If you love water and outdoor sports, you know kayaking is a pleasant and enjoyable activity to do. Especially in hot summers, you can be under the sun and get splashed by the cold and fresh seawater. However, the fun and cheer you had on a kayak can’t be for long if you’re sitting uncomfortably in the stiff kayak seat. Your adventure and excitement will decrease, and so does your mood. Usually, a stiff seat could be a culprit to your kayaking experience.
This review will share the best kayak seat with you that we think might be suitable for your kayak needs. You’ll learn how to choose a perfect seat for your kayak based on materials, size, strap style, and attachment that come with the seat.
Top 7 Best Kayak Seats Reviewed
- Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat Back – Best Overall
- Welugnal Backrest Boating Luxury Adjustable – Best for Budget
- GTS Expedition Molded Foam Kayak Seat – Editor’s Choice
- WOOWAVE Kayak Seat Padded Deluxe
- Pactrade Marine Adjustable Detachable Backpack
- Skwoosh Expedition-Support-Lumbar-kayaking
- OceanMotion Ergo-Fit sit on top Kayak seat
#1. Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat Back – Best Overall
- Color: Black
- Seat Size:13 inches (H) x 14 inches (W)
- Attachment: UV resistant nylon pack cloth
- Seat material: Nylon, polyester, and closed-cell EPE foam padding
Despite being manufactured by the Ocean Kayak company, this seat can fit into other kayak and canoe brands. The seat is made from high-durable material with UV protection that can prevent any sunlight damage. Constructed with a well-padded injection-molded EVA foam high backrest, it can provide better lumbar support and comfort for taller paddlers.
The easy-to-install brass swivel is corrosion-resistant and can fit into any kayak brand and model types. You can adjust the straps to fit into your comfortable seating positions.
The seats are also designed with a UV resistant nylon pack cloth and a ventilation system to help the paddler stay cool and dry all the time. Additionally, the seat has a logo that is reflective when exposed to sunlight.
|Well padded and high backrest- provides better support and comfort||Doesn't really fit into smaller-sized kayaks.|
|A reflective logo that shines in the dark after exposure to sunlight||Only suitable for sit-in kayaks|
|Can fit into other brands and models of kayaks|
|4-way adjustable straps system|
|UV-resistant nylon pack fabric|
#2. Welugnal-Backrest-Boating-Luxury-Adjustable – Best for Budget
- Color: Gray and black
- Backrest size: 18.5 inches (L) x 21.65 inches (W)
- Seat size: 12.6 inches (L)x 15.7 inches (W)
- Attachment: Storage bag
- Seat material: Neoprene and 600D Polyester material
This seat from Welugnal is designed to fit into most kayaks, paddleboards, and canoes. It is made from a high-quality neoprene with 600D polyester that can withstand any harsh environment. The non-slip contoured padded seat allows flexibility. While the high backrest made from PE board provides support when sitting, especially if you’re going on a long-trip paddling.
The well-padded cushion is 1.78 inches thick, molded by EVA foam that offers all-time comfort.
It features long front and back-straps that are adjustable and easy to use. The elastic straps allow stability and prevent sliding when you’re splashed with water. The straps are also long enough to fit into most types of kayaks.
The adjustable clip is made from a corrosion-resistant material, but it tends to rust a little after too much exposure to the sun and saltwater. So if you’re planning to use this seat on your kayak on saltwater, make sure to dry clean it with water and pat dry to prevent it from getting rusted.
The chair comes with a storage bag that is quite large, so you can easily keep your gear and stow it in your kayak.
|Non-slip contoured seat pad||The clip tend to rust when exposed too long in the sun and saltwater|
|Easy to install|
#3. GTS Expedition Molded Foam Kayak Seat – Editor’s Choice
- Color: Black and gray
- Backrest size: 18 inches (L) x 21 inches (W)
- Attachment: Storage bag
- Seat material: Foam, fabric, and plastic
This GTS kayak seat is designed for long-trip kayaking, where you’re going to need extra comfort and back support from sitting too long. The contour molded 18 inches tall backrest provides support as it is built in a spine-hugging shape that wraps and supports the back correctly. And the 2 inches thick well-padded cushion makes sitting cozier on the stiff kayak seat.
