Whether you’re paddling for recreation or relaxation or sport, kayaking is a very enjoyable activity indeed. However, nothing can ruin the pleasure and delight of a kayaking adventure more than an uncomfortable kayaking seat. While kayaks come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, they all have one common factor – you have to sit in them. This is what makes the seat one of the most important parts of the craft. The best kayak seats not only have excellent reviews but also offer excellent back support and help you maneuver the boat easily. That’s why kayaking seats need to be chosen so carefully, as their fit and design are responsible for a large portion of the comfort you feel in your watercraft.
Are you one of those people who get needles and pins after sitting inside or on the kayak for long hours? Then you definitely need to invest in the best kayaking seats that allow you to focus on paddling and having fun as they comfortably support your back. To that end, here are the 13 best kayak seats with excellent reviews for back support.
How To Choose The Best Kayak Seats?
Just like other comfort kayaking accessories such as Best Kayaking Helmets, Best Kayaking Leashes, or the Best Kayaking Fishing Rod Holders, choosing kayak seats is a careful process. there are a lot of considerations besides the usual size, weight capacity, etc. – you have back support, foam type, seat type and so much more. So, what are these considerations? Read on.
There are four basic kinds of kayaking seats – basic seats, deluxe seats, high-back seats, and inflatable seats. Basic seats do away with all basic pains and aches by usually just adding an extra padded cushion for enhancing comfort levels. Deluxe seats are a step-up from basic ones with more amount of cushion padding and extra back support. If you have challenges with back pain, then deluxe kayaking seats will definitely go a long way in making your journey comfortable. That said, you need to check the height of the backrest, besides its compatibility with your kayak. This is where high back seats come in, as they offer better support and cockpit fit especially to taller backpackers. Finally, we have inflatable seats onboard inflatable kayaks, which are cheap but don’t offer that much support.
Seat foam types
Broadly, there are three types of foam types – gel, pressure-molded foam, and thermomolded foam. Gel seats, to begin with, basically feature a neoprene cover filled with soft that makes for a comfortable sitting cushion. Their only drawback is that they wear and tear quickly. Secondly, we have pressure-molded foam ones that can be “molded” for better comfort and blood flow and boast excellent longevity. Last but not least, the standard these days are the thermomolded ones, which are quite common today. Chances are that you’ll end up with a seat that combines thermomolded and pressure-molded foam.
Lumbar support and comfort
One of the most critical aspects of a good kayaking seat is lumbar support and comfort, which can go a long way in easing existing back pain or not allowing it to happen in the first place. For this, you need to check the kayak’s backrest, the best of which balance rigidity and padding well. However, you also need to check the measure of rigidity as your back needs support too, and not just conformity. Self-conforming seats are excellent for those with back problems and issues.
Kayaking needs and intended use
One of the first factors to consider when deciding kayaking seats is what your purpose of kayaking is. You need to ask yourself what you’re looking for such as additional storage, increased stability, or added comfort. For instance, if you’re mainly going whitewater kayaking, then go for low-profile seats that’ll help you maneuver the craft. If you’re going long-distance casting, then go for a high-profile kayak.
Last but not least, you need to consider the compatibility of the kayaking seat with your boat. Good kayaking seats not only conveniently fit inside your craft but do soo without being too wide or too narrow. In order to get this right, measure the seating area of your craft and match it with the seats you’re looking at. Besides the measurements, you also need to find out whether your boat has the necessary and required features allowing you to strap in a seat.
Are inflatable kayak seats better than high-backed ones?
Usually, most newbie paddlers are recommended inflatable kayak seats because they’re easy to use and are also easy to get used to, whether it’s the comfort or the support. However, if you’re an exceptionally tall paddler, then you’ll get a better cockpit fit and back support from a high-backed seat. Inflatable seats might win convenience points, but high-backed seats offer comfort for extended periods of time and ensure that you don’t end up with a stiff back.
