Best Paddle Board with Kayak Seat

Looking for the best paddle board with kayak seat?

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 an increasing amount of time paddling while sitting down.

We like to tour an entire lake, river, cove or bay on our paddle boards. This means we are often out for a number of hours. Standing up for that long would be totally impractical since the wind kicks up in the afternoon and it is no fun paddling into a head wind or large waves while standing. Paddling into a head wind while seated? No problem!

As a result of our hours on the water, we have a deep understanding regarding which seats are most convenient and comfortable.

You can read more about our Sit Down Paddle Board Adventures here

amazon abahub kayak sup seat w only model paddlingEnjoying the sun on a Paddle Board with Kayak Seat that provides plenty of back support.

Are you an experienced paddler?

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 by attaching the kayak seat you have stowed under your front bungee cords to the d-rings on your paddle board, sitting down and taking in the breathtaking vistas while your body relaxes. Yes, a paddle board with kayak seat will allow this fantastic transformation, enabling you to stand when feeling adventurous, and sit when comfort calls.

Are you new to paddling?

grandmother sit down paddle boardingJulie's 85 year old mother paddle boarding for the first time on Clear Lake in eastern Oregon.

Envision this: you take your brand new inflatable paddle board with kayak seat out of the box and drive to your favorite lake. You quickly and easily inflate your board to 5psi and attach your kayak seat. You set your convertible SUP/Kayak paddle to kayak mode. Within 15 minutes you are sitting on your new board and paddling for the first time. Its so easy!

Even though it is a windy day and there are some boats kicking up waves, you feel secure, stable and exhilarated with the sun on your skin and the wind blowing thru your hair. After a while you get hungry so you stow your paddle, grab a drink and snack out of your cooler and relax while eating all from your comfortable seat.

After you eat you feel a little sleepy, so you paddle over to a beautiful shady spot in a protected cover where you attach your leash to a tree root and have a nap on your comfortable inflatable paddle board.

This really is the experience you can have as a brand new paddler when you start paddle boarding with a seat. We know you can have an amazing experience from day once since we have introduced countless friends to the sport and the description above is a real life example of their first day.

It even applies to Julie’s Mom’s first experience. She is 85 years old. And while it is unlikely that she will ever be interested in standing up on a paddle board, many of our friends love to stand up paddle board. And they love to sit down. Getting started sitting on your board is a wonderful way to learn and enjoy paddle boarding.

If you sit down and paddle without a seat, it is much harder on your back and you will tire out much faster. You end up with a bad back position and you don’t have any leverage to paddle efficiently. Even our kids, who never seem to get tired and are super flexible will insist on bringing a seat when we go paddling.

A sit down paddle board with kayak seat, offers a sublime way to enjoy the waterscape around you. It is amazing how a little back support can make your paddling adventure fun and pain free.

Our two favorite paddle board with kayak seat packages

If you are on a tight budget or just starting with paddle boarding, there are a few paddle board packages that come with a seat. Below are the two packages that we like best and that we have recommended to our friends that are just getting started and want a paddle board with kayak seat.

However, we want to warn you that these seats are very simple, low back kayak seats. Still, they get the job done and are better than nothing. Plus, if after you go out for a few paddles, 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!

If you don’t mind making a larger investment or prefer to purchase the perfect paddle board and seat separately, read our article the Best Paddle Boards with Seats

Freein Inflatable Paddle Board with Kayak Seat

amazon freein paddle board with seat package
Learn More About this Paddle Board on Amazon

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.

The board is 10 feet long, 31 inches wide and 6 inches thick when inflated. This size board is perfect for one person that likes a paddle board that is light and maneuverable.  If you like to paddle board on rivers or in surf, this paddle board is the perfect length and width.  

One of the neat things that comes with this package is a convertible (dual-use) stand up and kayak paddle. If you like to paddle both standing up and sitting down, these are essential. 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. You want to be sure that whichever end you use is clamped on firmly so you will not lose it!

We have ended up with several unusable convertible paddles because the kids did not tighten the clamp properly when they swapped the handle for the paddle and the end came off. Paddles float for a while when they are all attached in one piece, but when the end comes off, it sinks really quickly.

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 faster and easier! It is actually one of the reasons we rarely stand up if we are inflating our boards manually. It takes some muscle to go from 7psi to 15psi so we usually don’t bother to inflate to those pressures unless we are using one of our electric pumps.

