15 Best Sit on Top Kayak 2023 – Reviewed

Some simply call them SOTs; whichever way you look at them, Sit-on-Top kayaks remain quite popular out there. One key advantage of them is that they’re quite easy to get on and off.

Plus, they also provide you with more freedom, you don’t have to feel enclosed or limited in any way.

Another thing, if you get the best sit on top kayak, you can enjoy your summer holidays even more. That’s because you won’t be enclosed in a limiting cockpit and that can help you keep cool also.

We have reviewed some of the leading choices we could find out there. And here now is our compilation of each one of them.

Best Sit on Top Kayak

Top-most SOT Kayaks: Comparison Table

Before we get started, we’d like to share a quick table of the 15 kayaks that we strongly believe in. You may keep scrolling for detailed reviews of each one of them.

1Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set9 Feet34.4 pounds
2Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 Angler and Recreational Sit on Top Kayak10 Feet57 Pounds
3BKC TK 122 12.9’ Tandem Fishing Kayak12 Feet 9 Inches77 pounds
4Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T 12foot Sit on Top Kayak10-Feet57 Pounds
5Lifetime Tamarack Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak, Olive10 Feet57.5 pounds
6Ocean Kayak Malibu Sit-On-Top Kayak12 Feet57 pounds
7Lifetime 10 Foot Fishing Kayak with Paddles120 x 36 x 19 inches82.3 pounds
8Emotion Spitfire Sit-On-Top Kayak108 x 31 x 14 inches47.2 pounds
9Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top Kayak108 x 31 x 18 inches52.3 pounds
10BKC UH-TK 181 12-foot Fishing Kayak150 x 34 x 20 inches85.4 pounds

1. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak with Aluminum Oars

Imagine planning to go out kayaking then the kayak fails to inflate. With Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, such issues may be avoided since the kayak is said to be simple and fast to inflate.

There are separate air chambers on this kayak. The manufacturer says that you can use two of the three air chambers in the unfortunate event that one loses air accidentally so you are likely to get to shore safely.

Key Features

The inflatable I-beam floor of this kayak is to provide rigidity which is important for primary stability. Furthermore, the streamlined design of the kayak is important for movement and maneuverability while enhancing the kayak’s balance.

This seems like a good kayak but the paddles are said to be short. As such, they tend to get water into the kayak and you may end up wet.


  • Inflatable seat
  • Three air chambers
  • Inflatable I-beam floor
  • Streamlined design


  • Short paddles

2. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 Angler and Recreational Sit on Top Kayak

Have you been wondering how your fishing rods can be secured and within your reach when kayaking? Well, this kayak from Vibe Kayaks has four rod holders to ensure you can reach the rods whenever necessary.

Your accessories and important items like the phone can be stored in the cargo bag in the V-Wave deck plate. Moreover, the storage hatch is said to be waterproof.

Key Features

This kayak is said to be made of a single piece of polyethylene. As such, the kayak is likely to be stable with the ability to move fast.

For your comfort, the seat is cushioned and has a backrest. However, some customers have reported that the straps to the seat are weak and break so easily, making it impossible to use the seat.


  • Slip-resistant deck
  • Molded in foot braces
  • Suitable for all water types
  • Waterproof storage hatch


  • Poor quality seat straps

3. BKC TK 122 12.9’ Tandem Fishing Kayak

When you sit for a long time, you may strain your back. BKC TK 122 kayak has seats that are designed with aluminum frames and mesh deluxe to enable you to sit upright and maybe prevent back strain.

There are two storage hatches on this kayak for your snacks, fishing accessories and your phone. The hatches are watertight ensuring what you store is safe from water damage.

Key Features

The flat bottom of this kayak may be the reason it is stable. In addition, the kayak looks easy to maneuver.

Tandem Fishing Kayak is said to be suitable for both calm waters and rough waters. Unfortunately, some customers have complained that the kayak is somehow heavy, which makes transporting it to the water body a challenge.


