If you’re thinking of purchasing a sit-on-top kayak, it is important to realize that sit-on-top or “sit on” kayaks are a fairly broad group of boats.
To figure out what which sit-on-top kayak will bring you the most joy on the water, there are several factors to keep in mind including: where you plan to kayak, who you will paddle with, the general type of kayaking you wish to do, and the duration of your expeditions. Kayaks designed for calm lakes and slow-moving rivers may not be designed to withstand open waters and ocean surf, so think about where you plan to kayak most often and choose a sit-on-top model that is designed for this water type. Additionally, if most of your kayaking will take place in narrow channels, you would likely opt for a shorter model that easier to navigate and has a tighter turning radius.
If speed is a consideration or you plan to take longer trips with your sit-on-top kayak, then focus on longer models. All Perception kayaks have either multiple foot wells or adjustable foot pegs, meaning that both short and tall paddlers can often paddle the same size kayak. In other words, hull length is more about kayak speed and performance and less about paddler height. Longer sit-on-tops will also offer more storage options for your gear. Keep in mind, however, that the longest, sleekest kayaks (kayaks in the 14’ – 16’ range) are sit-inside touring kayaks – so, if expeditions are your primary focus, we advise you to check that section of our site.
Do you want to bring a partner or pet along when you kayak? If so, you’ll either need to purchase 2 solo sit-on-top kayaks (for two people – we don’t expect the dog to paddle!) or look at tandem sit-on-top models. If you have a water-loving pooch, look for models with a rear swim deck like the Perception Hi Life or sit-on-top models with a “bonus seat” like the Tribe Tandem that is created with a smaller or furry passenger in mind.
If fishing is a hobby, you can buy a sit-on-top fishing kayak. Perception offers a family of sit-on-tops for anglers called the Pescador series. The entry-level model is the Pescador, which is great for both fishing and recreational use. If you want some additional features and performance, consider the Pescador Pro or the pedal-driven Pescador Pilot. All offer an open, unobstructed platform that is perfect for kayak fishing gear.
Some features that distinguish Perception’s sit-on-top kayaks from inexpensive models sold at big box stores and online include
Designs from a company focused wholly on kayaks and other watercrafts – we have been in business over 40 years and do not make other plastic products like folding tables or port-a-potties.
Stable sit-on-top kayaks that are perfect for beginners as well as performance models for more experienced paddlers – our sit-on-top kayaks offer a very sturdy on-water feel
Comfortable, back-friendly, adjustable seats with cushioning that is superior to the competition – our seat quality is a key factor that customers tell us they love and a major difference they have found from cheap kayaks or “yakoffs”
Leak-proof roto-molded construction without sharp seams
We hope that this brief kayak buying guide for sit-on-top models is helpful and we also invite you to try our Kayak Finder Tool site to help pick a kayak that is perfect for you: https://www.perceptionkayaks.com/us/kayak-selector#/q/water
*Prices shown are suggested U.S. and Canadian Dollar retail prices, net not including taxes. Prices in your market may vary due to currency, VAT, and other taxes. Prices subject to change without notice.