On the other hand, if we are hiking into a lake and inflating them by hand, it only takes 5 minutes with a single action pump to inflate each of our boards to 5 psi. We have counted… its only 40-50 pumps. Totally doable

iTAOSTAR Inflatable Paddle Board with Kayak Seat

Whether you want to paddle sitting down all of the time or you like to stand up occasionally, this paddle board with kayak seat is hands down the best value for the money.  Branded as a true SUP + Kayak, it comes with many accessories.  Sure, there are some compromises but unless you want to invest over a thousand dollars on a paddle board this will meet or exceed your needs.  There are two versions to choose from.  The Journey version has an inflated seat back, inflatable foot rest and comes with accessories for fishing.  The Cat/Dog version comes with a rigid seat back, foam foot rest and your choice of the dog or cat color scheme and labeling.  All come with a camera mount to attach your GoPro to in the front of the boat.  

amazon itaostar wide paddle board with kayak seat girl paddlingiTaostar Cat Paddle Board with Kayak Seat

The iTaostar Dog or Cat is 11-feet tall and a generous 34-inches wide and has a weight capacity of 400 pounds. We love it because it is an excellent board and it also costs significantly less than the higher end paddle boards with many of the same features.

This brightly colored board is easy for other boats to see when you are on the water.  It is both fun and comes with much more than a paddle and a pump. Included in this package are:

  • Very comfortable reclining inflatable kayak seat with a storage pouch on the back
  • A foam footrest
  • Velcro holders for the paddle on the side of the board so you don't have to worry about it sliding off the board when you relax and have lunch or are having a nap
  • Bungees at the front and back of the board
  • Lots of d-rings
  • A convertible paddle for stand-up or sit-down use
  • A shoulder strap that makes the board easy for one person to carry
  • Four robust handles for attaching things to and for team carrying
  • A 10-liter dry bag and waterproof phone case
  • 3 removable fins so that you can use the smaller ones for running shallow rivers and all three in deep water situations.
  • A double action inflation pump
  • A repair kit with a valve wrench
  • A bag that easily holds everything

Beginners will feel very comfortable on this board because it is nice and stable and the seat is very comfortable.  More advanced people will enjoy this board because it handles well in the water and the three fins ensure nice straight tracking for longer treks.  The dog and cat versions are exactly the same except for the differences in colors and graphics.  We were a bit skeptical about the inflatable kayak seat, but both the seat and backrest are very comfortable. The back is nice and high, providing lots of support.  The footrest is very comfortable, but we hardly use it since we are perfectly comfortable without it.  

Cat or Dog Version

Cat & Dog - Learn More About this Paddle Board on Amazon

amazon itaostar wide paddle board with kayak seat product vertical dog photo

Journey Model

amazon itaostar wide paddle board with kayak seat product vertical journey

Journey - Learn More About this Paddle Board on Amazon

amazon itaostar wide paddle board with kayak seat product vertical journey photo

The iTaostar Journey is 11'6" tall and a generous 34" wide and has a weight capacity of 430 pounds.  We love it because it is an excellent board and it also costs significantly less than the higher end paddle boards with many of the same features.  

We really appreciate the attention to detail and the wide range of high-end accessories. This board comes with more than a paddle and a pump. Some of the bells and whistles we like are:

  • Very comfortable reclining inflatable kayak seat with a bungee cup holder at the base, and a pocket at the back (7”x9”).
  • Inflatable footrest
  • Velcro holders for the paddle on the side of the board so you don't have to worry about it sliding off the board when you relax and have lunch or are having a nap
  • Bungees at the front and back of the board
  • Lots of D rings
  • Extra Velcro straps (2)
  • Double-sided or single sided convertible paddle.
  • A shoulder strap that makes the board easy for one person to carry
  • Five robust handles for carrying the board and attaching things to
  • A 10-liter dry bag and waterproof phone case
  • 3 removable fins so that you can use the smaller ones for running shallow rivers and all three in deep water situations.
  • A fishing pole holder that attaches to either of the pole holder bases near the back of the board
  • A dual phase inflation pump
  • Everything fits easily in the provided bag.

