What Are The Best Sit On Top Kayak Boats In 2021?

Buying the best sit on top Kayak means you will have endless holidaying possibilities for you and your family. A sit on top is ideal if you fancy having a good time in the outdoors kayaking or just floating in the middle of the lake enjoying the fresh air and outdoor freedom. They sit on top is a cheaper version of the more expensive sit-in Kayak. It is a preferred choice for the budget-conscious family or the kayaking enthusiast trying out deep sea sports. However, how do you get a sit on top Kayak that caters to your needs? You will have to consider a few factors before making the first purchase.


Things To Consider When Buying A Best Sit On Top Kayak

Turning and Tracking Abilities

Turning and Tracking Abilities

Tracking refers to a kayak's ability to travel straight while turning defines its ability to turn in a different direction. A sit on top Kayak with excellent turning ability may not necessarily track well, and vice versa. Therefore, the sit on top Kayak you decide to purchase depends on what you are willing to sacrifice. Fortunately, modern kayak boats are designed to have balanced turning and tracking abilities.

Stability of The Boat

Stability of The Boat

The stability of a kayak is defined in two distinct ways: the initial stability and the final stability. Initial stability defines the Kayak's ability to remain steady while anchored or cruising at slow speeds. On the other hand, final stability defines how steady the sit on top remains in the roughest waves.

A kayak with great initial stability allows you to get in and out of the boat with ease. If you love bird watching, it is the boat to have, like to stop and sunbathe or just cruise on the low currents. However, great initial stability may affect the final stability and speed of the boat. If you would like to have a kayak that can handle the waves, a kayak's final stability is your greatest concern.

Kayak Material

Kayak Material

The material used to make the sit on top kayak affects its pricing, durability, and performance among other things. Sit on top kayaks are generally made of plastic, inflatable plastic, Kevlar, wood, fiberglass, and fabric on frame. Plastic kayaks are considered to be the heaviest. Their sturdy body also makes them resistant to damage. In addition, plastic parts are easily recycled.

Though kayaks made from plastic may be inexpensive to purchase, they can be quite expensive to maintain. This is because they require metal fasteners or welding to repair leaks or any other damage. Fiberglass, on the other hand, is lighter and firmer than plastic. However, you cannot recycle it.

Kayak-Material-compressor (1)

Fabric-on-frame kayaks are quite popular because of their DIY assembling factor. They are sold in parts to be assembled by the buyer. Fabric on wood kayaks are the most difficult to assemble but they are the lightest compared to plastic and fiberglass boats. On the other hand, fabric on metal kayaks are easy to assemble and can be collapsed to enhance portability. However, they are more expensive compared to fabric on wood sit on top kayaks.

Kayak Material

Inflatable plastic kayaks are a more portable option compared to fabric on metal boats. They have great final stability making them ideal for white water paddling or surfing stronger waves. However, they do not track well on water. Kevlar and carbon are some of the most lightweight boat making materials. However, they are not found in many boats because they are pricey. Wooden sit on top kayaks are quite rare and expensive to construct, which is why many boat manufacturers prefer blending wood with epoxy.

Cockpit Design

Cockpit Design

The cockpit is described as the area in contact with your feet (the foot brace), your hips (sides of the seat), your knees (thigh braces or deck underside), and your bottom (the boat seat). There has to be some level of comfort and support in the areas above. This will enable you to paddle, turn, or maintain balance on the boat even in the roughest waters.

White water kayaks and cruise kayaks have different cockpit designs. Whitewater kayaks feature a padded seat inner cockpit to protect you when the boat topples. The cruise sit on tops are designed for luxury; thus, the cockpit is spacious, giving ample room to stretch while taking long cruises.

Cockpit kayak

How well the cockpit is designed also determines the ease of entering and exiting the boat. Although whitewater boats are designed with a snug fit, the opening is left wider for emergencies exists. Long cruise kayaks previously had the same keyhole cockpits, but the size has grown smaller with time. This new design is said to reduce the swamping of the boat when hit by a large wave. The leisure kayaks have the widest cockpit opening with limited ability to keep the paddler on board in case of a big wave.

Length of The Boat

Length of The Boat kayak

Longer boats are faster and more stable than shorter ones. The length of the boat also takes into account the size of the paddler. Long sea excursions will need a kayak with lots of space for the paddler, a tent, sleeping bags, and other necessary gear.

Single or Double Kayak?

Single or Double Kayak

Purchasing a single or double kayak depends on whether you have a paddling partner or more luggage to carry. Double kayaks carry more luggage on board and tend to be more stable than single kayaks. However, single kayaks are lighter, easy to maneuver, and can travel faster.

Boat Rigging

deck rigging kayak

via clcboats.com

Deck rigging refers to onboard accessories like shock cords, deck netting, perimeter lines. Shock cords effectively store and hold gear in place, while deck netting can store smaller items like flasks, fishing bait, or gloves. Perimeter lines help mark a current territory or isolate an emergency scene.

