Sit-On-Top Inflatable Kayak Pros and Cons

Inflatable as well as fibreglass sit-on-top kayaks have been popular for years.

A sit-on-top has a similar hull shape to a regular kayak but instead of sitting inside the kayak, you sit up higher in a slightly sunken depression on top.

Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of paddling a sit-on-top inflatable kayak.

Sit-On Top Inflatable Kayak Advantages

Small Investment
Many people love the idea of getting outside and enjoying the water but are not ready to make the investment of purchasing a good quality inflatable kayak. For brand new recreational paddlers, a sit-on-top inflatable kayak can be a good way to go.

Sit-on-tops tend to cost quite a bit less than other kayaks and consequently are very affordable. They can be a great way to test out the waters so to speak and see if you enjoy the sport of paddling.

Easy to Use
Another main advantage to an inflatable sit-on-top is that it tends to be very easy to use. For this reason they are great for people of all ages including young children as they take very little effort to paddle. They can be a lot of fun for the family to enjoy some recreational paddling in the lake or river.

Sit-on-top kayaks tend to be very multi-purpose. They are very easy to re-enter from within the water so besides being great for just touring around they work very well for fishing, scuba diving, and surfing.

One of the advantages that sit-on-tops have over regular sit-inside kayaks is that they tend to be quite comfortable. There are no restrictions so for those with a larger body type, extra long legs or limited flexibility you will likely feel less restricted and confined as well as possibly more comfortable in an inflatable sit-on-top kayak.

Great for Beginners
Many beginner paddlers feel very comfortable with a sit-on top because of their safety level. Sitting on top of the kayak means that there is no risk of getting stuck in the kayak if it should tip over and getting back on board is very easy. Therefore there is no need to practice rolls or wet-exits which is very appealing to many beginner kayakers.

However it is worth noting that many regular inflatable kayaks have open cockpits as opposed to an enclosed space and therefore there is no risk of getting stuck in one of them either.

Sit-On-Top Inflatable Kayak Disadvantages

There are also some fairly major disadvantages to paddling a sit-on-top inflatable kayak such as…

Although it is easy to paddle a sit-on-top there is no doubt that the performance will not be as good as a regular inflatable kayak. Sit-on-tops do not tend to track well and rarely have a tracking fin or skeg. Therefore they are truly best suited for easy and short paddling trips.

Sit-on-tops are very affordable but they also tend to lack in quality. They are great if you do not want to spend much money and just want to get the feel of paddling. However they will typically not last as long as a regular inflatable kayak (although there are some exceptions for sure).

No Storage Room
Sitting on top of the inflatable kayak means that there is no space to store extra cargo or accessories. You may be able to tie down a small dry bag but usually that is about it. Therefore a sit-on-top is fine for paddling around for a couple of hours but longer trips could be awkward.

Recommended Sit-On-Top Inflatable Kayaks

At this point Sevylor is the main manufacturer of inflatable sit-on-top kayaks. We have only reviewed two of their sit-on-top models but they have several to choose from – some solo, some tandem – all quite affordable.

View our Sevylor inflatable kayak reviews.

Or view the list of Sevylor Sit-On-Top Kayaks at

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