Best Kayak Seat: Definitive Guide (2023)
It might look like just a simple accessory for your Kayak at first look, but the truth is, having an enjoyable and memorable Kayaking experience lies in this little detail.
That’s why we’ve tested and compiled the top 10 best of the best Kayak seats on the market today.
And here are the findings, fresh and hot.
In this article, we will tackle:
- The 10 standout kayak seats on the market today;
- Different models for different needs;
- Deluxe seats;
- Side by side comparisons;
- FIndings of our field tests;
- And lots more!
So if you’re about to go on a Kayaking adventure and haven’t thought of your seat’s importance in relation to your experience before, I bet you’ll learn more today.
So paddles up.
Let’s get going.
Shopping for a new Kayak seat?
Or perhaps you’ve just bought your very first kayak?
Whatever your situation is, and whatever level of a kayaker you may be now, every kayaker should know that the kayak seat is the real key to a memorable kayaking experience.
- Best Design Kayak Seat
- Best Budget Kayak Seat
- Best UV Resistant Kayak seat
- Best Material Kayak Seat
- Best Storage Kayak Seat
- Best Versatile Kayak Seat
- Best Sturdy Kayak Seat
- Best Adjustable Kayak Seat
- 8 – Surf To Summit Outfitter Series Kayak Seat with Standard Pack
- Best Durable Kayak Seat
- Best Stability Kayak Seat
- Buyers Guide:
- How To Choose The Best Kayak Seat
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Our Analysis, Comparisons & Test Results
- 1. Value for Money
- 2. Features
- 3. Durability
- 4. Comfortability
- 5. Stability
- Our Final Verdict: Best Kayak Seat
- Conclusion: Best Kayak Seat
Just like the throne that it is…
…your power as the steerer of your kayak lies in your seat. Literally.
Just think of it this way: without a comfy seat that doesn’t only give your backside good padding to rest on but also hold you firmly against the waves, you won’t be able to go very far, let alone enjoy the whole time you’re on the water.
Shopping for the perfect seat can be tricky.
That’s why we’ve come together to get these 10 best kayak seats ourselves and test them all out.
Then we’ve set the metrics based on the qualities that kayakers should always look out for when getting their seats.
After a couple of months of field tests, some “aha!” moments, we now give you the results.
Read on to see what fits your needs!
Best Design Kayak Seat
1 – Leader Accessories Deluxe Padded Kayak Seat
- Manufacturer: Leader Accessories
- Material: EVA foam padding interior and 210D polyester exterior
- Size: 20 x 18 x 2 inches
- Type: Deluxe Kayak Seat
- Setup and Compatibility: 2 straps in front and 2 straps in the rear, both are adjustable
Bottom Line : A comfortable and durable kayak seat with not only great padding and high back but extra features, as well.
- Both the seat cushion and metal parts are durable and long-lasting
- Non-corrosive hooks
- High back with padded seat
- Features a convenient pouch and fishing rod holder
- There’s a gap between the seat and the back support that lessens comfortability a bit
Coming in first is our roundup’s Editor’s Choice Awardee, the Leader accessories deluxe padded kayak seat.
Wondering how it came out to be?
To simply put it, this kayak seat doesn’t only have the basics utterly improved but also gave us extra treats such as extra storage in the form of a detachable bag and a fishing rod holder, as well!
To say that we were excited to try it out is an understatement.
But more than its extra features, what got us are the materials used for this top kayak seat and the main reason why this is our Editor’s Choice.
Made from EVA foam, this Leader Accessories kayak seat is supposed to be extra durable and sturdier than others. EVA foams are also weather-resistant, even at lower temperatures and they have water-resistant qualities, as well!
It has 2 straps in front and 2 straps on the back that are both adjustable, giving me free rein when it came to adjustability and comfort.
I was able to set myself up in the seat in no time and on my own terms!
Not to mention…
The metal hooks are non-corrosive, which is an important factor as I don’t want myself buying a couple more kayak seats in the future just because its metal parts buckled down.
You will be using your kayak seat in water for a long time so it’s important that its metal parts are durable and long-lasting.
This deluxe kayak seat comes in 3 colors, and let me tell you, I’m loving the all-black design for months now, as it gives my all-black kayak cockpit a real premium and deluxe feel!
Read Full Review: Leader Accessories Deluxe Padded Kayak Seat
Best Budget Kayak Seat
2 – Pactrade Marine Adjustable Straps Black Gray Padded Deluxe Kayak Seat
- Manufacturer: Pactrade Marine
- Material: EVA foam padding +PE plate
- Size: 20 x 5 x 31 inches
- Type: Deluxe kayak seat
- Setup and Compatibility: 4 straps with snap hooks
Bottom Line : An affordable kayak seat that lets you experience premium features with high-quality materials that don’t break the bank.