  • Flat bottom
  • Seats made of aluminum frame
  • Watertight storage hatch
  • Suitable for calm and rough waters


  • A bit heavy for transportation

4. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T 12foot Sit on Top Kayak

For a great kayaking adventure, this seems like the design for you. Skipjack 120T kayak is 12 feet long and 35 inches wide hence alleged to track smoothly.

This kayak has gear mounting features that make accessing your fishing accessories effortless. There are four flush-mounted fish rod holders, two quick access paddle rests, two side bungee paddle parks and two universal mounts for fish finders or other rectangular based accessories.

Key Features

For your safety, the built-in buoyancy on this kayak is to help you stay afloat in case your kayak capsizes. In addition, the kayak is said to be leakproof hence water is unlikely to sip in through the hull.

According to some customers, this kayak is a bit heavy which makes it a challenge to add your accessories to avoid exceeding the standard maximum weight. Furthermore, transporting a heavy kayak is cumbersome.


  • Can carry two people
  • Molded in grip handles
  • Ergonomic seats
  • Smooth tracking


  • Very heavy

5. LIFETIME Tamarack Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak

Did you know that there is a kayak that has enough storage space for your kayaking accessories? LIFETIME Tamarack Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak has straps on the front and rear to tie your bags, two watertight storage hatches and sufficient deck space for a small cooler, a crate, tackle boxes or drinks.

The hull of this kayak is designed with chine rails and a wide beam. These seem to be the factors contributing to the kayak’s stability even when the waters get rough as the kayak is unlikely toss around.

Key Features

The multiple footrest positions allow you to move your legs more freely. You are likely to feel less leg fatigue when you spend a long time kayaking.

Blow-molded and UV-protected polyethylene of high density is used to make this kayak. Consequently, the kayak seems durable with minimal chances of the sun’s rays causing fading.


  • Multiple footrest positions
  • Padded seat
  • Two storage hatches
  • Flat bottomed hull


  • Moves at a slower speed

6. Ocean Kayak Malibu Sit-On-Top Kayak

Ocean Kayak Malibu is designed to carry two people plus a child or pet. The deck space is said to be sufficient and the patented overlapping footwells are said to support comfortable foot bracing.

You can adjust the kayak seats in four different ways so that you are comfortable. The kayak seats, which have back support, are claimed to be breathable and flexible.

Key Features

The kayak, according to some customers is light in weight, which makes transporting it effortless. Moreover, the kayak is said to be stable in water and easy to maneuver.

Even though this seems like a good kayak, it has no storage hatches. You have to find a way of keeping your snacks or phone safely to prevent water damage.


  • Can carry two people
  • Overlapping footwells
  • Four-way adjustable seats
  • Lightweight and stable


  • No storage hatches

7. Lifetime 10 Foot Fishing Kayak with Paddles

Have you been looking for a kayak that is durable? Well, search no more as this Lifetime 10-foot kayak may be what you need as it is made from high-density polyethylene that is blow molded for durability.

This kayak has two scupper holes to help get out water that may get into the kayak. As such, your feet do not have to be in water and the risk of your kayak getting submerged is greatly reduced.

Key Features

The length of this kayak is meant to boost its speed in water. Besides that, the hull design is likely to make it more stable as it is said to track smoothly, making it seem like a better choice for fishing.

The kayak has two padded backrests to support your back and prevent straining, especially if you intend to spend a long time kayaking. However, this kayak is said to work best in calm water.


  • Two scupper holes
  • Smooth tracking
  • Multiple footrest positions
  • Two padded backrests


  • Suitable for calm water

8. Emotion Spitfire Sit On Top Kayak

When water gets into the kayak, it may cause your kayak to sink if there is no drainage outlet. With Emotion Spitfire kayak, such issues are unlikely to happen as it has self-draining scupper holes to get water out of the cockpit.

The kayak has a V-shaped flat bottomed hull design. These features are said to make the kayak move straight in water with good secondary stability and ease of control.

Key Features

Your feet are supposed to be comfortable when you are kayaking since they help you with maintaining balance. This may be the reason for this kayak has molded-in footwells to provide secure and comfortable foot bracing.

The front and rear handles on this kayak are meant to make carrying the vessel easy. Unfortunately, some customers have reported that the kayak is unstable when in water and risks flipping over.