The seat is also built with a drainage system on the seat bottom to help drain excess water from the kayak. So you don’t need to spend hours drying it after every usage.
Like most GTS products, this seat is manufactured using high-quality and durable material made in the US. This innovation is created using a durable polyethylene plastic sheet and a molded EVA foam with a 600 denier foam laminate backrest.
The mixture of soft and sturdy material provides better stability and a long-lasting kayak seat for all paddlers.
With a 6-point rear strapping system, you can easily attach your seat to your kayak, thus preventing it from sliding.
|Provides excellent back support||The thick padding may cause instability|
|Built with a drainage system|
|Easy to install|
- Color: Black/Gray
- Seat material: Polyester, engineered EVA, and copper metal hooks
- Strap style: Adjustable
- Front Strap Length: 23.3 inches
- Back Strap Length: 26.8 inches
- Seat Size: 12.2 inches (Length) x 15 inches (Width)
- Backrest size: 20.5 inches (Width) x 17.7 inches ( Length)
- Attachment: Water-resistant storage bag
This WOOWAVE Kayak Seat is an adjustable, lightweight, and well-cushioned seat ideal for sit-on kayaks. It can be used in any kayaks, stand-up paddleboards with D-rings or canoe, fishing boats, or rowboats.
It is made from durable EVA foam and a premium 210D polyester exterior. The thick contour padded backrest provides you better lumbar support so you won’t have back pain or cramps when sitting for too long. The seat material also prevents skid or slip when it’s wet, which allows stability when paddling.
Additionally, it’s built with a 4-way adjustable system from the front and rear webbing straps, assuring you remain safely seated even in rough waters.
The seat is easy to attach and detach by fastening the join snaps of the strap on your kayak attachment point and setting it to your height and seating preference.
The seat will come in a detachable storage bag, which you can use to keep your small items or snacks.
|The seat provides the best back support||Will only fit sit-on kayaks with D-rings|
|Ergonomic design||The seat cushion can be quite stiff|
|Easy to install|
- Color: Black and gray
- Size: 21.65 inches (L) x 31.09 inches (H)
- Attachment: Water resistant backpack
- Seat material: Neoprene and 600 denier polyester
The Pactrade Marine is a well-known US brand for RV lighting and marine accessories. It also manufactures products for outdoor and water sport accessories. One of their best sellers is the Pactrade Marine adjustable seat.
The seat is sturdy and tough, and it can fit into all sit-in kayaks and canoes. It comes with a water-resistant backpack to store the seat when you’re not using it, or you can use the bag to keep your belongings while kayaking.
The seat is built with high-durable polyester and 600 denier neoprene, ensuring you stay dry and cool when paddling. And the interior material of the seat is made of EVA foam and a polyethylene plate, which provides stability and durability. Its well-contoured padded seat bottom provides better traction that allows it to stay in place and not slide.
It is built with four solid brass clips attached to a 4-way strap that can be easily hooked to your kayak attachment points (two clips for each side). You can adjust the straps to your liking, and you’re good to go.
|Reliable and durable clips||The seat is quite firm|
|Easy to install|
- Color: Black
- Backrest size: 20 inches
- Attachment: Bungee net storage bag
- Seat material: Polyester nylon
This kayak seat from Skwoosh is a perfect mix of performance, durability, and artistry. It provides a constraint-free fluidized gel-cushion that comes with a breathable fabric called Air Flo 3D manufactured in the USA. The backrest is 20 inches high, so if you’re a tall person, this would be the right choice. It’s ideal for all sit-on-top kayaks.
The straps come with swivel hooks resistant to rust and oxidation when exposed to water and sun. There’s a bungee storage net on the back of the seat where you can keep your small belongings.
