New Old Town molded seat question

I have an older Discovery 158 (~11yrs) and I purchased the sitbacker chairs last year. I recently saw the new Old Town molded seats with backs and like them. Anybody have them and care to give their opinion? I am trying to decide on purchasing them and selling the SitBackers or keeping the SitBackers. The guys at Old Town say they will fit and that they are available for purchase. I use the canoe mainly for smallmouth bass floats.

Thanks in advance,


this probably won’t help too much , but
… we bought a 169 Disco in 06 . It had the cream colored old style seats (no backs) . Long story short , we had concerns about the symmetry of the hull and some oil canning beginning , so put that on record with the supplier for future reference in case we decided to exchange for a new one later .

When spring 07 came , we took it out a few times and decided to make the exchange , but they only had one in stock at the time and I wasn’t satisfied with it , knowing what to look for now … they said check back later … “we got that one in writing” !!

Enter spring 08 , lol . A few outings a we went back to supplier with the “written” statement to get a new one . Meanwhile we had contacted Old Town to let them know what was going on and our intentions . Old Town said stick with the supplier and if we have any trouble , Old Town would get on the phone with them and we wouldn’t have any more trouble .

This time they brought us out three (3) to inspect , plus the floor model , although we had to wait an hour while they went to pick them up from warehouse .

The replacement model is still a 169 , but called the Expedition . It’s only slightly different . The new style “black” seats w/removable back support (actually located a bit different , and a slight bit more arch in the hull which counters oil canning).

The Expedition has been perfect . I like the old style seats better only because they were light colored . The contour fit for your butt is still great (plus one cup holder in bow seat) .

But the kicker is , as soon as we got the canoe home , off came the seat backs and have never used them once .

I’m sure they would be all you could want in a seat back (add a little padding) , they are well designed , it’s just we don’t like to use any seat backs at all because we feel they get in the way , but if you like seat backs I think you would like this new style .

I’m not a fan of molded seats
First, they’re not molded to a model of MY butt, so there’s that. Second, you can’t turn the canoe around and paddle solo - or at least if you do the molded seat will cut into your thighs something awful. Third, I just like the looks of the caine seats and the web seats a little less but still a lot more than the looks of the molded seats.

That’s two items that is totally and completely personal preference and a third that deals with a particular use that you may not have. So, take this post for what it’s worth. Nevertheless, I would recommend that you stick with the web or caine seats and the sitbackers.

The only time I lean back in a canoe is during slackwater floats, and then I usually just cram my paddle in such that it’s my back rest.

There’s no wrong way to rig your canoe, except maybe to drill holes through the bottom, so do what you want. Nothing is irreversable. All you risk is the cost of the seats, which you can always sell used at a discount if you don’t like them so it’s not much risk at all.

  • Big D

I think I’m going to try them
Thanks for the replies everyone. I think I am going to try the new seats.


just be advised , they might not fit …
… in the exact same place as the originals you have now . They may be farther rearward or foreward .

I know these new type seats are different in position on this newer 169 than my previous (old style seats) 169 I told you about .

I have the OT Guide
with the molded seats. they are ok. However they a do not breath or drain so expect to have wet butt from both splash water and sweat.

another issue with moulded seats
is that they are quite uncomforable if you paddle solo and like to turn the boat around to paddle from the front to move your weight forward. I usually take the nylon mesh seat option and add an aftermarket seatback. There are tons to choose from.

We bought several of these for our rental operation. we pretty much hate the new seats. First teh contour of the seat is less so you tend to slide forward on the seats when leaning on the backreast. This forces you to keep readjusting your position all day. Second if you take passengers or alot of gear the bow seat was not moved forward to compensate for the seatback. this severaly crowds out a kid as a passenger forward of the yoke in comparison to the old seat arrangement. I would say that these seats are consistent with oldtowns close but no cigar style of design. I would stick with your current sitbacker product. They are comfortable cushioned and supportive. Don’t waste your time with the new seats.