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10 Best Sit On Top Kayak for Beginners: Handful Pick for the Modern-Day Kayaker

Kayaking is fun!

Isn't it? Undoubtedly it gives a chance to get close To Nature. Kayaking is a cool activity for any beginner to learn. It’s not rocket science dude. All you need is a good lesson, along with the right boat.

For a newbie, SOT or sit on top kayak is the best option for its easy access on & off feature. The best thing is SOTs will help to keep you fresh and active in the open air.

So, what is the best sit on top kayak for beginners?

I’ll walk you through the whole process of finding the right Kayak for you. Let’s get started.

Sit on Vs Sit in Kayak for Fishing

There is a little debate about the convenience between Sit on top and Sit-in kayaks. This is why, because it depends on how and where you are going to use it. So this is tough to set forth only one of them.

Taking the main features on the account, let’s figure it out.

Whenever it comes to fishing kayak, most of people think about the Sit-In kayak (SIK), as it is the traditional one.SIK is like a hollow box with a chamber in the middle. The chamber is called ‘cockpit.’ Hence, The occupant stays sealed into the kayak with all the elements. These kayaks usually used for general recreational and touring. It has a comparatively lower center of gravity.

Want to know a secret?

The Sit on Top (SOT) is the update breed of SIK. The main thing that differentiates both kayaks is the occupant sits on the top of the kayak on SOT, which is known as the deck. They are like one kind of surfboard. It is more like a recreational vehicle.

The acceptance of SOT is getting higher with the time because of its convenient features. It is very suitable for the ocean. It ensures easy access and reliable price as well. Also, it is user-friendly and stable. 

Pros and Cons of Sit-On-Top Kayak


  • More comfortable and easy movement.
  • Feels free to paddle.
  • More lightweight than sit in kayak.
  • Easy to repair.
  • More Flexible.
  • Easily Floats.


  • Not Ideal for the chilly season.

Discover 10 Best Sit On Top Kayak for Beginners to Enhance Your Fishing Experience

Here are top 10 best sit on top kayak for beginners suggested by pro kayakers.

1. Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS - Best Sit On Top Whitewater Kayak

SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit-on top Kayak (Blue, 10-Feet)
196 Reviews
SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali SS Sit-on top Kayak (Blue, 10-Feet)
  • Tracks and paddles with ease while offering maximum stability
  • P.A.C. (Portable Accessory Carrier) can be used as extra storage
  • Dry storage compartment with shock cord deck rigging

​When it comes to choosing to sit on top kayak fishing, durability, and stability reign supreme. No doubt, it’s nice to have an attractive kayak, but often the more functional choices win out. This sun dolphin journey kayak is precisely that.

Why am I saying this?

It’s simple and fundamental, but somehow it gets the job done and comes at an affordable price point.

Style and Dimension:

• Color: Blue.
• Size: 10 foot.
• Construction type: High-Density Polyethylene.
• Seat Material: Plastic.
• Weight: 44 pounds.

Why we love it?

Pretty good canoe for the money!

The Journey 10 sit-on kayak offers many amazing features to enhance your fishing experience. Great for rivers and lakes and to find those excluded fishing spots.

Let’s talk about its construction. Made up from Rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex Polyethylene, this kayak is sturdy enough. Besides, Open cockpit makes it almost effortless of entry.

Still not convinced?

The best part of this kayak is the sizeable cozy seating area. Paddles and Tracks with ease while providing maximum stability.

Keep in mind

This is a cheap, entry-level kayak. So it’s only recommended great for a leisurely paddle or a beginner around pretty still water.


  • Carrying handle.
  • Graduated foot well.
  • Molded-in paddle holder.


  • Footrests are not enough for tall people.

2. Lifetime 10-Foot Kayak- Top-Rated Sit On Top Kayak for 2 Person

Lifetime 90118 Manta Tandem Sit on Top Kayak with Paddles and Backrests, 10 Feet, Yellow
139 Reviews
Lifetime 90118 Manta Tandem Sit on Top Kayak with Paddles and Backrests, 10 Feet, Yellow
  • Designed for single or tandem use; 500 Lb. weight capacity
  • Includes 2 soft backrests and 2 double sided paddles. UV-Protected Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) Rotational Molded Construction
  • Lightweight 60 lb. design with molded front and rear carry handles for easy transport

​What an adorable, cutie little Kayak!

