If you kayak and are over the age of 40, it is pretty likely you’ve experienced the aches and pains of a day on the water. Many times combining long days of paddling or pedaling with your butt crammed into a ninety degree angled seat turns into lower back pain, numb legs, and pain below your shoulder blades. I know this because it is a reality I share with many of you. Today I’m reviewing a product, the Kayak Kushion, an additional cushion for your kayak seat that claims to help ease that pain.
Some pundits would say buy a better kayak with a better seat but after paddling and pedaling more than 30 different models of kayaks, only one seat, the Hobie Vantage XT, is even close to what I want in a kayak seat and it only fits Hobie Pro Anglers. That leads me to the search for a solution.
For a few months, I’ve been watching posts pop up on social media about Kayak Kushion and more than a handful of what I would consider full-time anglers, swearing by them. I launched a general inquiry through Facebook and the people who have them love them. The people who don’t either wanted to know more or thought the price point made it out of their reach.
About Kayak Kushion
The Kayak Kushion is exactly the modification you need, at precisely the moment when you need it. The Kushion Kompany designed the quick-connect mounting system and military-grade quality that will allow you to improve the experience that you need on the fly, without breaking the bank. With a functional cam-buckle and a built-in heavy-duty zipper to allow washing and breath-ability, the Kayak Kushion is the only accessory you’ll ever need for everyday life. Kushion comes in two styles, firm and original, as well as a multitude of colors.
The Kayak Kushion fits almost every seat out there. By using one for your back and one for your butt, you can really transform even the most basic frame style seat. If you only have a kayak with a molded divot for your hindquarters, you could use a Kayak Kushion as extra padding. It’s more versatile than just for kayaks but for now, I’ll focus on just that.
The breathable materials that allow washing are a big plus. Fishing some backwater places, there’s a good chance that when I’m using the Kushion, it’ll get muddy and for sure wet. Being able to clean it easily is a big win.
The actual foam is dense enough that even heavier kayakers will notice the difference compared to their original kayak seat. It doesn’t squish down like a stadium cushion. This is more like dense memory foam for your seat.
I really dig the strong cam buckle attachments for the Kayak Kushion as well. I could cinch them to my kayak seat and they didn’t shift and move. I used an original recipe for my back and bought a firm cushion for my posterior.
After all of that good stuff, the best part hasn’t been mentioned yet. The function.
I’ve been kayaking a long time (since 2003) and I’m not a young man anymore. Usually, after eight hours on the water, I have numb legs, my lower back has tightened up to a level where I can’t stand up straight, and getting in the truck is a problem. It’s not great. In fact, it’s why I haven’t done a 12 hour trip in five years. I just couldn’t walk after my last 12 hour trip without a ton of Advil and stretching. Even shorter trips could take their toll.
For testing the Kayak Kushion, I did a short trip of three hours and an all-day, 12-hour paddling and fishing excursion. The three-hour trip went great, nice and comfy, and no issues with pain on or off the water. I braced myself for the following day. On the long trip, I paddled right at eight miles, fished all 12 hours and put in a ton of seat time. I was with friends that I’ve fished with before so when we took out, they immediately noticed. I was just as limber as I had started, though a lot more fatigued. I had no issues loading my kayak, hauling gear, or getting into the truck. After a 30-minute drive home, I hadn’t stiffened up and was able to stroll into the house.
I am not saying the Kayak Kushion is a cure-all but it was immediately added to my must-have packing list for trips. To be able to do that kind of mileage and not feel like death was eroding my spine afterward was a big win.
Points of Improvement
The thing that had me hesitant in the first place was the price tag. At $60 or so, depending on configurations and customizations, for each Kayak Kushion, I was skeptical and I think the general public will be as well. Catching them on sale at $45 is a little easier on the wallet and if it’s feasible, a permanent price drop to $49.99 might make it more psychologically approachable for first-time consumers.
The Kayak Kushion will add some weight to your chair configuration. This isn’t so much of a point to improve but more of a “you should know” item. The heavy-duty hardware in the cam buckle and high-quality fabric makes it durable but definitely not as light as the old boat cushions you see.
As for long term durability, there could be a long term issue with how the cam buckle is attached to the cover. It looks, when tight like it is stressing the fabric at the stitching. To alleviate this, adding a backing strap that the cam buckle could be sewn to might reinforce it. I’m only guessing at this point. I’d need hundreds of hours in the seat to really know if this is an issue but by the looks, it’s plausible.
Let’s be straight. Well made things are often expensive. Even though I can take a guess at a maybe fail point or two, this is crafted with precision. What I hope to land with you though, beyond everything else is this: $60 or even $120 (for both) is worth every penny to add so many hours back to my time on the water all while relieving the pain I’ve had for years after paddling my kayak. You really should check on out while they are on sale.