Whether you are a recreational kayaker, angler or paddling for exercise, a sit-on-top kayak has many benefits over a traditional kayak.
We’re going to dive into what gets the best sit on top kayak, what to look for, and what to avoid. As we go along I’ll do my best to point out all the details that you want to understand so as to purchase a kayak that you will love!
Let us dive right into having a look at the best kayaks and learn how to select one!
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Sit On Top Kayaks
- 2 Sit on Top Kayak Reviews
- 3 Best Sit on Top Fishing Kayaks
- 3.1 Lifetime Tamarack Sit On Top Angler Kayak
- 3.2 Ocean Kayak Prowler Big Game II Fishing Kayak
- 3.3 Perception Kayak Sit on Top Access
- 3.4 Sun Dolphin Bali SS Kayak
- 3.5 Ocean Kayak Malibu Sit On Top Tandem Kayak
- 3.6 Perception Kayak Pescador Tandem Sit On Top
- 3.7 Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak
- 3.8 Sevylor Quikpak K1 Inflatable Kayak
- 3.9 Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120
- 3.10 Hobie Quest 13 Deluxe Kayak
- 4 How to Choose the Best Sit on Top Kayak Buyers Guide
- 5 FAQs About Sit-on-Top Kayaks
Best Sit On Top Kayaks
Let us take a good look at all the sit on top kayak and find the most suitable one for you!
Lifetime Tamarack Sit On Top Angler Kayak
Lifetime kayaks are all around the place. Seriously — I feel as I see them constantly. It’s because they are a fantastic balance of price, features, and reliability for the typical kayaker. Everything we want without paying through the nose!
If it comes to stability you will be hard pushed to get a more dependable vessel. They left this kayak extra wide with chines along the length under the boat which adds plenty of side-to-side stability.
Obviously, it comes with a drawback — you’ll get rid of some speed and efficiency when paddling.
There are just two flush mounted rod holders along with a high mounted pole holder for anglers. But you need not be an angler to utilize this boat. The width and equilibrium will attract anyone who’s tired of trying to master squirrelly ships.
Inside you’ll discover two 6″ inner watertight storage hatches. At the bow and stern are shock cable lashings for holding your jacket, tackle box, or lunch tote.
Our pick for the finest SOT fishing kayak that is secure and maintain anglers and recreational kayakers from flipping over.
Lifetime Tamarack Sit-On-Top Kayak at a Glance:
- Length: 12 Feet
- Weight Capacity:275 Pounds
- Seat: Adjustable foam
- Storage: Two 6’ hatches, shock cord
- Weight: 52 Pounds
Ocean Kayak Prowler Big Game II Fishing Kayak
Short of all pedal-powered fishing kayaks, you’ll be hard pushed to get a better boat for the puppy.
I would like to have a little time to recognize the importance of the Element Seating System in this boat. Raised slightly above the deck is a cushioned, adjustable, padded fabric seat. Behind you’re a backrest that’s only high enough to be supportive, but designed to match with a fishing kayak PFD.
Taken along with the adjustable foot braces, this vessel’s chairs is made to promote relaxation on a long day of baits.
Of all the fishing kayaks at the Ocean Kayak lineup, the Prowler is the widest. This makes it highly stable side-to-side but not very quickly when paddling. If you’re looking for something sleek and quick, you can definitely find it in their lineup though!
Finest for anglers who need the best in storage, comfort, and business when fishing out of their kayak.
If you are not prepared to shed 4 digits of money on a new kayak, it’s simple to keep things affordable with this boat. For beginner to intermediate kayakers on soft water, the Access kayak is a simple and efficient alternative.
This short 10′ kayak is a bit faster and more nimble than any on our list. What you gain from that short length is a lightweight boat that’s easy to paddle and easy to transport.
I would like to note too that it comes in many colour combinations so there should be one that appeals to everyone.
There are several features here like coated storage at the front part of the boat, a storage are from the back with bungee cords and even a few molded in pole holders if the urge to fish strikes you.
To further increase the items Iike about this kayak is your cozy seat with an adjustable seatback.
Our top pick for the best sit on kayak that is a cheap, lightweight vessel that’s great for occasional recreational use.
Ocean Kayak Prowler Big Game II at a Glance:
- Length: 75 Feet
- Weight Capacity:660 Pounds
- Seat: Folding fabric seat
- Storage:Large front hatch, Mod Pod, shock cord
- Weight:70 Pounds
Perception Kayak Sit on Top Access
If you’re not ready to shed 4 digits of cash on a new kayak, it’s easy to keep things affordable with this boat. For novice to intermediate kayakers on gentle water, the Access kayak is a very simple and effective solution.
