What is better a sit-in or sit-on kayak?

Categories Kayak
What is better a sit-in or sit-on kayak?

One of the most frequently asked questions among kayaking lovers is “What is better – a sit-in or sit-on kayak?” Though there are a lot of factors to take into consideration when choosing the greatest vessel for you, the type of kayak chosen will depend mostly on your personal preference. To begin your kayaking journey, let’s differentiate these two kayak styles first!

Sit-in vs. Sit-on-top Kayak

There are many ways to classify kayaks such as where you want to sit in them and how you plan to use them as well as your kayaking style.

Sit-on-Top Pros & Cons

What is better a sit-in or sit-on kayak?

Stable, durable, easy to get in and out of without any confinement feeling, sit-on-tops (SOT) are primarily the most user-friendly recreational kayaks for lakes and easy flowing waters.

Though SOTs are typically heavier than its sit-in counterpart, even in deep water, you can effortlessly get on and off of them. That way, they are a go-to solution for casual and multi-person uses.

As a plus, SOT even can support the maximum weight of hundreds of pounds (more than 500), making them suitable for tandem use. Whether you want to kayak around a lakeside cabin on your own or you are excited about paddling with lovely children who love swimming, SOTs are there for you.

The biggest tradeoff, though, is the limited dry storage space guaranteeing that you will definitely get wet while sitting on top.

Sit-in Pros & Cons

What is better a sit-in or sit-on kayak?

What is better – a sit-in or sit-on kayak? If versatility is your first priority, then you should go for a sit-in kayak (SI). Excellent performance in warm weather is its nature while those want to use it in less favorable water can have a spray skirt attached with it for added stability.

Paddlers desiring to reach a specific destination will love how fast an SI moves and how straight it tracks. Moreover, more covered cargo compartments will keep you and your belongings from getting wet no matter how long you’ll be paddling.

What users don’t love about this type of kayak is the ease of launching. Only paddlers who have a dedicated kayak launch, or at least a dock, can get down into an SI without much difficulty. It is a bit challenging than simply hopping on an SOT.

Your Style Of Kayaking

Paddling an SI kayak is a bit faster than comparable SOT kayaks. As SI can cover multiple miles without getting tiring, it is more intended for those preferring island hopping in warm weather and cold & rough waters or experiencing some long-distance running rivers.

Meanwhile, larger paddlers who may feel claustrophobic or constricted in an open/closed cockpit of an SI kayak yet more interested in going for a swim or going fishing while leisurely paddling around open water like a quiet cove, an ocean, or a lake will find an SOT kayak which allows a wide range of motion is a perfect choice.


The type of kayak you choose will influence on your convenience and performance on the water. So, what is better – a sit-in or sit-on kayak? Check out our article above for more useful information!

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