Fishing sit-on-top kayaks - Buying guide, Reviews, and Comparison


We understand if you have no time to read our detailed buying guide and product reviews below, but this short paragraph should have the exact information you need to help you find the best sit on top kayak for the money. We have done an in-depth comparative evaluation of the different products in the sit on top kayak reviews by also looking at actual owner feedback. Based on consumer research, the Lifetime Tamarack 90237 is a clear favorite because of its UV-protected, high-density polyethylene construction that makes it suitable for the demanding conditions of fishing. The stable flat bottom makes the watercraft easy to board while allowing you to disembark easily or stay in a steady position while paddling and fishing. To ensure easy use for various sizes of riders, the kayak comes with multiple footrest positions. In case the Lifetime Tamarack 90237 quickly runs out of stock because of its popularity with consumers, you could go for the second best option, the Ocean Kayak Prowler 13.



Our top choices


We do not claim to be experts in fishing but we do know that the best sit on top kayaks for fishing should have the qualities of the top-rated products described below:



Lifetime Tamarack 90237


The Lifetime Tamarack 90237 is solidly constructed out of UV-Protected High-Density Polyethylene that makes it suitable as a sit on top kayak for fishing. It features a stable flat bottom so you can come onboard and alight while standing and keeping your balance with both feet planted on the floor of the kayak.

The deep hull tracking channels work to keep the kayak on course to prevent the boat from going off track when it gets subjected to a turning force, such as when there’s a sweep stroke. The stability Chine rails support that as well with their sharp edges that catch the waves and track relatively better while also providing good primary stability via a flatter surface that the choppy waters work against.

This kayak enables different sizes of riders to use it thanks to the multiple footrest positions. The adjustable padded seat back and the seat pad provide comfort while the front and rear shock cord straps enable you to pull the kayak into the shore. The two flush-mounted fishing rod holders secure your fishing rod in position so you wouldn’t need to be holding it continuously while waiting for the fish to come.

The two paddle cradles also come with shock cords for easy mobility. The Front and Rear T-handles allow you to latch the kayak securely to your vehicle for a worry-free transport to your destination.


This sit-on-top kayak features a dependably strong UV-Protected High-Density Polyethylene construction that makes it suitable for any fishing conditions that might be demanding.

The stable flat bottom enables easy boarding and deboarding by allowing you to obtain a steady foothold while standing so you can get into a seated position easily and quickly even when the kayak rocks on the water.

The deep hull tracking channels deliver an added stability while providing good tracking. This will make it possible for the kayak to stay on course even when a turning force acts on it, such as a sweep stroke.

This kayak accommodates different size riders thanks to its multiple footrest positions, which contribute to a comfortable ride in a seated position every time.

The stability Chine rails feature sharp edges that catch the waves efficiently and also track relatively better while offering good primary stability with a flatter surface that the choppy waters can push up against.


Although this model features two paddle cradles, it does not ship with paddles so a separate purchase is needed for those components.

Click to see the price on Amazon!





Ocean Kayak Prowler 13


The Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 is one of the original and remains one of the most popular kayaks geared for fishing. It has the fantastic qualities that set a fishing kayak apart from other recreational models on the market, ranging from the hull design to the nifty storage options that enable it to carry out its application really well.

The hull of this kayak is performance-driven to handle both calm and rough waters while ensuring a stable, fast, and quiet ride. The V-shaped hull allows it to slice through the water neatly so the kayak is more effective at tracking in straight lines. The polyethylene construction of the kayak enables its use in demanding fishing conditions and for recreational activities happening on the water.

The large front hatch provides an easy access to the ingenious bow-to-stern internal storage while accommodating a number of rods for safe and convenient below-deck storage. The seat is made out of foam to provide comfort so you can wait for the fish while seated without your bottom becoming numb from being on a really hard seat for hours.

To provide a spot to hold your fishing rod, this model features two rod holders that help prevent the quick onset of hand and arm fatigue from having to hold your fishing rod for extended periods of time.


This is a popular kayak and one of the original watercraft designed for fishing. It is equipped with a performance hull that is fast and stable yet amazingly quiet so as not to spook the fish away.

The V-shaped hull is designed to go swiftly through rough or calm waters equally well, cutting through the water better so that it delivers an effective tracking in straight paths.

The large front hatch provides easy access to the internal storage from the bow to the stern and also accommodates a variety of rods to provide safe storage below deck while keeping the rod out of the way when it is not in use.

