Getting out on the water in a kayak can be a fantastic amount of fun, as we’re sure you probably know. However, there’s only one downside. Sitting down in the same position for a particularly long time can be quite uncomfortable.

Standard kayak seats from manufacturers can sometimes be not as comfortable as you would like them to be. Manufacturers sometimes save money on the seats that they install into their kayaks, so they can still make the rest of the kayak more advanced and high-performing, whilst remaining within a budget.

If you have noticed that you’re regularly in pain or stiff after sitting down on your kayak water being out on the water for a good length of time, it can be quite a deterring experience. When you’re out kayaking, you want to be enjoying your time in the open air, and be able to take in the fresh air and scenery whilst being completely relaxed. If you’re not relaxed, it’s likely that the experience isn’t going to be all that enjoyable.

There’s a positive though! An uncomfortable kayak seat is a problem that can be very easily fixed. Kayak seats can be purchased from aftermarket manufacturers – manufacturers that specialize in the production of seats, and provide the perfect product to get you back into and enjoying kayaking in comfort once again.

In this guide, we’re going to go over the different types and styles of kayak seat that exist, as well as the areas of your seat that you can improve in order to make it more comfortable. Mainly though, we’ll be taking a look at and reviewing a number of different kayak seats.

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What Should You Look For In A Good Kayak Seat?

A Good Amount Of Support

You might think that this is an obvious point to be looking for in a seat, but the number of kayak seats that have poor back support is extremely surprising! If you find that you’re experiencing back pain after kayaking, this is most likely the cause. If lumbar support is poor, you are placing an excess amount of stress on your lower back, which can result in aching if you’ve been doing so over a long period of time or continuously.

A seat that is supporting, therefore, is very important indeed.


One That Fits Your Kayak

Buying a seat that doesn’t fit or that isn’t compatible with your kayak is an extremely easy mistake to make. In order to make sure this doesn’t happen, you should measure up your current boat, to make sure that you get a seat that will fit in the space that’s available.

When you’re looking at seats, you should compare the sizing against the current one that you’re finding to be uncomfortable too. For example, if you find that your current seat isn’t wide enough at the back, then be sure to compare the measurements of the new on that you’re considering purchasing against the old, and make sure that it’s got some more room. Just remember to make sure that the seat you’re considering will still fit on your boat.


Choose A Seat That Matches Your Kayaking

What we mean by this, is it’s a good idea to choose a seat that will accommodate your main uses for the kayak. For example, if your main use for the kayak is white-water rafting, it’s likely that you’re going to be wanting to be positioned lower in the boat to help your centre of gravity. Alternatively if you use that kayak for fishing, you’ll most likely want to be positioned higher up in order to help when casting and landing fish. For both situations, you should choose a seat with a height that is appropriate.

Storage options on the seat can be great too. Some aftermarket kayak seats may come with storage options attached, such as small zip/locking pockets etc. These can be great for storing smaller items of food or general accessories that you would like to have close to hand.


The Breathability of Your Seat

If your seat is regularly getting wet due to fishing or spray from the water, it’s a good idea to get one that’s going to be able to dry out quickly. For example, if your seat is dense and constructed from sponge, it’s going to be able to soak up a lot of water, and will be difficult to dry. On the other hand, if your seat is made from mesh, it will be able to dry rapidly and be much more comfortable.

Even if you’re not getting wet from the water but are kayaking in extremely warm conditions, a seat that has poor breathability can cause your back to become very hot and sweaty very quickly. This isn’t something that you want whilst you’re out on the water. A kayak seat that is breathable will mean increased airflow to your back, and therefore a better and more comfortable body temperature. All in all, a seat that has good breathability is a far more comfortable seat than one which does not.