  • Molded-in footwells
  • Self-draining scupper holes
  • UltraLite seat
  • Storage hatch on deck


  • Unstable

9. Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top  Kayak

Stability is important for a kayaker because it is what determines how much distance you can cover in water. This kayak from Ocean Kayak is said to be light in weight yet very stable in flat water.

As for storage, the kayak has a stern tank well with removable bungees where you can store your accessories. The deck space is also enough as this is a kayak for one person.

Key Features

This kayak is designed with a long center keel that is alleged to keep the kayak going straight. The Tri-Form hull design is meant to support both primary and secondary stability of this kayak.

The kayak seat can be adjusted in four different ways to keep you comfortable. In addition, the multiple footrest positions seem to allow any person to comfortably brace their feet.


  • Tri-Form hull design
  • Four-way adjustable seat
  • Long center keel
  • Lightweight and stable


  • Suitable for flat water

10. BKC UH-TK 181 12-foot Fishing Kayak

How about a kayak having seven rod holders? Well, this BKC UH-TK 181 fishing kayak is said to have three articulated and four flush-mounted fishing rod holders to help you catch as many fish as possible.

You can relax and free your hands by using the twin paddle rests that secure the paddles from dropping into the water. Furthermore, the two waterproof storage hatches keep your items safe from water damage.

Key Features

There is a minimal risk of your kayak getting submerged because the eight scupper holes help to drain out any water that may get into the kayak. Your legs are likely to remain dry and comfortable.

The 34 inches beam on this kayak is said to help with stability as you move in the water. Moreover, the kayak is alleged to track smoothly, making it seem like a good choice for fishing.


  • Eight scupper holes
  • Twin paddle rests
  • Seven rod holders
  • Smooth tracking


  • Unsuitable for large water bodies

11. Perception Kayaks Pescador Sit On Top Kayak

If you have been searching for a kayak that is safe to use, then this Pescador kayak seems like a good choice. It is said to be stable and has built-in buoyancy to help you stay afloat in case of an accident.

Unknown objects in the water may stop being a bother as Perception Kayaks state that their kayak is resistant to abrasion and impact. We may attribute these characteristics to one-piece roto-molding construction.

Key Features

This kayak uses the Comfort Seating System which uses thick cushioned padding with an adjustable seatback. The seatback is said to recline backwards or forward according to your preference to ensure you sit comfortably.

The kayak is wide yet stable with a sleek design alleged to make the kayak slice through the water with ease. According to the manufacturer, the kayak is easy to turn and maneuver as it tracks smoothly in slow-moving water.


  • Adjustable seatback
  • Built-in buoyancy
  • One-piece construction
  • Impact and abrasion resistant kayak


  • Works well only in slow-moving water

12. BKC TK219 12.2’ Fishing Kayak

Did you know that there is a kayak that can carry a load of up to 440 pounds? Yes, the BKC TK219 kayak is designed to carry heavy weight, meaning you do not need to leave your fishing accessories behind.

This kayak is said to carry three people without the risk of capsizing. As such, it seems like a good choice for fishing with friends.

Key Features

There are four flush-mount rod holders and two-rod holders on this kayak. This is advantageous as you can have many fishing hooks in the water at the same time which may result in a rewarding catch.

The kayak seems like a good one but the manufacturer recommends that it be used in calm waters. Although the kayak is said to also handle any water condition, the risk of capsizing is higher.


  • Padded seats
  • Paddle rests
  • Built-in rod holders
  • Watertight storage hatch


  • Works better in calm waters

13. Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Angler

Talk about a unique design, this Wilderness Systems Tarpon angler seems to fit the description. It has the Keepers Foot Brace System that is said to keep you steady and in a comfortable paddling position.

The lightweight of this kayak makes it easy to carry. The trim size is likely to boost the speed and performance of the kayak in the water.

Key Features

On this kayak, there is a gear storage pocket for your fishing gears. The bow and midship have storage hatches, which means you are likely to have sufficient storage space for most of your items.

The one drawback we found with this kayak is that the seat cannot be adjusted. This means you may have to sit in one position for a long time, which can be strenuous, especially when kayaking for long.