Pactrade Marine Adjustable Padded Deluxe Kayak Seat
We start our list with a product that features on almost all lists of best kayaking seats – the Pactrade Marine Adjustable Padded Deluxe Kayak Seat. While this is a custom-designed seat for a sit-on-top canoe, it still works really well with most canoes and boats. The seat is made from high-quality 600D polyester and neoprene, which makes it both long-lasting as well as lightweight. Plus, it offers kayakers a much more comfortable kayaking experience as compared to other ones in the market. Besides being well-padded, the seat is adjustable too, thanks to the rear and front straps that are adjustable. What’s more, four robust hooks keep the seat securely fastened to the craft. Rounding up the features is the cushioned inner layer, which features a cushy EVA foam atop a flexible PE plate.
- Removable bag perfect for storage.
- The rear and front straps are adjustable.
- Has a non-slip surface.
- Durable and lightweight.
- Cannot be used on sit-in kayaks.
Kerco Explorer Sit-on-top Kayak Seat
The Kerco Explorer Sit-on-top Kayak Seat is one of the best kayaking seats with good reviews for back support. Most compatible with sit-on-top kayaks, the seat boasts a particularly comfortable backrest. The padding is enough for allowing your back to rest comfortably even when you’re out on a multi-day kayaking expedition. At the same time, it still has a little bit of rigidity, which is just enough to help maintain your back posture all throughout your kayaking adventure. If that wasn’t enough, it’s durable, thick, and can withstand the wear and tear that comes with prolonged use. Plus, since it’s made from nylon and molded foam, it’s even perfect for whitewater expeditions when water will splash all over it.
However, that’s not all. One of the most outstanding features that make this seat so popular with kayakers is the presence of adjustable straps. Totaling four in number, these front and rear straps make it easy to customize your fit, adding to your comfort.
- Comes with a removable pouch.
- Four adjustable straps.
- The seat is made from nylon and molded foam.
- No anti-skid material.
iROCKER Inflatable Paddle Board Kayak Seat
The iROCKER Inflatable Paddle Board Kayak Seat is not just one of the best kayaking seats but is also an excellent seat for the brand’s line of inflatable stand-up paddleboards. That said, it can easily be used with other brands of stand-up paddleboards as well, so long as they have D-rings on them. It’s also an excellent conversion option for light whitewater use as well as an added comfortable option for highly windy days. Made from high-quality breathable materials, the seat is designed to offer high levels of comfort along with long-lasting use. Moreover, the seat even has four clips on each side as well as two straps which ensure that it’s secured to the boat or the paddleboard.
- The kit even comes with a bag, a paddle, and a hand pump.
- A high-quality build.
- Some users mentioned that it takes a while to get the adjustment right.
Saturn Deluxe Molded Foam Kayak Seat
The Saturn Deluxe Molded Foam Kayak Seat is another excellent one with good reviews for back support. The seat looks no less than the top-notch seat of a high-end sports car! What’s more, it feels the same when you begin to use it. For starters, the seat has deep molded center panels that even feature black molded foam padding around the perimeter. Besides this providing oodles of back support, the seat even has a detachable cushion just in case your delicate derriere requires more support. Plus, the removable cushion even lifts the seat slightly, elevating it and providing even more comfort.
Going further, you’ll like the detachable zipper pack that comes with two robust plastic fishing rod holders. Moreover, these rod holders even have in-built securing straps that not only keep your fishing rod safe but also give you easy access to them.
- The connecting straps are marine-grade and robust.
- The seat is made from anti-slip material.
- It has rigid back support.
- Some users might find the seat slightly hard without the detachable cushion.
Manta Ray Deluxe Kayak Seat
One of the most versatile kayaking seats is the Manta Ray, which fits well into everything from sit-inside kayaks to sit-on-top ones and even canoes. There’s nothing about the kayak you won’t like. To begin with, the backrest is one inch in thickness and has a height of 19 inches. Thus, your back gets all the support it needs, no matter where you’re paddling or for how long you are or will be paddling. What’s more, it’s not left wanting for comfort either. There’s a cushy EVA foam on the inside that’s as thick as 1.5 inches so as to provide oodles of lasting comfort to both your back and butts.
