Ultimate Guide to Kayak Seats
Ultimate Guide to Kayak Seats
Almost all kayakers agree that your kayak seat is an essential part of any kayak besides your paddle. It's the place you sit and spend most of your time while you're on the water. It needs to be a comfortable place, and it also needs to dry fast - no one likes to sit in a puddle of water!
The best kayaks will come with a seat already included, but what if it gets damaged or if you want to upgrade? You can't usually buy a kayak seat and then go for a paddle and return if you're not happy. The best method is to learn about kayaking seats and see which attributes will benefit you and your kayaking style.
In this ultimate guide to kayak seats, we'll cover the basics about kayak seating and examine what you may like to look for in your next seat. We'll discuss topics like comfort, stability, and storage options. Finally, we'll run down on some of the most asked questions about kayaking seats. You can read through the entire article or skip to the parts that best answer your questions!
Types of kayaking seats
If you've had the same seat for a while and it's starting to lose its shape of simply not providing a comfortable place to park your rear anymore, then it's probably time to upgrade. The seat of your kayak will last a fair while, but it depends on how often you go out and what type of punishment it gets (sat water, etc.).
Buying a kayak second hand can be a good option for some people, but if you've got a second-hand kayak, the first thing you should do is replace that seat! Second-hand kayaks are great to learn in and upgrade to a premium model later when you've got a good handle on it.
Basic seat cushion
This seat cushion is suitable for sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks. These will give you a sturdy and comfortable position to sit in your kayak. These seats are usually made from a polyester blend, although you may find some made from neoprene.
A basic seat is attached to the kayak by two straps that hold up the back support. There may be some space behind the seat for additional storage. Examples of a basic seat cushion include the PacTrade Marine seat. They'll do the job, but not much else.
Deluxe seat pad
The next step up from a basic seat is the deluxe seat. This seat has more padding and offers a much better ride over the basic seat. These will have an ergonomic design and are suited for anyone looking for a comfortable ride with excellent back support. A deluxe seat is attached the same way as the basic seat, but the fixed-eye snap hooks are more durable.If you've been using a basic seat and find that you're uncomfortable or have back pains, then a deluxe seat pad is going to make your ride better and more enjoyable.
High backed seat
A high backed seat is ideal for fishing, and it will provide additional support during long periods. These seats are raised slightly to give you a better position to cast into the water. If you are tall, you may prefer the higher position of these seats as they'll provide better back support.
Inflatable kayak seats
Inflatable kayak seats are suitable for inflatable kayaks. Some of these may have backrests, but they may not offer much actual support. Unless you have a medical reason to use an inflatable seat, it may be better to choose a better option.
A lawn chair or stadium-style seat
These types of seats are made from a metal frame with a woven fabric seat and back support. You'll often find these seats on fishing kayaks or where you need better support because of reduced mobility.
These seats are quite high, and you'll be able to stand up easier - which is why they're ideal for fishing kayaks. These seats are installed using the same methods as the other kayak seats. There are two straps to provide back support, and there are straps to help keep the base secured to the kayak deck.
Choosing the best kayak seats
Choosing the right kayak seat can be a challenge. But if you understand the benefits and drawbacks of each style, it can make your selection easier. You'll have an easier time knowing what you'd prefer if you have experience in a kayak. If you don't own a kayak yet, it is highly recommended to rent one for a few afternoons. Renting a kayak will give you the option to test out a specific kayak seat and see if it is a good match for your body type and paddling style.
When you are paddling your kayak, consider how the seat makes you feel. Is it challenging to move around? Can you stand up quickly? If you plan on fishing from your kayak, would you like more storage space near the seat?
If you are concerned about falling overboard - even though kayaks are very stable - then choosing a seat with a lower profile will keep you closer to the water. With your centre of gravity closer to the water, it is less likely that you'll flip the kayak.
What you need to know to choose the best kayak seat
A kayak seat can be considered as a part of your kayak accessories kit. It is possible to have a few kayak seats and when you use them depends on what you plan on doing. You can even get a kayak seat to fit a different body shape if you plan on sharing a single kayak - or you have a double kayak.
Ideally, your seat should offer you a couch like comfort. Remember, you're probably going to spend some time in the seat. Have a look at the options and get a good feel for which one might be best for you. Some kayak seats will offer additional extras, such as a backpack for storage. Metal framed kayak seats are often raised off the deck, giving you some additional storage space under the seat.
If you're planning on fishing, you may prefer a lawn chair or a stadium-style seat. But if you're going out for a casual paddle, it may be best to use a deluxe seat pad, as it can help with speed and stability on windy days.
Comfort - How much comfort you'll receive is a crucial indicator for choosing the best kayak seats. If you're carrying some additional baggage, then buy a seat that offers the most amount of foam padding. Additional support will not only make your kayak more comfortable, but you'll feel better if you're on the water for a long time. If you're taller than most kayakers, then choosing a high back seat for your kayak will give you some much needed extra support.
