December 01, 2021 21 min read

Sit on Top Kayaks

Man on a yellow sit on top kayak

A sit on top kayak is a fun and affordable way to explore calm lake waters, cruise the current of a rolling river, or tour the coastline of the ocean. Beginners and experienced paddlers enjoy the open freedom of a sit on top kayak.

Many different adventures await, such as floating with friends, riding tandem with your partner, journeying long-distance down a river or coastline, or quietly fishing a hidden cove.

We’ll explore the best sit on top kayaks and review their advantages and disadvantages.

Best Sit on Top Kayaks to Consider in 2021

If you’re in the market for a sit on top kayak, but you just don't know where to start looking, this guide will help. We’ve ranked our top five sit on top kayaks - with a budget option, a tandem option, inflatable, fishing and recreational, as well as five other great runners-up you should check out!

Kayaks Length Width Weight Weight Capacity Price
Sun Dolphin Bali 10’

Sun Dolphin Bali best budget sit on top kayak

10’ 30” 44 lbs 395 lbs Check Price
Emotion Spitfire

Emotion spitfire best recreational sit on top kayak

9’ 31” 45 lbs 350 lbs Check Price
Ocean Kayak Malibu Two

Ocean kayak malibu two tandem kayak

12’ 34” 57 lbs 425 lbs Check Price
Sevylor Quikpak K1

Sevylor Quikpak k1 best inflatable kayak

8.6’ 36” 18 lbs 400 lbs Check Price
Lifetime Tamarack Angler

Lifetime 10 foot two person tandem fishing kayak

10’ 36” 60 lbs 500 lbs Check Price
Perception Pescador 10

Perception Pescador 10 sit on top fishing kayak

10’6” inches 32” 57 lbs lbs 325 lbs Check Price
Perception Tribe 9.5

Perception Tribe 9.5 All around sit on top kayak

9’5” 31.25” 46 lbs 300 lbs Check Price
Pelican Sentinel 100x

BKC UH TK 219 sit on top kayak

9.5’ 30” 44 lbs 275 lbs Check Price
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120

wilderness tarpon 120 sit on top legend

12’3” 31” 63 lbs 350 lbs Check Price
Ocean Kayak Frenzy

Ocean kayak frenzy one person sit on top recreational kayak

9’ 31” 43 lbs 325 lbs Check Price
Vibe YellowFin 100

Yellowfin 100 Vibe kayak sit on top fishing kayak

10’ 32” 57 lbs 375 lbs Check Price
Eddyline Caribbean 12

Eddyline carribean 12 sit on top kayak

12’ 30” 45 lbs 300 lbs Check Price

Sun Dolphin Bali 10’ - Best Budget Buy

The Sun Dolphin Bali 10’ is a great beginner kayak that is lightweight and stable. It is ideal for calm or flat water and the short length makes it maneuver well.

A comfortable open deck means more space to move and the Bali has multiple storage options with a central dry hatch, two bungee storage areas, and a unique PAC - portable accessory carrier - that is watertight and saves space as you pull it behind your kayak.

Sun Dolphin Bali best budget sit on top kayak

Length Width Weight Weight Capacity Price
10’ 30" 44 lbs 395 lbs Price

Special Features

The SunDolphin Bali 10 SS is a stable kayak that is inexpensive and spacious making it a perfect beginner kayak option. You can throw in your dry bag and gear with a dry storage compartment and two areas of bungee deck rigging.

 An additional PAC (portable accessory carrier) attaches to the rear of the kayak and holds additional gear that floats behind your boat.

The wide open design makes for easy entry and dismount from the kayak and plenty of room to move, and adjustable foot braces ensure you’re positioned for efficient paddling. A paddle holder will secure your paddle for hands free activities like photography or fishing.

Materials and Construction

The SunDolphin is built from Fortiflex polyethylene for a durable hull to withstand frequent bumps and shallow rocks. The seat has a padded back and there is additional padding on the side for your thighs for increased overall comfort.

