Pros and Cons of sit on top vs sit in kayaks

If you love to kayak then you must be familiar with the types of kayaks on the market which are the sit on top and sit in kayaks. The kayaks are used for various activities such as fishing, water sports and so on. They are designed with excellent features which some find reliable for these activities. The choice of the kind of kayak to use is influenced by various reasons like the areas to paddle it and the user’s needs. Below are pro and cons of each type of kayak to help you choose the most reliable one to work with.

Pros and cons of sit on kayak vs sit in kayak.

The pros.

  • Warmth. – The sit-in kayaks require you to insert all on your lower body inside which in return shelters it from the wind and the cold. So, if you are looking for a kayak that you can use in windy areas or in cold seasons. Sit on kayaks are the best ones to buy.
  • Allows the use of skirt. The skirt is a piece of garment that the paddlers wear around the neck or the waist while paddling. The skirts are used for covering the upper part of the hull thus shielding your lower body parts from getting water splashes or feeling cold.
  • Stable. When it comes to stability, the sit-in kayaks are designed in a more stable form as compared to other types since one’s legs are enclosed in one area. This feature also protects the kayak from flipping over when one is paddling in waters with heavy waves.


  • No leg freedom. As we saw earlier, with sit-in kayaks, one is supposed to put their feet in a hull whereby you are not able to move the feet around until you stop the kayak.
  • Hard to recover.
  • In the case where you flip on the water while kayaking, the process of recovering your kayak is quite hard since it gets filled up with water unlike in sit on kayaks which do not trap any water.

Sit on kayaks.


  • Freedom. On the sit on kayaks, one’s feet are placed on the top part of the kayak and this allows one to easily move the feet while paddling. Also, in case of anything, you can easily jump off the kayak unlike when using the other model.
  • Easy to recover in case of flip over. The sit on kayaks are designed in lightweight material and the top area is shallow such that if you flip on the water, the vessel cannot trap waters. This feature makes it easy to recover your kayak and continue with paddling.
  • Allows flexibility. With the sit on kayaks, you can quickly dive in the water for a short swim and get back to your kayak again since it easily floats and one can be able to solely position themselves on the kayak as well.


  • These types of kayaks are not ideal during the chilly seasons or in areas that have short summer seasons since the lower body parts are exposed to the cold.


Both of the two types of kayaks are ideal if used at the right time and at the right place. If you are prone to kayaking in cold areas, you will need a vessel that will shield you from the cold hence the need to purchase a sit-in kayak. But, for those who kayak in waters that have heavy waves, buying a sit on kayak is ideal since you can quickly recover your vessel in the case where you flip over.


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