Best Kayak Seats of 2021 – Full Reviews & Buyer’s Guide!

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Red kayak and yellow row lays

Whether you’ve chosen a sit-in or a sit-on-top kayak for this paddling season, having a good kayak seat is a must if you prioritize comfort. Depending on the type of kayak there are different seats that come with or without backrests, various materials for their padding, and different types of waterproof materials. How to choose the best kayak seats, though? And what exactly to look for when you’re comparing two models?

In this guide, I will try to answer all of your questions and give you a few extra tips on how to make your next kayak trip much more comfortable. We will go through some of the top models for 2021 and then dive into the nitty-gritty, discussing all the little details that will make a certain model a great fit for you!

Kayak Seats Comparison Chart

ProductFabricAdjustablePaddingOur
Rating
WooWave Kayak Seat
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PolyesterYesEVA Foam
Harmony Gear Seat
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NylonYesRegular Foam
Ocean Kayak Seat
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NylonYesEVA Foam
Pactrade Marine Seat
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Neoprene
Polyester
YesEVA Foam
PE Plate
BKC UH-KS222
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NylonYesRegular Foam
Seamander Kayak Seat
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PolyurethaneYesRegular Foam
Pelican Boats Seat
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NylonYesRegular Foam

WooWave Padded Kayak Seat


Our Rating: (5/5)

The WooWave kayak seat is one of the highest-selling products from this category this year and there are quite a few good reasons for that. First of all, the seat’s design is simple yet ergonomic and combined with the comfort it provides makes for an enjoyable seat to last a whole day on. The exterior fabric is a high-quality 210D polyester with a layer of EVA foam on the inside. The skid-resistant bottom part is excellent for whitewater kayaking, although the sides aren’t curved and won’t provide much lateral support.

The installation process here is relatively easy with four copper metal attachment hooks surrounding the seat. The webbing straps are 4-way adjustable, making this seat quite practical for people that prefer different reclines and positions for their kayak seat. And while the backrest isn’t great for tall people, this seat does provide a good amount of comfort for both sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks.

Apart from all of its unique features, this seat is also great for boats, canoes, and more. It is also great for fishermen that spend a lot of time in the kayak, as well as recreational paddlers. The seat also comes with a waterproof storage bag that makes storing and transporting the seat quite easy. As a whole, this model checks most of the important boxes and comes at a good price, making it a killer deal.

Pros

  • Decently priced
  • Thick foam cushions
  • 4-way adjustable
  • Copper-plated hooks
  • Comes with a storage bag
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • Not ideal for very tall people
  • Not a lot of lateral support
  • Not great for whitewater kayaking

Harmony Gear Standard Sit-on-Top Seat


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

If you’re looking for something that will provide a bit more lateral grip and will have a wider bottom part, the Harmony Gear Standard Sit-on-Top kayak seat is definitely something you should consider. It has tons of lateral support with its wide arches that will hug your back. This makes it ideal for kayaking in the sea but it does make it harder to fit in most narrow sit-in kayaks out there.

The exterior shell of the seat is made out of nylon. As a material, nylon is great for hot climates since it is UV-resistant and handles heat and moisture well. It is naturally waterproof and relatively tear-resistant. The wide bottom of the seat is skid-resistant, making it great for fishing and scenarios in which you need better leg support. The seat attaches to most boats and kayaks via its four straps. Each of those is fully adjustable so you can control the recline. The hooks at the end of the straps are powder-coated and corrosion-resistant, which is yet another nice touch. The interior of the seat is made out of regular foam and isn’t as thick as some other models, making it slightly less comfortable for longer trips.

The obvious disadvantage of this seat is that it is geared more towards sit-on-top kayaks, rather than sit-in or other boats for that matter. This makes it more of a niche model, even though it could work with other kayak types with some minor adjustments. The main thing that gets in the way is the wider seat which won’t fit in a narrow sit-in kayak in most cases. Still, at this price, there aren’t a lot of other great sit-on-top models that will offer similar build quality, comfort, and performance.