The Best Kayak Seats 

Surf to Summit GTS Expedition Moulded Foam Kayak Seat

The GTS from Surf to Summit is one of the best kayak seats available on the market today. The seat is easy to fit onto your kayak, with 4 high-quality straps with brass fittings for added durability and weather resistance. The GTS is designed to work at its best with sit on  top kayaks, however, there’s no reason why it couldn’t be used in conjunction with a sit-inside kayak if the measurements are correct.

Being constructed from foam which is the perfect firmness, the seat offers extreme comfort and an ample amount of support for both your legs and back. On the back of the seat, there’s also a series of bungee cords behind which items or one larger item could be stored. These are great for something storing things that you would like to keep close to hand and easily accessible at all times. The back height of the seat is 12 inches, with the seat itself weighing a mere 2.7 lbs.

Not only is the Surf to Summit GTS extremely comfortable, it is also lightweight and very practical too. On the bottom of the seat, there are two deep lines that make the seat more comfortable. They are also perfect for allowing water to run off of the seat and prevent it from flooding on these particularly wet days.

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Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat Back

This Ocean Kayak seat is another perfect option should you wish to upgrade the stock-fitted seat that’s currently on your kayak. Like the Surf to Summit GTS, the Ocean Kayak seat is also well-padded and comes with four adjustable straps that are used to secure the boat well into the kayak.

The Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus is extremely highly rated by its users, and for good reason too . The seat offers an excellent amount of support for your back thanks to its additional height over some other models – you’ll have no worries of backache after a longer paddling session when using this seat. Thanks to the adjusting straps that are fitted to the seat, you can get the seat into the perfect and most comfortable position for your day out on the water.

The seat itself is constructed from nylon. This nylon construction has a number of fantastic characteristics. It is extremely lightweight, as well as being extremely durable. It’s also extremely easy to clean should anything be split on it, thanks to it being a synthetic fiber.

The swivel buckles that help to attach the seat to the boat are also constructed from brass. They are, therefore, extremely durable and will not rust easily. If you’re looking for a seat that’s going to keep you in comfort throughout a whole day on the water, as well as keep your bank account in comfort, we think you’d be struggling to find much better than the Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus. In order to maintain its excellent looks, the seat is also UV-protected, so that it doesn’t become damaged and discolored by the rays of the sun.

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Pactrade Marine Adjustable Padded Deluxe Kayak Seat

The Pactrade Marine seat is another very popular seat for kayaking. Just when you thought that replacing the seat on your kayak could be a tricky process, this seat is the exact advert as to why that is not the case. It comes from the box with 4 straps attached in total – two at the front of the seat, and two at the back. All four attach to the boat respectively and all four are adjustable – getting this seat into the correct position is no challenge.

The surface of this seat is quite different to the other options on the market. The Pactrade Marine features a non-slip surface, that is both padded and contoured. This means that no matter how much force you’re putting into your paddling, you won’t be sliding about all over the boat. This helps you to get the most accurate stroke of the paddle into the water as possible. It’s also simply more comfortable than not being able to stay in one position.

This seat also comes with a very interesting storage option that’s positioned on the back of the seat. The Pactrade features a removable “backpack” style storage system. It’s perfect for filling with items and essentials that you might need whilst on land or out on the water, and then simply removing and using as a backpack when you get off the boat. At a mere 2.7 pounds in weight, you can be sure that this Pactrade Marine Adjustable seat won’t be any major weight addition to your vessel.

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Kerco Angler-x – Adjustable Kayak Seat

The Kerco Angler-X is an excellent seat to opt for if you’re looking for the ultimate in comfort. In addition to being adjustable, the Angler-x is extremely well-padded and comfortable as a result. The sizing has been designed so that it’s able to be fitted into the vast majority of kayaks, making this extra comfortable seat very practical too.

The seat is contoured and also anti-slip, meaning that you’re not going to be moving around on the seat when you don’t want to be. It’s also great for safety. The Kerco Angler-x has an excellent build quality and is a seat that can be truly relied upon for both durability and comfort. Being nylon, the seat is very easy to clean and maintain too.

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