Recreational inflatable boats usually have one or more boat seats included with the boat, but not all have backrests.
Ribs are available as simple open boats, or as boats with built in seats, storage, and steering consoles. Often the seats on ribs do offer a backrest
If your boat did not come with built in seats and you are considering purchasing seats or seats with a backrest there are numerous solutions.
My preference in a small inflatable is for bench style seating as it allows more options for the number of people, and for seating position in the boat.
Some people prefer individual seats even in small inflatables so a good choice are the smaller folding seats, like the Attwood Proform Folding Boat Seat, or the Wise Seating Economy Fishing Chair or Economy Folding Seat.
Any of these seats could be fastened to the simple bench seat that came with your collapsible inflatable, or you could attach a seat pedestal to the floor boards, like the Attwood Economy Pedestal.
If you decide to bolt a seat pedestal to your floor boards make sure you use smooth headed bolts so there are no sharp edges to rub against the soft bottom of the boat. Many people use carriage bolts for this purpose. Be careful here, depending on your floor board material you may need to add some type of reinforcement as well.
Because I like to fold up my boat, I do not like seating solutions that make folding up the boat more difficult.
I am happy with bench type seats, but even with bench seats there are options for back support. A simple easy solution is the Go Anywhere Seat by West Marine. It can be used on any flat surface, and is easily removed from your boat when you wish to fold it up at the end of your adventure.
Todd Marine Products makes an interesting bench seat for inflatables that simply tucks under the inflatable tubes and is held in place by the pressure of the tubes wedging the seat in place. They sell two sizes for different widths of inflatable boat. I love the bench seat storage idea, and that is the solution I use to gain much needed storage in my boat. My solution is a custom seat which you can read more about
Manufacturers of seating for boats includes:
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- B & M
- Wise Seating