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5 Best Kayak Seats (2021 Reviews and Guide)

If you are looking for the best kayak seat, you are in luck.  Today we will explore some different options when it comes to keeping your butt and back comfortable on your kayak. In this post, I will help you find the best seat for your kayak.

You probably spent a lot of time and money on your kayak, and you want it to be comfortable.  The seat that came with your kayak may not be the best quality or the best fit for you.

Many people complain about the seat in their kayak, which is pretty standard with a budget kayak. Even if you spend a lot of money on the kayak, the seat might not be the right one for you.

I can tell you from experience that having a good kayak seat can make a world of difference. The right seat can make or break your experience.  Spend more time exploring in your kayak and less time stressing about your comfort level.

Best kayak seat

Let’s get into the seats themselves. There are also different types of kayaks (read more) that require specific seats. Then we will discuss what makes the best kayak seat and what you should consider when you buy one.

If you are happy with your kayak but need to upgrade your seat, just sit tight.

Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat

Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat Back (Black), one size
  • the comfort zone offers generous back support with its tall height, perfect for a...
  • enjoy a softer ride with the extra seat padding, which offers more cushioning than...
  • adjustable straps on the sides allow the paddler to fine-tune the seat to a variety...
  • the tough nylon construction includes a built-in ventilation system to help keep any...
  • includes brass swivel buckles for attachment; the comfort zone seats are featured on...

If back support is what you are after, then you are in luck.  The Comfort Plus seat from Ocean Kayak gives you plenty of back support.  The backrest is extra tall and cradles you back as you paddle.  Back support is essential to have a fun day on the water.

Another great feature of this kayak seat is the material.  The nylon construction is breathable, which helps to keep you cool and dry. The Comfort Plus seat has more padding than traditional kayak seats. This extra foam gives you plenty of comfort and support.  The combination of a high seatback and comfortable pad make the Comfort Plus a great kayak seat.

Four-way adjustable straps let you tighten the straps to get a firm fit. The high-quality brass clips and sturdy webbing help you adjust the seat, so it fits you just right. The brass swivel buckles attach to a variety of different kayaks. The seat is easy to install or remove when you store your kayak.

PROS

The tall back is very supportive
Adjustable mounting straps
Fits a variety of kayaks
Folds flat for storage
Breathable material

CONS

Fasteners could be more sturdy

Summary

This is a great option if you need to upgrade your kayak seat.  The high back and comfy seat cushion offer a lot of support where you need it. This is a well-priced option that will adjust to a lot of different paddlers. The four-way adjustable straps help you get the fit you are looking for.


Pactrade Marine Deluxe Kayak Seat

Sale
Pactrade Marine Adjustable Padded Deluxe Kayak Seat Detachable Back Backpack/Bag Canoe Backrest
  • Adjustable front and rear straps
  • Non-slip contoured padded slip surface
  • Detachable back pack/ bag to store most kayak accessories and lunch boxes
  • Material: neoprene+600D polyester, inter layer: EVA foam+PE plate
  • Item: PDSA0070

 If you are looking to upgrade your stock seat, or just need something new, the Pactrade Deluxe Kayak Seat is a great option. This seat can make a big difference in comfort and support.  Adjustable front and rear straps let you get a nice snug fit.

The seatback is tall and wide, which gives you optimal back support.  The kayak seat is equipped with four brass snap hooks to attach securely to your kayak. Since it’s a universal seat, the webbing straps are long, so it can fit a variety of kayaks. I love the wraparound support this kayak seat cushion offers.

The seat also comes with a detachable pack for the back of the seat. You can use the bag to store some accessories, or gear that you take with you. You can store items like your lunch, tools, hats, or other clothing. Extra storage is always an excellent addition to a kayak seat.

PROS

Highly adjustable
Excellent back support
Non-slip pad
The storage bag is an added bonus

CONS

Won’t keep you as cool as some seats

Summary

Float longer without discomfort.  This kayak seat is easy to install and is highly adjustable.  You will love this as a replacement seat or an upgrade to your stock kayak seat. The seatback wraps around your mid and upper back for a comfortable fit.


WOOWAVE Kayak Seat

Sale
WOOWAVE Kayak Seat Padded Deluxe Canoe Seat Adjustable Boat Seat Cushioned Fishing Seat High Back Comfortable Backrest Support with Detachable Back Storage Bag for Universal Sit (Ordinary Cushion)
  • ☞【SAFE AND DURABLE MATERIAL】The deluxe kayak seat is made of durable EVA foam...
  • ☞【PROFESISIONAL AND PRACTICAL DESIGN】This cushioned boat seat is equipped with...
  • ☞【COMFORTABLE AND SUPERIOR EXPERIENCE】Foam filled seat brings unparalleled...
  • ☞【EASILY AND FAST INSTALLATION】This padded seat is easy to install and removal,...
  • ☞【CONSIDERABLE AND FAVORABLE SERVICE】We will provide you with satisfactory...