It has impressive cargo capacity, easy to maneuver, very stable, and fairly easy to transport, at least for a two people kayak! Yes, it has made for single or tandem use, however, Fits up to 3 people.

Style and Dimension:

• Color: Yellow, Green.
• Size: 10 foot.
• Construction Type: Low-Density Polyethylene.
• Seat Material: Plastic.
• Weight capacity: 500 Lb.
• Item weight: 60 lb.

Why we love it?

Before everything, let’s talk about the overall looks. Comes with two vibrant colors, Tunnel hull design ensures ultra stability and tracking; practically impossible to tip over. With UV-Protected Linear, this canoe actually Rotational Molded Construction.

And guess what?

It includes 2 double-sided paddles and two soft backrests. Besides, "High and Dry" seat facility will keep you off of kayak floor. Plus, it is backed by a five-year limited warranty.

Keep in mind

These kayaks don't track straight, nor lateral stability. So go anywhere very quickly with this canoe won’t be wise and don't get caught in a phase where you need to move pretty soon.


  • Forward cargo area.
  • Rear carry handles.
  • Paddle included.


  • Only one backrest.

3. Sun Dolphin Camino 8 SS - A Great Recreational Kayak

SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Camino SS Sit-on-top Kayak (Red, 8-Feet)
19 Reviews
SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Camino SS Sit-on-top Kayak (Red, 8-Feet)
  • Square Stern offers maximum stability
  • Large open cockpit for easiest of entry
  • Adjustable, padded seat with high backrest

If you want something stable yet comfortable to sit in, this nice little kayak is the best choice for you. This tiny boat itself looks pretty solid and is very durable.

Sound impressive?

It is constructed with a square stern for more stability, and the large open cockpit allows easy in and out.

Style and Dimension:

• Color: Red.
• Size: 8 foot.
• Construction type: Polyethylene.
• Seat Material: Plastic.
• Weight: 39.5 pounds.

Why we love it?

The thing that impresses us most is the seat is pretty comfortable and comes with a padded backrest. That means you can ride for a few hours without interrupting for a break with seating.

But you know what else?

The kayak ensures a smooth ride, and track great on both mild and calm waters. It is self-bailing, includes a paddle holder and storage compartments. It offers graduated footwells and molded-in carrying handles.

Keep in mind

What you should know about is the square stern, because it tends to fishtail if you paddle too fast. If you are determined to have a smoother ride, keep a steady pace for better experience. As we mentioned earlier, it is primarily meant for a light relaxing trip, not really for speed.


  • Graduated foot wells.
  • Storage compartments.
  • Vibrant look.


  • The paddle is not included.

4. Ocean Kayak Frenzy- Best Sit on Top Kayak for One Person

Ocean Kayak Frenzy 1-Person Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak (Sunrise, 9 Feet)
58 Reviews
Ocean Kayak Frenzy 1-Person Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak (Sunrise, 9 Feet)
  • Responsive and stable, this one-person kayak is playful in the surf but behaves well on flat water.
  • Ocean Kayak's renowned Tri-Form hull combines primary and secondary stability, with a long center keel to keep you going straight.
  • A durable, four-way-adjustable Comfort Plus seat supports all-day paddling, with comfort for any body type.

Hi, weekend warrior, wants to have fun playing in the lake water with the family?

Then ocean kayak frenzy kayak is the perfect watercraft for you. A sturdy, four-way-adjustable Comfort seat supports almost all-day paddling, with coziness for any body type.

Style and Dimension:

• Color: envy, sunrise.
• Size: 9 foot.
• Seat Material: Plastic.
• Weight: 43 pounds.
• Capacity: 325 pounds.

Why we love it?

Offering great fun in a compact hull, this Ocean Kayak Frenzy is One-Person Sit-On-Top Kayak, a versatile choice for river or ocean adventurers. 

What makes this so unique?

Responsive and stable, Ocean frenzy one-person kayak is fun-loving in the surf but performs well on flat water. Store your food, gear and other stuff using the stern tank with bow deck and removable bungee.

Thanks to the renowned Tri-Form hull! It blends primary and secondary stability, along with a large center keel to ensure the paddler is going straight. As this watercraft is pretty lightweight, easily carry the kayak from the boat. Plus, it features the molded-in side handles and stern carrying handles.

Keep in mind

It has a quiet cockpit area, actually only 18.5. So if you are a big guy, it’s probably not the right choice for you.


