Best Sit-on-Top Kayaks

A Best Sit-on-Top Kayaks gives you a fun, accessible kayaking experience no matter your age or skill level. These boats are ideal for families or anyone looking to develop their abilities before tackling more advanced conditions.

Best Sit-on-Top Kayaks

Sit-on-tops offer a lot of stability, making them great choices for beginners and kids. Their open design allows you to hop in and out easily. That comes in handy for taking a quick swim or when little ones need help. Storage space means you can pack snacks and other gear for a full day of paddling.

These hardy kayaks let you build confidence and paddling know-how at an affordable price. As your comfort level grows, a sit-on-top remains a trusty boat to push your skills into rougher water and tighter spaces. Their forgiveness helps you learn without fear of getting dumped on your head!

Finding the perfect Best Sit-on-Top Kayaks for you can be tricky with so many options out there. But I’ve tested a bunch of them and want to share my top picks to help match you with a boat that fits your budget and skill level.

Best Sit-on-Top Kayaks give you a nice blend of stability, comfort, storage, and convenience – no wonder they’re so popular! The right one can even perform pretty well if you want to pick up the pace.

I’ll cut to the chase – here are my recommendations at every price point. Whether you’re just getting into paddling or have some experience under your belt, there should be something here that clicks with how and where you want to use it.

Best Sit-on-Top Kayaks for sale

Kayak NamePrice RangeReviews
Lil’ Red – Kids KayakAUD115.00 – AUD199.002
Explorer Tandem – 2.5m Sit on Top Kayak (1 adult + 1 child)AUD198.00 – AUD699.001
Bay Sports The Flounder 2.6m Sit on Top Small Recreational KayakAUD388.00 – AUD799.0038
Bighead Angler – 2.65m Extra Stable Fishing creat KayakAUD539.00 – AUD699.0056
Bay Sports Nereus White Blue Tandem 2-Person KayakAUD549.00 – AUD859.001
Bonito Angler – 2.9m Fishing KayakAUD559.00 – AUD849.0013
Nero – 3m Single (Adult + Child) Sit On Top KayakAUD597.00 – AUD829.0024
Speedy – 3.4m Sit On Top Touring KayakAUD598.00 – AUD999.0047
Angler Pro 4m on Sit-on-Top fishing Kayak Blue White Black with Stadium SeatAUD698.00 – AUD999.0043
Angler Pro 4m Sit on Sit-on-Top fishing Kayak Blue White Black with Stadium SeatAUD758.00 – AUD1,199.0023
Nereus 2 – 3.7m Sit On Top Family 3-Person KayakAUD798.00 – AUD1,299.0023
Perch Angler (Adult+Child) – 3.3m Tandem Fishing KayakAUD798.00 – AUD1,199.0021
Discovery – 4m Sit On Top Touring Kayak yellowAUD798.004
BigGame Pro 10 – 3.1m Fishing KayakAUD848.00 – AUD1,299.0058
Nereus Pro – 3.7m Sit On Top Tandem Fishing KayakAUD988.00 – AUD1,499.0019
ClearView 2 – Clear-Bottom Single KayakAUD998.00 – AUD1,499.0014
Angler Pro XL – 4.3m Fishing Kayak with Live Bait WellAUD1,098.00 – AUD1,399.0015
KXone Slider 375 Drop Stitch Inflatable Collapsible Single Kayak in red and white with a black seatAUD1,398.00 – AUD1,799.009
Pedal Pro Fish – 2.5m Flap-Powered Fishing crate KayakAUD1,398.00 – AUD1,799.003
KXone Slider 410 Superlite – 4.1M Double Inflatable KayakAUD1,448.00 – AUD1,999.0025
Pedal Pro Fish – 3.8m Flap-Powered Fishing KayakAUD1,495.00 – AUD2,399.00
KXone Slider 485 Drop Stitch Inflatable Collapsible Double 2 Person KayakAUD1,498.00 – AUD1,999.0047
Single Inflatable KayakAUD1,498.00 – AUD1,899.0037
Bay Sports Downwind surf ski 5m RedAUD1,499.00 – AUD1,899.006
ClearView 3 – Clear-Bottom Double KayakAUD1,589.00 – AUD1,999.0016

8 Best Sit-on-Top Kayaks

Best Overall: Eddyline Caribbean 12 FS

12′30″45 lbs275 lbs
Eddyline Caribbean 12 FS

Looking for a performance of the Best Sit-on-Top Kayaks with comfort to match? The Eddyline Caribbean 12 FS kayak should be on your radar.

This boat catches the eye with its smooth Gullwing hull. Eddyline specially shaped it to blend stability when you’re relaxing with maneuverability when you want to pick up the pace. The sharp sides help it track straight and let you lean into turns in rougher conditions.