 This adjustable seat back will give you a lot of back support and comfort. The backrest is tall and supportive to accommodate different sized paddlers. The seat cushion is comfortable for sitting long periods. 

WOOWAVE has designed this seat to support your mid and lower back, which is crucial for spending a lot of time in your kayak.

The kayak seat comes with a waterproof, detachable storage bag for things like phone, keys, lunch, or items like that. You can put a few smaller tools and some other gear as well. Extra storage on a kayak is an excellent feature.

The thick foam seat cushion comes with four-way adjustable straps, which allow you to put the seat in the right position.  It’s easy to loosen or tighten the seat back as you need to throughout the day. Copper metal hooks attached to anchor points on your kayak, making it easy to install.

This highly rated universal kayak seat has a durable foam interior and high-quality polyester exterior.  The thick foam seat cushion is skid-resistant for all-day comfort.  The last thing you want to be doing is fighting your seat when you are in your kayak.

PROS

Adjustable straps
Tall backrest
High quality
Comfortable
Easy to install

CONS

Takes some time to adjust the seat

Summary

This is one of the best kayak seats because it’s easy to install, has a tall backrest, is very comfortable and supportive.  The high back and anti-slip design will give you hours of comfort as you paddle.  Depending on your kayak set up, this seat can fit sit on top or sit-in models.


Brooklyn Kayak Company Kayak Seat

BKC UH-KS222 Universal Sit-On-Top Soft Padded Kayak Seat and Backrest with Water Bottle Pouch for Fishing/Kayaking/ Rafting / Canoeing by Brooklyn Kayak Company
  • CONVENIENCE & DEPENDABILITY: The BKC KS222 takes all of a minute to install and...
  • DURABLE MATERIALS: This seat is constructed using top quality materials that will...
  • ADJUSTABLE: The BKC KS222 allows for ideal paddler positioning whether you're...
  • CONVENIENCE & DEPENDABILITY: The BKC KS222 takes all of a minute to install and...
  • UNIVERSAL FIT: 4-way adjustable straps accommodate most sit-on-top marine crafts....

 A very tall backrest is a great starting point for this kayak seat.  The kayak seat comes with four-way adjustable straps, and it’s straightforward to install.  The wraparound support and forward-facing straps help the backrest fold around you and provide excellent back support.

Once you have the straps tight, you can lean back against the backrest for a comfortable ride. This is actually a softer, less rigid design than other kayak seats.

Some people will find this is a better fit than the molded foam kayak seats. The supportive, padded seat is made of high-quality materials and will last for years.

The adjustable backrest is ideal for different kayaking positions, like leaning back to relax, fishing, or navigating a tough stretch of water.

The BKC kayak seat comes with marine-grade hardware and durable nylon to resist fading and water damage.  There are multiple padded areas to support your legs, butt, and lower back.

There is a handy pocket on the back of the seat, a nice added bonus. You can keep your favorite beverage close by.

When you are not using the kayak, the seat can easily be removed so you can store, or stack your kayaks.

PROS

Easy to install
Tall and supportive backrest
Easy to adjust for different people
Easy to remove for storage

CONS

Some folks have complained about the seat slipping

Summary

This seat is easy to adjust and offers excellent back support.  The high seatback is great for leaning back and relaxing when you are on the water. The adjustable straps let you seamlessly change your posture or position depending on the water conditions, or activity you are doing.


OceanMotion Ergo-Fit sit on top Kayak seat

OceanMotion Ergo-Fit sit on top Kayak seat
  • Extra thick padding and a reinforced back for a more rigid design.
  • Minimizes fatigue on those extra long days on the water.
  • Detachable storage bag included.
  • Universally designed to attach to most sit on top kayaks. Attaches via four...
  • We are a US based and owned company and offer a one year warranty against product...

If you are looking for extra thick padding, then this Ergo-Fit kayak seat from OceanMotion is worth a look. This seat provides a robust 2.5 inches cushion for your butt. The thick padding and a reinforced seatback help to minimize fatigue on those long days on the water.

Front and rear adjustable straps hold the seat firmly in place.  This seat has nice rigid back support and cushioning all around so you can adjust the straps to get the right fit for your body. 

It’s definitely more rigid and does not wrap around like some other kayak seats. What sets this one apart is the amount of padding.

The seat has a non-slip bottom, but some people complain it still moves around.  I think that is a common theme with some of these universal seats. It’s hard to get a material that won’t slide around on hard plastic, especially if there is some water involved.

The back of the seat has a storage bag where you can put some supplies or gear, like your lunch, keys, phone, small tools, etc. Any additional storage on a kayak is a plus!

This seat cushion is designed for sit-on-top kayaks.  Many other seat cushions are versatile and can fit a variety of sit-ins or sit-on-top kayaks.

