How To Upgrade Your Kayak Seat To Relieve Back Pain

Fact Checked By James A Rockey | Post Updated On: November 28, 2022
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There are many ways you can upgrade your kayak seat and relieve back pain. You can pad up the seat and it is one of the simplest ways of increasing comfort. For example, you can use thin Minicell foam for the seat. You can use inflatable thigh support and it is also a great option to relieve back pain.

Key Takeaways

  • If you use pads to upgrade your seats, then your paddling skills may be changed slightly
  • A padded seat eliminates pressure on your hips and butts that tend to radiate pain to the back
  • You should Look for quality inflatable thigh support because low-quality thigh support s will cause more discomfort
  • You should keep in mind that the upright position is ideal for paddling to avert back pain
  • You can adjust the knee and foot position to see if the back pain relives or not

Ways To Make Your Kayak Seat More Comfortable

Before you think of buying another seat, you can make adjustments to the current one. Sometimes few alterations make the seat more comfortable for free back pain. Here is what you can do for more comfort when kayaking:

Pad It Up

Cushioning your kayak is one more straightforward way to increase comfort. There is a gel inside the seat pad that moves around easily to create extra cushioning that your back needs. With the right seat pad, you will sit comfortably and paddle for over 6 hours non-stop. 

Alternatively, the thin Minicell foam for kayaks can be added to the seat for extra comfort. You should avoid altering your center of gravity by using thin minicell foam. Your paddling skills may be changed slightly, but with time you will get to and enjoy the comfort that comes as a result.

A padded seat eliminates pressure on your hips and butts that tend to radiate pain to the back.

Add Inflatable Thigh Support

A short seat pan might cause discomfort. You need to add inflatable thigh support to this kind of seat to reduce pressure on your thighs. The thigh supports are easily adjustable and lightweight to avoid adding unnecessary weight to the kayak.

Look for quality inflatable thigh support to avoid those that can end up causing more discomfort. Some come with the kayaks, but if it doesn’t consider purchasing one when you are buying the craft.

Adjust Back Tilt Position

The upright position is ideal for paddling to avert back pain. However, you might need to stretch a bit once in a while. In this case, adjust the back tilt so that you can lean back and stretch yourself. If your seat is not adjustable when you buy a new one, ensure the feature for additional comfort.

Adjust The Knee And Foot Position

Move your footpegs backward and forward until you feel comfortable while seated. Adjust such that your legs stay straight when the footpegs are already set. The knees usually move up and down to one side and then to the center on the other side when paddling. You should adjust the knee position such that both knees come up when sitting using thigh straps. This makes it more comfortable, especially when paddling in different directions.

Adjust The Height Of Your Seat

You should raise or lower the seat until there is a balance between comfort and stability. Note that higher seats increased your support, but too much of it can cause instability when paddling. However, ideal height enhances ergonomics when racing on flat waters.

How To Upgrade Your Kayak Seat

When the above is not making a difference, and you continue experiencing discomfort, then it is worth upgrading your kayak. Recreational kayaks mostly come with necessary seats that lack comfort. But, if you want to up your kayaking skills and plan to spend a lot of time in the water, then you need a good seat. It should support your back and provide enough cushioning for the butt.

Before talking about the features, let’s check this kayak seat which will meet all the criteria you might have in the future and solve existing problems.

Pactrade Marine Adjustable Straps Black Gray Padded Deluxe Kayak Seat Detachable...
  • 【Kayak Seat with Adjustable Straps and Brass Clips】The Pactrade Marine kayak seat is an adjustable padded seat that is suitable for most kayaks and canoes and for SUP paddle board with straps, sit-on-top, inflatable kayak paddlers. It comes with 4 adjustable webbing straps, both front and rear, with buckles on the back of the seat to accommodate the setup of the kayak. It also comes with quality & rust-proof brass clips make it easier to clip the seat to the kayak for rafting & canoeing purpose.
  • 【The Comfortable Backrest and Cushion】The backrest comes with a black non-slip contour padded and shock-proof surface that is extra thick to keep you comfy while on the kayak. The gray part of the backrest is made of strong UV-resistant Neoprene and 600D Polyester filled with padded EVA Foam and PE Plate for a better support and cushion. The brand name is printed on the seat as well. You do not need to worry about paddling for long hours and feeling exhausted due to backache any further.
  • 【FREE Storage Bag/Backpack】It comes with a FREE storage back that can store up to 4-1/2 inches worth of items. It has a flat surface that aligns to the bask of the kayak seat, adjustable straps and is detachable from seat, zipper to help secure items from falling out of the bag, and a large storage space for lunch boxes and tools. It provides convenience for you to reach to your items more easily. Disclaimer: The kayak & accessories displayed aside the seat are for reference and is not for sale.
  • 【Additional Information】This kayak seat has a dimension of 17 inches (L) and 19-3/4 inches (W) on the size of back support and 14 inches (L) and 12 inches (W) on the seat cushion. The folding part of the seat has a 7-1/2 inches length as shown in the listing picture. The detachable backpack/bag has a dimension of 10 inches x 13 inches and the approximate storage width is 4-1/2 inches. The color and dimension shown in the listing are only for reference and may vary among devices used for viewing.
  • 【Enhance your Paddling Experience】You can never go wrong by enjoying a great time paddling with our kayak seats that meet your need of providing you with a comfortable paddling experience and storing all your need – lunch boxes, tools, or hats – when you are on the water. It does not matter whether you are moving along just the narrowest river or the widest coast. We have you covered. The item number for this kayak seat is PDSA0070.

