Sit On Top Vs Sit In Kayak

Sit On Top Vs Sit In Kayak

Are you getting confused while choosing between sit-on-top and sit in kayak? Well, all kayakers have participated in the debate of sit on top vs sit in kayak at least once in their lifetime. So, you are not the only one who is baffled in this case.

And so, to save you from this trouble, I will cover every detail about sit-on-top and sit-in kayaks. Expectantly, it will help you to pick the one for yourself.

Sit on top vs sit in kayak: Everything you need to know about them.

If we define kayaks by the design of their seating position, we get sit-on-top and sit-in kayaks. 

Sit-on-top kayak:

sit on top kayak

The seat of this kayak is positioned on the top of the deck, as the name suggests. There is no possibility of getting water in the cockpit of this kayak. So, there is a minimum to no chance of capsizing. Additionally, it is designed with simple entry and exit system.

The advantages of sit on top kayaks:

  • Sit on top kayaks are usually designed with excellent loading capacity, and so, they are known to be great tandem kayaks.
  • The wider beam design of these kayaks gives it superior stability.
  • These kayaks are customizable. Therefore, you can install gadgets according to your preference and make it more suitable for you.
  • Sit on top kayaks allow you to have a broader view of the water. You can enjoy seeing the sights at its fullest.
  • Because of its easy exit and entry system, it’s easy to get out of the cockpit in the event of capsizing.
  • The enclosed design of the hull protects it from sinking.
  • Sit on top kayaks are an excellent watercraft for fishing. They allow you to cast and reel effortlessly.
  • The self-bailing scupper holes drain the excess water from the cockpit.
  • Even if it flips in the water, it will stay afloat. Thus, it is an unsinkable watercraft.

The disadvantages of sit on top Kayaks:

  • The sit-on-top kayaks are usually wider, and so, they are quite slow. Therefore, you need to paddle harder to drive it, making it suitable for only short distance kayak trips.
  • The open cockpit does not provide any cover. Thus, you are exposed to heat, cold, and water splashes. So, these kayaks are not suitable for harsh weather and rough waters.
  • They do not come with enough dry storage space.

Sit-in kayak:

Sit In Kayak

In this type of kayak, the paddlers have to sit inside the kayak with their knees under the deck. These kayaks can cut through the water very fast.

Though the sit-in kayak’s design protects you from harsh weather and water splashes, it also makes the kayak vulnerable to flooding. 

The advantages of Sit-in kayaks:

  • Sit-in kayaks are fast because of their narrower design, and it takes less effort to paddle this vessel. So, it’s great to cross a long distance.
  • As the paddler can place their knees on the deck’s underside, it allows them to have great control over the kayak.
  • The enclosed cockpit design protects the paddler from sun, cold, wind, and water.
  • There are no scupper holes on the sit on a kayak; thus, the cockpit remains dry until there is a big wave or splash of water.
  • Most of the sit-in kayaks are designed with dry storage compartments.

The disadvantages of Sit-in kayaks:

  • The design of the sit-on kayaks makes it very vulnerable to flooding. The skirt doesn’t provide enough protection from the water.
  • As there is no self-bailing system, you have to drain water from the cockpit manually. It is a very troublesome process; trust me.
  • In the event of capsizing, it takes a lot of astruggle to get out of the enclosed cockpit.
  • Sit-in kayaks are more for the advanced level kayaker, and they are way more expensive than sit-on-top kayaks.

Canoe VS Kayak – What Are The Differences

Some frequently asked questions:

Q. Which kayak is the best for beginners and for what reasons?

A beginner should get a kayak that is easier to paddle and extremely stable. You can find these qualities both in Sit-on and sit-in kayaks.

But sit-in kayaks mostly come with a narrow design. So, it makes the vessel suitable for advanced kayakers because of the lacking of stability. 

So, a beginner or casual kayakers should go with a sit-on-top kayak.

Q. Which kayak is the best for long tours and camping?

Sit-in kayaks are the best for long tours and camping as they can cross a long distance very fast. These kayaks are easy to paddle, and so the paddler can cover vast open waters with less effort.

And it also protects the paddlers from getting exposed to various elements, thus making it an excellent watercraft for tours and travels.

Q. Which kayak is the most appropriate for anglers?

The sit-on-top kayak’s design makes it easier for an angler to cast and reel effortlessly and provides a broader view of the water. And it is easy to customize a sit-on kayak according to an angler’s preference.

Q. Which one is a better tandem kayak?

If you want to paddle in the shallow water, you can get a sit-in tandem touring kayak. For a sportier vibe and short group tours, you can get a sit-on-top kayak.

Q. Which kayak should you choose and why?

The respond to this question differs from person to person. The choice depends on your expectation from a kayak and the frequent kayak activities you are planning to do. A camper’s kayak preferences will be different than an angler’s.

If you want a kayak for recreational purposes and frequent tours, the sit-on-top kayak would be the best for you. For protecting yourself from cold and water, get a sit-in kayak, and for group activities, tandem kayaks would be the best for you.

In conclusion:

Shopping for a kayak is overwhelming because there are many types, brands, and qualities of kayaks. Even some expert kayakers doubt themselves when it’s about getting a new kayak. 

Therefore, people keep searching for an answer to the question, “sit on top vs sit in kayak, which one is the best?”

Hopefully, after this briefly analyzed quick guide, you will be able to put an end to all of your confusion and get the best kayak for yourself.