Kayak Hatch Kits [Simple Guide]

Kayak Hatch Kits

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Have you ever gone kayaking only to find that you have nowhere to store your gear, equipment, accessories, clothes, or food? Your options are more limited when you’re at the mercy of the sea than you might think. 

If you decide to just “leave” your stuff on the kayak, you’ll regret that decision once the kayak starts moving. Everything will spill, move around, break, or fall off the kayak altogether. 

It’s not just enough to get a kayak with a sufficient weight capacity but also with enough storage area. That’s where kayak hatches come in.

Kayak hatches are meant to store your valuables while you go on your kayaking adventures. They come in different types, dimensions, and materials because not all storage needs are equal.

So, if you’re interested in learning about what a kayak hatch is, why you need it, and the best ones on the market, continue reading.

Comparison Table:

ModelBest features
Anndason 2 PCS 6” HatchAffordableWaterproofProtective EVA gasket
SEAFLO Marine Deck Hatch4-year warrantyHeavy-duty constructionLow-profile design
Pelican Exo-pod Fits almost all tank wellsShoulder strapSplash-resistant
Wilderness Systems Kayak KonsoleMulti-taskingBuilt-in cam leversEasy to install
Amarine Made Marine Deck HatchLow-profile designUV-resistantAffordable
Valley Kayak HatchWatertight sealUniversal designClassic choice
Sea-Lect Designs Performance Oval HatchFloatsUV-resistantWatertight seal

What Is a Hatch on a Kayak?

A kayak hatch refers to different kinds of storage areas that you can find on a kayak or canoe. You can store clothes, food, kayaking accessories, fishing gear, or even keep the fish you caught in a hatch. A hatch’s purpose isn’t just storage; it also keeps your belongings safe from the elements.

They come in different shapes, sizes, and materials. Some are inherently better than others in certain settings, so the right choice depends on your needs and where you’ll kayak. You’ll also find some that come pre-installed, while others are for you to install yourself.

Why Do You Need to Buy a Kayak Hatch?

Buy a Kayak Hatch

No matter how prepared you think you are, kayaking is unpredictable. You may make a turn too fast, or the rain may fill up your vessel. If this leads to the kayak capsizing, you can lose all of your belongings because they’re not stored in a kayak hatch.

You can also get dehydrated because you haven’t brought enough water or sun protection. On the other side of the coin, you can get hypothermia if your clothes get wet and you haven’t brought extra change.

Thus, many things can go wrong, and having a kayak hatch helps eliminate more than half of the risks. Of course, it doesn’t eliminate all risks because you should do your research and get trained on safety measures; a kayak hatch can’t compensate for inexperience or inattention while kayaking.

All in all, a kayak hatch is a no-brainer to have because it helps you bring the kayaking essentials onboard and helps keep them safe and dry if things go sideways.

Types of Hatches

Hatches are typically categorized according to the type of enclosure that they have.

The most available type is a rubber hatch cover. Its most significant advantage is how it forms a watertight seal over the hatch, which keeps your valuables dry even in wet conditions. However, they degrade over time because of UV damage. They tend to stretch and lose their “grip,” so it’s best to replace them once they no longer work.

The screw hatch cover is a highly reliable closure. Yet, some kayakers hate having to screw and unscrew the hatch every time they want to get their valuables in or out of them. They also don’t have the best relationship with sand and salt.

Finally, there are ​twist seal hatches, which are the easiest to use. They depend on a twist-lock mechanism, so you can open and close the hatch with one hand. Moreover, they have a hinged lid that stays connected whether the hatch is opened or closed. Many have levers to ensure that they remain shut.

The 7 Best Kayak Hatches in 2021

Here are our top favorite hatch covers on the market, what makes them the best, and where they can improve.

1. Anndason 2 PCS 6” Hatch – Best Overall

Anndason 2 PCS 6” Hatch

Most hatches out there are good at something and bad at another, but not this one. The Anndason 2 PCS 6″ Hatch excels in every category that we could judge a hatch on, and that’s why it’s our top choice.

First of all, its affordability is insane. You can search in every kayaking equipment store, but you won’t find something that’s so good yet so budget-friendly. Kayakers on a budget can get this one.

Second of all, the construction is no joke. It’s made of a combination of PVC and ABS to maximize their benefits and make it last as long as possible. We love the inclusion of a protective EVA gasket because it protects from sudden impact.

The covers are UV-resistant, which means that long days in the sun won’t hurt them. Also, the red bags are waterproof. Despite its durability, the hatch is still lightweight and easy to carry and install. It comes with its own screws.

However, we wouldn’t recommend submerging it since it’s not entirely waterproof.

Pros:

  • Screws included
  • Lightweight
  • Highly affordable
  • Waterproof
  • Protective EVA gasket
  • UV-resistant

Cons:

  • Not fit for submersion

Final Verdict

The Anndason 2 PCS 6″ Hatch is the perfect kayaking companion. It stands out in terms of price, durability, lightness, and ease of use and installation.

