11 Best Sit-On-Top Kayaks: Reviews For Fishing, Beginner & Tandem Use

Last Updated on

Kayaking is a fun, inexpensive, and challenging sport. When you own a kayak, you are free to go out on the water whenever and virtually wherever you want. There isn't much more that offers that type of freedom.

If you are a fisherman, you know the value of being in the water at any given time. A kayak offers you the opportunity to enjoy your time on the water while getting to and from your favorite hidden fishing hole. This article will look at the best Sit on Top Kayaks for your review.

Preview

Product

Dimensions

Max Weight Capacity

Check Price

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 11 Foot Angler Sit...

Vibe Kayaks

Sea Ghost 110

11 Ft 33 inches

425 Lbs.

Perception Tribe 11.5 | Sit on Top Kayak for...

Perception

Tribe 11.5

11.5 Ft 30 inches

350 Lbs.

Wilderness Systems 9750215054 Tarpon 120...

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120

12 Ft 30 inches

350 Lbs.

Lifetime Tamarack Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak,...

Lifetime Tamarack Angler

10 Ft 30 inches

275 Lbs.

Lifetime Lotus Sit-On-Top Kayak with Paddle,...

Lifetime Lotus

8 Ft 30 inches

250 Lbs.

Ocean Kayak Frenzy 1-Person Sit-On-Top...

Ocean Kayak

Frenzy

9 Ft 31 inches

325 Lbs.

SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit-on top...

Sun Dolphin

Bali SS

10 Ft 30 inches

325 Lbs.

BKC UH-TK219 12 foot Tandem Sit On Top Kayak...

BKC TK219

12.3 Ft 35 inches

440 Lbs.

Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top...

Ocean Kayak

Malibu

12 Ft 34 inches

425 Lbs.

Perception Pescador Pro 12 | Sit on Top...

Perception

Pescador Pro 12

12 Ft 32.5 inches

375 Lbs.

SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Journey Sit-on-top...

Sun Dolphin

Journey

10 Ft 30 inches

250 Lbs.


Understanding the Difference Between a Sit on Top vs Sit In Kayak

Standard yaks and Sit-On-Top (SOT) yaks are different for obvious reasons. However, they have a few not-so-obvious differences you should be aware of. Primarily, aside from the seating, SOT kayaks are broader and more stable. They don't cover your legs, either, which can be beneficial if you need to bail.

You will also note that there are a lot more choices in styles, widths, and seating. SOT yaks can carry multiple passengers (at least 2) where a standard kayak is designed for a single person. SOTs are better for diving, swimming, fishing, and other water activities where you need to get in or out or even stand up without capsizing.


Choosing the Best Sit on Top Kayak

Before you head out and purchase your next kayak, there are several considerations to have in mind. The more you are aware of and the better questions you know to ask, the happier and more satisfied you will be with your final purchase.

Build Quality/Material

There are two major types of kayak build materials; inflatable and hard shell. Inflatables have their obvious disadvantages but offer a lower cost and easier transportation. If you have a smaller car or need your roof rack for other items, this may be a consideration.

For hard shell, there are several types, including composite and polyethylene. Here you can choose from fiberglass or a glass composite, graphite and carbon, or even Kevlar. Your choices here will depend on where you use the kayak the most, the water type, purpose, and of course, the overall cost.

Type

When it comes to the actual yak type, you have five categories to choose from. Recreational kayaks are common for rental spaces and offer more buoyancy and less risk of rolling. Touring kayaks are much larger as a general rule and may have pontoons to help the yak from capsizing and for better maneuverability. For a more personal yak, the tandem versions offer seating and weight allowances for two people while the personal models come in fishing or pedal varieties.

Kayak Size & Passengers

When you are choosing your kayak, you need to keep in mind what type of venture you will be on the most. If you plan to usually have a partner, then a tandem yak is a better investment. Even tandem kayaks can be powered by a single person, so the extra room when fishing alone may come in handy.

You also need to consider the length and width. Larger persons will want more room for themselves and gear, but longer kayaks are more difficult to steer. Finding the perfect balance between weight, the number of passengers and control will be a significant influence over your purchase.