Check the reviews on Amazon and see how powerful this seat is. Go ahead and keep reading.

Here are the features to consider when upgrading your kayak seat:

Lumbar Support

You should pick a chair with excellent lumbar support as it releases pressure from the spine for back pain-free paddling. If you already suffer from back pain, the lumbar support allows for a more natural seating position to prevent further suffering.


Even if your concern is relieving back pain, sitting on a wet sit can be equally uncomfortable. Once you decide to upgrade your seat, consider one that is made of breathable material. It keeps the sit dry relatively dry since it drains the water splashes first. This may not be a significant issue for sit-ins, but for sit-on getting wet is inevitable.

Size And Compatibility

Well, you cannot upgrade a kayak seat to solve one problem and end up causing another. You need a sit that is not too narrow, making it difficult to sit on, or too wide to fit on the kayak. Take the measurements of the kayak to find a compatible sit that fits well.


When you decide to upgrade the kayak seat, always look for one that is more versatile.  You do not have to keep changing the seats as you upgrade your kayaking. The chair should be adjustable so that it can fit different styles of paddling. Flexibility is also useful when fishing, as you can alter for a more suitable position. Note that the more comfortable you are, the more hours you are likely to stay in the water.

If you are fishing, consider getting seats that offer extra storage space such as those with pouches and rod holders. This way, your seat upgrade might result in the total upgrade of a recreational kayak to suit fishing.

6 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Kayak Seat

If you spend a lot of time on the water, then you know that equipment is important. One piece of boating equipment that many people fail to consider is their kayak seat. A kayak seat can be one of the most uncomfortable pieces of gear if it’s subpar in quality and design. If your current kayak seat doesn’t provide enough support or comfort for long paddles, then upgrading might be worth considering. This blog post discusses some benefits and considerations when deciding whether or not to upgrade your kayak seat, pad, or cushion!

1. You will be able to stay in the kayak for a longer period of time. A comfortable seat will make it easier for you to paddle and enjoy your time on the water.

2. Your back won’t hurt as much from sitting on a hard seat.

3. You can upgrade your kayak seat with a new one that fits you better, or replace an old worn-out one. You should always try to make your kayaking comfortable and it is easy to adjust it to your liking.

4. Kayaks seats are relatively inexpensive, so it won’t cost much to buy one for sake of improving the paddling experience.

5. You can use it with any type of boat or kayak (perfect if you want to replace the seats of your other kayak too)

6. It has an adjustable strap that makes it easier to get in and out of the kayak without falling over the side.

Final Take

Back pain is mostly caused by the wrong seat or failing to make proper adjustments to it. You need to practice the modifications mentioned in this article to find a balance between comfort and stability. If any of the above is not working to make you more comfortable and free of back pain, then purchasing a new seat is the best option. 

A seat with lumbar support is ideal for dealing with a back pin. However, you need to look for the other features mentioned above for a versatile chair that offers maximum comfort! Thus you will get value for your money!


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Rockey is a kayaking enthusiast who has been kayaking with a local group for the last five years. He loves using kayaks while out on outings on the water or camping when the friends want to have a BBQ party somewhere on the bank of a local lake. More About James R Rockey at About Page Here: Authors
Based on his experiences with the different types of kayaks, he is sharing his opinion about kayaking tricks and required gears so that a beginner can get started right away.
Find his team on Twitter here. Happy reading!

Last update on 2023-03-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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