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Differences Between Sit On vs Sit In Kayak

The kayak has been around for at least 4000 years, and from the beginning, it has found its use for fishing by the many ancient tribes located near the lakes and rivers of the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic, Bering Sea and North Pacific oceans. The construction of the inner frame on these first kayaks was wood or whalebone, and the seal skins or the skins from other animals stretched over the frame. Practical, right?

Parallel to that, the kayak was also considered to be the multi-purpose vessel, and it has found its use for recreation, exploration, and transportation no less than for fishing or hunting. Nothing is different nowadays, but with flows of time, man has perfected the kayak in every aspect. Today, we are going to talk about differences between Sit On vs Sit In kayak. To understand the difference accurately, you need some kayak-related info.

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THE DAY ON THE WATER- Differences Between Sit-on-Top and Sit-Inside Kayaks –First Stop – Kayak Basics!What Types Of Kayaks Can We Find?Differences Between Sit On Vs Sit In KayakSit-on-Top Kayaks (SOT)Sit-Inside Kayaks (SIK)What Sort Of Kayak Should You Buy For Fishing?

First Stop – Kayak Basics!

sit on vs sit in kayak

There are two different types of kayaks, but they share the similar concept and plenty of the same parts.When you take a look at the top of the kayak, there is – the deck. If you look beneath, you will find – the hull. The front is called the bow, and at the back of the kayak is the stern. Deck lines or bungees are on the top of the deck. Also, when you take an interest in the kayaks, you will see that some kayaks have the rudders located at the stern. The rudder will swivel when you use foot pedals. Foot pedals are the need if you have the plan to spend the best part of the day on the water. You will feel comfortable, and you will get a lot of support from them.

It is the norm that the best kayaks will have backrest already built-in. Convenient and practical at the same time. Nice!

Finally, like on any other water vessel – skeg will help the boat to go straight.

The kayaks we can found on the market will come in a variety of materials.

  • Today, polyethylene is the most used material for kayaks. The polyethylene kayak is lightweight, but if you damage it, you can’t repair it.
  • Thermoformed ABS kayaks are more resistant to heat while remaining lighter. Also, you can fix the damage.
  • Kayaks made out of Kevlar, fiberglass, and carbon blends are kayaks made out of composite material. They come with a higher price, but they are robust and will give you excellent performance. This kayak is fully repairable if damaged.

Now we can move forward and see what else the kayak has to offer to us.

What Types Of Kayaks Can We Find?

sit on vs sit in kayak

Today, kayaks are constructed as either hard-shelled or inflatable but divided into two categories:

  • Sit-on-Top kayaks, or short SOT.
  • Sit-inside kayaks, or SIS.

It may be true, choosing the right kayak that will fit your needs can appear to you as rocket science, but it doesn’t have to be. Simply, you have to take some time and think about what do you want to use it. Don’t rush; it is better to make the right choice than to expect more from it later.

Here are few questions that you need to answer first:

  • Will you take your kayak to the river, lake or ocean?
  • Water – will it be cold or warm?
  • Do you want a fast kayak or stable one?

Think about those questions above; they will help you for what comes next.

If you are the person who enjoys cruising and exploring the new and strange places, or you just like the silence of the slow waters, or perhaps – you are a fisherman, Sit-on-Top kayak represents the excellent opportunity for you.

Don’t worry; you can easily drop the anchor into the water and swim or scuba dive directly from the boat. The sit-on-top kayak is a very stable vessel, and getting on or off is simple as it sounds.

Opposite to Sit-on-Top kayaks are the kayaks which you can use if you decide to try a bit more extreme approach. So, you want to try rafting? You like the speed that boat can provide together with the brute force of waves which are spattering you with cold water? Or, are you off to spend many days reaching wiry and deeper waters? Well, we have to say, the Sit-Inside kayak is a perfect match for you.

This kayak will give you speed and maneuverability because it is longer and thinner, and also at the same time, it will provide you with safety during your touring route. You can achieve this through the presence of sit-ins who are making that boat and person in its function as one unit. The hull will appear to you as an extension of your body, even if you are in front of the waves – you will go through them quickly, or stay in the boat if you are knocked over.