Weight Capacity

One other point of concern is the weight capacity of the kayak. Tandem yaks have some of the highest weight allowances and can exceed 600 pounds total (though most are around 400 to 450 pounds). Keep in mind the overall weight will include the passengers, clothing, gear, and any water that may enter the hull.

Hull & Seat Design

If you plan to spend long hours on the water, you will want a comfortable seat. Those looking to use the kayak for transportation or exercise may want to opt for a more solid and hardened seat. You also need to consider the hull design. California hulls are known for their ability to provide excellent stability and speed and are ideal for performance. Chine hulls come in soft, hard, and hybrid (also called multi-chine).

The soft chine gives the yak a cylindrical shape, which is ideal for faster speeds. The hard chine is almost boxy and comes in handy when stability is needed while multi-chine sits somewhere in between the two. Fishform hulls are better suited for rougher waters and surf, where a flat hull is a beginner's dream with higher stability than the others.

Speed & Propulsion

The speed of the kayak is up to you and how you propel the yak forward. You can use foot pedals or arm paddles. Though, which one you prefer is purely personal preference. For max speed, arm paddling is the better option, and it also offers you more control when it comes to navigation and turning radius. For a more leisurely experience, though, nothing beats a good foot pedal kayak on the open water.

Safety and Additional Features

Most kayaks will come as is and not offer you a lot of extras. However, it is always wise to be on the lookout for bundles and deals. This can include extra paddles, life jackets, and anti-rolling devices. Each one is designed to add safety and additional features to make the kayak more alluring for you, which they should. You also can't overlook yaks designed with fishing in mind. Storage compartments or tie downs for coolers and gear is always a smart investment.

Price & Warranty

Finally, the price will be another deciding factor. You will want to spend enough to ensure you get a high quality kayak. However, you want to also stay within your budget so that you continue to be excited about your purchase.

A good kayak will also come with a warranty that should be read over and followed for any claims that may need to be made in the future. This can include a registration process or simply holding on to the proof of purchase throughout the warranty period.


11 Best Sit On Top Kayaks Reviewed

Below we bring you the 11 best SOT kayaks, reviewed, compared, and evaluated based on various criteria and needs. We are confident that your next sit on top kayak is somewhere on this list.

1. Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110

Our top Pick

Body Type

Hard Shelled, Single, Hand Paddled

Dimensions

11Ft, 33inches

Material

Single Piece Polyethylene

Max Weight Capacity

425 Lbs.

Yak Weight

62Lbs.

Warranty

1-year warranty

The best sit on top fishing kayak, and our top pick, is the Vibe Sea Ghost 110. This kayak has everything you need for a day out on the water. A single yak designed for all water types, including the ocean, you won’t believe how fun and simple it is to use and navigate.

With a toe-peddle assisted rudder, you can take on any water or current changes with ease. While it doesn't come with a paddle, you can use a two-piece to propel yourself in this lightweight model. At only 62 pounds, even with you and all of your gear, you won't come close to the 425-pound weight limit.

The seat is a folding, padded and breathable comfort zone made for all day fishing and paddling on the water. But it gets even better than that. The Sea Ghost 110 is 11 feet long, making it highly maneuverable, plus it has a spot for all of your gear.

You will find rod holders, magnetic tackle box supports a universal mount for your fish finder and enough room for your cooler, too. All of these come with tie downs as well! If you find that the layout isn’t to your liking, you can customize it until it suits your needs. Find another fishing kayak that can do all of that, I bet you can’t. This model is easily the best kayak for fishing on the water today, and you won't be disappointed with this purchase.

Pros
  • Maximum storage space
  • Ultra comfort seat
  • Stable in most water conditions
  • Mounts for gear and fish finders
Cons
  • Paddle not included

2. Perception Tribe 11.5

Best Sit On Top Kayak For Beginners

Body Type

Hard Shelled, Single, Hand Paddled

Dimensions

11.5Ft, 30inches

Material

Molded Polyethylene

Max Weight Capacity

350 Lbs.

Yak Weight

52 Lbs.

Warranty

1-year warranty

If you are new to kayak fishing, the best SOT yak for beginners is the Perception Tribe. This 11.5-foot kayak is stable and wide-based to help prevent rolls. It is also ideal for anyone who regularly visits calmer waters, lakes ponds, or coastal waterways.

