Best Sit On Top Kayaks 2018 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Many people like to be out on the water in a boat. Kayaks are single person, multi-function boats which allow fishermen or adventurous souls to get to difficult places.

However, typical kayaks are often confining, uncomfortable, and extremely expensive.

Sit on top kayaks are similar, often single person, boats, but they allow for the paddler to sit on top of an inflatable or durable plastic boat. These kayaks are much more freeing, but still allow the rider to get into those tricky spots.

In the following sections of this review guide, you will find detailed analysis of the benefits of the best sit on top kayak models. 


Product Name

Kayak Weight

Weight Capacity


Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

43 pounds

325 lbs

Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

57 pounds

425 lbs

Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak

44 pounds

up to 280 lbs

Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak

60 pounds

475 lbs

Perception Kayak Tribe Sunset

52 pounds

325 lbs

This guide covers a broad range of kayaks--multi-person kayaks, fishing kayaks, or just regular kayaks. Also, a variety of prices are examined here--these are certainly not all in the same price range!

Top 5 Sit On Top Kayaks 2018

1. Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

This kayak comes in at only forty three pounds. Now, weight may not seem like a big deal when you are shopping online, but when you are hauling this boat across hot sand in bare feet--you might change your mind: 43 pounds makes this kayak a winner.

Additionally, the $499 price tag is nothing to sneeze at. It is certainly on the cheaper end of kayaks and the reviews for it are still incredible.

This kayak is also noted for being able to withstand strong winds and for being extremely durable! The ocean simply poses no threat to this kayak, which is unusual as it is a lightweight kayak. This kayak is It also is very easy to steer and guide, due to its light weight.

This is definitely a kayak any beginner will feel confident and safe in, but an old pro will enjoy the ease of the journey!

Even though it is lightweight, the Ocean Kayak Frenzy is incredibly durable. It is rare that this kayak has leaks or any faulty parts. Especially durable are the seams of the kayak.

Further Reviewing the Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top

One more bonus feature to this boat--even though it is a single person kayak, it has enough space you can bring your faithful canine with you.

However, there isn’t much room beyond that--no paddle storage on this boat, and though there are bungeed storage sections on this boat, they are not big enough to hold much.

This is not a boat for day long trips, but for three or four hour voyages in water you are familiar with. Additionally, this kayak is made in the United States, which is a huge bonus for many shoppers.

One warning, though--if you are tall, this kayak may not be best for you. It can strike tall individuals oddly, causing pain and discomfort. This may be due to the length of the boat--which comes in at only 9 feet.


  • Lightweight & Durable
  • Made in the USA
  • Ocean Friendly
  • Great Price


  • Best if you are under 6 feet
  • Seat can cause sore back

2. Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

The best thing about this kayak is that it can hold two people...or two people and their child...or two people and their small dog. All sorts of wonderful options!

This means you do not ever have to kayak alone or worry about getting separated from your group, because you can always bring them on your boat.

That being said, if you want to be able to get away without your family and friends, you are able to paddle from the center seat for a quiet day on the water.

The Ocean Kayak Malibu comes in at close to $700. If you feel that's too much, remember: it holds two people. Even if you buy two of the cheapest kayaks on this list, you would still be saving $100. That means that even though this kayak seems pricier, it is really a smart investment.

It is a little heavier than the other kayaks we have seen, but that means it holds up extremely well in the wind.

If you live in a particularly windy area, this kayak is perfect for you--no storm or gale is going to blow you around in this little boat! That means this bad boy can float in the ocean or on your local lake.

More on the Ocean Kayak 12

This boat does not have particularly great handles, so it may be tricky to load and unload on your car. However, if you are taking it out with a companion, the lack of handles shouldn’t cause you too many issues.

One thing to consider with this kayak is how far you have to travel with it. If you have to carry it a long way to get to the water, it simply may not be for you as it could be quite a strain to carry 57 pounds with you.

Also, this kayak is reported to spring the occasional leak, which is odd considering its weight. So be cautious and watch your boat! There has not been any clarity on how customer service responds to these leaks, either.

Also, this kayak does not have much in the way of storage. If you are storing your paddles (which are not included with the purchase of this kayak) on the boat, you really will not have room for food or drinks or much of anything else.

