Looking for the best kayak seat cushion on the market? Then buckle up, we have a lot to show to you!
For today’s roundup, we’ve picked 7 seat pads for kayaks that we think are unparalleled in terms of quality and price. They are all very different from each other, so it’s likely that you will find what you are looking for!
Not only that, but we have prepared a little buying guide to help you make the right choice.
Shall we begin?
Our pick of the best kayak seat cushion
Hands down, the best kayak seat cushion on our list is the Yakpads Cushioned Seat Pad by Cascade Creek. It isn’t cheap, but it offers goodies like lumbar support, straps for stable mounting, insulation, and not only.
However, this doesn’t mean that other kayak seat pads on our reviews don’t have anything to offer!
7 best kayak seat pads reviewed
Up first on our reviews of best kayak seat cushions is a seat pad by Skwoosh. This is a good option if you are ready to spend the money on a quality kayak seat pad.
This seat cushion is made from fluidized gel which imparts supportiveness to the cushion but doesn’t make it too rigid. What you may also like about Skwoosh’s seat pad is that it offers a minimally elevated seating position, so if you don’t want to be seated high, this cushion may be excellent.
The gel in this kayak seat pad also has insulation properties, so in cool weather, you won’t get cold while sitting on this seat pad.
What is also great about this kayak seat pad is that it has a foldable design. It isn’t too big to begin with, but it’s nice that Skwoosh has made it that bit more storage-efficient.
With that being said, the high quality and durability of this cushion have a bit high price. Not only that, you may dislike it if you are looking for a thickly-padded seat cushion.
- Foldable design.
- Comfy and durable gel build.
- Great insulation.
- Offers minimally elevated seating.
- Not too much padding.
Still a quality and a bit expensive kayak seat cushion, this cushion seat by Sea Eagle drastically differs from Skwoosh’ gel kayak seat pad.
Sea Eagle has designed this cushion inflatable, which means that it will occupy little to no space when deflated. You will need to have a pump and spend a little time inflating this guy, but if you care about storage efficiency, you’ll likely appreciate what this seat pad has to offer.
5 inches thick, this seat pad is much thicker than Skwoosh’ kayak seat cushion pad and provides noticeably more cushioning. If you do not mind to sit taller and definitely want padding, then Sea Eagle’s seat pad may be excellent for you.
The elevated position has a notable benefit – it allows you to decrease the angle of the paddle stroke, i.e. bring the paddle closer to a vertical plane. This should make the paddle stroke more efficient, as well as may make you more comfortable while kayaking.
By the way, this seat cushion is designed specifically for Sea Eagle Explorer and FastTrack kayaks, so if you have them, the Sea Eagle seat pad may be perfect for you. It works with most other kayaks as well though!
- Occupies little to no space when deflated.
- Soft and well-cushioned.
- Decreases the angle of your paddle stroke.
- May elevate you too much for your taste.
The Thicken kayak seat cushion pad by Alomejor is very inexpensive, but it has its own things to boast.
This seat cushion is made decently thick, so it has a very good amount of padding in it. However, it isn’t as thick as Sea Eagle’s cushion – if you are a little uncomfortable when seated higher, this cushion may be that best kayak seat cushion for you.
This kayak seat pad is made from a cotton & synthetic fiber material which is soft and skin-friendly, but it perhaps isn’t as durable as pricier seat pads.
On the bottom surface, this seat pad has four suction cups to assist with stability. While the suction cups should deliver decent performance, keep in mind that they won’t work on top of a kayak seat. You will have to remove your kayak seat to allow the suction cups to grip onto your kayak’s bare hull to do its job.
In the end, if you are looking for a cheap and maybe temporary solution for your kayak, then Alomejor’s seat pad may be an excellent option.
- Soft and well-padded.
- Skin-friendly material.
- Four suction cups for skid resistance.
- May lack durability.
- The suction cups will work only on a bare hull.
This quality kayak seat cushion by Hornet Watersports is specifically designed to stay in place no matter the conditions. It features a silicone textured surface on the bottom which delivers solid gripping performance even when the seat pad is wet.
Aside from a strong grip, this kayak seat pad also delivers good comfort. Its not too thick neoprene layer makes it quite well-padded without lifting you too high up in the kayak. This kayak seat pad is just 1.02 inches thick, so it shouldn’t have a bad impact on your balance while kayaking.
With that being said, this kayak seat pad isn’t too cheap, but we think it’s worth it.
- Solid anti-slip performance.
- Minimally elevated seating.
- May lack padding for you.
Yet another very inexpensive seat cushion on our list, but this time, we have an inflatable kayak seat pad! If you like Sea Eagle’s seat pad but don’t have quite the budget, then MAGT’s inflatable kayak cushion seat may be the right alternative.
This seat pad is 1 inch thinner than Sea Eagle’s seat cushion, but it does offer nearly the same benefits.
Thanks to its inflatable design, it takes very little space when deflated. The thick design allows for a good amount of cushioning, while the elevated seating position again helps you decrease the paddle stroke angle, just like it was with the Sea Eagle cushion pad.
With that being said, this seat pad may be less durable than Sea Eagle’s option, but that’s expectable for the price.
- Occupies very little space when deflated.
- Thick and well-cushioned.
- Will help you decrease the paddle stroke angle.
- May lack durability.
Northeast Products Sports’ Cushion Seat Pad is a great option if you are looking for a great value for the money. This pack includes 3 seat pads for a not too steep price!
What’s much more important though is that these kayak seat cushions have a high-density EVA foam build, which is thick, supportive, and well-cushioned. Not only that, but the foam’s surface is made waterproof, so the seat pads won’t get damaged if submerged.
A little bonus is the carry handle integrated into the seats. Northeast Products seats aren’t at all heavy, but the carry handle adds that much convenience to their handling.
