problems, then a thicker padded kayak seat will help to alleviate the pain during longer time spent in the water. A seat that conforms to your body weight and type would provide better support to the user. For taller people, a full-size seat with a back that extends 18 inches will be able to accommodate the extra height.
For those people who are on the heavy side, they should opt for a pressure molded foam seat. This type of seat is more durable and can easily carry the weight without sacrificing comfort. We found that the polyester foam material wears down much quickly as compared to the force molded foams, which are more resilient. Nowadays gel cushioning is also quite popular as it is able to conform to the body type and it provides maximum support.
If your kayak seat is unstable, it will affect your kayaking performance. It is the stability of the kayak seat which keeps the user afloat on the kayak. Compromising on the security of the seat means you can end up falling in water. Whether you are using the kayak for angling or fishing, the best seat would be the one that keeps you firmly in the cockpit. The best stability is provided by the straps which secure the kayak seat to the kayak. Every kayak has a different amount of carrying weight and amount of support that it can handle. You should look for a kayak which has excellent stability in the straps and has a broad base and back for supporting the body.
Durability and Quality
The durability and quality of the kayak seat are also significant. Why would anyone want to spend money on a seat that will not last for long? Most of the kayak seats in the market are made of good quality, but there are many which are not very durable. The seat is the most important part since that is where you spend most of the time on the kayak. A durable seat will save you the hassle and pain of frequent repairs and replacements, especially for those who use the kayak quite often. It is best to go for a seat made with heavy duty materials.
Price and budget
A kayak seat may cost anywhere from about $30 to $250, and it is recommended to spend at least $50 on the kayak seat to get a decent one. A seat in this price range would have better padding and will be more durable. The ones which are cheaper than this amount are not worth spending the money on, and you will end up replacing them soon. This means spending more money in the long run. It all depends upon the user’s budget, but it is better to pay slightly more on getting a better quality seat then going for a cheaper alternative.
Your kayak seat should allow you to be able to have access to essential items quickly so that it does not interrupt your kayaking performance. This means the extra storage in the seat is crucial for consideration. While most of the time the size of the seat will limit how much you can store, you must make sure there is plenty of space for you to store your specific items. Storage is usually essential when you are using the kayak for fishing. The storage can also be used for bringing lunch, extra safety gear or camping equipment if you plan to stop by for the night. If storage is important to you, then you must make sure your kayak seat is equipped with that.
Many people do not merely want a simple kayak seat, so there are plenty of options to choose from. The kayak seats include contours which conform to the shape of the back, water channels that funnel the water away from the body of the user. There are many kayak seats which come with water bottle holders or rod holders as well.
The factors mentioned above are not exhaustive, and there are many other factors which you can consider, depending on your needs. It is essential to consider the climate you are in as the warmer ones require a different form of technology as compared to the colder ones. In colder climates, the users are generally wearing more layers of clothing, while in hotter climates the likelihood of sweating is considered.
How we picked
In choosing the best possible kayak seat, we considered various factors that are mentioned in detail below. While compiling this list of the best kayak seats, we had to spend many hours finding the best ones for review. The process of choosing the best kayak seats began with going through different retail and online stores. We picked up the kayak seats of some of the well known as well as some lesser known brands.
Moreover, we researched what the customers prefer and what kind of seat they find comfortable for long hours. We even got in touch with professional reviewers to take their feedback. We consulted the retail stores about which kayak seats were the most popular ones amongst the users and the ones with the highest number of sales. With this extensive research which we conducted, we were able to compile a list of the best kayak seats which we wanted to test.
How we tested
Once we had decided on the list of the best possible kayak seats we wanted to check, we had to make sure they were as good as we were expecting them to be. We had different brands of kayak seats competing against each other, and we wanted to know whether it had something comfortable and durable to offer, whether or not it was from a favorite brand or not. We tested the kayak seats by considering different options such as how does it feel to sit on the seat for long hours? Is it easy to enter and exit from the seat of the kayak for a tall as well as for a short person? How does it feel on stable as well as on rough water? Does the user feel any aches, pains or soreness after the use? Overall, is it an enjoyable experience and is the kayak seat worth its price tag? After considering these options, we were able to come up with reviews about each and decide which ones performed better than the rest. This way, we narrowed down our list to the top 10 kayak seats which outperformed the rest and were genuinely worth the price tag!