Differences Between Sit On Vs Sit In Kayak

Sit-on-Top Kayaks (SOT)

sit on vs sit in kayak

Sit-on-Top kayaks are moving upwards with popularity. When you are in this type of kayak, you are on the top of the kayak’s deck. Yes, you will see that there is no “inside” in which you can fit. Only “inside” is the storage space, and the rest of kayak – from the footwells to the seat is on the deck of the kayak.

Logically, when you are in Sit-on-Top kayak, you will quickly realize that there is no way that you will remain dry while paddling. With each meter passed, stroke and wave you will become wetter. No cockpit area will prevent the splashes of water. This kind of kayak is for the use in warm weather or tropical places. Another good side of these kayaks is that you can easily slide on or off the deck.

Opposite to Sit-Inside Kayaks, you can quickly climb on the Sit-on-Top kayaks directly from water and continue with paddling. Probably, you won’t hit the cover of the TIME magazine while doing that, but you need functionality.

There is one real bonus that Sit-on-Top kayak has, and it comes with the name “scupper plugs” which are used to block scupper holes. Scupper holes, or drainage holes, are allowing the splashed water to circulate and don’t pool underneath you. On the other side, if you block these holes, you will stop the water below the hull from re-entering, but every single drop of water that comes from above the deck will remain un-drained.

What do we like?

  • If you are, by any chance, tipped over together with your Sit-on-Top kayak, the kayak won’t sink. Naturally, you flip the kayak over, climb on and continue where you have stopped. They are considered to be unsinkable.
  • This type of kayak won’t give you a hard time when you try to reach its storage – everything is reachable.
  • Thankfully to open cockpit, larger persons can easily use the Sit-on-Tops, making this type of kayak very user-friendly.
  • Climb on – slide off, easy as it sounds.
  • Finally, if you are on a budget, the Sit-on-Top kayak may be the choice for you. Also, the shipping cost of the Sit-on-Top kayak is lower because it is lighter and thinner than Sit-Inside model.

What don’t we like?

  • Well, if you want to spend some time on the water and don’t get wet at all, maybe this is not the type of kayak for you. You will get wet – A LOT!

Sit-Inside Kayaks (SIK)

sit on vs sit in kayak

At this moment we will observe a more traditional type of kayak, which certainly is the Sit-Inside kayak. In contrary to Sit-on-Top kayak, this kayak has an open cockpit in which the paddler can sit in. Sit-Inside kayak will give you the ability to make some stronger paddle strokes. You can achieve this when you press your knees to the inside walls of the cockpit.

Also, plenty of Sit-Inside Kayaks will come with the covering which is called “the skirt”. The paddler attaches the skirt around the waist and then stretches it around the edges of the cockpit. This type of plaid will give you the ability to close the cockpit and prevent the water to reach inside. Therefore, Sit-Inside Kayaks are more popular in the areas with the colder climate and lower water temperatures. The water won’t splash over the deck, and your legs will remain dry.

We must indicate you a first flaw related to this design of kayak, and it is related to flipping over. If at any point happens to you that you flip over with the kayak, you will have to swim and pull the kayak to the shore for draining it out. Don’t let this discourage you because flipping the kayak over isn’t simple as it may occur to you.

Every type of kayak is designed to be and remain stable, and this has nothing to do with the kayak being Sit-on-Top or Sit-Inside. Design and the shape of the kayaks hull are the factors that determine the flipping factor. Remember – you won’t get stuck when flipped over. Simply, you will just pop into the water, and then you can start swimming.

What do we like?

  • Sit-Inside kayak is more stable than Sit-on-Top kayak because you will be in the cockpit but on the water line.
  • You will remain dry inside this type of kayak – with skirt that can close the cockpit, and the absence of drainage holes inside the cockpit will prevent water from reaching in.
  • More storage area, but less reachable.
  • More protection from the wind and lower temperatures of the water is making the Sit-Inside kayak warmer.

What don’t we like?

  • Limited motion, because it isn’t easy to climb on slide off,If you flip over, the water will flood the kayak making the recovery process very difficult.

