When you spend all day long out on the water in your kayak, you may find yourself a little sore the next day. Sure, your arms and lats might be feeling it from the paddling, but let’s get real here: it’s your tush that takes the brunt of the blow. And, if you’re anything like me, your back may also be feeling a little tight the next day.
Perhaps the best way to avoid pain and stiffness in your hindquarters after hours in your vessel is to invest in a quality kayak seat. Admittedly, as far as kayak accessories go, the seat can be one of the harder items to purchase. It’s a bit more of a niche item that too often gets overlooked. After all, your kayak comes with a seat, so why would you need another one? To make yourself comfortable, that’s why.
After hours of searching every corner of the web, we’ve come up with our list of the 4 best kayak seats on the market. So to save yourself some time, continue scrolling rather than spending your day surfing the web for kayak seats like we did. And we’ll even give you a hint:
Our #1 choice for kayak seats is the Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus. One of our favorite features of this seat is that it’s UV-resistant. This prevents color fade from the material, but more importantly, protects the seat from warping and other damage. It’s also got a nice tall back and four-way adjustability. We have no doubt that you’ll love this seat as much as we do.
Top 4 Kayak Seats
1.Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus – Best Overall
As for the seat itself, as we mentioned earlier, it is UV-resistant. This is obviously a crucial aspect of any kayak seat because you’re going to largely be using the seat when it’s sunny out. The UV protection will ensure that the seat maintains its form and does not warp or otherwise become damaged after a long, hot summer. The seat is also waterproof due to the nylon covering.
Further, the tall seatback means that you’ll find comfort in this seat, even if you yourself are on the taller end of the spectrum. And the brass mounting straps that come attached to the seat are adjustable, meaning that just about anyone can find a setting they’ll like after playing around with the straps’ length and tightness.
The last great feature we’ll mention is the seat’s breathability. Even on the hottest days, when you’ve spent hours on the water fishing or enjoying nature, you won’t find yourself sticking to the seat or sliding all over due to sweat. And if you throw a little water on yourself to cool down, the seat will easily air out.
If you’re looking for a new kayak seat, you cannot go wrong with this Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus.
What We Love
- Seat materials are built to last
- Tall seatback
- Adjustable seat straps
2.WOOWAVE Kayak Seat Padded Deluxe – Best Value
If you want to get the most out of your dollar, you should really consider buying this Woowave Kayak Deluxe kayak seat. While the Ocean Kayak seat above is designed for sit-on-top kayaks but will ultimately fit in a sit-in kayak, this Woowave is meant to fit in whatever kayak you throw its way. You can even get the seat to fit on a canoe or paddleboard – it truly is as universal as advertised.
Further, the seat and other materials are super durable. The buckles and hooks for the seat are coercion resistant and will hold up no matter what type of water you’re in. And as for the seat itself, it’s made with a tough polyester shell and EVA foam cushion, so you don’t need to worry about those pesky UV rays.
But what really makes this a must-have budget kayak seat is the contoured shape of the product. This shape provides incredible support for your lower back, not to mention the backrest is a whopping 17.7 inches tall. And for even more back comfort, you can play around with the seats straps to find the perfect seat angle for the way you sit.
And why not throw in a couple of bells and whistles? The folks at Woowave has included a separate, detachable, waterproof bag so you can store your tackle box, food, and electronics while you’re out on the water. Lastly, the seat comes with a 1-year warranty.
This seat from Woowave is a fantastic option if you’re looking to stretch your money.
What We Like
- Versatile – fits on many types of kayaks, canoes, paddleboards etc.
- Contour shape is great for your back
- 1-year warranty
3.Welugnal Universal Sit on Top Kayak Seat – Cheapest Option
Sometimes, you’re just looking to ball on a budget. There’s no shame in that. Plus, a cheaper seat means you can spend more on the kayak itself or other accessories if you feel like it. So, if you’re looking to save a bit of cash, this Welugnal Kayak seat will save you money without leaving you feeling disappointed in your kayak seat.
The Welugnal still comes equipped with features that other, more expensive seats have. For example, the seat is adjustable to give you extra back support, and once you recline, the straps don’t loosen even a bit. And, speaking of straps, the copper hooks on the straps are corrosion-resistant and will last you a long time (though Welugnal notes that you should wash the hooks after use if you’ve been in saltwater).
This seat also comes with a detachable waterproof storage bag – it’s not often that cheaper products come with some extras.
With super great back support, strong materials designed to last, and a waterproof bag all at a super low price, we strongly recommend this Welugnal seat if you want a bit of extra support in your kayak without spending big bucks.
