Best Sit On Top Kayak Under 1000 Dollars

Most anglers have done kayaking in so many ways and reasons: for recreation, for fishing, or simply for exploration. There are different types of kayaks, and some prefer inflatable kayaks, as they are more lightweight, easy to install, and easy to carry. If you’re planning on buying a new one, it is important to know how to buy a good kayak.

In this review, we discuss several factors you should consider when you’re looking for the best inflatable fishing kayak. If you also want to know different essentials for a good kayak, you should continue reading. We also compare the best budget kayaks you can find in the market to give you more options to choose from.

Top Sit-On-Top Kayaks Overview

ImageNameStyleMax CapacityDimensionsWeightBuy
Perception Kayak Tribe SOT Kayak1. Perception Kayak Tribe SOT KayakSingle300 lbs137 x 30.25 x 16 in52 lbs

Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 SOT Kayak2. Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 SOT KayakSingle350 lbs138 x 29.5 x 18 in47 lbs

Sun Dolphin Bali SS SOT Kayak3. Sun Dolphin Bali SS SOT KayakSingle 395 lbs144 x 29.6 x 14 in44 lbs

Riot Kayaks Escape 12SOT Kayak4. Riot Kayaks Escape 12SOT KayakSingle300 lbs144 X 30 in72 lbs

Emotion Spitfire Tandem SOT Kayak5. Emotion Spitfire Tandem SOT KayakTandem500 lbs144 x 35 x 15 in90 lbs

Lifetime Lotus SOT Kayak6. Lifetime Lotus SOT KayakSingle250 lbs96 x 29 x 9.5 in36.5 lbs

Lifetime Tamarack SOT Kayak7. Lifetime Tamarack SOT KayakSingle275 lbs96 x 8 x 8 in54 lbs

Sun Dolphin Journey SOT Kayak8. Sun Dolphin Journey SOT KayakSingle250 lbs114 x 29 x 15 in44 lbs

Perception Tribe 11.5 SOT Kayak9. Perception Tribe 11.5 SOT KayakSingle350 lbs138 x 30 in52 lbs

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 SOT Kayak10. Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 SOT KayakSingle350 lbs147 x 31 x 13 in63 lbs

What makes the best sit-on-top kayak

As a beginner, you might ask what factors to consider when buying the best sit-on-top kayak for the money. If you don’t want to regret purchasing the sit-on-top kayak that’s not appropriate for you, you need to know this. Here are several things that make an excellent kayak:


You might be looking for the best sit-on-top touring kayak or the best fishing kayak. You need to identify your purpose, as kayaks are designed to cater to different activities. Sit on top kayaks made for recreation might have different features with kayaks made for surfing.

There are tandem kayaks that would allow two or sometimes more than two riders. Fishing kayaks may be distinguishable from recreational kayaks as they already have rod holders installed in them. If you are into surfing, considering buying ocean surfing kayaks. Without waves, however, this type of kayak works slowly.

There are also scuba kayaks that feature enough space for your scuba gears. Touring kayaks are usually used for trips that extend for hours, so they should have enough storage space as well.


Another thing to consider in buying a sit-on-top kayak is if they are easy to carry around. Examine the dimensions and the weight of your kayak to make sure that they suit you, and you can easily store them. You might also want to check the kayak’s carry handles and skid plates.


You want to make sure that you are comfortable when riding on your sit-on-top kayak. Check if the sitting design of your kayak suits you. You also want to examine if there is enough leg space for you. An adjustable seat plus a backrest and plenty of padding are a necessity. You would also like to buy kayaks with foot braces. Make sure that the cockpit accommodates your size and a cup holder is easily accessible for you.


Not only should you be concerned about the kayak’s design, but you should also check its performance. Among the most important performance factors is the stability of the kayak. However, this is not the only factor you should check.

Consider as well the tracking that the kayak offers. Tracking is the kayak’s ability to maintain your desired direction. If the kayak you are choosing can handle swells and even strong winds, you are choosing the best one. It’s also good to choose a kayak that’s easy to maneuver – that which you can take to areas that are less accessible. Of course, you also want to consider the kayak’s speed.