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • Inexpensive
  • Large, open area to sit and move
  • Comfortable padding on seat and side walls
  • Deck storage space
  • Portable accessory carrier floats behind for additional gear
  • Dry hatch
  • Lightweight and easier to transport
  • Paddle holder
  • Does not track well at times
  • Paddle not included
  • No scupper hole plugs included - and are recommended to stay drier

Emotion Spitfire - Best Recreational

The Emotion Spitfire is a great recreational kayak that anyone in the family can use. It is wide and stable with comfortable seating to spend the day on the water. Ample storage space means you can pack your cooler and snacks to kayak until sunset.

Emotion spitfire best recreational sit on top kayak

Length Width Weight Weight Capacity Price
9’ 31" 45 lbs 350 lbs Price

Special Features

The Emotion Spitfire has a wide and stable hull that is perfect for beginners or for general recreational use. It has molded foot holds for a comfortable paddling position as you sit in the padded seat with padded backrest.

Bungee storage space in the front and rear combined with a central dry hatch means you can secure your gear and valuables easily.

Materials and Construction

The Emotion Spitfire hull is designed from high-density polyethylene for a durable and lightweight kayak. Chines are ridges in the hull design that help stabilize the kayak so it can tackle small waves and rougher water.

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • Wide, stable design for beginners
  • Storage space in front, read, and a dry hatch
  • Padded seat and backrest
  • Paddle keepers for hands-free action
  • 5 year warranty
  • Tracking not as great over distances, but good for general use

Ocean Kayak Malibu Two - Best Tandem

The Ocean Kayak Malibu Two is a great tandem sit on top kayak that can also be paddled solo. A wide open deck includes adjustable seats for tandem paddling with room for a third person or dog in between. One seat can also be removed to paddle solo.

The Ocean Kayak Malibu Two is a great beginner kayak with excellent stability, and it has everything needed for a comfortable ride with your child or partner.

 Ocean kayak malibu two tandem kayak

Length Width Weight Weight Capacity Price
12’ 34" 57 lbs 425 lbs Price

Special Features

The Malibu Two is a sit on top kayak with a sturdy build, easy to get onto and off,  with great stability for beginners. It has adjustable comfort plus seats that can be placed in three possible seat wells. You can paddle tandem, paddle solo with a central seat position, or include a third rider in the middle.

The Ocean Kayak Malibu Two has a skid plate to protect the keel, and overlapping foot wells provide a comfortable foothold while you paddle. Gear straps ensure your valuables stay secure. It comes with an option of up to three hatches for additional storage.

Materials and Construction

The Ocean Kayak Malibu Two is made with a durable, single layer polyethylene molded hull. Toggle handles on the nose and rear make it easy to carry it to the water with additional molded handles on each side, and it comes in four possible color combinations.

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • Lifetime warranty on the hull
  • Stable compact design
  • Can be paddled tandem or solo
  • Overlapping foot wells
  • Lightweight and easy to carry with side and toggle handles
  • Comfort seat backs
  • Paddle not included
  • Not built for speed - but perfect for flatwater
  • No paddle holder

Sevylor Quikpak K1 - Best Inflatable

The Sevylor Quikpak K1 is an inflatable sit on top kayak that is lightweight and easy to transport to remote mountain lakes or distant rivers for your next adventure. It deflates down to load into a backpack that can be carried to the water’s edge, then you can simply  inflate it and hop on the water.

The Sevylor Quikpak has a padded seat and backrest and adjustable footholds. There is bungee storage space on the nose for your gear and it even has a cup holder for your beverage!

Sevylor Quikpak k1 best inflatable kayak

Length Width Weight Weight Capacity Price
8.6’ 36" 18 lbs 400 lbs Price

Special Features

The Sevylor Quikpak K1 weighs only 18 pounds and deflates to fit nicely in the included backpack so it can travel anywhere and take up little storage space. It comes with all you need to hit the water; with a paddle, backpack, and inflation pump.

The Quikpak K1 has a padded seat with a backrest and adjustable foot holds for a comfortable ride. A cargo net front storage area ensures your gear won’t fall overboard, and a cup holder allows you to float with a beverage within reach.

Materials and Construction

The Quikpak K1 is made with 21 gauge PVC construction with multiple air chambers. This provides the reliability that in the unusual event of a puncture to the hull, another inflated chamber will keep you afloat. A tarpaulin bottom helps resist puncture from rocks or underwater sticks.

