Top Sit-On Kayak Brands

Those just starting out in enjoying the sport of kayaking usually prefer sit-on kayaks for a very good reason. For many, it gives a better sense of security in the chance the kayak capsizes while in the water.

Take time to make a decision on whether you want a sit-in or a sit-on model before you make your first kayak purchase.

Here’s our short list of the best sit-on brands to consider.


Some of you may have heard Pelican mentioned in the Top Three of all kayak brands. They produce some stellar sit-on models, with their Sentinel 100X being a favorite.

This model has everything you want in a sit-on kayak: It’s small, fast, and plenty of space to store things.

Mind you, it’s made for calm water, but this is what you want if starting out. Making it even safer is it has anti-slip materials on the interior carpet. You won’t have to worry about falling out or slipping getting in and out.

Thanks to holding up to 275 lbs., you can also take plenty of gear with you. All of that in a price below $500 makes Pelican a great brand to consider first.


One of the most customizable sit-on kayaks is one from Kokanee. In their lime-colored, 10’ 6” sit-on model, they offer a way to kayak solo or with two people (tandem). 

Other options are available on this boat, including multiple footrest positions and adjustable seat backs.

Kokanee gives you everything for comfort, though designed specifically for those who want to kayak recreationally only. Not that you couldn’t do longer tours in this, and even fishing.

Extra storage in the hull area allows considerable room for an all-day excursion. A simple added feature like a water bottle holder is just one example of their attention to detail in making your trip enjoyable.


We’ve mentioned Perception various times in our blogs as one of the best kayak manufacturers in multiple categories. For their sit-on models, the Tribe 9.5 has been a favorite of kayakers for a while now.

Designed specifically for flat water kayaking, it’s perfect for those of you still in beginner mode. Like Kokanee above, Perception also focuses on making their kayaks comfortable for specific individuals. It starts with footrests designed for all body sizes.

Seat comfort level is extra superior on the Tribe 9.5 besides. Extra handles and a 48 lbs. weight make it easy to carry to your kayak locations.

Perception also makes this model one of the rare sit-on models that can hold up to 300 lbs.

Sun Dolphin

Here’s another brand we’ve mentioned more than once in our blogs. Sun Dolphin’s 10-foot Bali model continues being a winner across the board.

Made of Fortiflex Polyethylene, this kayak is going to hold together for years, even if you venture into tougher water. At 44 lbs. it’s one of the lightest available of any model, making it easy to transport to distant locations.

If you think Perception’s 300 lbs. weight capacity is amazing, wait until you find out the Bali can hold up to 395 lbs.!

As for comfort level, Sun Dolphin makes their Bali seating area extra spacious to accommodate various body sizes. Padded seating is another strong suit, along with a large tank inside to store dozens of items.


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