10 Best Kayak Seat – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide
1. Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat Back (Black)
Even though this kayak seat is from Ocean, which makes it suitable for Ocean kayaks but it can also be used for many other kayak brands. It is a reliable and durable construction made of good quality materials.
It has a comfortable and cushioned backrest and a plush seat which is the best choice for a dry ride. The design is foam injected which means, and it provides sturdy support to the user.
It has adjustable straps, which means it is quite stable and provides sufficient stability in the water. The user can also adjust the seat according to their comfort options.
This kayak seat is UV protected which helps against the damage which may be caused by the sunlight. The fabric is long lasting and has a built-in ventilation system which helps to keep the user dry.
The best part about this Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Kayak seat is its ultimate comfort that it provides the user. So if you are looking for something that has extra foam and padding for more significant support, then this is the right choice. Along with its adjustability options, it can fit almost all body types. It can allow you to spend all day out kayaking without experience any back pain due to the high back support.
- Extra foam padding provides greater comfort
- UV resistant nylon fabric that is durable
- Loops are reflective and glow in the dark when exposed to sunlight
- Equipped with stainless steel brass clips which clip on the kayak
- There are no options for storage
- Not comfortable for taller people
2. Pactrade Marine – Adjustable Padded Deluxe Kayak Seat Detachable Back Backpack/Bag Canoe Backrest
The Pactrade Marine Adjustable Padded Deluxe Kayak Seat is the best choice if you are looking for a comfortable, adjustable and a supportive kayak seat for your sit-in kayak.
This kayak seat is equipped with a backpack or a removable bag on the back side of the seat, which can be used when it is needed. The bag can be used for keeping your accessories, your gear or even your lunch. This provides plenty of storage options to the user. This seat is however only for the sit on the top kayaks, and it can be used for most of the kayaks and canoes, which are the sit on the top kind.
This kayak seat is made of high-quality materials and will provide the kayaker with a comfortable journey. The materials used in its construction are 600D neoprene and polyester which also helps to give the user a dry and comfortable feel throughout their kayaking adventure. The internal materials are EVA foam and PE plate. This ensures durability and high quality.
The kayak seat is also equipped with straps which mean the seating can be adjusted as per the user’s requirements. There are straps in the front and on the rear. They also include four copper hooks. The straps ensure stability on the water.
- It has a backpack for carrying extra items
- It is compatible with most of the kayaks and canoes in the market
- It is perfectly padded
- The kayak seat is light in weight
- It is quite comfortable
- The construction is of high quality and durable
- The surface is contoured with non-slip material and is padded
- The backpack is not accessible on sit-in kayaks
3. Leader Accessories Deluxe Kayak Seat Boat Seat
This is one of the best choices in kayak seats if you are looking for a seat with a high back rest. The brand, Leader, is known for producing a lot of aftermarket marine accessories and kayak seats. This seat is quite generous in size as compared to an average kayak seat. This kayak seat is ideal for those who like to go for long kayaking journeys as it provides a comfortable experience, without creating any back pains, aches or soreness.
It has a high back rest, which measures about 18 inches high and 20 inches wide and there is plenty of space to sit comfortably, even for a larger person. The construction and design of the seat is such that it is comfortable for people of all sizes.
This kayak seat, however, is also for the sit in kayaks. It helps to keep the user secure and safe on their seats with their four marine grade brass straps. There are two in the front and two at the back. The straps are of high quality, which means they wouldn’t easily rust from exposure to water and different weather conditions.
It ensures a comfortable journey with its molded foam padding, and it also has a strip of padding which runs along the back to provide lumbar support to the spine, thus reducing and preventing backaches. Moreover, the shape of the seat contours itself to the body’s form, providing a comfortable ride no matter how long it is for.
- The adjustable straps are of marine grade solid brass
- Provides the best support and stability
- Ideal for large size people
- It is comfortable and well cushioned
- Helps to prevent back aches and soreness
- It fits almost all kayaks
- It is available in two colors, black, and grey
- It is slightly expensive
4. Ocean Kayak – Comfort Tech Seat for a sit-on-top Kayak
This kayak seat is only used for the sit on top kayaks, and the best feature about this Ocean Kayak Tech seat is that it allows the user more paddling with its built-in system of ventilation. It is also equipped with a taller seat for additional back support. This provides the user with a comfortable experience which can make their kayaking trips truly enjoyable, without any soreness or back pains.
The construction of the seat is made with high quality materials that ensure not only comfort but also durability. It has nylon pack cloth construction which is UV resistant. The material is quite breathable and keeps the user cool and dry even in various weather conditions.
