Updated on October 5, 2020

Let’s face it, many of the seats that come with kayaks leave much to be desired. Some don’t even come with a seat back or bottom pad – ouch! If you have a bad back, want to take long rides, or just appreciate a plush seat, then you may want to add your own seating to your boat. That’s why we’re giving you this list of the 10 Best Kayak Seats.

When you sit back in your kayak, you should feel that “oh yeah” sensation like sitting back in your favorite recliner. At the very least, you want a seat that’s padded and adjustable. Features like breathability, water repellent fabric, and extra storage are nice too. Peek through this list to help you decide which kayak seat sounds “just right” for you.

For more of our top kayaking gear recommendations, check out the Best Kayaking Dry Bags.

 

Quick Answer - The Best Kayak Seats

  1. Skwoosh Classic Paddling Cushion
  2. Ocean Kayak Comfort Tech
  3. Leader Accessories Deluxe
  4. Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus
  5. Pactrade Marine Deluxe
  6. Ocean Kayak Comfort Zone
  7. YakGear SMR Mantaray
  8. Yakpads Gel Seat Pad
  9. Welugnal Luxury Adjustable
  10. GCI Outdoor SitBacker

 

Comparison Table - Best Kayak Seats

PictureNameMaterialsAttachmentColorsPriceRating
Skwoosh Classic Paddling CushionSkwoosh Classic Paddling CushionFluidized Gel and MeshNoneGray$$4.0
Ocean Kayak Comfort TechOcean Kayak Comfort TechNylonMetal clipsBlack$$4.3
Leader Accessories DeluxeMolded FoamAdjustable Straps and ClipsBlack, Black/Gray, and Gray$$4.5
Ocean Kayak Comfort PlusDurable NylonAdjustable Straps and ClipsBlack$$4.4
Pactrade Marine DeluxeNeoprene, Polyester, and FoamMetal clipsBlack and Gray$$4.4
Ocean Kayak Comfort ZoneNylon and FoamMetal clipsBlack (Green Mesh)$$$4.0
YakGear SMR MantarayUnknownBrass clips and D-ringsBlack$4.4
Yakpads Gel Seat PadNeopreneEyelet loopsGray$$4.3
Welugnal Luxury AdjustableNeoprene and PolyesterCopper HooksBlack and Gray$$4.1
GCI Outdoor SitBackerPolyester and Steel FrameAdjustable BucklesBlack or Hunter Green$4.1
PictureNameMaterialsAttachmentColorsPriceRating
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Seats for Kayaks

Skwoosh Classic Paddling Cushion

Specs
  • Colors: Gray
  • Size: 16” x 13”
  • Attachment: None
  • Ventilated: Yes
  • Seat: Cloth and Gel
  • Materials: Fluidized Gel and Mesh
Features
  • Fluidized Gel Relieves Pressure On The Back And Bottom
  • Mesh Ventilation To Minimize Sweat
  • Non-Skid Bottom Stays In Place
  • Waterproof So You Don’t Get Waterlogged
  • No Installation Required
Skwoosh Classic Paddling Cushion

BEST FOR: EXTRA PADDING UNDERNEATH

If all you need is a little extra padding under your seat, then this gel pad is your answer. You can set this seat on top of your existing seat for a little extra cushioning. You could also use the gel pad anywhere else that has a hard seat, such as bleachers, buses, and boats. The non-slip bottom stays put on hard plastic and metal.

The space age gel relieves pressure on your skeletal system, helps maintain circulation, and prevents numbness. Breathable mesh keeps also helps maintain airflow so you don’t get overheated.

Ocean Kayak Comfort Tech

Specs
  • Colors: Black
  • Size: 17”W x 14”H seat, 24”W x 16”H back
  • Attachment: Metal clips
  • Ventilated: Yes
  • Seat: Cloth and Padding
  • Materials: Nylon
Features
  • Thick Padding To Relieve Pressure On Back And Bottom
  • Ventilated Fabric Allows Sweat To Evaporate
  • Adjustable Straps Help You Fine-Tune Your Positioning
  • Reflective Logo Enhances Visibility In Low-Light Conditions
  • Tall Seat Back For Additional Comfort
Ocean Kayak Comfort Tech

BEST FOR: SIT-ON-TOP KAYAKS

This seat is meant to fit Ocean Kayak’s sit-on-top kayaks, but its four-way adjustable mount system and swivel clips should fit most other sit-on-top models as well. The seat provides extra padding, a tall back, and side pads to brace you for long rides.

