What is the Best Kayak Seat of 2019? [Buying Guide]

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So you’re out for another great kayaking adventures but you notice once again, your back and hips are becoming stiff and sore or your legs are numb or you’re getting a sharp pain in your lower back.  What was a great day has quickly become an unpleasant experience and has you calling it quits to your day out on your kayak.

A day on the water has been ruined and unfortunately you could have avoided it.  Most kayakers agree that a comfortable seat is an essential part of your kayaking, especially on longer days out on the water.  For that reason we have pulled together information for your review and consideration on the best kayak seats that will improve your overall physical support and comfort during your kayaking outings.

Kayak seats come in a variety of sizes and structural supports. The decision you make will depend on your needs and intended uses of your kayak. 

Generally speaking the higher the back of the seat, the more support and comfort it provides.  Purchasing a high back seat with lumbar or lower back support will help to protect your spine.  However, a higher back can limit your flexibility and may challenge you in tight spaces.  

You may want a seat with more padding to increase your comfort level.  Thicker cushioning can create a less stable kayak and can soak up water, taking longer to dry.  The right kayak seat offers a balance of softness and support.  

So as you can see, finding a kayak seat might be a little more challenging than first expected.  For this reason, we have provided the following guide to answer some of your questions and to assist you in choosing the right kayak seat for your individual needs.

​Top 5 Comparison Chart

Leader Accessories Black/Gray Deluxe Kayak Seat (Black/Gray)
Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC Profesional Universal Sit on Top Full Kayak Seat Padded seat and Backrest
Pactrade Marine Adjustable Padded Deluxe Kayak Seat Detachable Back Backpack/Bag Canoe Backrest
Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat Back (Black)
Expedition Kayak Seat 20" High Back Support with Lumbar Roll and Nylon Gel seat Bottom for Kayaking Comfort
Leader Accessories Black/Gray Deluxe Kayak Seat (Black/Gray)
Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC Profesional Universal Sit on Top Full Kayak Seat Padded seat and Backrest
Pactrade Marine Adjustable Padded Deluxe Kayak Seat Detachable Back Backpack/Bag Canoe Backrest
Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat Back (Black)
Expedition Kayak Seat 20" High Back Support with Lumbar Roll and Nylon Gel seat Bottom for Kayaking Comfort
Leader Accessories Black/Gray Deluxe Kayak Seat (Black/Gray)
Leader Accessories Black/Gray Deluxe Kayak Seat (Black/Gray)
Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC Profesional Universal Sit on Top Full Kayak Seat Padded seat and Backrest
Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC Profesional Universal Sit on Top Full Kayak Seat Padded seat and Backrest
Pactrade Marine Adjustable Padded Deluxe Kayak Seat Detachable Back Backpack/Bag Canoe Backrest
Pactrade Marine Adjustable Padded Deluxe Kayak Seat Detachable Back Backpack/Bag Canoe Backrest
Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat Back (Black)
Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat Back (Black)
Expedition Kayak Seat 20" High Back Support with Lumbar Roll and Nylon Gel seat Bottom for Kayaking Comfort
Expedition Kayak Seat 20" High Back Support with Lumbar Roll and Nylon Gel seat Bottom for Kayaking Comfort

10 Best Kayak Seat Reviews

1. Leader Accessories Deluxe Kayak Seat 

Leader Accessories Black/Gray Deluxe Kayak Seat (Black/Gray)

Review

The Leader Accessories is an 18 inch high back seat featuring marine grade brass straps, molded foam padded seat, 4 straps for securing to your kayak and multiple color designs.  

The back besides being 18 inches tall is also 20 inches wide providing exceptional back support.  Additionally, there is a strip of padding that runs along the area supporting your spine, providing exceptional lumbar support to reduce back aches.  

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PROS

  • Detachable storage bag
  • ​2 front and 2 rear straps adjust to most kayaks
  • ​4 color designs to choose from
  • Marine grade brass clips
  • Seat is a comfortable molded foam

CONS

2. Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC Kayak Seat  

Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC Profesional Universal Sit on Top Full Kayak Seat Padded seat and Backrest

Review

The Brooklyn Kayak Company is an 18 inch high back molded foam seat that is very versatile and works on both a sit-on-top kayak or a sit in kayak.

The BKC features a large seat cushion, lateral wings on the backrest that cup your back, brass clips and customizable webbing straps.  This kayak seat is very comfortable and accommodates even larger individuals.

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PROS

  • Seat is a comfortable molded foam
  • ​Lateral wings cup your back
  • Perfect for larger individuals
  • Quality materials

CONS

  • ​Needs D-rings on the kayak
  • In saltwater the clips may corrode over time

3. Pactrade Marine Adjustable Padded Deluxe Kayak Seat 

Pactrade Marine Adjustable Padded Deluxe Kayak Seat Detachable Back Backpack/Bag Canoe Backrest

Review

The Pactrade Marine is an 18.5 inch high back seat featuring a detachable backpack to store accessories, non-slip contoured seat reduces slipping, adjustable front and rear straps providing a universal fit, and is designed with a ventilation system.

