Best Paddle Boards with Seats

We have a lot of experience to offer when considering the best paddle boards with seats.  Why?  We have been paddle boarding with the whole family and friends for years.  We have explored hundreds of lakes, rivers and ocean coves.  Over the past 5 years, we have spent most of our time paddle boarding while comfortably seated since we typically go out for the entire day.  Standing up for that long would be totally impractical since the wind kicks up in the afternoon and while it is fun paddling into a head wind while seated it can be your worst nightmare while standing.    We have also paddled seated down numerous rivers and out in the ocean.  So we have a deep understanding regarding how various seats perform in a variety of conditions.

Envision this: The wind in your hair and the sun on your face as you balance on your paddle board, your muscles engaged in a fantastic workout. Now imagine switching the scene with a comfortable option to sit down, taking in the breathtaking vistas while your body relaxes. Yes, paddle boards with seats allow this fantastic transformation, enabling you to stand when feeling adventurous, and sit when comfort calls.

A sit down paddle board with a seat, offers a sublime way to enjoy the waterscape around you. It's like having your plushy recliner right there on the water, allowing you to relax and bring some zen to your paddling adventure. Plus, you can take breaks without having to head back to the shore; perhaps even sneak in a cheeky picnic while bobbing gently on the waves.

Choosing a Seat

When choosing the best paddle boards with seats, it's worth considering the different types of seats available. Whether it's a low-profile beach chair or a kayak seat, each comes with its unique benefits and drawbacks. Let's enlighten you on these.

Low Profile Beach Chair Seat

We have found the best paddle boards with seats are those with a simple folding beach chair.  Sometimes called a stadium seat, the allure of a beach chair as a seat lies in its familiar comfort and design. These low-profile folding chairs offer lots of stability and generous back support, making your paddle boarding journey a more leisurely affair. Unlike a paddle boarding seat that requires d-rings on you paddle board to clip onto, you can just plop your folding, low profile beach chair onto your paddle board and go. You can also move it wherever you want on the board… forward if you are alone, back a little if you have your dog or a big cooler, back a lot if you have another passenger.

The main con, the fact that it is not attached securely so that it can’t move, has never been an issue for us, and we have run rapids on our board on our seats. We did lose one chair when we were on a river paddle boarding excursion with two adults on our Aqua Marina Monster. See the picture below for our set-up just before it happened. It was our bad since we usually attach the chairs to the board by the leash or a strap so we won’t lose a chair if we roll the board. When John missed a turn in the river and got caught cross wise in a rapid before hitting the bank, he rolled the board and we lost one of the chairs in the river. The good new was that our cooler, dry bag with food and everything else was attached so it was just a matter of righting the board and putting everything back in its place. And our friend had to sit on the board without a chair for the rest of the trip.

Our Favorite Beach Chair Seats

Depending on your budget, we like these two folding seats the best.  When we were searching for the best paddle boards with seats, we started off with the first one, a simple canvas folding seat and we still use these the most since we have several and they are so easy for everyone to use.  More recently we bought a couple of the more deluxe style folding seat because we wanted to try them out and see how they compared against our inexpensive favorites.  Well we love them because they are slightly more comfortable since you can adjust your back position to be reclined a little!  So depending on your budget and your experience paddle boarding we highly recommend either.

The best deal we have found is to buy two of these chairs at a time.  They are lightweight, weighing only four pounds each.  They will fit people that weight up to 250 pounds.  At twenty inches wide, they are roomy and still fit nicely on your 31-34 inch wide paddle board. 

These chairs typically last us 3-4 years before they get stuck under something in the car one too many times and get bent or start getting rusty because the little plastic end caps get beat up and water can get in if the kids are using them and dunking them under the water repeatedly.  We usually shake them to see if there is water in there and then drain them, but it doesn't always happen.  If you aren't planning to treat your chairs as roughly as our kids do, then you can expect one of these simple, inexpensive chairs to last you a long time. 

One last thing about these chairs.  They do only have a single position and are pretty upright.  John doesn't like that so he has been known to bent the top 2-3 inches of the chair's backrest back an inch or so.  That way he can recline on the canvas and the bar doesn't stick into his back.  Julie doesn't have the same issue since she just slides her bottom forward or back into the opening to give herself a more reclined or more upright position, depending on whether she is relaxing and eating lunch or paddling into a head wind.