Pros

  • Good price
  • Excellent durability
  • Easy to set up and adjust
  • Waterproof
  • Skid-resistant seat pad
  • Wide articulated design
  • Great for sit-on-top kayaks

Cons

  • The wide design makes it hard to fit in some sit-in kayaks
  • Not great for very tall people
  • Not very thick foam layer

Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

Even though the Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat is primarily suitable for Ocean kayaks, it still works for other sit-on-top models on the market. It is one of the better seats out there that comes with tons of lateral support, lots of adjustability, and durable materials all around. Unfortunately, it is also one of the more expensive models out there and isn’t the best bang for your buck if you’re on a tight budget.

The outside fabric of this seat is made out of polyester mixed with UV inhibitors. See, polyester typically isn’t great with direct sunlight or heat so this new mixed material is actually improving the fabric a lot. Now, you get the weather-resistant of nylon combined with all the good properties of polyester such as durability and breathability. On the inside, there is a closed-cell EPE foam padding. This foam is similar to EVA foam but has better rigidity and is slightly harder. This allows it to tolerate long days where you sit on the kayak for hours without deforming the actual foam padding. The actual layer is actually thicker than normal just to provide a bit of extra softness and comfort on long recreational rides.

The backrest of the seat is slightly higher than other models from the brand. This makes it ideal for taller paddlers as it has additional back support. The installation is similar to most other seats out there. There are mounting straps on each side that make the seat 4-way adjustable. If you can fit it in a sit-in kayak, this is actually a perfect addition for whitewater paddlers, thanks to its lateral support. All in all, if you’re willing to pay the price, this is one of the better seats out there that checks almost all the boxes.

Pros

  • Excellent for tall people
  • Lots of lateral support
  • 4-way adjustable
  • Waterproof construction
  • Thick and durable padding
  • Designed for sit-on-top kayaks

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not great for sit-in kayaks

Pactrade Marine Padded Deluxe Kayak Seat


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

The Pactrade Marine Adjustable Deluxe Kayak Seat is a model that is fit for sit-on-top, sit-in kayaks, canoes, inflatable boats, and more. The seat is made out of super durable materials that are not only resistant to various weather conditions but also make for a superbly comfortable seat. Also, thanks to its relatively cheap price tag, this particular model has very little competition in its class.

The outside of the seat is made out of neoprene mixed with a 600D polyester. This is, in fact, one of the few budget seats that comes with a neoprene fabric on the outside. For the inner layer, you get a combination of EVA Foam with a PE plate. This will keep the bottom and top parts flat but also very soft and comfortable. The middle zone of the backrest is also contoured which helps with longer journeys. The actual backrest is 17 inches high, which is decently large and makes the seat suitable for larger people. One of the additional features I absolutely love here is the backpack that comes with it. It sits at the back of the seat and is completely detachable. It can serve you to store different kayak accessories such as fishing tools or your lunch box if you’re out for a longer touring session.

If you want to save a bit of money, there is a two-seat option that shaves off a bit from the original price. This is a good deal for anyone looking to equip a two-seat kayak or boat with a comfortable seat. Speaking of equipping it, the installation here is straightforward and works with hooks and straps just like most other seats on the market. In conclusion, this seat is one of the few universally good models that are fit for most occasions and have little to no downsides. It is tough, durable, weather-resistant, and comfortable enough to be suitable for both kayak touring and kayak fishing.

Pros

  • Great build quality
  • Neoprene and Polyester exterior
  • EVA foam padding
  • Contoured backrest
  • Great for larger people
  • Fairly cheap
  • Comes with a detachable backpack

Cons

  • Not a lot of lateral support
  • Not great for sit-in kayaks
  • Not very breathable on hotter days

BKC UH-KS222 Universal Sit-On-Top Padded Kayak Seat


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

BKC is a widely-known brand that specializes in all sorts of water sports gear. Their kayaks, kayak seats, and other kayaking accessories are always of great quality and always boast a bargain price compared to their competitors. The UH-KS222 Universal padded kayak seat is one of their models that works for kayaking, rafting, fishing, or canoeing. It is a very easy seat to install and can fit in some sit-in kayaks as well, depending on the side of the cockpit.

