If you enjoy being out on the water, kayaking is great!
The slim design and adventurous feeling of being in your kayak are incomparable. For kayaking novices, sit on top models may prove to make for a better boating experience.
Today, I'll show why you might choose a Sit on Top, and which one will work best for you.
Quick Top 5 Sit on Top Kayaks
*Keep reading or jump to the full reviews!
Sit on Tops Versus Sit-in Kayaks
For experienced rafters, the differences between sit on tops kayaks and sit-in kayaks are very distinct. Not only do the costs, shape, and sturdiness set them apart, but the needs that they meet do as well.
Sit on top kayaks are a little bit thicker and longer than a sit-in kayak. The materials typically used are consist of thicker, more durable material like carbon or fiberglass. While this is a general rule, it does not apply to all sit on tops. The specifications of each kayak will determine it user-friendliness, weight, and durability.
Sit-in kayaks tend to be lighter and a little bit shorter. The hull encloses the rider’s legs and lower body within the hull. Sit on top kayaks usually, offer a little bit more leg room for the rider while keeping their legs exposed.
Sit on tops are usually meant for milder, more relaxing experiences. If you're seeking to go whitewater rafting, a sit on top kayak probably won't provide the best protection.
While they are less susceptible to tipping over or getting damaged, they are designed this way with the assumption that the rider won't need to Eskimo roll.
If you’re deciding that you want to try kayaking for the first time, you’ll want to consider factors like the weather, the ideal location, and how frequently you plan to use it.
Also, If this is something that you are just giving a try to see if you like, it might be best to try your skills with an inflatable kayak.
Is a Sit on Top Kayak Safer?
In a sense, sit on top kayaks usually make for a safer experience. This also means that touring kayaks (sit-ins) are geared towards those who are veteran kayakers.
These are made for swift turns, speedy currents, and potential rollovers. Since they are usually wider, with a sit on top kayak, a rollover should be far less likely.
When deciding on the kayak that’s best suited towards your needs, safety should probably be the first and foremost element to consider.
The thicker materials and heavier weight of the best sit on top kayaks help protect you from dangers like rocks or erratic waves. Sit-ins are designed differently to withstand these types of conditions.
The casual rider, who takes their kayak out to the lake every few months, will probably enjoy the leisure that comes with a slow and secure boat. Perhaps the most ideal part of this kayak design is that it is built to prevent from tipping over.
Sit-in kayaks are designed in such a way that the rider will have a more difficult time falling out of their boat if they accidently tip over.
Even though sit on top kayaks are meant to prevent this from happening in the first place, the exposed hull makes it less likely that the rider can tip the kayak right side up with ease.
Sit-in kayaks are sometimes referred to as touring kayaks since they are used for long-term kayaking expeditions. Still, a leisurely and lighthearted kayaking experience is possible in many locations.
What Adventure Conditions are Best for Sit on Top kayaks?
Regardless of your abilities, many of the most notable adventures suitable for kayaking are perfect for vacationing just because of how beautiful they are. If you’re bringing a sit on top kayak, the most optimal paddling trips involve slow rapids, room to maneuver freely, and minimal obstructions.
Many coastal locations are perfect for taking a sit on top kayak out. The shores of many Caribbean islands and low-elevation shores of the Atlantic are perfect for taking a kayaking vacation. It’s important to consider the weather conditions ahead of time, though.
If the skies are stormy and wind speeds are high, there's a good chance that normally calm waters won't be suitable for casual rafting.
If you are taking a sit on top kayak out on an ocean or sea, it is crucial that you don't take it out under these conditions. Doing so will make it difficult to maneuver the kayak, making it difficult to stay close to the shore.
If you’re using your kayak sparingly and under the proper conditions, maintenance should be minimal. However, this is something to consider before making the purchase.
If you are looking to buy the best sit on top kayak, it only makes sense that you want to keep it in the best condition. Paying attention to the interior as well as the frame of the hull will prevent them from becoming too worn if you take proper action.
Depending on the material of your kayak, you will want to keep in mind that it might be susceptible to wear from radiation exposure from the sun.
For the most part, kayak maintenance mostly revolves around keeping the cosmetic condition in decent shape as well as the durability of the plastic part and hull material. Cleaning the exterior with WD-40 helps tremendously with maintaining cleanliness and durability.
This kayak is perhaps one of the most comfortable ones in this review. The padded seat provides cushioning and back support for those who are planning to use this kayak all day long.
There are handles all over the hull, making it easy to carry in just about any position. The sturdiness and comfortability of this kayak make it evident that it is built for extensive use.
Only 9 feet long and weighing just over 40 pounds, this sit on top kayak is durable and stores easily. Removable bungee cords on both ends of the stern make it easy to store whatever food and supplies you see fit.
The simplicity and high-quality of this kayak make it a great investment for paddlers of all ages and levels of experience.
This kayak has some added comfortability features that make a paddling experience more enjoyable.
The material of the hull also makes it more durable and resistant to UV rays from the sun. With the included foot braces, thigh pads, and paddle holders, this kayak is another excellent choice for the novice kayak enthusiast.
In addition to the extra cosmetic and comfort features, this kayak also comes with a removable container to store accessories, located underneath a dry storage compartment at the rear end of the stern. While this is more of a bonus than an extension of the kayak itself, it is a nice convenience.
For those who might see themselves as an aspiring kayaker, this may be a great product to try first. It's comfortability and added accommodations make it a little easier to test the waters (no pun intended) of your skills.
This kayak is essentially an enhanced version of the Frenzy. Ocean kayak is known for making high-quality products, and the sturdy yet light polyethylene plastic painted with eye-catching graphics is a reminder of this quality.
This Kayak weighs in at just under 50 pounds and can accommodate a person weighing up to 350 lbs. The storage spaces at the edges of the stern are a little larger as well. The size and weight accommodations are the main differences between the Scrambler 11 and the Frenzy.
If you are a heavier person or wish to carry more equipment with you, this might be the best sit on top kayak.
This is another sit on top kayak built to withstand UV exposure. The hull is notably deep, making it comfortable and less prone to tipping over. The storage areas at the ends of the kayak are also secured with bungee cords and have multiple footrest positions near the front end.
In essence, this kayak is great simply because of the added features included. While the design is standard, the footrest placers and fishing rod holders are a plus. If you plan on kayaking for hours on end or if you are making a fishing trip out of it, I would recommend the Tamarack.
The Intex Challenger is a kayak that would make a great trial user. Its low price, ultra-portability, and lightweight design make it easy to decide whether kayaking is for you. It's debatable as to whether this can be considered a sit on top kayak, though, since the cockpit mostly covers the user's legs.
A storage area is built-in to the kayak as well and is brightly-colored as a safety measure. While the kayak material is air-inflated, it is super endurable and welded together at the edges.
The slightly enclosed cockpit provides a taste of what a river-rafting kayaking experience should be like to a beginner while also providing safety and comfort.
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