The tough, UV-resistant fabric resists the rigors you put it through and still looks presentable. Reinforced areas not only lend durability to the seat but also provide additional support for the back. Overall, this seat allows you to enjoy your peaceful ride without the distractions of discomfort from sitting against hard plastic all day.

Leader Accessories Deluxe

Specs
  • Colors: Black, Black/Gray, and Gray
  • Size: 20” W x 18” H Back; 12” H x 15” W Bottom
  • Attachment: Adjustable Straps and Clips
  • Ventilated: Yes
  • Seat: Foam and Cloth
  • Materials: Molded Foam
Features
  • Contoured Back And Bottom Support For Long-Distance Comfort
  • Detachable Storage Bag To Keep Important Items In Reach
  • Two Adjustable Straps In Front And Two In Back For A Customized Fit
  • Marine-Grade Brass Connector Clips

BEST FOR: BAD BACKS

This kayak seat gives you an upgrade from coach seats to first class. The straps are compatible with the existing fittings on most kayaks, so all you have to do is swap your factory issue for this padded seat. It follows the contours of your body and gives a bit of a higher back than you normally get with a traditional kayak seat. 

Since storage on a kayak can be limited, the extra storage bag on the back of this seat comes in handy too. You can stash smaller items or personal belongings that you need to be able to reach right behind you.

Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus

Specs
  • Colors: Black
  • Size: 23” x 15”
  • Attachment: Adjustable Straps and Clips
  • Ventilated: Yes
  • Seat: Padding and Cloth
  • Materials: Durable Nylon
Features
  • Tall Back And Wraparound Sides To Rest Against
  • Extra Padding On The Seat For Paddling Comfort
  • UV Resistant Fabric To Keep The Seat From Fading
  • Reflective Logos To Make You More Visible
  • Adjustable Mounting Straps With Brass Swivel Buckles

BEST FOR: WRAPAROUND SUPPORT

This kayak seat provides more padding than your standard-issue kayak seat, but not as much as some of the plusher models here. If you’re happy with something “in between,” then this seat should do just fine. The unique seat shape sort of wraps around your torso, offering support from the sides too.

Adjustable straps let you find your sitting sweet spot, whether you want to sit tall or lean back on a bit of an incline. The brass spring clips attach to the existing eyelets on most kayaks. With high-back support and ventilation, you should be able to stay out on the water longer than before.

Pactrade Marine Deluxe

Specs
  • Colors: Black and Gray
  • Size: 21.6”W x 18.5”H back, 15.74”W x 12.6”H bottom
  • Attachment: Metal clips
  • Ventilated: No
  • Seat: Cloth and Foam
  • Materials: Neoprene, Polyester, and Foam
Features
  • Detachable Zipper Bag For Items You Want Within Reach
  • Adjustable Straps With Metal Clips For Universal Use
  • Non-Slip Surface Helps Keep You In Place
  • Contoured And Padded In All The Right Places
  • High Back To Accommodate Tall Riders

BEST FOR: WET, SLIPPERY RIDES 

This seat has a non-slip seating surface to keep you from losing traction when you get wet. In addition, the secure straps stay in position so you can sit upright or recline without gradually sinking. Reviewers remind us that the seat could stand to be a little more stiff with a bit more padding under the bottom, but it definitely extends your comfort.

This particular seat was made with sit-on-top kayak models in mind but can successfully be installed in sit-inside models with a few minor adjustments. Either way, the additional storage in the bonus detachable zippered pouch adds a little something extra you can definitely use.

Ocean Kayak Comfort Zone

Specs
  • Colors: Black (Green Mesh)
  • Size: 22” x 11.5”
  • Attachment: Metal clips
  • Ventilated: Yes
  • Seat: Cloth and Foam
  • Materials: Nylon and Foam
Features
  • Extra Cushioning To Keep Your Lower Extremities Happy
  • Generous Back Height For Taller Folks
  • Tough Nylon Stands Up To The Rigors Of Kayaking
  • Ventilation System Allows Sweat To Evaporate
  • Adjustable Side Straps To Help You Find The Best Angle

BEST FOR: THE MOST CREATURE COMFORTS

This top-of-the-line kayak seat has some of the most impressive comfort features of any of the seats listed here. The tall height and superior padding make your ride much more enjoyable than your standard-issue seat. That means you can spend more time immersed in nature.

