I’ve been into kayaking for a while now, and based on my experience, sit-on-tops are the most popular type for cruising warm environments, particularly for nervy kayakers who dislike the feeling of confinement. Unlike their sit-in counterparts, sit-on-top variants are stable in strong and rapid currents, and they are also easy to enter or exit.
However, there are tons of kayak brands in the market, thereby making it hard to choose the best one for your adventure. As such, I have reviewed the best sit-on-top-kayaks based on experience and a few other factors to help you choose.
Bestseller SOT Kayaks
Top 9 Sit-on-top (SOT) Kayaks
- Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak
- Intex Challenger K2
- Ocean Kayak Frenzy
- Perception Kayak Pescador Pro
- Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120
- Riot Kayaks Escape
- Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu
- Lifetime Manta 10 Foot
- Lifetime Tamarack
What is a Sit on top Kayak?
A sit-on-top kayak is considered as most user-friendly kayak thanks to its design. These types of kayaks don’t have a closed cockpit therefore it is very easy to get in and out of this kayak. Moreover, sit-on-top kayaks are more stable because these types of kayaks are wider and you won’t feel any confinement on them. You will enjoy fishing with this type of kayak as the fishing gears are easily accessible. Sit-on-top kayaks are self-bailing; they have scupper holes that allow the water to drain right through them. With so many advantages, the main problem of a sit-on-top kayak is that you’re guaranteed to get wet while paddling.
List of Features to Consider While Buying a Sit On Top (SOT) Kayak
The number of features that you will need to consider before buying a Sit On Top (SOT) kayak is heavily dependent on what you’re planning to do with it.
If you plan on using the kayak for fishing, then stability may be more important than speed. If you’re looking for a kayak for exploring, then weight and storage capacity may be more important than price.
There are three main types of SOT kayaks: fishing, touring, and recreational. Your purchase should be based on the type of activity that you’ll use it for most often.
Consider the following:
1. Made of durable material:
True. All SOT Kayaks are made of rotomolded plastic. This material is highly durable and can be used for many days, or months. The kayaks are not only durable but also very lightweight. They weigh less than 30 pounds so it is easy to take them on the water and start paddling!
2. Highly affordable
Inflatable Sit on top kayaks, also known as SOTs are highly affordable and a great option for beginners.
The best thing about inflatable kayaks is the low price. They are also easy to store and carry around. Inflatable kayaks are less durable than hard-shell kayaks but they last longer than rigid paddles.
Its bright colors augment its visibility in the water, but it is also buoyant.
3. Storage Space in a Sit-on Kayak
Sit-on kayaks can be a great asset to have for fishing, hunting, and a multitude of other water-related activities. The main problem with them is the amount of storage space they provide. Having an extra seat makes a kayak more stable and allows you to carry more gear, but you may not need it on every trip.
The answer to this problem is simple: use your cargo space on your boat for any extra gear that you might need but don’t want to bring with you on all of your trips.
Many kayaks can be cumbersome to transport and store, but when you have a sit-on-top kayak, you can bring it anywhere. The whole thing folds up into a compact bundle that’s easy to store in the trunk of your car.
If you’re looking for more storage space, consider getting a kayak with an integrated cargo system that will allow you to securely transport your supplies and gear.
Sit-on-top kayaks are also available in different sizes so it’s easy to find one that is the perfect fit for you. Sit on top kayaks are great for beginners or those with limited mobility because they are easier to get on and off of than traditional ones.
5. Shapes and Designs
Sit on top kayaks are perfect for people who enjoy being in the water without their feet getting wet. With this design, you can easily sit on the kayak and use your upper body strength to paddle. Traditional kayaks are designed for people who have difficulty with balance or do not want to get their feet wet. These boats have a cockpit area where you can sit down and paddle with your lower body strength.
Sit on top kayaks are more popular because they are easier to maneuver than traditional ones.
Some people prefer a Sit On Top kayak because it is easier to get in and out of.
A Sit On Top kayak can be used for many different purposes, such as fishing, touring, or playing in calmer waters.
Sitting on the boat can be more difficult than sitting inside, but if you have balance, it should not be an issue.
7. Different use cases of sit on top kayak
Sit-on-top style kayaks are often used for fishing and hunting. These types of boats usually have a large cockpit opening with high sides and comfortable seating, which allows for easy entry and exit.
