There’s nothing worse than spending hours out on the water in a kayak seat that is uncomfortable. It’s distracting plus the back pain you get the next day is not worth the fun of kayaking. Thankfully, there is another option to persevering which is by purchasing a high backed seat for your kayak to help give you better support while paddling.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at some of the best kayak seats on the market in 2023.
How to Choose a Kayak Seat: A Buying Guide
You can have fun while kayaking only when you are comfortable in your seat. If your chair is wobbly, you will not have undivided attention on the stream. Your bums would be sore. You would instead be caught up in continually adjusting your posture. Apart from irritation, it can also be a safety hazard.
Everybody has different preferences. Some don’t mind spending extra money for extra comfort, while some are budget-conscious. Few people want full back support, while few people are okay with the minimal backing. Moreover, depending on everyone’s height and weight, the seat requirements would change.
There are various factors involved while purchasing the best kayak seat for your use. We have collated a buying guide to keep specific pointers in mind while buying your ideal seat.
Types of Kayak Seats
Having the right kayak seat is very important. A kayak seat plays a crucial role in maintaining your body’s balance throughout the kayaking activity. Kayaking involves constant movement. It becomes necessary to prioritize your back and shoulder comfort since you have to sit for a considerable time. Also, your thighs and leg muscles need to be comfortable too during constant paddling.
There are four broad classifications of types of kayak seats. They are named below for your perusal.
Basic seats are simple sit-on padded cushions. The padding gives comfort to your hips and makes the kayaking experience pleasant. Their objective is to ease your paddling experience and eliminate strain from your thighs.
A deluxe seat is an upgrade to a basic seat. The cushioning and padding are much better. It helps the paddlers to avoid major bodily strain. It solves your back-pain and shoulder pain issues and provides ample cushioning to your bums.
A deluxe seat is also more secured compared to a basic kayak seat. However, you need to check the seat compatibility with your kayak before buying it. Check for the height of the backrest. Not all seats will match your kayak’s dimensions.
High Backed Seats
Anglers often use high back seats to provide extra support during long hours of sitting in a single position. High back seats are suitable for people who are very tall to adjust their long legs comfortably. If you are very tall and do not have enough legroom, you will find paddling very difficult after a short while.
Check for the seat dimension, which will fit perfectly in your particular kayak.
Inflatable kayak seats are a common sight in inflatable kayaks. Their storage convenience makes them a popular choice among people. The inflatable seats are easy to install and carry around. Few people do not adjust well to these seats; however, it is still liked by many due to its ease in handling. The inflatable seats are convenient in use. You can even carry it around pretty conveniently.
The newer designs are kayaks have taken comfort very seriously. However, some people may still face issues regarding seat adjustment. It is because all of us have different body dimensions.
Have a seat which is adjustable easily. You can aid your comfort level either by lowering or raising the kayak seat. If you are short, you can add an extra layer of padding to support your height requirements. You can also add thigh support to reduce strain on your thighs during continuous paddling.
The back tilt should also adjust so that you can lean onto it whenever you want. A slightly higher seat improves the rowing speed, but you keep in mind your balance and safety.
It is essential to have adequate lumbar support. Kayaking involves you in a seating position for an extended period. You cannot stand and paddle. It becomes critical to keep your spine healthy, especially the L3-L4, L4-L5, and L5-S1 regions.
During whitewater kayaking, your body faces a lot of rigid movements throughout the sport. It becomes evident that a lot of strain is put on the back and lower back.
Choose a seat that can provide maximum lumbar support. Your hips and tail-bone should be at ease. Otherwise, later you might have to face issues such as disc-bulge or slip-disc. Our aim is not to scare you but to make you aware of the poorly supported seat’s risk.
A breathable seat is the one that lets your kayak seat remain dry, or it dries pretty quickly when you are continually getting into the water. Sometimes when you have a mesh-fabric kayak seat, it keeps absorbing water and doesn’t dry-off very well. The water is continuously splashing. It then makes sitting on the kayak seat very uncomfortable.
Choose a breathable fabric seat that is both water and sweat-resistant. It lets you enjoy your kayaking experience even in sunny weather.
You should know the measurement of your kayak before selecting the right seat for it. Your kayak seat should complement the kayak dimensions to fit your legs well and have room to stuff your other gears and accessories.
Also, check on the seat width. A narrow seat can make balancing your body slightly inconvenient. You will frequently have a fear of falling off during the sharp turns. It will make your bums sore and will distract you from focusing on the paddling part. Similarly, if you have a wider seat, you might have to compromise with the little leftover space to adjust other things.
Keeping extra storage becomes crucial during fishing activities. You need to have ample space to fit your fishing rods, fish-storage basket, baits, etc., within your reach. You also have to keep in mind your leg space. At no point should you compromise with your leg space since you will be sitting for hours at a stretch. It would be best if you had proper blood circulation to accelerate your paddling movement.
Having additional storage on the kayak seat becomes convenient to go about your activities in a hassle-free manner. These storage compartments are generally found on high back kayak seats. It makes you sit comfortably without worrying about spilling anything into the water.
Stability is a prime focus while kayaking, especially for your cockpit position and seat. During whitewater kayaking, your lower body is continually maneuvering the kayak. Any disturbance in your seating position can lead to fatal accidents.
