Complete Guide in Choosing Sit In vs Sit On Kayak

Complete Guide in Choosing Sit In vs Sit On Kayak

When you look for a kayak for the first time, one of the first choices you should make is choosing between sit in vs sit on kayak. These are the two basic kayak styles, and both come in single paddle and double paddle versions. Both of these kayak types are also available as inflatable kayaks and as hard shells.

What Do They Have in Common?

While sit in vs sit on kayak will provide you a lot of differences between them, they have several things and parts in common. In the overall design of both these kayak types, the top part is called the deck, and the bottom part is still the hull. The front part is still also known as thebow, and the back part is called the stern.

Both the sit in and sit on top kayak have seats and a foot support that might just differ in form. Both also have foot pedals which can be adjusted to fit the different paddler sizes.

Style Overview of Sit in and Sit on Top Kayaks

Complete Guide in Choosing Sit In vs Sit On Kayak

The very first thing to understand when you try to differentiate the sit in vs sit on kayak is their particular design style.

  • Sit In Kayaks

Between the sit in vs sit on kayak, the sit in or sit inside kayak is the older form of fishing kayaks and has an efficient design. This style of kayak is narrower and longer which makes it fast and easy to paddle.

With a sit inside kayak, the seat is lower than the water surface. There is a raised rim on the cockpit where the spray skirt is attached to seal you inside the kayak. It is very useful in keeping the water out of the kayak. Sit inside kayaks can also keep you relatively warm and dry, so it is ideal for use in whatever kind of weather.

  • Sit on Top Kayaks

This kayak style is the newcomer between the sit in vs sit on kayak. The difference between the two is fairly understandable in their names. On a sit on top kayak, you are sitting on a mount on top of the kayak and above the water surface.

This style of kayak is a popular choice especially for fishing and surfing because it is easy to get in and out of it. It is also relatively wider which makes it more stable compare to narrower types of the kayak. There is also no sinking of the kayak because of water inside it since there are drain holes on the cockpit.

Another thing for you to easily choose between sit in vs sit on kayak is to understand each of their pros and cons.

Pros and Cons of Sit Inside Kayaks

Complete Guide in Choosing Sit In vs Sit On Kayak

Between the two kayaks, the sit in or sit inside kayak is faster and a lot easier to paddle. Because of this, it is ideal to use for long trips, touring, and especially in racing. One of the advantages of a sit in kayak is its spray deck features which protect the paddler from the effects of various elements.

In a sit inside type of kayak, the storage space is inside the kayak itself. This kind of design protects the gears you have from the water. It also serves as a shelter for the paddler’s lower part of the body and protects it from the wind, water, and the sun. It can keep the paddler dry and warm, making it ideal for use even in cold waterfronts.

The disadvantage of using a sit inside style of kayak has something to do with the ease of access. With this type of kayak, it might be a little difficult to go inside and out of the kayak. When the kayak happens to topple over, it can get complicated to get out of the situation. It is also likely to sink when filled with water.

Pros and Cons of Sit on Top Kayaks

Between the sit in vs sit on kayak, the sit on or sit on top kayak is considered the more user-friendly. It's relatively wide structure makes it more stable and ideal for beginners in paddling. There is also no feeling of confinement in using a sit on a top kayak because you are basically on top of it.

Having water inside the cockpit can cause it to sink, but this is not a problem in this kayak type. It has small holes called scupper holes that drain the water that might have been caught inside the cockpit. It is also easy to slip in and out of it because of its open structure.

The disadvantage of a sit on top kayak is that you will get a higher probability of getting wet compared to using sit inside kayaks. Its open structure will also make it unsuitable for rough waters and strong currents.

Whatever you are going to choose between the two, feel free to visit and read our kayaking tips.