Built with a 4-way adjustable strap that you can attach to your kayak point, this seat is sturdy and won’t slide when it gets wet. It also comes with a two-bottle holder on both sides.
|Made from highly durable fabrics made in the USA||More on the expensive side|
|The seat provides back support||The seat cushion is thin|
|Easy to install and remove|
- Color: Black
- Seat length: 18 inches
- Seat thickness: 2.5 inches
- Attachment: Storage bag
- Seat material: Neoprene and foam
The ergonomic design OceanMotion Ergo-Fit Sit-On-Top Kayak Seat is one of the most comfortable kayak seats for paddlers. The seat was built with extra padding on both its back and bottom to prevent back pain when sitting for too long.
The seat can be fitted on any sit-on-top kayak as it is built with an adjustable strapping mechanism. It also comes with a detachable storage bag that is attached to the seat. You can keep your small belongings like your phone, VHF radio, or snacks inside this storage bag.
Designed with an anti-slip system, the seat won’t move or slip if it gets wet or exposed to water, especially if you’re paddling in rough water. You will remain seated in balance while paddling.
|Includes a water-resistant storage bag to keep your gear||The foam may not be cozy enough for bigger paddlers|
|The backrest offers the best support for tall paddlers|
|Ergonomic design to ensure it lasts long|
|Fit into most sit-on-top kayaks|
Top Pick – Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Kayak Seat
Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Kayak seat is our top pick because it provides the best lumbar support and comfort for its paddler. The seat is built with extra padding and foam to let you sit comfortably and allow you to move from one side to another effortlessly. It’s also protected with UV resistant material so it won’t damage or fade in color when exposed to the sun regularly.
The straps are well-adjustable and allow you various adjustability options while still providing support. It can fit into most kayaks and almost all body types.
Ocean Kayak first started thanks to its founder, who has a great passion for water sports. In Malibu, California, he took an old surfboard and built a seat and storage for his scuba gear in his house. He would take the board on the water, and people started to inquire where he got it. During the mid-’80s, the operation relocated to the north side of Ferndale, Washington.
In Ferndale, the company looked at ways to mass-produce its kayaks. And that’s how they got the idea of using rotomolded polyethylene to produce the kayaks. The company chooses this material as it gives value to its consumer, and it’s durable. The Scupper Classic was one of the earliest products designed by Ocean Kayak. It received frosty treatments as people thought that it didn’t look like a typical kayak. But some were willing to give it a try, and subsequently, they were happy to share their excitement. Word spread, and by the ’80s, Ocean Kayak has been making more kayaks than they could imagine.
After ten thousand kayaks later, Ocean Kayak is one of the worlds’ largest manufacturers for sit-on-top kayaks. The company is now located in Maine, US, and continues to deliver top-notch kayaks, kayak seats, and water sport accessories to its consumers globally.
When it comes to lightweight cushion for watersports, Skwoosh is not a foreign name. Skwoosh has been manufacturing cushion for kayak, boats, trucks, and motorcycles. The company even produces soft cushions for home and office furniture.
The difference between Skwoosh and other cushion manufacturers is the company uses a lightweight gel to produce all its cushions. It’s high-quality and brings value to its consumers. Skwoosh claims the gel it uses helps prevent bedsores and decubitus ulcers. It’s extra soft and conforms to our body’s shape regardless of its temperature.
Pactrade Marine is an importer and manufacturer specializing in Rv lighting, marine, and other accessories. The company is continually investing ideas and effort in creating smart and innovative solar ventilators, switch panels, and LED lighting fixtures. Other products produced by Pactrade Marine are kayak accessories, sailboat hardware, and fishing rods.
Besides offering quality and the best products for its consumers, the company provides the best customer service and support.
How to Enjoy Your Kayaking Experience Comfortably and Pain-Free?
Kayaking is fun, but the long-sitting and backaches that happen after that is a buzzkill. You want to enjoy the experience and, at the same time, be able to de-stress and rejuvenate without looking for massage therapy after going for a 2 hours kayaking trip. So, it’s vital to practice proper sitting posture before you hop into your kayak. Before getting on board your kayak, remember to stretch, especially your arms, shoulders, hamstrings, and lower back.
