Best Sit On Top Fishing Kayaks Under $1000 In 2023

best sit on top fishing kayaks under $1000

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Are you looking for the right kayak to make your future fishing trips efficient and fun? Using the right kayak is vital since it influences your fishing comfort, style, and productivity. Whether you have been angling for a while or just getting started, you will know how useful sit on top kayaks are.

Experienced anglers prefer sit on top kayaks because they allow them to stand and fish, improving the aim and throw distance. In addition, they make the gear more accessible and enable you to get in and out of the kayak with ease.

Our Top Rated Sit On Top Fishing Kayaks Under $1000

If you’re in search of the best sit on top kayak that fits your needs, you’ve landed on the right page. Here, I have reviewed five of the best sit on top fishing kayaks. We have also curated a buyer’s guide and answered some questions to make your buying decision simple.

We went ahead to select 5 of the best kayaks that are currently available in the market. You can explore these variants and choose the one you find most suitable.

Our Reviews

1.    SunDolphin Bali 10’ Sit On Top Kayak

This Kayak by Sundolphin is a fantastic choice for your fishing adventures. The design of this kayak caters to the recreational forefronts, making it a customer favorite.

SunDolphin has limited the weight of this kayak to a minimum. That allows easy mobility that can enhance your kayaking endeavors.

Another great thing about this specific product is the amount of space it provides. The SunDolphin kayak provides adequate legroom and an optimum width that allows you to steer the kayak easily. This spacious kayak is also equipped with straps and paddles so that you can maintain the required balance.

You can buy this kayak even if you do not have any prior experience with the sport of kayaking. The design of this product is highly stable so that amateurs can adapt to it without any risk.

When it comes to pricing, the company pays special attention to the needs of its consumers. As a result, they developed a cost-effective and long-lasting solution for customers to get the most out of this product.

So, if you are on the lookout for a comfortable kayak with a soft seal and foot braces, the Sundolphin kayak is the right fit for you. Utilize the extra storage space and plan a voyage without wasting more time!

What We Love About It
  •       It has a comfortable seat with ample space
  •       The pricing is competitive compared to other similar products
  •       This kayak is well-constructed, which adds to its durability
  •       It is pretty lightweight, making the product easy to bring along on trips
  •       Exclusively designed for recreational purposes
What We Didn’t Like
  •       Offers limited tracking
  •       Not suitable for extreme climates
  •       Difficult to control in some situations

2.    Pelican Sentinel 9’5” Sit On Top Kayak

The Pelican Sentinel is a versatile kayak built for seasoned kayakers. Since it has a faster stream than other kayaks, it’s more favorable to have some experience with the sport.

It offers a wholesome experience to people with a somewhat relaxed budget. Moreover, its additional cost is justified by the kayak’s features and systems that enhance the ride.

This kayak is made of top-notch material that provides maximum comfort. The length of the product is a maximum of 9.5 ft., which offers efficient mobility. In addition, the compactness allows more control to the kayaker so that they can balance the boat without any hindrances.

You will also see that Pelican has taken every effort to maximize the durability of the kayak. They have incorporated the use of their proprietary material, which comes under the name RAM-X. This material is exceptionally durable and is also resistant to UV rays.

The characteristics mentioned above set the Pelican Sentinel apart from the other kayaks currently available in the market. However, it offers numerous perks in addition to the primary features. These minor quirks include ample leg space and massive tank storage so that you are always ready to prolong the trip if need be.

The Sentinel from Pelican is a great fishing vessel that will provide you with spellbound experiences. If you have some experience, this product will be an excellent gateway to enhancing your kayaking skills.

What We Love About It
  •       Offers maximum storage with its Exoshell department
  •       Its RAM-X material makes the body of the kayak highly durable
  •       The kayak is relatively compact and provides faster acceleration
  •       Suited for recreational purposes
  •       Extended weight capacity up to 275 pounds
What We Didn’t Like
  •       This product is more expensive due to its additional features
  •       It offers a restricted use since it’s primarily designed for seasoned kayakers.
  •       The kayak becomes challenging to control in extreme conditions

3.    Emotion Spitfire 9’ Sit On Top Kayak

“A visually pleasing kayak that weighs less than a feather.” This statement will be enough to provide the introduction for this stellar kayak by Emotion.

The Emotion Spitfire has been topping the charts in multiple avenues and is probably a customer favorite kayak on a limited budget. The makers have engineered it in a way that provides a hassle-free experience, and thus it lives true to its expectations and glides effortlessly on free water.

This kayak comprises a tiny rocker in the design to revamp its maneuverability and ease of navigation. The presence of a keel further complements this feature since it restricts the boat’s motion and blocks the excess tracking.

In terms of Storage, Emotion left no stone unturned to provide their customer with excellent storage cabinets. Moreover, they’ve installed multiple storage cabins at both ends of the kayak, clubbed with some extra space below the seat.

This feature allows the kayaker to carry some additional items with better alignment. It also allows them to plan for more extended trips owing to the capacity of the boat.