The molded polyethylene has molded cut-outs for various sized persons and high sides to accommodate almost any body style or height. The whole thing only weighs 52 pounds, too, making it easy to transport, put on the roof rack or get in and out of the water.

It doesn’t have as many gear storage options as our top pick, but it does have a rod holder and a center console where you can keep your smaller items like your keys and wallet while still using the cup holder.

You will also find a front and rear cargo area with bungee tie-downs to keep your tackle secure. The Tribe will also hold a total of 350 pounds, which is enough for one person and some gear without the worry of sitting too low in the water.

It doesn't come with a paddle, which most kayaks don't, but you will find that everything about this kayak is molded for extreme use, and the long-life expectancy when well maintained will keep it looking like new, even years later.

Pros
  • Lightweight for portability
  • Ideal for beginners and novice kayakers
  • Holds 350 pounds total
Cons
  • Susceptible to sun exposure over time

3. Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120

Best Sit On Top Fishing Kayak Under $1000

Body Type

Hard Shelled, Single, Hand Paddled

Dimensions

12Ft, 30inches

Material

Polyethylene

Max Weight Capacity

350 Lbs.

Yak Weight

63 Lbs.

Warranty

1-year warranty

When you want to save money and get high-quality in the process, the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 is for you. The best sit on top fishing kayak under $100 has everything you need and nothing you don’t. There are a couple of notable features that are missing.

For example, the kayak uses a rudder to help stabilize and steer the yak, but the rudder is sold separately. The Phase3 AirPro seat is extremely comfortable for all day fishing, but it isn’t adjustable. If it doesn’t feel right when you sit in it, it won’t get better. Though, to be fair, this is a rare occurrence.

What you do get, though, is well worth these small nuances. The 350-pound capacity, single paddler yak, is made from high-density polyethylene for an authentic kayak experience without the worry of water conditions. It is ideal for flat water, though, and any ocean or tidal waters should be avoided unless you are well experienced.

The Orbix oval coolers have their own recesses and will hold your lunch and your catch without problems. Front and rear cargo areas keep your gear and rods strapped down while moving, too. Everything is in its place, and you can enjoy a comfortable day on the water bringing in fish after fish.

Pros
  • Ideal for flat water paddling
  • Compatible with many Wilderness Systems accessories
  • Uses Orbix coolers
Cons
  • Seat isn’t adjustable
  • Rudder sold separately.

4. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 120"

Best Sit On Top Fishing Kayak Under $500

Body Type

Hard Shelled, Single, Hand Paddled

Dimensions

10Ft, 30inches

Material

UV-Coated Polyethylene

Max Weight Capacity

275 Lbs.

Yak Weight

52 Lbs.

Warranty

5-year warranty

If you are on a tighter budget and want one of the best kayaks at any cost, the Tamarack Anger from Lifetime is the best SOT kayak under $500. With a long life expectancy, rugged construction material, and light weight, you can't go wrong.

The high-density polyethylene is coated in a UV protectant to help the color and shape last for several years longer than most yaks. You will find that it also comes with a 5-year warranty, which dwarfs most others. Your investment here will be protected for years to come.

What won’t diminish is your enjoyment. With enough cargo space for you and all of your gear, you can safely get to your favorite fishing spot and sit there all day, Just remember your sunscreen! The padded and adjustable seat is comfortable enough to drive the kayak around any water for extended periods without causing extra fatigue. With the double chine railings, you are also more stable when standing or navigating rougher waters.

Wherever the Tamarack Angler 120 takes you, you will get there and be prepared when you arrive. The fish won’t know what happened, but your fore and aft cargo holds will be full and ready for the return trip home.