2. SEAFLO Marine Deck Hatch – Most Durable

SEAFLO Marine Deck Hatch

Sometimes, hatches get the job done, but they don’t last much, which is why we recommend this one. The SEAFLO Marine Deck Hatch is the reliable and durable hatch you deserve to take on a kayaking trip.

The hatch’s outstanding quality comes from its construction. It relies on long-lasting ABS, which is anti-aging even when exposed to the elements. Speaking of the elements, UV rays have no effect on the hatch, thanks to its UV-resistant build. SEAFLO backs the hatch with a 4-year warranty because they know they made a long-lasting product.

The hinging lid is pretty convenient, and the seal is watertight. The low-profile design is versatile and allows you to install it on internal or external flat surfaces.

It has only one disadvantage: its price. Yet, it’s justified by its premium quality and durability.

Pros:

  • 4-year warranty
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Low-profile design
  • UV-resistant
  • Watertight seal
  • Hinging lid

Cons:

  • Not the most affordable

Final Verdict

The SEAFLO Marine Deck Hatch is the most durable hatch on the market and can survive whatever you expose it to.

3. Pelican Exo-pod – Best for Tank Wells

Pelican Exo-pod

Hatches come in different shapes and sizes, and some of them are meant to be placed in certain areas on the kayak. Tank wells can be utilized well with the right hatch, and that’s what the Pelican EXO-POD is here for.

This honeycomb-shaped gift is made of honeycomb polyurethane EVA mold and is lined with velvet, a construction that helps it last longer than other hatches. Also, it’s splash-resistant, which means that it will be fine as long as it stays above the water. 

With a 17-liter capacity, there’s so much that you can store and protect in this durable hatch.

We love how convenient the Exo-pod’s design is compared to others. For example, the shoulder strap enables you to carry it like a backpack. Plus, it has a small zippered section that comes in handy when you need to quickly grab something out of your hatch. Its design actually makes it fit in almost all tank wells on kayaks so that you can maximize that area.

While we love that it’s splash-resistant, the fact that it’s not entirely waterproof means that you’ll have to be careful not to get your tank well really wet.

Pros:

  • Fits almost all tank wells
  • Shoulder strap
  • Splash-resistant
  • Polyurethane EVA mold
  • Zippered section for convenience
  • 17L capacity

Cons:

  • Not waterproof

Final Verdict

The Pelican EXO-POD is the perfect tank well hatch, thanks to its durable construction and convenient design.

4. Wilderness Systems Kayak Konsole – Highest Capacity

Wilderness Systems Kayak Konsole

Whether you’re going kayaking for leisure or fishing, you’re probably bringing some accessories or essentials with you. It could be keys, fishing rods, fishing gear, fish finders, drinks, or anything else. Whatever it is that you need to bring along, the Wilderness Systems Kayak Konsole can carry it.

This console is ready for whatever kind of kayaking trip you’ll have. It has a gear tray, mesh pocket with a key FOB, recessed mounting surfaces, and a universal cup holder.

If you have water-sensitive valuables that you can’t risk getting wet, the Konsole has got you covered. It has a dry-seal hatch that is secured with a hinging lid and built-in cam levers. This compartment will keep your valuables safe and dry.

Although it’s so versatile, it doesn’t weigh much, which is excellent news for kayakers who don’t want to push their kayaks beyond their weight capacity. You won’t face complications with installing the console to your compatible kayak either; all it takes is the bungee cord.

While it would be an excellent addition to your kayak, its measurements are not universal. So, you may have to do some modifications to make it work in your kayak if it doesn’t already fit.

Pros:

  • Multi-tasking hatch
  • Built-in cam levers
  • Easy to install
  • Key FOB included with a mesh pocket
  • Lightweight
  • Dry seal for water-sensitive valuables

Cons:

  • Not universal in measurements

Final Verdict

The Wilderness Systems Kayak Konsole has the largest storage capacity. It’s also versatile, lightweight, and easy to install.

5. Amarine Made Marine Deck Hatch – Budget Choice

Amarine Made Marine Deck Hatch

Are you on a tight budget at the moment but still want a durable hatch for your onboard assets? You don’t have to compromise anymore, as the Amarine Made Marine Deck Hatch is proof that quality can exist on a budget.

The affordability of this hatch makes it available for all kayakers. Yet, the construction is far from cheap. It’s made of ABS, which is known to handle various water activities. The UV-resistance is a nice touch because hatches are exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods.

We love the two strong recessed handles because they make opening and closing the hatch a breeze. Its hinging lid makes it easy to use, while the rubber seal protects your stored items from any splashing. Of course, we can’t forget the low-profile design that lets you install it in more places than other hatches.

Nevertheless, this budget choice doesn’t include the screws necessary for installation, so remember to bring yours.