Quality of Boat Hatches

Boat Hatches kayak

The hatch compartment is an ideal place to store items like food or dry clothes. Thus, it needs to be waterproof and spacious enough to fit all items you bring on the trip. The hatch cover is vulnerable to strong sea gales and requires a solid lock to hold it securely in position. However, not all hatches are entirely leakproof. Therefore, it is important to seal your items in airtight bags. Items that cannot fit in the hatch compartment can be stored in waterproof floatation bags.

Boat Paddles

Paddle kayak

Many people assume that boat paddles are a one-size-fits-all tool. However, this is not true at all. Quality paddles are more durable, complement your paddling style, and feel comfortable in your hands. Cheap paddles may not be of the best quality and vice versa. Buy a kayak paddle that is within your budget. However, make sure you get a paddle that grips better and helps you accelerate faster.

The Best Sit on Top Kayaks

Paddle kayak

Via Amazon.com

Also known as the Big Angler II, this sit-on-top boat is designed with the fishing enthusiast in mind. The kayak opening is wide to allow the paddler to move above freely, casting their fishing line. The bow hatch compartment is spacious to fit fishing gear, and an additional stern tank provides extra storage. The sides of the Kayak have keepers to hold the paddles while fishing at a stationary spot. There is a built-in beverage holder as well.


  • A spacious cockpit for easy entry and exit
  • Plenty of space storage onboard
  • Onboard cup holder
  • A strong hatch cover to keep items safe
  • Ease of movement while in the boat
  • Elegant design that transforms this Kayak into a city cruise boat as well
  • Has handles to conveniently transport the Kayak
  • Inbuilt track system for extra feet comfort
  • Side keepers to hold paddles when not rowing


  • Quite expensive
Paddle kayak

Via Amazon.com

The Malibu sit on top Kayak is a multi-purpose boat for those who love camping and excursions. It is designed to fit more luggage, extra fishing gear and still packs stability and speed while on the water. Malibu is 12 feet long, a feature that complements its swiftness and sturdiness. The bow holds a gigantic gator hatch that fits all your camping gear and an additional fishing line. The front and rear have double rod holders to maximize your fishing experience, or for that extra paddler you brought along. Besides fishing, the Malibu sit-on-top boat is convenient for camping or any recreational trips.


  • Multi-purpose sit on top Kayak for fishing and recreational trips
  • Four-rod holders to boost your fishing experience
  • Can hold a maximum weight of 450lbs
  • Plenty of storage for luggage, fishing and camping gear
  • Spacious cockpit for easy movement
  • Side paddle holder
  • Onboard cup holder
  • A fast boat with great stability and tracking
  • Foot track is adjustable for comfort


  • Relatively expensive
Paddle kayak

Via Amazon.com

This sit on top would easily be a personal favorite except for the minor drawbacks in engineering. The Sun Dolphin Bali SS Boat is nicknamed the 'family boat' as it is designed to fit all ages. It comes in 2 sizes, 10 feet and 12 feet model. The 10 feet is suitable for kids, while adults can take the 12 feet kayak. The cockpit is wide enough for convenient entry and exiting.

In addition, the foot brace and paddle holders are adjustable to maximize comfort. Apart from the bow hatch compartment storage, an additional portable container holds all your fishing accessories. The Sun Dolphin Bali SS kayak is designed specifically for weekends of fishing for the entire family. It even comes with a customizable deck to mount a fish finder. You also have a cup holder and paddle holders on deck.

However, the downside of the Kayak is that its drainage holes allow water back in, creating possible leakage spots. Therefore, you will have to purchase extra standard plugs to stop leaks. In general, the Sun Dolphin sit on top does well for a fishing boat and comes in a wide range of colours.


  • Spacious cockpit with the adjustable brace and paddle holders
  • Kayak size is suitable for all ages
  • Light and easy to transport
  • Has great stability in still waters
  • Value for money


  • Uncomfortable seat
  • Leaking floors
  • Not the best tracking
Paddle kayak

Via Amazon.com

The Wilderness Tarpon sit on top Kayak makes up for what the Sun Dolphin SS lacks. It is leakproof and designed for comfort as a recreational boat. With some slight adjustments, you can transform this boat into a fishing kayak. It has a solid body construction, making it one of the most durable sit on top kayaks on the market.

The cockpit is quite spacious and adds XL feet brace to adjust legroom for comfort. For storage, amidship and bow Orbix hatch compartment allows you to store all your fishing gear or recreational items. An additional gear storage pocket stores smaller items like house keys, sailing licenses, or cigarette lighter.

The deck is customizable, and you can add rod holders to make this an ideal fishing vessel. The floor of the Kayak has scupper holes that prevent backflow and keep your feet dry. The seat is padded for comfort, and the cockpit is wide enough to turn freely while paddling.