You get plenty of legroom to find your ideal paddling position with the Caribbean’s open design and adjustable footrests. It comes with Eddyline’s Cloud 10 seat – I’m a big fan. Its antimicrobial fabric stays comfy during all-day adventures without getting funky.

Storage hooks you up for multi-day excursions. Lash down a cooler or dry bag in the back well, then stash essentials in the front and back hatches. The 12 FS also gives you tracks for mounting rods, GPS units, cameras – you name it.

I’ll give you a heads-up on a couple of things to think about. With a 275-pound capacity, it’s not made for heavier paddlers or tons of gear. And it runs narrow for a 12-footer, so I’d stick to calmer waters if you’re newer to kayaking. But if you prioritize performance and like exploring at your own pace, the Eddyline Caribbean 12 FS delivers. It keeps you steady and lets you shoot off when something catches your eye. And you get to do it from a nice perch.


  • Easy to steer and stable in calm water due to the hull design.
  • Ample storage for your gear.
  • Provides excellent comfort with the Cloud 10 folding frame seat.
  • Adjustable footrests enhance control while paddling.
  • Gear tracks in the cockpit for accessory placement.


  • Costly for a recreational boat.
  • Limited weight capacity (275 lbs).
  • The narrow hull might feel unsteady in choppy waters.

 Best  Value: Wilderness System Tarpon 120

12’3″31″63 lbs350 lbs
Wilderness System Tarpon 120

The Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 should be on your radar if you want sit-on-top performance without emptying your wallet. This kayak is tried and true – there’s a reason it’s won awards.

You can tell it’s built to handle abuse. Its rugged polyethylene hull stands up year after year to scrapes on rocks or oyster beds. The flatter midsection keeps you steady when conditions get bouncy, while the shape cuts through water for speed when calm.

The Tarpon 120 shines with extras that make time on the water more pleasant. It starts with Wilderness’ cushy AirPro seat that lets air circulate so your backside doesn’t get too hot. Adjustable foot braces let you tweak the fit. You also get built-in rod holders, a spot for your water bottle, and a dry box to keep essentials close at hand.

For longer trips, take advantage of the huge rear tank well. Lash down a cooler or dry bag, then stash more gear in the forward hatch. The Tarpon 120 even includes mounts if you want to upgrade later with a rudder kit.

I’ll give you full disclosure on a couple of small nitpicks. At 63 pounds, the Tarpon 120 weighs more than other rec boats. And some paddlers notice the front hatch leaks a bit in choppy conditions. But if you don’t mind the extra mass and can pack accordingly, this boat delivers performance that punches way above its price tag.


  • Durable rotomolded plastic
  • Super comfortable seat
  • Large storage capacity
  • Rudder compatible
  •  Stable and fast hull


  • Best Sit-on-Top Kayaks has Heavy for solo use
  • Leaky storage hatch in rough conditions


Best Budget: Pelican Sentinel 100 X

9’6″30″42 lbs275 lbs
Pelican Sentinel 100 X

The Pelican Sentinel 100X kayak of Best Sit-on-Top Kayaks shows you can play on the water without spending a bundle. This recreational sit-on-top floats at a price that will satisfy your budget.

Pelican builds the 100X using its own Ram-X material. It keeps weight down for carting while still holding up scrapes from loading or against rocks and logs. The twin-arched hull is another smart design choice. It helps the 100X paddle straight while giving you the stability to stay upright.

One feature that makes this boat stand out for comfort – is the ergonomic seat. Deep, thick cushions let you lounge back without numbing your backside on all-day treks. The high, wide backrest gives plenty of support too.  Your legs also get some love with molded-in footrests to change positions and put more oomph in your stroke.

Gear hauling isn’t forgotten either. Pelican outfits the 100X with its EXOSHELL rear compartment for dry storage. The 13 liters handle a small cooler or a few bags of essentials. You also get built-in rod holders, a water bottle cradle, and slots for your paddle when nature calls.

I’ll give you the full scoop on limitations too. The 100X tops out at 275 pounds, including paddler, gear, and the boat itself. And at just 9’6″, it won’t hold provisions for a weeklong adventure. But for poking around close to home at an easy price, the little 100X delivers big fun.