Moreover, it keeps the user safe and secure with its 4-way adjustable strap system along with their reflective logo. The straps provide a sturdy and secure kayaking experience. The user can adjust the straps as per their own requirements.
The brand name Ocean is known for their high quality and long lasting quality of kayak seats. While there are plenty of kayak seats by Ocean in the market, this model is specially designed to provide the users with high back support and greater cushioning. It is ideal for those who have back issues and looking for a supportive unit with high comfort.
- UV resistant construction
- Sturdy yet comfortable with a high level of cushioning
- Heavy duty clips
- Four-way adjustable straps
- Well padded and high back for additional support
- It is quite light in weight
- Built-in reflective logos for safety purposes
- The bottom part is hard and sturdy
- It may be difficult to fit in small sized kayaks
- Only used for sit in kayaks
5. Vibe Kayaks Deluxe Padded Kayak Seat – Deluxe for Sit-On-Top with Cushioned Back Support
This is one of the best choices when you are looking for a kayak seat on a limited budget. It serves all the purposes of an excellent kayak seat. It has a high back rest, it is very comfortable to sit in, even for long hours and it is also straightforward to install. The best part – it is available at a very competitive price!
This kayak seat provides the user not just a comfortable ride but also ensures safety with its adjustable straps which the user can secure as per their body type. These straps are in the front and the rear and made of high quality material, which is UV protected. The connectors are made of marine grade solid brass, which means it would not easily corrode or rust even with constant contact with water or in various weather conditions.
Yet another great feature of this kayak seat is that you can install it easily by yourself. It can fit in any kayak that has deck loops or d rings. In case your kayak does not have them, you can buy them very quickly and this way you can get more options for installing the straps and securing your kayak seat.
Moreover, the seat is spacious and quite comfortable. It also has high back support, which measures 18 inches and has a width of 19 inches with the seat length of 12 inches. This means it is also quite comfortable for a large size person as well. People who weight even 200 pounds have comfortably used this kayak seat for their journeys.
There are great options for storage as well. You get a clip on the bag at the back where you can store a personal item or even your lunch. The bag is waterproof and coated with wax so that water cannot seep inside it. So no need to worry about the bag or your items getting wet, and you can even store your electronics or your mobile phone in it.
Overall, the quality of this kayak seat is quite good, but the durability is a bit questionable. The stability is better provided if you buy additional tie downs and rivet so you can secure the kayak seat to your kayak.
- It is priced quite reasonably
- The installation process is easy
- It has adjustable marine grade brass straps
- Storage pouch
- The customer services are excellent
- It is not as durable as other models and wears out quickly for professional kayakers
- Tie downs and rivets are advised
6. Expedition Kayak Seat – 20″ High Back Support with Lumbar Roll and nylon gel seat bottom
This kayak seat is mainly built for the long trip touring kayakers. It is made in the USA and guaranteed for workmanship and long lasting performance. This is an excellent choice for those who are looking for comfort as well as support for their kayaking trips.
The seat cushion is made of one inch thick waterproof gel, which means there is no need to worry about the seat getting wet. The back of the seat also has two plastic battens which keep it stable, and it is 20 inches tall which means it keeps your upper and lower back well supported.
This kayak seat uses a combination of fabrics which include plastic and foam to provide the best seating experience. It has a six point attachment with a triangular rear strapping system for the right angled backrest support.
Another great feature about this kayak seat is that it has storage options as well. It has a rear mounted bungee net, where you can keep your gear and two built in insulated water bottle holders. Overall, it provides a comfortable kayaking experience and keeps the user nice and dry. The tall back rest makes sure you would not get a back sore and will ensure a comfortable journey.
- The installation is easy and no tools required
- It has a bungee net for storage
- Built in insulated water bottle holder
- The seat is waterproof
- The fabrics and materials are heavy duty and long lasting
- It has 4 straps which are rust and corrosion free
- Waterproof gel cushion
- The back may be too high for petite users
- The padding should be a little softer
7. KERCO Angler-x – Adjustable Sit on Top Kayak Seat w/Back Pack Extra Thick Seat Pad
This is an adjustable seat, which is equipped with extra thick padding as well as an ant-slip bottom to ensure the user stays securely in place. This seat can be used for paddle boats and for kayaks as long as there are fastenings on the board or on the kayak for clipping the seat on its place.