The exterior fabric of the seat is made out of nylon which is a standard for the industry nowadays. The interior padding is thick, although it is just regular foam rather than the widely-used EVA foam. However, the seat makes up for that in its straps and marine-grade brass hardware. They are rust-proof and extremely reliable even when used regularly in saltwater. The straps are also made out of woven nylon which is notoriously good at handling water and UV rays. Just like most other kayak seats out there, the UH-KS222 is 4-way adjustable and you can change the recline of the top and lateral parts of the seat. It runs quite wide, meaning you can make it hug you relatively tightly, which is ideal for whitewater kayaking or rough sea waters. One thing I do not particularly like is that the bottom part is kind of slippery, especially when wet.

The seat is fairly short in its backrest but it does accommodate kids and adults alike. Installation is as quick and straightforward as it is on most other models that use the same four-strap system. As a whole, at this price, there isn’t a ton of competition for such a well-rounded seat and if you’re looking for a good sit-on-top model to make your kayak touring more comfortable, this has to be it!

Pros

  • Great price
  • 4-way adjustment
  • Fairly comfortable
  • Durable materials
  • Brass hardware
  • Great for sit-on-top kayaks

Cons

  • The bottom part is a bit slippery
  • The straps don’t help you adjust the bottom part
  • Not great for tall people

Seamander Kayak Seat


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

If you’re looking for a pair of kayak/canoe seats, the Seamander Kayak Seats are one of the best deals out there currently. They feature a familiar design combined with easy installation and storage backpacks that strap at their backs.

Both seats are made out of marine-grade materials such as neoprene and EVA foam for the padding. They have high backrests that are complemented by contoured foam pads. These will make your touring or fishing trip much more comfortable, especially when combined with the 4-way adjustability of the backrest and the lateral supports. The adjustment straps are made out of woven nylon and have marine-grade brass snaps. When choosing a model, you can select between different colors, single or two-pair, and with or without the storage backpacks. All that reflects on the price but even the most expensive combination of these seats is still a killer deal if you’re looking for a pair.

Pros

  • Great price
  • The seats come with storage backpacks
  • Marine-grade brass snaps
  • Durable materials
  • Great padding
  • Excellent for kayaks and canoes
  • Easy to install and adjust

Cons

  • The bottom part is hard to adjust
  • Long-term durability is questionable
  • The bottom padding isn’t thick enough

Pelican Boats Sit-on-Top Kayak Seat


Our Rating: (4/5)

Last but definitely not least on this list is the Pelican Boats Sit-on-Top Kayak seat. It is one of the stranger models out there thanks to its unique design choices. One thing that is done differently here is that the bottom part is actually much bigger than the backrest. This is done to improve the sitting comfort with little to no regard for the upper back support. While most people only prefer lower back support, having a high backrest is essential for touring comfort when spending multiple hours in the kayak.

Those design changes make the adjustment and installation of the seat much easier. It also makes the seat suitable for stand-up paddleboards if they have the attachment points. The nylon fabric mixed with regular foam for the padding makes for a comfortable ride, although I wish there was a bit more padding at the bottom. Moreover, there is little to no lateral support on the backrest, meaning it won’t be ideal for rough waters or whitewater kayaking. Due to the large seat, it also isn’t suitable for sit-in kayaks. Still, all the materials are waterproof and nylon is known to be pretty durable in the long term, even if you kayak out in the sea or ocean.

Another great feature of this seat is that it is much cheaper than most other models on the market. If you’re willing to look past the short backrest, the price alone makes this a killer deal that you need to put on your shortlist!

Pros

  • Great price
  • Excellent for sit-on-top kayaks and SUPs
  • Easy to install and adjust
  • Waterproof materials
  • Wide seat

Cons

  • Low backrest
  • Not great for sit-in kayaks
  • No lateral support
  • Not good for tall people

Kayak Seats Buyer’s Guide

In this part of the guide, we will go over a few very important things. First, we will discuss the various types of kayak seats out there. Then, we will move onto all the different features that can make a model worth your time and money. Additionally, we will discuss the way you install a seat onto your kayak and the various ways you can make your paddling trip a bit more comfortable. Now, let’s jump into this!