One special feature of this kayaking seat is the presence of water gutters at the bottom of the seat. These help channel any extra water that enters the cockpit and the seating area, leaving you as dry as quickly as possible.
- The back is adjustable.
- Non-skid bottom.
- Provides great stability and support.
- Not everyone will like plastic buckles.
- Installing this in sit-inside kayaks requires extra hardware.
Surf To Summit GTS Sport Sit-On-Top Kayak Seat
One of the kayaking seats with the best reviews for excellent back support is the Surf To Summit GTS Sport Sit-On-Top Kayak Seat. The seat features cushioned thermoformed foam panels that lend the seat the ability to provide customized cushioning to whichever paddler uses the seat. This is a very rare feature that gives this seat a little something extra, don’t you think? At the same time, none of the firmness that the seat requires is compromised even one little bit. The icing on the cake is that this seat pays attention to vulnerable areas of the back where extra stress is apparent. It’s these areas that are reinforced with heavy-duty 600D fabrics.
Furthermore, the seat is completely optimized for reducing fatigue and heightened back support with its amazing combination of PVC plastic foam and the comfortable and ultra-soft EVA foam. At a height of 12.5 inches, this seat offers excellent back support for all paddlers notwithstanding their size.
- Compatible with sit-inside kayaks.
- Can be used by paddlers of all sizes.
- Highly-flexible attachment system.
- Not fast drying when wet.
Ocean Kayak Comfort Tech Seat Back
The Ocean Kayak Comfort Tech Seat Back is one of the best and most comfortable kayaking seats. In fact, the seat is so comfortable that your multi-day kayaking expedition might just feel like one short day trip around the lake. Thanks to the molded nature of the backrest, your posture remains upright and that too comfortably throughout the ride. What’s more, the seat stays the same and retains its shape even after long-term use across multiple kayaking expeditions. This is thanks to the reinforced stays and solid brass clips. Moreover, the stainless steel springs add to its overall durability.
The four-way adjustable nylon straps ensure a comfortable and snug fit. Plus, the flexibility provided by these straps makes it possible to modify the side and lean wrapping supports as well. The best part? You don’t have to worry about kayaking in the dark either, thanks to the reflective, glow-in-the-dark logo patches which glow after being exposed to sunlight.
- Easy to install and setup.
- Adjustable straps.
- None, really.
Skwoosh High Back Kayak Seat
There is more than one reason why the Skwoosh High Back Kayak Seat is so popular, starting with the fact that it has excellent back support. A well-designed blend of workmanship and performance, the Skwoosh seat is made from heavy-duty fabrics that can withstand all stresses. It features an amazing combination of a 20-inch high and contoured back with a nylon fluidized gel seat cushion that’s also completely reinforced with two fiberglass battens. Moreover, you’ll like the equally heavy-duty straps, which come with swivel clips that are also resistant to corrosion. Plus, since the straps are adjustable, installing and setting up the seat is also very easy.
Besides being highly durable, the Skwoosh seat is very reasonably priced too at just $100. So, whether you’re a whitewater kayaker or an angler looking for your next big catch, this seat is full of support and comfort.
- Quick and easy to install.
- Can withstand demanding use.
- Some users found the padding to be not so thick.
Yakpads Paddle Saddle W/High Backrest
Stay comfortably out on the water for extended periods of time with the help of the Yakpads Paddle Saddle W/High Backrest. Everything about this gel-filled seat cushion is well-balanced for enhancing comfort levels. Firstly, the padding, although quite thick and plush, is yet thin enough so as to not raise or tip over your center of gravity. At the same time, it’s soft enough to make you feel very comfortable, no matter how long you’re out there on the water. The high backrest is very well-suited for recreational kayaking. Plus, they’re extremely easy to attach thanks to the quick snap clips that come along with it.
