Sitting on Top of Your Family Fun
The sit-on-top kayak, or SOT, is the most popular, widely-known kayak design today. Although some models may resemble traditional sit-in kayaks in terms of hull shape, the two types of kayaks are quite different. With a traditional kayak, the paddler’s legs and lower body are enclosed within the boat’s hull. Often, a spray skirt covers the cockpit opening and wraps around paddler’s waist, creating a seal that keeps water out of the hull. This is common in traditional white water and ocean kayaks. In contrast, the paddler of an SOT sits in a molded depression on top of the hull, with the legs and lower body exposed.
Riot Kayaks Escape 12 Sit-On-Top Flatwater Recreational Kayak – The Riot Escape 12 earns best value for the money of the 5 boats in this review. A very stable boat that tracks well for its length and width, it comes with a removable rudder. The open front deck design and ample rear cargo well make this a very versatile recreational kayak. The hull lines are clean, clear and snag-free. A large bow storage well and two smaller sealed storage compartments offer plenty of room for gear. Two built-in rod holders and a high-back seat make longer fishing runs possible, and at 55 pounds, the boat is easy to handle.
Hobie Quest 13 Kayak 2013 – The Hobie Quest 13 combines recreational paddling fun with the features of a high-quality sit on top fishing kayak. Sleek lines and a flat bottom give the boat speed and stability. A large covered bow hatch and a seat-front twist and seal gear bucket provide plenty of storage, and the large, open rear cargo area can carry anything from a milk crate to a cooler or live well. An adjustable high-back padded seat makes long paddles comfortable. Molded in fishing rod holders, a built-in paddle rest, and an optional removable rudder are just a few of this boat’s features.
Malibu Kayaks X-13 Fish and Dive Package Sit on Top Kayak – Many useful features and versatile capabilities earn the Malibu Kayaks 13’ 10” cross-performance kayak its place as best boat in this review. Speed and stability combine with load carrying capacity, fishing accessories, and family-friendly features including a child seat and snag-free surfaces to make this a high-performance recreational kayak. The large Gator hatch in the bow, center hatch cockpit storage, and open rear bay provide plenty of load capacity. The rear bay is shaped to easily take a milk crate, scuba tank, or cooler. Four rear-mounted rod holders show that this boat is serious about fishing as well as fun.