I need good comfortable back support in a recreational kayak - under $500.00 - for a small woman - can someone give me some names to look at?
offer an “EZ Ryder System” on their entry level rec boats…9-14 ft. Very comfortable, I still have my first one and paddle it when not loaning it out.
You don’t need back support…
…in a kayak, you need hip support. High backs inhibit torso rotation, which discourages proper technique and causes chafing. For best results, your support should be no higher than your hip crests.
support is really what I’m talking about.
I have back troubles and recently got a Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 with the Phase 3 seat … WW uses the Phase 3 seat in several of their models … it’s awesome for rec paddling.
High Back Seats
I have an extrasport extracomfort seat that comes in Necky kayaks and now also in some Old Towns. The seat is incredibly comfortable, but it has created a pfd problem. I have tried them all, and either they are not comfortable for a woman, or they interfere with the seat. My latest test is the Stohlquist Cruiser with a mesh lower back, and even with the seat back in the lowest position it interferes a little. The Chica with the baja back was almost a go, but the shoulder straps were too close to my neck. If you find a comfortable high back seat, and a women’s pfd that works, please post it here.
with both the above posters. My friend had Old Town Dirigos, the extrasport seats are very comfortable. But they are high backed even in their lowest setting.
I have a WS Tsunami 120, a “transitional touring” boat. Basically a kayak not designed for sea or large water touring, but with touring features, and more features then a rec boat. Also more narrow and performance oriented then a rec boat. It has the Phase 3 outfitting, which I find INCREDIBLY comfortable even for 5-8hrs of paddling. In my experience even with the seat adjusted pretty high it doesn’t interfere with my IR neoprene spray skirt or with my PFD.
For callyrox: My PFD is a Stohlquist Motion, incredibly comfortable, low profile, and cut very high to leave room for your seat back, and not interfere with movement. While I’m not female, Stohlquist makes a similiar PFD specifically for women called the BetSEA and a womens specific version of the Motion called the Women’s Motion. Check out Stohlquist’s female specific PFDs here: http://www.stohlquist.com/cat.php?k=29466
Small Closed cell foam block
The foam block is only about 5" wide and fits between the bulkhead and seat. You never have to worry about the back band folding over on entry and lets you get good rotation. Also strengthen your back with and good workout program. And before you paddle do a good warm up with stretching exercises. In Gordon Brown’s book " Sea Kayak" he has some great information on this.
PFD for high back seat
Kevin, thanks, but the Stohlquist Cruiser pfd that I received a few days ago is one of their female specific high back pfd’s. As a matter of fact, the lower portion of the back is mesh. This life jacket would have been great if they had just cut the foam a mere 2 inches higher in the back. It’s very comfortable, just isn’t great with my seat.
I have a little Heritage 9.5. Really nice seat and adjustable. Great for the back but my tailbone hurts after about 2 to 3 hours. Still, this is one comfy seat, no real complaints. Then I got a new Old Town Cayuga 146. Most of the Old Town kayaks now have the new seating. You gotta try this. Most adjustments and widest seat I have seen. LOTS of support for both back and butt. I have not let my wife sit in it because I would never be able to get it back from her. I just tell her it is too tippy and she won’t like it. (so I lied to her, again) I fell asleep twice in the Cayuga. How is that for stable and comfy?
Zenrider’s comfy seat
Zenrider, that’s the same extracomfort seat that I am having trouble finding a PFD to work with. What PFD are you using that doesn’t interfere with the high back seat. I agree, the seat is comfortable enough to sleep in, if I could just find a PFD that works with it. I think the Kokatat Sea O2 would probably work, but I can’t justify spending $180 on a pfd!
I think the choir missed the boat on
that one, Bryan…
The model is Cablelas, Ultimate Full Motion vest. It is on sale now. But, I can still move my seat back up high enough that this could be an issue. Also, I have a long back bone, I am sure that helps. I sit taller than many folks that stand much taller than myself. So, I need a high back seat. But, this vest seems to work pretty well with this setup. You can also raise and lower the seat pan, this might help you. Good luck.
Pungo-Wilderness System Phase II Seating
The seating in the Pungo is really comfortable, but keep in mind the limitations of kayaks with big cockpits openings…
In answer to the original question here, I am a small woman with a bad back. I think the most comfortable seats that offer support are both the Wilderness System seats (which are in the Pungo, etc) and the Extrasport seat (which comes in Neckys and Old Towns. I had the opportunity to paddle yesterday in my new Stohlquist Cruiser pfd for the first time, and it turns out that it works great with my high back Extrasport seat. I have to say that after 3 years of paddling, yesterday was the first time that I was extremely comfortable! I love the seat, and I love the pfd!
Stohlquist PFD was the right fit for that extrasport seat ! I love my Motion PFD from them, and it was well worth the price to have a comfortable PFD.
Go back and look at the second post…
…from the top, and then take some advice from someone with experience.
Kokatat Msfit with Necky
I have the kokatat Msfit. It just clears the seatback for me on my Necky. If I got one again, I’d try the touring model for more pockets.
One of these days I’d like to replace the seatback with a back band.