padded canoe seat for the ole backside

i have an old town discovery/expedition that is equipped with the standard, molded plastic seats with back rests.

after a couple hours sitting in these seats, the back side gets a little tender. anyone have suggestions for padding/cushions they have found to work well with the molded plastic seats ?

glue pieces of 1/4" waffle type foam to the seat.

Make a bottom layer first, and then on the second layer cut out the “cheek” holes.

You shoud be able to go all day without a sore butt

Jack L

I’d dump the molded seats and install/raise some web or cane seats. This will enable you to sit in many more positions and also kneel. Both legs out, both legs under, one in/one out, etc etc. Then you can also get yourself a crazy creek canoe seat or two for back rests and padding.

My backside (both upper and lower) do much better when I’m able to switch positions even if I don’t have a back rest.


i may eventually upgrade to web type seating, but for now i’m going to have to work with the seats that the canoe came with…

i can kneel with these seats so that does help some… it is the only relief i’ve found though. my son and i start getting sore after 2.5 hours or so… even with the alternating between sitting and kneeling.

doesn’t sound pretty, but it does sound like a cheap, workable solution. i think i have an old memory foam topper somewhere… i may try cutting some pieces of that to use. any suggestion what type of glue to use ?

also, the memory foam… or waffle foam, is usually a sort of yellowish/white color… would you try and cover it with something to make it look a little better…and possibly provide some sort of protection ?

Closed Cell Foam
The foam Jack L suggests comes from a cut up Thermal Rest sleeping pad. It is closed cell and won’t soak up water. Your memory foam mattress topper is open cell foam and will get very soggy in a canoe. you will get a case of wet butt.

You can get the foam Jack suggests at almost any camping store. The Z Rest pad is the one most commonly used for this seat purpose.


No, don’t use that.

– Last Updated: Jul-23-11 4:14 PM EST –

You can get good stuff made specifically for canoe seats from J & J canoe.
If you do it right it will look as good or better than the hard plastic that you have now.
Also if you are pleasingly plump, you don't need to cut out the "cheek" holes.
Those of us that are light weights need them since we have no body cushioning for our butt bones.

Jack L

replace the seats
with some flat poly strapped versions. Then you can use sitbacker rests. This will a) Support your butt and back b) make the boat more versitile.