Usually, wider kayaks are more stable, while shorter kayaks are easier to maneuver. On the other hand, Longer kayaks are faster and could track well compared to kayaks of different sizes.

Weight Capacity

You need to know the maximum weight that the kayak could carry to identify if it suits you. It would help if you considered your weight and the weight of the equipment you are bringing with you. Make sure that they won’t go over your kayak’s weight capacity.


One crucial factor to consider is if your kayak could last long. Can you use it several times without it being broken? What parts usually wear down because of the strong impact? Are there any warranties coming with the kayak? These are some of the questions you should be asking before buying one.

Advantages of a Sit-on-Top Kayak

Because a sit-on-top kayak almost resembles a surfboard, with a cockpit and seat completely open, it offers a higher sitting position compared to sit-in kayaks. With this, the rider could better view the surroundings and have a more comfortable sitting position, especially those not cool with tighter spaces.

Located at the bottom of the cockpit area are drain holes of small sizes that could drain away water that gets into the area.

What are the other advantages of a sit-on-top kayak?

  • It’s easier to go from the kayak to the water – this is advantageous, especially for those who want to fish, swim, or dive and who need to get in and out of the kayak from time to time. There are a lot of best sit-on-top kayaks for the ocean or for other bodies of water that could serve this purpose.
  • Amazing choice for larger persons – some persons might struggle to fit themselves in a sit-in kayak because of its restricted space. For this, a sit-on-top kayak is more suited for them. They don’t need to worry about getting in and out of their kayak because of its open cockpit.
  • Storage areas are more accessible – unlike in sit-in kayaks, where storage areas are challenging to reach, you can quickly and immediately access storage when you’re in a sit-on-top kayak. This is important, especially when you need to get your pieces of equipment fast.
  • Sit on top kayaks don’t sink quickly – because it is a single sealed unit, sit on top kayaks are impossible to fall. It may tip over in the water, but it is easy to flip it back into position.

Here are the top 5 best sit-on-top kayak under $1000

1. Perception Kayak Tribe

Perception Kayak Tribe SOT Kayak

This version is a smaller kayak version, measuring around 10 feet. Still, it is because of this size that Perception Kayak Tribe Sunset is very maneuverable and is very good for beginners and children who are kayaking for recreation. Because of its width, which is around 31.25 inches, this kayak is also stable.

Lightweight at 46 pounds, this is easy to carry and is very portable along with the help of the soft-touch handles located on the kayak’s rear and front. 

The skid plate at the kayak’s bottom allows you to drag it against the ground without really destroying its surface. The padded seat provides comfort along with the high backrest. Featuring a more expansive cockpit (around 20.5 wide), it can fit your hips easily and could accommodate your long legs.

Because this boat can carry a weight of up to 300 pounds, this can surely accommodate an average adult and some items.


  • It offers lots of leg space.
  • Comfortable because of the padded seat
  • Stable and could track well.
  • The polyethylene material makes the surface resistant to scraping and UV rays.


  • No paddle rests

2. Ocean Kayak Scrambler Sit On Top Kayak

Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 SOT Kayak

This kayak can be very versatile. Not only can you use this on a surf, and not only is this one of the best sit-on-top touring kayaks, but you could also try a bit of fishing using this kayak. For comfort, this kayak has padded seats wide enough to accommodate your hips, plus a backrest that you can adjust in four ways. Overlapping footwells are featured by 50-inch leg length.

Because this kayak weighs only 47 pounds, you can easily transport it and drag it into the water with the help of the carry handles on the bow or the side handles. With a weight capacity of around 300 to 350 pounds, this kayak is enough to accommodate the weight of an average adult plus some items.

You can store some of your things at the extra-large tank well located behind the seat that has bungee cording. This kayak also has rod holders.

With balanced maneuverability, tracking, and stability, this kayak is great for beginners.


