Submitted: 07-26-2010 by Waterbird
For paddlers who are looking for a replacement seat, the Old Town ACS (Advanced Comfort Seat) is worthy of consideration. The ACS can be ordered from Old Town by your local dealer. I paid $100 for it.
The ACS consists of a bottom plastic frame, a rubber seat and back, and a plastic post that attaches to the bottom frame and joins the seat pan and back. It is meant to be hung from under the coaming. It is not designed to sit directly on the bottom of your kayak, but it can be used that way, as I've done.
I like the synthetic fabric of the seat pan. It doesn't stick to your shorts and skin like the previous all-rubber Old Town seat. Unfortunately the material doesn't extend all the way to the front of the seat so your legs do stick on hot days.
The front of the seat is quite long, providing good thigh support. The webbing straps---easily reached, with convenient grab loops---can be pulled to increase support of both the hips and back.
The back has 5 height adjustment positions that should meet everyone's needs. The shape of the back is very good, with good lumbar support. You will not need to use any additional pillows or pads with this seat. It provides both cushioning and support in just the right places.
This seat has a few design problems that could be improved. First, the rear of the seat pan rises and hits exactly at your tailbone. I cut a large semi-circle out of the seat to relieve tailbone pressure.
Second, the design of the bottom frame is awkward and odd (joined together by zip ties). It can only be hung in a kayak that has the same cockpit shape and width as the Old Towns. If it were designed to simply sit on the bottom of the kayak it would be adaptable to many more kayaks. In that case the seat pan and back would need to be joined differently.
I installed this seat by (1) velcroing it to the bottom of my kayak and (2) running the webbing straps through my existing backband pins. If you don’t have those pins you will need to find another way to attach the straps. That shouldn’t be too hard. Finally, this is a somewhat heavy seat. But the weight is worth it for the very good comfort level.
I'm giving this seat an 8 for comfort. With a better way of joining the back and seat pan without the bottom frame, and extending the seat pan material farther forward, it would be a 10.