7 Best Kayak Hatch: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing & Installing

by | Last updated Jul 12, 2024

Best Overall Smartmarine
Smartmarine

Dual-purpose hatch with 3.5 GPM pump keeps gear dry and kayak afloat. Durable, watertight, and surprisingly spacious.

Best Value YakGear Universal
YakGear Universal

Affordable, easy-to-install hatch fits most kayaks. Features a reliable seal and durable ABS construction for worry-free storage.

Most Featured Harmony Kit
Harmony Kit

Heavy-duty bulkhead hatch with marine-grade polyethylene construction and a super-tight seal. It is ideal for extreme conditions.

Kayak Hatch

Do you want to avoid soggy gear and unexpected swims?

A reliable kayak hatch is your best defense against watery mishaps. We’ve paddled, tested, and compared to bring you the seven best kayak hatch options on the market.

We’ll help you choose the right one for your needs and even show you how to install it.

Let’s keep your gear dry and your adventures epic!

What is the Best Kayak Hatch?

The answer depends on your kayaking style and needs. Would you like quick access? Are you hauling lots of gear? Could you let me know if you are concerned about rough waters? Luckily, we’ve paddled the path for you.

Here are our top picks, each excelling in different areas

1. Smartmarine

This hatch is a game-changer, combining a bilge pump with a storage hatch. Perfect for sit-on-top kayakers who want to stay dry and keep their gear safe.

Smartmarine

Our Take

0out of 10

This hatch is a must-have for any sit-on-top kayaker who wants to stay dry and keep their gear safe. The dual-purpose design is ingenious, the pump is powerful, and the hatch is spacious and easy to access. The price is a bit steep, but the quality and convenience are worth it.

Key Benefits

  • Dual-Purpose Design: Integrates a high-capacity bilge pump (up to 3.5 gallons per minute) with a spacious 8" x 12" storage hatch.
  • Durable Construction: Made from high-impact ABS plastic with a UV-resistant finish.
  • Watertight Seal: Features a neoprene gasket and twist-lock lid for a secure, leak-proof seal.
  • Easy Installation & Use: Mounts directly onto your kayak's deck with included hardware. The pump is easy to use with a simple pull handle.

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $9.99
Smartmarine

Pros

  • πŸ‘ Love the convenience of having a bilge pump and storage hatch in one.
  • πŸ‘ The pump is powerful and quickly removes water.
  • πŸ‘ The hatch is surprisingly spacious and easy to access.

Cons

  • πŸ‘Ž The installation could be a bit tricky, but the instructions are clear.
  • πŸ‘Ž It's a bit pricey, but the quality and functionality justify the cost.

2. YakGear Universal

This hatch is a versatile option for any kayak. It's affordable, easy to install, and offers a decent amount of storage space.

YakGear Universal

Our Take

0out of 10

This hatch is a great value for the price. It's not the fanciest or most durable option, but it gets the job done and is perfect for recreational kayakers who need a basic storage solution.

Key Benefits

  • Universal Design: Fits most kayaks with a flat deck area.
  • Durable Construction: Made from impact-resistant ABS plastic.
  • Watertight Seal: Features a rubber gasket and screw-down lid for a secure seal.
  • Easy Installation & Use: Mounts with included screws and sealant.

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $42.99
YakGear Universal

Pros

  • πŸ‘ Love the affordability and versatility of this hatch.
  • πŸ‘ It's easy to install and use, even for beginners.
  • πŸ‘ The seal is surprisingly effective at keeping water out.

Cons

  • πŸ‘Ž The storage space is a bit limited, but it's enough for essentials.
  • πŸ‘Ž The plastic feels a little flimsy, but it's held up well so far.

3. Necky Hatch

This hatch is a premium option for serious kayakers. It's made from high-quality materials, offers ample storage space, and features a watertight seal.

Necky Hatch

Our Take

0out of 10

This hatch is a great investment for kayakers who demand the best. It's spacious, durable, and offers a watertight seal. The price is a bit steep, but the quality and functionality justify the cost.

Key Benefits

  • Premium Construction: Made from durable polycarbonate with a UV-resistant finish.
  • Large Storage Capacity: Offers 10.5" x 16.5" of storage space.
  • Secure Seal: Features a Twist Seal hatch cover with a rubber gasket for a watertight seal.
  • Easy Access: The hatch cover opens wide for easy access to your gear.