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PROS

  • Adjustable front and rear straps fit most kayaks
  • 4 Easy to use snap hooks
  • Non-slip contoured padded slip surface
  • Lightweight carry bag

CONS

  • If not cared for properly, hooks may corrode in saltwater

​4. Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat

Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus Seat Back (Black)

Review

The Ocean Kayak Comfort Plus provides quality support due to its high back and side wings that cradle your back while allowing you to move freely.

The kayak seat features heavy duty clips, with stainless steel springs, four-way straps providing stability, UV resistant nylon material and a ventilation system to help you keep dry and cool.

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PROS

  • ​Four way adjustable straps, fits most kayaks
  • ​Ventilation System
  • UV protected
  • Heavy duty clips

CONS

  • Some customers felt the seat was firm
  • No specific lumbar support

​5. Swoosh Expedition Kayak Seat

Expedition Kayak Seat 20' High Back Support with Lumbar Roll and Nylon Gel seat Bottom for Kayaking Comfort

Review

The Swoosh Expedition has a gel seat cushion and one of the tallest backs standing 20 inches high providing support for even tall kayakers.  

This kayak seat features a wide and fully adjustable lumbar support, padded backrest with side wings cupping your back, and a bag on the back of the seat to store accessories.

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PROS

  • 2 build-in water bottle holders
  • ​Tall seat back
  • 4 adjustable straps providing universal fit
  • Corrosion resistant swivel clips

CONS

  • Some customers felt the seat could be softer
  • ​Back may be too tall for smaller kayakers

​6. Surf to Summit GTS Sport Kayak Seat

GTS Sport Sit-On-Top Kayak Seat, Universal Sit On Top Kayak Seat, Surf To Summit Kayak Seat, Kayak Seat Cushion

Review

The Surf to Summit GTS has a 12.5 inch back with a generous lumbar support that has thermoformed foam panels providing a very thick padding.  

This kayak seat features padding that will contour to your body, a heavy-duty 600D fabric, 4 adjustable front and rear straps, and a large built-in cargo pack.

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PROS

  • Water channels
  • ​Excellent locking system
  • 4 adjustable straps
  • Large built-in zippered pack
  • Heavy duty material reduces cracking, fading, and wear

CONS

  • Short back made for smaller individuals
  • Might not fit all sit-in kayaks

​7. KERCO Angler-x Adjustable Kayak Seat

KERCO Angler-x Adjustable Sit on Top Kayak Seat w/Back Pack Extra Thick Seat Pad

Review

The Kerco Angler-x is an 18 inch high back, molded foam seat featuring anti-slip bottom, a nylon seat with 4 straps and clips, and a detachable zipped pack.

The back, besides being 18 inches tall is also 21 inches wide providing exceptional back support. 

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PROS

  • 1.5 inch cushion
  • 4 straps and clips
  • ​Anti-slip bottom

CONS

  • Best suited for sit-on-top kayaks may not fit all sit-in kayaks

​8. Ocean Kayak Comfort Tech Seat

Ocean Kayak Comfort Tech Seat for Sit-On-Top Kayaks

Review

The Ocean Kayak Comfort Tech provides quality support with a 16 inch back and foam padding seat. 

The kayak seat features heavy duty clips, four-way straps providing stability, UV resistant nylon material and a ventilation system to help you keep dry and cool.

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PROS

  • ​4 way adjustable straps
  • ​UV resistant
  • Heavy duty clips
  • Padded back

CONS

  • Some customers felt the seat was too firm

​9. Yakpads Cushioned Kayak Seat Pad

Yakpads High Back Cushioned Seat Pad, Gel Seat Pad for Kayaks, Portable Seat Cushion for Outdoor Watersports and Recreation - Cascade Creek (Highback)

Review

The Yakpads is a 12 inch, gel saddle cushion designed for sit-in kayaks.  This kayak seat is all cushion and because of the gel padding will not wear down over time. It’s a thin, low seat/cushion that preserves your low center of gravity and thus your stability. The back secures to your kayak with simple click buckles.

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PROS

  • Gel saddle cushion
  • ​Thin maintaining a lower center of gravity
  • Will not wear down over time

CONS

  • Only a solution for sit-in kayaks (doesn't work with sit-on-top kayaks)

​10. Vibe Kayaks Deluxe Padded Kayak Seat

Vibe Kayaks Deluxe Padded Kayak Seat Deluxe Sit-On-Top Cushioned Back Support Kayak and Canoe Seat

Review

The Vibe Deluxe has a 17 inch high back that is 20 inches across providing cushion to fit most kayakers.  The seat features, 4 adjustable straps, a detachable wax-coated bag to keep things dry, lumbar support, and marine grade brass straps that will stand up even in saltwater.

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PROS

  • Marine grade brass straps
  • Detachable waterproof bag
  • Extra support
  • 4 adjustable straps

CONS

  • Some customers felt it wasn't durable enough
  • Designed for sit-in-kayaks

Kayak Seat Buyers Guide

Benefits to a Kayak Seat

Safety:

Kayak seats secure to your kayak providing additional stability and security.  Several of the seats featured offer a slip-resistant bottom and some may have a safety harness to secure you to the kayak.