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight and easily portable and requires little storage space
  • Paddle holder
  • Cup holder
  • Durable PVC and tarpaulin bottom
  • Includes entire package with paddle, pump, and backpack to get onto the water
  • Does not track well with two small skegs
  • Slow on the water

Lifetime Tamarack Angler - Best Fishing

The Lifetime Tamarack Angler is a durable tandem sit on top kayak that performs well, with good tracking due to its hull design. It has a weight capacity of 500 pounds and can be paddled tandem or solo. The spacious hull and weight allowance makes it ideal to load your tackle box, cooler, and fishing gear.

Lifetime 10 foot two person tandem fishing kayak

Length Width Weight Weight Capacity Price
10’ 36" 60 lbs 500 lbs Price

Special Features

The Lifetime 10 foot Two Person Fishing Kayak has a weight capacity of 500 pounds and provides a stable ride with decent tracking. The hull is designed for better tracking and it can be paddled tandem or solo. The shorter hull makes it easy to maneuver and turn while the flat bottom ensures its stability.

The Lifetime includes two seats with padded backrests. It’s decked out for fishing with three fishing rod holders and a rear storage hatch for gear. It comes with two paddles and a paddle clip.

Materials and Construction

Made from high density polyethylene HDPE to resist UV fading or damage, the Lifetime  is durable and resistant to  damage. It is blow-molded into the hull design and includes multiple footrest positions for comfortable paddling.

Molded carry handles at the front and rear work to easily carry your boat to the water.

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • Inexpensive
  • Stable and tracks fairly well 
  • Multiple foot rests for comfort
  • Ideal for fishing with rod holders and storage hatch
  • Includes paddles
  • Can ride with a third passenger or pet
  • 5 year warranty
  • Heavier than most
  • Uncomfortable seats
  • No skeg, but hull shape helps tracking

Other Great Sit on Top Kayaks to Check Out

If our top five categories of sit on top kayak still doesn’t quite fit what you’re looking for, don’t worry. We also recommend you check out these five favorites - with offerings from trusted brands like Pescador and Vibe, we think these kayaks are definitely worth considering.

Perception Pescador 10

The Perception Pescador 10 is a versatile sit on top kayak that has tons of open space and room for storage to make it great for recreational use, fishing, or river cruises. It is not a fast kayak, but it has decent tracking on the water.

A comfortable ventilated seat with adjustable foot holds means you can find the perfect seating position. The kayak is stocked with storage space with a dry hatch, bungee storage, and molded fishing rod holders.

Perception Pescador 10 sit on top fishing kayak

Length Width Weight Weight Capacity Price
10’6 32" 57 lbs 325 lbs Price

Special Features

The Perception Pescador 10 performs well with good tracking in multiple types of water including lakes, calm rivers, or ocean bays. Comfort is guaranteed with an adjustable seat that is padded with ventilation to avoid overheating. Adjustable foot rests conform to short or tall riders with ease.

The Perception Pescador 10 can be rigged with fishing gear and with gear tracks along the edge to attach fish finders and two molded fishing rod holders carry your pole until you find the perfect location. A sealed hatch in the front means you can tuck away valuables to keep them dry and a rear bungee storage area allows additional gear. A cup holder keeps your beverage nearby on a hot day.

Materials and Construction

The Pescador is crafted with a single piece of rotomolded high density polyethylene to make it lightweight and durable. A skid plate on the bottom allows you to drag your kayak without fear of irreparable damage.

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • Stable kayak for recreation or fishing
  • Durable build and lightweight
  • Tons of storage space with dry hatch and bungee well storage
  • Gear tracks to attach fishing accessories
  • Molded fishing rod holders
  • Cup holder
  • RAM mounting system to attach rod holders or camera
  • No paddle holder
  • Not fast, but tracks well
  • No skeg or rudder

Perception Tribe 9.5

The Perception Tribe 9.5 is a great recreational sit on top kayak with excellent tracking and the ability to maneuver. A framed seat with adjustable foot rests ensures that you’re comfortable as you paddle with friends. Large bungee storage areas and a dry hatch provide space for your gear.

Perception Tribe 9.5 All around sit on top kayak

Length Width Weight Weight Capacity Price
9.5’ 31.25" 46 lbs 300 lbs Price

Special Features

The Perception Tribe 9.5 is a roomy sit on top kayak that tracks well and has decent maneuverability. It has a framed and adjustable seat that folds down for storage and molded footholds to fit paddlers of most any height.