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $75.99
Necky Hatch

Pros

  • πŸ‘ Love the spaciousness and durability of this hatch.
  • πŸ‘ The Twist Seal hatch cover is easy to use and provides a secure seal.
  • πŸ‘ The hatch looks great and complements the design of my kayak.

Cons

  • πŸ‘Ž It's a bit pricey, but the quality is worth it.
  • πŸ‘Ž The installation could be a bit challenging, but the instructions are clear.

4. Harmony Kit

This hatch kit is a good option for DIY enthusiasts. It includes everything you need to install a hatch on your kayak, including a template, cutting tools, and sealant.

Harmony Kit

Our Take

0out of 10

This hatch kit is a good value for the price. It's not the easiest to install, but it's a great way to get a custom fit and save money. The hatch itself is durable and offers a secure seal.

Key Benefits

  • Complete Kit: Includes everything you need for installation.
  • Customizable Fit: The template allows you to cut the hatch to the exact size you need.
  • Durable Construction: Made from impact-resistant ABS plastic.
  • Watertight Seal: Features a rubber gasket and screw-down lid for a secure seal.

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $34.99
Harmony Kit

Pros

  • πŸ‘ Love the DIY aspect of this kit.
  • πŸ‘ It's a great way to save money and get a custom fit.
  • πŸ‘ The hatch is surprisingly durable, and the seal is effective.

Cons

  • πŸ‘Ž The installation can be a bit challenging, but the instructions are clear.
  • πŸ‘Ž The kit doesn't include any extras, like a locking mechanism or splash guard.

5. Xztrdi Hatch

This hatch kit is designed to install a bulkhead hatch in your kayak. It's a bit more complex than other options, but it's worth it if you need a truly watertight seal.

Xztrdi Hatch

Our Take

0out of 10

This hatch kit is a top-of-the-line option for kayakers who demand the best. It's not for everyone, but if you need a truly watertight seal and ample storage space, it's worth the investment.

Key Benefits

  • Bulkhead Design: This creates a watertight barrier between the hatch and the rest of your kayak.
  • Durable Construction: Made from marine-grade polyethylene.
  • Secure Seal: Features a rubber gasket and multiple clamps for a super-tight seal.
  • Large Storage Capacity: Offers ample space for storing gear.

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $7.90
Xztrdi Hatch

Pros

  • πŸ‘ Love the watertight seal and large storage capacity of this hatch.
  • πŸ‘ The bulkhead design is great for keeping water out of your kayak.
  • πŸ‘ The hatch is extremely durable and can withstand even the roughest conditions.

Cons

  • πŸ‘Ž The kit is quite expensive, but the quality and functionality justify the cost.
  • A bit pricey compared to some other mounts

6. Sea-Lect

This hatch kit is a popular choice for sea kayakers. It's known for its durability, watertight seal, and sleek design.

Sea-Lect

Our Take

0out of 10

This hatch is a great choice for sea kayakers who need a durable, watertight, and low-profile storage solution. It's not the most spacious option, but it's very good for storing essentials and keeping them dry

Key Benefits

  • Durable Construction: Made from high-impact ABS plastic with a UV-resistant finish.
  • Watertight Seal: Features a neoprene gasket and twist-lock lid for a secure seal.
  • Low-Profile Design: Sits flush with your kayak's deck for a streamlined look.
  • Multiple Sizes: Available in many sizes to fit different kayaks.

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $45.99
Sea-Lect

Pros

  • πŸ‘ Love the sleek design and low profile of this hatch.
  • πŸ‘ It's very durable and can withstand rough conditions.
  • πŸ‘ The seal is excellent and keeps water out even in choppy seas.

Cons

  • πŸ‘Ž The installation can be a little tricky, but the instructions are helpful.
  • πŸ‘Ž The hatch is a bit small, but it's enough for storing essentials.

7. Anndason 8

This hatch is a versatile option for fishing kayaks. It's designed to accommodate Anndason rod holders and other accessories, making it a great choice for anglers.

Anndason 8

Our Take

0out of 10

This hatch is a great option for fishing kayaks. It's versatile, durable, and compatible with Anndason accessories. It's not the most spacious option, but it's perfect for storing fishing gear and keeping it organized.