  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Lots of storage space
  • Stable and easy to maneuver
  • Tracks well
  • Replaceable skid plates


  • Not that speedy
  • Hatch is not waterproof

3. Sun Dolphin Bali SS Kayak

Sun Dolphin Bali SS SOT Kayak

Lightweight at 48 pounds, the famous Sun Dolphin Bali SS Kayak is easy to carry and portable, considering they have handles at the front and rear. If you’re looking for the best lightweight sit-on-top kayak, then this design suits you best. Despite this lightweight, however, it has an excellent weight capacity of 395 pounds. Measuring 30 inches wide, it has a sufficient cockpit area space that makes getting in and getting out a lot easier.

For your comfort, Sun Dolphin Bali SS Kayak has a padded seat and backrest; plus, it also features adjustable foot braces to accommodate your legs. What makes this kayak more comfortable are the protective thigh pads it has. Accessible cup holders, a small tray for some of your items can also be found in the kayak.

Aside from the paddle holder, this kayak also has two-rod holders, making it suitable for recreational purposes and fishing.

With its performance, Sun Dolphin Bali SS Kayak moves quickly, can track well, and is very stable even against wind or current. What makes this durable is the kayak’s polyethylene material that’s UV-resistant as well.


  • Great weight capacity
  • Easy to carry
  • Very comfortable
  • Rod holders, cup holders, and paddle holders are available


  • Not suitable for racing

4. Riot Kayaks Escape 12 Kayak

Riot Kayaks Escape 12SOT Kayak

This kayak is one of the most comfortable kayaks you could use for recreational purposes. But this is also very versatile because of its several features. First, it offers fantastic comfort with its high backrest. The seat position is also customizable and comes with four attachment points, with adjustable foot braces.

Aside from comfort, this kayak also has excellent weight capacity as it can carry a weight of up to 300 pounds. 

It’s a bit heavy, though, weighing around 66 pounds but still easy to drag into the water because of the handles. Storage space is also great and is accessible at the stern, secured safely by bungee cords.

This kayak also features cup holders, rod holders, and a rubber hatch. Fast and maneuverable, this kayak tracks well because of its rudder system.


  • Great weight capacity
  • Stable and fast
  • Rod holders, cup holders, and rubber hatch
  • Comfortable backrest


  • Not very affordable
  • Not very lightweight

5. Emotion Spitfire Sit on Top Kayak

Emotion Spitfire Tandem SOT Kayak

This sit-on-top kayak is designed for two riders, providing enough space for the rider’s pieces of equipment. So, if you want the best sit-on-top tandem kayak, this would be a great choice. Measuring 8 feet, this weighs just 39 pounds and is very compact. Because it is lightweight, this kayak is very portable and easy to carry around with you.

Despite its weight, however, it can accommodate a weight up to 500 pounds, so not only can it accommodate you, but it also allows you to bring other items. This kayak is also very convenient. Aside from the fact that you can quickly bring this down from your car roof or take it down, you can conveniently drag it to the water using the carry handles located in the kayak’s front and rear.

Because high-density polyethylene is used as its material and is UV protected, you expect that its surface won’t quickly wear down. Because of its length, this kayak is very easy to maneuver and can track well. Its speed is also sufficient for exploration and recreational kayaking.

This kayak features several things for your comfort. It has freedom footwells that could accommodate paddlers of any size. Aside from this, it has a center hatch you could use for storage. Its rear tank well also comes with a cargo net lacing system. What is amazing is that this product also comes with a five-year warranty.


  • Very affordable
  • Great for beginners
  • Can accommodate two persons
  • Portable
  • Very maneuverable
  • It comes with a five-year warranty


  • No seat cushion, so it might get uncomfortable
  • Best only for calm waters.

Final Thoughts

As a beginner, you might be overwhelmed in your search for the best sit-on-top kayak that suits you. It takes only a bit of knowledge about what to consider when buying one and a few intelligent decision-making skills. Now that you have been presented with the most affordable and best kayak for beginners, then you can start identifying which kayak you like best for a more worthwhile experience.

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