Sit In vs Sit On Kayak: Which Is Better?|Know More!!!|

sit in vs sit on kayak

Last updated on September 10, 2022

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Sit in vs Sit on kayak? That is the most critical question that you need to address before buying a kayak. Sit in and sit on designs have several advantages and disadvantages. Furthermore, their functions might cater to beginners or professionals. That said, before buying, you should first gauge which of these fits your needs.

Online stores don’t discuss how to sit In and sit On kayak differ from one another. That is why some Kayakers make the wrong purchase. You’re fortunate if you find yourself here. I’ll get you acquainted with sit in and sit on kayak.

What’s a Sit In Kayak? What’s a Sit On Top Kayak?

A sit in kayak is a kayak that has an enclosed cockpit. The sit in kayak allows you to ride in a very safe manner. Riding in an enclosed cockpit means that the siding and other parts of the kayak protect you from being wet. Furthermore, it also allows you to rest your arms and position your body accordingly.

A sit on top kayak has an open cockpit. This means that tiny dent or deep embossment is placed where you can sit and do your thing. Usually, a sit on top kayak has a very airy feel. Furthermore, it allows you to get a better view while kayaking. This is because the cockpit of sit on top kayak doesn’t confine you.

Which Is Wider? Sit In vs Sit On Kayak?

The sit on kayak is much broader than sit in kayak. Sit on kayak is designed like this to be more stable when stationary. If not wide, sit on kayak comfortably capsizes whenever the rider moves. The average width of sit on top kayak is 34 inches. This is significantly larger than the average width of sit in kayaks, which is 18 or 24 inches.

However, the broad design of sit on top kayak gives it less stability when moving. Due to its wideness, sit on top kayak is prone to capsizing whenever it traverses turbulent waters like rivers and seas. Thus, sit in kayaks are more preferable if you’re planning to go kayaking on highly rapid rivers and wavy seas.

Which Lighter? 

Sit on top kayaks are much lighter than sit in kayaks. The sit on kayak is wider than sit on kayak, but it’s lighter because it doesn’t come with a lot of features. Sit on kayak has very limited special features because the size of it’s cockpit doesn’t allow a lot of things to get installed.

In contrast, sit in kayak is heavier because its cockpit allows for a lot of things to get installed. For example, it’s common to find a sit in kayak with 3 or 4 rod holders. There might even be a multiple storage compartments. To be fair, sit on top kayaks might also come with rod holders. However, they only have 2 or 3 at most.

Which Is Faster? 

Kayaks with narrower design tend to be fast. The sit on top kayak is wider than the sit in kayak. Thus, it might lag in terms of speed. The narrower sit in kayak is faster because it easily displaces the friction of the water’s surface tension. As a result, the sit in kayak is the preferable watercraft if you’re into speedy kayaking trips.

A sit on top kayak isn’t very slow. It’s just that it can’t go toe to toe with the speediness of sit in kayak. Nevertheless, additional accessories might make sit on top kayak faster than sit in kayak. There are sit on top kayaks that you can install with a small power motor. With a powerful motor on, a sit on top kayak may travel at speeds of 20 kilometer per hour.

Which Offers More Comfortable Riding?

Riding is more comfortable on a sit in kayak than a sit on kayak. The enclosed cockpit of a sit in kayak allows you to rest your arms or torso without any problems. Doing this is impossible in sit on kayak because it’s cockpit doesn’t have sides where you can put arms, hands, and other parts of your body on.

Furthermore, the seat of a sit in kayak is more comfortable than that of a sit on kayak. Most sit on kayaks have seat that’s made out of plastic or hard fabric. This is not the case with a sit in kayak. Most sit in kayaks that you’ll find in the market have seats that are very soft on the back and buttocks.

Furthermore, you’re more protected against the elements when riding a sit in kayak. You can always opt to install a spray skirt on the cockpit of sit in kayak. What’s a spray skirt anyway?A spray skirt is a handy piece of polyethelene or rubber that protects you torso and legs from the sun and water.

Which Can Carry More Passengers?

Regardless of the brand, the sit on kayak can only carry a single person. This is due to a cockpit that’s only suitable for single person use. On the other hand, the cockpit of sit inside kayak can be designed to accommodate 2 – 3 seats. Thus in terms of passenger limit, sit inside kayak beats sit on kayak.

The ability to carry more passengers isn’t only affected by the number of seats that sit on kayak and sit in kayak may have. Weight capacity is another deciding factor that you need to look into. The sit in kayak has higher weight capacity than sit on top kayak. On average, a sit in tandem kayak may have a weight limit of 500 – 600 pounds. On the other hand, the maximum weight limit of sit on top kayak is only 350 – 400 pounds.


Here’s a quick summary concludes our discussion

  • sit on top kayak is wider than sit in kayak
  • sit on top kayak is lighter than sit in kayak
  • sit in kayak is faster than sit in kayak
  • sit in kayak is more comfortable to ride than sit on top kayak
  • sit in kayak can carry more passenger than sit on top kayak

To end, I suggest that you choose to sit on kayak if you’re looking for a kayak that’s useful for kayak fishing. On the other hand, I recommend that you buy sit in kayak if you’re a beginner, a seasoned whitewater Kayaker, or a person looking for a kayak that family members can use.

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