Sot kayaks are perfect for people who live in areas where lakes freeze over in winter. You can put this boat on top of the ice and get around without having to worry about getting wet when pushing off the ice with your paddle during launch!
8. Price ranges of SOT Kayaks
There are many different SOT kayaks to choose from, each with its own price range.
SOT kayaks range in price depending on the materials they are made of and the type of boat being bought. A composite material may cost more than a wooden kayak, for example. Fiberglass is a popular type of material because it is lightweight and strong enough to hold up against collisions with rocks or other boats.
The cheapest SOT kayak prices vary depending on which type you buy, but they average around $500-$2,000.
For sit on top sea kayaks, they are usually in the price range of $1,000 to $1,350. Recreational SOT kayaks cost between $400 and $650. Inflatable SOT kayaks will cost between $500 and $800.
Our Top SOT Pick
Sit on top kayaks have been gaining popularity in the last five years because of the advantages they offer over traditional kayaks. You can use them with less muscle power and you can get out of them more quickly if you need to.
However, there are no “best” sit-on-top kayaks for everyone. It is better to choose a model that suits your needs and what kind of water you will be paddling on most often.
This Pelican Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak is 10ft, lightweight, easy to carry, owns multiple air chambers, and comes with a comfortable back-rest seat option to make your paddling enjoyable and fun.
- Lightweight and easy to carry with two retractable carrying handles this sit-on-top kayak with an open cockpit allows the easiest of entry
- The Multi-Chine flat bottom hull design provides ultra stability and great tracking with a maximum capacity of 325 lb. / 147 kg
- Storage All your gear for your trip with a quick lock hatch in the front plus a 4" Day hatch with storage bag and a storage platform with bungee cords
- Fishing accessories: gear with a swivel rod holder and two flush mount rod holders, a bottle holder, A paddle tie-down to store Paddle, adjustable footrests and secure foot bracing, six accessory eyelets to attach gear on your kayak
- The ERGOFIT G2 seating system includes a padded seat cushion and an adjustable backrest cushion providing better support
My Best-Sit-On-Top-Kayaks For 2021
The Intex Challenger K2 accommodates two kayakers at a time. Therefore, it is a suitable option for kayakers who enjoy kayaking alongside their pet, friend, or family member.
Unlike most kayaks, this one features a sporty, easy-to-paddle, and streamlined design that would navigate effortlessly through strong currents. Its bright green color enhances its visibility in the water, and its inflatable design gives you the freedom to store or transport your kayak conveniently.
The Intex Challenger K2 is made of rugged vinyl, a sturdy material that can withstand punctures as well as the wear and tear from prolonged exposure to external elements for a sensible time.
Wins & Fails
- Comes with two bonus aluminum oars, a repair kit, and a high-capacity pump
- Weighs only 33.57 pounds but can carry up to 400 pounds
- Comfortable inflatable seats
- Not be as durable as kayaks made from hard shells
- The seat’s backrests are flimsy
Are you looking for a SOT kayak that is designed for your unique recreational purposes like fishing, diving, or picnicking? If yes, Ocean Kayak’s Frenzy would be your ideal choice. The kayak comes in bright envy, yellow, and sunrise color variations to let you choose your favorite.
The Frenzy’s triform hull delivers enhanced stability and maneuverability even when pedaling through strong ocean waves, not to mention its replaceable skid plate makes it more durable than those without.
To improve your recreational experience, this kayak comes equipped with tour-friendly outfittings like a cup holder which holds your water bottle, a spacious stem tank well for storing your luggage, and cushioned seats that keep you comfortable throughout your kayaking expedition.
Wins & Fails
- Comes in bright colors to augment its visibility in the water
- Responsive and stable design
- Has molded-in carry handles for easy transportation
- Adjustable seats
- Weighs only 43 pounds for easy lifting and moving
- Insufficient cockpit room for large-framed kayakers
The Pescador Pro is designed for kayakers who enjoy fishing. Its hull is made of polyethylene, a sturdy material that can resist wear and tear from regular exposure to direct sunlight and water for a long time.
In addition to the sturdy hull, this kayak has cushioned stadium-style seats that would keep you comfortable all through your kayaking trip. You can adjust the seat to your most comfortable pedaling position.