- Great value for the money.
- Thick and supportive design.
- Easy to carry.
- Waterproof surface.
And the last product on our reviews of the best kayak seat cushions is this interesting cushioned seat pad by Yakpads, which also is our top pick. This kayak seat pad’s design makes it sort of a transitionary product between kayak seat pads and full kayak seats.
This seat cushion has a high back that is designed to deliver lumbar support, a thing that no regular kayak seat cushion will deliver (unless your kayak seat is supportive by itself). Not only that, but this kayak seat cushion has an insulated gel design which protects the kayaker from hot or cold seating surfaces. The only other seat pad on this list that had such a feature was Skwoosh’s seat pad.
The Yakpads kayak seat pad also keeps you low in the kayak thanks to its thin design. For additional stability, this kayak seat cushion comes with straps on the back to allow you to securely mount it to the kayak.
With that being said, keep in mind that this seat pad is rather expensive. Aside from that, while it’s very supportive, it may have too little padding for your liking. But if these aren’t issues for you, then this may be that best kayak seat cushion for you!
- Offers lumbar support.
- Keeps you low in the kayak.
- Insulated design.
- Adjustable straps for stable mounting.
- Quite expensive.
- Not too thickly padded.
Kayak seats vs kayak seat pads
One thing you may have been wondering about while reading the reviews is the difference between a kayak seat and a seat cushion for a kayak.
Well, it’s evident that visually, seats are very different from seat cushions. The more important thing here is why you would want to go for a kayak seat cushion instead of a full kayak seat.
Let’s give a few reasons below.
Kayak seat cushions are cheap
Perhaps the biggest benefit of kayak seat cushions over kayak seats is that they are cheaper. If you are on a tight budget, then a kayak seat cushion may just do the job for you for less money!
If you feel uncomfortable in your kayak seat, then you don’t necessarily have to go and buy a new seat. It may turn out that a seat cushion for a kayak will be more than enough for you!
Kayak seat cushions are easy to install
The second benefit of kayak seat cushions is that they are very easy to mount. Kayak seats aren’t that difficult to install, but kayak seat pads often require no setup from you at all! The only thing you need to do is place the pad on the seat and enjoy the ride.
Kayak seat cushions are universal
Kayak seat pads can be used on a variety of kayaks, a thing that kayak seats don’t necessarily do. If the kayak has enough free space in it, then you will be able to use your seat pad. And the easiness of setup makes moving your kayak seat pad from vessel to vessel very easy.
Not only that, but you can also use a kayak seat cushion anywhere else outside of your kayak!
Kayak seat cushions can make a good seat better
Lastly, kayak seat cushions can actually make a good kayak seat better! If you have a decent seat but feel that it lacks cushioning or support, then a good seat pad for a kayak may be able to do the trick.
With that being said, kayak seat cushions can make sub-par seats decent, but they won’t be able to compensate for all the issues of a poor kayak seat. Thereby, if you have a bad seat, view seat pads for kayaks as temporary solutions – we’d advise that you actually replace your entire seat when possible.
Things to look for in the best seat pad for your kayak
Now, let’s have a look at the things that you would want to consider when looking for that best kayak seat cushion. Seat cushions for kayaks may seem very simple, but there are quite a few things to keep in mind.
First comes padding. A good seat cushion doesn’t necessarily have plenty of padding, but some people prefer to have a lot of it.
How well-padded a kayak seat pad is is pretty much directly related to its thickness. A thicker seat cushion is softer and has better cushioning, and vice versa.
With that being said, we’d advise that you avoid too soft seat pads. They may seem comfy, but they won’t be supportive. No matter how thick the padding is, it should be dense so that it can properly support your bottom.
Aside from padding, thickness impacts another thing – stability.
If you are seated too high, then your balance in the kayak may be compromised. Unless you are specifically looking for a tall kayak seat pad, we’d advise you to go as low as possible while making sure that the pad’s padding is adequate for you.
On the other hand, a very tall kayak seat cushion has its own benefits – it allows you to stroke the kayak paddle a little more vertically, which may increase the efficiency of your stroke. Plus, it may be comfier for you. However, remember that a tall kayak seat pad may compromise your stability.
Insulation is quite an important feature, though not all seat pads for kayaks have it. The best kayak seat cushion isn’t always the one that is well-insulated, but in hot or cold weather, insulation may indeed be a nice thing to have.
An insulated seat pad isn’t going to get too cold or hot while kayaking, which is going to make the trip safer and comfier for you. Typically, only gel kayak seat pads have good insulation, so if that’s important for you, buy a seat pad made from gel.
Water resistance isn’t a must-have in kayak seat pads, but it’s desirable if you will be paddling in colder weather. It wouldn’t be too pleasant to have your bottom against a cool and wet surface in cold weather, would it?
If you care about lumbar support, then you will have to go for seat cushions like the Yakpads Cushioned Seat Pad we reviewed above. Such seat cushions are going to be a bit pricier, but they won’t be as expensive as kayak seats yet will deliver a good amount of support and comfort. Plus, they are quite easy to mount.
Inflatable vs non-inflatable kayak seat cushion
Lastly, you need to choose between an inflatable and non-inflatable kayak seat cushion.
The benefit of inflatable kayak seat pads is that they occupy little to no room when deflated. If you care about storage efficiency, then go for an inflatable seat pad.
However, inflatable seat cushions require inflation (and a pump obviously). If you don’t wish to deal with that, then go for a regular non-inflatable kayak seat cushion. Such cushions may not be as compact, but they aren’t too big to begin with.
So what, did you find that best kayak seat cushion? If you have a candidate, then don’t rush it – think over its pros and cons, consider your needs, and also read some user reviews to find out whether it will be a good fit for you!