Ever experienced a leg cramp when sitting in a kayak and with the limited amount of legroom? With a closed style kayak there is unfortunately not a ton you can do. This is a common experience, feet and legs falling asleep with a cramped feeling. This doesn’t mean you should give up the sport all together especially when there is another option out there.

Having the best sit-on-top kayak is a great way to combine the many benefits of a kayak with the amount of room you get in a canoe. Touring sit on top kayaks are often preferred as they will give you a lot of space for the movement you need.

This type of kayak gives you all the space you get in a canoe with all the fun and convenience of a kayak. A favorite activity by so many, we found the top five on the market.

How To Choose The Best Sit-On-Top Kayak – Buying Guide


Kayaking comes in many forms ranging from inflatable to hard styles. There are also sit-on-top kayaks which don’t require you to slip into a covered hull but rather, just as the name describes, sit on the top of the kayak. The best sit-on-top kayaks will have different features than what you would typically expect in other rideables. These are typically easier to use and often come at a more affordable price.

Who Are These Sit-On-Top Kayaks Designed For?

These are perfect for people with long legs or are claustrophobic. The flat deck allows you to stretch out and even dangle your feet into the warm summer water. It is easy to see the value of a sit-on-top recreational kayak that will carry for those who are very tall, or carry most of their height in their legs.

Also, if you are an adventure lover those sit on top kayaks are perfect for you. Bring your scuba gear with you to the middle of the lake, set the anchor and go take a look at the bottom. Love fishing? Bring your rod and tackle box and paddle into the reeds to catch the hiding fish. Live along the ocean shore? Use these fishing kayaks as a boogie board and coast into shore. They can keep kids entertained for hours. You can even use these sit-on-top kayaks as a way to get to your houseboat.

Things To Consider When Purchasing a Sit On Top Kayak

Prior to purchasing the best kayak, there are a few things you will want to consider that will help you choose the best one.

  1. What is your budget? It is ideal to have a number in mind before you begin your search.
  2. How do you plan to use your kayak? Will you be spending your time fishing, camping, or just out for an afternoon paddle?
  3. How often do you plan to take out your kayak? Is it worth buying or would renting be a stronger option?
  4. How do you plan to transport your kayak? Do you have a vehicle and does your vehicle have roof racks? How about storing it, will you need to buy a wall mount?
  5. What are some desirable features you would like your kayak to have? Fishing rod holders? Lots of storage? Maybe even extra cup holders.
  6. How many people will be kayaking? Do you need a tandem or solo kayak?

Just like every other thing, there are many aspects and features you should know and understand before purchasing the best kayak. Sit-on-top kayaks are typically made out of a durable fiberglass or plastic material. Having a wide base for your body means these are comfortable kayaks that serve many purposes. Their flat top allows you to fish, scuba dive, or even surf with ease.

Carrying Capacity

A sit-on-top kayak will sport a high carrying capacity also makes these ideal for larger people. It also makes it extremely easy to bring your dog or children with you. It may take a couple of minutes to get them comfortable but once they are, your pup will not want to leave. You don’t have to worry about limiting your gear for your weekend getaway as they also have ample storage space.


Their short wide base makes them extra stable which beginners to this sport will appreciate. You will have the confidence to take it out into deep water from the moment you sit down on it. Some may look like flat canoes, but they perform worlds different from them.

Since they have a flat top and don’t have a closed area while being practically flat they may allow more water to crest the walls. For this reason they are usually equipped with a drain plug to easily get rid of the excess water. This also makes them perfect for riding with pets and children. These sit on top kayaks don’t have a closed area and are practically flat so dogs feel comfortable sitting with you as you paddle.

The open space also allows you to escape quickly if you happen to roll. You don’t need to practice escape maneuvers necessary for closed sit on top kayaks. If you do end upside down all you need to do is flip the kayak right side up and climb back on.


Since these are more basic than other kayaks they are much cheaper in cost. Depending on what they are designed for and their features they can range from $100 to upwards of $800. This makes these an excellent option for a summer weekend or toy for the cabin. Some also use these sit on top kayaks as dinghies to get to their sailboat or houseboat. No matter what you use them for kayaks are exceptionally versatile and multifunctional.



Q: How do you sit-on-top of a kayak?


