Sit in Kayak vs Sit on Top Kayak

Have you ever felt inspired and excited to see the beautiful oceanfront? Do you get thrilled by the thought of kayaking along the smooth waters? If your answer is yes to both questions, then it may be the right time to get your very own unit for your next kayaking trip.

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But how do you know which one to get? Would you go for a sit-on-top kayak or a sit-in kayak? You may wonder what differences lay between the two as both may seem like the same thing. The key to determining the right type would be learning about the features of each one.

Understanding Sit-on-top and Sit-in Kayaks

To give you an idea of how the two functions, let us give you a brief description of the two. Sit-on-top kayaks are a common option for casual and entry-level paddlers. This is because this type is almost unsinkable, owing to the fact that it does not have holes and cockpits. This is a safer choice for kids and beginners. Plus, this type is more affordable than the other type.

On the other hand, a sit-in kayak features a cockpit that usually is about a bit higher than the waist in terms of height. This then puts your body enclosed in the kayak. This can also cater to beginners, but those who want a more challenging level of kayaking should take this instead of the other.

The Good in Sit-in Kayaks

Since your body is encased inside the kayak, this gives you better protection when engaging in long-distance travel, casual use, outdoor exploration, and whitewater. Apart from that, you can also opt to wear spray skirts to keep you dry while kayaking. Also, this type allows you to bring equipment, store supplies, and other things with you through its built-in water tight storage compartments.

The Downs of Sit-in Kayaks

When you go for this one, you have to buy spray skirts to keep you dry. The drawback for this choice would be that it can be filled with water and can even sink in case of a flip. This is also more on the expensive side as it is built with water-tight compartments. In terms of skill, this is easier to maneuver for advanced paddlers.

Who Is It For?

This caters to beginners and advanced paddlers. This allows the execution of varied kayaking techniques. This remains an excellent choice for those who want to experience the rapids, go outdoor exploring and take on long distance kayaking. This works for those purposes as it has a water-tight compartment that allows them to bring necessities with them throughout the ride. And since it is leaning on the more expensive side, this is ideal for those who have a few more money to spend.

The Good in Sit-on-top Kayaks

If you have read inflatable kayak reviews, it is also good to check out reviews on this one. The good thing about this is that it is almost unsinkable, which means this option is safer than the other type. This is because it is enclosed in plastic and is plain and simple. This is ideal for entry-level paddlers and beginners because it is stable and more affordable.

The Downs of Sit-on-top Kayaks

While this is a good option for beginners, this may not perform well in rough water or long distance paddling. This limits the users’ movements and storage options because it does not have a compartment to store things in.

Who Is It For?

This is definitely for beginners and kids who just want a taste of kayaking from time to time. This is because its built facilitates excellent stability. This is not prone to sinking and is safe to use. This also makes a good fishing platform. This is ideal for short distance and simple kayaking rides. And lastly, this is ideal for those who are working on a tight budget as this is not as expensive as the other type.


Now that you have read about the differences between sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks, you now have a clearer picture of what you want in mind. Consider the pros and cons of each type and try to determine which points apply better to you and your lifestyle. If you plan to take it as a casual sport or form of bonding with family and friends, a simple sit-on-top kayak would be fine. But if you want to go all out and experience all there is to experience in the sport, then go for the sit-in kayak. Who knows? This may be a great chance to tap a whole new different talent or recreational activity. The choice is always yours to make, take all the following considerations and make your decision count.

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