Finally, after examining differences between Sit-on-Top and Sit-Inside Kayaks, we have narrowed it down to a simple question:

What Sort Of Kayak Should You Buy For Fishing?

sit on vs sit in kayak

First info that you will get when choosing the perfect fishing kayak is related to the location of which you are planning to take your kayak. It is correct; you’ll need to know the exact type of water on which you will be fishing. Will that be a slow river or quiet lake, or you want to try your luck with the faster, colder or deeper waters? These facts will affect the size and length of the kayak that you need.

Stability of the kayak is also important, and it is related to the size of your body. If you are a bigger person, who has standing while fishing in mind, you need to acquire the wider type of kayak. Also, the stability of kayak is equal to its use, so – the more you use your kayak you will feel more stable.

The last but not the least relates to the amount of fishing gear that you bring when you go out for fishing. Be sure that the kayaks storage will provide enough space for everything that you need to bring with you.

Ultimately, the choice goes for the Sit-on-Top kayak, and we have few arguments to back up this statement:

  • With Sit-on-Top kayak you will be easy to get in or get out from it, even if you flip over.
  • These kayaks are self-draining, which means that the water goes out from the kayak and prevents you from flooding.
  • Your back seat is placed higher, and this gives you the ability to have a better view of the water.
  • Also, this type of kayak provides plenty of seating options, and even capacity to stand up while fishing.
  • When you are in the Sit-on-Top kayak, you are not limited to the cockpit space which means that you can easily access your gear, gadgets and other equipment.
  • Furthermore, this kayak has more storage options than Sit-Inside, and at any time you can easily add accessories and customize it even more.
  • Finally, we must warn you – if you are planning to go fishing in cold weather, or on the water with lower temperature, you really should consider the Sit-Inside kayak.

Which type of kayak fits you the best? How did you pick? Would you recommend a type to a friend?  Let us know in the comments below!

1

Best Recreational Kayak Money Can Buy In 2017 – The Seasoned Paddler’s Guide

It is a season of sun and fun, and there is no better way to stay active and explore the outdoors than kayaking. If you have never experienced it before, it is high time you try it out. There are numerous great kayaks out there for beginners and recreational kayakers – you just need to choose one and start paddling.

Although the final choice usually comes down to personal preference and how you feel when paddling the kayak, I have tried out the five currently best recreational kayaks and used the experience to declare the best of the best recreational kayak on the market today.

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Best Recreational Kayak Money Can Buy in 2017The Seasoned Paddler’s GuideThings You Should Know Before Buying A Recreational KayakTypes Of Recreational KayaksSingle VS. DoubleSit In VS. Sit On TopTypes Of Kayaks Based On MaterialWhat Are The Important Features Of A Recreational Kayak?The Top Five Recreational Kayaks On The Market – Our Reviews And Recommendations#1 – Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak#2 – Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 Kayak#3 – Ocean Kayak Caper Classic Recreational Kayak#4 – Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 Recreational Kayak#5 – Advanced Elements Lagoon 2 Tandem Inflatable KayakThe Best Of The Best

Wilderness Systems Pungo

  • Plenty of storage options
  • Extra comfortable seat
  • Excellent tracking and speed

ADD TO CART

Ocean Kayak Caper Classic

  • Performance and comfort
  • Plenty of on-deck storage
  • The stability is excellent
  • Storage without being too heavy

ADD TO CART

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks

  • Large cockpit
  • Stability and tracking
  • Affordable

ADD TO CART

Things You Should Know Before Buying A Recreational Kayak

Things You Should Know Before Buying A Recreational Kayak

Before deciding on the best recreational kayak for you, consider where you plan to paddle and for how long, the most likely conditions you will be paddling in, and how you are going to transport your boat.

My first recreational kayak came as a gift from my good friend John (with the awesome fishing finder), and after some bumpy rides, the passion for the experience kicked in. Now I’m a devoted paddler, and own more than a dozen of these beauties. I enjoy taking care of them and waxing them in the morning sun.

Recreational kayaks are usually easy to use and offer the initial stability that’s reassuring for casual paddlers on calm rivers or lakes. They are also characterized by a large cockpit for an easy access and wider beam which offers greater stability. These kayaks also offer small storage space so that you can use them for short day trips.