- Features a non-slip contoured padded surface on the back
- Front and rear straps are adjustable
- With a detachable backpack or bag for your kayak accessories or lunch
- Its EVA foam and neoprene materials are durable and long-lasting
- Backside padding could be better
Low on budget? You don’t have to sacrifice comfort and quality, still.
Amazingly, we’ve found a kayak seat that’s made of premium materials with great features but at an incredibly low price!
This is our roundup’s Best Value Awardee, the Pactrade Marine Kayak Seat.
Its contoured padded non-slip backrest was what caught our attention at first glance.
Even with secure straps on, it can still be hard and challenging to sit on top of the kayak, let alone rapidly moving one.
That is why this feature proved to be a valuable addition to the kayak’s already great quality and material.
Apart from this…
It also has a convenient detachable backpack with fairly generous space for you to put accessories or your snacks and lunch on!
It’s always great to have a kayak that lets me bring more things to keep me comfortable!
It’s made from EVA foam, neoprene, 6000D polyester, and PE plate that give this unit a good cushion for both the back and the bum.
I’ve tried using this for an expedition of 3-4 hours and I came out happy and content with not a single numb bum!
Although some of our teammates said that the seat cushion could be better and thicker, I thought for its price, it’s already a treat that I was able to stay comfortable in my kayak for more than a couple of hours!
Read Full Review: Pactrade Marine Adjustable Straps Black Gray Padded Deluxe Kayak Seat
Best UV Resistant Kayak seat
3 – Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat Back
- Manufacturer: Ocean Kayak
- Material: Nylon
- Size: 23 x 15 x 2 inches;
- Type: High back kayak seat
- Setup and Compatibility: 4-way adjustable mounting straps with brass swivel buckles
Bottom Line : An ultra-comfortable kayak seat armed with more than just the basics to keep the user comfortable for long hours in the water.
- A higher back for maximized comfort
- Its nylon material is breathable
- The nylon material is also UV resistant
- The logo is light reflective for low light conditions
- Also features reinforced stays for additional back support
- The seat isn’t really water-resistant
This model has one mission.
That is to make the kayaker comfortable and at ease whatever the size of the cockpit is and whatever the body size and type is.
It’s stated on their product description and I wanted to know if it’s true.
Quite surprisingly, this model by Ocean Kayak really did excel especially in the comfortability metric.
This “Sit On Top Kayak” aims to reduce, if not, eliminate altogether the back pain most people experience while kayaking with the wrong seat.
Made of highly breathable nylon material, this kayak seat lets your body literally breathe as you sit for long hours during kayaking, may it be in low or high temperatures, thanks to its woven quality.
That means it insulates heat much better than other materials.
That also makes this seat UV resistant and that means longer service life even if you use it repeatedly for years.
Another comfort enabler…
…is the fully adjustable straps that let me fine-tune the seat not only according to my initial comfort but to my body type as well.
Yes, your body type, too!
And I thought that’s awesome because I was able to share the seat among my colleagues and my partner, too.
Moreover, it also has a high back that kayakers always look for but rarely found, as well as a reflective logo for paddlers who love staying out in the water till dawn.
All these comforts combined with the smooth ease of setup and you’ve got the Top Pick Awardee for this roundup of the best kayak seats today.
Top Pick award means that the product excels significantly in one or more metrics and with the fact that this model is armed to the bones with features to make the kayakers super comfy for long hours, it’s impossible not to give this medal to Ocean Kayak!
Read Full Review: Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat Back
Best Material Kayak Seat
4 – Harmony Gear Standard Sit-on-Top Seat, Black
- Manufacturer: Confluence Watersports
- Material: Nylon, foam, and non-corrosive metal
- Size: Seat Back Height:13.5 in / 34.3 cm
- Type: Basic kayak seat
- Setup and Compatibility: 4 straps, 2 in the back, and 2 on the sides with metal hooks/clips for you to easily attach the seat to the attachment points on the kayak and adjust depending on your preference and comfort.
Bottom Line : A good basic kayak seat with high quality material made to eliminate discomfort and unnecessary heat for kayakers who like to stay out for a whole day.
- The foam padding covering is made of breathable nylon material
- Marine-grade brass hookups
- Made to be anti-skid
- The articulated design is made to accommodate all body sizes
- Fully adjustable
- The back support is limited
The first thing we always, and always have to look out for when shopping for a kayak seat is none other than the comfort, really.