  • Excellent stability
  • Adjustable foot brace
  • Great durability
  • Enough storage space onboard
  • Comfortable sit on top seat


  • You may have to purchase paddles separately.
Paddle kayak

Via Amazon.com

The Ocean Frenzy sit top Kayak is suitable for all ages. It is a 9-foot-long Kayak that weighs about 325 lbs. Seats are padded to provide sufficient comfort for all body sizes. The Ocean Frenzy sit on top is recommended for recreational activities. It is light thus easy to carry to your weekend summer camp by the lake. It is also reasonably affordable for a first time kayak enthusiast.


  • Lightweight and portable
  • Ample storage for small items
  • Onboard cup holder
  • Great recreational boat for all ages
  • Comes in different colours to choose from
  • Affordable for both a first time and regular kayaker


  • Quite small for taller people


What is the most comfortable sit on top, Kayak?

There is no single answer because every person's preference varies depending on their height, weight, age, gender, etc. However, certain features should be considered when choosing a sit on top Kayak. These include but are not limited to: seating position, length, width, number of seats, type of material used, whether they come with pedals, and more.

How do I know if my sit on top Kayak fits me?

It is important to measure yourself before purchasing any kind of equipment. This will help ensure that you get the right size Kayak for your needs. You can use a tape measure or a ruler to determine how much room you need between your legs and hips. If you cannot fit comfortably inside the Kayak, you might want to consider another model.

Are our sit on top kayaks more stable?

Yes, as long as you don't go too fast. When standing up, it's easier to lose balance due to a lack of support. Sitting down provides better control over your movements which makes them less likely to tip over. Stable kayak designs usually feature wider hulls and larger wheels than unstable ones. They tend to be heavier, though, so you'll probably feel tired after using one for some time.

Is sit on top kayaking safe?

Sit on top kayaking is very safe. As long as you follow safety guidelines such as wearing life jackets, using proper technique, and staying within designated areas, you'll enjoy hours of fun safely. Adjustable seats allow you to adjust your sitting position according to your preferences. They're great for beginners who still feel uncomfortable without worrying about falling out of the Kayak.

What length of Kayak do I need?

This depends entirely upon what you plan to do with your Kayak. For example, if you're planning to take part in whitewater rafting trips, you would probably require a longer kayak than someone who wants to just relax around the water.

Which sit on top Kayak has the best warranty?

All sit on top kayaks offer warranties ranging from one year to five years. Some companies offer extended warranties beyond this period. Make sure to read through the fine print, so you understand exactly what these terms mean.

Is Kayak Fishing worth it?

Kayak fishing is an excellent way to spend some quality time outdoors while enjoying nature. Whether you fish alone or with others, kayak fishing offers plenty of opportunities to catch various types of freshwater fish.

What are the different types of fishing kayaks?

There are two basic categories of fishing kayaks: sit-on-top and sit-inside kayaks (sit-in). While both allow anglers to cast out into open waters, each category comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Here are some examples of the differences between the two styles:

• Sit-On-Tops – They are generally larger and heavier than sit-ins. Because of this, they tend to be more durable and comfortable seats. However, their performance isn't quite as good as sit-ins because they're not designed specifically for fishing.

• Sit-Ins – These boats are smaller and lighter than sit-on. They also feature a higher centre of gravity, making them more manoeuvrable. Their downside is that they aren't nearly as sturdy as sit-on.

Which Is Better: Sit-on-Top Kayaks or Sit-In Kayaks?

The main difference between sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks lies in where the user sits. A sit-in kayak allows users to sit upright, whereas a sit-on-top requires the user to lie flat. Both have pros and cons; however, we recommend getting sit-on-tops since they provide greater stability and comfort.

Are longer or shorter SOT kayaks better?

Longer sit-on-tops can make it harder to get back onto shore when needed. This means that you may want to consider buying a short version instead. Short versions will still give you the same features but won't leave you stranded far away from land.

Can inflatable kayaks "pop" and sink?

Yes! Inflatables can pop and even sink depending on how much air pressure is inside them. If there's too little air pressure, then the boat might deflate. When this happens, simply add more air until the boat inflates again. You should always check the amount of air before going anywhere, though. 


No doubt only one sit on top Kayak stands out among the five. The Malibu kayak is the winner of this comprehensive review. It is well-engineered and packs features that promote comfort and enhance your outdoor experience.

They sit on top is 12 feet long, making it the largest of the five boats. This is ideal for taller people, while the foot brace and paddle holders are adjustable to fit short people. While many kayaks on the market compromise on either speed or stability, the Malibu delivers on both. The deck is relatively spacious and features four-rod holders to bring the company the next time you go fishing. This boat is also ideal for recreational activities with the whole family.

I hope you found this review useful. Please help your friends by sharing it with them on social media. We will also love to hear from you; leave your comments and questions in the comments section.

Lucas Bryant

Hi, I’m Lucas Bryant and fishing is one of the most important parts of my life. I usually go fishing with my friends and have many fishing competition. That why I like to research and create many tips to get more fishes to win a race. I hope my experience will be useful for you.

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