While paddling with your best friend can make any adventure more memorable, what do you do if your best friend has four legs and claws?
We’ve reviewed the best kayak dog seats and SUP deck pads on the market. While these can all be used for paddle boarding, we’ve selected pads that are easy to modify, allowing them to fit on most kayaks too.
Our Top Picks
If you’re in a hurry, here are our top picks. Or continue scrolling to see our full list with in-depth reviews.
- Best Overall: Pau Hana Dog Pad
- Best Value: Seattle Sports SUP Dog Board Pad
- Best Budget: Pelican Sport Dog Traction Pad
Best Overall: Pau Hana Dog Pad
Material: EVA plastic with self-adhesive backing | Dimensions: 31” x 21.2” x 0.2”
The Pau Hana Dog Pad is designed for paddleboards, but can also be easily customized for kayaks. The flexible plastic material makes for solid padding, allowing your pup to grip and maintain their position with little trouble.
The bottom is secured with a long-lasting adhesive that can handle water without slipping. But make sure you’re happy with where you’re installing it before slapping it on.
Measuring 31” x 21”, the Pau Hana should be able to fit in the cockpit of most sit-in kayaks. No worries if the fit is too tight, the EVA plastic is reasonably simple to cut without damaging its lifespan.
Best Value: Seattle Sports SUP Dog Board Pad
Material: EVA plastic with self-adhesive backing | Dimensions: 38” x 20” x 0.1”
Another model built with paddle boards in mind, the Seattle Sports dog pad was designed to be easily cut down to fit just about any board or kayak out there. It’s noticeably bigger than the Pau Hana design, making it preferable for big sit-on-top kayaks and those with larger pups.
It’s not as thick as the Pau Hana but still has plenty of grip to keep dogs from sliding off in the waves. That thinner design also makes it easy enough to cut with scissors if you wish to modify the dimensions.
Once installed, it’s also meant to be permanent, with a similar self-adhesive material that can be peeled and applied. While it isn’t exclusively meant solely for hard-sided boats, several have reported that the pad begins to peel from inflatable models if they’re deflated and reinflated too frequently.
Best Budget: Pelican Sport Dog Traction Pad
Material: EVA plastic with self-adhesive backing | Dimensions: 21.25” x 15.31” x 0.2”
While Pelican sells kayaks and paddle boards, their dog traction pad seems to fit kayaks better. The product comes with four individual pads, two of which have snazzy dog prints that can be removed and placed wherever you want.
While thicker than the Seattle Sports mentioned above, Pelican has kept the price down and ensured their pad can be modified to fit just about any kayak.
The same self-adhesive as the previous two models can be found here, making for a permanent installation.
There is some controversy when purchasing from some distributors, however. A few people have reported receiving a flimsy knock-off imitation that doesn’t stick to their kayak very well. So make sure you check the reviews if you’re not going to buy directly from Pelican.
Kayak Dog Seat & SUP Deck Pad Buying Advice
While dog seats and deck pads might be simple accessories, there’s more to choosing the right one than first meets the eye. Here are the key things to look out for.
Material & Installation
While you can find some pads made of a more rigid material, I prefer the EVA plastic of the three products mentioned above. They’re cushy, and the plastic allows dogs to dig their claws in and get some traction, allowing them to move around more easily.
These pads are meant for long-term installation. So please don’t slap these on a rental kayak or paddle board for the day. The 3M adhesive will bind tightly to the kayak’s hull and will be a real pain to remove after you’re done.
This does make it ideal for your personal kayak. Just be careful when installing, double-check your measurements and do a dry fit before removing the adhesives backing. When installing, start by securing the middle of the pad and working your way to the edges. This will prevent air from being caught beneath and bubbling.
Size & Modification
The convenient thing about these dog seats is that they’re easy to cut down and customize to the size of your kayak and your pooch. But if you have a larger dog like a lab or husky that you want to take paddling, it’s best to pivot to one of the larger pads like the Seattle Sports model, which is 38” x 20”
Any dogs that don’t fit on the Seattle Sports model may be too large to take paddling anyway.
In a pinch, any of these three pads should do a fine job keeping your dog stable and secure on your kayak or paddleboard. However, it’s important to understand the amount of deck space you have and how easy it will be to modify your pad.
All things being equal, we like the Pau Hana Dog Pad the best, particularly the fantastic grip it provides and the ability to be used in both sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks.
Whatever pad you decide is best, we hope this article has helped steer you in the right direction. We can’t wait to see you and man’s best friend out on the water together!