Pros:

  • Low-profile design
  • UV-resistant
  • Hinging lid
  • Affordable
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Watertight seal

Cons:

  • Screws not included

Final Verdict

The Amarine Made Marine Deck Hatch is ideal for kayakers on a budget with a thing or two to store.

6. Valley Kayak Hatch – Classic Choice

Valley Kayak Hatch

Sometimes, when we’re overwhelmed with choices and varieties of a product, we tend to go back to the classics. Some reliable manufacturers have been around for a while with products that have been used for generations. From this category, we recommend the Valley Kayak Hatch.

The Valley hatch boasts a durable yet supple rubber that lasts for long and creates the right watertight seal over your items, a feature that Valley became the first company to develop.

Its round design and dimensions are universal. It’s compatible with more kayaks than most hatches on the market, which is why it’s so popular.

While we love this hatch, we can’t help but point out that it’s not the most affordable option; however, it’s a fan-favorite that people consider an investment.

Pros:

  • Watertight seal
  • Universal design
  • Classic choice

Cons:

  • Not the most affordable

Final Verdict

The Valley Kayak Hatch set an example for other hatches to follow in terms of waterproofness and universality.

7. Sea-Lect Designs Performance Oval Hatch – Best Oval Hatch

Sea-Lect Designs Performance Oval Hatch

If your kayak can only accept an oval hatch, you might feel that your options are limited at first. However, you don’t have to be, as the Sea-Lect Designs Performance Oval Hatch is the oval hatch you’ve been looking for all along.

The hatch is made of a lightweight polymer that floats, a priceless feature in a hatch for water vessels. There’s so much that could go wrong, so it’s nice to have a hatch that can stay afloat.

The construction is also UV-resistant, a quality that all kayakers appreciate after going through dozens of hatches that degrade because of sun exposure. The hatch ensures a watertight seal that protects all of your items in case things get too wet.

However, while it has its advantages, the hatch is not the most affordable, so kayakers on a tight budget might have to look elsewhere.

Pros:

  • Floats
  • UV-resistant
  • Watertight seal

Cons:

  • Not the most affordable

Final Verdict

The Sea-Lect Designs Performance Oval Hatch is the protective, UV-resistant, and watertight oval hatch that you’ve been looking for.

How to Pick a Kayak Hatch

Some kayakers have been doing this sport for a while, while others are just getting started and learning the basics. Regardless of which group you belong in, you should know all of your kayak hatch options.

Shape

Since kayaks are all different, their hatches differ, as well. In terms of shape, the most common hatches are the A-shape. They’re the most space-efficient, especially in smaller kayaks because they fit right into tank wells. 

Next, you’ll find many rectangular hatches, and they tend to have the biggest capacity. They’re the perfect choice for kayakers who fish and want to bring their own fishing gear onboard. Circular and oval hatches are also pretty common.

Regardless of what you pick, make sure it’s compatible with your kayak and its dimensions.

Capacity

Hatches are important, but not all kayakers need the same amount of storage areas. So, hatches come in different capacities. Sometimes, they’re described in liters. 

That being said, most times, manufacturers only tell you the dimensions, which should match the storage dimensions of your kayak perfectly.

Either way, you need to be realistic about the capacity that you need. While some kayakers have a bad habit of under-packing, many tend to over-pack. You don’t need fancy toiletries or full meals on short kayaking trips, so don’t get too ambitious.

Also, don’t pack everything in one hatch and leave the other one empty, as this could destabilize the kayak. Instead, try to pack things in a more balanced way, even if you haven’t reached the hatch’s maximum capacity yet.

Water-Resistance

Although it feels like a no-brainer that all kayak hatches should be waterproof, not all of them are. Most of them are water-resistant, while a few more expensive hatches are entirely waterproof.

You should choose either type based on your own estimation of what you need. Do you feel like the hatch would catch water? Or are your kayaking trips too short and safe that you don’t need waterproofing? Think about the level of water-resistance that you need.

Durability

Durability can make or break your decision when buying a hatch. Since kayaking exposes your belongings to the elements, you need a hatch that can take a beating or two.

Materials such as PVC, ABS, and EVA plastics give us peace of mind about how well the hatch can perform in the middle of the water. UV-resistance is also pretty important because most people kayak during the day, so there’s a lot of sun exposure over time.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, our article on the best kayak hatches has been helpful in your quest to craft the best kayaking experience possible. Here’s a recap of the highlights on our list.

The Anndason 2 PCS 6″ hatch is our top choice, as it’s affordable, durable, impact-resistant, UV-resistant, waterproof, and lightweight. It feels like a hatch that checks every box that you could have.

The SEAFLO Marine Deck Hatch comes next because of its anti-aging, heavy-duty, UV-resistant construction. The 4-year warranty definitely doesn’t hurt. Its low-profile design is also universal and convenient.

Finally, if you have a tank well that you want to make use of, consider the Pelican Exo-pod. Its dimensions are universal, so it will most probably fit your tank well. Also, the shoulder strap and

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