However, recreational kayaks are not a good option for open water or use in strong wind or currents. Moreover, it is harder to hold a straight course in a recreational kayak, and for this reason, you should opt for the touring ones if you want to track.

As far as the equipment you will need for comfortable and care-free paddling is concerned, I recommend that you read an excellent article on that subject.

Types Of Recreational Kayaks

Single VS. Double

Single VS. Double

Obviously, the choice between the two almost entirely depends on personal preference or, to put it simply, on deciding if you like to paddle alone or in a pair. Be careful though, because if your paddling partner bails on you, it will be quite hard to paddle a double kayak alone, sometimes even impossible.

Furthermore, single kayaks are much easier to maneuver, rescue, and pump dry than doubles while the tandem kayaks tend to be more stable. My first recreational kayak was single.

Sit In VS. Sit On Top

Sit On Top style kayaks are more popular with paddlers who want to get perfectly tanned, combine paddling with diving, fishing or surfing. They are easy to paddle and nearly impossible to sink. If the kayak does flip over, you just need to flip it upright, climb back in, and you can continue your way.

However, sit on top kayaks feature a higher center of gravity, and since they are wider, they are also slower and harder to manage on and off the water. They can be used only in summer season as they offer no protection from the cold water.

Sit In style kayaks are primarily more efficient, offer a dryer ride and allow for a longer paddling season as they can be comfortably paddled in cold waters as well. The walls of the kayak limit water infiltration and provide more safety and a dry storage space.

To get more information, you can read at the artcicle “Differences Between Sit On vs Sit In Kayak”

Types Of Kayaks Based On Material

Types Of Kayaks Based On Material

Plastic or Polyethylene kayaks are damage-resistant but the heaviest of all other materials. They can be recycled.

Fiberglass kayaks are lighter, but they cost more than double than the plastic ones. They are more efficient in the water but they also easily crack when they hit something. They cannot be recycled. There are also other unusual materials like kevlar or carbon fiber which are even lighter, but also even more costly. Wood boats are attractive but relatively rare.

The metal frame kayaks are portable as they can be collapsed into a bag you can carry. However, they are the most expensive option.

As the most portable version, inflatable kayaks are becoming increasingly popular. They are also easy to store, but they are not suitable for tracking. (I bought one inflatable kayak recently to introduce my younger son to this world; my older daughter won’t even look at it. So far, it hasn’t delivered the results I wanted, but I’m a believer!)

What Are The Important Features Of A Recreational Kayak?

What Are The Important Features Of A Recreational Kayak?1

Stability is an important aspect of any boat. When it comes to kayaks, two types of stability are distinguished- the initial/primary stability and the final/secondary stability. Kayaks can have one or the other.

The Initial Stability is examined when the kayak is at rest. It determines how easy you can enter or exit the kayak and how easy it will tip over in such conditions. Recreational kayaks have a good initial stability.

The Final Stability is the sensation of determines the tipsiness of a kayak when it is underway or in rough conditions.

2

Foot Pegs are an important feature of kayaks because you need a safe place to push your feet against. Foot pegs can be adjustable, molded in foot rests, or fixed bulkheads.If there were no footrests, you would not have a comfortable posture or be able to use torso rotation to propel the kayak efficiently.

3

Cockpits should provide you with support and reasonable comfort. The dimensions of cockpit rim opening are important for entering and exiting. Small cockpits are good for rough waters as they reduce the possibility of a large wave flooding the boat. Recreation kayaks usually feature very big cockpits which cannot keep the paddler in the kayak if it turns over.

4

The weight of the kayak is more important out of the water, and it mostly depends on the material it is made from. Plastic kayaks are the heaviest.

5

The length of the kayak is an important feature as it determines its efficiency and speed in the water. Longer kayaks are generally faster and track better.

6

Width influences kayak’s handling characteristics. Wider kayaks are more stable than the narrow ones.

7

Riggings are practical but also essential for the paddler’s safety. The ones inside the cockpit are handy for storing things where it is easy to reach. Moreover, deck rigging aids rescues and border safety lines are an excellent addition, but also a necessity for open water kayaks.

