Canoe Seats for Kids ??

Does anyone have any advice or recommendations for seating for young children in a canoe. I saw some wooden seats on the old town web site but they are to pricey. Just wondering what other people are using. Any feedback would be appreciated.


My only contribution to "canoeing tech"
When my kids were small, I used one of those $30 inflatable boats that are sold at any beach shop or wall mart. I put it in the center then pumped it up. It gives them a soft bottom, room to move around, and best of all, it keeps them centered in the canoe. It also provides ready extra flotation should it be needed. As a final added bonus, you can add an couple inches of water to the boat and they have a canoe bound kiddie pool!

A two person boat entirely fills and tightens up in a Wenonah Spirit II from gunnel to gunnel.

(I don’t want to hear it. I’m claiming it as mine anyway!):slight_smile:

here’s what I did…
I often find those milk crates you see in grocery stores, etc. while paddling one of the local bayous near my house. In fact I have found 15 of the darn things, but I am not complaining. I cut one down and then tied on a seat pad. It works well in as well as out of the boat. I also glued on some small rubber feet so that it doesn’t slide around when she is sitting on it. Best of luck.

I use
those square flotation cushions in the bottom of the canoe. So far so good. My girls are 9 and 6.

booster seat
My daughter has used a plastic booster seat (like for eating) since she was about 8 months old (now 16 months old). It has worked well for when she wants to sit and still see over the sides, and I used to strap her to it when she was really little (which could be dangerous some places but was not a concern where we were).

folding cane seat
I went for the folding cane seat but found a cheaper source:

Very Cheap or Free Alternative
When our two daughters were young, we used the backrest section of cheap stacking chairs - you can probably find 'em free at any school, church hall, etc. Just detached the backrest, lashed it to the centre thwart - if using two, lashed one facing forward, one towards the stern. Worked like a charm.

I have seem foam seats
with a back for about $3o a piece. Personally I would never belt a child in a car seat on the water. Even in a few inches. It will most likely pull em down or affect the PFD flotation. I have written tickets to folks for no PFD , but strapped their kid in a car seat.

Beach chairs (low to ground) work well.
You can wrap the feet to protect the boat. Not good for paddling, but really nice to sit in. Keeps them up off the bottom so they stay drier.

I like the inflatable idea!

For younger children
sitting lower down is better. That way, if they squirm or move around, they aren’t as likely to fall out or tump over the canoe. The boat cushion or the inflatable raft sound like good ideas. Now that my grandson is two, might try the inflatable boat. I’ve an old Sea Eagle that might do the trick. Makes a pretty good wading pool too.

kid seats
I use the sling seat from stearns. attaches to the gunwales, and can be adjusted for height by looping the slings.

Kids Seats
We used a car seat when our daughter was a baby (her first canoe ride was at 3 months). Once she started to crawl, we just let her roam the inside of the canoe. At age 4 she was my bow partner & used a cane seat (actually we spun the canoe around and she sat in the stern–now bow-- seat and paddled with me. She is 20 now & a fantastic paddler.

Most important though is make sure you have a well fitted PFD for your kids and make sure they wear it. Easiest way to do that is wear yours at all times.