This short 10′ kayak is a little faster and more nimble than some on our list. What you gain from that brief length is a lightweight boat that’s easy to paddle and simple to transport.
I want to note also that it comes in many colour combinations so there should be one that appeals to everyone.
There are several features here like coated storage in the front part of the boat, a storage are in the back with bungee cords and even a few molded in rod holders in the event the urge to fish strikes you.
To further add to the things Iike about this kayak is your cozy seat with an adjustable seatback.
Our best choice for the best sit kayak that is a cheap, lightweight boat that’s great for occasional recreational use.
Perception Kayak Pescador Sit On Top at a Glance:
- Length: 10 Feet
- Weight Capacity:250 Pounds
- Seat:Molded seat
- Storage: Cup holder
- Weight:42 Pounds
Sun Dolphin Bali SS Kayak
For recreational paddlers, cash is king is it not? For only a few bucks over the Perception Access it is possible to get the Sun Dolphin Bali with some seriously upgraded features!
At 10′ long this boat is right about in the center of the spectrum so far as length. With a large seating cockpit, pads on your knees, and a good deal of storage it is obviously aimed at comfort!
It’s important to talk about the Portable Accessory Carrier (PAC) that is a totally different animal than any other boat on our list.
You can use the PAC in the back vestibule place where it functions as a waterproof hatch. Oryou can take it out and let it float in the water behind you tethered by a leash.
There are small storage choices around like paddle leashes, accessory holders, and other goodies!
If you are a recreational paddler on a budget searching to get something that is only loaded with storage choices you’ll need to make sure you look difficult at this ship.
The very best budget sit on kayak that has ample and flexible storage when you’re heading out for a day trip on the river!
Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit-on Top Kayak at a Glance:
- Length: 10 Feet
- Weight Capacity:400 Pounds
- Seat: Molded seat
- Storage:PAC carrier, hatch, cup holder
- Weight:44 Pounds
Ocean Kayak Malibu Sit On Top Tandem Kayak
Tandem kayaks may not be for everyone, but if it is time to head out with your partner or friend it’s fun to paddle together!
Seriously this boat basically has two seats, a few straps for gear, and enough room for 2 people.
That said, the minimum attributes keep this tandem kayak lightweight. In reality, it’s barely heavier than a few of those solo kayaks and it has a combined weight capacity of 425 lbs.
If you’re a taller or bigger person searching for a slightly larger boat you can find the XL version of the same vessel which just has a little more leg space.
Overall the attributes may be minimal, but the seats are fully adjustable which is a big deal for me!
Best for two people looking for a good tandem sit on kayak that performs well and doesn’t violate the bank!
Ocean Kayak Malibu Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak at a Glance:
- Length: 12 Feet
- Weight Capacity:425 Pounds
- Seat:Tandem adjustable seats
- Storage:Three gear straps
- Weight: 57 Pounds
Perception Kayak Pescador Tandem Sit On Top
Everything about this kayak is molded, solid, and dependable. There are few moving parts that makes for a kayak that will persist for a lengthy time with few problems.
In 13′ long this ship is the longer of the two tandems on our list so if you are worried about legroom, look here! It’s also a no-nonsense vessel with minimal storage and molded seats.
While I really do like molded seats for the simple fact that they’re simple, lasting, and nearly indestructible the absence of padding around the buttocks can become… numbing. At least the seat backs are flexible so there’s some customization to be accomplished.
In the front is a very small equipment vestibule and the rear of the boat has a large(r) vestibule. Each paddler has a waterproof hatch between the legs for keeping small items like phones and keys.
Best for pairs of paddlers seeking a trusted boat with minimal accessories.
Perception Kayak Pescador Tandem Sit On Top Kayak at a Glance:
- Length: 13 Feet
- Weight Capacity:500 Pounds
- Seat:Molded, adjustable backrest
- Storage: Two hatches, cup holder, shock cord
- Weight:69 Pounds
Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak
Inflatable boats have lots of advantages and also this Intex tandem kayak is an wonderful idea for paddling pairs with minimal storage and transport space.
At only 30 pounds and packed into a smaller space than any other tandem kayak on the list, this boat creates a solid contender for those with no storage and transport space.