The Comfort Plus seat is made out of foam to cushion your bottom from the hard surface of the kayak material, therefore enabling you to sit comfortably while waiting for the fish.

The 6-inch hatch complete with a storage bucket provides ample room to hold the ice that needs to be used for keeping the catch fresh till you head home.


The placement of the 6-inch hatch with the storage bucket is under the seat so care must be taken when taking out things such as ice from the storage unit.

Click to see the price on Amazon!





Sun Dolphin Journey


The Sun Dolphin Journey is made out of UV-stabilized Fortiflex® High-Density Polyethylene that makes it suitable for fishing, as the material can withstand the conditions of being on the water for prolonged periods of time. It has an open cockpit that enables you to get on and off easily, facilitating the process of keeping a stable foothold on the kayak bottom as you do so.

The large seating area ensures comfort so you can rest your bottom while keeping a leverage from both sides to prevent the kayak from tipping. The two flush-mount rod holders and one swivel rod holder enable you to do other tasks with your hands because you wouldn’t have to keep gripping your fishing rod in them all the time, which is very handy while waiting for the fish to strike.

The innovative Portable Accessory Carrier (PAC) can function as extra storage, a backpack, or a tow-behind to hold your essential fishing gear securely while you are on the water. The Dry Storage compartment provides ample room to hold items that need to stay dry during your fishing adventures, such as a change of clothes or your hiking boots.

The shock cord deck rigging facilitates the easy pulling of the kayak to shore or to deeper water when needed or to secure the paddle to the top of the kayak during storage. There are adjustable foot braces to enable the use of the kayak by different size riders.


With its weight capacity of 250 pounds, this sit-on-top boat comes with a large seating area that is made for comfort when you have to wait on the water for the fish to bite.

The two flush-mount rod holders and the single swivel rod holder provide an effective means of keeping your fishing rod(s) in place so you wouldn’t need to hold them in your hands all the time.

The open cockpit of the watercraft allows easy on and off so you can effortlessly brace yourself with both legs when you come onboard, therefore preventing any loss of balance.

This boat comes with an innovative Portable Accessory Carrier (PAC) that you can use as extra storage, a backpack, or a tow-behind.

The water vehicle also features a Dry Storage compartment to accommodate items that have to be kept dry while fishing, such as a change of clothes or your hiking boots.


According to one buyer, this vehicle has screw holes that are not sealed from the factory so it is best to check that the customer puts seals in to ensure total dryness when riding.

Click to see the price on Amazon!





Sun Dolphin Bali SS


The Sun Dolphin Bali SS is suitable for use in rivers and lakes and makes a great recreational kayak. It is easy to carry and is lightweight, enabling you to enjoy fishing or watersports where the passion takes you. This kayak tracks and paddles effortlessly while guaranteeing optimum stability so you can get in and out of it quickly.

Made with rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex® High-Density Polyethylene, this model can withstand the demanding conditions of recreational use so you can make the most of every activity on the water. It features an innovative Portable Accessory Carrier (PAC), which can serve as additional storage, a backpack, or a tow-behind to hold essential items during your outdoor water activity.

The large, comfortable seating area has protective thigh pads that give additional comfort and support. You can get into the unit easily thanks to the open cockpit. The adjustable foot braces enable the use of the boat by different sizes of riders. The shock cord deck rigging provides a spot into which to slide the paddle blade for ‘parking’ the paddle as well as to provide a useful area to hold a small tackle box or water bottle.

This recreational boat features a paddle holder to keep the paddle secure during use so you don’t have to support it fully with your hands.


Able to support a total weight of 250 pounds, this recreational kayak offers a length of ten feet to accommodate different size riders for a great day out on the water.

Ideal for use in rivers and lakes, this model is lightweight and easy to carry so you can enjoy fishing in various locations of your choice to get the most of the outdoor activity.

This kayak is designed to track and paddle with ease so you can get to the fishing spot quickly, and it also offers maximum stability so you can get in and out effortlessly.

This product is designed to take on the demanding conditions of fishing thanks to its rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex® High-Density Polyethylene construction.

The large, comfortable seating area has protective thigh pads to prevent leg fatigue while the adjustable foot braces allow riders of different heights to get on the kayak.


Once you are in the kayak, make sure to keep your balance well as some customers say this model is somewhat tippy.

Click to see the price on Amazon!