Let’s take a look at these simple techniques on how to improve your paddling and seating posture.
Set up or prepare your kayak firsthand – Assemble or take your kayak to a grassy area so you can prepare the kayak before taking it on the water. Prepare your kayak in a flat and safe location as gritty or rough terrain can dent and scratch your kayak. And it will not provide you proper posture to stand and bend as well. During this time, you can adjust the seat and footrests to a position that allows you to paddle comfortably and safely.
Onboard into the kayak – While still on the shore, get into the kayak to test-fit the setting you made. With the same shoes you’re planning to wear during kayaking, carefully sit and ensure your feet are in front of the footrest. If your feet get stuck or it’s hard to move, adjust the footrest and seat backrest again.
Adjust the backrest – When you’re already sitting in the kayak, ensure that your bottom is comfortably in line with the seat. Adjust the backrest, so it provides enough support for your back. The correct way of seating in a kayak that won’t cause you back-pain is that you are not supposed to lean back in the seat nor constrain your torso further. Your backrest should be in a position where your chest is slightly tilted, and your bottom and lower back form a 90-degree angle.
Adjust the footrest and leg position- At this point, you’ll need to ensure that your seat supports your back correctly. Put the balls of both of your feet on the footrest, ensuring that your toes are pointing outward, and the heels should be in the direction toward the center of your kayak. You should put both your feet on the footrests and keep your knees slightly curved. Your legs should not be totally straight when you lean on the backrest.
Try sitting in your kayak – Once you set everything according to your preferences, try stretching, leaning forward, and backward. Rock the kayak gently and move right and left while sitting, and try to stay balanced, comfortable, and stable.
You are ready to take your kayak on the water once you feel comfortable with the adjustments you make. Paddle your kayak in the correct posture helps strengthen your muscle and improves your overall mood and skills. Better paddling posture can also boost your turning abilities. A full-body spinning allows you to place the moving paddle in the water in a successful energy transfer from your paddle to the boat. You can put in fewer strokes to turn your kayak with more power and accuracy with this technique; hence you’ll feel less tired.
Buying Guide for Kayak Seats
Choosing the best kayak seat can be a difficult thing to do. So it’s vital to understand the critical factors before buying one for yourself. You need to choose the perfect size, features, and how compatible it is with your kayak. In this buying guide, we will share a few details you shouldn’t miss when you’re shopping for a kayak seat.
Types Of Kayak Seats
The type of kayak seat depends on its design, features, and compatibility with your kayak. You can choose the seat based on the following preferences.
This is the most common type of seat that you can find in the market. Usually, this type of seat has a cushion that provides comfort for all kayak journeys and paddling styles. Some seats are built with a lumbar support system, and some are made with inadequate support that may result in back pain and discomfort. You can add extra padding to the seat to provide additional support and improve comfort.
The High Backrest
If you’re planning on a long trip kayaking, how you choose the seat can impact your overall paddling experience. Some kayak seats may provide you with comfy and back support, but it isn’t built with proper backrest. The high backrest seats are designed especially for anglers. It offers a higher backrest and better positioning for a fishing trip while keeping you comfortable.
This type of seat is quite the same as the basic kayak seat but with the extra thickness of padding to provide extra comfort and lumbar support. Usually, the sit-on-top kayaks can cause you back-pain or other pains because of its thin layers of cushion, but a deluxe seat can prevent that from happening.
Inflatable kayak seats offer space-friendly and portability benefits. You can inflate when you want to use and deflate it for storing. This type of seat is also designed with proper back support and often compatible with sit-on-top kayaks.
Comfort and padding
This is one of the factors that you should prioritize when choosing a kayak seat. You can’t expect to enjoy your kayaking outing if you’re seated on a stiff and hard seat. Even if you’re planning to spend hundreds of dollars on a seat, it’s pretty wasteful if it’s not comfortable.
Many seats are built with layers of padding to offer you optimum coziness. But with too much padding, your bottom will sink and limit your paddling and turning movement. In kayak seats, the most common padding material used is EVA foam because it’s water-resistant and soft. The liquidized gel padding offers sufficient cushioning, and it’s not bulky.
