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Best Sit On Top Kayaks 2022: reviews, compare and buying guides

Amie Tran
  Dec 9, 2022 2:58 AM

Sit on top of a Kayak (SOT)  designed like a surfboard. Unlike sitting in a kayak or canoe, they have a wholly sealed hull and are self-draining. Due to their self-rescue design, they are ideal for beginners, children and fishermen. Today this type of kayak comes in many different sizes and uses. Here are 10 guides on how to buy and sit on the best kayaks.


Buying Guides

What Is a Sit On Top kayak, Why Choose One?

Any Sit On Top Kayak has the same design as the name suggests. This type of boat does not have a cockpit located inside the hull. The boatman will sit directly on top of that boat and move with oars.

Sit-On-Top Kayak Pros:

  • The popular reason that makes sit on tops a great choice is an ability to self-rescue and the ease of getting in or out of the boat.

  • All the best sit on the top kayak has a sealed structure 2 sides. When your boat capsizes, you just need to keep calm and flip the boat upside down, then figure out how to get on with ease. With this boat's self-rescue ability, you don't need too much skill.

  • If there is no problem with the hatch, the SOT kayak will never be submerged. So every time the boat capsizes or is hit by strong waves, you don't have to bring it to shore to get the water out of the cockpit.

  • On the hull, there are still some drainage holes called scuppers. The self-rescue and quick-drain design make this kayak suitable for recreational and offshore paddling trips.

  • The low and flat design makes the top sitting kayak easy during get-off and docking. Therefore, it gives a chance for kayakers with limited mobility to have fun on the water by kayak.

What you need to make attention to when buying a SOT kayak

Sit-on-top (SOT) kayaks are great bring-along water toys. The most important consideration is defining their primary use — exploring, exercising, fishing, or just plain fun. Here’s what to look for.

Starting your trip on the water with a recreational kayak sit on top is the best way to enjoy your vacation. The important thing when purchasing this type of boat is determining the right purpose of use. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right SOT kayak.

Material/Weight

Most of the best sit on top kayaks are roto-molded 2 kinds of polyethylene:

  • Single-layer or linear poly is stiff and efficient.

  • Super-linear or high-density poly is stiffer, lighter, UV resistant but more expensive.

Length

The lightweight sit on top kayak is short, easy to move and store. In contrast, the longer ones may be heavier and bulkier, but they run faster and offer more performance.

Beam

Although wide boats will be slower, they will move more steadily. Greater beam makes it easy for kayakers to board the boat if it capsizes.

Seats

Not all top sitting kayaks have seats available, they are sometimes provided in the accessories list. A chair with a high back provides more comfort but limits the possibility of twisting. On the other hand, the Shorter backs are suitable for those who want to cover the surrounding space, especially anglers.

Footwells

When buying a SOT kayak, try sitting on it to check the legroom comfort. If that doesn't work, it's best to find another option, which can be adjusted flexibly.

Stowage

Check the water resistance of the compartments on the boat. This is where you keep your phone, coat, bag, keys, etc. Of course, not all SOT boats have them. In this situation, you may think about a kayak tow.

Paddle

You don’t want to be up the creek without one. The choice is affected by the hull width (a wider hull needs a longer paddle), your height (a taller paddler needs a longer paddle), and paddle weight (lighter is better, causing less fatigue).

There are several types of SOT boats that have a foot-operated paddle system. However, if going through a creek, the table still requires a paddle. The choice of paddle depends on 3 main factors:

  • The hull width (wider hull - longer paddle)

  • Your height (taller paddler - longer paddle) 

  • Paddle weight (lighter is better)

Cost

While always a concern, the cost is not an important consideration when purchasing a SOT kayak. Choose products that are worth the money instead of the cheaper ones that are not durable and unsafe.


Compare Products

Showing  1 - 10  in  10 results
1
  • SCORE
    9.0
    AI Score

    The BY score is a transparent, impartial ranking system that takes into account both professional reviews and consumer feedback. This number has no relationship with any manufacturer or sales agent websites - it's purely based on what you see when browsing online! Learn more

  • Brand
    Pelican
2
  • SCORE
    8.0
    AI Score

    The BY score is a transparent, impartial ranking system that takes into account both professional reviews and consumer feedback. This number has no relationship with any manufacturer or sales agent websites - it's purely based on what you see when browsing online! Learn more

  • Brand
    Elkton Outdoors
3
  • SCORE
    8.8
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    The BY score is a transparent, impartial ranking system that takes into account both professional reviews and consumer feedback. This number has no relationship with any manufacturer or sales agent websites - it's purely based on what you see when browsing online! Learn more

  • Brand
    eMotion
4
  • SCORE
    8.8
    AI Score

    The BY score is a transparent, impartial ranking system that takes into account both professional reviews and consumer feedback. This number has no relationship with any manufacturer or sales agent websites - it's purely based on what you see when browsing online! Learn more