If your kayak seat isn’t comfortable, then don’t consider it altogether. That’s how simple we shop.
One of the main factors in a kayak seat’s comfortability is the material used.
So when we heard about this basic paddlers favorite kayak seat with its notoriously good material, there’s no other option but to get it.
Like the kayak seat before this, this seat by Confluence Watersports is also covered in nylon.
Nylon is a favorite material among paddlers thanks to its lightness.
Nylon is a porous material indeed, so don’t expect it to be waterproof, but that porousness also means that air can go in and out of it, lessening the chances of the paddler’s body overheating.
…this seat is made to be skid resistant and indeed, we were able to stay stable the whole time we’re out on the river.
With 2 straps and hookups at the back and on the side, the comfort of your kayak throne is in your hands as you can adjust it all you want.
Although it is perfectly adjustable, let me tell you, though, that the back support is not as excellent as other kayak seats. It could be soft at times and less firm.
But if you’re all for great quality of material, then this might be your best bet.
Best Storage Kayak Seat
5 – Sea Eagle Deluxe Inflatable Kayak Seat
- Manufacturer: Sea Eagle Boats
- Material: Polyester Reinforced Fabric and PolyKrylar (PVC)
- Size: 14″ wide x 21″ deep x 19″ H (inflated) and 14″ x 9″ x 4″ (deflated)
- Type: Inflatable kayak seat
- Setup and Compatibility: It has 2 inflation chambers for you to pump air into. It doesn’t have hooks or extra straps for adjustment but it has straps coming from the backrest to the seat.
Bottom Line : The best quality inflatable kayak seat that’s perfect if you’re looking for portability and comfort.
- Convenient and portable
- Easy to set up
- Made of strong fabric material
- Doesn’t have hookups or D-rings
Want every gear as portable as possible? How about an inflatable kayak seat?
If you ask a kayak angler enthusiast what’s the best inflatable kayak equipment there is, they’d most probably answer Sea Eagle.
Sea Eagle is best known for their inflatables and what best way to confirm it than getting their kayak seat?
A welcome change…
This kayak seak is inflatable and is made from high-quality fabric with a strong inflatable inside. That means that you can carry this around deflated in your bag and inflate it upon arriving at your destination.
I love how it lifted off a significant amount of weight from our baggage!
Aside from that, it was easy peasy to set up, too. All I had to do was inflate this seat through 2 chambers and a couple of minutes or so, it’s up and ready to use.
It also has a strap running down from the back to the seat so you can adjust it depending on your comfort.
Now, this is where one mole lies.
It doesn’t have anything to attach to the kayak with. No hookups and no D-rings.
But I thought that’s quite a small price to pay for its soft seat. Because it’s inflated with air, the backrest felt really good.
Back pain no more, indeed!
Another bonus is the pockets it comes with! They’re not just half-hearted bonuses but pockets that are actually deep where you can put things in!
In case you don’t have a kayak yet, I recommend this for an inflatable kayak, as well.
Best Versatile Kayak Seat
6 – Crack of Dawn Apex 1 Deluxe Kayak Seat
- Manufacturer: Crack of Dawn
- Material: Foam padding
- Size: 19 inches tall
- Type: High back kayak seat
- Setup and Compatibility: It has 4 connecting points for you to fasten the seat up to your kayak with.
Bottom Line : A comfy high back kayak seat with a 19” tall back that’s perfect for people who have issues with back pain during kayaking.
- This deluxe seat has a very high back for people with back problems and those that just got off from surgery
- Very fast and easy to install and reinstall
- With an 8-way adjustable strap system
- The seat padding could be thicker
People who just got off from surgery as well as senior citizens who just want to live life to the fullest by kayaking highly recommend this kayak seat.
And that got us wondering why.
And boy weren’t we in for a surprise!
This epic high back chair has 19 inches of the backrest that fit perfectly with each of us in our team.
Because every one of us was curious, everyone ordered their own and we tested it out together on one of our regular weekend outings.
It took us more or less than 5 hours to get back to land and once we did, we only felt our arms ache but no back or body pain.
Now that explains why this is such a crowd favorite.
But that’s not all.
It also has an 8-way strapping system for you to play with in order to get the comfort that’s custom made just for you and your needs and preferences.
In the end, I even bought my aging but outdoorsy mom one so she could enjoy the waters in comfort and in peace, too.
Best Sturdy Kayak Seat
7 – Manta Ray Deluxe Seat
- Manufacturer: YakGear, Inc.
- Material: EVA foam padding
- Size: 19 inches backrest
- Type: Deluxe kayak seat
- Setup and Compatibility: With D-rings for easy connection capabilities but you will need to purchase the YakGear 5 piece pad eye kit for installation.
