Best Kayak Seats For The Money

Ultimate Buying Guide To The Best Kayak Seats For The Money

If you are not one of the very few paddlers who are serious about their kayak seats, there is a chance that you have already ignored the matter that almost half of the mobility and comfort you expect from your kayak rides depends on the seat you are on.

It is true how enjoyable your kayak rides will depend on the kayak itself, but you cannot simply overlook or underestimate the comfort under your couch that a well-crafted kayak seat is going to offer, especially on long fishing tours. Hopefully, a few words about kayak seats might be sufficient to draw your attention.

Why would you want a kayak seat?

There are several ways you can benefit from a kayak seat. Different people will talk about different types of seats and their obvious benefits. Here is a list of reasons, common in all types of seats, showing you why you need one of them.

  • You may need more comfort, especially during the hours of exhaustion. Also, you require different levels of comfort in different situations. It is more practically perceivable when you go on a tour that stretches farther than just a few miles. A properly designed padded option in a kayak seat will give you the comfort you are looking for under various circumstances.
  • Getting right back held up properly in every situation is possible as long as you have a standard kayak seat.
  • In order to enjoy paddling with speed and discipline, a kayak seat gives you precision.
  • Sometimes, paddlers need to get some storage facility while kayaking. Kayak seats often come with a storage option to hold some stuff.
  • Positioning yourself on a kayak becomes flexible or properly arranged with tough material seats or foldable ones.

Why would you look for a good one?

Well, all the bulleted points above show the reasons which are common in all kayak seats. What about the good ones? Did you ever spend a second thinking about them? It is the benefits of a good kayak seat that sets it apart from a common or average one. Let’s get to the reasons:

Increased maneuverability

Sure, you will take numerous turns while kayaking or fishing with a kayak. There is no denying the fact that you can hardly catch fish being stuck in a fixed position on a kayak. Most kayaks come with a seat, but you need a really good one because you want to maneuver your position with the required mobility of your kayak or the moves of the fish underwater.

Increased stability

Any seat will give you a minimum level of stability. What if you are fishing on bodies of moving water? In this case, you need to get great stability along with control over your movement. A good kayak seat can ensure that you are never off your sitting position.

Increased back support

For regular kayakers, back support is something as important as their daily needs. Lack of proper back support may lead to back pain, often ending up with serious backbone issues. A good kayak seat features great back support to enable anglers to rest upon for as long as they want.

How would you choose the best kayak seats?

Any type of fishing item you purchase, you might know that anglers have to do your homework. For kayak seats, you are also going to do yours.

First thing first

The very fundamental consideration before you start picking a seat is the type of kayak you are riding. In spite of several types being available, we can divide them into two major categories, such as sport and recreational kayaks which significantly differ from each other in view of their physical specifications and features.

Facts about sports kayaks

  • These are ‘Sit inside’ vessels
  • Ideal for fast-moving water
  • Lack of stability and short in size
  • Might wake
  • Great strength and maneuverability
  • Rounded hull
  • Popularly called whitewater kayaks

Recreational kayaks

  • Ideal for calm water fishing, photography, and light exercises
  • Stable and long in size
  • Adequate space for two individuals and storage options
  • A flat hull with hard build
  • Both ‘Sit inside’ vessels and ‘Sit-on-top’ styles are available

You might ask why you need to read these again after doing extensive homework before buying a kayak. You are not reading useless words because the differences between the major categories of kayaks are the key factors to direct your choice of a kayak seat. Kayak seats come in different styles just as the way kayaks come in different designs and styles. Who knows, before really knowing anything about the seats, which seats can be good for which kayaks?

So, you need to evaluate your kayak type and what kind of seat it requires before putting your dollars into them.

Types of kayak seats

At present, there are five different types of kayak seats available. The reason they are distinct from each other includes the features, designs, and utilities. Anglers or paddlers may receive a distinct advantage from each type. Here is a quick overview of the five types.