There are a couple other brands of these chairs on Amazon that have seats in a variety of colors.  For example Caribbean Joe makes them in red, teal and with blue stripesNeso makes a really nice two pack of deluxe folding chairs, but it is twice as expensive.  If you are on a very tight budget and only want a single chair at the very best possible price, Cabana Beach, makes the single most economical folding beach chair that we would recommend.  

If you aren't on a tight budget or aren't worried about your kids swiping your deluxe seat, we love this new paddling chair.  It provides all of the support of our simple folding chairs, and also allows us to easily adjust our back position using the straps on the side.  John has been thrilled with this since some of our folding chairs are too upright for him and he sometimes forgets which ones he has bent and which ones he doesn't bend since the kids like them better the way they come.  If you find that the strap slips a little leaving you increasingly reclined as you paddle, simply tie a half hitch or any other knot in the loose part of the strap near the buckle.

These seats are made out of aluminum alloy so they are strong, light and we do not have to worry about them rusting.  This seat has a a mesh cushion with is very comfortable and fast drying if someone splashes you or you are dealing with alot of boat wakes.  

Speaking of boat wakes, this seat stays in place perfectly on your paddleboard without straps so we haven't bothered using any ...even though they would be easy to install.  Just like our folding chairs, it is very stable on the paddle board even when rocking sideways because of bad weather or boat wakes.  Another benefit that allows this seat to transform your paddle board into one of the best paddle boards with seats is the frame runs along the front and the back of the bottom of the seat providing that wonderful side to side stability and leverage that we really appreciate while we are on the ocean and leaning into a wave or on the river and leaning into a turn.  

Kayak Seat

The other option, a kayak seat, brings maritime design and function to your paddle board. Being designed for water activities they are fairly adjustable, made of canvas with no metal which means no rust if you go out on the ocean a lot. You can often find paddle board packages with a single kayak seat included advertised as the best paddle boards with seats on Amazon.

The downside? They are limited as to where you can install them on your paddle board. They require your paddle board to have d-rings that they can clip into and we have found that, without a metal frame, they simply do not provide the back support that we appreciate from our favorite folding beach chair.

In terms of flexibility. both a folding beach chair seat and a kayak seat can be stowed on the front of the board if you decide you want to stand up mid-trip.

Our Favorite Kayak Seat

We like this kayak style seat because it is made of strong and durable neoprene and padded so that once you get it all adjusted the way you like it is comfortable.  It also has a higher back than the river kayak seats so that not just your lower back is supported.  

This seat includes a detachable zippered pouch that offers extra storage for sunscreen, water, snacks.  I like to put my camera in there too.  Just make sure that you put anything you don't want wet in a waterproof container or dry bag since the storage pouch is not waterproof.  It is water resistant though since it is made out of a high quality 600D polyester.

This seat will attach to any inflatable paddle board with a d-ring system.  It folds down for easy storage.

See the picture below for the exact seat dimensions.

amazon abahub kayak sup seat w dimensions

Best Paddle Boards with Seats

Enter the world of inflatable paddle boards, a marvelous combination of convenience and high performance. These boards are easy to transport, provide fantastic stability and can comfortably accommodate a seat. They are an ideal choice for paddlers, from beginners to seasoned pros.

The biggest reason to purchase a paddle board with a seat is that your comfort level is significantly enhanced. The provision to sit down supplies excellent support to your back, making long paddle board outings a delightful experience. As much as we love physical activities, let's admit it: We all cherish moments of relaxing reprieve and the opportunity to sit while savouring the water-bound landscapes.

Adding a seat opens up fun and bonding opportunities. Invite family and friends on board your adventure, and you create innumerable shared memories. A riverside picnic, a fishing expedition, or a serene outing with your furry pal – Name it, and a seated paddle board suits it perfectly!

And yes, your fur friends are not left out. It is much easier to paddle board with your dog if you are seated. And with a comfortable seat, you won’t even mind if he climbs into your lap occasionally for a cuddle. Our dogs love the exciting new view from the water, making every paddle boarding outing a fun adventure.

Safety is another beneficial aspect of paddle boards with seats. Especially for beginners, the added stability and balance that a seat offers provides reassurance and confidence. Julie’s 85 year old mother was dubious about paddle boarding at all, but once we got her settled in a beach chair seat, she discovered a new passion for exploring every cove in every lake we travel to.

The best paddle boards with seats do not come in a single package which is why we have done the work for you and made it easy for you to know what to buy.  

