seatback hitting PFD

I’ve got a Perception Antigua recreational kayak, with the standard Perception plastic seatback, that’s probably 10 inches high. I’ve got a nice Stohlquist pfd that fits me good (I’ve got a long torso (I’m 6’3")), but the seatback hits the bottom inch or two of the PFD, so my lower back isn’t supported while paddling, but sometimes I get tired, so I hike up my PFD a little so my back can rest against the backrest, but then the PFD isn’t comfy.

So my question is: what do you guys do? Does your back or your PFD go against the backrest? Should I get a different kind of seatback that’s lower or a shorter PFD?

I had one rec yak…
and I wasn’t happy with the stock seat back, so replaced it with a whitewater backband.

lower seatbacks
if you can put in a lower seat back that you can adjust the tilt angle that should do the trick. I always wondered why the more expensive the kayak-the lower and smaller the seat back. What were these paddlers? Pain seekers? Turns out that if you are going to spend hours in a boat you don’t want a high seat back since it prevents you from rotating slightly and using your hips not to mention it makes it really hard to climb over it in the event of a capsize. And it makes it difficult to do some rolls.

Back support better when lower

– Last Updated: Mar-30-07 7:29 AM EST –

Sounds like it should be the opposite, I know. But a lower seat back, actually more of a back band than a seat back in idea, gives your lower back a lot better support. The taller ones tend to provide poorer support low down in your back as well as encourage a resting position that leaves you crunching down onto your tailbone. A shorter one also provides for better ability to rotate and move around as you paddle, assuming that your size and the width of the boat make that a likely option. (at my height rotation in most boats of that type is an interesting theory but not particularly easy to manage)

I don't know about what kind of attachment options you have if you rip out the existing back to put in a back band. You may want to go look at some boats in a shop that have a true backband - Immersion Research and others have them, and the old Bomber Gear ones are still showing up on EBay occassionally - and compare the fittings to what you have in your boat.

Perception Carolina 14.5…
Mine has a seatback with an adjustment for the height…lower the seat back if possible.

Okay, so I think I’ll switch to a backband. But the Bomber Gear ones got bad reviews in the review section here, so what others are there? The NSI anatomic ones sound good.

Another Option
ExtraSport has a few models of PFD’s with what they call the “Baja Back”. On these models, the back of the PFD has an upper and lower panel, with the lower panel being thinner.

I had similar issues with the seat of my Old Town kayaks (the older seats, not the new ones with the ExtraSport logo). The “Baja Back” solved the problem for me. My son needed to get a Lotus Mildwater model to keep him comfortable. The back of that model is mesh with a floatation panel located across the back up at shoulder level. That model faced a recall because it might not provide the 16+ lbs. of floatation it specified, if my memory serves.


High backed vest
Some other manufactures that offer mesh backs or half backed vest for high backed seats.

Asrral LDB

NRS Chinook

Stohlquist aSEA and TREKKer

Kokatat SeaO2


There is another option for you to think about. An inflatable PFD would not interfere with your seat back at all. With that said, I agree with the others who’ve responded; I’d get a lower backband instead of a high seat back. From what I’ve seen, a high seat back promotes poor paddling posture. “Promotes poor paddling posture,” can you quickly say that ten times?:slight_smile:

Pedro Almeida