Whether you are on a weekend to enjoy fishing around or taking little tours, a basic kayak seat will give you what you want for prolonging your tour. Soothe is a basic seat’s primary purpose, which is why recreational kayaks are the best match. Regardless of the types of paddling or fishing, basic seats are often considered as an all-in-one yet affordable option.


With a deluxe kayak seat, you can enjoy a range of sitting positions along with congenial ergonomic settings, which make the selection more expensive than basic kayak seats. The price tag is also a considerable factor between a deluxe and a basic seat. Advanced kayakers tend to choose this type as they require a special level of comfort during some of their extreme activities on the vessels. For both recreational and sports kayaks, this type is ideal, but there are still diversities to take into consideration.

Tall Back

This type includes great support for your back. For taller anglers, tall back seats are desirable because a person with a greater height than the average always requires adequate back support to avoid discomfort and pain in the back. Tall back seats usually have sizes anywhere between 38 and 50 centimeters.


We know kayaks are built for two special purposes, such as tours and fishing. If you use your kayak often for fishing purposes, you should look for the particular type that is specifically designed to accelerate your fishing activities. Fishing kayak seats offer pivotal capability so
that anglers can cast their fishing lines in various directions to enjoy enhanced soothing while sitting still. In the end, you can experience relaxed kayak fishing.


If you want a kayak seat that is extremely lightweight and portable, inflatable seats will make you smile. Sporting
kayaks require proper maneuverability, and inflatable kayak seats will offer at the most advantageous level.

Kayak seat materials

Kayak seat materials determine how the structure of the seat should be and how much comfort it is going to offer. Learning which material brings in what would enable you to take a more knowledgeable decision.

Neoprene fabric

A process that involves the polymerization of chloroprene makes neoprene fabric which is originally a kind
of synthetic rubber, used widely for manufacturing fan belts, laptop sleeves, and knee braces. The
material is known for its flexibility and stability in almost all weather. The material is usually marketed in latex or rubber form.

Layered or molded foam

A wide variety of soft foam compounds can be used for manufacturing this product. The process which
makes it is injection-based foam molding. As the process is successfully finished, foam is created in a nice and soft form so that it can be designed in flexible styles.

EVA foam

While this material is used mostly to manufacture various forms of padding to be used as martial arts

gloves, hockey pads, and boxing gloves. EVA stands for Ethylene Vinyl Acetate which makes incredibly lightweight foam that is not only durable but also strong enough to take the heats of extreme paddling.


For regions that offer harsh climates, polyester is a very familiar name. Strong and durable, this fabric is quite suitable for outdoor clothes. A kayak seat is not entirely made of polyester, except for most of a kayak seat. Here is a list of chemical specifications.

  • Long-chain polymers
  • The chemical composition consists of 85% weight of ester along with terephthalic acid and dihydric alcohol

Some Standalone factors to consider

These are some considerations that greatly matter during your decision-making.

Padding/ Cushioning

Remember that the size of the cushioning is always important. Here are some factors regarding the cushioning/padding of a kayak seat:

  • An ideal cushion should be thick but not too soft.
  • Make sure the seat comes with adequate padding on its bottom.
  • Popular cushioning includes strap-on cushions and self-adhesive cushions.

Benefits of good cushioning

  • Added comfort to make it easy for anglers for fishing in distant locations and unfamiliar waters.
  • Removal of barriers for legs to make the much-needed circulation.

Durability/ Quality

It is the material of your kayak seat that determines whether it is durable or not. Fortunately, you will find the majority of kayak seats to be durable. If you paddle a lot more than just a few times a year, your best bet can be the one made with a nylon pack that comes with UV-resistant features.


Do you accept yourself being wiggled around in your kayak’s cockpit? Are you not afraid of getting into the water due to a little shift while enjoying a beautiful view of nature at a particular fishing event? Sure, you will hate both experiences. Now, you need to think about stability more seriously. In order to save yourself from flipping over while fishing in whitewater currents and losing focus on a coveted catch, you must be mindful of the stability kayak seats offer.