If you are hoping to take your kayak out for long periods during the day, this is simply not the boat for you. This is more of a kayak you want to take out for an hour here or there.


  • Ocean Friendly
  • Very Stable
  • Great for short trips
  • Great Price

3. Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak

This kayak is very reasonably priced, in fact it is the cheapest on this list!

It comes in right around $390, but doesn't have reviews as great as the Ocean Kayak Frenzy which came in at number one.

However, if you are tall or weigh over 300 pounds, it may not be the kayak for you!

It is a tight fit for sure. Additionally, because it is only a ten foot kayak, those of you who are taller may feel a little cramped. However, there are longer versions of this kayak, so you can always look into those--just watch for the price to be higher as well!

This kayak also is not the best when it comes to wind, so it does not do too well out on the high seas, but if you live near lakes, it is a great option! Plus, its lightweight frame will allow you to transport it back and forth with ease.

Perhaps the best thing about this kayak is how much equipment you are able to haul with you. It is great for lake fishing, as you can bring 3+ poles with you.

That means, for you avid fishermen, you can carry multiple different fishing poles and not have to worry about changing out hooks or bait or reels. You have lots of options literally right at your fingertips.

Further Review of the Sun Dolphin Journey 10

In addition to being able to haul a lot of equipment (it even has the capability of hauling a tow behind), it has three fishing pole holders. Two are flush mount and one swivels, which means you even have variety in the way you set up your poles.

For fishermen who are able to fish with multiple poles at once, this is an ideal kayak! It also has paddle storage for when you are fishing--this makes this boat incredibly fisherman friendly, as you have plenty of space to just cast and reel, cast and reel.

Not all of the boats on this list have paddle storage, so if this is an important feature to you, take note of which boats do and which do not!

One deterrent may be that this kayak is also not made in America, which can be a deterrent to some people. But if this kayak springs a leak, give customer service a call.

They are great about issuing repairs to your kayak, as they have customer service in the United States.


  • Very Reasonable Pricing
  • Extremely Lightweight
  • Customer Service Will Help You Repair your Kayak
  • Great for Lake Fishing
  • Can Hold 3+ Poles!


  • Not for tall people!
  • Not Made in the USA
  • Not Very Ocean Friendly

4. Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak

This boat comes in at the highest price on the list. At almost $1000, this boat does not seem worth the cost, until you realize exactly how much storage it really had. This 13 foot boat is incredible!

If you do not just like to fish, but you enjoy hunting from boat--this is your kayak! It does not just have room for fishing poles, but for guns as well. Duck hunters be ware and enjoy!

This kayak has a very large hatch on the front, which extends the full length of the boat. This is an ideal place for all of your fishing and hunting gear.

However, the designers of this boat were also aware that if you are out hunting and fishing you are probably going to need a meal.

Or two. So, the engineers who designed this boat installed a back hatch that is large enough for coolers, etc. to fit. The Ocean Kayak Prowler is a fisherman’s (or duck hunter’s) dream come true!

More on the Prowler 13

Comfort is of huge importance when you are spending the whole day fishing in a kayak, and this kayak has a comfort seat and lots of places to set fishing poles or drinks. It has two rod holders and two cupholders.

It also has storage specifically designed for your paddles, which is ideal for fishermen.

Additionally, this kayak is incredibly stable in the water, but that is most likely due to it’s weight. This may not be a boat you drag across the beach--consider backing your vehicle right up to the edge of the water for this bad boy!

However, the benefit of the weight is that you know it is stable in the water. It also has great reports of durability--it withstands a lot and does not need much in the way of repairs, which means no back and forth with customer service representatives.

The biggest set back with this boat is it’s price, but again: if you are a fisherman or hunter, the price is DEFINITELY worth the amount of space you have to store your gear.


  • Holds a Lot of Gear
  • Stands Up Against the Wind
  • Lake Friendly


  • Relatively Expensive
  • Heaviest Kayak on this List

5. Perception Kayak Tribe Sunset

This is a great kayak if you are looking for something a little pricier, but is really considered a middle of the road price. With the reviews this boat has, it is certainly worth an extra two hundred dollars. The best feature of this boat is that it is easy to move around and to use for solo trips!