Types of Kayak Seats

There are four types of kayak seats out there based on their materials, price, and functionality. These are:

  • Bottom-only kayak seats – These seats are often the most basic types out there. They are very cheap and, as their name suggests, don’t have a backrest. That makes them less-than-ideal for people that just want to lay back and enjoy their flatwater kayaking trip. Still, the budget nature of these models is what makes them so attractive and the way they improve every kayak with just a little investment is what makes them the most common type out there.
  • High-back kayak seats – Along with the seat pads, high-back kayak seats are incredibly popular. They are a bit more sophisticated in their design and offer a good amount of support for your back. This makes them incredibly suitable for sea kayaking, flatwater kayaking, and fishing. They are also incredibly suitable for tall paddlers.
  • Inflatable seats – Inflatable seats are becoming more and more portable because they typically combine the best of both worlds. They are as cheap as kayak seat pads and also offer back support. Typically, they are great for kids but there are some mid and large-sized models that are also suitable for adults. What’s great about inflatable models is that you can, to an extent, adjust their comfort levels. Some of the more expensive models even have inflatable lumbar and thigh supports.
  • Premium kayak seats – Premium kayak seats are geared more towards performance, although there are some pretty comfortable models suitable for flatwater touring. They are, however, pretty expensive compared to all other seat types out there. If you’re not on a budget, these must be on your shortlist.

Now that we’ve gone through all the types of seats you could get, let’s quickly discuss all the advantages you get by buying a seat for your kayak!

Benefits of a Good Kayak Seat

While most kayak models nowadays come with pretty comfortable “cockpits” that have all the bells and whistles, having additional padding is almost surely going to make things more comfortable. Either way, let’s sum up all the benefits you get from these seats now:

  • With a minimum investment, these seats will greatly improve the comfort of your kayak
  • They reduce paddling fatigue
  • High-back seats are ideal for tall paddlers
  • Some seats will improve blood flow to your legs
  • They are great for people with lower-back issues
  • There are both cheap and expensive options, giving you a ton of choice
  • Most seats can improve the way your kayak looks
  • They aren’t hard to clean
  • Most kayak seats are easy to transport and store

If you want to be safer during your next kayaking trip, visit my guide on some of the best life jackets for kayaking!

Features to Look For

Excited young man paddling

While relatively simple at first glance, kayak seats are actually packed full of different features and characteristics that you could compare when you’re buying a new one. To make things easier for you, I’ve summed up all the features that you will need to look for in a new seat:

  • Seat Type
  • Type of fabric
  • Padding
  • Comfort
  • Sizes
  • Style
  • Backrest
  • Straps
  • Durability
  • Price

Now, let’s dive a bit deeper into each of those features and see what role they play in the overall comfort and performance of any given kayak seat…

Seat Type

As we already discussed, you first need to choose what seat type you need to get. In most cases, this will depend on your kayak type. Most paddlers that have a sit-on-top kayak opt for a bottom pad only, as that won’t affect their sitting position and stability of the kayak. Still, there are seats with back support offered for sit-on-top kayaks too. Conversely, sit-in kayaks often don’t have a ton of space, so some large seats won’t be suitable simply due to their large size.

One of the best things you could do in this regard is to measure your internal space (or top space for a sit-on-top kayak) and figure out what are your seat size limits. Once you have that information, it will be much easier to filter through most of the modest that won’t be compatible.

Type of fabric

For the seat’s fabric, there are three dominant materials used in almost all models out there. These materials are:

  • Nylon
  • Polyester
  • Neopene

Nylon is, by far, the most common material used primarily in cheap and mid-tier kayak seats. Apart from being cheap, it is also lightweight and has superb resistance to UV rays and heat. It also has great natural waterproofing that helps it repel water. This is why nylon is used for a lot of water sports gear. Nylon is also very durable in the long run, making it a good investment. One major drawback of it, which polyester and neoprene don’t have, is that nylon isn’t the most comfortable material of choice out there.

Nearly the same as nylon in terms of durability and longevity is polyester. It is also fairly resistant to nature’s elements and is also somewhat waterproof. However, as I just stated, polyester is a bit more comfortable to the touch than nylon. This makes it a much more suitable choice for a seat that you will spend quite a few hours in. The porous nature of polyester allows it to absorb some moisture, which will help keep you dry even if you’re whitewater kayaking.