Brass swivel buckles attach to your kayak from any angle while the adjustable straps help you find the level of incline you want to keep. The sturdy seat is nice and firm so it doesn’t bend and fold so easily against your weight. Some kayakers appreciate this feature while others feel it’s a bit too rigid.

YakGear SMR Mantaray

Specs
  • Colors: Black
  • Size: 19” H x 21.5” W back; 15” L seat
  • Attachment: Brass clips and D-rings
  • Ventilated: Yes
  • Seat: Cloth and Foam
  • Materials: Unknown
Features
  • Brass Buckles And D-Rings Allow You To Easily Attach Seat To Sit-In And Sit-On-Top Kayak Models
  • Non-Skid Bottom Keeps Seat In Place
  • Water Gutters In Seat Bottom Allow Water To Flow Out So You’re Not Sitting In A Puddle
  • Tall, Adjustable Back Provides Support And Keeps You Comfortable

BEST FOR: FREQUENT WEEKEND PLANS

An uncomfortable kayak seat can make all the difference between loving the watersport and resenting it. If you plan on using your kayak quite a bit this summer, then you need a decent seat like this one to improve the experience. Four connectors attach to your kayak’s anchor points and the adjustable straps hold it taut. The contoured design and extra back support lengthen the amount of time you can comfortably spend on the water.

Thick foam padding on the seat will keep your bum happy for hours on end and gutters in the seat allow any water to flow out so you’re not sitting in a puddle while you paddle. Every trip just got a little better!

Yakpads Gel Seat Pad

Specs
  • Colors: Gray
  • Size: Back is 12” H x 16” wide
  • Attachment: Eyelet loops
  • Ventilated: No
  • Seat: Cloth and Gel
  • Materials: Neoprene
Features
  • High Back For Extra Support
  • Full Insulation To Prevent Overly Hot Or Cold Seating
  • Gel Cushioning That Moves With You To Reduce Pressure
  • Adjustable Stabilizer Straps That Fit Over Existing Attachment Points
  • Easily Movable From Seat To Seat

BEST FOR: SETTING ON TOP OF YOUR CURRENT SEAT

Instead of getting a whole new seat for your kayak, you can just set the YakPad over your current seat for extra cushioning. This gel-filled pad keeps your backside comfortable, from both a temperature and a physical standpoint. The gel doesn’t compress or hold its shape like foam does either.

Little eyelet loops slip over your existing attachment points to keep the pad from slipping around. It’s easy to take the seat off and move it from kayak to bleachers to desk chair too, so you can pad any chair. The high back provides better coverage for your low back and bottom.

Welugnal Luxury Adjustable

Specs
  • Colors: Black and Gray
  • Size: 18.5” H x 21.65” W back, 12.6” H x 15.7” W bottom
  • Attachment: Copper Hooks
  • Ventilated: No
  • Seat: Cloth and Foam
  • Materials: Neoprene and Polyester
Features
  • Contoured Seat Pad Fits The Curves Of Your Back
  • Non-Slip Sitting Surface To Reduce Slippage
  • Adjustable To Fit Most Kayaks And Canoes
  • Detachable Zippered Bag To Keep Personal Items Within Reach
  • High Backrest With Backboard For Extra Support

BEST FOR: MAINTAINING GOOD POSTURE

When you’re sitting in the lap of Luxury, you can paddle much longer than if you’re up against hard plastic. The high back has a stiff support board built into it to keep you sitting proud and pretty. (If you prefer to lounge, then this might not be the one for you.) Meanwhile, the contoured padding feels like your favorite office chair without the accompanying cooped-up feeling.

Kayak seats are usually pretty universal, and the adjustable straps on this model should be able to create a stable seating arrangement. You just need four good anchor points to attach the seat to your kayak and you should be good to go.