  • Brand
    Lifetime
5
  • SCORE
    8.8
    AI Score

    The BY score is a transparent, impartial ranking system that takes into account both professional reviews and consumer feedback. This number has no relationship with any manufacturer or sales agent websites - it's purely based on what you see when browsing online! Learn more

  • Brand
    Reel Yaks
6
  • SCORE
    9.0
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  • Brand
    Lifetime
7
  • SCORE
    8.8
    AI Score

    The BY score is a transparent, impartial ranking system that takes into account both professional reviews and consumer feedback. This number has no relationship with any manufacturer or sales agent websites - it's purely based on what you see when browsing online! Learn more

  • Brand
    BKC
8
  • SCORE
    8.0
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  • Brand
    BKC
9
  • SCORE
    9.0
    AI Score

    The BY score is a transparent, impartial ranking system that takes into account both professional reviews and consumer feedback. This number has no relationship with any manufacturer or sales agent websites - it's purely based on what you see when browsing online! Learn more

  • Brand
    Lifetime
10
  • SCORE
    8.8
    AI Score

    The BY score is a transparent, impartial ranking system that takes into account both professional reviews and consumer feedback. This number has no relationship with any manufacturer or sales agent websites - it's purely based on what you see when browsing online! Learn more

  • Brand
    Perception Kayaks

Last update on 2022-12-09 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API


10 best SOT kayak for beginners

Pelican Sit-on-Top Kayak - one Person Kayak

Sentinel 100X is a single sit on top kayak that comes from Pelican used a lot by anglers. The ship has a thin bottom body made of Ram-X material. The boat can be easily cleaned with a soapy solution mixed with warm water.

This kayak has a large storage compartment and is easily removable. Besides, it has a spacious cockpit and high stability. Those who want to look for thrills and fast when moving on the water can choose this version for their trips.

Features: 

  • Adjustable footrests

  • Molded carrying handles

  • Drain plug

  • x2 accessory eyelets

  • x2 paddle holders 

  • x1 Smartphone holder

Accessories:

  • x2 rod tie-downs

  • x1 Flush mount rod holders

  • x2 Accessory eyelets

Specifications:

  • Length: 114 in

  • Weight: 44 lbs

  • Dimensions: 114" x 30" x 13.25"

  • Weight limit: 275 lbs

Elkton Outdoors Hard Shell Fishing Tandem Kayak, 2 or 3 Person Sit On Top Kayak

One of the best sit on top kayaks for fishing enthusiasts is Elkton Outdoors Hard Shell Fishing Tandem Kayak. It is designed for a group of friends or family with 2 or 3 seats.

The boat will not crack or puncture in long time use because of roto mold injected body. For moving or mounting the boat on the car hood, you will feel more ease and convenience thanks to the two carrying handles.

The kayak hull has the following sections: an airtight compartment, 2 storage areas at each end, and an ice cabinet.

Accessories:

  • x2 paddles

  • x2 seats

  • x2 rod holders

  • x2 bungee cords

Specifications:

  • Length: 114 in

  • Weight: 72 lbs

  • Dimensions: 12,2 ' x 3'

  • Weight limit: 650 lbs

  • Color: Grey

Emotion Spitfire Sit-On-Top Kayak

Emotion Spitfire Sit-On-Top Kayak has 2 catchy color options: Orange and Glacier Blue. This best sit on top kayak weighs 45 lbs and is designed for one person. Rigid hull, made of Polyethylene material provides stability and high tracking ability. The hull is made of Polyethylene material, so it is sturdy, providing high stability and tracking ability.

Features: 

  • Padded CRS + UltraLite Seat

  • Molded-In Paddle Keepers and Side Carry Handles

  • Self-Bailing Scupper Holes

Specifications:

  • Weight: 45 lb

  • Dimensions: 114" x 30" x 13.25"

  • Weight limit: 275 lbs

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

The hull of this kayak is made of high-density Polyethylene, resistant to ultraviolet rays. The front hull of the boat has different levels of legroom suitable for many body sizes.

Features: 

  • Chair with easy-to-adjust backrest and soft cushion

  • Anti-shock ropes at each end of the boat

  • 2 storage compartments 6" wide

  • T-handles at 2 ends, handles on 2 sides

Accessories:

  • x3 rod tie-downs

  • x1 anger

Specifications:

  • Weight: 56.5 lbs

  • Dimensions: 31 x 14 inch

  • Weight limit: 275 lbs

Elkton Outdoors Hard Shell Fishing Tandem Kayak, 2 or 3 Person Sit On Top Kayak Package with 2 EVA Padded Seats

Elkton Outdoors Hard Shell Fishing Tandem Kayak has a graphic design that suits for adventures. The product is guaranteed not to crack or puncture because of the rotomold injected body.

The storage area of ​​this boat is extremely spacious, with 2 areas at both ends of the boat, 1 freezer to make the trip more enjoyable and convenient.