Pros
  • Chine rails for stability
  • Ideal for all water conditions
  • UV coating for longer life
Cons
  • Seat isn’t adjustable

5. Lifetime Lotus

Best Sit On Top Kayak Under $300

Body Type

Hard Shelled, Single, Hand Paddled

Dimensions

8Ft, 30inches

Material

Polyethylene

Max Weight Capacity

250 Lbs.

Yak Weight

38 Lbs.

Warranty

5-year warranty

The Lotus from Lifetime is the best SOT yak under $300. It is also notoriously hard to find. Getting a hold of this “bare-bones” classic is something you should strive to do at any cost. This kayak is ideal for the beginner, the avid fisherman, or someone who wants a lightweight, quickly portable answer to get to the middle of the lake. This 8-foot kayak is fast and nimble, ultra-quiet in the water, and it comes with a paddle. You won't need to scour around for anything extra, except maybe a pad for the seat.

This molded polyethylene kayak doesn’t come with a lot of thrills, which makes it easily the best option for quick trips and following the fish. It only has a single cargo compartment with bungee tie-downs, but the leg area is deep enough to throw a few items to take with you.

If you plan to go out all day, this may not be the best option. There isn't a real seat, for example, so your butt will get tired quickly. However, it does come with the Lifetime company's 5-year warranty, and it will last you long after that. For an inclusive, easy to use kayak that won’t break the bank, there isn’t a better option around. Snag it while you can, you won’t regret this purchase.

Pros
  • Comes with a paddle
  • Simple design easily transported
  • Lightweight for single person
Cons
  • No padded seat
  • Not ideal for longer excursions

6. Ocean Kayak Frenzy

Best Sit On Top Fishing Kayak For Rivers

Body Type

Hard Shelled, Single, Hand Paddled

Dimensions

9Ft, 31inches

Material

Polyethylene

Max Weight Capacity

325 Lbs.

Yak Weight

43 Lbs.

Warranty

Lifetime hull warranty

Ocean Frenzy offers you the Frenzy model. This is the best SOT yak for river fishing. This hard-shelled 9-foot yak has three stability features, including a long keel to help you maintain a straight line while paddling.

You will need to provide your own favorite paddle, but the 31-inch wide Frenzy has ample room and molded footholds for riders of all sizes. You also get a stern cargo hold with double bungee tie-downs for your essential gear. What you won't find, though, are any rod holders. While this isn't a common thing for kayaks, it would be nice if there was at least a universal mount or adapter to use.

The 325 weight limit is also about average, and with a 9-foot yak, you will be hard-pressed to overload it. Made for the ocean and tidal currents, the Frenzy is adept at still waters, flat water, and rivers with currents.

The triple stabilizers allow you to maneuver with ease and only slight tilts. Once you get in, you will feel the comfort of the 4-way adjustable seat and know you can sit here comfortably all day long. This will aid you when you finally make it to your hole and drop your rod. There won’t be the usual need to rest a bit. You won’t have any fatigue and will want to get right into casting. The Ocean Kayak Frenzy is one yak that should be on every roof rack in the country.

Pros
  • Triple stability measures
  • Ideal for Ocean or riverways
  • Nimble and maneuverable
  • Adjustable seat
Cons
  • Not a lot of cargo holds
  • No rod holders

7. Sun Dolphin Bali SS

Best Affordable Sit On Top Kayak

Body Type

Hard Shelled, Single, Hand Paddled

Dimensions

10Ft, 30inches

Material

High-Density Polyethylene

Max Weight Capacity

325 Lbs.

Yak Weight

44 Lbs.

Warranty

2-year warranty

The Sun Dolphin Bali SS is easily the best affordable sit on top kayak. While you won’t get a lot of the extra features with higher-priced models, this entry-level yak is ideal for beginners and still waters. For the fisherman, there is enough cargo room for your gear, and the floating tankwell cover is a great addition. The bungee tie-downs are great for holding your gear, and the molded paddle holders come in handy on longer trips.

You may need to add a few tow straps when transporting. The carrying handles may as well not even be there and aren't ideal for pulling, pushing, or carrying. However, that aside, the yak rests well on most luggage racks without adjustments, and it is nimble in the water.