Higher seating boosts the motion of paddling but may not supply the appropriate amount of stability in ocean waves.
Seat dimension and size
This is a crucial part when buying a seat for your kayak. The seat you choose must have the proper size to accommodate you comfortably and include extra space for your legs and storage. It doesn’t have to be big and bulky to guarantee you comfortable seating as a standard size kayak seat can also provide you with such benefit. Some kayaks have narrow or a wider seat; hence you need to measure the seat dimension before purchasing one.
You don’t want the seat’s size to be slightly bigger or smaller than the size of your kayak’s seating dimension. An oversized or undersized kayak seat may affect your comfort and safety. The right kayak seat should fit right into your kayak seating perfectly without denting the seat or having you to bend or fold the seat to fit into the kayak seating.
Tip: To ensure you’re buying the correct kayak seat’s size, first, you need to measure your torso. Then compare it with the height of the kayak seat that you’re planning to buy. If comfort is what you’re looking for, make sure the kayak seat you choose has higher dimensions of at least 18 to 20 inches. This means you can sit comfortably without having to slouch and minimize the chances of getting back pain.
Material and durability
There are various materials for kayak seats in the market. The type of material you choose will determine how long it lasts, comfort level, and stability. Some of the popular materials used for kayak seats are nylon, foam, neoprene, polyester, and fabric. You also need to ensure the material you choose is ideal for the activity you do; for example, if you like to take a dip while kayaking, your kayak seat should be made of water-resistant material, so it won’t absorb all the excess water.
Ideally, material like nylon is known for its durability and resistance to tearing. Kayak seats that are made of nylon are a better option as they prevent water from flowing into the cushion. However, polyester with 600 deniers or higher grades also has similar levels of durability to nylon. Meanwhile, many paddlers even opt for neoprene as it’s a quality material known for its durability and comfort. Neoprene is also widely used in scuba diving suits.
Additionally, some kayak seat manufacturers add battens and frames to secure the seams. It is often made of metals and fiberglass. If you’re planning on a layback paddling trip like a lazy river, we don’t recommend you to choose a seat with added battens and frames as it can be quite hard and stiff.
Stability and safety
All avid paddlers understand paddling’s basic mechanism – each time you paddle, your body transfers energy and power to your arms. The seat you sit on and the position of your body supports and influences your paddling performance. Hence, the seat’s stability is a crucial factor to consider on top of other factors that we’ve mentioned.
The seat backrest and angle dimension go a long way. High back and deluxe seat offers you enough stability and support, enhances your paddling experience, and reduces backaches and other discomfort and injuries.
Some seats come with adjustable straps that enable you to move while offering extra support and help stabilize pressure and weight, thus keeps you kayaking smoothly.
Whether you’re a professional kayaker or kayaking for fun, a comfortable kayak seat is vital to provide you with better support and comfort. It’s crucial to pick a seat that fits into your budget, durable and comfortable as an uncomfortable seat can influence your paddling focus and experience.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
How do I properly clean my kayak seat?
If your seat has tough stains or dirt, it’s advisable to clean it with lukewarm water and a dishwasher. Never use bleach to remove any specks of dirt or grimes on your seat as it can damage the fabric and its function. For a more eco-friendly solution, you can make your cleaning solution using vinegar and water.
What’s the correct and safe way to attach the seat to my kayak?
Each brand has its steps to install a kayak seat to your kayak, and mostly the steps are doable. First, you need to locate the points to attach the kayak’s seat and straps. Then place the seat into your kayak so that the fold of the kayak seat stays steadily against the back seat part. Lastly, attach the hooks or clips to the attachment points of your kayak. Once it is securely attached, fasten, and adjust it to your preferences. You also have to ensure that the strap attached to the attachment points is secured to prevent it from sliding when you paddle.
What’s the easiest way to remove the kayak seat?
The easiest way to remove the kayak seat is to slightly release one of the straps as this provides enough flexibility to detach the seat.