It is an excellent choice for sit on the top kayaks since it has a wide and spacious back rest, excellent material and strong and sturdy mounting equipment. The back seat measures 18 inches by 21 inches, which means there is ample support to prevent your lower and upper back from soreness and aches.
It has four adjustable straps and clips which holds the user safely in place. The seat cushion is made of molded foam and has a nylon exterior which provides the user with a plush and comfortable seat which is also quite durable.
Overall, this kayak seat provides the user with a durable seat which ensures comfort and safety. Along with the storage option in the form of a backpack, you can easily take an extended kayaking trip with your lunch and your gear!
- It has a high back rest
- It is equipped with detachable back pack for storage
- There are brass clips for sturdy mounting
- Seating fabric and cushioning is plush and comfortable
- Nylon materials prevents from water damage
- It is less affordable than other options
8. iROCKER – Inflatable Paddle Board Kayak Seat
This iROCKER Inflatable Kayak Seat is a great option when you are looking for an inflatable kayak seat. This inflatable seat can easily fit in a kayak or even on a paddle board. The best part about this iROCKER Inflatable Kayak Seat is that it can be very easily clipped on to your kayak. It can be clipped on the kayak on the pre installed fittings.
Even though it is very light in weight, it is made of good quality materials. This means you will still get plenty of back support. So if you do plan to spend a long time out kayaking, this iROCKER Inflatable Kayak Seat will surely not give you any aches or back pains! Moreover, since it is lightweight and inflatable, this means it does not take up too much storage space making it ideal for people who have space constraints.
This kayak seat is very comfortable as well. It is made of thick neoprene material, which is well cushioned for better comfort. It also helps to keep the user cool and dry. It has adjustable straps which can be used by the user to secure themselves on the seat as per their body contour. The straps keep the user well secured and safe on the seat. Even though this is from the iRocker brand, it can be used with many other kayaks and paddleboard as well.
- It is light in weight
- It can be stored very easily
- The process of installation is very simple
- It provides a comfortable kayaking experience
- It is durable and long lasting
- Not suitable for large size or tall people
9. iGuerburn – Adjustable Padded Kayak Boat Seat with Detachable Canoe Backrest Seat Bag
This stylish yet straightforward kayak seat is a comfortable thermal designed seat that can fit in easily on almost all kayaks. It can even be used on canoes and can clip on some SUP.
It is equipped with a seat bag, which means you can store your belongings like your gear or your lunch anywhere you go. This seat provides a comfortable experience since it is made from high quality materials and is well cushioned to provide comfort even for the long duration of kayaking. It is suitable for canoeing, drifting, and rafting as well.
This kayak seat is also quite durable which will last long due to its construction. It has non slip material that can hold the user firmly in place, and with the adjustable straps, you can be assured of a safe journey. There is also a high backrest, which means you do not have to worry about back or neck aches.
- It is sturdy and durable
- The construction material is corrosion and rust resistant
- High back rest for extra comfort
- Well cushioned seat
- Detachable back pack for storage
- The support it provides is questionable
10. GTS Sport Sit-On-Top Kayak Seat – Surf To Summit Kayak Seat with Cushion
This kayak seat has been designed for the small paddlers who need back support. This is for sit on top kayaks. It is equipped with a large built in cargo pack for carrying extra storage.
The backrest is 12.5 inches in height and provides excellent lumbar support to the users along with thermoformed foam panels which makes sure that deep paddling is possible. The padding contours itself to the user’s body so that they can be comfortable and secure on their seats.
The construction of this seat has inbuilt tri-laminated backrests and a heavy duty 600D fabric for high stress points while ensuring durability. Furthermore, it has a cushioned back and four adjustable straps in the front and at the rear which locks the seat firmly in place.
- Large size zipper pack
- Comfortable seat cushion
- Multi adjustable front and rear straps
- High quality material EVA and PVA foam combination
- Not as comfortable as other seats
Choosing a kayak seat can be tricky if you have not done your homework. There are plenty of options to choose from, such as the different sizes, shapes, construction and the fabric used. It is important to check the size and the type of kayak which you are replacing before you order or buy. While most of the seats are quite flexible, it may not fit incorrectly if you do not know the proper measurements.
We have carefully reviewed the top ten kayak seats we found to be the best in terms of features and value for money and now it is up to you to choose from the one that is ideal for your use. It all depends upon your requirements and the features which you require. However, comfort and durability should always be your top priority. As such make sure you invest in a good quality seat for your long paddling journeys! Hope this buying guide is resourceful to you when you decide to make the final purchase.