  • Molded-in side handles.
  • Lifetime warranty.
  • Easy to carry.


  • The seat is too straight.

5. Ocean Kayak Venus 10- A Classic Women's Sit-On-Top Kayak

Ocean Kayak Venus 11 One-Person Women's Sit-On-Top Kayak, Fuchsia, 10 Feet 8 Inches
12 Reviews
Ocean Kayak Venus 11 One-Person Women's Sit-On-Top Kayak, Fuchsia, 10 Feet 8 Inches
  • Compact and easy to maneuver, the Venus 11 kayak is equipped with a unique Comfort Hybrid seat back with lumbar support for all-day paddling.
  • The seat well is designed to accommodate a woman's center of gravity.
  • A specially designed car-topping handle system makes it easy to load the Venus 11 on a vehicle.

​Not the fastest, but responds & rides excellent!

Yes, you heard that right. From its cheeky roots in a Malibu backyard to the shores of New Zealand, this Ocean Kayak persists in finding brand new, clear ways to ride the waves.

Why it’s great for women?

It’s easy and safe to use! To board, easy step into the Venus and flop on the seat.

That’s it!

If any case you plop down, you don’t have to panic about the canoe filling up and sinking.

Style and Dimension:

• Color: Fuchsia, Envy.
• Size: 9 feet 10 inches.
• Width: 28 inches.
• Weight: 37 pounds.
• Capacity: 175 pounds.
• Seat Type: Comfort Hybrid.

Why we love it?

The Ocean Kayak Venus is an ultra-lightweight, comfortable, easy-to-transport canoe designed for free-spirited women. 

A foot shorter than the sister kayak—the ocean Venus 11—this Venus 10 maneuvers with smooth, making it ideal for flat water, slow-moving rivers, and moderate ocean swells and waves.

But hang on a minute!

Surprisingly enough, this Venus kayak’s state-of-the-art seating system provides a farm seat back height for extra lumbar support, and it’s a helpful feature for women. The seat is attached to the canoe, so it won’t slide while you are in use. In addition, it easily adjusts so that you can find the utmost comfort position for your next water adventure.

Keep in mind

The Venus 10 is a low-deck profile and designed specifically for women with stability and comfort in mind. So don’t expect too much speed.


  • Extra lumbar support.
  • Right-side paddle holder.
  • Easy to Carry.


  • No cup / bottle holders.

6. Emotion Spitfire 8 Kayak- Best Touring Kayak

Emotion 90244 Spitfire Sit-On-Top 8 Foot Kayak, Red
26 Reviews
Emotion 90244 Spitfire Sit-On-Top 8 Foot Kayak, Red
  • Constructed of High Density Polyethylene for superior strength and durability; 240 lb. weight capacity
  • ST Performance Hull offers execptional stability and tracking
  • Front, rear, and side carry handles for easy transport

​If you are someone who takes kayaking as a sport and want to do frequently, you need a longer, narrower kayak.

Then the emotion spitfire 8 can be a life-changer for you!

Another great masterpiece of lifeline, as we all know, they are passionate about bringing people together, no matter wherever your adventure is.

Style and Dimension:

• Color: Red.
• Size: 8 feet.
• Material: High-Density Polyethylene.
• Weight: 40 pounds.
• Capacity: 240 pounds.

Why we love it?

First of all, let’s talk about construction. Constructed with High-Density Polyethylene, it has superior strength and sturdy; Weight capacity is 240 lb.

What about hull?

ST Performance Hull gives Exceptional Tracking and Stability. Blow-Molded design from Ultra-Durable High-Density Polyethylene Plastic.
What’s its uniqueness?

The extra volume with high capacity makes this watercraft the perfect fit for about any size paddler from toddlers to adults.

Keep in mind

Though it’s a standard size, it won’t be an excellent choice for someone taller and bigger.


  • Multiple footrest positions.
  • Adjustable padded seat.
  • Superior strength.


  • Fragile hull.

7. Sun Dolphin Journey 10 Sit on Top Kayak- Cheap Fishing Kayaks

SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Journey Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak (Olive, 10-Feet)
148 Reviews
SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Journey Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak (Olive, 10-Feet)
  • Great for lakes and rivers and to get to those excluded fishing spots
  • Lightweight, easy to carry.Retractable carrying handles
  • Tracks and paddles with ease while offering maximum stability

​"A brave little boat"

Sun Dolphin also has very few sit-on models, and the Journey 10 being the smallest probably. Despite being so compact, this Journey 10 still comes with a decent enough weight capacity of 250 lbs.