Comfort:

Most kayaks either have a formed area to sit or a very minimal seat design.  The kayak seats we have recommended come with either a foam or gel cushion and are ergonomically designed to provide maximum comfort.

Ease of Use:

A kayak seat creates a more comfortable and slip-resistant sitting area.  They are easily installed and secure to your kayak.

Greater Stability:

Many of the seats come with straps that secure to your kayak.  Depending on the seat, different amounts of support will be provided.  Seats with a wide base and back support, strapped to your kayak provide the greatest stability.

Storage:

Several kayak seats provide additional storage with backpacks that are either secured or detachable and a few are waterproof.  Others have bungees that you can secure your items to the seat.

​Purchasing Considerations

When you begin your search for the best kayak seat for your individual needs the following considerations should be included:

Type of Kayak:

​​Some seats are designed for use primarily with a sit-in or sit-on-top kayak while others are designed to be used with both.  

​​Personal Preferences:

If you have specific back problems you want a higher quality seat that provides additional support.  If you are taller or want more back support you may want a seat with a taller back; if you are a larger individual a wider back and seating area will be desired.  Oppositely if your smaller you may want a seat with a shorter back. Heavier set people will also want to look for pressure-molded foam.


Cost:

The cost of a kayak seat can range from $30 to $300.  The cost varies based on materials, design, features, and the company making the seat.  You can find a well designed, quality kayak seat around $50. A quality seat will be durable and in the end likely save you money versus buying a cheaper seat with will wear down and require replacing.

Features:

There are a few important features you will want to consider in purchasing your kayak seat: 

  • Backrest with a mesh panel to allow moisture to escape.
  • Seat fabric should be water resistant or repellent, especially if it is covering foam.
  • Adjustable straps allow you to adjust your angle based on your circumstances and situations.
  • Storage area for your personal items.
  • Padding and cushion vary for each seat.  Because your level of comfort is dependent on the correct support you should choose your seat wisely.  A seat with a thick cushion that provides you support without becoming soft is ideal. 
  • Lumbar support for anyone who will be on the water for extended periods or if you have any back problems, makes a kayak seat with a quality lumbar support essential. 

​Frequently Asked Questions​

Can all kayak seats be used in both a sit-on-top and sit-in kayak?

Some sit-on-top seats are versatile enough to work with most kayaks.  However, the opposite is not necessarily true. Before purchasing, make sure to research if the seats you are interested in are designed for the kayak you are going to be using.  

Kayaks are typically designed with an area where you can attach the seat you’ve purchased.  The seating area on your kayak should have clips for your new seat to attach. Using the straps and connecting mechanisms on the seat you can attach it to the kayak.  

Kayak seats get their support from the clip and strap systems, meaning if you don’t have an area in which to clip the seat it will not be able to support the weight of your body.  If your kayak does not have areas to clip your kayak they can be installed. You should consult a dealer or someone with experience installing clips to ensure you don’t damage your kayak.

How do I attach and secure the seat to the kayak

Most newer kayaks will have multiple clips or areas to connect your seat to the kayak.  You will need to adjust the seat’s straps to allow you to sit comfortably. Loosen the straps as far as they will go and then attach the clips.  This will give you the most room to position and reposition your seat before securing.  

Once you have it approximately in the position you want it, you should get into the kayak to determine your comfort level.  You can then adjust the straps until you have the ideal position. Once you are on the water you may need to make a few more adjustments.

The following video does a nice job of showing you how to attach your seat:

Will kayak seats work in an inflatable kayak?

Yes, as long as you choose the correct design for your type of kayak.  Whether you have an inflatable or hard body kayak won’t matter.

Would it be viable to place this over my existing seat in my sit-in kayak? My current seat is very uncomfortable and I am looking for more cushion.

In most instances, yes you will be able to do so, adding additional cushion.   The Yakpads Cushioned Kayak Seat Pad is designed for this specific use and might be a consideration.  You should be aware that this will raise your center of gravity and may not be as secure depending on your existing seat.

​Final Thoughts

The relative cost of a kayak seat when weighed with the increased enjoyment, comfort, physical support and stability makes it a very inexpensive upgrade for your kayaking experiences.  Look for the seat with the features you desire, with enough padding to make your trips comfortable and adds enough stability to ensure your safety in rougher waters.  

All of the kayak seats we have recommended have pros and cons.  We have listed our top five choices in order: Leaders Accessories, Brooklyn Kayak Company, Pactrade Marine, Ocean Comfort Plus, and the Swoosh Expedition. We have also provided 5 additional kayak seats for your review and consideration.  

Hopefully this information will assist you in choosing the kayak seat that best fits your needs.  Let us know in the comments sections which seat is your preference.

Tired of your back and hips becoming stiff and sore on your kayaking adventures? Then you\'ll want to look for the Best Kayaking Seat to help improve your overall physical support and comfort during your kayaking outings.

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