It is also an excellent little boat if you are prone to back problems, as the seat is easy to move when you are in the kayak on the water--this is a feature most kayaks do not have! So for those of you who are taller, this might be the boat for you!

The Perception Kayak Tribe series is also known for being efficient in all sorts of environments--lakes, the ocean, even rivers! Because it is a thin boat for a kayak, it means it is easy to maneuver in lots of different environments. That combined with its weight (or lack thereof) means that this boat is able to be as adventurous as you!

The thin style of this boat and the length of it may not be great for those who are tall, however this is a boat series, so there are longer versions of this exact same Kayak if you fall in love with its features.

Further Review of the Perception Kayak

It rarely has reports of springing leaks. The only deterrent is that it does not hold as much weight or as much gear--so be cautious you do not overload it when you take it out. The lightweight feature of this boat combined with overloading it could result in tipping, especially if high winds come up.

However, this boat does have fantastic bungee cords for tying down your gear, so if it does tip due to weight or wind, you should not lose any of your supplies!

Another great feature to this boat is the handles. Even though it is lightweight and you do not have to work hard to carry it around, it also has lots of handles on it which allow you to carry it incredibly easily. These handles are also moldable which means you will not be scrunching your hand up against plastic again and again.

This also makes it much easier for you to load it and unload it from your car. If you like to travel with your kayaks, this is certainly the boat you want!


  • Ocean Friendly
  • Lightweight
  • Lake Friendly
  • Seat is Very Easy to Move Around
  • Very Durable!


  • Low Weight Capacity
  • Does not hold much gear

How to Buy Sit On Top Kayaks

Buy Sit On Top Kayaks

When you are considering a sit on top kayak, there are several features you need to consider.

What type of environment in which you will be using them, their weight, their durability, the price, the weight capacity, and the ability of the boat to haul gear.


Again, you do not want a heavy kayak to lug across the beach, which means you probably want to consider the boats that weigh less than 50 pounds. If you are considering a two person kayak, then a heavier weight may not be as big of a deal, as you would have extra hands to help you with the boat.

Additionally, if you are able to leave your boat at the water or are able to back up to the water, weight may not be of any issue for you in choosing a kayak.


The last thing you want is your kayak to begin sinking when you are on the water--so, choosing a kayak that is proven to hold up in lots of different situations is ideal. All of these kayaks have been proven to endure lots of tricky situations!

However, if your kayak does spring a leak, know what the customer service representatives are willing to do for you. Some of these companies will bend over backward for their customers.


As with any purchase, you have a wide range of prices. We all know you get what you pay for, which means a $100 kayak probably isn’t your best bet.

However, when you are considering the differences between a four hundred dollar kayak and a thousand dollar kayak, the turning point seems to be: are you going to be in the ocean? If the answer is yes, you probably want the thousand dollar kayak.

They seem to hold up against the wind and waves better than the four hundred dollar boats. If you are going to be on a lake, a four hundred dollar kayak will probably be just fine.

Weight Capacity

This isn’t necessarily a pro or con, but something you need to consider for yourself. Most of these kayaks are 10 foot boats--which means if you are over 6 feet tall, or over 300 pounds, you will probably want a 12 or 14 foot kayak.

The longer boats simply allow you a little more freedom to move and often cause fewer back problems! However, if you are shorter, it may be more difficult for you to control a longer boat.


If you are fishing or hunting for an entire day, you need a lot of stuff. If you are just going out for a mid-day cruise, you need a water bottle, life vest, and paddles.

That being said, it is incredibly important to know how much you can haul with you and to know whether or not your kayak can store paddles during the trip. This is something to consider as you look at each of these boats--which ones have lots of room and which do not?

Our Final Review of the Best Sit on Top Kayaks

Ultimately, the kayak you choose is up to you, but consider which necessities you have. Are you fishing? Are you enjoying a daily cruise?

How far do you have to move your boat to get to the water? How many people do you want with you?

There are many questions to ask yourself as you consider a sit on top kayak, and there are many sit on top kayak options!

These boats are simply some of the best when it comes to enjoying a beautiful sunrise and a cool summer breeze.

What's your favorite sit on top kayak? Share with us below!

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