Many owners prefer to get a new backrest for the seat and one with more padding. Otherwise, they don't have a lot of complaints. The lightweight yak is perfect for those on a budget or just starting out. If you are tall, though, you may be too top-heavy to keep this model upright. Testing in shallows will help you determine, but without chine or keel stabilizers, it takes more effort to paddle and control when you are over 6-feet tall.

Pros
  • Scupper hols drain well
  • Lightweight design gets in and out easily
  • Adjustable footrests
Cons
  • Not ideal for those over 6-feet
  • Not easy to carry (no handles)

8. BKC TK219

Best Sit On Top Tandem Fishing Kayak

Body Type

Hard Shelled, Tandem, Hand Paddled

Dimensions

12.3Ft, 35inches

Material

High-density Polyethylene

Max Weight Capacity

440 Lbs.

Yak Weight

66 Lbs.

Warranty

5-year warranty

The Brooklyn Kayak Company (BKC) offers the TK219 model, which is arguably the best tandem fishing kayak on the market. This model has it all and doesn’t disappoint. Even for a single user, the tandem yak is ideal for all water types and has ample storage for your gear and rods.

When you make it to your fishing spot, there are 6 rod holders to choose from as well as a dry well for storing your wallet, keys, and shoes. The rear well is large enough to hold a 20-gallon cooler for your lunch and snacks or to hold your larger catches of the day.

The molded footholds make it easy for most body styles to sit and paddle effortlessly, though it doesn't leave a lot of foot room for standing. When reaching around, casting, or accessing the rear storage well, weight needs to be distributed evenly between the two riders to prevent rolling.

There are twin paddle holders molded into the sides, and the SOT yak will get you where you want to go. While it isn't recommended for novice use in rough or tidal waters, the kayak itself can handle the conditions. If you are experienced enough to hit the ocean with two people, the TK219 will hold up well.

Pros
  • Dual watertight storage compartments
  • 6 rod holders (2 adjustable)
  • Cushioned sit-in seats
Cons
  • Not as easily navigated in rougher waters
  • Can be difficult to stand-in

9. Ocean Kayak Malibu

Best Value For Money

Body Type

Hard Shelled, Tandem, Hand Paddled

Dimensions

12Ft, 34inches

Material

UV-Coated High-Density Polyethylene

Max Weight Capacity

425 Lbs.

Yak Weight

68 Lbs.

Warranty

Lifetime hull warranty

Ocean Kayak is back on the list with the Malibu model. This is the best SOT yak for the money, and you will not be disappointed. This tandem, polyethylene, and UV coated rig will carry you for miles without fatigue, and it is hard to roll so you can freely move naturally without worry.

One thing to note right off the bat, this comes with two Comfort Plus padded seats. However, you may want to invest in better seating. The seats aren’t comfortable for very long and will cause fatigue and strain if you plan to use them for all day paddling, especially in the ocean.

Other than that, you can’t go wrong with this model. Perfect for two people, or as a solo paddler, which means you can take your furry best friend out on the water at any time. The large 34-inch hull width gives you ample room to maneuver inside the craft while maintaining your position in the water and without much threat of rolling.

Even when your dog jumps over the side for a swim and climbs back on board, you don’t have to worry about tipping. With a lifetime warranty (non-transferable), you don't need to worry about a breakdown, damage from the sun, or other defects in quality and craftsmanship.

Pros
  • Warrantied for life
  • Ideal for taking your pet with you solo
  • Capable of handling any water types
Cons
  • Comfort Plus seats aren’t comfortable

10. Perception Pescador Pro 12

Best 12 Foot Sit On Top Kayak

Body Type

Hard Shelled, Single, Hand Paddled

Dimensions

12Ft, 32.5inches

Material

Molded Polyethylene

Max Weight Capacity

375 Lbs.

Yak Weight

57 Lbs.

Warranty

2-year warranty

Perception enters our list late, but worth the wait. The Pescador 12-foot is the best 12-foot sit on top kayak on the market. Available in over half a dozen colors and designs, there is an aesthetic to fit your style.

One of the stand-out features of the made in the USA model is that it comes with a replaceable skid plate. You can load it entirely at the truck and drag it to the water without worry about causing damage. When the skid gets worn, you can easily replace it and continue on.

