Many users of closed-style kayaks complain of leg cramps and muscular pain after prolonged periods of sitting during fishing trips.
With this in mind, it’s essential to make a good investment and purchase the best sit on top kayak you can. This means a kayak that offers enough space to stretch your legs and does not restrict essential movement.
If you’re planning to explore waters you’ve never visited, it’s best to do so in the comfort of a SOT kayak. Below are some of the most reliable top kayaks of this style available for purchase in 2020.
Best Sit on Top kayak Reviews
Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot
If you’re a novice kayaker, this is an excellent option. Sun Dolphin kayak offers a stable base, which means that the chances of capsizing are reduced. The cockpit of this kayak is very spacious, which provides ample leg space and movements. In addition, the open cockpit ensures that one doesn’t struggle to get into the kayak.
The seat of this kayak is quite comfortable, and the walls reach a great height. With all the space in this kayak, you’ll have enough space to carry a little extra equipment. The Portable Accessory Holder is also great for extra storage.
For anybody keen on enjoying a light drink or bottled water while enjoying the scenery, there’s a cup holder that’ll hold your bottle or plastic cup just fine. Accumulating water in the kayak shouldn’t be a concern either, as the kayak comes with a drain plug.
Perception Pescador Pro 12
This is an excellent ocean kayak, as it boasts functional storage capacity. More than enough to carry a lot of equipment for a long trip. If you’re just beginning to enjoy fishing kayak expeditions, you’ll feel right at home seated on the adjustable seats. These seats can be lowered if you’d like to relax a little.
The kayak offers extra buoyancy for additional safety, and the one-piece leak-proof construction takes care of your safety. This sit on top kayak is also lightweight, so you can easily transport it. The rear open and spacious front storage areas allow you to carry extra gear and equipment.
The Perception Pescador Pro 12 foot sit on top kayak is made for use on serene coastal waters, and slow rivers. When paddling, this tall kayak provides excellent speeds. Just like all Perception Kayaks, this model is built for comfort and durability. The kayak is stable and will provide you with confidence when standing.
Perception Pescador Pilot 12
This is the perfect kayak for cruising all day long. The pedal works superbly, whether facing forward or reversed, and it’s exceptional for a workout if you’ve been too dormant. Even though it’s heavy, this boat is quite steady, and the lawn chair design seat with mesh is comfortable and breathable for long periods.
This kayak features a fish finder, gear racks, and four rod holders. This kayak has built-in buoyancy, which instills confidence in its safety when out on the water. The length of the boat is 12’5’’ with a width of 33-3/4”. It can carry a maximum capacity of up to 475 lbs.
This kayak also offers accessory rails on each gunwale to hold your fish finders.
The only con is the aforementioned weight, so you’ll need to arrange for appropriate transport to and from the water.
Riot Kayaks Escape 12
With five rod holders around the sides of this kayak, it’s apparent that this model is designed for fishing. You’ll have plenty of options of where to place your fishing rod. The kayak moves quite stealthily, so there’s no worrying about scaring off potential catches.
This kayak offers a perfect sliding foot brace, which allows you to adjust yourself and find the ideal position to sit inside. The braces also allow you power and control when tackling and reeling in big fish. This boat comes with two paddle hooks that provide you with the perfect place to hold your paddle without fear of losing them as you use your rod.
The Riot Kayak has excellent maneuverability and an excellent pilot rudder system. If you’re keen on shallow water fishing, this kayak won’t disappoint. The kayak is excellent value for money for its price point.
Lifetime 10 Foot, Two Person Sit on Kayak
If you love group fishing, this tandem kayak is an excellent option. It can comfortably sit two full-sized adults, but if you’ve got the kids with you, you can have an adult, two kids, or three smaller-sized adults.
It’s lightweight, which makes transport simple. The kayak also provides many footrest options, allowing users of different heights to sit comfortably. It features a large interior hatch for storage, where you can store your catches and additional equipment.
The kayak comes with three fishing pole holders, which allows you to save your paddles as you fish safely. The weight capacity of this boat is 500 pounds, and it provides excellent tracking and durability.
This is the perfect kayak for long hours of fishing, as the padded seat provides extra comfort. The boat is quite rigid but remains exceptionally durable.
Emotion Spitfire Kayak
This kayak has a maximum loadbearing weight of 45lb and it’s a one-person kayak. However, if you’re fishing alone, it provides excellent stability and tracking with its hull design. The Spitfire also boasts many extra features that users will appreciate. It’s a good fit for slow waters thanks to the compact and lightweight design.
This is a perfect beginner kayak that features padding on the bottom and the back of the seat for extra comfort out on the water. Unfortunately, paddles aren’t included with the purchase, but it does offer a hatch beneath the deck for added storage – as a cargo net lacing.
The Emotion Spitfire features molded footwells for bracing, comfort, and front handles that help transport the boat easily. It’s constructed from high-density, UV protected Polyethylene, which adds to its durability. The boat also features scupper holes for draining water from the tank well cockpit.
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
Anyone with a passion for fishing can use this kayak. It’s an easy-to-operate two-person kayak, and its inflatable nature is designed for space-saving and comfort. It’s an excellent sit on top kayak for a lazy day out on the water.
The kayak comes with paddles and an air pump, and is an ideal option for novice anglers looking for exceptional visibility in case of an emergency. This kayak is best for small lakes or very mild rivers. It’s made from a vinyl exterior and is hardy enough to be pushed over off of debris.
It’s an excellent budget alternative if you don’t want to spend too much, but this kayak works just as well as costlier alternatives. Most inflatable kayaks seem flimsy, but this one seems to hold quite well with two separate compartments. These will prevent you from sinking quickly if the kayak gets a hole.