Another feature that adds to the impeccable control of this kayak is the presence of self-bailing scupper holes that drain the water from both ends. They are present in the cockpit and the storage areas to eliminate the excess water that poses issues during navigation.

So, if you are looking for a lightweight kayak that comes with unfathomable durability, this kayak might mark the end of your search. Be it the robust hull design or the compact size, the Spitfire has it all!

What We Love About It
  •       The kayak comes with multiple handles that enhance stability
  •       It has a robust hull design for durability
  •       The kayak is relatively compact and has swift acceleration
  •       The build of the kayak makes for a safe and secure ride
  •       It is well-suited for recreational purposes
  •       It has quite a comfortable and spacious seating
  •       This kayak is perfect for amateurs
What We Didn’t Like
  •       It offers restricted tracking
  •       Some users have reported issues with leaks
  •       The build of the kayak makes it susceptible to dents

4.    Perception Tribe 11’5” Sit On Top Kayak

The compact size of a kayak can turn into a bane if you require something else altogether. To handle this class of consumers, Perception created the perfect product that solves the issue of size.

The Perception Tribe is a gigantic 11.5 ft. long kayak that is famous for the amount of space it provides. It is a favorite amongst the people with a strong build as it is sturdy enough for heavy-duty requirements.

This kayak comes with plenty of maneuverability to allow greater control along with limited tracking to chart out the trajectory. The combination of these two features also provides immunity to the kayak against harsh weather conditions.

The Perception Tribe is a product created with utmost regulation so that it can be a worthwhile investment for the customers. They have used high-quality raw materials sided with skillful engineering to prepare the kayak against the test of time. A little bit of your attention and your kayak will never falter during an adventure.

If you choose Tribe as your next kayak, you will have all the possible comfort you could want in a kayak. It has a plush seat, various handles, perfectly placed footrests, and even a cup holder, among other things to enrich your experience.

You can take this kayak out for any adventure and still be sure of its efficiency due to its marvelous design and spacious exterior alignment.

What We Love About It
  •       Presence of handles and footrests
  •       Ultra-soft seat with storage
  •       Spacious enough to store extra gear
  •       Provides better control during harsh conditions
  •       The build is highly durable and robust
  •       It requires basic maintenance
What We Didn’t Like
  •       Offers restricted tracking
  •       It is better suited for experts

5.    Lifetime Lotus 8’ Sit On Top Kayak

Are you an avid traveler who is looking for a portable kayak? Are you not willing to compromise with its features and durability? If you answer positively to these questions, you must have a good look at this product by the Lifetime Store.

The Lotus is a lightweight kayak built by Lifetime for people who do not like to settle in one place. You have the option of purchasing a single kayak or a package deal that includes two identical kayaks.

The Lotus is the smallest kayak on the list in terms of features, but it has all of the required features to attract customers. It’s also the fastest kayak on our list, which should be enough to satisfy the appetite of adventurers.

Because of the kayak’s small size, many customers have a false conception of its storage capabilities. However, the Lotus comes with a standard storage spectrum sufficient to keep essentials for multiple travel days.

The weight of this boat rounds up to 37 pounds which expands the scope of mobility. You can take this kayak on any water-related adventure to have a fun-filled experience.

In addition to these core features, you will also find a comfortable seat, multiple handles, and perfectly placed footrests to provide optimum control. Lifetime also gives out a complimentary paddle so that you can navigate without any barriers.

All these features provide the Lifetime Lotus kayak a leading edge over similar products.

What We Love About It
  •       It offers a proper assortment of handles and footrests
  •       Has a comfortable seat for longer adventures
  •       Compact design with adequate space
  •       The build is durable and sturdy
  •       Well-suited for recreational purposes
  •       Relatively easy to clean
  •       Highly mobile for people on the move
What We Didn’t Like
  •       It may be too small for some people
  •       It gets hard to navigate it in harsh conditions
  •       Has a low weight capacity

Pro Tip – If you do not have time to look for more options, you can analyze these variants multiple times until you reach a final decision. We selected these boats after utmost scrutiny to provide you with the most utility and satisfaction.

How To Choose The Best Sit on Top Fishing Kayak?

Your fishing kayak has a significant influence on how well your fishing trip goes. Every angler knows the importance of investing in the right fishing kayak since they usually don’t come cheap.

For the sake of better fishing and mindful investment, we encourage you to consider the following points before you buy a sit on top fishing kayak.

Weight And Size

Sit on top kayaks tend to be on the heavier side, especially when compared to other kayak types. Their greater weight is primarily because of their high center of gravity. To accommodate for people to sit inside, these kayaks are constructed to be wider than other types.

With the extra weight and width, sit on top kayaks also tend to have higher stability. However, this excess weight and size can become a problem as well.

If you like going fishing on your own, the size and weight can cause further issues since you will have to carry the kayak from your car to the river yourself.

Therefore, make sure you always consider the kayak that is the lightest and the smallest among your options.