  • Durable Ram-X plastic for long-lasting use
  • Super comfortable seating system for all-day paddling
  • Stable and fast twin-arched multi-chine hull
  • Removable EXOSHELL storage system for convenient organization
  • Bottle holder, paddle holder, and molded footrests included


  • Best Sit-on-Top Kayaks have a Relatively low weight capacity
  • Limited gear storage space compared to other kayaks

Game-Changing 12 Foot Sit on Top Kayaks

Best for Beginners: Perception tribe 9.5

9’5″31″46 lbs300 lbs
Perception tribe 9.5

If you’re a beginner paddler looking to step up your skills, Perception’s Tribe 9.5 kayak makes a trusty partner on your journey. This stable sit-on-top lets you grow confidence before branching out.

The Tribe 9.5 wins big points for keeping newbies steady. Its wide, fairly flat hull could practically be a barge – but that means tipping over is very unlikely. You can concentrate on proper paddling techniques instead of panicking every time a boat wobbles.

Perception also smartly fits molded footrests so you truly engage your lower body. Bracing feet to push your stroke trains muscles differently than sitting in a lawn chair. Proper body mechanics from the start prevent overuse injuries down the road.

You’ll stay cozy thanks to an adjustable seat with ample padding for all-day comfort. The Tribe 9.5 offers some dry storage up front and back with space for a couple of small bags. It also has a hatch in the cockpit to tuck away car keys or a sandwich.

I do want to set accurate expectations before you fall in love. This boat prioritizes steadiness over speed or agility. And it lacks fancier extras some paddlers expect today. But by building confidence and know-how on Tribe 9.5 first, you’ll progress faster when you later step into a faster boat.


  • Best Sit-on-Top Kayaks is Very stable on calm water
  • Best Sit-on-Top Kayaks has a Budget-friendly price
  • Comfortable, adjustable seat
  • Footrests for different sizes
  • Decent gear storage


  • Lacks advanced features
  • The best Sit-on-Top Kayaks is Tippy in choppy water

Best Tandem: Ocean Kayak Malibu Two

12′34″63 lbs425 lbs
Ocean Kayak Malibu Two

The Ocean Kayak Malibu Two is a stable, user-friendly tandem sit-on-top kayak. It’s great for family paddling fun.

The Malibu Two stands out for its hull design. The wide 34″ beam provides exceptional stability on calm water. The 12′ length gives good tracking for long distances. A major perk is the versatility to paddle solo or tandem. You can bring a child or pet too for a family adventure.

Features are fairly simple – adjustable seats, gear straps, and molded footrests. This keeps things streamlined.

Downsides are limited storage when paddled tandem, and few extra features overall. So it’s best for shorter trips.

But if you want an easy-to-use tandem for calm water fun, the Malibu Two is a top choice. The stable hull and versatile seating make family paddling a breeze.


  • Can paddle solo or tandem
  • Space for a dog or small child
  • A wide, long hull gives stability and tracking
  • Adjustable seats for comfort


  • Limited storage when tandem paddling
  • Not many extra features

Best for Day Touring: Wilderness System Tarpon 140

14′28″68 lbs375 lbs
Wilderness System Tarpon 140

The Wilderness Systems Tarpon 140 kayak is built for adventure and long day trips.

It has a narrow, fast hull design that tracks well and provides speed, like a sit-inside kayak. But it’s still a sit-on-top with an open cockpit.

For comfort, it has an adjustable AirPro seat and footrests. Storage is excellent with hatches, pockets, and rear Best deck compass space. The Tarpon 140 excels in performance. But the narrow hull and heavy weight can be tricky.

This is a Best Sit-on-Top Kayaks suited to experienced paddlers going on longer journeys. The tracking, speed, and storage make full-day trips a breeze. Just be prepared for a bit of a learning curve with the tippy hull and heavier weight.

Overall the Tarpon 140 is incredible if you prioritize performance for touring. It’s an adventure-ready kayak for trips all day long on the water.


  • Sit-on-top comfort with sit-in performance
  • Tons of gear storage space
  • Comfortable AirPro seat and footrests
  • SlideTrax to mount accessories
  • Fast and tracking narrow hull


  • A narrow hull can feel tippy
  • Very heavy solo kayak

The main pros are the speed and tracking from the narrow hull along with ample storage and a comfortable seat.

Drawbacks are it may feel unstable due to the narrow hull, and it’s heavy for one person to carry.

Best for Smaller Paddlers: Ocean Kayak Venus 11

10’8″28.5″44 lbs225 lbs
Ocean Kayak Venus 11

The Venus 11 is made for smaller paddlers seeking a portable, versatile kayak.

At just 10’8″ and 44 lbs, it’s crazy lightweight and easy to transport.

The rugged polyethylene hull is durable and stable. The low deck suits shorter paddlers.

It packs features like a hybrid seat, footrests, hatches, and a cup holder. Everything you need for fun paddling!