You can look for seats that provide straps to secure you in your kayak seat. It will help in attaining maximum balance while you are navigating through challenging routes.
A good seat is necessary when you sit for hours at a stretch. Comfort becomes essential. Often you may not find the perfect kayak seat for you, or it might be very expensive. In times like these, you can opt for a DIY seat.
You can make a DIY seat from a minicell foam. Choose the thickness of your likeness. We suggest a minimum thickness of 3 inches. It is readily available on the internet at a low price. You can cut out the foam according to your required dimensions, keeping in mind the seat-height and thigh-comfort. You can then fit it in the material of your choice and create your comfortable kayak seat.
Best Rated Kayak Seat Reviews
Right, now it’s time to look at some of the best seats on the market for kayakers and their features and benefits that each one has.
#1. Surf To Summit GTS Expedition Molded Foam Kayak Seat
- MADE IN USA! Enhanced molded in water channeling grooves.
- Built in Tri-laminated backrests structural support.
- Multi-adjustable front and rear straps solidly lock in seat position. Two front attachment straps and two back attachment straps
Our top choice for kayak seat is this one from Surf To Summit, the GTS Expedition molded foam kayak seat. It uses a unique seat design made by kayakers to alleviate the pains caused by low backed sit on top kayak seats and they’ve done a fantastic job. It features grooves in the backrest that hug your spine and gives it additional lumbar stability. The seat is also cushioned with a 2″ thick bottom that uses EVA foam and a high density fabric to give the right balance of soft and firmness.
It has multiple straps that can be clipped on to fastening points on your kayak. This both ensures better support for you and your back but also keeps your seat in place if you capsize. A great kayak seat and although a little bit more expensive than some of the other options, it’s well worth the money in our opinion.
#2. Leader Accessories Deluxe Padded Kayak Seat
- DURABLE MODELD FOAM -- Made of durable EVA foam interior and 210D polyester exterior. Deluxe molded thick foam cushion can support...
- EXCELLENT HOOKS -- High-grade hooks are used in our kayak seats, which are dfferent from most of the hooks in the market. The...
- ADJUSTABLE STRAPS -- 2 straps in front, 2 straps in rear allowing the seat to be fixed in place according to different needs, give...
Next we have another molded foam seat this time from Leader Accessories. It’s made with an interior of durable EVA foam that provides great padding and support. It has four marine grade hooks so that you can strap your seat to the locking points on your kayak and keep it in place when it use. They’re made of brass and are corrosion resistant so ideal for use out on the water.
It folds up and packs down into a waterproof storage bag that’s included so is easy to transport and carry with you. It’s also available in a couple of colors: black and grey. All in all, a good kayak seat that gets great reviews and at a very reasonable price.
#3. Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Kayak Seat
- the comfort zone offers generous back support with its tall height, perfect for a full day on the water.
- enjoy a softer ride with the extra seat padding, which offers more cushioning than traditional kayak seats.
- adjustable straps on the sides allow the paddler to fine-tune the seat to a variety of comfort options.
In at number three we have the Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus kayak seat. It’s not just for Ocean kayaks though and can be used on a lot of different kayaks. It provides an extra layer of padding and back support and is ideal for sit on top kayaks that don’t have a back rest. It’s got a high back rest so will ensure your comfortable and provide ample back support for a long day of paddling.
It has adjustable straps and brass buckles to ensure it’s secured to your kayak and provide even more support to lean back into. A very popular option that get’s great reviews and highly deserves a place in any list of the best seats for a kayak.
#4. Sea Eagle Deluxe Inflatable Kayak Seat
- New design for superior back support / Includes rear pocket for additional storage - One Deluxe Kayak Seat
- Inflated Measurements: 14" wide x 21" deep x 19" tall
- Inflated seat base measurements: 14" wide x 12" deep x 5" high
If you have an inflatable kayak and are looking for a bit more back support than the cheap ones that might have come with yours then we’d suggest the Sea Eagle Deluxe inflatable kayak seat. Even if you have a hard shell but want an incredibly lightweight but comfortable seat this one might be worth a look at.
They’re very quick and easy to inflate and are so much more comfortable than other inflatable kayak seats that are included with most inflatables. Highly recommend for those who get uncomfortable and want to be a little higher (5″) off the bottom of the kayak.
#5. Brooklyn Kayak Company Kayak Seat Backrest
- COMFORT AND SUPPORT: The adjustable BKC PS223 offers unparalleled comfort and support to the paddler who wants to enjoy their time...
- DURABLE MATERIALS: This supportive seat was intuitively designed and constructed using marine grade quality materials that will...
- ADJUSTABLE: The BKC PS223 allows for ideal paddler positioning whether you're fishing, navigating a rushing river, or leaning back...
And last, but by no means list is this kayak seat from Brooklyn Kayak company. It’ another high, back rest kayak seat that’ll make your next trip out on the water massively more comfortable and enjoyable. Like the other, non inflatable seats we’ve looked at in this post, this kayak seat has straps and snap clicks to secure the seat to your kayak and ensure it’s not going anywhere.
It’s lightweight, looks good and is very affordable and definitely worth the money in our opinion.