8

Hatch compartments are practical if you have items like food and clothes that need to remain dry. However, not all hatches are completely waterproof, and it is always better not to rely solely on the hatch but use additional protection such as a waterproof bag.

9

Durability depends on the material and the intended purpose of the kayak. Plastic is the most durable although it scratches easier. Kayaks designed for touring are rigid and can be damaged when they hit a rock, while whitewater boats would go by with less damage.

10

The price of a kayak depends on many different factors. The plastic kayaks cost from $300 to $1500, fiberglass ones’ cost more than $1500, and the other materials even more. It is a general rule that the bigger and longer kayaks are more expensive, but the price also indicates the quality and performance.

11

Paddles are your connection to the water, and your paddling success and enjoyment depend on their quality. For this reason, opt for the more expensive paddles as the low price usually indicates low quality too. Shape and length of your paddles depend on the type of kayak and your style of paddling. A recreational paddle has a smaller surface area and slightly longer length.

Don’t forget about their size and portability, as they can easily get outside of the kayak, and you might be forced to go in the water to retrieve it. That’s what happened to me when my young boy dropped it accidentally.

The Top Five Recreational Kayaks On The Market – Our Reviews And Recommendations

Rank

Image

Product Name

Our Rating

Checkout

1

Ocean Kayak Caper Classic Recreational Kayak

100/100 View Product

2

Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 Kayak

97/100 View Product

3

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak

95/100 View Product

4

Advanced Elements Lagoon 2 Tandem Inflatable Kayak

92/100 View Product

5

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 Recreational Kayak

91/100 View Product

*Below, you’ll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

#1 – Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak

Expert Tips

Via Amazon.com

Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak is made from plastic, or more precisely single layer linear polyethylene, which makes it durable. This sit-in kayak weighs around 50 pounds and is 10 foot long, quite wide and its weight capacity is 325 lbs.

The cockpit is pretty large and features a shallow, uncovered cargo bin in the back. Besides the cup holder and a tray at the front, this is the only storage area. There are no ropes to hold anything in if you tip. If you want your belongings to stay dry, there is a cover available at extra cost.

Getting in and out is easy. After kayaking on some flat waters, I have concluded that it is very stable and tracks decently considering the width. The seat and foot rests are adjustable; I had to add a cushion to the seat back as it is not adequately padded.

The only drawback is the position of the drain plug, as it not on it cannot drain the water out of the kayak efficiently, and I had to sponge the most out.

Purchase It On Amazon

Things I Like:

  • Large cockpit
  • Stability and tracking
  • Affordable

Things I Do Not Like:

  • No secured storage area available
  • The position of the drain plug

#2 – Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 Kayak

Expert Tips

Via Amazon.com

Pungo 120 kayak is a 12’ long, it weighs around 48.3 pounds and its weight capacity is 100 lbs. It is made from GEN2 polyethylene and seems durable enough.

The cockpit is very roomy and has plenty of storage options in the front as well as the rear. I especially liked the console in the front – a removable console with cup holders and a small water-tight compartment. Hatch cover is easy to put on and take off and seals tightly.

The seat is very comfortable even after hours of paddling. Foot braces come with an ergonomic handle and can be easily reset; their shape alleviates foot fatigue. The Pungo 120 is extremely stable and tracks excellent easily reaching very good speeds.

However, the length prevents it from making sharp turns, and it is therefore not convenient for narrow channels and creeks. I have encountered some moderate waves while testing it but the kayak handled them extremely well.

Purchase It On Amazon

Things I Like:

  • Plenty of storage options
  • Extra comfortable seat
  • Excellent tracking and speed

Things I Do Not Like:

  • Not able to make sharp turns

#3 – Ocean Kayak Caper Classic Recreational Kayak

Expert Tips

Via Amazon.com

Caper Classic Recreational kayak is an 11-foot long sit-on-top kayak made from polyethylene. Its weight capacity is an incredible 425 pounds which makes it excellent for people who are above average height or weight. It weighs only 45 pounds and can be handled out of the water easily, and the padded carry handles provide extra comfort when carrying it.