If you reside in an apartment or maybe push a smaller vehicle to the water it is possible to do it as a result of the flexibility of an inflatable kayak.
To get things going you have to use a high output air pump which is included with the boat. Beneath you can attach a removable skeg (a fin that illuminates the boat in the water).Inside the boat are two chairs for paddlers and no storage.
Note: While it might not seem like it, the back paddler does have leg space. You can stick your legs out to either side of front seat when sitting.
When you consider everything this ship offers, it makes a strong case. Additionally, with a price from the double digits it is a fraction of the price of most kayaks!
Finest for intermittent use on tranquil waters when you don’t have room to store or transport a complete size kayak.
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak Tandem Inflatable Kayak at a Glance:
- Length: 2 Feet
- Weight Capacity:400 Pounds
- Seat:Inflatable adjustable
- Weight:30 Pounds
Sevylor Quikpak K1 Inflatable Kayak
For your solo paddler that wants a lightweight, cheap boat that can be kept anywhere this is the one! There are even a few innovative features to be found on this cheap kayak.
Among the coolest features of this ship is that the entire thing can pack into the storage backpack included. That means that you can bike or hike to the pump up the boat, and throw off!
Within the boat is an elevated adjustable chair. I won’t say that it is a strong point of this ship, but it gets the job done. I’d avoid paddling for very long stretches on this boat, however, since the rear service just isn’t there.
You also receive a multi-position footrest and a gear vestibule at the front that has shock cable lashing. You will be able to receive a small lunch light, a tiny cooler, or some equipment up there but not a lot more.
Overall I think this ship is a fair option for the price and considering that it is an inflatable portable option for single paddlers.
Greatest for solo kayakers who would like to have the ability to get in to places others would not dream of!
Sevylor Quikpak K1 Inflatable Kayak at a Glance:
- Length: 5 Feet
- Weight Capacity:400 Pounds
- Seat:Inflatable adjustable
- Storage:Front gear vestibule
- Weight: 18 Pounds
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120
BEST FOR: THE CASUAL PADDLER
Equipped with all the casual paddler in your mind, the Tarpon 120 is a wonderful choice as a newcomer’s first boat or to get relaxed summertime paddling.
The ample amount of space for gear in the rear makes this a wonderful vessel for projecting a cooler or a fur-buddy in the back! There’s also a stash hole from the midship and a semi-dry storage hatch to keep precious gear dry.
Last, the Tarpon 120 sports a slide rail system that can be used to attach equipment meaning it is possible to beef up this ship to handle fishing or photography.
- LENGTH: 12’
- STYLE: Recreational
- TYPE: Solo
- WEIGHT CAPACITY: 350 lbs.
- WIDTH: 30”
- Adjustable Seating System Helps Dial In The Right Fit
- Ample Amount Of Gear Storage Both On Deck And Below
- Self-Bailing Scupper Holes Drain Excess Water From Splashes
Hobie Quest 13 Deluxe Kayak
As a new player in the kayak marketplace, Hobie has built some impressive boats for such a young company. The Quest 13 is an aggressive foray into the light touring category, offering features upon attributes typically reserved for more expensive ships.
With considerable amounts of cargo space, both below deck and over, the Quest 13 feels much like a mild cargo boat than a kayak. But that will not slow you down as the remarkable 13 foot length keeps you gliding right and accurate.
Lastly, it’s downright rare to discover a kayak of the caliber that comes with a paddle, let only throw clips to fasten it when not being used. Let’s hope this becomes an industry standard!
- LENGTH: 13’
- STYLE: Touring
- TYPE: Solo
- WEIGHT CAPACITY: 350 lbs.
- WIDTH: 28.5″
- Includes A Paddle
- Comes In 3 Colors
- Rear Deck Rigging For Quick Access To Gear
- Bow, Midship, And Stern Hatch Semi-Dry Storage Keeps Gear Secure And Dry
How to Choose the Best Sit on Top Kayak Buyers Guide
When I first saw sit on top kayaks I really thought they were a few cheap beginner kayak gimmick.
Obviously, I couldn’t have been farther from the truth since sit on top kayaks come in all kinds of varieties and could be great boats for many paddlers!
Let us look at a few of the features and factors of SOT kayaks so that you can produce a fantastic choice.
Yes, we’re referring to sit on top kayaks in this report. However, I’d like to briefly remind one of all the different styles out there and who they are ideal for so you can make the best choice.