How much you have to spend commands no direct answer because price tags are as variable as the choices of kayak seats. Pay attention to the following points:

  • A good kayak seat with all your basic requirements covered should cost around $60.
  • For more advanced features and better ergonomics, you should spend around $100.
  • If you think the above two pricing tags exceed your budget, you can find some more basic choices which might not be very decent, but work adequately for you considering your demands is not so high.
  • Remember that you will receive what you will put money on.

Storage/ Extra Storage

It is one of the features often ignored by buyers of kayak seats since many kayaks come with adequate storage facilities. Your kayak might have already the much storage capacity you want. However, a little extra space is not really a bad feature, especially when you do not have to spend extra bucks for it.


This is a standalone matter you should never care with little interest. Regardless of the grandeur, a seat comes up with, you must not compromise on comfort. If you do not feel comfortable on a seat, you have little to be happy with it even though it might come with a great look and design.

Before buying one, you may attempt to have a test drive with it as some manufacturers allow buyers for that.

How can you determine a particular one is suitable?

Take a seat for a test drive. Try to stay on it as much long as you can. If you feel fairly comfortable for prolonged hours, you can consider buying that in view of other factors.


For a heavy-duty seat, you should be ready to spend about two hours to install. For kayakers who are good at working on their boats, the time should be much less. For a hassle-free experience using a kayak seat, you can buy a seat with a built-in back band.

Things you should not do

  • Do not buy a poorly designed seat. Here ‘a poorly designed seat’ refers to one that does not come with your desired features, such as a backrest or a built-in back band.
  • Do not buy a seat that comes built with certain materials which could be the cause of sweating and overheating. You can do yourself a favor by learning which material irritates your skin and body.
  • Do not buy a seat that is either too soft or too stiff. Either of them would disturb your peaceful stay on the kayak amid a serene atmosphere.

Thinking about brands?

As you dig deep into the number of brands offering kayak seats, you are to get overwhelmed. However, some brands are really popular with decent features which makes them preferable to the rest of the market. Here are some really good brands to consider shopping from.

Ocean Kayak

It is a brand known for its wide variety of products including complete kayaks and all accessories at different pricing options, from the most affordable to the most expensive. Whatever you buy from them, you will see a reflective logo on the product.

Malibu Kayaks

If you ask which brand is the best to offer a heavy-performance kayak seat, the answer should be Malibu Kayaks, arguably though. The manufacturer has been in the business since 1999 with esteem and great popularity.

Surf to Summit

Although you will not be very surprised by the variety of products from this brand, you will be glad to have specialty products in each category. For kayak seats, this brand specializes in manufacturing durable and strong seats for touring kayaks and recreational kayaks.


This company has some reputation maintained by virtue of medically proven material. Kayak seats are manufactured through a patented gel which is later combined with high-quality fabrics. Below is a list of features the products of this company come with:

  • Non-skid bottoms
  • Welded seams
  • Low-profile designs
  • Lightweight and foldable items


Kerco’s kayak seats are durable and strong with molded foam construction having a nylon exterior. The company is not essentially known for being a kayak manufacturer, but a reputable brand for kayak seats along with other important accessories.

Best 5 kayak seats in each category

Instead of knowing about the best kayak seats at random, it is wise to know which kayak seat is the best of all in each type. Here is a brief overview of the best 5 kayak seats in each category.

Best basic kayak seat

Surf to Outfitter Series Kayak Seat

Those with the only aim to have great back support would want to have this kayak seat because of its performance-oriented backrest. Originally made for instructional and rental kayak programs, the seat will add value to money.

