Sit on Top Kayak vs. Sit in Kayak: Pick Your Choice

Sit on Top Kayak vs. Sit in Kayak

Every time we meet someone who is planning to buy a kayak, we always end up having to answer the question: “which one should I buy the sit-on-top or the sit?” So we have decided to base this article on the sit on top vs. sit in kayak subject.

Our hope is that we will put this issue to rest but we know very well that we are hoping for too much. This is an important question you need to answer before you buy one as this may be the difference between you enjoying your experience in your Kayak or not.

While there are a number of other issues to consider, the decision will mostly depend on your personal preference. To help you understand which one you can eventually go with, let’s start by looking at the consistencies between the two.

The Parts They Share

Even though you will discover that there is a difference between the sit-in kayak and the sit-on-top, the two share a number of parts that are similar. For example, in both of them, the part on the top is known as the deck and the one at the bottom is called the hull. Call the part on the front the bow and the back part the stem.

Both the types of kayak, have a place where the users sit and they also provide a form of footrest. The foot pedals are included so that different sizes of paddlers can be accommodated.

The Difference between the Two Types

The main difference between the two types of kayaks is clear in the names of the two. As the names indicate, the sit-inside kayak is enclosed and the paddler actually sits inside.

The area where the paddler sits is known as the cockpit. To keep the water away from flooding the sit-inside kayak, it is equipped with a rim where a spray skirt can be attached.

Since these types of kayaks can keep water out, they are mostly favored by those who paddle in cold temperatures and cold water. In the event that you flip over while on this type of kayak, you will need to take your kayak back to shore so that you can drain it.

On the sit-on-top type, the paddler sits on top of the deck. So, in this type, there is no inside where the paddler can sit. The seat and the footwells are all placed on the deck. When you are paddling on this type of kayak, forget about remaining dry no matter how hard you try.

Unlike the sit-in kayak, you will not have access to a deck area that can help you to keep the water from getting you wet. This is the reason why you would want to avoid this type if you are going to be paddling in water that is too cold. When you are paddling using this type of kayak, you can easily jump off the kayak and take a swim and then get back on.

Sit-on-Top Advantages and Disadvantages

If you are looking for a kayak that is user-friendly, then the sit-on-top type will be the best. You can easily get in and out and you will never feel confined when using it. The major advantage of this type is that you can slip on and off the kayak as you please.

This is the reason why this type of kayak is great for new paddlers who are still nervous. Also, this one would be great for someone paddling with children who love swimming.

The main disadvantage of this type is that when you paddle in it, it is not possible that you can remain dry. In cold water, this can present a dilemma.

Sit-in Kayak Advantages and Disadvantages

The main advantage of a sit-in kayak is that when you are sitting inside it the lower parts of your body will be covered and remain warmer in cold weather. This is the reason why this type of kayak is mostly preferred by people who are serious about paddling.

The major downside associated with the sit-inside kayak is that it does not offer the same freedom for the kayaker to get in and get out if they want to take a swim. Also, if you do happen to flip while paddling, the kayak will fill with water and getting it out will get complicated.

There is no kayak that can be said to be the best for all occasions and tastes. The one that you select, should speak to your needs and preferences.

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