Recreational kayaks are what I call that the”sit within” traditional boats. In their cheapest shape, these kayaks can range in functionality from medium to downright dreadful. However, they are usually aimed at intermittent paddlers on a budget.
Whitewater kayaks are purpose-built for handling whitewater rivers. They are pricey, but exceptionally large performance for their own tasks.
Sea kayaks are purpose-built for multi-day paddling in open water. These boats may be extremely expensive but they’re outstanding in their job.
Fishing kayaks usually have additional features like pole holders, rudders, as well as pedal-powered motion. These are often sit on top design kayak.
Sit on top kayaks can span many classes. These ships may be for casual or fishing diversion and can vary widely in their objective. Sit on best kayaks, however, are not used for whitewater or open water.
Kayak Hulls and Stability
Are you the sort of person who hates it when a kayak or kayak starts wobbling under you? Kayak stability plays a major part in how safe you feel on the water. Fortunately, sit on top kayaks may be one of the most stable types of recreational kayak you can find!
Flat hull boats are very popular among sit on top kayaks. These ships have fantastic stability when flat on the water. Tip them up on advantage, however, and they might lose it!
Pontoon hull boats are one step more stable than horizontal hulls and they’re ideal for kayak anglers. This is just another popular hull form for sit on top kayaks.
Rounded and V hulls are more maneuverable and have greater speed than flat and pontoon hulls. But they’re a bit more squirrelly when getting in and out or trying to sit .
Which kind of hull you decide on can really impact the way your ship performs. Choose wisely and you’ll have a boat that fits with your needs. Choose badly, however, and you might be struggling to keep your boat from flipping over when you grab that big fish!
Understanding Scupper Holes
What are these small holes in the framework of a sit on top kayak? Some believe they are fishing rod holders. Other believe they are drainage holes for water. I’ve even heard that they’re supposed to make the ship lighter.
Well, it turns out that scupper holes are there to help the sit on top kayak drain any water that may get on deck.
Of course, when you’re nice and dry and warm water squirts up through the scupper holes to receive your buttocks moist, it can be annoying! To repair this problem you may try out using scupper plugs, but if you get into trouble these plugs can stop the scupper holes from self-bailing so be careful with their usage!
Notice: Scupper holes are also a great place to use a stake out a scupper anchor rod for kayak anglers from shallow water.
Sit on top kayaks are kind of notorious for bad seats but that’s not a guideline. You’ll find lots of ships with great chairs out of the box but keep in mind that you get what you pay for.
Fortunately you are able to get around a bad chair ordinarily. Many kayaks have chairs that could be easily replaced with aftermarket choices!
If buying your kayak, in the event the chair appears questionable make sure it’s at least removable. If it does not fulfill your needs you can always swap it out afterwards and a few aftermarket seats are simply downright luxurious therefore I recommend it!
A bulky lifejacket stuck between you and your seat is never comfortable.
Kayak Hull Materials
We will cover just two of the possible stuff a kayak hull could be created from. Yes, there are other materials available but they’re extremely costly and uncommon such as carbon fiber or fiberglass hulls.
Instead we will focus on common and affordable hull materials that most of us mere mortals can afford.
Polyethylene is prolific in newcomer kayaks and those on the less expensive end of the spectrum. If you are like me, this probably seems good already! Sadly, this is also the lightest substance you are able to select and it is relatively susceptible to UV damage from prolonged storage in sunlight. In general, however, it’s relatively durable and very affordable.
ABS plastic is probably the 2nd most frequent strand material for your kayaks. You’ll gain a bit more efficacy in the sport, a little more overall durability, and also a little lighter weight with ABS plastic hulls compared to poly hulls. This substance is also a little more UV resistant but will cost you more in the finish.
Note: Inflatable kayaks are created from among many distinct options. We’ll incorporate some inflatable kayaks in this guide, but for the entire buyer’s manual on inflatable kayaks, please see our additional post here.
Any fantastic kayak roundup must at least tip the hat kayak lengths. You can get kayaks in lengths from approximately 6′ to 14′ or even more.
Short kayaks are more nimble.
Long kayaks are more efficient at paddling straight.
That’s about as straightforward as I can make it, but it’s a gross oversimplification.
Longer kayaks tend to have better stability and more room for equipment. They’re often chosen for long days of paddling or kayak anglers who want to have more room for stability and tackle on open water.
Short kayaks are fantastic for agile river paddling such as whitewater or alternative nimble application.