Style and Dimension:

• Color: olive, sand.
• Size: 10 feet.
• Material: High-Density Polyethylene.
• Weight: 44 pounds.
• Capacity: 250 pounds.

Why we love it?

This kayak literally does have everything a paddler needs as a beginner, so it includes two flush mount holders behind its seat, one swivel rod holder at the front.

The result?

Large and comfortable seat, while the cozy, protective thigh pads are such a blessing for day-long trips. Like journey 10 ss, this little boat also comes with adjustable foot braces to the paddler holder comfortable.

Keep in mind

If you are a big guy or taller than six feet, this little canoe is going to feel a little cramped, in that case the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 or 12 SS will be a better option.


  • Protective thigh pads.
    Comes with Portable 
  • Accessory Carrier.
  • Self-bailing.


  • Heavyweight.

8. Point 65 Kayak GTX Tandem- Fastest Sit On Top Kayak

Point 65 Tequila GTX Tandem RED
13 Reviews
Point 65 Tequila GTX Tandem RED
  • Swedish design & engineering
  • Tandem configuration; front section paired with mid and back sections = tandem kayak.
  • Modular -splits apart for easy storage, Carrying and transport

A speed demon!

Yes, that was the first impression when a test it. And honestly speaking, I was quite surprised how they manage to offer such a fantastic watercraft at this price range. GTX Tandem Modular Kayak is designed with both kids/toddlers and adults in mind.

Style and Dimension:

• Color: Red.
• Total length: 13 ft 8 in.
• Material: High-Density Polyethylene.

Why we love it?

Whether it’s fishing, paddling, or just relaxing, this fantastic, high-performance kayak is the excellent choice for friends or family fun on the water. The GTS Tequila has a new tracking keel that forms it paddle even. With the new midsection, your single-seater can be transformed into a top-grade tandem, so if you want you can bring a friend. 

See the difference?

With Point 65 ́s patented Snap-Tap solution; this little monster snaps apart/re-assembles in seconds. That’s why it’s considering the most lightweight watercraft on the market so far. Designed for stability and comfort, the Tequila GTX is also a nimble, maneuverable recreational tiny boat with plenty of legroom.

Good for you.

The Tequila includes a super- comfortable seat, molded multi-foot rests, a pneumatically adjustable backrest that provides you a delightful and flexible seating position.

Keep in mind

Stable but not full as to feel like a lighter canoe-like other sit-on-tops.


  • Better tracking.
  • Plenty of legroom.
  • A super- comfortable seat.


  • Non-modular.

9. Lifetime Kayak Tandem- Best Sit on Top Kayak for Fishing

Lifetime Sport Fisher Single or Tandem Kayak, 10 Feet, Olive Green
175 Reviews
Lifetime Sport Fisher Single or Tandem Kayak, 10 Feet, Olive Green
  • Blow molded from High Density Polyethylene for superior strength and durability; Backed by a 5-year limited manufacturer warranty
  • Designed to seat up to 3 people; 500 lb. weight capacity
  • Hull design provides ultra stability and great trackingDurable High-Density UV-Protected Polyethylene HDPE Construction Resists Fading, Cracking, and Peeling

A versatile choice for river or ocean adventurers!

Perfect for a day trek or even weekend adventure, this superb watercraft is one of the faster, handy sit-on-top kayaks around. As the name indicates, it’s a Two-Person Tandem and can seat up to 3 people.

Style and Dimension:

• Color: olive green, camouflage.
• Type: Two Person Tandem.
• Size: 10 feet. 
• Material: High-Density Polyethylene.
• Weight: 60 pounds.
• Capacity: 500 pounds.

Why we love it?

Blow-molded from Polyethylene for durability superior and strength; it is backed by a 5-year company’s limited warranty. Hull design provides excellent tracking and ultra stability; Durable High-Density Polyethylene HDPE Construction protects Fading, Cracking, and Peeling.

What’s the best part?

Its multiple footrest positions allow different size riders. It includes paddle clips, 2 double-sided paddles and padded backrests, a 6’ storage hatch and 3 fishing pole holders.

Keep in mind

As you can see, it’s quite heavyweight, handling this kayak will be a big challenge.


  • UV-Protected Polyethylene Construction.
  • Superior strength.
  • Huge weight capacity.


