Sit on top kayaks are by far the most user-friendly and stable option of all kayak designs. The comfort they provide is simply invaluable and their relative simplicity makes them the ideal option for beginners. In this article, we will explore five of the best sit on top fishing kayaks on the market and will assist you in making an informed purchase decision.
The variables you should keep in mind when looking for the best sit on top fishing kayak
While these kayaks are fairly simple and straightforward, you still have to be aware of a few moving parts if you want to make sure you are getting great value for your money. Keep reading as we break down the main factors you should consider when you are in the market for a sit on top fishing kayak.
Storage space is extremely important, especially when you are planning on a long multiple-day trip. Fishing requires several extra accessories and equipment that need to be accommodated in an organized manner. Opt for a model with a large storage compartment and spacious hatches. Ideally, the kayak should also provide waterproof storage.
Built-in fishing mounts are very convenient since they save you the hassle of installing one yourself. They are especially practical for beginners who are just starting out. However, if you know your way around a kayak and want a more personalized mount, you can always go the DIY route.
There is a reason why kayaks with narrow dimensions are highly sought after. A compact design does not only come in handy when you are transporting the kayak. As a matter of fact, compactness is directly correlated with speed, control, and maneuverability.
This factor is fairly obvious. A good kayak should have a rugged construction that enables it to handle the rough nature of water-bound activities. Models that are made from solid PVC tend to be extremely durable and reliable.
Most manufacturers claim that their kayaks are easy to inflate and deflate. But from our own experience, we have found this to be untrue. The best way to get a complete idea about this particular aspect of fishing kayaks is to check customer feedback.
Reviews of the Best Sit On Top Fishing Kayaks
The remarkably high build quality is one of the first things we noticed when testing this fishing kayak. Unlike the vast majority of mid-range options on the market, the Lifetime Tamarack Angler was constructed using UV-protected polyethylene that is characterized by immense density and durability. Needless to say, the solid frame of this kayak gives it the ability to handle strong current in various bodies of water and prolonged exposure to the elements of the outdoors.
As far as comfort is concerned, this kayak delivers in droves. As a matter of fact, the Lifetime Tamarack boasts an array of features that are specifically geared toward making your experience as fun and enjoyable as possible. On top of being adjustable to fit your size and posture, the seats are very well-padded. Furthermore, the bottom is flat and rigid, which creates more stability when you are navigating through strong currents.
As you would expect from a fishing kayak, this model comes with everything that you need for fishing. Equipped with two flush mounted fishing rod holders as well as a top mount rod holder. In addition to this, it also comes with several spacious storage compartments in the rear and center that enable you to carry all your essential belongings.
- The build quality is very high
- The kayak is remarkably stable for a mid-range option
- The seats are adjustable and highly comfortable
- It boasts ample space for most of your valuable belongings
- The fishing mounts are durable and well-designed
- The packaging is decent
- The kayak does not come with a set of paddles
- It has a rather unpleasant smell that can persist for a few months
The design of this kayak is simply exquisite. As one of our high-end picks for this list, this model boasts all the premium features that are usually found in professional kayaks. It has a remarkably robust frame that is highly resistant to rough handling and it is spacious enough to accommodate two persons with relative ease. More importantly, it is suited for a wide range of activities that extend beyond fishing, making it one of the most versatile kayaks on the market today. It also comes in a comprehensive package that includes several accessories and mounts for various water-bound activities.
Besides the sleek design and remarkable build quality, another quality that is worth mentioning is the storage capacity of this kayak. Thanks to two sealed hatches and an effective bungee system, this model can carry a staggering amount of items in an organized and efficient manner. This is further enhanced by the high capacity of the frame which allows it to handle bulky items that weigh upwards of 50 pounds. The kayak has other features worthy of consideration, namely the adjustable footrests that provide a customizable level of comfort to users of different shapes and sizes.
