Getting on a river, lake, or the ocean in a kayak is excellent exercise, a way to get out in nature, and overall, a lot of fun. What isn’t fun is being uncomfortable and having an aching back while doing it. Therefore, it is critical to get a comfortable kayak seat. The best kayak seat will support your back and rear end, allow you to paddle comfortably, and make your entire experience more enjoyable.
- Kayak Seat Basics
- Best Kayak Seat Sit on Top
- Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat
- Best Kayak Seat for Bad Back
- Best Fishing Kayak Seat
- Best Kayak Seat Cushion
- Kayak Back Rest
- Inflatable Kayak Seat
- Woowave Kayak Seat – Premium and Padded
- Final Thoughts
There are a few things to keep in mind when looking for the most comfortable kayak seat.
The first thing will depend on if you have a sit-in kayak or a sit-on-top kayak. The ergonomics of your position will affect your paddling and have a domino effect on the rest of your body. Therefore, make sure you have the proper back support and a comfortable range of motion when paddling. You’ll also want to keep a good center of gravity, so don’t get anything that sits you too high.
You’ll want to consider how high the back of the seat is since this will result in more or less support. A basic seat will have moderate padding and likely a lower back seat height. The seat padding is also critical to ensure all-day comfort, with many made of either foam or gel. Make sure there is enough padding that you won’t compress it entirely, but not so much that it sits you up too high.
EVA foam or Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) is a common foam found in many type of kayak seats, pads, and cushions. This EVA foam is lightweight and rugged. It holds its shape, is slip-resistant, and provides comfort and support. EVA foam is also gaining popularity as a boat decking material. When you are planning for a long time on the water, a deluxe seat or backrest with EVA foam will keep your back and back side comfortable with better support.
Think about ventilation as well and how it will keep you cool. If you’re sitting in the hot sun all day, you’ll likely sweat and want something to keep you comfortable and dry.
Finally, you’ll want to think about the seat materials. Quick-drying or waterproof fabrics will keep your seat from getting moldy and gross. Since kayak seats are designed for being on the water, most are made of appropriate materials. However, it’s something to pay attention to since some old school seats could be made of canvas which breaks down quicker when repeatedly wet. Whether or not you need a waterproof kayak seat cushion is debatable since a breathable material may be better for keeping you cool and dry.
Best Kayak Seat Sit on Top
There are a few things to look for when evaluating, including the back height and the amount of cushion. Look no further than the Ultra Thick OceanMotion Ergo-Fit for the best sit on top kayak seat.
This seat has a high, padded back, making it comfortable for all-day use. Being able to lean back with full support allows you to rest your back throughout the day, mitigating strain and allowing you to paddle further.
Foam Kayak Seat
People often complain that many kayak seats on the market lack enough cushion in the pad you sit on. That is not the case with the OceanMotion Ergo-Fit. It features 2.5 inches of foam to cushion your rear end, whereas other comparable seats only have .5 inches. This makes quite a difference in your fatigue levels if you’re out for an extended time.
We also like this seat because it is a universal fit, meaning it will work for most sit-on-top kayaks. It has four straps to attach to the kayak, although the attachment points (where you connect it to your kayak) are not included. It is made in the U.S. and comes with a one-year warranty.
Some similar, more expensive models on the market come with additional features, but we think that for the money, this will serve you just fine.
Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat
Another popular sit on top seat is the Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat. The seat is popular for its portability and use across multiple styles of kayaks and boats. The Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus has generous back support given the tall back. This has 4-way adjustability with durable straps and also comes with brass clips for securing to the kayak, canoe, or boat.
Best Kayak Seat for Bad Back
Bad back sufferers know the importance of a seat with plenty of support and cushion. We love the Expedition Kayak Seat because it was designed with bad back pain sufferers in mind.
First, with a 20″ seat back, it’s plenty tall enough for even tall people or tall paddlers to lean back on with full support. But more importantly, there is an adjustable lumbar roll which is critical because different people will need support in different places.
Best Kayak Seat For Back Support
Next, while the seat is only 1″ thick, it is made of gel rather than foam. This helps support and cushion the tailbone, which impacts the entire rest of the spine. This makes a huge difference for long hours or long days on the water.
It also has four adjustable straps to fit various kayaks and two built-in water bottle holders.
Best Fishing Kayak Seat
If you’re looking for the best kayak seat for fishing, look no further than the NRS Star Fishing Seat for Inflatable Kayaks. We like this for several reasons, but first and foremost, NRS is a leader in water sports like kayaking and rafting and makes excellent products.