The kayak has a spacious stern tank well with a mesh gear cover, built-in rod holders, and the YakaAttack GearTrac system to hold your fishing lines, and a storage console where you can store your electronic fishing gadgets.
Wins & Fails
- Available in three color variations
- Can carry up to 400 pounds
- Its stern tank well has bungee keepers to secure your luggage
- Equipped with a removable skid plate for added durability
- Enhanced stability and durability
- Some users complain that the kayak feels shaky when standing on it
- Quite bulky to transport
The Tarpon 120 from Wilderness Systems is famous for its top-class maneuverability and glide. For that reason, I would recommend it to kayakers who are looking for a multipurpose kayak that they can use for sporting or recreational needs.
The Tarpon 120 features the phase 3 AirPro seating system that keeps you comfortable during your prolonged kayaking expedition. Unlike the lightweight kayaks, this model weighs 63 pounds, making it a heavyweight kayak that remains stable while cruising through rapid and strong currents.
The Wilderness Tarpon features a generously sized storage area that accommodates more luggage, ergonomic handles for hassle-free transportation, and self-bailing scrubber holes for drainage.
Wins & Fails
- Molded-in cup holders to contain your water bottle
- Gear storage pockets to store small items
- Built to last long
- Available in five color variations
- A bit expensive than most kayaks on this list
- Quite bulky to move around
Riot Kayaks’ Escape 12 is an ideal option for kayakers who are looking for a kayak that they can use in fishing, diving, or any other recreational activity. It weighs 65.7 pounds, allowing it to be stable when sailing in strong waves. Meanwhile, its sturdy construction can endure wear and tear from regular kayaking. The Escape boasts comfortable seats which you can adjust to your most relaxed sitting position.
Furthermore, it has multiple travel-friendly outfitting like rod holders for fishing, a cup holder where you can place your favorite drink, and a generous storage area where you can store up to 300 pounds of luggage.
Wins & Fails
- Comes with an ample cockpit room
- Its comfy seats give you the comfort you need to accomplish long kayaking missions
- Excellent stability and maneuverability
- Not ideal for kayakers who are on a budget
- Quite bulky for transportation
6. Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu (Best Tandem SOT Kayak)
The Malibu is yet another excellent option if you are looking for a kayak you can use together with a friend, relative, kid, or a pet. It comes in sunrise, yellow, and envy colors to suit your preferences.
Ocean Kayak’s Malibu has two comfort plus seats which are ideal for long kayaking trips. You can adjust the seats into three sitting positions for convenient paddling.
It has skid plates for added durability, overlapping footwells for convenient leg positioning, and side carry handles for stress-free transportation. Lastly, it has a maximum carrying capacity of 425 pounds and weighs 57 pounds.
Wins & Fails
- The hull and deck design facilitates easy stacking
- Reasonably priced
- Built from a sturdy material
- Its bright colors enhance conspicuousness in water
- It may feel unstable when used by one person
- A bit too heavy to move around
The Manta 10-foot kayak comes in bright yellow and green colors. It measures 10 feet long, making it one of the most compact-sized tandem sit-on-top-kayaks on the list.
It is made of low-density polyethylene, a sturdy material that is resistant to damage from UV exposure. Despite its small size, the Manta features ditty trays and straps to secure your luggage, self-bailing scupper holes for drainage, and multiple footrest positions for comfortable paddling.
The kayak can accommodate up to two users and has a maximum weight capacity of 500 pounds.
Wins & Fails
- Made of a durable material
- Highly affordable
- Its bright colors augment its visibility in the water
- It has poor maneuverability
- The seats are not cushioned
- Lacks a storage compartment to carry your luggage
8. Lifetime Tamarack (Best SOT Kayak For Fishing)
Get a sturdier, stronger, and more convenient fishing kayak with the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak. With 100 inches of fishing space, the Angler 100 provides plenty of room to pack up all your gear and still have room to bring along your friends. The Angler 100 includes a T-top, a fish finder mount, a 12-foot rod holder, and a built-in paddle holder. And the kayak’s swivel seats allow for an even more comfortable fishing experience.
Some features to look at-
1. It has a Lifetime warranty!
2. It’s easy to store, set up, and transport.
3. Made of aluminium and heavy duty plastic
4. It includes a T-handle, a paddle, a seat, and everything you need to go fishing
5. It has a covered hatch
What are the benefits of a SOT Kayak?