Stability - A lower profile seat will provide more stability on the water. Although kayaks are incredibly stable, keeping your centre of gravity low further reduces your chances of flipping over. Choosing a seat for additional stability often comes at the cost of losing some comfort.
Extra Storage - Storage in a kayak can be at a premium. Buying a seat that has extra storage options can be your best choice. Most metal frame seats are raised off the deck, giving you space underneath.
You can also find many kayak accessories that attach to the metal frame to give you more space. There are even backpacks that can attach to the backrest of your kayak seat. When fishing, you'll find that having extra storage nearby is simply brilliant.
Kayaking with comfortable kayak seats
As you gain paddling experience, you'll find that the kayak seat you choose can improve your performance. You may find that a higher profile seat gives you an advantage based on your particular paddling style, and of course, the reverse is also true.
If you find a high-quality seat that feels good in all the right places and it offers you some additional features, then you've got the perfect seat. When you purchase a new kayak seat, it should be the best you can buy. Cheaper seats are usually not with their warranty sheets, and they may not last longer than a single kayaking season.
Australia has a reasonably harsh environment, so it is best to find kayak seats made with that in mind. With some imported seats, these are often not made to handle our intense summers. Choosing the best seats for your kayak means carefully thinking about what you need. People can offer their advice, but you'll quickly determine what is best when it comes to being comfortable on the water.
Setting a budget for your kayak seat
The amount you pay to purchase a kayak seat will determine what sort of quality you get. The price of a kayak seat is set due to the research and development required for designing and building it. Often cheaper units have not spent the right amount of time testing and trialling their designs.
If a kayak seat looks the same as another, but the price seems too good to be true, then that cheaper seat is probably made with materials of a lesser grade. While the cheaper seat may still perform, it may not last as long, and you'll soon be back buying another one. When you buy a kayak seat, make sure the business will support you with any warranty issues - some fly by night operators may suddenly lose interest if you have any warranty concerns.
Frequently asked questions about kayaking seats
This section aims to answer some of the most popular questions people have about kayak seats. If your question is not covered here, please feel free to contact the Kayaks2Fish customer service team.
When do I need a new kayak seat?
In most cases, you'll know when that old seat is ready to go. Some early signs include fatigue while paddling or your butt being sore soon after you start paddling for the day.
Are kayak seats comfortable?
Comfort is a relative term. What is comfortable to one person isn't to another. All kayak seats include padding for extra comfort. However, some people may find that a higher position is more comfortable. It entirely depends on you.
Are kayak seats universal?
Kayak seats are universal, provided there are suitable clips to secure the seat correctly. You can purchase additional tie-down clips and add these to most kayaks.
Can kayak seats be replaced?
Yes, the seats will usually wear out faster than the kayak. If you have an old kayak model, or you've bought a second-hand kayak, then you can still find a quality seat to fit. Measure up the size of the cockpit, and match that to the seat of your choice.
Can you screw into a kayak?
You can screw into most kayaks. However, make sure you're not installing anything under the waterline. If you're not confident placing screws into a kayak, hiring the services of a professional is the best solution.
Can you use a stadium seat in a kayak?
It is possible to use a stadium seat in a kayak. But seats designed for stadiums may not be waterproof, and they may not have suitable tie-down straps. These are probably suitable in an emergency but not for long term usage.
Do kayaks have back support?
Yes, all kayak seats will have back support. The backrest can be adjusted to suit your sitting position by tightening the straps. The easiest method for adjusting the backrest is to sit in the kayak and move the straps while you are sitting comfortably.
Do you need a kayak seat?
You probably don't need one, but they'll make your day more comfortable. A kayak doesn't technically need a dedicated seat to function. If you're using an electric outboard for propulsion, you can sit on the bare deck if you prefer. All kayaks have a designated cockpit area, so make sure you're sitting in that area for balance and stability.
How can I make my kayak more comfortable?
You can purchase a kayak seat that offers extra comfort and has additional padding. If your current seat has a low height profile, a raised seat may offer you more comfort.
How do you attach a kayak seat?
A kayak seat is attached using two straps. These straps will connect to your kayak by two fixed-eye snap hooks and D-ring attached to your kayak deck.
How to clean kayak seats?
You can take the kayak seat out of its position and wash them with some clean soapy water, and then leave them in the sun to dry.
Where to buy kayak seats?
At Kayaks2Fish, we have an excellent range of kayak seats to suit almost any kayak. We have luxury armour seats in various colours (desert, blue, and green) and a high backrest model. We also have seats from sea to summit with their tripper and cruiser models.
If you're looking for additional height so you can cast a line while sitting down, then our vantage seats are ideal (NextGen, Orca, Eagle Pro). These also have replaceable covers, so you won't need to replace the entire seat if it gets torn or damaged.
All these seats can be ordered directly through our online shop, and they can be collected using click and collect, or we can send them directly to you. We have warehouse locations all over Australia (including Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, and many others). The seats we have in the stick are all chosen for their durability and suitability in paddling kayaks and fishing kayaks.