GCI Outdoor SitBacker

Specs
  • Colors: Black or Hunter Green
  • Size: 11 x 16.5” x 18” open
  • Attachment: Adjustable Buckles
  • Ventilated: No
  • Seat: Cloth and Metal
  • Materials: Polyester and Steel Frame
Features
  • Adjustable Straps Allow For Upright Or Reclining Positions
  • Bottom Buckles Secure To A Bench Seat
  • Includes A Carry Strap So You Can Fold It Up And Take It Anywhere
  • Multiple Uses: Makes Bleachers, Folding Chairs, And Canoes More Comfortable Too
  • Rear Slip Pocket For Keys, Maps, Fishing Regulations, Or Other Necessities

BEST FOR: EXTRA SEATING FOR PASSENGERS 

If you have an extra spot on your kayak, this seat can make taking another passenger possible. Secure the bottom straps to a bench seat to bring along a friend or kid along in the high-back seat. If your kayak doesn’t have a bench, your extra passenger can still hold the seat down with their bodyweight. The metal frame provides exceptional support and allows for long-term use.

The seat supports up to 250 lbs but only weighs 3 lbs and folds up so you can take it from beach to bleachers, or anywhere else you need a comfortable seat. The lumbar cushion and thick padded seat pamper your backside in indoor and outdoor settings.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A KAYAK SEAT

 

MATERIAL 

The best kayak seats are made of durable polyester or nylon to withstand the rigors of kayaking and the elements. Neoprene is what wetsuits are made out of, so it has great marine quality too. If sturdiness is important to you, you may want a seat with a metal frame or a backboard. Otherwise, choose a softer model if you want to lounge.

 

PADDING

The type and amount of padding inside is important too. Usually, kayak seats have foam padding or gel beads. While foam provides comfortable cushioning, it may compress after extended use while gel beads should return to their original position. Be sure to choose a cushier model if you need more padding or a contoured model if you want to maintain proper posture.

 

ATTACHMENTS

Some of the kayak seats listed have adjustable straps with clips while others sit on top of your existing seat. If you want to replace your entire seat, then you want straps that adjust to fit your kayak. If you just want a little extra padding, a seat cushion may be all you need to improve your ride.

 

KAYAK TYPE

Most of the seats in this list are pretty universal, but some fit better on sit-on-top models while others have sit-inside versatility. Either take a look at the pictures or read through the recommendations to see if the seat will fit your kayak. Otherwise, you can message the manufacturer to see if it will work. Look at your kayak to see how your current seat attaches compared to the one you’re considering to see if they’re compatible.

 

VENTILATION

Ventilated seats allow for airflow so you don’t get overheated on hot summer days. They limit the amount of sweat you produce and allow whatever sweat you make to evaporate. If ventilation is important to you, be sure this feature is included in your choice.

 

BACK HEIGHT

The height of the seat back can affect your comfort, especially if you’re on the taller side. Check the measurements of your favorite seats to see how high they reach. If your seat only reaches halfway up your back, then your upper back may get sore or you might feel yourself slouching. Another consideration to make is if the back is adjustable or not. Use this guide to find the right seating position.

For more considerations, check out this kayak seat guide.

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

 

ANCHOR POINTS

Anchor points are holes in your kayak where the seat clips or other accessories attach. Most kayaks already have anchor points for your seat, so you shouldn’t have to drill holes for them. 

 

VENTILATION

Ventilated kayak seats allow for airflow around your body so you don’t get too hot. Typically, ventilation is made possible by little holes in mesh or the moisture-wicking properties of fabric.  Think about how a black seat without ventilation could easily cause a pool of sweat to build on your back and seat. Ventilation makes your ride much more comfortable.

 

MARINE GRADE

If a feature is marine-grade, that means it can withstand the normal rigors of the water such as waves, salt, sun, and moisture. If the clips on your kayak are marine-grade, for example, they should be able to resist corrosion and breakage from getting wet. 

 

MOUNTING STRAPS

Mounting straps are the adjustable straps that connect the seat to the kayak. The straps should be attached tightly enough to keep the seat anchored while you’re paddling. Without the mounting straps, you’d have to hold your seat in place with just your bodyweight, and you’d probably slide around and lose the seat if your kayak tipped.

 

SWIVEL HOOKS

Swivel hooks are metal clips that can spin. Because they can spin, you can attach them from any approach angle. Otherwise, you’d likely end up with twisted, contorted straps.

READ MORE

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