Last but definitely not least is neoprene. There is a great reason neoprene is used in almost all diving gear. This is thanks to its water-resistant nature, it is great for normal and whitewater kayaking. It is great for sit-on-top kayaks that typically get their paddler a bit more wet than usual. Neoprene is also super durable even when exposed to saltwater, so it is also great for sea kayaking.

For some super useful beginner kayaking tips, click here!

Padding

If you thought the fabric choice for the seat was complicated to get through, wait until you hear how many padding options there are out there. While there are definitely a lot, we will take a closer look at the four most used padding materials used in kayak seats. These are:

  • EVA Foam – Perhaps the material used the most in the padding of kayak seats is EVA Foam. The two reasons for that are because it is cheap and has a long life cycle, compared to other foam materials. It offers plenty of comfort, although there is a considerable amount of compression going on, especially if you paddle a lot. Still, if you’re just looking for a basic upgrade from your normal kayak seat, this won’t burn a hole through your pocket. Thanks to its relative breathability, EVA foam is also great for kayaking in hot climates.
  • Thermo-molded foam – Contrary to EVA foam, thermo-molded foam isn’t as breathable, making it less-than-ideal for hot weather. It is, however, much more comfortable. Seats that have thermo-molded foam are typically bulkier. If you’re into winter kayaking, this is a great option.
  • Gel – If we’re talking strictly about comfort, gel-padded seats definitely take the first place. They offer great amounts of comfort distributed well across the whole padding and won’t compress over time like EVA foam. One of their main issues is that they can overheat easily if their external fabric isn’t right. Additionally, they are slightly more expensive than most other padding types out there.
  • Pressure-molded foam – The only padding that surely won’t compress even after years of use is the pressure-molded foam. This makes it ideal for frequent kayakers who spend the majority of most days in the water. It is also great for fishermen that don’t move a lot in the kayak for hours. This padding is also very durable and water-resistant, although, like most other padding types, it isn’t as comfortable on hot days.

Additionally, there are seats with closed-cell EPE foam paddings. This material is very close to EVA foam and has similar characteristics, although it costs slightly more and isn’t as easy to deform over time.

Comfort

Two types of kayaks

The overall comfort is a strictly subjective category but it still depends on a handful of factors. For instance, whether the seat has padding or not is crucial to its comfort, especially if you want to get it for long kayak tours. Backrests, lumber, and thigh supports are also important factors when it comes to comfort.

Another thing that greatly affects the comfort of the seat is whether or not it is well-ventilated. That primarily depends on the materials used for its fabric and padding. Still, in most cases, you will be able to see that straight away. Most ventilated seats will have a porous look that will allow them to deal with moisture and heat better.

How comfortable you are in the kayak also depends on what you wear when kayaking. To learn more about that topic, make sure you read my detailed article!

Sizes

The size of the seat is one of the most important aspects you have to consider. Some single-person sit-in kayaks won’t have a ton of internal room to play with. This demands a smaller seat. This is why most kayak seats out there have their sizes announced right at the top of the spec sheet. For bigger people, get a seat with a wider bottom part, while tall people will need a larger backrest.

Style

When it comes to the style of seat you want to get, there is one very important thing to remember. Some seats are made specifically to fit sit-on-top kayaks. Others are meant for sit-in kayaks. Still, most models out there will be good for all types of kayaks, including 2-person and large inflatable ones. Apart from that, you also want to consider the actual styling of the seat if you want it to complement your kayak’s style color-wise.

Backrest

As we already discussed a few times, not all kayak seats will come with a backrest. The ones meant for sit-on-top kayaks will most likely come as a bottom seat pad only. Still, if you want to get a seat with a backrest, make sure you choose one according to your height. Taller people need higher backrests for more upper back support, while shorter people won’t necessarily need to pay attention to that.

Backrests also come in a wide range of variety when it comes to their width and side support. Some models will have a lot of side support which is great for whitewater kayaking or kayaking at sea. This will improve your stability in the kayak since it won’t let you wobble around the kayak too much. Additionally, look for backrests that are well-ventilated if you’re going to spend the majority of the time kayaking in hot climates. This will keep your back cool and dry.