Nixie Sports


The Nixie Sports sit-in kayak is a functional, performance-driven watercraft that carries a lightweight design at just 51 pounds so it can easily be transported and carried to your favorite fishing spot while entailing just a bit of effort to paddle. You won’t have to stress out about its weight when you have to travel to your fishing destination.

The comfortable backrests provide ample cushioning to keep you alert without being overly relaxed so you can protect your back from pain or aches when going on extended fishing trips. You can also paddle comfortably with the cushiony backrests that provide leverage from the back to power your muscles sufficiently.

The lockable hatch provides safe and secure storage for your valuables, bungee straps, and cup holders, along with other items that have to be stored and kept dry so you can focus on the fishing activity. You won’t have to leave those essential items in your car.

The hull is designed to ensure maximum stability and efficiency so you can get into and out of the boat with ease. The four flush-mounted fishing rod holders allow you to relax your grip on the fishing rod and rest your hands while waiting for a fish strike. The multiple footrest positions enable the use of the kayak by riders of different sizes. This model comes with a paddle for value for money.


This kayak boasts a lightweight design in its 51-pound frame to enable you to transport it easily to your favorite fishing spot.

The lightweight design of the watercraft enables an easy paddling through the water, since you need not push an overly heavy vehicle against the current.

The comfortable backrests provide good seating that makes extended fishing trips less tiresome and more enjoyable.

The lockable hatch is suitable for storing cup holders, bungee straps, and your valuables during the trip, keeping the items dry and secure so you can focus on your fishing.

The performance-driven hull is engineered to deliver maximum stability and efficiency to slice through the water with ease for a faster ride while the four flush-mounted fishing rod holders keep arm and hand fatigue at bay.


While this product is designed to be as good as the other products in the same class from more popular brands, consumers have yet to learn of what it can do for them in the field of fishing.

Buy from for ($699.99)





Buying guide


Some anglers go for the sit-on-top variety of kayak because of how it enable one to get out and wade, as well as to add accessories easily. If you are not the type who has the luxury of time to try before you buy, these are the attributes that a top-rated product in the best sit-on-top kayak reviews should come with:

When consulting any sit on top kayak buyers guide, take note of the product’s stability

The stability element of such a boat is broken down into two factors: the primary, also known as the initial one, and the secondary stability. The initial stability refers to how stable the watercraft feels when you sit upright on the keel, which is the longitudinal structure going along the centerline at the bottom of the hull of the kayak. The keel is also the point where the rest of the hull is built.

Wide models are equipped with a high level of primary stability while narrow kayaks have the opposite. The initial or primary stability also denotes the initial steadiness of the craft on flat water. In general, kayaks with a soft chine provide a high degree of initial stability while those with hard chines have a low initial stability rating.

The chine refers to the way the bottom of the boat fuses with its sides, which determines whether the boat looks boxy or rounded. This element also denotes the transition between the bottom of the water vehicle and its sides.

A hard chine is characterized by an abrupt, angular transition while a soft chine features a smoother and more rounded one. The chine should not be mistaken with the flare, which is the angle of the sides of a kayak outward from its hull. The flared sides of the boat provide a higher stability but they make the craft more difficult to roll.

While harder chine hulls can track slightly better and have greater primary stability, they are more prone to tipping because of the filler surface they provide against which choppy waters push up during terrible weather situations.

The secondary stability designates the way it behaves when it leans onto its side. Narrow kayaks offer a great level of secondary stability while wide ones have a low secondary stability. Soft chine hulls do better at in this sense and are also generally faster.

The sharp edges of hard chine hulls make it easy to catch waves better and to perform tricks. While soft and hard chines represent the extremes, there are a number of chine hull designs categorized between the two.

Typically, kayaks that are very stable in flat water turn out to be tippy in choppy water, with the reverse being also true.


The best sit on top kayak for beginners has the right size for your needs and offers a comfortable ride along with convenience

When anglers or kayakers talk about the volume of this kind of vehicle, they simply mean the amount of space inside of it, which can be expressed in liters or gallons. However, to make things simpler, manufacturers just specify the maximum weight capacity a kayak can manage, so if the figure says 250 lbs, the watercraft can carry a maximum of 250 pounds, and this includes your fishing equipment. You may want to check this out when making a purchase.

