Pro's and cons of a sit-in or sit-on-top kayak

Are you a fan of sitting inside your kayak or perched on top of it like a sea bird? That's right, I'm talking about the age-old debate of sit-in vs. sit-on-top kayaks. Both have their pros and cons, so let's dive right in.
pros and cons of sit in kayaks
Let's start with sit-in kayaks. These boats are like a cozy cocoon, hugging your body and keeping you protected from the elements. One of the biggest advantages of sit-ins is that they offer better protection from the wind, waves, and cold water. Plus, the enclosed cockpit means you can keep your gear safe and dry.
But wait, there's more! Sit-ins also tend to be faster and more maneuverable than their sit-on-top counterparts. This makes them a popular choice for paddlers who like to go fast and explore narrow waterways. And if you're into whitewater kayaking, a sit-in kayak is practically a must-have.
On the downside, getting in and out of a sit-in kayak can be a bit tricky, especially if you're not used to it. You have to slide your legs in and out of the cockpit, and if you capsize, you'll need to know how to do an eskimo roll to right yourself. Plus, if you're claustrophobic, a sit-in kayak might not be the best choice for you.
Sit on kayak pros and cons
Now, let's talk about sit-on-top kayaks. These boats are like the convertible of the kayaking world. You're exposed to the elements, but that's part of the fun, right? Sit-on-tops are incredibly stable and easy to get in and out of, making them a great choice for beginners or anyone who wants to swim or snorkel from their kayak.
But that's not all! Sit-on-tops are also very versatile. You can use them for fishing, exploring, or just lounging on the water. And if you do capsize, you can easily climb back on top of the kayak without having to worry about the cockpit filling up with water.
On the downside, sit-on-top kayaks can be slower and less maneuverable than sit-ins. And because you're exposed to the elements, you might get wet and cold if the weather turns bad. Plus, your gear is more exposed, so you'll need to make sure everything is secured properly.
Sit on kayaking
Here are some of the types of water activities that are well-suited for sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks:
Sit-in kayaks are great for:
  • Whitewater kayaking: With their speed and maneuverability, sit-in kayaks are perfect for tackling rapids and other whitewater obstacles.
  • Touring: If you like to explore and cover long distances on the water, a sit-in kayak is a great choice. They're fast, efficient, and can handle a variety of water conditions.
  • Kayak camping: Sit-ins are great for multi-day trips, as they offer plenty of storage space and protection from the elements.
  • Racing: Competitive kayakers often choose sit-ins for their speed and agility.
Sit-on-top kayaks are great for:
  • Fishing: Sit-on-tops are very stable and offer plenty of room for gear, making them a popular choice for anglers.
  • Snorkeling and swimming: Because they're easy to get in and out of, sit-on-tops are great for water-based activities that involve getting in and out of the kayak frequently.
  • Surfing: Sit-on-tops are great for catching waves and riding them back to shore.
  • Leisurely paddling: If you just want to relax and enjoy the scenery, a sit-on-top kayak is a great choice. They're stable, comfortable, and easy to use.
Sit-in or sit-on-top, the choice is yours. Whichever you choose, make sure to wear a life jacket, bring plenty of water and sunscreen, and most importantly, have fun out there on the water! Happy paddling!
KiffLab sit on vs sit on Kayak