Straps

The mounting straps of the seat are its anchor to your kayak. Their quality and adjustability will make the seat much more practical and durable in the long run. Nowadays, most kayak seats will come with mounting straps included, although there are some very cheap models that won’t have them out of the box. These will solely rely on your body weight to be kept in place and are good only for things like recreational kayak touring.

Durability

The durability of the kayak seat primarily depends on the materials from which it is made. As I already mentioned, most seats are made out of nylon which is a plastic polymer that boasts quite a lot of toughness. However, neoprene is also quite durable and is rip-proof, making it excellent for kayaks and other water sports. Another part of the seat that needs to be very durable is the mountain straps on both sides. Poor-quality straps can break and tear over time, risking your safety if you’re whitewater kayaking with that particular seat.

The relative waterproofing of the seat also proves important when it comes to durability. Non-waterproof seats are prone to damage from saltwater and can have their fabric damaged over time. Waterproof models are also much easier to store and maintain in top condition.

Pro Tip: If you have a waterproofing spray, make sure you cover your straps. Most of the time, they aren’t waterproof and water mixed with heat and direct sun exposure can make them brittle, especially if they’re made out of nylon.

Even if your seat is waterproof enough, you should always need to know how to keep water out of your kayak. Learn how to do that by reading this article!

Price

Price-wise kayak seats vary a lot. From the cheapest models costing you 20-30 dollars, you can go all the way up to the premium sector in which most seats will set you back more than 200 dollars. No matter the price, however, you should look for products that are a good value for your money. If you’re a beginner, I suggest sticking to a cheaper but durable model that will last you a while without burning a hole through your pocket.

Before buying a kayak seat, best make sure you set up a budget for your whole gear and decide how much of that you are willing to put aside for the actual seat. The reason for that is because you will also need to get a vest, gloves, helmet, and more gear and accessories that can quickly bulk up the total.

How to Install a Kayak Seat

pair of single kayaks i

While kayaking is all about comfort, knowing how to properly install your kayak seat is essential to that same comfort. Depending on the seat type, there will be a few differences during the setup process. Still, the majority of the process is fairly similar. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  • Start by locating where exactly you want to place the kayak seat and its straps. This will primarily depend on the actual kayak, its size, and most importantly – shape. Some kayaks will offer a large enough top surface that will accommodate most seats. However, some will be narrower and won’t be able to house all seat types. Moreover, some kayaks will have predetermined places where the seat and straps will go. These will be the easiest to work with but also the most restrictive ones.
  • Once you’ve located the sitting area, place the kayak seat neatly into that spot. Make sure that the fold of your seat rests into the slot and the backrest is supported by the backside of the sitting area of the kayak.
  • If you’re putting seats in an inflatable kayak, you won’t have predetermined slots for them, rather just straps on the kayak that will let you strap on the seats.
  • Once you are done putting the seats in the desired location, you can tighten and adjust the length of the straps. This process will allow you to (more or less) adjust where the seats are and how loosely they are attached.

When the seat is installed, the backrest (if present) should be slightly reclined back from a 90-degree angle. This will allow maximum support for your back muscles when you’re paddling.

Removing your kayak seats follows the same steps, but performed backward. Slightly loosen the straps and remember their length so that next time you don’t have to further adjust them to get to the proper positioning.

Tips to Improve Your Comfort

After you’re done installing your kayak seat, there are a few additional things to do in order to make things a tad more comfortable. As a whole, the aspects that could use some adjustment are:

  • Back tilt
  • Hip tilt
  • Height
  • Thigh support
  • Foot and knee positioning
  • Lumbar support

Back tilt

Depending on the angle you choose to use on your backrest, your seat could vary in terms of support. The more reclined it is, the less of your upper muscles you will use. This will put more strain on your back when you’re paddling and isn’t ideal. However, a reclined seat is excellent if you want to take a break and stretch out. If you want your seat angle to be adjusted fully for paddling, then a straight vertical position is what I’d go for. This provides the maximum amount of support while allowing your back and shoulder muscles to work in their strongest range of motion.