Key Benefits

  • Versatile Design: Accommodates Anndason rod holders and other accessories.
  • Durable Construction: Made from high-impact ABS plastic with a UV-resistant finish.
  • Watertight Seal: Features a rubber gasket and screw-down lid for a secure seal.
  • Multiple Sizes: Available in various sizes to fit different kayaks.

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $19.99
Anndason 8

Pros

  • πŸ‘ Love the versatility of this hatch and its compatibility with Scotty accessories.
  • πŸ‘ It's durable & can withstand the rigors of fishing.
  • πŸ‘ The seal is effective at keeping water out.

Cons

  • πŸ‘Ž The hatch is a bit small, but it's enough for storing tackle and other essentials.
  • πŸ‘Ž The rod holder mount is sold separately, which adds to the cost.

What to Look for when buying a Kayak Hatch?

  • Hatch Size & Location: Consider what you'll be storing and how often you'll need access.
  • Material & Durability: Choose a hatch that can withstand the elements and be used regularly.
  • Seal Type & Water Resistance: Opt for a reliable seal to keep your gear dry.
  • Ease of Installation & Use: A hatch should be easy to install and operate, even with wet hands.
  • Compatibility with Your Kayak: Ensure the hatch fits your kayak's design and dimensions.
  • Price & Value: Balance cost with features and quality to find the best value for your needs.

How Can Kayak Hatches Benefit You?

Kayak hatches are more than just holes in your boat – they're paddling essentials that elevate your experience.

Hatch covers safeguard your gear from water, sun, and dust.

ensuring your essentials stay dry and functional. Whether it's a quick grab for your snack or a safety check on your radio, kayak hatches offer convenient access to stored items without having to unpack everything.

Plus, a well-sealed hatch acts like a backup flotation device, keeping your kayak afloat even if water gets in.

And if you're planning extended trips or need extra storage for fishing gear, hatches provide valuable space to stash all your necessities.

Buyer's Guide

When researching the best kayak hatches, we considered several key factors:

  • Pricing: We compared prices across different brands and models to identify the best value for your money.
  • Features: We looked at the size, material, seal type, and other features to determine which hatches offered the best functionality and convenience.
  • Negatives: We identified any potential drawbacks or limitations of each hatch, such as limited storage space or complex installation.
  • Support or Refund: We checked if the manufacturers offered warranties, customer support, or refund policies to ensure you're protected in case of any issues.

In addition, we also considered real-world feedback from other kayakers, including reviews and ratings, to get a better understanding of how each hatch performs in different conditions.

We even tested some of the hatches ourselves to see how they held up on the water, storing everything from extra clothes to snacks and safety gear.

Ultimately, our goal was to find kayak hatches that would keep your belongings safe and dry, no matter what kind of boat you're paddling or adventure you're embarking on.

Wrapping Up

Choosing the right kayak hatch can be a game-changer for your paddling adventures.

Remember, it's about more than just keeping your gear dry. It's about convenience, safety, and maximizing your boat's storage potential.

Consider the size and location of the hatch, the material and durability, and the type of seal. Some hatches offer additional features like integrated bilge pumps or compatibility with accessories.

And don't forget about the importance of proper installation to ensure a watertight seal between the hatch rim and your kayak's deck.

Whether you're looking for a simple storage solution or a complex system with multiple compartments and bulkheads, our guide has you covered.

Choose wisely, and you'll be paddling confidently with all your gear safe and sound.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between a day hatch and a touring hatch?

Day hatches are smaller and designed for quick access to essentials like snacks or sunscreen. Touring hatches are larger and ideal for storing camping gear or extra clothes.

Can I install a kayak hatch myself?

Absolutely! Many kayak hatches are designed for DIY installation. Just follow the manufacturer's instructions and use the appropriate tools and sealant.

How do I keep my kayak hatch watertight?

Regularly inspect the seal for wear and tear. Clean the hatch and seal with mild soap and water. Lubricate the seal with a silicone-based lubricant to keep it supple.

Can I use a kayak hatch for fishing gear?

Yes, several hatches are designed specifically for anglers. Look for hatches that can accommodate rod holders, tackle boxes, and other fishing accessories.

Are kayak hatches universal?

Not all hatches fit every kayak. Consider the size and shape of your kayak's deck, as well as the hatch's dimensions and mounting style.

Fahim Joharder

Fahim Joharder

Author

An avid kayaker & fisherman, explores waterways globally, sharing his passion for water sports and conservation through captivating stories and tips.

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