We also think the board is quite colourful and has a fun print (it's on the bottom so it doesn't get enjoyed nearly enough).  We were a bit skeptical about the inflatable kayak seat, but both the seat and backrest are very comfortable. The back is nice and high, providing lots of support.  We really like the strap for adjusting the backrest because it allows you to make the seat as upright or reclined as you like.  Since John loves to be fairly reclined and Julie's mom likes to be more upright it is easy to make everyone happy.   Both our son and daughter really liked using the kayak feature and it is incredibly stable. My son goes out on the lake and pulls 180 turns with ease and speed! There are lots of bungees on the front and some on the back which are nice for holding a small cooler, a drybag, sunscreen, food and other essentials while we are out on the water.  The dry pack it comes with is a good size too. The leash is a great length and it does not ever feel like it is restricting movement. 

Then, there are the handles. So many handles! but they are comfortable and a good size so it doesn't feel like its too much for your hand or too small that is digs into your finger grip. Handles on the front, back, middle, and sides.  Easy for team carrying and a shoulder strap for the solo carry if you like!

We love attaching carabiners with stuff to the handles and they are great for strapping down a big cooler if you are going out to an island to hang out for the day with friends.  Or fishing!   

A great seat = great comfort

As we mentioned, the kayak seats that come with the budget packages are very basic and not terribly comfortable. They only provide your lower back support so you really can’t recline back and relax while you are seated. Therefore the perfect paddle board with kayak seat may be one that you do not purchase as a bundle but instead create on your own by buying your dream seat.  

When it comes to our dream seat, we prefer more support on our upper back by our shoulders so we can recline back a little. We also like a little padding under our rear end so that our knees are not always fully extended out in front of us. Julie has a bad knee, so she appreciates a seat that is up a bit higher and she often puts her life jacked under her knees so they have support but are not fully extended while she is paddling.

Below are our favorite seat options.

The first option is a kayak seat that provides much better back support. If you prefer a standard kayak style seat and have a paddle board with d-rings for you to attach it, then this is the seat for you! Many of our friends prefer this because everything is soft and there are no metal frames to get bent or that could rust.

Most of the new paddle boards have four d-rings on either side of the center of the board for you to attach a classic kayak seat. However, some of our older boards do not have these d-rings. So check before buying.

The second option, our favorite, is to use a folding stadium style seat when we use our paddle board like a kayak. We prefer these because they offer the best back support and we are very comfortable, even when we are out paddling all day.

Regardless of whether you prefer the kayak seat or folding stadium-style seat, each comes with its unique benefits and drawbacks.

Kayak Seat

The higher end kayak seats provide a lot more back support, especially further up your back. Since you are not using the seat in a hard sided kayak, you don’t need to be limited to a low-profile kayak seat that only supports your lower back.

A high-backed kayak seat provides excellent support and often extra storage via an attached storage pouch. In addition, these seats can easily be unclipped and stowed under your front bungees if you feel like standing up.

Before purchasing a Kayak Seat, be sure your kayak has d-rings. If it doesn’t you can purchase d-rings and attach them to your paddle board. While leary about doing this, we have attached these D-Rings for Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards onto a couple of our older boards so we could secure the dogs and also gear and have had no problems with them coming off as we feared.

For people assembling their perfect paddle board with 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.

Our Favorite Kayak Seat

amazon abahub kayak sup seat w dimensions
Learn More About this Kayak Seat on Amazon

Folding Stadium Style 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.

Read our article about paddle boarding with two seats if you agree that sharing your board is another fun way to paddle. 

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 boards with these simple folding seats without incident.

We did lose one chair when we were on a river paddle boarding excursion with two adults on our Aqua Marina Monster. It was completely our bad. Read all about our fun riding the river in Crested Butte Colorado

If this is a concern for you and if you have a paddle board with d-rings you can always use four of those straps with a clip on one end and Velcro on the other to attach the corners of our folding chair to your paddle board. Then all you have to do is clip it on and off like you would a kayak seat.

Our Favorite Folding Stadium 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.

GCI Outdoor Big Comfort Stadium Chair with Adjustable Backrest

amazon gci big comfort stadium chair adjustable backrest black
Learn More About this Seat on Amazon

These chairs typically last us 3-4 years before they get stuck under something in the car or RV 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 many years.
This is a very nice wide, comfortable folding seat.

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 as 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 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.

Deluxe Folding Seat

amazon diyarea folding paddle board seat
Learn More About this Kayak Seat on Amazon

Last thoughts

If you decide to purchase a comfortable seat from the get go, you may want to upgrade your inflatable paddle board purchase as well. For more information consider reading about the Best Paddle Boards with Seats. Meanwhile we hope you are feeling much better informed in your search for a paddle board with kayak seat.

We hope to see you out on the water!

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