Emotion Spitfire Kayak
This kayak is an excellent recommendation for anyone who is starting out on their outdoor lifestyle. It holds well on the water and has an acceptable track. The price is right for this boat, and if you’d like to purchase a spare one for family and friends who visit, this should be your go-to option.
It’s very wide and stable, so newbies will feel confident in the water as the boat tends not to rock. The seat is surprisingly comfortable too, and provides impressive back support for extended periods on the water.
With this boat, you can easily change the direction you’re going but watch for the extra tippiness. It’s a good boat for younger paddlers since it’s a little slow, but versatile and fun. It’s also has plenty of storage space if you’re thinking of staying longer on the water.
Sevylor Quikpak K1 Kayak
The Sevylor Quikpak K1 is an excellent option for someone looking to have a fun, recreational day or for simply relaxing on the water. It’s has a thoughtful design that’ll help you have an easy time kayaking. The boat is easy to balance and is stable, so it’s easy for beginners to handle.
The only downside to this boat is that it doesn’t track so well, but it performs well on calm water or slow rivers. The kayak has multiple air chambers, so if you get a puncture while still on the water the other air chambers will keep you afloat. This will provide you with the time to row safely back to shore.
The Sevylor Quikpak can carry up to 400 lbs, which is excellent if you need to carry extra equipment on your trip. The kayak is also equipped with a paddle that can be broken down into a compact size, as well as a manual hand pump.
Intex Challenger K2 Kayak
This kayak comes in a bright green color and an eye-catching sporty design, which promotes visibility. The boat design also makes it easy to paddle, thanks to two aluminum paddles which are included. A manual pump is also packaged with the kayak, allowing easy deflation and inflation as required.
The vinyl material is durable and UV resistant. In addition, unlike other inflatable boats, this one comes with a repair patch kit that makes it convenient to repair tears or punctures immediately.
This kayak offers two separate air chambers, so you don’t have to worry if you get a hole as one chamber is enough to keep you afloat till you get to shore. The paddles for this boat are easily broken down for easy mobility, and it comes with a carry bag for easy transportation. You’re going to enjoy this purchase.
Essential Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Sit on Top Kayak
Even though buying a new kayak is fun, it can also be overwhelming. Many people go for the most popular models they’ll see other paddlers with, but that isn’t always the best way to go. Just because other people have more experience at paddling, it doesn’t mean that their preferences are suitable for your unique needs.
You won’t always be happy with your purchase if you follow this route. Before buying a kayak, watch out for these mistakes that other paddlers make and avoid them.
- Being Passive About Your Purchase
As discussed before, the right kayak for your family member or instructor may not be not the best one for you. You’ve got to give it a test paddle for you to know whether a sit on top kayak is right for you. Get in and take a test paddle.
Feel how the kayak moves on the water and assess whether it’s a good fit. Consider how you want to fit while you’re seated, and if you’re comfortable. Being the odd one out with a kayak that looks different to others is fine as long as it works for you.
- Fixating on the Weight
As technology improves manufacturing processes, kayaks get lighter due to improvements made to materials. If you let the weight of a boat stop you from purchasing the right one, you might miss out on a good thing. Just remember that the weight of the kayak won’t mean anything once it’s floating on the water
- Purchasing a Kayak with Too Many Accessories or Features
If there are too many moveable parts on your kayak, you may get distracted from the real goal of purchasing it. What you mostly need from a sit on top kayak is comfort, extra legroom, and paddle holders. sure that your backrest is comfortable if you like to stay out on the water for prolonged periods.
- Purchasing Discomfort
This is what you’ll be signing up for if you make a purchase that isn’t right for you. Many sit on top kayak models come in varying widths and lengths. You must try them all to find the one that fits best.
Once you’re on the boat in the store, try to mimic the movements you’d typically make while on the water, including reaching for storage parts. If this makes you uncomfortable, then try other sizes. If they all don’t fit well, try a different model kayak until you get the right one.
- Purchasing the Wrong Kayak
Kayaks are designed for different types of water and functions. A boat that’s made for rapids or the open sea won’t necessarily be right for you in shallow or slow water. Kayaks can be designed for use in flat water, touring, surf, fishing, or rock gardens.
It’s easy for a salesperson to cloud your thinking, but you’ve got to stay on track and buy the right one for its purpose. Now that you know the mistakes you should avoid when buying a sit on top kayak, here are some tips to help you choose the right one.
- Length of the Kayak
Shorter models of sit-on kayak are much easier to maneuver into different routes, and weigh much less than more extended versions. However, the longer the kayak is, the faster it’ll go.
- Seats of the Kayak
Some SOT kayaks don’t come with working seats, offering these as extras or accessories. If you’d like to cover more distance while kayaking, it’s best to go for a shorter seat. Taller alternatives will restrict your movement or prevent you from turning much. On the other hand, a taller seat will offer you more support and is great for just cruising on the water
- The Paddle
You can’t be on the water without one. A paddle is an essential part of a kayak as, without it, you’ll only depend on the water movement to get you anywhere. You also run the risk of drifting too much without the paddle.
Before buying a paddle, check its weight and height. A lighter paddle is better as you won’t get as tired paddling. If you’re taller, then it’s best to get a longer paddle. Also, if the hull of the kayak is long, then a longer paddle will work best.
Can a Sit on Top Kayak Sink?
Sit on top kayaks generally have a very slight probability of sinking. Sit on top kayaks shouldn’t sink unless the weight limit has been considerably exceeded. If you do surpass the threshold, the boat may float but you won’t be able to ride.
Why Do Sit on Top Kayaks have Holes?
Scupper holes are a safety feature found on SOTs to help drain water from the kayak.
Are Sit on Top Kayaks Stable?
This is a kayak that has no cockpit, instead offering an attached chair or seat mold. As the name implies, you sit on top of these kayaks rather than within.