Our favorite paddle boards with seats

Some of these boards come in a package with a seat, but we like to combine our favorite seats with our favorite boards.

Overall Favorite paddle board for beginners

We like this Skatinger blow up paddle board because it is super stable for both standing and seated use. Out on a lake with motor boats kicking up big waves? No problem! Out on a river and see a little rapid that looks fun to go down? It will be fun!  Simply pair this board with one or two of the the folding or kayak seats from above!

This paddle board is 11 feet long, 34 inches wide and 6 inches thick making it the perfect size for a beginner to learn on and at the same time have room for their gear (jacket, sunscreen, water), lunch bag and dog. Most beginner boards are 10 feet long and 31 or 32 inches wide making them less stable.

Another selling point for this board is that it does have d-rings for attaching a kayak seat or for securing your beach chair.  This makes it one of the best paddle boards with seats because the seats can always be securely attached.

We like that it is only 20 pounds and comes with a nice backpack so you could hike in to a mountain lake, inflate your paddle board and explore the entire lake by paddle board! We especially like doing this with one of our favorite memories of exploring Long Lake in the Lakes Basin area of California. It is nestled in a steep alpine valley, so it is impossible to hike around Long Lake. However with our paddle boards we were able to explore every cove of this amazing lake and even had a beautiful picnic lunch on one of the little islands in the middle.

Lastly we really appreciate the super useful accessories that come with this paddle board

  • Surfboard shoulder strap (Unique non-slip design!)
  • Ankle leash (standard you can use it for so many things)
  • US Central Fin (Tool-less fins + screws, firm and not easy to fall off)
  • 5L Dry bag (great to pack your lunch in)
  • Mobile phone waterproof bag (we always bring a phone for pictures!)
  • Rapid inflation pump
  • Adjustable floating paddle (floating is nice).

Our favorite tandem paddle boards with seats

Our favorite paddle board to seat two people on is our Aqua Marina Monster.  As you can see by all of the pictures of us on our big red Monsters through out the site, we regularly paddle with more than one person on the board.  At 12 feet long and 33 inches wide they handle this with no problem.  We have even taken them down a river excursion that included some small rapids with two seated adults up in Crested Butte, Colorado.  

tandem paddle board crested butte

The only downside of the Aqua Marina Monster is that it is not set up for kayak style seats that need d-rings to click onto.  They do have some d-rings, and you might be able to work, but we have never had to try since, as you can see from the picture above, we always use our folding chairs.  If you want to use two kayak chairs then we recommend the Dama inflatable paddle board since it has d-rings all along the side so you can attach two kayak chairs.  You could also use the Skatinger paddle board we recommend as our favorite because that has d-rings all along the side too.  However it is only 11 feet long, which is a bit tight for two 150+ pound adults.  However, it would work perfectly for an adult and a child/teen or an adult and a large dog. We have found our Aqua Marina Monster's to be our best paddle boards with seats.

Best budget paddle board with seat attachment

If you are on a tight budget or just starting with paddle boarding, there are a paddle board packages that come with a seat.  However these seats are just cheap kayak seats.  Still, they are better than nothing, and if you find the seat that comes with the board does not fit your needs then it is a simple solution to buy a folding seat or an upgraded kayak seat after you have validated that you can no longer live without being able to paddle board regularly!

This board is 10 feet long, 31 inches wide and 6 inches thick when inflated.  One of the neat things that comes with this package is a convertible (dual-use) stand-up AND kayak paddle.  These convertible paddles are essential if you like to both stand up and sit down.  Basically, by swapping one of the paddles for the handle or vice versa you can easily change from one to the other.  Just be sure to twist the little lever clamp so that when you close the lever it is secure.  This ensures that whichever end you use is clamped on firmly so you will not lose it!  

The package comes with all of the items shown, A dual action pump, leash, backpack to carry your paddle board in, the fin, a small dry container and a special electric pump adapter for the days you don't feel like pumping up your board manually.

By the way, we rarely inflate our boards past 12 psi.  If we plan to stand we use 12-15 psi, but if we are only planning to sit on our board, we only pump them up to 5-9 psi, depending on how we are feeling.  This makes pumping our boards up so much easier if we are hiking into a lake and inflating them by hand.  When we are inflating them at the car using our pump we choose the higher end of the range since the electric pump only takes a couple minutes.  

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