Your typical recreational kayak will likely range somewhere between approximately 9-14′ depending with 10-12′ likely being the most common off-the-shelf option on the market.
We spoke about the duration and substances that make a kayak. Now let’s consider the”rocker” of a kayak.
If you are a paddle boarder then you’ve probably heard the expression rocker. When put flat on the floor the bow and stern are raised off the ground.
Nearly every boat have some rocker. Rocker aids in steering because the bow and stern have significantly less substance submerged. So that way when a paddler begins trying to turn the boat, there is less resistance to the turn.
Having more rocker is desired in rougher water since it will cut through the water with water less likely to dash into the cockpit.
With touring kayaks having less of a rocker is more preferable. Flatter touring kayaks render more of this vessel underwater in the bow and stern which aids in tracking and keeping the boat in a straight line.
Whenever you are paddling long distances, then we would like to minimize the quantity of zigzag of the kayak.
Pros and Cons of Sit on Top Kayaks
Since you are here you have probably decided on s SOT style kayak however lets look at some pros and cons anyhow:
Storing Your Own Gear
Storage comes in several flavors in regards to sit on top fashion kayaks. Deck lashing and bungee cord is the most easy and very typical in SOT kayaks.
With deck , whatever you store will be open to the water dripping from your paddle or a if you reverse the boat. Oops!
The more watertight option is referred to as a hatch (frequently only called storage compartment). Hatches are not always waterproof though. However, if you’ve got some equipment you do not want getting moist, you are going to want a kayak with a pay storage compartment.
Having a totally waterproof hatch is essential only in the event that you ae in danger of flipping the boat or from rough water in which the boat has been soaked. Most beginner and recreational paddlers don’t go out in such states, however.
FAQs About Sit-on-Top Kayaks
Q: Can inflatable kayaks”pop” and sink?
A: It’s easy to think that a inflatable vessel may pop like a balloon and also sink into the bottom of the river. That’s really just not how it works. Instead these ships are created out of multi-camber construction. That means if you need to get a puncture, only a small segment of the ship may deflate.
Sure, it’s going be hard to paddle a lopsided ship but at least you will not be in danger of sinking like a rock!
Like any kayak there is always the danger of tipping, flipping, or perhaps sinking. I suggest keeping important gear like your keys or telephone in a safe place such as a lockable box trimmed to your PFD.
A: Seriously, paddling in precisely the exact same boat as somebody you like (whether it’s a spouse, friend, or acquaintance) is a excellent way to get grumpy. However, some people today love spending some time”stuck” together.
Tandem kayaks allow for a sense of collaboration to overcome the challenges of paddling
There is also something to be said about carrying just 1 ship to the water. You can share the burden when carrying it to the water or loading the truck.
Among the disadvantages are that you’re locked together. You need to make collective decisions. Plus a tandem kayak appears to be quite large and heavy compared to some solo boat.
Q: What kind of paddle should I get?
A: I urge people get a brand new paddle with any boat. Every time paddles come with a kayakthey always suck!
To be fair, added paddles are often just fine and useable. However, they’re usually also made cheaply and are inclined to be heavy as a brick compared to good aftermarket paddles.
Start looking for two-piece paddles that could be broken down for ease of storage and transport. If your budget allows for this, be sure to receive the best weight paddle you can afford — it will create your paddling day so much easier!
Do not forget that paddle length should be tailored for the own height to get the best use out of your paddle.
Q: Why not just get a classic sit-inside kayak?
A: There’s nothing wrong with a conventional cockpit. In reality these cockpits are excellent for whitewater, racing, or touring.
Cheap Sit on top kayaks, but are a little simpler. They are easier to get in and out, more forgiving, and less claustrophobic. There’s more leg space and you can easily enjoy a relaxing afternoon on the water.
For pure functionality traditional kayak cockpits can not be beat. For a day on the lake with some choice beverages or dropping the anchor and throwing some baits for the anglers one of us, sit on kayak create a good pick for their ease of use and friendliness.
Q: What length kayak should I get?
A: Many people will do just fine using a 10-12 foot long kayak.
Longer kayaks are great at paddling straight, efficiently, and over long distances. However, they are harder to transportation , less nimble, and usually thinner (which means harder to get in and out).
For the beginner or recreational user something with a small stability and that range in that sweet spot of 10-12′ is usually a solid choice.
Obviously if you’re looking for something really specific like a flying kayak or a whitewater boat, go speak to the local outfitter and find out just what length is ideal for your own uses.