  • Hooks are not satisfactory.

10. Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100- A Perfect Angler Recreational Fishing Kayak

Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100 10 Foot Angler Recreational Sit On Top Light Weight Fishing Kayak (Jam Berry) with Paddle and Adjustable Hero Comfort Seat - Tsunami Red Evolve Paddle
9 Reviews
Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100 10 Foot Angler Recreational Sit On Top Light Weight Fishing Kayak (Jam Berry) with Paddle and Adjustable Hero Comfort Seat - Tsunami Red Evolve Paddle
  • KEY FEATURES | 1-person sit on top fishing kayak - 10ft 57lbs fishing kayak that offers best of stability and maneuverability
  • OPTIMUM CONTROL | The Yellowfin 100 is the perfect throw-and-go fishing kayak because it's easy to move by hand and transport.
  • MOUNT FOR ACCESSORIES | 4 Flush mount fishing rod holders

​Whether for a bit of exercise, to reel in the day’s catch, or family fun, you’ll find the vibe’s sit-on-top kayaks wherever the water leads you. Vibe always amazes the adventurers with its awesome outdoor gadget.

This time Vibe kayaks yellowfin nailed it!

Style and Dimension:

• Color: Jamberry
• Type: one Person sit on top
• Size: 10ft 57lbs
• Width: 32"
• Capacity: 375 pounds
• Weight: 57 pound

Why we love it?

Seek-and-find the big monster anywhere from shallows to the deeps while pulling all your tackle with the super compact and fast Yellowfin 100. It's purposely designed for avid anglers comfort. Meanwhile, it has all the customizable and premium features of the best watercraft on the market, at the most reasonable cost on the market.

Don’t even try to deny it.

Speed hull design provides very fast, nimble tracking to get angler quickly to where the fish are, saving the energy during windy days, long paddles, and strong currents.

Keep in mind

It has sharp edges on the bottom of the sides. Though it makes this yellowfin more stable, makes a bit harder to find the j-rack carrier.


  • Slip Resistant Deck.
  • Ultra-smooth Pontoon-Style Hull Design.
  • Dual Position.


  • Poor quality straps.

How to Choose the Best Sit On Top Kayak?

​There are some key points that you need to know before buying a Sit on Top Kayak. You can’t get yourself the perfect kayak if you don’t consider Sit on Top Kayak tips adequately. So, let’s have a bird’s eye look on them-

Consider the Model

At the very beginning, you need to identify what type of paddling you want to do because these kayaks come with many kinds of design. If you are about to does kayaking on the flat water as in the river or local lake, then you need a medium width and length. Besides, you need to consider the Rocker of the kayak according to your requirements. The fewer rockers ensure better tracking ability, and the more assures the maneuverability of it.

Solo Vs. Dual

Most of the Sit on Top Kayak providers offers both solo and dual kayak facility. If you want to ride with a partner, you can get yourself a tandem kayak. But we recommend the solo one so you can outing alone also if you partner skips for any reason.


When you are alone in the kayak, there should have something with you to enjoy the breaks; maybe you want your Dog or some snakes and beverages. So, of course, you need to have enough space for them. But at the same time, you need to keep in mind that the more heavy cargo, the less speed you will get.

Storage and Transportation

You have to consider this issue very seriously; especially pay heed to the size and weight. You of course don’t want such a kayak that you would need to buy a new vehicle because of its extra-large size. Also, the pressure should be as much as you can lift.


Since the Sit on Top is impressive, their amount is likely noticeable. If you can’t meet the required cost, consider the less expensive one. It’s better to do something than nothing. 

Wrapping Up and Decision Time

Whether you are a newbie or an experienced paddler in kayaking, a right watercraft can make a big difference.

As you can see, there is actually a lot to consider when you try to pick a top performer sit on top kayak. Each of the watercraft on our list best sits on top kayak for beginners are best with their own significance.

What’s our recommendation? We loved each of them, but hot favorites are:

Best sit on top kayak under 300: Sun dolphin Camino 8 ss.
Best sit on top kayak under 500: Lifetime 10 foot kayak.
Best sit on top kayak under 1000: Lifetime kayak tandem.

 Best Fishing Kayaks Under 700

Now it’s your turn, choose the right one and get ready for the adventure.

Get up and go kayaking!

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Last update on 2020-04-09 at 23:28 / Amazon Affiliate Link (paid link) / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • Updated December 20, 2019
  • Kayaks