- The paddles are very light yet extremely robust and durable
- The package includes a wide array of valuables accessories
- It is equipped with adjustable footrests for better comfort
- The design of the kayak is quite sleek and eye-catching
- Customer service is highly qualified and responsive
- The storage capacity of the kayak is simply impressive
- The storage hatches are not waterproof
- The handles are not easy to grip
This kayak is another great option that is worth the consideration of any fishing enthusiast. The BKC UH-FK285 comes with 3 stable rod holders, consisting of 2 flush-mounted holders and one articulating fishing rod holder. This allows for a decent level of flexibility with regard to transporting rods and deploying multiple fishing poles at the same time. As it is the case with most models from the Brooklyn Company, this kayak is very stable and easy to control.
This kayak has a plethora of other qualities that make it stand out in the mid-range price point. A prime example of this is its immense storage capacity. The cargo area that is located on the rear of the kayak is particularly spacious. Furthermore, the storage hatches are completely waterproof and are large enough to accommodate various items ranging from keys and wallet to sundries and electronic devices.
For such a robust and high-performing model, the Brooklyn kayak is fairly light and compact. This makes overland transport very simple and convenient. This is made even simpler thanks to a set of carrying handles that are very easy to grip.
- The design of the kayak is fairly original relative to other similarly priced options
- The cargo area is very spacious and can carry all fishing accessories with ease
- The storage hatches are large and waterproof
- The carrying handles make overland transport more convenient
- It is light enough that one adult can move it
- It is equipped with a set of paddle parks that facilitate hands-free use
- The quality of the seat is subpar compared to other parts of the kayak
- The packaging of the product is somewhat flimsy
Due to its impressive versatility and high price to quality ratio, this kayak is our budget pick for this guide. With that being said, don’t let the low price point fool you into thinking that this is a subpar product; this is, in fact, a decent option that can effectively tackle a wide range of activities. The design is rather compact and light and it incorporates several stylish elements and colorful graphics that give it a unique look. More importantly, the cockpit is designed efficiently that guarantees a high level of comfort and stability. The inflatable seat is also well-designed and features a padded backrest for adequate back support.
Despite its compact dimensions and light construction, the storage capacity of this kayak is nothing to scoff at and the cargo net can handle a significant amount of extra gear without giving out under its weight. Durability is another quality we did not expect at this price range. In stark contrast with most entry-level models, the Intex challenger is constructed from premium vinyl, which gives it the ruggedness that is needed for extensive use.
- The price to quality ratio is one of the highest on the market
- They include everything you need to kayak in this package
- The vinyl construction of the kayak is extremely durable
- The storage capacity is decent for the price point
- The seat features a padded backrest for added comfort
- Its compact design makes it easy to store and carry
- The paddle that comes with the kayak feels cheap and poorly designed
- The kayak is rather slow and not easily maneuverable
This fishing kayak is without a doubt one of the most stylish models we have reviewed. It comes in a beautiful sky blue finish that is exquisite and quite suitable for water sports. The aesthetic aspects aside, the Lifetime Hydros packs a surprising number of interesting features for such a relatively affordable kayak. Some of these include a sleek molded center carry handle that facilitates overland transport, heavy-duty shock cord straps that maintain stability and a spacious swim-up deck.
Another major selling point of this entry-level model is its immense sturdiness. Thanks to a highly durable high-density polyethylene construction, the Lifetime Hydros 85 is guaranteed to handle anything you can throw its way. As for the level of comfort you can expect from this kayak, we can safely state that you won’t be disappointed. The sitting area is fairly spacious, and the backrest provides a decent amount of support for your back. The kayak also comes with a durable paddle that is very light and easy to maneuver and offers a respectable amount of storage space considering its lightweight construction and compact design.
- The price of the kayak is tremendous considering its capabilities
- The build quality and durability of this kayak is impressive
- It offers ample storage space despite the compact design
- The blue finish looks quite stylish and unique
- It has a molded handle that makes transporting the kayak highly convenient
- The paddle has a light design and it is easy to maneuver
- Don’t expect to reach high speeds with this kayak
- Turning the kayak in either direction requires a little bit of physical effort
As it is the case with any other kayak, picking the best sit on top fishing kayak becomes extremely easy once you have taken the time to grasp all their features and characteristics. Keep in mind that each of the kayaks reviewed above is the best in their respective price categories, so you are guaranteed to get the utmost quality for the money regardless of your budget.