We also like this cushion and support because it fits inflatable and hard-sided kayaks, giving you something stable and sturdy for fishing all day. A comfortable kayak seat is a great fisherman gift idea.
Best Kayak Seat For Fishing
This is made of lightweight aluminum and quick-drying mesh materials and folds up easily. It weighs six pounds and is packable and easy to transport and store. It comes with sturdy hardware and nylon straps for attaching to your boat. This seat is an excellent option for larger people because of how sturdy it is with the aluminum frame.
It fits kayaks made by NRS and others and works on paddleboards. It’s not only the best fishing kayak seat; it will also work for all-day paddling and floating.
Best Kayak Seat Cushion
Perhaps you’re happy with your set-up and believe you have the best kayak seat but would like more padding. Add a kayak seat cushion, and you’re good to go! Rest assured, there are plenty of good options on the market. We’ve got two of our favorites here, and as always, we’re happy to share them with you!
Look no further than this Anti Slip Kayak Seat Cushion if you’re looking for a seat pad to go in your canoe. It is an excellent sit in kayak seat cushion and a sit on top kayak seat cushion that will work in about any boat.
This seat features a neoprene, anti-slip technology that ensures this cushion stays in place even when wet. It has a sports-grade PU foam core and a one-size-fits-all ergonomic design for ultimate comfort. This means it will fit any boat and any person.
It is one inch thick, which is an important consideration. Center of gravity is critical when kayaking, and therefore you don’t want to sit up too high. One inch allows you to put it on top of an existing seat without elevating you too much.
Sometimes you need some additional cushioning in your seat and your backrest. For this situation, we recommend the Yakpads Cushioned Seat Pad.
If your current seat is a hard-back, this cushion works great for additional lumbar support. The pad has a gel-fil, which provides for ultimate comfort and regulates temperature. It keeps your seat from being too hot in the sun or too cold when the temperatures drop.
This one, too, has the appropriate thickness level. It provides enough cushion to notice a difference but won’t set you up so high you feel off balance.
It has straps for attaching to your existing seat. The can also be put to use in your canoe, boat, stadium seating, your hard office chair, or anywhere else you would like additional support or extra comfort!
Kayak Back Rest
A popular kayak back rest with EVA foam is the Woowave Kayak Backrest EVA. The backrest is 20 inches long and 10.2 inches wide. The backrest is highly durable with supporting straps as well as stainless steel snap hooks. The snap hooks will hold the back rest in place and provide sturdy support for your back.
Inflatable Kayak Seat
Check out the Sea Eagle Deluxe Inflatable Kayak Seat. This inflatable seat features a design improvement for enhancing back support. In addition, this inflatable seat has an extra storage pocket built in on the rear or side of the seat. This seat inflates, allowing you to sit comfortably up to 5 inches off the floor and features 14 inches of high back seat support. Weighing 3.5 lbs, these inflatable seats are easy to carry, inflate and deflate as needed. Perfect for a recreational kayak.
Woowave Kayak Seat – Premium and Padded
Best Kayak Seat Upgrade
A top pick is the Woowave Kayak Seat Premium which has an interior design featuring durable EVA foam. The exterior of this seat is 210D polyester material. This is slip and skid resistant so it should stay in place. The seat back is just over 18.5 inches in height and 20.65 inches wide. The seat is 13.8 inches wide and 13.8 inches deep.
The Woowave seat comes with 4-way adjustable reinforced attaching straps allowing you to secure the seat to most kayaks or boats. The Woowave Premium also has copper clips or metal hooks.
Another option is the Leader Deluxe which offers high back support, soft cushioning, and breathability for cool, dry, comfortable trips on the water.
If you’re going to be out in your kayak for extended periods, you want to make sure you are comfortable. Sitting all day, combined with paddling, can take a toll on your back and body. Your body type will help determine the best choice of kayak seat. Luckily, a good kayak seat, especially with extra padding, can help mitigate back pain and discomfort, ensuring you have a fabulous day on the water.
We’ve given you some great options, whether you are looking for the best kayak seat for fishing or just a sit on top kayak seat pad. Determining whether you need a full seat or just a cushion will help you narrow down your choices for your right kayak seat. Additionally, since all of our recommendations are universal, you won’t have to worry about whether or not they will fit your kayak.
The best seat will have enough backrest to provide plenty of back support for your body shape. Do you prefer a high backrest, medium or low? It will also have enough cushioning to keep your butt from going numb during long trips on the water. However, keep in mind the importance of your center of gravity and make sure you don’t get anything that will set you up too high.
Ensuring you are comfortable when out on the water provides you will enjoy many beautiful days outside, getting exercise, and catching plenty of fish!