The one downside here is that it has a nice, deep center console for dry storage, but it often doesn't stay dry. Most users report they are forced to secure their dry belongings in water-tight bags before using the storage. Not a deal-breaker by any means.

Perfect for beginners, this 12-foot yak is nimble and works the best in flat waters, still waterways, and calm coastal waters. However, if you get caught in a current or waves, the kayak will stand up, it may just be more challenging to maneuver.

The seat may be the most unique feature. It is removable for those that want no seat or have their own favorite type. The chair, though, has two levels (recline or upright) for better paddling or casting. You can also adjust the seat in four other ways for the ultimate in comfort and all-day use.

Pros
  • Perfect for beginners
  • 2-level removable and adjustable seat
  • Agile in still waters
Cons
  • Dry storage may not stay dry

11. Sun Dolphin Journey

Best 10 Foot Sit On Top Fishing Kayak

Body Type

Hard Shelled, Single, Hand Paddled

Dimensions

10Ft, 30inches

Material

Polyethylene

Max Weight Capacity

250 Lbs.

Yak Weight

44 Lbs.

Warranty

2-year warranty

Rounding out our list of the 12-best sit on top kayaks is the Sun Dolphin Journey. This is easily the best 10-foot kayak for sit on top fishing that there is. At only 44 pounds, you won’t have any issues carrying this yak to and from the water.

Suitable for novice and professional paddlers, the stable 10-footer is as nimble as it is fast, and you will skim across the river or lake with ease. However, many rookie kayak users may find it difficult to maneuver due to the shorter stance and the depth it sits in the water.

With a carrying load capacity of 250 pounds, you can take your gear, yourself, and a cooler for snacks with you and never worry about overloading the yak. There isn’t a lot of water-tight storage on board, but you will get three rod holders and a center console to put your belongings.

The 30-inch width is perfect for sit-casting, and the leg wells come with thigh pads to help you get the most out of your trip without causing fatigue. When you are moving the kayak, the handles pop up to help you get a comfortable grip. They then retract out of the way when using or storing. Truly one of the most sought-after models on the market, it won’t be a regret when you buy this kayak.

Pros
  • Retractable carrying handles
  • Personal carrying pouch for accessories
  • 3 rod holders
Cons
  • Not ideal for rough waters
  • Beginners may find it difficult to paddle

Considerations Before Buying a Sit on Top Kayak

Since there are a lot of different types of yaks out there for you to choose from, it is wise to take a moment and think. You need to consider a few variables that can make or break your purchasing decision.

What’s the main purpose of your Yak?

If you are using your yak to fish, which is mainly what brought you here, you will want a sturdy kayak. A wide-bottomed kayak is ideal unless you need more maneuverability. If you plan to take a fishing partner along or use the yak consistently with more than yourself, a tandem style is what you should look for.Based on your use, the type of kayak is going to be a bigger deal for those looking to use if for recreation versus those looking to use it as a tool.

Which water system will you be fishing in?

Hull shape and construction material should also be considered based on the primary type of water you will be fishing in. If you plan to stick to lakes and streams, then a glass composite or Kevlar kayak is best. You may even be able to shoot for an inflatable.

However, if you plan to use the kayak in saltwater, rapids, or tidal waters, then you will want a durable hull made of fiberglass or composite. You will need something that won’t corrode over time or be susceptible to the changing currents.

How much do you want to spend on a yak?

Kayaks come in all shapes, sizes, capacities, and prices. Your budget will play a significant role in your final decision, of course, but there is more to it than that. Kayaks can range from under $300 to well over $1000. The more you pay, the higher quality, more features, and extras you can expect. Once you find the style and size/material of yak you need, you should check the available to find out what your options are.

Then, using your current budget, find the ones in that group that meet your price range. If the kayak you truly want is outside of your current price range, it may be wise to wait and save up a little more.

Getting the right kayak is far better than settling and unless there is an emergency reason why you need to order today, waiting for another paycheck or two to get the right model for your specific needs may be the best option.


Kayak Care & Maintenance

Caring for your kayak is a time-consuming task, but relatively simple. Once the kayak is out of the water, just as with any other boat, you need to wash it off. It is a good idea to spray fresh water over it to get any debris, salt, or other pond scum off of the hull and interior.