This may seem obvious, but that doesn’t mean most people get it right. The key to a kayak is balance, especially if you’re planning on taking it into the ocean where you’ll find big waves. When you first get on the kayak you will want to spread your legs as wide as possible. There will be foot holes, or a designated spot to put your feet, but if it’s not comfortable for you don’t use them. If you’re in a place you want to stay for a bit you can even dangle your feet in the water if that gives you more stability.

Once you’re on your kayak you will want to find a comfortable position. You can use your arms to position your body in the center of the seat by lifting your body and shifting your weight to where it feels best. Sitting in a slightly forward position will allow you to use your core to stabilize your kayak. Your ankles should be relaxed with your knees bent around 120 degrees Once find a comfortable position you can start paddling.

Q: How to paddle a kayak?


Paddling on a sit-on-top recreational kayak is different than a regular one. You will find it more tippy so you will have to use your core and legs more than in a traditional kayak. As you paddle you can use your legs to shift power through your upper body which will give you a more stable and smooth movement through the water.

Q: How stable are kayaks?


Sit-on-top kayaks are less stable than recreational kayaks. This is due to their shape. The flat deck makes them have a higher center of gravity versus a sit inside kayak. That doesn’t mean that they are any less useful. Inflatable kayaks are great for people who like to swim. They are easy to enter and exit the water and allow you to cool off when you want.

Q: How to pack the best kayak for camping?


Most of the kayaks where you sit on the top have limited dry storage space. Traditional sit inside kayaks have compartments where you can store your belongings in the hull of the sit-on-top kayak which keeps them dry. With that being said, you will have more storage space with a fishing kayak. Just expect your gear to get wet. You can combat this by throwing your gear into a waterproof backpack or a drybag. Most of these float in case you find yourself in rough water or accidentally flip your rig.

Q: How to carry a kayak?


Traditional or fishing kayaks are easy to move by yourself due to their shape. You can use one arm to simply lift it using the hole that you sit in. Since the kayaks where you sit on the top don’t have this hole, there are special carts you can get to make getting your kayak to the water easy. If this doesn’t sound like a good solution you can get, or make, a shoulder strap that attaches to each end of your kayak. This way you can easily store the strap and carry your sit-on-top kayak when you find your ideal beach campsite.

Q: What is the lightest kayak of the list?


The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set is the lightest kayak on our list. Weighing only 27 pounds this kayak is light enough to bring just about anywhere. The fact that is inflatable helps to make it even easier to transport. Despite the compact size of this kayak it is still quite spacious making it a superior choice.

Q: What is the fastest and best kayak?


There is no perfect kayak that fits this category. A good way to think about it is the thinner a kayak’s footprint in the water, the faster they will move. This is due to a decrease in drag caused by the friction of the water on the bottom of the kayak. But that being said, you will give up stability and turning ability for the speed. Keep this in mind when looking for your ideal kayak.

Q: What is the best kayak for touring?


While all of the best sit-on-top kayaks will do for long distance paddles, our favorite is the Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak. This is due to its large and spacious design. Offering tons of storage for your gear this kayak even has a cup holder for convenient access to your favorite drink. With molded foot rests and a 4-way adjustable seat you will have no problem getting comfortable for the day.

Q: What is the best kayak for whitewater rafting?


The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set is our favorite kayak for the rough waters of whitewater rafting. This is largely due to its compact size allowing you to maneuver through the water with ease. This durable kayak is built to last tough conditions and allows you to take on choppy water with ease

Globo Surf Overview

Having the best sit-on-top kayak is a fun way to enjoy a hot summer day. Take one of these to the lake and enjoy snorkeling around with this as a home base. Always wanted to go camp on an island? Use this to transport you and your gear for the perfect weekend getaway.

The stable bases will instill confidence from the moment you sit on one of these kayaks. Their durable material allow you to be as hard as you want without having to worry about breaking these rigs.

Sit-on-top kayak reviews agree that the freedom you get from the spacious designs great for longer paddles, or bigger people. With all these may be the best for you to combine the space you need with a comfortable and expert ride.

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Have a sit-on-top kayak? Let us know how you like it in the comment section below.

Globo Surf Sit On Top Kayak Review

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Was looking for a new style of kayak. Saw the one where you sit on top so decided to search it and found you.

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Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!