The Best Sit-On-Top Kayak Reviews & Fisherman’s Buying Guide

If you are a beginner or a seasoned fisherman, a sit-on-top kayak could be just what you need.  In this guide, I hope to teach you exactly what you need to know to purchase the best sit-on-top kayak for you.

A sit-on-top kayak may look similar to other types of kayaks, but there is one key quality that sets it apart and makes it great for beginning anglers!

Sit-on-top kayaks have a closed hull.  This means that you sit on top of the kayak, confirming your legs to the “leg-shaped” depressions that make up the seat.  This feature not only gives the sit-on-top kayak its name, but it allows you to have greater balance when casting or fighting a fish.

Improved balance also means it’s easier to get in and out of your kayak!

Okay, now let’s go over some of the most important traits to consider.

Best Sit-On-Top Kayak

Image source: NauticExpo

Five Thoughts on the Best Sit-On-Top Kayak for You

What is the main use?

This may seem obvious, but when you are purchasing your kayak, you need to think about what you will be using it for the most.  Sit-on-top kayaks are great for fisherman like us as well as swimmers because they are so easy to get on and off of, even in the water, and they are so well balanced.  On the flipside, if you plan on traveling great distances, a sailing kayak, which lacks the balance of the sit-on-top kayak, may be better for you.  For this review, we will be focusing on fishing as the main use!

Where will you store it?

Storing Sit-On-Top Kayak

Image source: TopKayaker.Net

The methods transportation and storage for your sit-on-top kayak will determine what kind you should get.  If you have a large enough vehicle and the proper racking, you can get a one-piece kayak.  Or if storage is a problem, there are modular sit-on-top kayaks that separate into pieces to fit into even the smallest space.

If you have a large enough vehicle and the proper racking, you can get a one-piece kayak.  Or if storage is a problem, there are modular sit-on-top kayaks that separate into pieces to fit into even the smallest space.

Or if storage is a problem, there are modular sit-on-top kayaks that separate into pieces to fit into even the smallest space.

Price

You don’t have to break the bank to start your new kayak-fishing hobby, but you can if you would like!  On Amazon, the best sit-on-top kayaks range from cheaper inflatable models starting at $100 USD to more advanced models from $1000 USD and up.

Capacity

If you’re like me and you have a lot of fishing buddies, you will need to consider the capacity required for your sit-on-top-kayak.  The amount of seating varies between different models.  There are one-seat kayaks for solo fishers, or you can invite up to two pals if you decide to get a three-seat model.

Materials

What your kayak is made out of can tell you a lot about its durability.  Make sure to get the right material for the body of water you will be fishing!

Materials

Image source: BearCaster

Plastic

Plastic is the most popular material for kayaks because it is inexpensive and highly resistant to damage.  It does, however, become brittle over time and the plastic creates a lot of drag in the water.  More drag makes the kayak relatively harder to propel through the water than our next example: Fiberglass

Fiberglass

Fiberglass sit-on-top kayaks are very expensive, but they are also very light compared to their plastic counterparts.  Their lightness combined with the low drag of fiberglass on the water makes these kayaks faster, in general than plastic!  These kayaks will also last much longer if they are taken care of properly.

In general, the above characteristics are good things for anyone to think about when purchasing the best sit-on-top kayak, but what about for us fisherman specifically?  There are some accessories you will need your kayak to have to have the best time possible out on the water!

My Favorite Sit-On-Top Kayak Fishing Accessories

A sit-on-top kayak alone is a great start to expanding the limits of your fishing abilities.  Add these accessories to your kayak to instantly make your trips easier and increase your chances of success.

Rod Holders

This is my number one accessory for a reason.  If you ever try kayak fishing with a rod holder, you will never want to fish without them again.  Rod holders come in handy constantly, whether you are drift fishing a deep stretch of water for big flathead catfish or relaxing for lunch and taking in the scenery.

Rod Holders

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Livewell

I love the best sit-on-top kayak with a live well, but unfortunately, this accessory cannot be added after the kayak is built so you must take this into consideration before purchasing.  Livewells can be used to hold your catch (you can keep it fresh on ice or alive in water) or store food and drinks for the day!  I also like to use my livewell for live bait like minnows if I am bass fishing on a river or lake.

Anchor

Most kayakers just paddle in place if they want to stop but if you’re a fisherman like me, you are only ever stopped if you hand are full with a fish at your favorite fishing hole.  This is when an anchor comes in handy.  Find your secret fishing spot, drop anchor, and enjoy the motion of the water as you enjoy your favorite pastime!

Now that we know what to look for when purchasing a kayak let’s take a look at some of the best sit-on-top kayaks on Amazon today.

Top 3 Best Sit-On-Top Kayak Reviews

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

This sit-on-top kayak is a perfect example of the “standard.”  With a maximum capacity of 325 lbs and a Tri-Form hull for added stability, it’s great for beginners!  Let’s take a look at some of its great (and not so great) features.