You will rarely find a 2 seat sit on top kayak as most products are designed to carry just one rider. A wide, high, comfortable back seat with foam padding is nice for support during long waits. Some models come with thigh padding for extra comfort and protection.

Rod holders, lockable storage hatches, below-deck storage, and shock-cord rigging are quite useful and convenient.

A good kayak provides effortless use

Whether you are looking for the best sit on top kayak under 300 or the best sit on top kayak under 500, you need to ensure that you can make the most of its functionality on the water.

Longer alternatives offer a more effortless paddling, can carry heavier loads with little loss of performance, and are more stable. In addition, they have a superior ability to stay on course or exhibit better tracking, can move faster and glide father with every stroke compared to shorter models.

On the other hand, shorter models are not only less pricey depending on the construction, but are also lighter and easier to transport. Shorter units offer quicker turning as well.

The longer waterline length of a long boat hull makes it cut through the water faster. That said, maneuverability is compromised.

Wide crafts are slower compared to narrow ones thanks to the larger surface area in contact with the water. However, they have less secondary stability despite their high initial stability level, as opposed to narrow kayaks with less surface in contact with the water that gives them a lower degree of initial stability and a higher level of secondary stability.

Long and narrow hulls provides quick speeds yet are least stable and least maneuverable. Short and wide hulls are the most stable and have the greatest maneuverability despite being the slowest.

The rocker refers to the upturn of the craft’s hull from end to end, as viewed from the side of the watercraft. You can expect easier pivoting from kayaks with plenty of rocker since they have higher ends sitting in the water so there is less resistance to the waves. That said, their tracking capacity is not so good.

On the other hand, kayaks with less rocker track a lot better thanks to their ability to resist the turning forces of the waves, the wind, current, and the kayaker’s inefficient paddling strokes. Turning the vehicle will not be as easy either when you apply a proper lean or turning stroke.

A flat-bottom boat, which has no rocker, tracks best because the bow and stern provide the greatest resistance in the water, which, in turn, prevents easy turning. Different models can have any amount of rocker and can even have the rocker only in the stern or in the bow.



Comparison table


Lifetime Tamarack 90237 (B00843UMIU)


Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 (B017P5NBXU)


Sun Dolphin Journey (B0186UXYO4)


The good With its reliably strong UV-Protected High-Density Polyethylene construction, this sit-on-top kayak is ideal to withstand the difficult conditions of fishing. It features a stable flat bottom that allows users to get on and off the boat and effortlessly get into a seated position. For even more stability plus dependable tracking, the kayak is equipped with deep hull tracking channels that help the craft stay on course even when a turning force acts on it. The multiple footrest positions enable different size of riders to use the kayak. Exquisitely designed for fishing, this kayak is one of the original and most popular choices on the market. It is geared with a performance-oriented hull that offers speed and stability while being superbly quiet as it slices through the water without scaring the fish away. It has a V-shaped hull that slices quickly through either calm or rough waters to provide effective tracking in a straight trail. It comes with a large front hatch that offers an easy access to the internal storage from the bow to the stern. This component also accommodates a number of rods for storage when not in use. The foam-lined Comfort Plus seat offers a cushioned ride to the angler. This sit-on-top kayak offers a maximum weight carrying capacity of 250 pounds and features a large seating area that ensures a comfortable ride while waiting for a fish strike. It also has two flush-mount rod holders along with a single swivel rod holder, which all provide an effective means of keeping your fishing rod(s) in place so you can hold them in a relaxed grip while waiting for the action to begin. The open cockpit of the kayak enables the angler to get on and off easily so you can stand stable on your two legs to keep your balance while you are taking a seat. The innovative Portable Accessory Carrier (PAC) can be used as a tow-behind, backpack, or extra storage.
The bad This kayak comes equipped with two paddle cradles but does not ship with paddles, which necessitates a separate purchase. The 6-inch hatch with the storage bucket is found under the seat so removing  things from it should be done carefully. The manufacturer has not sealed the screw holes on the kayak so the buyer may have to seal them in to ensure a dry ride.
The bottom line This is a solidly-built kayak that is suitable for fishing as it offers a good balance with its stable, flat bottom along with a host of other functional features. Enjoy kayak angling in this watercraft that offers good storage options, a functional hull design, and comfortable riding every time for a terrific fishing experience. Made out of UV-stabilized Fortiflex® High-Density Polyethylene, this kayak is truly suited for fishing, with its innovative open cockpit and features that provide comfort and good performance.




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