Even though having a quality kayak is necessary, this equipment alone will not guarantee an exciting and, most importantly, risk-free day on the water. You require waterproof kayaking gear and accessories designed just for your brand-new boat.
That prompted me to ponder about things:
What are some of the best kayak accessories that you can use to take your watercraft and your adventures paddling to the next level? How can you tell the difference between kayak necessities and "bells and whistles" that aren't necessary but are nonetheless fun to have, and how can you rig your kayak, so it has a little bit of both?
As a result, I got down, gathered all the materials, and put together this list of essential kayaking equipment for 2022. Make sure you have a look at it!
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Since I figured you wouldn't get very far without your kayak paddle, I thought we should get that question out of the way first. After all, your primary mode of forwarding movement while kayaking will be using a paddle.
It's one of those essential kayaking gear that every paddler needs, with a personal flotation device (PFD).
It's been a while, but I recently transitioned to the AQUA BOUND Manta Ray Carbon Kayak Paddle, and I couldn't be happier with my decision. It has a lightweight design while providing some much-needed firmness with its carbon-reinforced blades, offers adjustable feathering, and breaks down into two sections, making it easy to store. Additionally, it has adjustable feathering.
In my roundup of evaluations for the finest kayak paddles, I've included a comprehensive buyer's guide in addition to the fantastic kayak paddles I've already reviewed.
Oh, and to add one more point:
Do you know how to paddle a kayak?
You may get the most advanced kayak paddle in the world, but if you don't have the proper technique, it won't make much difference in how effectively you paddle your kayak.
Dynamic life jacket with an Onyx MoveVent design.
It was difficult for me to choose between a paddle and a personal flotation device (PFD) as the item that deserves the top rank on my list of the kayaking gear that is the single most important. As you can see, personal flotation devices (PFDs) finished in second place, but as you can also see, I didn't make this list in any particular order of significance, to begin with.
Your list of essentials for kayaking might consist of a few items as a paddle and a life jacket designed specifically for kayaking (PFD). In a purely technical sense, that should be all you require to start.
Make sure you buy and wear a Type III Personal Flotation Device (PFD), which is at the top of the list of essential safety gear for kayaking.
After you've decided on a paddle, you next should select a life jacket for your kayak; you're going to need it. Since we're being serious, this piece of boating gear is an absolute must and a legal requirement as well.
Choosing the Right Life Jacket for Kayaking
It would help if you looked for a personal flotation device (PFD) that is well-made, has waist and shoulder straps that can be adjusted easily, and is a good fit for you without being too tight. If you're looking for a kayak life jacket, I advise the Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Life Jacket, but if you want additional options, take a look at my roundup of the top kayak life jackets.
Exploration and progress are integral parts of the kayaking experience; it's simply in our nature. But every once in a while, you'll come upon a location that is so stunning that you'll wish you could spend more time there.
Perhaps you've been fishing from a kayak and discovered the ideal location. It's also possible that you're tired of paddling and want to take a break to take in the scenery for a while. In either case, you will require something to stop your kayak from slowly moving away from you as it drifts away.
You will want a suitable kayak anchor.
It is one of those kayak accessories that river kayakers and anglers who use kayaks need to have.
How to Anchor a Fishing Kayak
My preference belongs to the Complete Grapnel Anchor System, a kayak anchor system that includes a folding four-fluke anchor, a rope that is 25 feet long, and an in-line buoy with stainless steel fittings. It even comes with a bag that you may use for storing.
You are welcome to look at my comprehensive review of the best kayak anchors for further suggestions, though!
Some of you have the luxury of forgetting entirely about kayak trailers. You're in the clear if you live near the water, have a kayak roof rack system installed, or drive a pickup truck that can be converted into a kayak mobile when the occasion calls for it, but what about the rest of us?
The answer is no.
Let me spare you the trouble:
It is impossible to transport a kayak by placing it on top of a sports vehicle or coupe, and it would help if you had a kayak trailer.
Keeping this in mind, when looking for a trailer for your kayaks, you should prioritize finding one with sufficient carrying capacity. That means that the trailer should be able to fit the size, weight, and quantity of kayaks that you will be transporting.
In that case, the kayak trailer won't be able to serve its purpose very well.
The Malone MicroSport XT Trailer is an excellent choice, in my opinion. It includes a frame that is resistant to corrosion, can hold up to 800 pounds, and can accommodate as many as four kayaks that are 19 feet long.