- SOT Kayaks are perfect for beginners. No one can deny the safety of this type of kayak. The lack of sharp edges and corners is a plus point, as it prevents the risk of cuts, scrapes, and bruises. The cockpit area is also comfortable and offers ample space for storage options like dry bags.
- SOT Kayaks are lightweight. With all the gear that you need to carry when you go kayaking, this is a huge benefit because it ensures that you will not get tired before your trip even gets underway.
- In addition, SOT Kayaks are easy to inflate. There is no need for any external pump or other equipment – just a few short breaths will do the trick! You can also deflate these boats quickly with minimal effort which makes
- With the introduction of all-electric SOTs, customers will be able to enjoy the convenience and privacy of driving a car without worrying about battery life or refueling. They also offer a more pleasant experience for drivers with their easy-to-use
- (Ready to take your pup on tour?) SOT models are really simple and easy to use. They’re also spacious and extremely comfortable, so you don’t have to put up with anything less than the best for your dog!
Is A Sit On Top Kayak Better?
A sit-on-top kayak is better because it provides greater stability, versatility, and maneuverability than a traditional kayak. A number of recreational paddlers are looking for a boat that can explore a wide range of water conditions and this is where the sit-on-top kayak shines.
Sit-on-top kayaks are great because they allow you to ditch the skirt which means you’re getting on board much quicker. You don’t have to take your shoes off like with a traditional kayak. And it’s also easier to get back in if you fall out because there’s no skirt to contend with. If you want more comfort or protection from the elements (sun/rain) while paddleboarding then this is an excellent option as well!
Should I wear a Personal Flotation Device when kayaking?
A personal flotation device, more commonly known as a PFD, is a must-have when kayaking. It may seem like an outdated piece of equipment that you are only supposed to wear when kayaking in cold water or when the weather is bad. However, a PFD can save your life and provide you with maximum safety and protection in all waters.
There are many types of PFDs on the market that offer different levels of protection. You should purchase the type of PFD that best suits your needs and desires. For example, some people choose to purchase inflatable PFDs because they have less bulk than other types of PFDs, while others choose not to wear a personal flotation device at all for relief from its restrictive feeling.
How to carry a sit on a top kayak like a professional
You do not need to be a professional kayaker to carry a sit-on-top kayak.
It’s as easy as 1-2-3.
1) Hold the kayak and stand on the back of it, then lift it up with your stomach muscles.
2) Bring your elbows in and pull the kayak onto your chest.
3) Lift onto one hip and pivot around 180 degrees before you take one big step with that leg.
What is a Tandem Sit on Top kayak?
Tandem sit-on-top kayaks are designed to support two paddlers at the same time. These kayaks are very popular with families and people who need to transport bulky gear on the water.
The boat is shaped like a traditional kayak but has a flat deck for seating with one seat in front of the other. This means that you can have kids sitting up front, while parents sit in the back, or vice versa. The boat also has larger bulkheads than traditional kayaks which make them more stable when transporting cargo or multiple people at a time.
A tandem kayak has an open cockpit which means that it’s easy to get in and out of it, while still being protected from spray and waves by a skirt that’s attached below the decking.
What is the best way to test a kayak?
Testing a kayak is important for determining whether the design and initial material selection are appropriate. The best way to test a kayak is by using it, but there are other methods as well.
One way to test a kayak is by examining the hull and deck for cracks or dents. A good way of testing the buoyancy of the boat is to fill it with water and measure its displacement, which should be equal to its weight. It’s also good if you can get feedback from people who have used your product because they know their needs better than anyone else.
What are the differences between Sit on Top Kayak vs Sit in Kayak?
Sit-in kayaks are more traditional and better for beginners. These kayaks require less effort to paddle. Sit-on-top kayaks are best for people who enjoy a faster ride and more physical activity.
The difference between these two types of boats is the position you take while paddling. Sit-on kayaks (also called “sit-on-top” or “super touring”) have a seat that sits on the top of the boat, meaning you can get your feet wet when paddling in shallow water. These boats are designed with weight distribution in mind, and they have greater stability than sit-in style boats because the weight is shifted to one side instead of being concentrated at one end as it is in sit-in style boats.
Last update on 2021-10-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API