Large front and rear storage areas can hold your cooler, tackle box, or dry bag. A small dry hatch is conveniently located in the middle to keep your cell phone dry but easy to access.

Materials and Construction

The Tribe is built with high density polyethylene and is rotomolded into a durable kayak. The construction makes the Perception Tribe abrasion and UV resistant.

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • Versatile for many water environments like rivers and lakes
  • Comfortable seat that folds for easier storage
  • Molded foot holds to fit multiple sizes
  • Large front and rear bungee storage areas
  • Dry hatch for valuables
  • No paddle holder
  • No skeg or rudder

Pelican Sentinel 100x

The Pelican Sentinel 100x has more capacity for speed than its competitors due to the twin arched hull design. It tracks well and provides a comfortable ride with an adjustable, high-back seat and adjustable foot rests.

The Pelican has a removable rear storage hatch that will secure into place with bungee tie downs. A paddle rest allows for hands-free activity and you have a handy spot to rest your beverage.

Pelican sentinel 100x lightweight sit on top kayak

Length Width Weight Weight Capacity Price
9.5’ 30" 44 lbs 275 lbs Price

Special Features

The Pelican Sentinel 100x is a stable sit on top kayak with the potential for more speed than its competitors. It has a stable hull design with twin arches and multiple chines to allow for better tracking and maneuverability.

The Ergolounge seating system provides a high backrest and padded seat for comfort, and molded footrests to fit any height. A paddle rest allows for hands-free activity, and a cup holder holds your beverage. A removable storage compartment in the rear is secured with bungees.

Materials and Construction

The Pelican Sentinel 100x is constructed with a unique UV resistant material called RAM-X that is triple layer polyethylene that is durable and lightweight. An anti-slip carpet provides a comfortable spot to stand or for your dog to join the ride.

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • Hull designed for more speed and good tracking
  • Comfortable adjustable padded seat
  • Paddle holder
  • Large removable storage compartment
  • Anti-slip carpet a nice addition
  • Durable build
  • Does not come with a paddle

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120

The Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 is a stable sit on top kayak with decent tracking. It has many options that make it an ideal fishing kayak with accessory rails to attach fishing gear, spacious mesh storage area, and room to stand while you cast and reel in the big fish.

It has a comfortable, padded seat that is adjustable and foot rests also adjust to your height. The Tarpon 120 has a durable build and is perfect for lakes, rivers, and slow moving waters.

wilderness tarpon 120 sit on top legend

Length Width Weight Weight Capacity Price
12’3 31" 63 lbs 350 lbs Price

Special Features

The Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 is a stable sit on top kayak that tracks well. It is stocked with many great features to make it ideal for fishing; with room to stand on the deck, a central removable dry box for valuables, side storage pockets, and a large rear storage for coolers or tackle.

The seat is comfortable, with good airflow to keep you cool, and adjustable foot rests make for easy paddling. Other extras include a water bottle strap, three accessory rails to attach accessories such as fish finders or rod holders, and a paddle holder.

Materials

The Wilderness Tarpon comes in four striking color combinations: mango, breeze blue, fossil tan, and galaxy. It has a durable molded hull of lightweight polyethylene, and a skid plate to protect the base when dragging your kayak across the sand.

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • Fast and tracks well
  • Plenty of storage space
  • Able to stand - spacious deck
  • Lightweight - transports easily
  • Nice color options
  • Paddle holder
  • Comfortable seat
  • Accessory rails
  • Paddle sold separately
  • Rudder ready but sold separately

Ocean Kayak Frenzy

The Ocean Kayak Frenzy is a compact recreational sit on top kayak ideal for smaller paddlers. It has a long central keel to help it track well and makes it great for surf as well as calm water paddling. A comfortable seat adjusts to fit your size and large front and rear storage areas mean you can throw in your cooler and snacks for a long day on the water.

Ocean kayak frenzy one person sit on top recreational kayak

Length Width Weight Weight Capacity Price
9’ 31" 43 lbs 325 lbs Price

Special Features

The Ocean Kayak Frenzy is a sit on top kayak that is great for calm water but capable of tackling some ocean surf. It has a tri-form hull for excellent stability and a large keel to keep it tracking straight.