What We Like
- Great back support
- Comes with waterproof bag
4.YakGear SMR, Manta Ray Deluxe Seat–High-end
We decided to add this YakGear seat to our list because we know that some of you may be willing to shell out some more money for a super nice seat. If you plan on spending a good deal of time in your kayak, it’s definitely worth it to go big on a seat.
For starters, this seat is compatible with most kayaks – sit-in or on-top – as well as canoes. However, if you plan to install this in a sit-in kayak, the manufacturer also suggests purchasing the YakGear 5 Piece Pad Eye Kit.
One thing you’ll love about this seat is that it’s huge: 19 inches tall and 15-inches wide. If the back is not quite right for you, though, it is adjustable. Additionally, it comes with a bottom cushion that’s 1.5 inches thick and made from EVA foam. The back and butt pads also have grooves designed into them, which are meant to relieve pressure and provide support.
Also, the material is super breathable, so you don’t need to worry about sweat or water turning your seat into a sponge.
Though more expensive than most models, if you have some extra money around and you want to be super comfortable in your kayak, this seat is a solid choice.
What We Like
- Cushioned back and bottom pads
- Large seat
- Breathable material
A Buyers Guide
What we mean by this is what type of kayak do you have: a sit-on-top model or sit-in? Some seats are designed only for one model or the other. Conversely, some kayak seats will be made to fit into either style. It’s crucial to know both what type of kayak you have and what type of kayak the seat is meant for. Virtually every kayak seat will tell you if it’s meant for one model or both, so just make sure to check.
This is obviously going to be important to the comfort of the seat. While you may think a lot of padding is good, that’s not always the case. If there is too much and too soft of padding, you may sink too deep into the seat and wind up making yourself sorer.
What’s more important is where the padding is. You’ll want padding along the lateral areas because this is where a great deal of the motion is happening. Also, good padding will distribute your weight around as you move and will be shaped to your body’s natural curves and bends.
Similar to an office chair that you’re probably reading this article from, the higher the seatback, the less pain you’ll be in while sitting. However, you don’t want a kayak seat to take up your entire back, because this can make it more difficult to paddle, fish, or reach around your kayak.
With that said, you’ll want to make sure the back at least goes as high as your lumbar vertebrae. This will reduce any back pain you get while sitting for long periods. You’ll want at least a 12-inch back, though if you’re a bit taller you should go for a higher back.
On the one hand, you want your seat to be nice and durable so that it can stand up to UV rays, water, and other coercive forces. On the other hand, you want your seat to have some cushion and to be comfortable. Gel cushioning, EVA foam, and molded foam are all going to give you more comfort. Nylon, polyester, and neoprene are made for protection. Ideally, your seat will have these protective materials on the outside and comfy materials on the inside.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Make My Kayak Seat More Comfortable?
Adjusting the height of the chair is going to be the best way to make yourself more comfortable. Higher chairs allow you to stretch your legs out, and the better posture they provide is better for your back. Additionally, look for seats with molded foam, EVA foam, or gel cushioning.
Can I use a sit-on top kayak seat for a sit-in kayak?
Sometimes you can make this combo work, but you should try and buy a seat that fits your kayaks specs. Luckily, a lot of seats are designed to fit in either model. Read the comments sections and reviews for kayak seats you want, and see what other users have said about this. They’ll give you tips and tricks for making seats work best.
There’s nothing I enjoy than spending hours on end out on the water fishing or just enjoying the nature around me. But I hate when my time gets cut short because my lower back and butt cannot take sitting any longer. I can tell you from personal experience that your kayaking experience will be significantly better off if you purchase a proper seat.
That said, don’t just go purchasing the first or even the cheapest option you see. We spend the time going over numerous lists and reviews of kayak seats so that you don’t have to, and there are some really great options on our list. The Welugnal is proof that you don’t have to spend a bucket of cash to get a quality product, while the Manta Ray is an example of what a quality high-end kayak seat looks like.
But if you want the best seat on our list, we really do recommend the Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus. It’s not as expensive as the Manta Ray, so you’ll have some cash leftover for perhaps another accessory, but you’re also not sacrificing comfort if you get the Ocean seat. Its materials won’t corrode in the sun or water, and its tall seatback will adjust to your needs. If you want a super solid kayak seat that won’t require you to give up a month’s rent, definitely think about the Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus.
My name is Ruben. I love fishing like most guys I know. Fishing is so much more than just an outdoor activity- its an escape, its therapy and so much more. I put together a team of other professional anglers in order to create the most inclusive fishing resource.