Standard features

  • Fairly basic design
  • 4 point adjustable attachment
  • Material: Layered foam, plastic, and fabric
  • Seat Cushion: 14″L x 16″W x 3/4″H
  • Seat Back: 13″L x 20″W

Pros & Cons

  • Durable and strong
  • Capable of taking pressure involved in a commercial kayak fleet
  • Customizable options for added comfort
  • Incredibly affordable
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Heavy and stiff
  • Not much cushioning is available

Check Price in Amazon

Best deluxe kayak seat

Deluxe Molded Foam Kayak Seat

This deluxe seat, as spoken of earlier, is more convenient than a basic kayak seat. With no seat slippage, this will offer you an extra solid positioning, making your kayaking enjoyable with both fishing and viewing nature. Back support is also above average.

Standard features

  • Heavy-duty thermal formed seat
  • Widened rear attachment straps
  • Detachable cushion
  • Marine-grade connecting snaps
  • Detachable zipper back
  • 2-rod holders attached

Pros & Cons

  • An ergonomic design
  • Higher sitting position achievable
  • Rigid back support
  • Seat slippage prevented
  • Not very flexible for professional anglers
  • The slim lower back part

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Best tall back kayak seat

Skwoosh Big Catch High Back Kayak seat

If your fishing tour includes an all-day endeavor without discomfort, Skwoosh Big Catch is your best bet. Get your gear stored in its specified space and go out for a satisfactory kayak tour without worrying about rapids and harshness.

Standard features

  • Material: Polyester and fluidized gel for cushion
  • Seat Cushion: 13″L x 16″W x 1″H
  • Weight: 4 lbs
  • Back Height: 20″
  • 20-inch padded back along with adjustable side wings
  • 2 fiberglass battens to ensure reinforced back strength
  • 2-rod holders
  • 4 adjustable attaching straps to allow for installation with clips

Pros & Cons

  • Added stability ensured by low-profile design
  • Incredible toughness
  • Adjustable lumbar support
  • Gear storage
  • Fishing pack included
  • Heavier than a basic kayak seat
  • Too expensive for a beginner to afford
  • Poor stability reported during several driving events

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Best fishing kayak seat

Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat Back

Some kayakers prefer fishing to mere touring. Some love to fish around a lot of places with traveling in mind. For any of these intentions, this kayak seat is a big bet. Excellent back support and facility to sit down in a console-able manner are just the two best services offered.

Standard features

  • Material: UV-resistant nylon pack cloth
  • Extra foam padding
  • 4-way adjustable mounting straps
  • Reinforced stays
  • Brass swivel buckles for easy attachment

Pros & Cons

  • An excellent choice for an extended kayak tour
  • Padded back for support
  • The logo is thoughtful enough to offer good visibility in the low-light atmosphere
  • Above-average toughness
  • Several attempts are required for readjusting the seat on a long fishing day
  • The backrest was reported to be flimsy

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Best inflatable kayak seat

Sea Eagle Deluxe Inflatable Kayak Seat

Some people love inflatable seats for the reason that they can easily adjust their body without breaking the sweat. This inflatable seat comes with almost all the perks of a deluxe kayak seat. Another great thing about it is its price is not as high as a high-end kayak seat.

Standard features

  • Measurements: 14″ wide x 21″ deep x 19″ tall (Open), 14″ x 9″ x 4″ (Folded)
  • Rear pocket available
  • Sitting position: 5″ off the floor and 14″ for back support

Pros & Cons

  • Ideal for sport inflatable kayaks, touring and explorer kayaks
  • Novel design to enhance back support
  • Additional storage capacity
  • Overly basic design
  • Too narrow for bulky anglers
  • Frequently unstable positioning of the boat due to the seat reported

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You would not disagree with the fact that kayaking is an exhilarating pursuit. Did you think such delight would turn into gloom and disturbance if you did not have a proper sitting arrangement on your kayak? Now, you might have understood how critical it is to have a good kayak seat rather than the one with your kayak. Do not forget to take a test on your potential purchase. It will save you time and money, of course.

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