  • Cup holder available
  • Self-draining scupper holes
  • Two storage hatches
  • Light and trim size


  • Non-adjustable seat

14. PerceptionPescador Pro 10 Fishing Kayak

Do wish to drag your kayak to the water but are afraid of damaging it? Well, Perception Pescador Pro 10 fishing kayak has a skid plate that is replaceable so you can drag the kayak in and out of the water with no fear of damage.

This kayak is said to have sufficient storage space that can even fit a cooler, tackle and other kayaking accessories. The cockpit is also spacious to facilitate easy entry into and exit from the kayak, meaning it will suit you even if you are a big person.

Key Features

You can lower the kayak seat to relax or raise it higher for better casting. In addition, this seat has breathable mesh on it and can be moved forward or backwards for a comfortable paddling position.

This kayak is short lengthwise and light in weight. As such, it is claimed to be easy to maneuver and less stressing to transport.


  • Seat can be raised or lowered
  • Sufficient storage space
  • Replaceable skid plate
  • Integrated accessory rails


  • Flips easily

15.Perception Rambler 13.5 Sit On Top Kayak   

You can now have your pet or kid in the kayak for that fun kayaking experience. This is possible with the Perception Rambler 13.5 kayak since it is designed with a mold-in center seat for a pet or kid.

This kayak is one-piece roto-molded for durability. In addition, the kayak is said to be leak-proof and safe. 

Key Features

The multiple footrest positions help to ensure your feet are well placed as you paddle. Furthermore, any person can use the kayak whether they are short or tall as their feet can be comfortably braced.

Even though this kayak has adjustable seats with back support, some customers have reported that the seats are of poor quality. As such, they have had to replace the seats with better ones.


  • Removable padded seat
  • Multiple footrest positions
  • Mold-in center seat
  • Rear storage well


  • Poor quality seats

How to Choose the Best SOT Kayak

Are you tired of trying to find the ideal watercraft only to end up with sub-par ones? Worry not, going forward, these are the key factors to keep in mind.


If you’re a newbie kayaker or someone who only kayaks once in a long while, your best bet is to invest in a stable yak. On the downside, though, the more stable a kayak is, the slower it’s likely to be.

The shape of the kayak’s hull is the major determinant of stability. Generally, kayaks with flat hulls are much more stable compared to ones with V hull.


Unlike sit-in-kayaks, sit-on-top kayaks are specifically designed with limited sitting space. As such, you really don’t want to compromise on your stability.

Try your level best to find a kayak that comes with comfortable seats. If possible, make sure that the seat provides you with sufficient back support.

Hardshell vs Inflatable

This is yet another key decision you’ll need to make. In general, we recommend inflatable kayaks because they are cheaply priced. However, they aren’t as hardy as their hardshell counterparts which are either made of ABS or polyethylene.

Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list of the factors to consider. But we think they are some of the most important pointers to ponder upon.

Frequently Asked Questions

At this point, you probably still have some questions lingering in your mind. It’s now time to respond to some of them.

Is a sit on top kayak better?

SOT kayaks with wide hulls tend to have a low center of gravity and thereby provide enhanced stability. So, you should be on the safe side with well-made sit on top kayaks.

Which one is better between sit on top and sit in kayak?

Sit-in kayaks are known for their lower centers of gravity compared to sit-on-top kayaks. Therefore, for sporting performance and fast turns, you might be better off settling for a sit-inside choice.

Is kayaking safe for non-swimmers?

You don’t have to be a skilled swimmer to enjoy kayaking. That said, swimming skills can come in handy in the unfortunate event that your kayak breaks down.

Best Overall Choice

Intex Explorer K2 Kayak with Aluminum Oars is our best sit on top kayak with unique features like its bright yellow color to enhance your visibility. Besides that, the kayak is said to be easy to inflate and use.

Final Thoughts

There are numerous benefits that come with owning a sit-on-top kayak. They are good for exercising, angling and even recreational kayaking.

So, be sure to take a look at our buying guide once again and sure enough, you’ll be able to make a choice that provides you with good value for money.

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