kayak seats

Kayak Seat: The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

When choosing a kayak seat several things come into play. Buying a kayak seat is a lot like buying another kayak accessories, you can either buy a good one the first time or you can waste your money until you finally get something of quality that will last you for years.

To help you I came up with some strong suggestions to help you make the right decision. This post is pretty thorough with lots of information, but here’s the short version of my recommendation on kayak seat: Although it’s worth spending a little more on a kayak seat, I choose an inexpensive one for you(around $40). My recommendation for a good quality kayak seat for a reasonable price is the IGuerburn Kayak Seat (click here to see them on Amazon).  This is the seat that I use and I’ve been extremely happy with the value and quality of this product.


Why I Chose the IGuerburn Kayak Seat?

As I just mentioned, I bought the IGuerburn Kayak Seat for myself. The reason I did so was based on two important factors.

First, I needed a seat that was affordable. Besides that, I needed to ensure it would support my back very well. For me, this seat is the Goldilocks option

When I decide to buy a new kayak seat, I started to do some research on the internet. Here’s what I found and experienced.


Back Support

I have arthritis for a year, I lifted something really heavy that caused me an inflammation, which then created temporary arthritis meaning it could still go away. So anything that doesn’t support my back has been hurting for the past year. That also has stopped me from kayaking and from driving my scooter. The only outdoor thing that I can do for now is hiking. That’s why the back support matters for me.

That’s the main reasons IGuerburn Kayak Seat immediately popped in my sight is the handy adjustment straps it is equipped with. Due to these straps, I was able to create just the right angle to sit in. Before I wasn’t always out on the water to paddle as long as I wanted.

With this new angle, my back was supported well which stopped me from having back pains from the standard issue seat. Due to my new seat, I was able to pull an hour or 2 extra when out kayaking in the beautiful nature

Ventilation system

If you look at the seat itself it was not only the seat positioning that made it comfortable to sit on. The seat itself has a great ventilation system to make sure my back stayed non-sweaty. I’ve tried the cheaper one with the plastic outside of the bad standard seating, and my back would often be all sweaty and sticky. In summer that meant some dreaded drives home with a sticky back. (You won’t like it.)

Non-slip function

The great non-slip function made sure that the seat didn’t move when out on the water. Using the standard issue seat during the kayaking meant becoming sweaty, as I mentioned before, besides becoming sweaty it also made the plastic seat somewhat slippery for me. As I no longer used the standard issue seat and my new seat had a non-slippery back I would no longer move around in my seat.

Detachable bag

To ensure most fun out of my seat I wanted it to have a bag. At the time I bought this seat I didn’t yet own a waterproof bag so I wanted a bag to carry some essentials around. This seat was a great option as it came with a detachable bag. (I strongly advise having a waterproof bag)

The seat also enables me to add a hot seat (I used the Surf to Summit Hot Seat) to make sure I stayed warm on those windy and cold days.



The seat was not able to be used with all paddles sizes (especially the larger ones would become a problem), it was able to fit my current paddle size though.

While I did prefer the bag, it wasn’t entirely waterproof, as I wasn’t expecting that I did lose a phone on this seat. Maybe that was my own fault though, I shouldn’t have taken the phone along.

The durability of the seat wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be, so I had to buy one extra set of padding for the bottom of the seat to make sure it would last long enough to meet my expectations. 

Anyway, for me, with its super reasonable price, my preference still goes to the IGuerburn Kayak Seat.

Image source:Amazon.com

Why I wouldn’t go to a lower budget

There are some cheaper seats on the market. Although I don’t think spending under the 30 dollars would be a smart idea. When you go below the mark your seat will probably wear fast or damage easily.

I would stick to seats that are adjustable in at least 4 ways to ensure that you can get a comfortable position. The seats that are cheaper often aren’t adjustable or have little to no back support. If you currently do not have the budget to go for one of the better options I would suggest saving some more till you can. As the lower budget seat will almost always barely improve your standard issued seating.

Since not everybody is looking for the same thing I wanted to be sure to give you some more options. When choosing my kayak set I also passed by the Ocean Kayak Comfort Tech Seat. Yes, the product says it’s only for “Ocean Kayak”, but it will fit most other brands’ kayaks. It’s an extremely comfortable seat at a good price range!

The reason at the given time I didn’t go for this seat is because I didn’t like its ventilation system, but that is just a personal preference.

The seating can be adjusted in many ways and the extra padding in the back makes it very comfortable to travel long stretches of water. The fabric used in the seating makes sure it’s a very durable option.


What features should I look for kayak seat?

When buying a kayak seat, it is important to look at your own needs. Below is a handy list you can use when you go out to buy your new kayak seat.

Back rest

There are many types of back rests you can find when looking for a seat. Be sure to take a seat with a medium backrest to stop you from getting back pains when out on the water for longer than just an hour.


The seat should be well padded to make sure that you are comfortable for the long trips as well.


Be sure to double check the size as it would be a disaster when your new seat wouldn’t fit your kayak. Most seats fit all sit-on-top kayaks. When you have a sit-in kayak you should probably double check the width of the back rest. Not all backrests fit all sit-in kayaks.


Make sure your new seat has ventilation as there is nothing worse than a sweaty back and some cold wind to make your journey cold and chilly.


The seat should be durable because if it doesn’t last, you’ll be back buying a new seat every other year.


Maintain your kayak seat

As a kayak lover, we want to make sure that your kayak seat is there for the long run. There is nothing worse than when you have to go back for a new seat within the year. Therefore, I want to give some tips on how to get your seat to last longer.


When you are done kayaking most seats can be removed easily. When transporting or storing your kayak, store your seat separate in a bag or a dust free environment to ensure a longer life. Also, dry it before transporting or storing the seat as water, especially salt water, will break the seat wearing it down over time.


When cleaning a seat be sure to use soft fabrics and soft brushes to clean the nylon (most seats are made of nylon). When using something made of hard material to clean your seat you will damage or scratch the nylon. A little warm water and a very small amount of laundry detergent will go you a long way.

When there is a nasty stain from dirt or maybe from storage you can use some vinegar and water to clean any resistant stains. Never use bleach as it will leave unremovable stains!

The seats are the best air dried as the dryer and most of the fabrics used are enemies.


Sometimes a scratch or an opening in the fabric will still happen. I would suggest looking at the overall value of your seat and if it’s truly worth it, you can take it to a local sewing store to get it fixed.

You can also check out this article from another author: (How to Choose a Kayak Seat in 2018)


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