A four way adjustable seat is comfortable enough to paddle all day. A large recessed front and rear storage area are secured by bungees. The kayak is considered “compact” so large paddlers might not fit as well.

Materials and Construction

The Ocean Frenzy has a rotomolded polyethylene build for durability that is still lightweight. The wide deck has room for freedom of movement. It is lightweight enough to throw on your car to transport and to easily carry to the water.

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • A versatile stable kayak for surf and calm water
  • Perfect stable kayak for child or beginner
  • Ample storage in front and rear
  • Comfortable padded seat
  • Center keel provides great tracking
  • Compact size with smaller seat not ideal for plus sized or tall riders
  • Paddle not included
  • No paddle rest

Vibe YellowFin 100

The Vibe YellowFin 100 is a sit on top kayak with a pontoon hull for a stable glide. The Vibe is ready for your next fishing trip, with large bungee storage wells, four rod holders, watertight hatches, and tackle tray holders.

The Vibe has a framed Hero seat that is ventilated so you won’t overheat and the deck has a slip resistant coat to keep your feet planted as your reel in the fish.

Yellowfin 100 Vibe kayak sit on top fishing kayak

Length Width Weight Weight Capacity Price
10’ 32" 57 lbs 375 lbs Price

Special Features

The Vibe YellowFin 100 has a short wide hull that makes it a stable option for beginners and to load your fishing gear. Ride in comfort with a mesh framed Hero seat with a high back, and rest your beverage in a molded cup holder.

The Vibe has gear tracks to attach fishing accessories and four molded fishing rod holders. A rectangular mount allows attachment of fish finder and two bungee side mounts will secure your paddle while you fish. There is tons of storage with two 8 inch hatches with a waterproof bag, a large rear bungee storage area, and tackle tray holders.

Materials and Construction

The Vibe YellowFin is crafted as a single piece of rotomolded polyethylene and has a slip resistant deck. The pontoon style hull makes it stable and quiet on the water.

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • Stable kayak great for fishing
  • Four rod holders
  • Comfortable framed seat
  • Paddle holder
  • Multiple storage areas for gear
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Paddle not included
  • Not built for speed

Eddyline Caribbean 12

The Eddyline Caribbean 12 is a sit on top kayak that performs well in quiet lakes as well as flowing rivers. The hull is designed for tracking and stability.

The Eddyline Caribbean 12 has a higher price tag than others due to the high quality materials with a carbonlite hull with fusion welded seams. The build makes it perform better on the water than its closest competitors, with excellent durability.

Eddyline carribean 12 sit on top kayak

Length Width Weight Weight Capacity Price
12’ 30" 45 lbs 300 lbs Price

Special Features

The Eddyline Caribbean 12 has a stable hull designed for excellent tracking and speed. A large cloth seat is durable and breathable and adjustable footrests fit to your height. Accessory rails along the side provide attachment points for fishing rod holders or fish fingers.

There’s room to store your cooler and dry bag in a large rear storage well with bungees to secure it, and a central small dry hatch for small gear and front large dry hatch provide additional storage space.

Materials and Construction

The Eddyline Caribbean 12 is constructed from carbonlite or proprietary composite ABS to make it perform better on the water, but also make it more expensive. Fusion welded seams add to extra durability for long term kayak use. 

Pros & Cons

 PROS CONS
  • High quality construction and durability
  • Tracks well for rivers and lake use
  • Accessory rails for attachments
  • Comfortable breathable seat
  • Large storage capacity
  • Expensive
  • No paddle holder

Why Choose a Sit on Top Kayak?

The paddler sits on top of a sit on top (SOT) kayak, instead of sitting in an enclosed cockpit of a sit inside kayak.

There are a few advantages and disadvantages to a sit on top kayak, and by reviewing these, you can hopefully determine if a sit on kayak is meant for you.

Advantages

Man on a red shirt using yellow sit on top kayak

Easy to Access

A sit on top kayak is easier to step into from the dock or shoreline, and it is easier to re-enter after taking a swim.

Stability

Sit on top kayaks are typically wider than sit inside models, and this makes them more stable. The stability of a SOT kayak means they’re great for beginners and used for general recreational use.

Affordable

Sit on top kayaks are simply designed and crafted from inexpensive plastic materials to make them more affordable.

