Sit in Kayak Seat Replacement: A DIY Guide

Sit in Kayak Seat Replacement

Last updated on September 2, 2022

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The sit in kayak seat replacement is the most common and straightforward of modifications. The factory seats tend to be narrow and vertically uncomfortable, so purchasing a more comfortable aftermarket seat for your kayak is one of the best modification options you can do when looking to increase comfort in your boat.

Boardworks Kanaloa Seat Conversion Kit - Paddleboard Kayak Seat - with Paddle Blade end, Black, One...
  • Tired of standing? Take a seat. The Kanaloa Kayak Conversion Kit...
  • Seat buckles clip onto Paddleboard Deck rings
  • Paddle blade for use with your Kanaloa paddle only includes 1 blade
  • Easily adjustable
  • Sport type: outdoor lifestyle

6 Reasons for Upgrading Your Kayak Seat (Sit in Kayak Seat Replacement)

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro, having at least one kayak seat that is comfortable enough to use for extended periods will benefit you in numerous ways. If you are stuck with an uncomfortable seat, here are some compelling reasons to upgrade your kayak seat today.

1. Improves your paddling performance: 

A seat that is molded to fit you will improve your ability to stay in a streamlined position and give you ultimate control over your kayak. In addition, this keeps you from having to readjust yourself in the seat, which can take time away from enjoying the time you spend out on the water.

2. Increases safety: 

Paddlers who take their kayaking seriously may want a sit-in kayak seat that comes with a backrest for support in case they end up having to roll their kayak over. More complex kayak seats with storage pockets are also helpful for storing personal items, such as a compass or first-aid kit.

3. More comfortable: 

Kayakers who are serious about their hobby are sure to have a long list of gear that they need to take on the water with them. A kayak seat that comes with storage pockets will help you fit items, such as a camera or sunscreen, without choosing between them. While some kayakers may find that a high-backed kayak seat helps them feel more secure, others may prefer a low backrest to minimize fatigue.

4. Lighter weight: 

Kayakers who go offshore in their kayak will have a more pleasant experience if they opt for a sit-in kayak seat that is lightweight. This allows them to keep their kayak in proper balance with little effort, so they don’t have to worry about overbalancing their boat to try and paddle a bulky seat.

5. More affordable: 

While some high-end kayak seats may be more comfortable, they are usually built to last for years. Therefore, if you are not a kayaker who needs to upgrade often, you will want to purchase an affordable seat with all the features you need without being too bulky.

6. Easier to transport: 

Kayakers who travel with their kayak will appreciate a sit-in kayak seat with flexible bungee cords to help transport it. Depending on whether you are kayaking with friends, this seat may need to be taken off your boat to make room for others using the same vessel. Bungee cords make your seat easier to take on and off, so you don’t have to worry about physical exertion slowing you down.

Ways to Make Your Kayak Seat More Comfortable

Whether you are kayaking for fishing or fun, the comfort level of your kayak seat needs to be good enough to keep you in the boat and offshore for hours at a time. If your kayak is currently equipped with an uncomfortable plastic molded seat, you may want to consider replacing it with a more comfortable sit-in kayak seat.

The most important considerations in choosing the type of kayak seat you will replace your old one with are the level of comfort, width and shape of the seating area, depth of support offered by the seat itself, backrest angle and height, storage compartments for carrying gear, the weight of kayak seat and ease of installation.

kayak seat upgrade

1. Level of comfort:

Some kayak seats offer more padding than others and as such, may be considered more comfortable than some other options. If you will be spending many hours on the water, you want to pick a kayak seat that provides maximal back support and comfort. You can read customer reviews of certain sit-in kayak replacement seats before purchasing them to get an idea of how comfortable they are.

2. Width and shape of seating area:

The kayak seat should provide you with a secure sense of being in the boat, but should not inhibit your ability to move around. Some sit-in kayak seats have a molded cavity for placing a backrest, and others do not. The latter choice may be more appropriate for those kayakers who sit low in the water, so as not to impede their ability to roll in the event of a capsize.

3. Depth of support offered by the seat itself: 

Many kayak seats on the market offer a built-in molded cavity for storage of extra gear, such as a water bottle, flashlight, and other essentials. Some kayak seats even come with a small amount of storage space for tucking your wallet, keys, and other items away.

4. Backrest angle and height:

The backrest of the kayak seat can be adjusted to suit your preferences for support. A high backrest will work well if you are the type of kayaker who tends to roll more often, as it will help keep your head and neck in a straight line at all times. A low backrest is a good option for those kayakers who lean forward a lot, as it can help prevent neck and shoulder pain from being in the upright position for such extended lengths of time.

5. Storage compartments:

If you need to carry a lot of gear, consider purchasing a kayak seat that has built-in storage. Some sit-in kayak seats have small compartments for stashing your cell phone, snacks, and other essentials.

6. Weight of kayak seat:

If you are a casual kayaker, a weight in the neighborhood of 20 pounds is generally sufficient for a replacement kayak seat. However, if you spend most of your time on the water and will be taking your kayak offshore or out into rougher waters, you may want to consider a kayak seat that is heavier and more durable.

7. Ease of installation:

If you are someone who pinches pennies when it comes to spending money, you may want to go with a sit-in kayak seat that is easily installed with adjustable bungee cords. This is ideal if you are not the type of kayaker who has a lot of time to devote to attaching new gear.


Upgrading your kayak seat can improve your paddling experience. If you are looking for a basic kayak seat that has comfortable features, look for one that has adjustable bungee cords for easy installation. You can spend more to get a seat that comes with storage pockets or back support if that is what you need when you are kayaking.

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