PROS

Extra thick padding
Easy to install
High seatback
Four-way adjustable straps
Comes with a handy detachable pouch on the back

CONS

Designed explicitly for sit on top kayaks
More expensive option

Summary

If extra cushion is what you want, this kayak seat is worth a shot. It has a lot more padding than many seats on the market. The thick padding is good for your butt and helps to keep the backrest rigid.  Some folks find the padding too thick, but that is a personal preference.


What makes the best kayak seat?

Many factors go into a great kayak seat.  Let’s take a look at some things to consider when you are looking for the perfect seat.

Back support

As a guy who suffers from back pain, I understand the value of a seat with excellent back support.  If you are going to spend hours on the water sitting on your butt, you need proper back support.  This includes upper, mid, and lower back.

Look for a kayak seat that will support your back.  Some seats are more upright and rigid, while other seatbacks are a wraparound style. Not all kayak seats are created equal, and every person has different needs, so keep this in mind when you are looking for the best kayak seat.

Back support is a huge factor when you are kayaking.  You are sitting, in a lot of cases, on a hard piece of molded plastic. Getting a proper seat cushion is extremely important.

Padding

Adequate padding is crucial to a kayak seat. You will be sitting for a long time and may not have many opportunities to get up and stretch your legs, butt, and back. Choose a seat that has a good amount of padding.

If your kayak seat is super thin, or if your kayak didn’t come with a seat cushion, you should look for a comfy seat right away.  No point in being uncomfortable as soon as you hit the water.

Adjustable

The best kayak seats are adjustable so that you can get the right fit.  An adjustable kayak seat is also useful if different people will be using the kayak.  Look for a seat that you can adjust the top and the bottom.

An adjustable seat will fit your kayaking style. If you are on calm water, you may want to lean back and relax.  If you are on faster moving water, you want to sit more upright, in the action.

One thing I like to do is vary my posture when I am on the water.  Sometimes I like to lean back and extend my legs out to give my butt and back a break. It’s all about finding the right position, so an adjustable seat is the way to go.

Comfort

Ascend kayak seatPin

Duh, your seat needs to be comfortable, right?  All kayak seats are not made equally, though. What works for your buddy may not work for you.

Finding a comfortable kayak seat is going to be different for everyone. Some people need more padding than others. 

Some folks will prefer a wraparound style as opposed to a rigid back.  Find a seat that fits you comfortably so you can spend more time on the water.

Breathable

Okay, I live in a warm-weather climate, and in the summer, I sweat when I am on the lake.  A breathable kayak seat is a must in my eyes.  Different materials will breathe better than others, so keep that in mind.

A ventilated kayak seat will help circulate air and keep you from getting too hot.  The right material and breathable design will help keep you dry, not all sweaty and stinky.

Size

A kayak seat needs to be the right size for you.  Taller people will need a higher seatback than shorter people, and some people will need a wider backrest than others.  Just make sure you keep the size of the seat in mind when you are looking for the best kayak seat.

Will it fit?

Check with your manufacturer to see if there is a recommended kayak seat.  Not all kayak seats will fit on all kayaks.  Some seats are specifically designed to sit on top kayaks and won’t fit a sit-in kayak. That’s not to say that a sit-on-top kayak seat won’t fit a sit-in kayak.

You may also have to make some adjustments to your kayak since universal seats require deck loops to attach to.  If you have questions, contact your manufacturer to see how this will work for your kayak.

Price

Price is always important when you are choosing a kayak seat. Just because it’s the most expensive doesn’t mean it’s the best one, or the best for you.  You can spend a lot of money on a kayak seat, so you want to make sure it’s going to do the job.

Durability

The best kayak seats will be durable and last a long time.  Think of all that your seat will be exposed to, sun, wind, rain, etc. You want a seat that will stand up to the elements. Plus, you will be sitting on the seat, and that also adds to the wear and tear.  Your seat will undoubtedly get wet, so you want a material that will stand up to the rigors of kayaking.

How to install a kayak seat

This post is definitely not a guide on installing a kayak seat, but there are some things to keep in mind. You will need to make sure your kayak is equipped for your new seat.

Some kayaks are equipped with hooks so you can easily attach your new seat.  Some kayaks don’t have hooks, and you may have to put some on yourself. It’s a good idea to check with your manufacturer before you drill into your kayak.

Many universal kayak seats come with a strap and buckles that make it easy to install and remove the seat for storage.

Will a kayak seat work on an inflatable kayak?

This depends on whether or not the kayak is equipped with the right hooks/anchors. Some inflatables will work with a universal kayak seat, and some won’t line up.

Wrapping up

Best kayak seat - Black seat on a yellow kayakPin

A good kayak seat can make your day on the water more enjoyable. The seat that comes with your kayak may not be the best quality.  Or your kayak may not come with a seat at all.

Try to vary your posture and stretch out your legs if at all possible.  A good seat will help, but just remember you are still sitting on your butt all day!

Let me know if you have any questions.

Steve Morrow Founder of Paddle About
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steve is an avid kayaker and founder of Paddle About. When he is not on the water, Steve enjoys outdoor activities, including fishing, camping, and hiking with his family. Read more.