Storage Space

With a wide open deck, you have more room to attach your cooler, dry bag, or tackle box. Many models will have watertight storage hatches, fishing rod holders built into the deck, and extra space for your dog to ride along.

Keep Cool

On a hot summer day, a sit on top kayak has open space to feel the breeze without being confined inside a stuffy cockpit.

Comfort

When on a sit on top kayak, you have the freedom of open space with room to stretch your legs, and you’re not restricted like a sit inside version. You can even stand up on some sit on top kayaks, which makes them perfect for fishing.

Disadvantages

Blue and white kayak on lake side

Get Wet

When you’re out in the open, you have the potential to get splashed or wet on a sit on top kayak. This is probably not an issue on a hot day, but it’s not ideal when the weather turns cold.

Slower

As mentioned above sit on top kayaks are wider and more stable than a sit inside, making them slower on the water. For most kayak activities such as recreation and fishing, this is not an issue. But if you want to tour long-distance, you will probably lag behind your friends.

Sun Exposure

The freedom of sitting in an open space comes at the price of no shelter from the sun. Even on a cloudy day you are at increased risk of sunburn and exposure to the elements - so plan accordingly!

Things to Consider When Buying a Sit on Top Kayak

Colorful ocean kayaks

When buying a sit on top kayak, you’ll quickly see that there is a multitude of various shapes, sizes, and styles to consider. We’ll review each feature to consider so you can choose wisely.

Solo or Tandem?

Kayaks can be designed for a single rider but can also be tandem to allow two or three riders. Some tandem kayaks have adjustable seats that can be rearranged or removed to convert to one paddler. This would allow more storage capacity in the additional space and might be preferred for activities such as fishing or paddling with your dog.

Expense and storage space is also a consideration in determining whether to buy a tandem or solo kayak. If you have many family members that want to paddle, then a tandem allows multiple riders with one purchase instead of buying multiple kayaks. A tandem is typically longer, and it might be more difficult to store, but it still might be easier than storing two boats.

Material

Many materials might be used to construct a kayak, but the most common are polyethylene and ABS. Polyethylene is durable and inexpensive, but it will be heavier than ABS and susceptible to UV degradation over time.

ABS is used in high-end kayaks because it is lighter, stronger, and more durable, but it is also more expensive.

Experience Level

An experienced kayaker will look for a kayak that performs well in their preferred environment, but a beginner will mostly want stability.

Water Type

Sit on top kayaks are usually ideal for flat water such as lakes, slow river currents, or a calm bay. If looking for a kayak to battle whitewater, a sit on top kayak would not be preferred and could risk your overall safety.

Length and Width

The longer the kayak, the faster it will move in the water, so kayaks designed for touring long distances will be long and narrow. A wider kayak will be more stable. Most sit on top kayaks intended for recreational use will have a wide, short hull. 

Weight Capacity

When determining the appropriate weight capacity you’ll need, don’t forget to figure in the weight of your cooler, tackle box, or additional dry bag. If you overload your kayak’s weight limits, you will ride lower in the water and be more likely to capsize.

Portability and Storage

Don’t forget that after a great day on the water, you have to load your kayak and carry it home, and then you must find a spot to store it until your next adventure. A tandem kayak will be longer  but it might take up less space than two smaller kayaks.

Store your kayak out of the sun to prevent UV degradation of the plastics. You might need a roof rack or trailer to transport your kayak to the water. If you’re looking to travel with your kayak, consider an inflatable kayak that can deflate to transport in your trunk.

Budget

The more specialized a kayak is for touring, whitewater, or fishing, the more expensive it will be. An inexpensive kayak might float like  a more expensive model, but might not contain extra features like rod holders, dry hatches, or comfortable seating.

The materials of construction typically determine its overall expense. A cheaper model might be fine for general recreational use, but it might be worth splurging for higher quality construction and better performance if you plan to kayak long-distance or spend endless days in your boat.

Accessories

For the average day of kayaking with friends, accessories might not be a big consideration, but if you’re fishing, touring, or spending hours on the water it’s something to research.

Some kayaks come with the storage space to bungee down a cooler to carry your snacks and drinks, attachment points to connect a fishing rod holder, or dry hatches to keep your valuables protected.