The downsides are the low weight capacity and lack of skeg or rudder. So it won’t track as well over long distances. But for small paddlers wanting an easy-to-use, portable boat, the Venus 11 is ideal. The lightweight and stability open up flatwater adventures with ease.


  • Adjustable seat and molded footrests
  • Very portable for smaller paddlers
  • Decent gear storage space
  • Durable polyethylene hull
  • Stable for flatwater


  • Doesn’t track as well as longer boats

The main pros are the lightweight portable size, stability, storage, seat, and footrests.

The main con is that it lacks tracking capabilities compared to longer kayaks.

Best Paddle Board Kayak Hybrid: Perception Hi Life 11.0

11′34″55 lbs280 lbs
Perception Hi Life 11.0

The Hi-Life 11.0 is a unique hybrid kayak and paddleboard. It offers versatility for recreational paddling. At 11′ long and 34″ wide, it provides stability and tracking for calm waters. The removable fin aids control.

The open deck has a soft, grippy surface so you can stand and paddleboard. It also has a comfy elevated seat for kayaking. Other handy features are the gear track, under-seat cooler storage, and swim deck.

Downsides are mediocre performance in waves and heavyweight. But for a 2-in-1 kayak and SUP, the Hi Life 11.0 is tough to beat. The hybrid kayak/SUP design, stability, deck features, and storage make this a versatile recreational paddling option. It’s ideal if you want one boat to do it all in calm waters.


  • Low rear deck easy to climb on
  • Soft padded deck for paddleboarding
  • Adjustable seat for kayaking
  • Use as kayak or paddleboard
  • Lots of gear storage space


  • Heavy for kayak and paddleboard
  • Not great in windy or rough water

The main pros are the versatility, storage, seats, and easy entry.

Cons are heavy weight and poor performance in waves.

Best Sit-on-Top Kayaks Buying Advice

Sit-on-Top Kayak Buying Advice

Shopping for a sit-on-top kayak can be confusing because there are many different types with unique features. To make it easier, we’ve created a helpful guide. Here are some important things to think about when choosing your next kayak:

  • Paddling Style & Intended Use: Consider how you’ll use the kayak—like for fishing or leisure paddling.
  • Performance: Check how well the kayak moves in the water.
  • Maximum Weight Capacity: Know how much weight the kayak can carry.
  • Gear Storage Options: Look for places to store your gear, like fishing equipment or snacks.
  • Comfort & Convenience: Ensure the kayak feels comfortable and is easy to use.
  • Extra Features: Find out about any additional things the kayak offers, such as holders for rods or cups.

Paddling Style & Intended Use

If you’re looking to buy a Best Sit-on-Top Kayaks, you likely want to use it for recreational paddling. Recreational paddling is a type of kayaking where you go out on mostly flat lakes, calm streams, and sheltered bays for short kayaking adventures. It’s all about having fun, relaxing, and enjoying the sun with your friends and family.

When shopping for a Best Sit-on-Top Kayaks, it’s important to consider your paddling style and your preferred types of adventures. There are many subdisciplines within recreational paddling, and each paddler has their kayaking style.

For example, if you like to head out on longer paddling trips or even brief overnights, you might want a day-touring sit-on-top kayak like the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 140. This kayak offers lots of gear storage space.

On the other hand, if you’re primarily interested in hanging out and relaxing on the water while taking in the views, a boat like the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 or the Eddyline Caribbean 12 FS might be a more suitable option. These kayaks provide a blend of performance and comfort.

Ultimately, everyone has their unique way of adventuring outside. As a result, no single sit-on-top boat will work for everyone. What’s critical here is that your future kayak matches your paddling style so you can enjoy your time on the water to the fullest.


When you go kayaking, you want a kayak that offers the performance features you need to make the most of your time outside.Best Sit-on-Top Kayaks tend to prioritize stability above all else. They have wide, mostly flat hulls that provide superior primary stability, which is the boat’s ability to stay stable on flat water. Unfortunately, this often comes at the expense of secondary stability (the boat’s ability to remain stable on choppy waters). Still, for recreational paddling, that’s usually not a huge issue.

kayak performance

In addition to stability, you can find sit-on-top kayaks designed for speed, tracking, or maneuverability. Longer boats tend to have a natural advantage over shorter kayaks as far as speed and tracking are concerned. But shorter kayaks tend to be more maneuverable. Kayaks with a more rounded hull or a more defined hull rocker tend to be more maneuverable. While those with sharper chines (the “edges” of a boat) at the bow and stern usually slice through the water better.

In summary, whatever Best Sit-on-Top Kayaks you end up with will probably be great as far as stability is concerned. But you’ll need to decide whether you want to prioritize speed, maneuverability, or tracking on the water.

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