It features a 19 ½” wide molded-in seat and the Comfort Plus backrest, which allow for an entire day of comfortable paddling. The tank-well also has an elastic bungee cord to secure all your belongings inside and a large bow hatch that will keep your essentials dry and safe. Molded-in footrests allow for maximum power transfer. Moreover, it has quite a large number of features for a decently priced kayak.

For a rather small and light kayak, Caper is very stable in the water and does not feel like it would tip over easily. It tracks excellently and glides on the water easily but is also easy to maneuver. It has proven to steer well against moderate waves as well. Achieving speed and maintaining it is relatively easy.

Purchase It On Amazon

Things I Like:

  • Performance and comfort
  • Plenty of on-deck storage

Things I Do Not Like:

  • NO THING!

#4 – Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 Recreational Kayak

Expert Tips

Via Amazon.com

Skipjack 90 recreational kayak is 9 foot long and 32 inches wide with a weight capacity of 300 pounds. It weighs only 46 pounds and can easily be handled by one person when out of the water. It is one-piece mold constructed of roto-molded High-Density Polyethylene.

I was immediately disappointed with the seat as it has proven quite uncomfortable after short paddling. On the plus side, it features many storage options such as a drywell directly in front of the seat and the zippered storage pouch on the back of the seat which will keep all your valuables dry and safe. The cargo storage area at the back can also fit a cooler or a crate. It also comes equipped with a paddle, four flush mount rod holders ideal for fishing trips and six scupper holes with scupper plugs.

As it is rather lightweight and small I was worried that it would flip easily, but even when I tried to do it on purpose it would not give in; it can, therefore, be considered very stable as far as initial stability is concerned. Secondary stability is not excellent though. It is maneuverable and tracks well.

Purchase It On Amazon

Things I Like:

  • Initial stability
  • Variety of storage options

Things I Do Not Like:

  • Uncomfortable seating
  • Quite low weight capacity

#5 – Advanced Elements Lagoon 2 Tandem Inflatable Kayak

Expert Tips

Via Amazon.com

The Lagoon 2 Kayak is unique for two reasons – it is the only inflatable kayak reviewed and the only kayak that can be used by two people. However, it performs as good when paddled by one person, if not better. It is 12-foot long and packs down to the size of a suitcase to be stored or transported easily.

The topside is made from a high denier Polyester with a PVC laminate, and the bottom (Hull) is made with a PVC tarpaulin. It features a Quick-inflating Twistlok and high-flow spring valves which allow easy setup that takes about 10 minutes. I used the optional double action pump though, and recommend that you do too. The 350-pound weight capacity should be taken rather seriously as I loaded it with around 300 lbs. and it was quite low in the water.

It is comfortable, but there is almost no storage space. It does have some unexpected features such as the gear bungees, storage pouch with compass and several hooking grommets.

It does not track or go fast in comparison to other kayaks, but it is surprisingly stable. Getting back in from the water is relatively easy.

Purchase It On Amazon

Things I Like:

  • Easy to store and transport
  • Quite sturdy and durable for an inflatable kayak

Things I Do Not Like:

  • Limited onboard space
  • Does not track very fast and efficiently

Product Name

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Ocean Kayak Caper Classic Recreational Kayak

A+

$$

Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 Kayak

A

$$$

Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak

A-

$$

Advanced Elements Lagoon 2 Tandem Inflatable Kayak

B+

$$

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 Recreational Kayak

B+

$$$

The Best Of The Best

As you can already see the kayaks reviewed all performed very well in our test and you would not regret buying any of them. However, only Ocean Kayak Caper Classic Recreational Kayak has proven fault-free as it has been comfortable, offered many extra features and storage, and, most importantly exhibited outstanding tracking abilities.

For the budget-minded paddler, I would also recommend Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Recreational Kayak, as its price vs. quality ratio cannot be beaten.

There is a saying that you do not sit in a kayak, you wear it. For this reason, you should always try out the kayak before you buy it, and find the one that is best for you. One thing is for sure though; you will not make a mistake with any of the kayaks I have tried out for you either.

Here is some articles about kayak, you will be interested:

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What Are The Best Sit On Top Kayak Boats In 2017?

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. The 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 sporting. 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.