Accessories:

  • x2 paddles

  • x2 rod holders

  • bungee cords

  • x2 seats

Specifications:

  • Length: 114 in

  • Weight: 72 lbs

  • Dimensions: 12' 3" x 3'

  • Weight limit: 650 lbs

  • Color: Camo

Fishing pedal kayak for anglers 11’ - sit on top or stand 

In the list of the best sit-on-top kayak, there are not only boats that move by hand-paddle but also by pedal. The boat is designed to reach shallow or dense areas thanks to its floppy drive and flaps.

The cabin is super optimized with a "W" shape, helping kayakers keep balance both when sitting and standing. The stadium-style seats provide smoothness and comfort all day long. Although the boat can withstand a large load, the boat has a small volume so it is easy to transport.

Features: 

  • x3 secure storage hatches 

  • x4 track rails for mounting fishing rods holders 

  • x6 rod holders 

  • x1 bottle holder 

Specifications:

  • Weight: 62 lbs

  • Dimensions: 133 x 35 x 16-inch

  • Weight limit: 500 lbs

Lifetime Lotus Sit-On-Top Kayak with Paddle

Lifetime Lotus is designed in the shape of a lotus petal with a pointed end. It comes in blue color and the lower body design with chines and twin skegs provides stability.

Features: 

  • Easy-to-adjust seat

  • T-shaped handle at the top, center handle

  • Footrest with multiple levels

Specifications:

  • Weight: 42.25 lbs

  • Dimensions: 94,8 x 27,5 x 9 inch

  • Weight limit: 1 person

BKC FK184 9' Single Sit On Top Fishing Kayak W/ Seat and Paddle Included Solo

BKC FK184 9' Single is the best sit on top kayak for beginners. Molded from polyethylene material allows the boat to navigate the sea, lake, or river. At the same time, it can also regulate the fast current and allow the kayaker to perform the rolling skill.

Features: 

  • x1 premium memory foam seat

  • x1 adjustable aluminum paddle

  • x2 waterproof hatches

  • Ample watertight storage

Accessories:

  • x1 anger

  • x5 rod holders

  • x2 paddle parks

  • x1 bungee cargo tie-down.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 68 lbs

  • Dimensions: 11' 6" x 34 inch

  • Weight limit: 330 lbs

Lifetime Tioga Sit-On-Top Kayak, Lime, 120"

The list of best sit on top kayak reviews calls the product name from the brand Lifetime again, Tioga Sit-On-Top Kayak, Lime, 120". What makes this boat stand out is probably its bright lime color.

The boat has 4 handles for convenient transportation and storage. The hull of the boat is made of high-density polyethylene with UV protection.

Features: 

  • x1 premium memory foam seat

  • Multiple footrest positions

Specifications:

  • Weight: 56.5 lbs

  • Dimensions: 120 x 31 x 14 inch

  • Weight limit: 275 lbs

Perception Hi Life 11 - Sit on Top Kayak - SUP/Paddleboard

Perception Hi Life 11 is the single sit on top kayak that makes a strong visual impression thanks to its unique design and creative color combinations. It has 3 color options: Dapper, Deja VU, Sunset. 

The boat has only 1 seat but is shareable for kids and pets. It has a design suitable for touring on coastal terrain, calm water.

Features: 

  • seat with supportive, fold-down backrest 

  • drink holder

  • Built-in cooler under the seat

  • Ample watertight storage

Specifications:

  • Weight: 55 lbs

  • Dimensions: 11' x 34 inch

  • Weight limit: 280 lbs


FAQs

 

What is the best sit-on-top kayak brand?

  • Perception
  • Wilderness Systems
  • Ocean Kayak
  • Sun Dolphin
  • Lifetime
  • Old Town

 

Which kayak is best for sea?

Sea kayaks are designed for different activities, depending on the environment and the paddler’s experience and ability. Some kayaks are better for beginners, while others are more suited for experienced paddlers who want to go faster and further. 

  • For beginners - The recreational kayak is perfect for those just starting out. It’s stable and easy to control, making it a great choice for learning the basics of kayaking.
  • For experienced paddlers - If you’re looking to go fast and cover the distance, then a sea touring kayak is what you need. These boats are built for speed and can handle rougher waters
  • For a solo paddler looking for speed and agility, the sleek and fast sea kayak is the best option.
  • If you're looking for a more stable kayak that can handle rougher waters, the touring sea kayak is a better choice.
  • The recreational sea kayak is perfect for beginners or those who prefer a slower pace.

 

There are many ways to sit in a kayak, but which is the best way for you?

  • In a crouched position
  • With your legs straight out in front of you
  • With your knees bent

 

Should you prefer to sit in or on top of a kayak?

  • Sitting inside the kayak provides stability and an easy exit.
  • Sitting on top of the kayak provides excellent views and accessibility to nearby wildlife.

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