Amazingly, the kayak seat doesn’t feel slippery even when it’s not strapped, thus garnering it excellent reviews. So, no matter how fast you’re paddling, it stays firmly in place. It’s the rough rubbery-grip texture of the rear surface of the backrest that’s in contact with the boat that makes this possible.
- Non-slip bumps at the back.
- The seating surface is extremely smooth.
- Installation is straightforward and easy.
- Not fast drying when wet.
Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat Back
Another excellent product with good reviews for back support is the Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat Back. This is is highly, highly durable due to its nylon packcloth construction that’s resistant to UV light. Also, you can easily clip this seat onto your kayak with the heavy-duty clips that come along with the kit. They’re basically solid brass swivel buckles equipped with stainless steel springs, making them more durable than most of their peers on the market. The cherry on top is that the seat even has reflective logos that, when exposed to sunlight, glow in dark or low-light conditions. Hence, this ensures a good amount of visibility when you’re kayaking at night.
The support and comfort that the extra foam padding on this seat provides make it feel like you’re floating on a couch in the middle of the lake. Furthermore, the four-way adjustability feature lends it the flexibility to fit just about any body type.
- Also works for a sit-in kayak.
- Comes with a high backrest.
- Strong and intelligent build.
- Virtually none.
Crack of Dawn Paddle Sports Spider Angler Kayak Seat
The Crack of Dawn Paddle Sports Spider Angler Kayak Seat is one of the most beloved seats by many kayakers and has excellent reviews from both professional and novices. What makes it so popular is the amounts of thick padding that allow you to spend long hours on the lake or out in the sea without developing back pain or leg pain or any body part pain, for that matter. Since back pain occurs due to bad postures for extended amounts of time, this seat is an exception. Plus, the four-point strap seat system of two at the rear and front each lend it even more support.
What’s more, the seat comes with two in-built rod holders as well as a gear bag with a bottle holder. The zippered pocket is rather handy for holding your things. Even though it’s expensive, this well-designed seat is worth every penny.
- Padded foam.
- Good backrest.
Surf To Summit GTS Sport Sit-On-Top Kayak Seat
Made from robust 600D high-density weave, the Surf to Summit GTS Sport Sit-On-Top Kayak Seat is another one of the best seats with excellent reviews. Adding to the comfort is the well-padded Lycra foam that lends your back and your butt extra support and comfort. The multi-adjustable seat features a tri-laminate backrest for providing structural support to your back. That, along with two adjustable straps both at the front and back make this seat highly customizable for any kayaker who uses it. The best part? They can adjust the straps and change the backrest’s position with just one hand.
But, that’s not all. There’s even an in-built and generously-sized zipper pack. Rounding up the features is the oversized cargo pack on the back and the flexible attachment system that allows it to be installed on most sit-on-top kayaks.
- Excellent back support.
- Easy thumb adjustments.
- Comes with attachment straps.
- Some users mentioned that the draining is not so good.
Leader Accessories Deluxe Kayak Seat
Sitting at the top of the list is the Leader Accessories Deluxe Kayak Set, which is particularly known for its high backrest. So, if you’re looking to relax your back on a high seat, then this is what you should get. What’s more, it also boasts plenty of space at the back as well. Sitting in your seat, you can easily customize your fit too, thanks to the easily adjustable straps, two at the front and two at the back. Together along with the backrest, they provide the much-needed rigidity that your back needs for long and multi-day kayaking expeditions.
Measuring 20 inches in length, 15 inches in width, and 12 inches thick, the seat is very lightweight too, weighing just over 2.5 lbs. So, it’s easy to carry and store as well. Overall, it makes for an excellent buy whether you’re a newbie or a professional kayaker.
- Full back support.
- Wide adjustability.