More…

Rank

Image

Product Name

Our Rating

Checkout

1

best sit on top kayak

Malibu Kayaks Stealth 12 Fish and Dive Package Sit on Top Kayak

100/100 View Product

2

best sit on top kayak

WILDERNESS SYSTEMS Tarpon 100 Kayak

97/100 View Product

3

best sit on top kayak

Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak, Envy

94/100 View Product

4

best sit on top kayak

Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot Sit-on top Kayak

94/100 View Product

5

best sit on top kayak

Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

92/100 View Product

*Below, you’ll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

Quick NavigationThings To Consider When Buying A Best Sit On Top KayakTurning and Tracking AbilitiesStability of The BoatKayak MaterialCockpit DesignLength of The BoatSingle or Double Kayak?Boat RiggingQuality of Boat HatchesBoat PaddlesThe Best Sit on Top Kayaks1. Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak, Envy2. Malibu Kayaks Stealth 12 Fish and Dive Package Sit on Top Kayak3. Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot Sit-on top Kayak4. WILDERNESS SYSTEMS Tarpon 100 Kayak5. Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational KayakConclusion

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

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 in slow speeds. On the other hand, final stability defines how steady the sit on top remains in the roughest of waves.

A kayak with great initial stability allows you to get in and out of the boat with ease. It is the boat to have if you love bird watching, 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 aforementioned areas. 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 inner cockpit to protect you when the boat topples. The cruise sit on tops are designed for luxury thus the cockpit is left 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 emergency 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 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 any 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 luggages 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 on-board accessories like shock cords, deck netting, perimeter lines. Shock cords are effective for storing and holding 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 will be bringing 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 leak-proof. 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-fit-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

Rank

Image

Product Name

Our Rating

Checkout

1

Malibu Kayaks Stealth 12 Fish and Dive Package Sit on Top Kayak

100/100 View Product

2

When is it best to use Flurorocarbon Lines

WILDERNESS SYSTEMS Tarpon 100 Kayak

97/100 View Product

3

Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak, Envy

94/100 View Product

4

Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot Sit-on top Kayak

94/100 View Product

5

Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

92/100 View Product

*Below, you’ll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

1. Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak, Envy

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 for 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.

Purchase It On Amazon

Pros

  • A spacious cockpit for easy entry and exit
  • Plenty of storage space on board
  • On board 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

Cons​

  • Quite expensive

2. Malibu Kayaks Stealth 12 Fish and Dive Package Sit on Top Kayak

Paddle kayak

Via Amazon.com

The Malibu sit on top kayak is a multi-purpose boat for those who love camping and excursions. It 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.

Purchase It On Amazon

Pros

  • 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 holders
  • On board cup holder
  • A fast boat with great stability and tracking
  • Foot track is adjustable for comfort

Cons​

  • Relatively expensive

3. Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot Sit-on top Kayak

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, a 10 feet and 12 feet models. 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, there is an additional portable container to hold 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 colors.

Purchase It On Amazon

Pros

  • Spacious cockpit with 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

Cons​

  • Uncomfortable seat
  • Leaking floors
  • Not the best tracking

4. WILDERNESS SYSTEMS Tarpon 100 Kayak

Paddle kayak

Via Amazon.com

The Wilderness Tarpon sit on top kayak makes up for what the Sun Dolphin SS lacks. It is leak proof 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 as well, 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, a midship 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 license, or your 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 wide enough to turn freely while paddling.

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Pros

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

Cons​

  • You may have to purchase paddles separately

5. Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

Paddle kayak

Via Amazon.com

The Ocean Frenzy sit on top kayak is suitable for all ages. It is 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.

Purchase It On Amazon

Pros

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

Cons​

  • Quite small for taller people

Product Name

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Malibu Kayaks Stealth 12 Fish and Dive Package Sit on Top Kayak

A

$$$

WILDERNESS SYSTEMS Tarpon 100 Kayak

A-

$$$

Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak, Envy

B+

$$

Sun Dolphin Bali SS 10-Foot Sit-on top Kayak

B+

$$

Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

B+

$$$

Conclusion

No doubts 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.

The 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 company the next time you go fishing. This boat is also ideal for recreational activities with the whole family.

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