Kayaking is a very popular sport, and is becoming more and more popular. It is a great way to see new sights, stay fit and active and is great for fishing and many other hobbies including ocean kayaking. Having the best kayak seat on your kayak is key, especially if you’re looking for a kayak with back support, extra storage or any of the other benefits many of them offer. If you’re also a cyclist you’ll know that comfort is key, and just like a poorly cushioned uncomfortable bicycle seat will really hinder your fun and enjoyment on a bike, an uncomfortable kayak seat will take a lot away from your fun and achievements on the kayak.
Comfort is not the only aspect of what makes a good kayak seat, and stability is hugely important too. One little movement on the wrong seat and you can find yourself in the water, plus knowing you’re in a seat that adds more of a durable, stable platform to your ride can give you a lot of confidence.
Fortunately, we live in an age of ergonomics, quality manufacturing and choice on the market, which has led to there being a lot of choice to suit your own needs. The world of Kayak seats is actually quite varied, and can be tough to navigate on your own, which is why we have created a buying guide to help you work out the features on offer. We have also put together some individual kayak seat reviews.
Features to Look For in Kayak Seats
- Durability and Stability – In any product, you don’t want something that is going to break straight away, but as briefly mentioned the durability will have an extra level of importance in the world of kayaking. You should be able to shift your weight and sit comfortably without having to worry constantly about ending up in the water. You should be able to move a little without this concern.
- Comfort – I don’t even just mean being able to think ‘this is comfortable’ or have a seat that doesn’t cause a sore butt after an hour or so. Some people suffer with joint pains or back pains, finding the best kayak seat for back pain is nothing short of essential for some of us to make sure that our health isn’t at risk from sitting in a seat that isn’t well designed, with the correct lumbar support and ergonomic design for your body.
- Storage – Some kayak seats also come with storage, which can be at a premium when you’re in such a small mode of transport!
- Cushioning – Being cushioned is also part of your comfort, but can help with joints too and sometimes the cushioning is optional and removable so you can adjust to your preference.
- Adjustability – Some of the best models of seats are adjustable so can be perfected as per your own preferences and of course your body shape and size. Adjustability also ensures that it will fit most models of kayak.
- Price – This is likely to play a part in any purchase you make in life, and nobody wants to pay over the odds for something. Just going for the cheapest kayak seat may not be the best option, and the best value for money is more what you should be looking for.
The fact of the matter is, if you are keen on kayaking, investing in a top kayak seat is worth it. They certainly are not the most expensive piece of equipment, and the benefits they can have both for your own enjoyment, avoiding fatigue and even avoiding injuries. Most models of kayak seat are under $100 but you can even buy seats under $50 which will do a very good job, so the cost isn’t too high, especially if you are a regular kayaker and are looking to get a lot of use out of a seat.
Leader Accessories Deluxe Kayak Seat Review
One of the best models we’ve come across is the deluxe kayak seat from Leader Accessories. A quick look at it will tell you that it isn’t cheap and flimsy, and the molded foam seat combines comfort and durability which is exactly what you need. A look at the customer reviews on Amazon and other online retailers show that this is very highly regarded in kayaking circles, so what are the features that set this seat apart?
- Luxury seat made of firm, comfortable molded foam.
- Solid, hard wearing connecting snaps which ensure it stays firmly in place.
- 2 straps on the front, 2 straps on the rear give a loads of adjustability to ensure it fits your kayak and keeps you comfortable.
- Great support for both your back and backside with customer reviews showing that this is very comfortable.
Many people with sit on top kayaks have opted for this product, either as a replacement for a broken model or for an upgrade, as this is better than many of the built in kayak seats, or you may have even bought a kayak without a seat. A huge amount of people have given this very positive reviews, so the masses have truly spoken. The comfort and padding that this offers whilst remaining rigid and firm is a big plus point, and it isn’t the most expensive model, so the value for money is definitely good. If you’re setting up for a long day of fishing on your kayak then this is a positive option for anyone who spends a lot of time out on the water.
Pactrade Marine Adjustable Padded Deluxe Kayak Seat
An option which (at the time of writing, at least) is a little more on the affordable side, and for one of the cheapest kayak seats we’ve found offers some very good features and good value.
- Adjustable front and back straps for a good fit and comfort.
- Non slip surface with padding for comfort and to keep you stable.
- Made of Neoprene with a padded back area offering good support for those with back ailments.
- Strong copper hooks to keep it in place.
- Detachable backpack for added storage.
The detachable backpack is a huge plus point. Storage isn’t something that is easy to come by in kayaks, and on a sit on top kayak with a seat which you’re not really able to wear a backpack whilst sitting on, you can find yourself a little bit stuck for somewhere to bring your lunch or put more equipment if you’re out on a fishing expedition. A few kayak seats have this feature allowing you to clip the detachable backpack on if you want to (or leave it if you don’t need it).
This is another model of kayak seat which has been reviewed well and many people are reporting it as a huge upgrade on the stock model which comes with kayaks when you buy them, depending on the brand you opt for. This can provide some good comfort for long term trips on the water, even if you are out for a few hours at a time. This is a good option for many of us and though it could be a little sturdier, it is great value for money.
Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat Back
As you might guess, this is designed with ocean kayaking in mind, but is also great for taking out on lakes or other bodies of water. As you might expect from the Comfort Plus label this comes with, it is indeed a very comfy model of kayak seat, even for longer periods of time. The UV resistant material is also hard wearing, and generally it is a pretty rigid model. The reinforced stays give a lot of back support and keep you firmly in place.
As well as the comfort, this has four very hard wearing straps to adjust and fit the seat with ease, further adding to the comfort as well as the compatibility with your own model of kayak.
Another very good model of seat which has a lot to offer at a very affordable price tag. It has a lot of five star reviews on online retailers. Some have reported this as a huge upgrade on their built-in seat, and has a lot to offer in terms of comfort and ocean kayaking. You don’t have to look far for reviews recommending that you add this to your kayak routine, and your butt will thank you for going with the comfort plus model.
High-Back Gel Paddle Saddle
The paddle saddle can be used on boats and more, but is very popular among kayakers. It is relatively unique as it offers gel in the padding which truly does make a big difference to your comfort, and it even acts to insulate and avoid you sitting on a cold surface of the kayak. It is designed to stay in place and the material ensures it doesn’t slip along the kayak which can be very annoying. The design has even taken into account pressure points and truly is designed with back pain and other ailments in mind, making it one of the best for those who have a lot of discomfort.
A huge amount of positive reviews tend to mention the comfort, making this a contender for the most comfy kayak seat on the market, and is certainly up there among the best. It comes with a big thumbs up from us at the watersporter but it does have a slightly bigger price tag than some of its competitors.
Notable Mention: Luxfit Premium Coccyx Orthopedic Memory Foam Seat Cushion
Your butt will thank you! There are loads of uses for a memory foam seat cushion, and it can be used in tandem with a kayak seat. Of course if you do end up in the water you might have to wave goodbye to it (though it will probably float and be retrievable) but it can add to the comfort of the seats already mentioned.
In terms of an investment, considering the fact that these can be purchased for under $50 if needed, they add a lot of stability and comfort, and may even save you medical problems and injury. The question of whether to buy a separate seat and upgrade the one that came with your kayak should be relatively straightforward, and hopefully the guide we’ve created make the decision on which one is best for you a lot easier. Enjoyment is paramount when you go out on a kayaking trip, whether you like to go fishing or just go out for leisure and to see the sights, nothing ruins it more than pain, a sore backside or a seat that doesn’t stay firm and in place.
If you have any experience with other kayak seats and have further reviews or opinions you would like to add, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts below.