Bottom Line : A sturdy and perfectly comfortable kayak seat that’s made to withstand any weight and body type.
- Fits most sit in kayaks and sit on top kayak and canoes
- Made of sturdy covering
- Extra thick molded foam padding
- With water gutters to channel water away
- Comfortable 19-inch tall backrest
- You will have to buy a YakGear 5-piece pad eye kit if you want to install it in sit in kayaks.
Planning to go on a multiple-mile-long kayak trip?
Let me share what I used in my multiple-mile kayak trip.
This kayak seat from YakGear is equipped with the right features to make your watery adventure comfortable even after a long day.
With its tough EVA molded foam padding, it’s extra thicker than the rest, and add to that its unique built-in water gutter that will channel water away every time your kayak gets splashes of water, ensuring a whole day of dry comfort for the kayaker.
And it has a 19-inch tall backrest, too! Who could say no to that?
But that’s not all.
It also has perfectly adjustable straps that you can adjust so the seat can conform to the user’s body type and kayak type, as well!
I tried to find faults and discomfort while I was using this deluxe seat one long kayaking trip but I just wasn’t able to find any.
Perhaps the only slight downside is the fact that we had to buy a separate pack of a 5-piece pad eye kit to be able to install it in our sit in kayaks.
But all in all, I emerged from the 6-hour paddling galore with not one numb bum and sore back, keeping its permanent place in my team’s go-to seats!
Best Adjustable Kayak Seat
8 – Surf To Summit Outfitter Series Kayak Seat with Standard Pack
- Manufacturer: Sportsman Supply Inc.
- Material: Compressed foam, fabric, and plastic
- Size: 13″ L x 20″ W for the backrest and 14″ L x 16″W x 3/4″ H for the cushion
- Type: Basic kayak seat
- Setup and Compatibility: It has a 4-way adjustable attachment system that you can customize for maximum comfort
Bottom Line : A basic kayak seat with a perfectly adjustable attachment system that lets the user customize the hold of the kayak according to their body type and size.
- Fully adjustable
- Made from a tough combination of compressed foam fabric and plastic at 400 degrees Fahrenheit and 60 tons of pressure
- Extra thick cushioning
- Doesn’t fit with all kayak models
Having a hard time shopping for a kayak seat that can fit any body types and sizes? Let me help you out.
While testing out different kayak seats, we kept our eyes open for one that has the ability to conform to different users and their body types.
A perfectly adjustable kayak seat, of course!
This one by Sportsman Supply has a fully adjustable attachment system that isn’t only a breeze to install in your kayak (I finished mine in about 4 minutes) but also fits in with all body types and weights.
The straps are durable enough with strong hookups that allow for a full and comfy accommodation for the user.
But what’s cooler…
…is the fact that it’s meticulously made with compressed layered foam, plastic, and fabric at 400 degrees Fahrenheit and with 60 tons of pressure to ensure a molded foam with just the right ridges and bumps to cradle the user for a long journey downstream.
I love how it has a lifetime warranty, too so I was able to use it with peace of mind.
Best Durable Kayak Seat
9 – Deluxe Molded Foam Kayak Seat
- Manufacturer: Saturn
- Material: Deluxe molded foam
- Size: 20.5 x 18.1 x 8.4
- Type: Deluxe kayak seat
- Setup and Compatibility: With a 2” detachable cushion and 4 marine-grade connecting snaps (2 in the front and 2 at the back) that you can adjust to accommodate the user.
Bottom Line : A durable kayak seat equipped with sturdy components that ensures that the rider is not only comfortable but stable and safe while kayaking. It has a captivating stylish look, as well.
- Sculpted foam to ease back and body pain while kayaking
- The hookups are heavy and durable
- Features a detachable storage pouch and a rod holder
- The straps are wider and thicker than others
- Stylish design
- With a 2” detachable cushion for throwable PFD
- The mounting holes can be incompatible with a few kayak models
Looking for a badass kayak seat that will bring all the boys to the yard…or shall I say the waters?
Impress your team with this kayak seat that isn’t only optimized for maximum comfort and durability but designed with a premium style that looks like it came straight outta sports car magazine?
This deluxe seat is as sturdy as it looks good with a ridged molded foam that ensures your back is cradled with a feel-good amount of pressure that actually felt like I was being massaged while I was out kayaking.
But that’s not the best thing about this.
Its adjustable straps are made to withstand any pressure from the rider as they twitch and lean throughout the ride with extra-wide strap sizes that let me know it won’t fail me and break anytime soon.