Hip tilt

The tilt or extension of the hip part of the seat is as equally important as the back tilt. While it might improve short-term comfort, extending the lower part forward can make things worse for people with lower back issues. At the same time, try to keep the angle of the seat at nearly 90 degrees, as that will keep the blood flow from the upper part of your body to the legs in optimal condition.

Height

With the seat’s height, there are only a few things to have in mind. The most important thing is that height affects your stability in the kayak. Higher seats are naturally less stable. However, they are far more comfortable because they allow your legs to sit at a better angle, improving their blood flow. A higher seat also improves your range of motion when paddling, making it less hard and tiring.

Thigh support

Most kayak seat models won’t have a long enough lower part. This restricts them in terms of thigh support which is essential for some people. Adding a longer bench or lower part will allow your legs to rest easier. There are thigh supports that are sold separately and are either inflatable or made out of foam. Just make sure you stabilize them well in the kayak, otherwise, they will move around a lot.

Foot and knee positioning

Apart from things you could do to the actual seat, there are a few additional things involved with your posture in the kayak that can help you improve the overall comfort. For instance, your leg position is incredibly important for your stability and comfort depending on the type of kayaking you’re doing.

In whitewater kayaking, your feet are typically more stretched and allow better connection with the boat while sacrificing a bit of rotational stability. In seawater and flat-water kayaking, the footpegs are often removed and your legs are allowed to fully extend and stretch out better in different positions.

The knee positions you could use are three – low, high, and outside. For flatwater kayaking, you can have your knees in a high and wide position, while most whitewater kayakers have their knees high and close to each other, allowing for better bracing.

Lumbar support

The last thing you could do in order to improve your comfort is getting any type of lumbar support for your seat. While some models will come with it from the factory, most won’t. Apart from being great for your lower back, lumbar support also makes you more stable in rough waters.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is sit-in better than a sit-on kayak?

While this is a matter of personal preferences, sit-in kayaks have certain benefits to them. For once, they are more stable as you sit lower in the kayak. This lowers the overall center of gravity and improves handling. Additionally, you sit in a cockpit of sorts that is very cozy compared to the open design of sit-on-top kayaks. Additionally, their seats typically have backrests that make things even more comfortable. However, sit-in kayaks aren’t as easy to get in and out, especially when compared to their sit-on-top competitors.

Is kayaking good for your abs?

Depending on the type of kayak, your core muscles will most likely work a lot during kayaking. The reason for this is that you need to keep a good balance and your abs will be the muscles that help you stabilize the body and the kayak. Moreover, the rotational movements people make during paddling contribute to the overall exercising of all of your core muscles. Other muscles that will get the workout of their lives are the shoulders, pecs, upper arms, and back muscles.

Should you kayak alone?

As a water sport, there are some inherited risks with kayaking out in the open. Depending on where you are kayaking, the risks may vary. Even if you’ve taken a safety course, whitewater kayaking should absolutely never be done alone. For touring and fishing, you can go alone but always make sure you tell someone where you’re going. Kayaking out in the open sea is a bit riskier, as there are tides and waves that might influence your navigation or balance.

Which are the most stable kayaks out there?

The kayaks that have the highest amounts of stability are the ones using pontoon hulls. In most cases, these will be sit-on-top recreational kayaks as well as most fishing kayaks. While these will be extremely stable, they sacrifice some of their speed and maneuverability by having a pontoon hull.

Is kayaking harder than canoeing?

There are some obvious differences between canoes and kayaks. For instance, canoes are much, much harder to capsize but are also far harder to be righted once they rollover. Kayaks are fairly easy to capsize but are easy to get back up. Both are pretty stable, honestly, although kayaks definitely have the higher hand when it comes to maneuverability. The learning curve of kayaks is also easier and they are a better sport for a beginner looking for a recreational water sport.

Final Words

Finding the best kayak seats will depend on a lot of factors. First, you will need to select the right type of seat. There could be quite a lot of different options on the market, including seats without backrests and inflatable seats that are easy to transport and store. Price-wise, kayak seats with comfortable backrests are the most expensive and are also the hardest to install and store in the off-season. Apart from all that, look at the materials used in the seat, it’s waterproofing, overall durability, and padding!