comfortable kayak seats

So of course it’s different for everyone, but I think most people would agree the standard seat in the Prion Kodiak from 10 years ago flat out SUCKS. I was wondering which seats you’ve found to be most comfortable for extended periods on the water. Any links to pics of the seats would be appreciated as I’m going to build one this winter to replace what I have now.

Thigh Support
I have found that I’m miserable without plenty of thigh support.

Minority opinion but…
The best one for me so far is the no-thigh-support-flat NDK hung seat. I found out from the more supportive Vela seat that a seat edge that cuts up into the bottom of my thigh is sheer pain after a couple or three hours. I finally cut away foam and flattened out the Vela seat on vacation, and it is now very comfy.

Have to admit though, I think I am also going to glue some 8th inch minicell under my sitz bones in the NDK boat too. I did that to make the Vela seat a smidge flatter, and it feels awfully nice.

Necky Touring Seat
I really like the Necky touring seat. It’s lightweight foam and very comfortable.

Look at the Bumfortable Seat
Very comfortable, customizable seat.

Where do…
you find the Bumfortable seat? Just did a quick Google, and found referances, but no source.



Gurney Gears
That’s were I got mine anyway. It make kayaking in a race boat possible. I had bad leg numbness until I found this seat. IF this link doesn’t work go to Fit2paddle’s site and he has pictures and links. Chaz

Be aware of some seats…
…that may apply too much pressure against your tailbone. A few have cut-outs that may help in some situations…

Why build a seat? . . .

– Last Updated: Aug-24-08 2:08 AM EST –

I just went through all the decision-making earlier this year while building the Arctic Terns, because quite frankly, I thought the Therm-a-Rest seat pads that come standard with the Pygmy kits would not come close to the required comfort - compared to all the fancy (and expensive) seating out there. The folks at Pygmy encouraged me to just try the seats for a while, then get something else if they were not comfortable. I kept thinking, with all the nice seats available, why do I want to just drop this pad in the boat to sit on?

Well, I'm glad I followed Pygmy's advice, because these self-inflating pads are extremely comfortable. I did add one small modification. I ordered a 1/4" closed cell foam yoga pad (available in neat colors at ) for about $14 and cut a custom shape for both boats, running under and in front of the pads and running up the thigh braces for padding - then the pads go on top. This "saddle blanket" extends more support out in front of the seat and doesn't appreciably raise the CG.

We have had the boats on five outings, now; spent the whole afternoon in the boats today, with no loss of comfort. Since my doctor requires that I get out to stretch and exercise at least every three hours, or so, I cannot make claims for defining "extended" beyond that - except that I wouldn't hesitate to take on a multi-day trip using those seats.

a fiberglass one
that I made on a mold of expandable foam shaped from my butt. After that various carved minicell seats. A friend paddles a CD Extreme with the seat out, he sits on the bottom of the hull and says it’s comfortable, what made the difference for him was a back rest made of stacks of minicell and no backband.

phase 3 seats
in Wilderness System boats works well for me, although I’m considering a little memory foam or gel under the tailbone for extended days.

Why build a seat?
Because it isn’t just about comfort. It’s also about boat control. A well made custom seat dramatically improves both.


What Jon said and
here is a link to the most comfortable seat on the planet IMHO.


Like you…
I was content with my stock seat from a comfort standpoint. I could sit in it all day long and I really didn’t understand what all the “custom seat” chatter was about. Why would I want to shape a custom foam seat when what I had was so comfy and simple?

One day, though, I had some time on my hands and several odd pieces of minicell knocking around the garage. I threw “Frankenseat” together and went to the lake to try it out. It looked awful but it turned out to provide a little more comfort. My boat control was hugely improved. Immediately, I was able to easily hold my Tern on edge and started developing skills that had eluded me. Subtle control movements transmitted through that seat made my paddling much easier and enjoyable. I couldn’t believe it so I put the t-rest back in. It was like paddling a kayak while sitting on a beachball. I tried changing the amount of air in the t-rest but it didn’t make much difference. I put Frankenseat back in and never looked back. I have built a number of seats since, for my boats and for others, and have never been disappointed. My Tempest is a bit frustrating, though, because the seat in comfy and efficient. I don’t think that I’ll touch this seat.

Redfish also makes a nice blank for $48. Tell Joe what you are putting it in and he will shape the bottom to fit so that it sets right in to your Tern and all of the time consuming shaping is already done for you. I have friends who have bought this blank and never did any more shaping to it.


Canoe seats. they are all comfortable.

Another one …

We can tailor the layup to your weight and intended use. From subtly flexible to sturdy.

Can be adapted to fit on ‘hung’ supports as well.

A review right here on

Thank you so much
For all the great input and links! Much appreciated

All canoe seats are comfortable?
Not in my experience. Most web canoe seats I’ve tried haven’t been very comfortable.

Most of the molded tractor style canoe seats have been comfortable for me.

Seeking options for my QCC 400X.
My wife and I both had achy butts after only about 1.5 hours in the 400X.

I probably wouldn’t go through the effort to cut out the stock seat, but would be looking for ways to make the stock seat better.