Then there are the impressive attachments.
It has a detachable back pouch and even a fishing rod holder, but what’s cooler is it’s also equipped with a detachable 2” cushion that helps with a dry comfy ride and can work as a personal floating device.
Isn’t it amazing?
The connecting snaps are marine-grade so you don’t have to worry about using it in saltwater, either.
Best Stability Kayak Seat
10 – Expedition Kayak Seat 20″ High Back Support
- Manufacturer: I-Tek, Inc.
- Material: Waterproof fluidized gel seat for the cushion and heavy-duty fabrics made in the USA.
- Size: 20” backrest and 1” seat cushion
- Type: High back kayak seat
- Setup and Compatibility: 2 straps on the back and 2 straps on the side for kayak attachment and well-balanced stability with 4 durable and corrosion-resistant swivel hookups.
Bottom Line : A well-equipped high back kayak seat that is ideal for people concerned about back problems.
- 20” backrest is ideal for tall paddlers and people with back problems
- Equipped with an adjustable lumbar support
- Also features 2 water bottle holders on either side
- The seat is made from a fluidized gel cushion
- Swivel hookups are corrosion-resistant
- Also has a bungee net at the back for storage use
- The cushioning is not super soft which is a downside if you’re looking for a cushy seat
Feeling like you’re too tall to get comfy in your kayak cockpit?
Or perhaps you’re endlessly looking for an ultra-comfortable seat for your back problems or post-surgery issues?
The Expedition sit on top kayak seat is made with a 20” backrest for people looking for ultimate comfort while paddling.
But aside from the high back, it’s also thoughtfully equipped with adjustable lumbar support that is perfect if you’re particularly concerned about having back problems or if you’re in for a long ride.
And to maximize comfort…
The seat is uniquely made up of a waterproof fluidized gel cushion so the buns are cradled happily as you paddle the day away!
Aside from features for comfort, it also has a bungee net at the bag for you to store your stuff or food on and not one but 2 water bottle holders located on either side of your seat!
The comfort almost felt like over-indulgence but we’re in for it!
How To Choose The Best Kayak Seat
What are the different types of Kayak seats?
- Basic kayak seat- It has all the essentials to form a basic comfortable kayak seat, such as the adjustable straps, the backrest, and the seat cushion
- Deluxe kayak seat- Made to be extra comfortable and even luxurious. They often have stylish designs with extra features such as pockets and bags for storage, water bottle holders, and even fishing rod holders.
- High back kayak seat- Pretty self-explanatory. This seat has a backrest that’s much higher than the basic kayak seat.
- Inflatable kayak seat- It’s usually paired with an inflatable kayak but can also be used in different kayak types as well.
- Features to look out for
- Cushioning- It’s a non-negotiable, along with the backrest that fits with your comfort and needs. You should be able to feel comfortable in it even after long hours of kayaking. Better check it by sitting on the model at the store before buying.
- Straps- The straps are what will keep you stable in your seat even through watery waves. So make sure that the straps aren’t only adjustable but durable as well and would let you move around and lean over without difficulty.
- Installation/Set-up- Try setting the seat up in the store before getting one and make sure that the attachments are compatible with your kayak.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Kayak Seat? How Do They Work?
A kayak seat is a contraption you can buy individually and install it on your kayak to replace a default one or fill up the lack of it. It helps the kayaker feel comfortable sitting down in the cockpit of the mostly hard kayak surface while paddling.
How do you choose a good kayak seat?
As mentioned in the buyer’s guide above, make sure to test your kayak out in the store first before getting one, so you can have an idea about its comfortability and even its compatibility with your kayak model.
What To Avoid When Buying A Kayak Seat?
Avoid kayaks with non-slip bottoms and straps that are not durable as they might cause you to eventually fall over in the water.
Our Analysis, Comparisons & Test Results
1. Value for Money
Our Final Verdict: Best Kayak Seat
We’ve done the hard work testing each kayak seat out and rating them by the metrics- just so you won’t have to try them all before finding your perfect fit! Below are the overall scores. Read on and take your pic!
Conclusion: Best Kayak Seat
We’ve just served you the ultimate list and roundup of the best kayak seats on the market today.
The kayak seat by Leader Accessories is the biggest winner with an almost perfect score of 98, making it our Editor’s Choice.
While some models came in at the bottom, it’s impressive how the scores aren’t really far off from each other, which means that all 10 seats are indeed of great quality, but just focusing on different needs and preferences.
What’s your pick? Will it be the Editor’s choice or a certain product that answers to your particular need?
Zip over to our social media and let us know!