Sit On-Top vs Sit In Kayaks


The kayak was first used by indigenous tribes around the subarctic regions of the world. In this ancient time, kayaks were a means of survival for food, shelter, and safety. Today most people do not have to carve their kayak out of a tree trunk, but shopping the market, looking over hundreds of different brands and types can become troublesome.

Many modern boats fall under the term “kayak” but can vary considerably in size and functionality. Today, kayaks are being sailed as well as propelled with motors. Kayaks can also be purchased hard-shelled or inflatable, each kind offering something different for paddlers.

The differences between sit-in or sit-on-top kayaks are numerous. Differing in activities, shape, and even price, research must be done before purchasing a sit-in or sit-on-top kayak.

Sit-on-top Kayak

Purchasing a kayak can be expensive, especially for someone who may be new to the sport. One of the best parts of sit-on kayaks is that they are often a much cheaper investment, and they are easier to use than sit-in kayaks.

The sit-on-top kayak is the most widely known and most popular kayak. More stable and easier to use, these kayaks have much tougher exteriors and the open form of these boats makes them extremely versatile.

Sit-on-top kayaks can be designed for anything from scuba diving and fishing to surfing. Most sit-on kayaks are designed with beginners in mind and can be used for a vast range of recreational purposes.

A noted difference in a sit-on-top kayak is the level of comfort. People with larger statures, longer legs, or a small degree of flexibility find added comfort sitting on top of the kayak rather than being seated inside of one.

Another added safety bonus for sit-on-top kayaks is that due to the open-deck nature of the kayak, there is a smaller risk of being trapped under the boat if it tips over.

A kayak purchased by a family, a solo kayaker or a fisherman will all vary in sizes, brands, and models. If a user desires to use a sit-on-top for fishing purposes this will completely alter the purchase they should make.

Before considering the purchase of a kayak, you need to consider the material being used. Ranging from PVC to fiberglass, the material will define the price, and may also define the durability. Kayakers should also consider the degree to which the kayak can handle and be handled. This can be determined by the width of the deck as well as the length of the kayak in general.

Sit-in Kayaks

Sit-in kayaks have a cockpit which a paddler can climb in and out of. This style of kayak allows the paddler to use resistance while riding and grip their knees on the side of the kayak. This allows for more strength while performing paddle strokes.

Sit-in kayaks are usually preferable in climates with colder water. With the use of kayak skirts, this can easily make sure that no water enters the boat or reaches the paddlers’ legs.

A big concern for kayakers is the likelihood of the kayak flipping over, something that is preconceived to happen much more in sit-in kayaks. However, this is a concern that is not as much of an issue as one might think. Flipping over a kayak is very difficult, and this has more to do with the shape of the kayak rather than in being a sit-in or sit-on model.

An awesome sit-in model is the Advanced Frame Expedition Kayak, as it is affordable and easily transportable. This kayak boasts a 9-chamber design that can compete with many hard-shelled kayaks on the market today.

This kayak is designed with triple layer polyester and double PVC coating, which makes it puncture resistant. Built-in aluminum ribs, that allow this kayak to glide through the water, increase the paddling performance. Because of the frame, the fear of tipping is washed away, and most users feel the extra security in this kayak.

The Advanced Frame Expedition Kayak offers padded seats and custom back support. Inclusive of a repair kit and paddles, any kayaker will be ready for the water within minutes. Easy storage is also a huge factor in the popularity of this kayak. Kayakers with apartments or compact cars have no problem storing this kayak.

Comfort also needs to be considered when purchasing a kayak. Comfortable seating, back bands, and bulkheads can all contribute to the level of comfort of a kayak.

The stability of the kayak will be a key component in choosing the right boat. The weight and length will directly determine the stability, and there are numerous aftermarket accessories that can be bought to enhance the stability.

The Coleman QuikPak K3 offers an inflatable design with a deck long enough for easy maneuvering in the water. This kayak is suitable for a single person and offers a back band to ensure that back pain is minimized and reduced. With resistant PVC and double-lock valves, this kayak will keep any rider dry for excursions on the water.

The deck size of a sit-on-top kayak matters in many ways. This feature will determine how easy this boat is to handle and maneuver in the water. Usually, kayaks with shorter decks are slower but much more maneuverable.

Cockpit height is another feature that needs to be considered when purchasing a kayak. Short kayakers will find more comfort sitting in a kayak with a low cockpit height. This also gives a higher center of gravity, which adds greater balance and stability to the ride.

Finding the perfect boat will take trial and error. A kayaker also needs to know their limits and expectations before investing in a kayak. Knowledge is key in making these kinds of purchases. Research online, ask friends, relatives, and even the experts! It is best to get as much guidance as possible before purchasing a sit-on-top or sit-inside kayak.

Check out the top inflatable kayaks here