Some kayaks include skegs or rudders for better tracking, while others require a separate purchase. You won’t get far without a paddle and not all kayaks come with the paddle included. These are all things to research before your kayak purchase.

FAQ’S

🏆 What is the best sit on top kayak?

Because sit on top kayaks come in multiple varieties and styles, finding the best sit on top kayak depends on what you’re looking for. The best fishing sit on top kayak is the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 because it is an inexpensive stable kayak with the storage space and rod holders to set you up to catch fish.

The prize for the best recreational sit on top kayak could go to many models, but the Emotion Spitfire and Ocean Kayak Frenzy provide a wide stable hull with the maneuverability for general use. They have comfortable seats and lots of storage space to pack your cooler and snacks for a great day.

The best tandem sit on top kayak is the Ocean Kayak Malibu Two because it has a wide open comfortable deck space with a smooth ride for calm water. There is storage space to load your gear and the seats adjust so you can even paddle solo.


👍 What is a sit on top kayak used for?

Sit on top kayaks are typically used for recreational use, and their stability makes them a great option for beginners. They are easy to get into and off of and provide a wide open space to stay cool on a hot day. Sit on top kayaks have ample storage space so they are ideal to load a cooler and tackle for a day of fishing.


🏝️ How do you get into a sit on top kayak?

Before entering your kayak, make sure you are wearing a PFD and your gear is secured. Pull your kayak to the water’s edge and put half of the boat in the water while the other half is secure on the land.

Straddle the kayak with a leg on each side as you hover over the seat. Crouch down and lower your bottom into the seat, and it might help if someone stabilizes the kayak for you. Bring your legs inside the kayak and rest them securely against the side padded area.

Push your feet into the foot braces until your legs are straight and the braces click into place. Use your paddle to push off the land and shimmy yourself into the water, or you can have a friend push you off to launch.


❓ How fast is a sit on top kayak?

The speed in a sit on top kayak depends on the experience of the paddler and the water environment. Typically a sit on top kayak will not perform as well as a sit inside kayak, but a longer kayak (more than 10 feet) will have more speed.


📦 What is the best sit on top kayak for beginners?

The Sun Dolphin Bali 10 SS or the Emotion Spitfire 9 are ideal sit on top kayaks for beginners because they are stable, inexpensive, and easy to use. The Sun Dolphin Bali has a wide open cockpit that is easy to board and disembark, and the padded seat and side walls ensure a comfortable ride. It is an ideal kayak for slow or flat water where speed is not necessary.

The Emotion Spitfire has comfortable padded seating and ample storage space for your cooler or gear. Its stability is ideal for a lazy day paddling on a lake or in a slow river current.


📦 What is the best sit on top kayak for fishing?

The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 is an inexpensive sit on top fishing kayak with everything you need with comfortable seating, ample storage, and stability. The Wilderness Tarpon 120 has a higher price tag but has added accessory rails to attach your fish finder or rod holders and additional dry hatches to store your favorite tackle.


📦 What is the best sit on top kayak for dogs?

The best sit on top kayak for dogs is one with plenty of stability and deck space for a comfortable ride for both you and your pet. The Ocean Kayak Malibu Two is a nice option as a tandem kayak with tons of deck space, because it has adjustable seats to allow you to paddle solo with your dog by your side.

The Pelican Sentinel 100 is another sit on top kayak perfect for your dog because of the wide open deck space with anti-slip carpeting. Your dog has the space and a comfortable foothold to stay securely at your side.


📦 What is the best sit on top kayak for the money?

There are two inexpensive sit on top kayaks on our list that have all you need for a fun day kayaking. The Sun Dolphin Bali SS is a great beginner kayak with a stable design for calm waters and has a wide open deck space, comfortable seating, and storage space to throw in snacks and a cooler.

The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 is a tandem sit on top kayak with storage space and fishing rod holders to keep your gear secure while you hunt for the perfect fishing hole.

Summary

Whether you’re looking for a tandem sit on top kayak to paddle with your partner or you’re searching for a fun recreational sit on top kayak to paddle with friends, hopefully this article provides the information needed to find a perfect match.

Pat McCaw
Pat McCaw

Author, physician, mom and lover of all things outdoors. If there’s water or a hiking trail nearby, that's her happy place. Throw in family and a couple of dogs and it's paradise!


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