Extra cushion/pad for kayak seat suggestions

My wife finds the seat in her Current Designs Solstice GTS kayak could use a bit more padding. The factory seat pad is in good condition, but another layer of padding is needed.

She has tried my decades-old Thermarest paddling seat pad and it makes a big difference in the comfort but unfortunately Thermarest no longer makes their paddling seat pad and my sciatica doesn’t allow me to give it up.

Does anyone have an experience with Skwoosh’s kayak paddling cuhsion? Anyone have an old Thermarest paddling seat pad collecting dust in the closet?

Any and all suggestions and recommendations are welcomed and appreciated.

I do not like gel pads, simple foam or self inflating work for me.

I have not tried this one but know WW folks who love it. It is well made to be both secure and adjustable to a given posterior.

Note that they are back ordered right now. Sweet Cheeks 200 Black - Jackson Adventures

Might check your local whitewater shop for the Jackson Sweet Cheeks. I know my local shop has a few in stock.

Jackson Sweet Cheeks sounds like a good option, similar in some ways to my old Thermarest paddling seat. I see Western Canoe and Kayak have them in stock.

I bought the Skwoosh several years ago. I find it’s better under my heels than under my butt. The gel compresses and stays compressed.

What helped my comfort is cutting a seat pad out of a Thermarest RidgeRest® SOLite™ Sleeping Pad.

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It sounds like you want a pad that is somewhat thick and squishy. Nevertheless I’ll suggest an alternative - a thin minicell foam pad. You can make such a pad easily, but they are also sold as a piece/part in outfitting kits. For example, from NRS you find:

This has worked for me in a few cases. One way to install is to merely glue it to the seat with an appropriate contact cement.

ridge rest sleep pad cut to shape and glued in with contact cement. Nothing better imho even over thousand mile race with 18 hour days on the water


I know several people that use Skwoosh’s kayak paddling cushions and are happy with it. I don’t advise anything much thicker that that as a relatively small addition to how high you sit can noticeably affect your perception of stability in the boat.

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I agree, it’s a simple, inexpensive and durable solution.

I never liked Thermarest pads in a kayak, as they make it much harder to edge the boat and to counter boat movement. When you push one hip down, the air just moves to the other side of the pad and the boat doesn’t respond. For it to work decently, you have to deflate it to the point that it doesn’t really supply any padding.


Ridge rest foam is the way to go


What bnystrom said. When I went from a thermarest pad to mini cell comfort improved and the improvement in control was shocking.

Another vote for a Thermarest Ridge Rest Foam pad, cut to shape. I prefer to minicell but “your butt may vary” :slight_smile:

I only use this for long ultra-endurance races. One problem with foam is that it stops butt rotation in the seat, so I cover the foam with a thin teflon pad. For regular touring I wouldn’t bother with the teflon.

Greg Stamer


My experience has been that it does impede butt rotation but doesn’t stop mine. Did I say that out loud?

Couple of easy options. Shorts made for bicycling with built-in padding (wore em today) and one of those hunter’s seat pads, widely available, inexpensive and effective. I have a thin and thick Skwoosh pad and am not impressed.


I have the Skwoosh and I love it. I’m old and my butt is boney and my kayaks are old and don’t have modern plush seats. It’s enough to make things comfortable, but thin enough to not raise my center of gravity.

For the SOT, I use a pad similar to the Purple brand pads. It is supremely comfortable, I can sit on it for hours, but it’s too thick and raises my COG too much for the sea kayaks.

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It depends on what your anatomical problem is. I’ve tried various materials to relieve piriformis, sciatica, and other pains in that area and I can only tolerate an inflatable cushion, which should be held to about 1" maximum as any more thickness will affect stability. When the water gets too rough I remove the cushion to lower my center of gravity. I have 3 of these (office, car, kayak): Amazon.com

That one is cheaper and more durable than other brands I’ve tried. I’ve never had one fail or develop a leak despite daily use.

Academy Sports house brand Magellan seat pad is great. I use it in CD kayaks. Think I paid $21 for it.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

After discussing the different options, she decided that she would like to try the Jackson Kayak Sweet Cheeks. The thought it that one should provide a bit more cushion and maybe additional leg support, which will also be appreciated. Will have it in time for next weekends adventure.

Years ago I got a “crack o dawn” seat pad that works like a self inflating pad, but is contoured to fit a kayak seat. These old bones need their comfort, so I bought a very expensive Point 65 air seat which is great, but by the end of a long day I still bring out the air pad. it rolls up next to nothing, think I got it thru Austin Kayak, but I think I read they are “no more”