Pros

Size – Coming in at only 9 feet long, this sit-on-top kayak is the perfect fit for the top of a small car.  This is invaluable if you do not have a truck and trailer combo.  Just strap it to the roof and go!

Tank well – As I mentioned earlier in this guide, a tank well (or as I like to call it, a live well) gives fishers a great advantage.  You can store your catch, bait, or even some drinks for those extra long trips.  The tank well is a must-have for serious kayak anglers.

Padded seating – If you plan on spending hours and hours on the water, do yourself a favor and check out the padded seat of this sit-on-top kayak.  You can’t beat the comfort, and you’ll need it while you’re reeling in all those fish!

Cons

Molded seat size (or lack thereof) – I couldn’t find a lot of downsides to the Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Ocean Kayak.  That being said, some customers have reported that although the kayak can handle up to 325 lbs, the seat isn’t quite big enough for people with bigger frames.

I would recommend this as a first kayak to a beginner or “amateur” kayaker.

One kayak down, two to go!  If you’re shopping for your child so you can go kayaking together, this next sit-on-top kayak may be perfect for you!

2.Youth Wave Kayak (with paddle)

The lime green Youth Wave Kayak is 6 feet long with a weight capacity of 135 lbs, making it perfect for children who want to learn how to kayak early!  It even comes with a paddle, which can sometimes be an expensive add-on on other models.  Here is my run-down:

Pros

Double-sided paddle included – I know I just mentioned this, but it is worth mentioning again.  The double-sided paddle that comes standard with this best sit-on-top kayak is awesome. Not only is it convenient, but the paddle will also teach your little kayaker the proper way to steer and control a kayak!

Padded Back Rest – Padded seating is great for everyone, but especially children.  You don’t want your kid to be discouraged from the great sport of kayaking because of a sore back.  Keep them on the water longer by buying a comfortable watercraft.

Durability – The hard plastic hull of this kayak is perfect for kids.  New kayakers might not be the best at avoiding rocks and other unseen obstacles out on the water.  It’s best to have a sturdy kayak, so you don’t have to worry about leaks.

Cons

The length of use – Once again, this kayak is pretty solid to me.  However, some parents have expressed the inevitable downside to purchasing a child-size kayak:  your child will grow out of it! I think it would be a worthwhile purchase if your child seems interested in the outdoors or fishing.

As we go through the list, don’t forget to think about what the main use of your sit-on-top kayak will be.  Last but not least, let’s check out an inflatable sit-on-top kayak built for travel!

3.Sevylor Quikpak 1-Person Kayak

This is my personal favorite because I love any outdoor gear that makes traveling easier.  The Sevylor Quikpak is perfect for a nomadic fisherman or thru-hiker.  Here are some pros and cons of my top pick for the best sit-on-top kayak.

Pros

Backpack System – When you’re not using this kayak, it folds up into the seat creating a comfortable-to-carry backpack.  Not only that, but the whole kayak itself only weighs 18 lbs! I wish so badly that I would have had this while I was pulling my plastic kayak up a muddy bank.  This feature is what makes this kayak my favorite!

Construction – The frame of this sit-on-top kayak is made of PVC so that it can stand the powerful waves of a large lake.  Also, the inflatable portions of the watercraft have multiple air chambers.  This means if one chamber is punctured while you are out on the water, the other chambers can keep you afloat until you can get to safety.

Adjustable footrests – The Sevylor Quikpak 1-Person Kayak has multi-position footrests.  This means the kayak can become a perfect fit for a rider of any size.  Trust me when I say that if you are five miles down river and five more miles away from your car that comfort is VERY important. The adjustability of this kayak gives it an advantage over its competitors.

Cons

Too Much Water Resistance – This sit-on-top kayak, because it is inflatable, has some problems some other kayaks may not.  More experienced kayakers have said that since the air tubes of this kayak run perpendicular (or opposite) to the waves, there is a lot of unnecessary water drag.  This can make it more difficult to maintain the desired speed.

My Top Recommendation

I think you know by now, but my absolute best sit-on-top kayak of the list is the inflatable kayak by Sevylor.  I recommend this kayak based on its travel readiness and durability as well as its affordability.  You can take this kayak with you anywhere.  For a beginner or an expert on a budget, having a versatile kayak is a must so that you can tackle any fishing challenge that comes your way.

That being said, it is important to think about the characteristics that are important to you when selecting your kayak.  You don’t need a portable, inflatable kayak like me if you just like to do laps around your local pond.  Select your kayak based on your needs, and you will enjoy it so much more!

Now You Are Ready!

You should have all the information you need to start shopping for the best sit-on-top kayak and accessories!  If you have questions feel free to read my reviews, as well as other customers’, to get all the help you need.  Always learn from the fishermen who came before you, especially when it comes to choosing a kayak. Don’t wait! Start your fun and relaxing sit-on-top kayak fishing journey today.

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