Spending a serene day on the water exploring, fishing, or watching wildlife should be fun and relaxing—but if you find yourself paying more attention to aches and pains, it’s time to get a canoe seat with back support.
Canoe seats are typically constructed of wooden boards, woven cane, or webbing, but in any case, they are not designed for comfort. For many of us, this hard, flat seat without a backrest will quickly lead to slouching, back strain, and a trip cut short.
However, adding an adjustable canoe seat can make a world of difference on your next paddling trip. A backrest will provide the extra support your body needs, but not just any material will do here; in fact, some seat designs can further contribute to slouching or even make your paddling less effective. Here’s what to look for in your canoe seat.
While paddling, maintaining an upright posture—with your pelvis tucked in and your back straight but relaxed—can reduce the stress on your body while allowing for efficient paddling. This position is ideal for preventing aches in your lower back and hips.
GCI’s SitBacker™ canoe seat was designed to help you sit up straight while staying comfortable and features a supportive lumbar cushion. However, the adjustable backrest allows you to recline while relaxing or fishing, so it’s an ideal choice for making the most of your day on the water.
While lower back support will give you a boost, a canoe backrest that’s too high will just get in your way. A tall seatback hinders the rotation of your torso, preventing you freely moving as needed to paddle. This could seriously slow down your canoe’s progress—particularly important if you’re following a multi-day trip itinerary—not to mention a few bruised elbows.
At just under 18″ high, the GCI canoe seat rises to your mid-back, again providing the best of both worlds.
A hard canoe seat is a pain in the butt (literally!)—but when it comes to seat cushioning, be on the lookout for too much of a good thing. A layer of foam or gel can prevent soreness during and after your canoe trip, but cushions that significantly raise your seat height will also raise your center of gravity, making you feel unsteady in the canoe.
Instead, look for a compact cushion; even if it seems less plush than you’d like, it’s a better option for the long haul. Closed-cell foam is best for resisting water absorption, and its firmer surface won’t immediately compress like some softer materials.
The SitBacker™ canoe seat offers the firmness your body needs for stability while paddling, as well as a compact, comfortable surface your backside will thank you for. Plus, its split-cushion construction allows it to be used on contoured seats as well as flat benches.