Once you get it home, a wash with soap and water is recommended. Once dry, you can store the kayak in your garage, covered, or upright to prevent any leftover water from pooling. While drying isn’t essential, using a chamois to make sure there is no moisture will prolong the material and life of the kayak.

Safety First: How to Stay Safe in Your SOT Yak

Safety on the water is crucial, and you should always adhere to water safety laws, regulations, and guidelines. Always wear a life vest, especially when fishing, as you can easily fall overboard or roll the kayak. Sun exposure is a risk you don’t want to take. Even on cloudy days, you will want to wear sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat. Make sure you bring along plenty of water to stay hydrated as well. 

Sunburn, heat exhaustion or heat stroke are common when being on the water, as the sun can reflect up from the surface as well as down from above. Always take the extra precautions, even if they seem silly. If you go out alone, make sure you have someone on land who knows where you are going and what time to expect you back.


Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make my sit on top kayak more stable? Is a wider kayak more stable?

Wider hulled kayaks are more stable; however they have less maneuverability. If you want to make your kayak more stable, you need to learn how to use it. Make sure you know the tipping points and adjust your seat, so your stroke doesn't affect the roll. You can also purchase inflatable outriggers to attach to the yak to help prevent rolling in most water conditions.

Is kayaking safe for non swimmers?

Kayaking itself is safe as any water sport. However, it is never advised for someone who doesn't know how to swim to be out on the water, especially alone. If this fits your description, you should always wear a life vest and have someone on land know your location and departure and arrival times.

How do you sit-on-top of a kayak? How to carry a yak?

Technically you don't sit on top of the kayak. There is a hull recess that the chair or seat is in, and there is usually ample legroom inside the hull. A SOT yak doesn't have leg covers, so you aren't inside the kayak, and are instead, on top. To carry a kayak, you want to invert, so the bottom faces upward and lifts the hull overhead. Two people should carry a kayak if available.

Which is better, an inflatable or hard-shell SOT kayak?

One is not superior to the other in terms of durability or enjoyment. However, inflatable kayaks tend to roll less because they are more buoyant. Hard shell yaks sit deeper in the water and can handle more severe pitches and rolls from tides or currents.

What differences can I expect from cheap vs. expensive SOTs?

Construction materials, build quality, and life expectancy are the most significant expectations for a more expensive kayak. The cheaper versions have thinner walls, less proper bindings, and generally don't last as long as their more expensive and better constructed counterparts.

Which is better, a 10’ sit on top kayak or a 12 foot sit on top kayak?

This is a personal preference and will depend greatly on how you intend to use the yak. Shorter yaks are usually wider and offer more anti-roll support. However, longer yaks are more nimble and can handle different water types and conditions a bit better.

What are scupper holes on a sit on top kayaks?

Scupper holes are a safety feature built-in to SOT yaks. They are designed to remove water from the hull from the top down, which helps prevent the hull from filling with water and rolling or capsizing.

What are the most popular brands of sit on top kayaks?

Two of the biggest names in SOT yaks are Ocean Kayak and Sun Dolphin. However, there are other noteworthy brands that you should consider, as well. These names include Vibe, BKC, Lifetime, Perception, and Wilderness Systems. Each brand has its own unique take on the sport and its equipment worth checking out.

Where is the best place to find a sit on top kayak for sale? What about the best paddle for a sit on top kayak?

The best place to purchase a SOT yak is through Amazon. Not only will they have the largest selection from various vendors, but they will carry more stock than your local shop. They also carry older models at significant savings that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. The best paddle is a matter of preference, though the adjustable, 2-piece Backwater Paddles Assassin Carbon Fiber Paddle is not only popular but durable, rugged, and versatile for all yak types.


Conclusion

Buying a kayak for fishing should be an exciting time, and one without a lot of stress and worry. The list here provides you with a great base of brands and features for your next sit on top kayak. If you have any doubts, the Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 is worth a second look. It gives you the stability and storage you need for your gear and is capable of handling the unexpected when you are out on the water.