If your kayak is not made of good material, you might have to pay the price of unnecessary cost savings in terms of durability and performance.

Most sit on top kayaks are made of either Polyethylene and ABS. These materials are thermoplastic and are, therefore, ideal to use on the water. Moreover, Pelican Sentinel’s RAM-X material ABS is an excellent material to increase the kayak’s longevity through UV protection. Kayaks with these two materials will always have higher durability than those made of other higher materials.

Whatever the material a sit on top fishing kayak is made of, make sure it will be ideal to use in the type of water you want to fish in.


If you buy a good quality sit on top kayak, you will know that safety is kept in mind while constructing them. However, if you are only purchasing a kayak as a hobby and opt for a cheaper option, make sure the boat is safe enough for you to use.

The kayak should be weight balanced. Even several shots from a wave can make the kayak topple over and put you in danger. Therefore, you should always prefer a kayak that has good stability and can maintain balance.

Even if you choose to buy a study and well-balanced kayak, you should always wear a life jacket and keep other precautions in mind before setting out for a ride.

Seat And Space

When buying a kayak, it is evident that you would want to consider one in which you can fit perfectly. Each sit on top fishing kayak has a different size and shape and accommodates different weights and heights. While some sit-on-top kayaks have a lot of leg space, others have a high weight capacity.

When looking for a kayak, you also need to consider the space your gear will take. Make sure you only buy a kayak if its maximum weight limit is well over your weight. Moreover, if you are a fan of kayak camping, you will need a lot of space to accommodate an entire day’s provisions.

Depending on the kayak’s cost, you will also have to check for the seat’s comfort.

Most kayaks on a budget generally have removable seats. However, some good kayaks also offer adjustable chairs that provide exemplary back support for long rides.


Depending on its construction and design, each kayak has a different purpose of serving. Therefore, you must evaluate your fishing trends and see the kind of adventures you favor before buying a kayak. For example, see if you like to venture into seawater or saltwater and if you prefer to fish in high or low tide.

If you choose to get a kayak that comes with a pontoon hull, it will most likely stay put in high tidal situations. However, if your kayak has a V-shaped hull, it is expected to be a bit unstable in tricky situations. It will, however, have fast acceleration.

You must also consider if you want to buy the kayak for professional purposes or as a hobby since both require different kayaks.


Sit on top kayaks come in wide cost ranges. While one kayak can cost you about $900, another could even cost you $4000.

The first thing you need to do is determine the price range you’re most comfortable with. For example, if you buy a sit on top kayak only for recreational purposes, you can afford to cut the price low. However, for professional anglers, a high-quality and expensive fishing kayak is essential.

Whether or not you find a good product for a reasonable price is dependent on your comfort. Therefore, all we can say is that price is not something inflexible in terms of fishing kayaks. Consequently, you can buy whatever is the most suitable for you without worrying too much about the cost.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do you have several looming questions regarding sit on top kayaks? Fortunately, you’re not the only one. Choosing the best sit on top fishing kayak requires you to be very well-informed about kayaking and angling. Therefore, we have answered some of the internet’s most frequently asked questions to make things simpler for you.

Q. Are Sit On Top Kayaks Better Than Sit-In Kayaks?

The type of kayak you prefer mostly depends on your fishing and angling style. If you favor slow and safe kayaks, you’ll love sit on top fishing kayaks. On the other hand, if your style requires you to travel fast, sit-in kayaks would be a better choice.

Sit-on-top kayaks usually tend to be wider than they are long. However, it is the kayak’s length that dramatically influences its speed. Moreover, most sit-on-top kayaks tend to have flat hulls known to be safer in unexpected tides.

Q. How Much Does A Sit On Top Kayak Generally Weigh?

Sit on top kayaks always weigh more than other types. This is mainly because sit on top kayaks have a higher center of gravity with more surface and body area to cover for the large width.

You will be able to find a decent sit-on-top recreational fishing kayak at about 120 pounds. However, if you look for more professional and loaded kayaks, you can expect the weight to go up to 150 pounds.

The weight is significant to consider because the heavier the kayak, the more difficult it will be for you to carry it from the car to the shore.

Q. Is Kayak Fishing Dangerous?

Kayak fishing is considered one of the extreme sports that every angler should try at least once in their life. It is the right amount of thrilling and exciting. However, you need to maintain caution since the sport can also get dangerous at times.

One of the biggest reasons kayak fishing could be dangerous is that it might topple your ride if a creature hits the kayak. This is primarily the case when you are trying to catch a big game while it’s putting up too much of a fight.

While kayak fishing, you must wear your safety gear at all times and try to avoid any possible attacks. The sport can be the most dangerous in saltwater because there’s a risk of encountering sharks.

Final Words

Buying a sit on top kayak might be a confusing decision for some, especially if you aren’t aware of what to look for. Since we want to make kayaking and related sports as accessible to everyone as possible, we reviewed five of the best sit on top fishing kayaks.

You can also make an informed decision through this article by considering all the given points before you buy a sit-on-top fishing kayak.

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