stadium seat in a canoe

I was at Wally-world tonight and saw a nice looking stadium seat in the camping section that might do nicely as a canoe backrest. was wondering if anyone had used those or not. the only bad thing was that it was over engineered and had arm rests. Wonder if they would get in the way? Anyone tried such an animal?


A problem…

– Last Updated: Jul-17-08 1:17 AM EST –

Seats such as the one you describe can become a problem if they are permanently, or semi permanently mounted on a canoe seat.

If/when you inadvertently go under/into a strainer; the seat back will be above the level of the gunwales. If the strainer catches the seat back, and it is semi permanently/permanently mounted, several things "may" happen:

1. You will capsize.
2. The seat will bend backwards & break.
3. The seat will bend backwards & break shortly before, or after it breaks your canoe seat.
4. You may get smashed between the tree limb & the seat if you don't duck fast enough.
5. The seatback may get hung up in the strainer, and jam your canoe in the strainer.
6. If you capsize the canoe & it rolls over; you may break the seat back, or the seat back, and your canoe seat.

My wife broke one of the fixed seatbacks she used when she capsized the canoe & it rolled over. I have seen all the scenarios described above happen to others.

Solution: Don't capsize, and stay out of strainers. If you can do that 100% of the time; you're good to go.

There are some who will say they have been using seatbacks for 50 years, paddled 20,000 miles, have never capsized a canoe, and have never been under, or through a strainer. Maybe you are one of those? Maybe they're exaggerating?

I've tried several seatbacks; I don't use any of them. Think they're more trouble than they're worth. Others swear by them. If I were to use one; it wouldn't be one that had a back that stayed fixed in an upright position.


Thanks Bob. I should have been more
forthcoming with info. I only use my Stillwater on the local lake with my wife and daughter. I do all the paddling since my wife’s job is keeping the 3 year old in the boat. I was looking for something to help my aching back and get a little relief. I’ve seen the “unsupported” sit-backer seats. I was just wondering if these arm rests might be a problem by getting in the way.

Here’s the link to a similar seat:

The one I saw was not adorned with Nascar Idols.



My wife has used one
She uses one when we are out on a lake environment and there are no strainers around. It keeps Mama comfortable and happy while Papa does the majority of the paddling. She says it does not interfere with her holding her parasol umbrella while sipping on a mint julep. :wink: Ask me how I know!

I’d be leery of the armrests, I’d have to think they would be in the way of paddling and a potential spot for everything to snag.

I’ve a Wenonah strap on seat with a back that helps with my back issues, not to mention prevention of “cane butt”. Its smaller but very similar to the stadium seats I have (sans armrests and means of attaching them to canoe seats).

I’d say get one of the Wenonah (I’m sure others make them) or get a stadium without armrests and figure out how to attach it, can’t be that difficult. Mine came with a used canoe I bought, now I don’t want to be without it.

Based on the new information provided; it appears doubtful that you would be encountering any low hanging obstacles. Therefore, I don’t think a seatback should create any problem for you at all.

I can empathize with you on the “aching back”.

I had back surgery several years ago to remove bone chips, and grind down bone spurs that were pressing on nerves.


Many companies make bucket or bench
seat canoe ‘chairs’, including the likes of Wenonah, Crazy Creek and Pacific Outdoors. They are your typical ground camp chair style w/o arms and they have straps on the bottom to temporarily attach them to your seat. When not paddling they are a good camp seat.

I use something simular w/o armrests…

– Last Updated: Jul-22-08 10:04 PM EST –

Due to spinal surgeries I used to use a stadium seat that clips onto my canoe seat. It's only (but serious) drawback is it has a tendency to slip when I have to do some hard turns in fast water.
A lady friend of mine knew of my prediciment and as a B-day present bought me a L.L. Bean padded folding tree-stand seat (w/o armrests) with adjustable buckled straps that I can pull tight under the canoe seat so it won't turn or slip. Straps on the sides adjust the position of the padded back rest. I use the seat in calm sections with the back-rest up. When the water gets rough I simply kneel forward, reach behind me and fold down the backrest. In this position it's below the level of the gunwales so no limbs or branches get caught on it when busting through the canopy.
I still use the old one for the occasional front-seat user but I'll never use it for myself again... the newer one's way too comfortable!

Coleman seat back
The plastic kind that hooks onto the canoe seat is pretty comfy. 'Course, I gotta have a minicell cushion on the bottom for my bottom.