- Read our review guidelines
“Blow up” your kayaking comfort with inflatable kayak seats.
Many inflatable kayaks come with removable seats, but upgrading to a more comfortable option can enhance your paddling experience.
To help you choose the right seat, we’ve put together a guide that covers both inflatable and non-inflatable options.
Make your kayaking adventures more enjoyable by finding the perfect inflatable kayak seat.
The quick answer is no, you don’t always have to use an inflatable seat on an inflatable kayak. Many inflatable kayaks often come with non-inflatable kayak seats included.
Kayak Seats That Inflate
Some inflatable kayak seats can offer less support than foam seats or more rigid ones. This can be particularly noticeable when it comes to the backrest.
Some inflatable seats may not be sturdy enough to allow you to lean back comfortably without collapsing.
You may also find less support from a kayak seat if the entire seat is inflatable and is made with a single air chamber. This can mean if you lean back on the backrest, the seat cushion can tip back and rise up off the deck.
These one-piece inflatable kayak seats can be less preferable because they often cannot be inflated to a high enough pressure to be able to support you properly when you lean back.
It is also less supportive because the backrest on these types of inflatable seats is supported by the base of the seat rather than the sides of your inflatable kayak.
Inflatable seats can be better when the seat cushion and backrest are separate chambers so that one section of the seat is not at the mercy of the other. It can also be a good idea to have a seat with a backrest that attaches to the sides of your kayak rather than being solely attached to the floor.
However, some inflatable kayaks, generally those designed for whitewater, simply have backrests and no seat cushion.
An advantage of an inflatable kayak seat with an inflatable kayak is that it can be deflated and packed small, along with your kayak, and can usually fit inside the same carry bag.
However, a downside is that you will have to spend extra time inflating the seats before you can head off on your adventures.
EVA foam seats can be a popular choice for all types of sit-on-top kayaks and can often be included as standard on various kayaks, both inflatable and hardshell.
Foam seats can generally offer a good level of comfort and support because they can have a little more rigidity than inflatable seats.
However, they may not offer much in the way of elevation which can mean you’re sitting almost flat on the floor. This can be less comfortable and could mean you’re sometimes sitting in water on the deck.
These types of seats usually have attachment points on both the backrests and seat cushions. The backrest supports are usually connected to the sides of the kayak, assuming your kayak has D-rings or attachment points in that location. This can allow you to adjust the level of support and angle of recline.
For added comfort, you could always add an extra layer of padding under or on top of your seat. This can also increase the height of your seat to make your paddling strokes easier and more efficient.
Depending on the design of your inflatable kayak and the amount of space you have, you might be able to upgrade your seat to a framed seat. This can provide a higher level of elevation off the deck than other types of kayak seats and can be great for kayak fishing.
Good Seats For Inflatable Kayaks
The Aquaglide Proformance Seat is an upgraded version of the Aquaglide Core 2 seat. This is designed to provide better back support and give you a slightly higher and drier ride.
This inflatable kayak seat offers comfort and support where you need it most. The high backrest is made from dual-density foam so it’s designed to provide lumbar support on long trips.
The seat cushion features an inflatable air cushion that can be adjusted for more or less elevation and support. The adjustable height ranges from a half-inch to five-inches and can even be adjusted on the go. The kayak seat also has mesh fabric for breathability.
Another good feature of this kayak seat is the storage. There are several mesh pockets to let you keep your essentials within easy reach.
It has a Velcro adjustment system for the seat cushion and adjustable support straps for the backrest.
The Aire Deluxe kayak seat is designed to be used with Aire inflatable kayaks. But it can be used with other inflatable kayaks, as well as some hardshell kayaks and canoes.
This kayak seat is made with a durable PVC outer fabric. The internal foam blocks provide comfort and support in both the seat cushion and the backrest.
A great feature of this inflatable kayak seat is that it has excellent storage on the back. There is a water bottle holder and a fishing rod holder, as well as a storage pouch for fishing tackle or snacks.
The foam construction adds a bit of height so that you are not sitting flat on the deck of your kayak. Because of the PVC fabric, it is not the most breathable kayak seat.
It features adjustable straps to attach the seat to the deck and sides of your inflatable kayak.
This Seattle Sports Paddler Pad can work well if you already have an EVA foam seat and backrest. This can be used either underneath or on top of your seat to give you a little extra padding for improved comfort.
The foam pad can also elevate your seating position a little so that you’re not sitting directly on the deck. This could improve your comfort levels while you’re paddling and make it easier to control your kayak.
However, the pad is only just under an inch thick, so it’s not going to elevate your seat too much.
This is a compact, lightweight seat cushion that’s made in the USA. It can be used with kayaks, canoes, SUPs, and while camping or hiking.
However, this does not have any attachment points to secure it to the kayak.
The best thing about inflatable kayak seats is that you can change them to suit your paddling style or activity. Whether you opt for an inflatable kayak seat or a foam kayak seat, remember to check the attachment points on your particular kayak to make sure the seat will be compatible.
If you plan to paddle for a few hours at a time, you may want to think about good back support as well as comfortable padding on the seat cushion.
Let us know your thoughts. And share this if you think others could benefit.