Seat retrofits for Valley sea kayak

I have a Valley Aquanaut RM and the seat is not very comfortable (to be polite). I usually experience numbness in my legs after about an hour. Also the back band is no that great either. I used to have a WS Cape Horn 17 with a phaze 3 seat…the best seat ever in my mind.

I’m thinking of installing an Immersion Research touring backband with a wratchet system…pretty easy.

As for the seat, I found a retailer that sells a WS Phaze 3 seat pad that I think could work (I just need to instal some thigh adjustment straps. The same retailer also offers a complete Necky ACS seat which seams similar to the phaze 3 and would eliminate having to replace the back band. Third seat option is just going with a thick peel and stick pad.

Any advise or suggestions would be much appreciated!

two types of seats in Valley RM
There is the foam seat, and the molded plastic.

One of them strives to be ergonomically correct, the other not so much.

Which one is not satisfactory?

I wonder -
could you retro fit a phase 3 seat? I agree, they are very comfortable and adjustable.

Common issue with Valley
Try this:

Is it possible
the higher end builders have a difficult time accepting that maybe the mega manufacturer of the universe has actually hit on a really good seat option? Are there problems with the WS seat that I’m not aware of? I am new so it is certainly possible I’m missing something. But that WS seat seems awfully good to me.

I bought a foam seat for my Anas Acuta and glued it in after removing the stock torture device.

It took a week of paddling every day to get the placement right, but in 3 years of use, I have never regretted doing it.

The purpose of a back band in a sea kayak is so that one does not push their rear-end over the back of the seat. It should never be adjusted tighter than what is needed to do this, as it would hamper full rotation.

There is no such thing as a “one size fits all” seat pan, thus you can try different seat pans or carve your own custom fitted one from a block of mini-cell.

I’ve worked with a number of paddlers who’s “seat problems” were alleviated by a regular program of hamstring stretches. If one cannot stand straight-legged and touch the floor in front of them, it is a good place to start.

my problems with WS and Necky
To me, both seats are overly complicated, and don’t last. We’ve gone through many of them at the outfitter where I work. Pads come loose, stitching frays and tears, all the extra straps get caught on stuff, and I think it’s all superfluous.

Personally I’ve gone the other way. I like simplicity. If you don’t find the Valley seat comfortable, try replacing it with a foam valley seat. I did that in a glass Valley and really liked it. For the back band, you might try loosening the backband so that it doesn’t touch your back at all. See how that works for you. You might be surprised.


I’m not familiar with your kayak so I don’t know if the ACS will fit it. I have a retrofitted ACS in my Eddyline and like it pretty much. I had a Phase 3 once and liked it, but I prefer the ACS.

The biggest drawback of the ACS is the weird frame on the bottom. The seat is supposed to be suspended from the coaming but that’s not essential. I placed my on the bottom of the kayak with a 1/4" closed cell foam pad under it, without screwing it into the coaming. The pad is velcroed to the kayak and the seat is velcroed to the pad.

You sometimes have to get creative to get the seat to fit your kayak. One good thing about a foam seat like the ACS is that you can carve it with a knife if certain parts hit you in the wrong way.