Canoe Seating Type Survey

Please offer feedback on which you prefer .

  1. traditional flat bench style seating (cane, nylon web, etc)


  2. A molded tractor style seat

    Frame your opinion using this input:

    Type of paddling/boat: Touring, recreational, fishing. No white water.

    Cost of either option the same

    Thanks - Matt

i like traditional
i like to drop down to kneeling positions when called for (headwind, rough or strong conditions, change of pace)

Tractor type sliding
In a Sawyer Autumn Mist solo. Best seat I’ve ever used. Sold the boat so the seat is gone. That said my current fleet is all traditional because it is difficult to mount a tractor seat in a Royalex or SOF hull. My SOF does have a sliding seat but is a web construction. Two qualifiers. All my boats are solo and replacement knees on both sides prevent kneeling in any form.

I like traditional
seats, I kneel and sit on them. I do both touring and recreational paddling.

Slat Seats
I’m pleased with the slat seats we put in a tripping canoe. You can see what I’m talking about at the wcha forum:

They are comfortable to sit on when touring and in rough water or headwinds I’m happy they are rounded on the leading edge to provide comfort in the kneeling position, too.

Tractor seats collect water and make for a sweaty butt when its hot. Web seats retain water once wet. The slat seats don’t absorb or hold water and provide some degree of breathability.

Among solo whitewater boats I have owned, I prefer the foam saddles over the plastic, Perception saddle, which I hated.


must have subject!
i like the molded sliding tractor seat in my solo prism… sat in it every day all day for 6 months on my last journey… my A$$ was very happy

flat webbed seats
I really like the flat webbed seats in my Mad River. They are more comfortable than the molded seats and they enable you to face the stern while paddling solo. I use my boat mainly for slow water overnight trips and fishing but I also occasionally hit some class 2’s and 3’s on the Locust Fork here in Alabama in late winter and early spring. Hope this is what you wanted.

God Bless

In my Super Nova I love the foam saddle, it is used for both WW amd tripping. The Mohawk (WW aslo has a foam saddle). Plenty of opportunity to change positions etc. given conditions and needs. kim

Flat web or cane…
I like flat web or cane seats on my canoes.

I raise the whole seat several inches, and lower the forward edge; plenty of room for my big feet, and more comfortable when kneeling in my opinion. I use a Bell kneeling pad, and kneel probably 75% of the time.

Use foam pedestal in my whitewater canoe; the plastic Perception saddle is like a torture device to me. Also hated the old moulded plastic seats on the Old Town canoes I’ve owned. No air circulation in summer & catches rain, sleet & snow in winter. Never cared too much for tractor seats either.

Love the adjustable height cane seats in Blackhawks; they are also beautifully made.


flat web or cane for me too

hey that’s pretty slick!

For twent years, I had the cane seats
in my canoe. Didn’t know any others, besides the aluminum seats of a Grumman. Now, I’ve got to replace them, my son and one of his buddies thought they could stand on the cane. But, can’t find the cane at a reasonable price. So, thinking about going back with webbing. As for the tractor seats, they may be comfortable, but with a long canoe and solo paddling, can the be turned so you can paddle with the bow as stern?

Tractor/IQ seating
I’m new to paddling, just ordered a Mad River canoe with the IQ system. After much deliberation and some testing at the dealer, I chose the IQ for the comfort of a tractor style seat with the flexability to change configurations. I’m a bit concerned about my arthritis and decided to maximize comfort.


I have the three types and like them
all. My Champlain has a tractor seat which I find comfortable for long trips. I use a Cascade Design canoe seat with them all which I find really helps for comfort and in cold weather. If you want to kneel though, you can forget about the tractor seat since it sits too low to get your feet underneath.

traditional seats
Put wood seats with webbing in my tripper. Far more comfortable, better for kneeling and allow the canoe to be paddled backward when I am alone.

Does “Trim” Mean Centered?
I like my bowman (or bow-woman in my case)to be able to put her hip against the gunnel of the side of the canoe she is paddling on. I think this increases the probability of a good vertical entry and a stronger stroke. I weigh enough that I keep the canoe trim by shifting toward the opposite gunnel.

I may be fortuneate in that I trained my bowman to be a consistent port-side paddler. On the few occasions, I want her to paddle on starboard she can saddle over to the right, I can shift over and still keep the canoe trim while I continue paddling on my strong side.

The one time we rented a canoe with tractor seats, I felt we were strait-jacketed and far less efficient. I didn’t realize until then, that depending on conditions and comfort, we do adjust our sitting positions fairly frequently.

I am probably in the bottom 10th percentile in canoeing experience; so, I will willingly consider anyone’s advice that says we should be sitting square in the middle of the canoe. I understand the neccessity of maintaining “trim”; does that mean we have to stay centered?

In the meantime, I prefer the bench type seat.

I have flat webbed and nolded tractor.

– Last Updated: Nov-04-05 1:59 PM EST –

Most of my solo & tandem canoes have had tractor style seats. The Wenonah Solo Plus that I got last year has webbed seats.

The flat webbed seats are comfortable enough, but to this point, I prefer the molded tractor style seats more. They seem more comfortable to me than the webbed seats.

In the solo canoes, I like the firm seating position I have with the molded seats - my butt won't slide from one side to the other. Some folks like to be able to move side to side, so they prefer flat seats.

The tractor style seats in my Wenonah Echo, Sawyer 190, Sawyer Summersong and Moore Ladybug canoes were/are much roomier than the tractor style seat in my Mad River Slipper solo canoe - it took a while to get used to because of the depth of the molding on the seat. When I first got it, I thought that maybe it was a special youth model seat or something. Now I like it because I stay firmly in place when leaning the boat. The seat in the Slipper is mounted in such a way that the front can be lowered for more comfortable kneeling and the feet easily fit along the side.

So far, I prefer the molded seats. There can be a great variation in the shape of the molded seats from different manufacturers and maybe even within a particular manufacturer.

on my Autum Mist
my sliding bucket seat can be tilted and turned around if ya want, as well as raised and lowered…

canoe seats
I like a Cane seat, but they’re not durable. I replaced the cane with a weave of 40# mono fishing line. It is very comfortable, durable and breathes well. Besides that its easy to fix while on a fishing trip in the Boundary Waters.

I got in to racing and quickly learned the benifits of a tractor seat with footbraces. I retro fitted a sundowner with them, moved them into a SCR (racer) bought my Jensen with them and when I built my striper ( a Merlin, plans from Northwest canoe shop) I bought a pedestal and footbrace from Wenonah. I mostly paddle impounded waters, but have raced in the aderondacks down to the Florida Keys using tractor seats. On the Bogey and Becall race a few years back I saw sunlight shining under my boat, because th ebow and stern were held up on waves, I was locked into the boat with my tractor and footbraces. Many of my friends race white water, and the ones that aren’t using saddles are using tractors…

Time in the seat; well the Last Clinton I spent most of eleven hours and fifty something minutes in the seat.

Dry butt? Heck the rest of me is sweating like shoer head so how do I know if the wet butt is from the tractor seat or rolling down my body?

I have sat in Mad rivers bucket, Grasse river , and I have more hours in a Wenonah and Savage river bucket then I can remember. Like them all.

I feel taht if you are paddling buckets are the way to go. If you are lilydipping and fishing then it is personal preference.