However, if you want more recommendations, you may look at the roundup I did of the most OK kayak trailers!
I may be repeating myself, but that's because I can't emphasize enough how essential it is to plan how to transport your kayak to the location where you will be paddling.
When you're preoccupied with admiring the sparkle of your brand-new hard-shell kayak, it's easy to forget about the less enjoyable aspects of kayaking. On the other hand, here's the thing:
If you cannot transport the kayak to the water, then you won't be able to go kayaking for the foreseeable future.
You will therefore require a kayak roof rack system unless you purchase a kayak trailer. You can choose from various choices, including J-cradles, stackers, saddles, and just about anything else you can think of.
Thule Hullavator Pro 989 Lift-Assist Kayak Carrier Overview
It is highly recommended that you look into the Thule Hullavator Pro Kayak Carrier since it is an excellent kayak roof rack system.
While you're here, check out this roundup of the top kayak roof rack systems. If the Hullavator is not what you're looking for, many other options are available!
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Let's imagine you've made it to your destination after successfully loading your kayak into your brand-new kayak trailer or roof rack system, but there's still one problem.
What shall we do now?
Hard shells aren't precisely the lightest options available, that's for sure, and I think we can all agree on that. There is a direct correlation between the size of your kayak and the amount of effort required to transport it to the water, except for those influential people.
This is when a convenient kayak cart with two wheels comes in handy:
Even though it's not technically a piece of kayaking equipment, a kayak cart is a fantastic way to transport your boat to the water so that you don't have to carry it yourself.
Because they are compact and easily portable, these "devices" make it easy to put the kayak onto the frame and pull it to the location where it will be launched with minimal effort.
If you prefer to paddle in more isolated regions, investing in a TMS Kayak Cart that has a capacity of 150 pounds, a folding frame, and large tires will make your life much more straightforward.
Suppose you do not appropriately preserve your yak. In that case, it is possible to become warped, lose its color, develop mold, be stolen, or even be occupied by a family of raccoons. Your kayak is susceptible to damage from elements such as extreme temperature changes, ultraviolet rays, and dampness, as well as from Mother Nature in general.
When it's not in use, you can't precisely tuck it away in the closet or slide it under the bed like you would a standard piece of furniture. When I say "real," "actual," and "dedicated" storage, I'm referring to something like a kayak storage rack.
Be sure to look into purchasing the RAD Sportz Deluxe Freestanding Kayak Storage Rack if you own more than one kayak and have sufficient room on your floor. Padded arms, storage space for two kayaks, and the ability to be used indoors and outdoors make this a versatile storage option.
However, that is by no means the only possibility you have in terms of ideas for storing your kayak. Perhaps a kayak storage rack fixed to the wall, or maybe one suspended from the ceiling is more your style.
If you have a kayak with an open deck, a spray skirt is not going to be a valuable piece of kayak equipment for you, so feel free to skip this one if you have a sit-on-top kayak. In light of this, you should include a spray skirt on your list of kayak needs if you have a sit-inside kayak, which will help protect you from getting wet.
When used for leisure activities, a spray skirt increases one's comfort level by preventing one from becoming wet from precipitation and splashes. It enables you to perform rolls in whitewater kayaks and navigate rapids and waterfalls without difficulty. In addition, sea kayaking prevents your kayak from becoming flooded with water and keeps it floating in rough seas despite the presence of solid waves.
How to put on a spray skirt
Not only should the spray skirt fit you, but it should also fit your kayak. While we're at it, let's not forget that.
Check out the Seals Adventurer Kayak Spray Skirt if you're looking for a spray skirt. This spray skirt is constructed of nylon and is designed to fit recreational and touring kayaks, and it is an ideal choice for paddling in moderately challenging situations.
Have you ever heard the advice that kayakers should dress for the water rather than the weather?
When the temperatures drop, and you have both the water and the weather working against you, this is the essential kayaking rule. It becomes even more critical when considering that it is already the most important rule.
Your first line of defense against the water should be a wetsuit, a specialized skin-tight full-body garment often constructed of thick neoprene.
It won't keep you dry. On the other hand, it will employ the tiny layer of water trapped between you and the suit as insulation to slow down the rate at which heat is lost. And if the temps aren't going to be too low, you might be able to get away with just a wetsuit.
How To Put On A Wetsuit | A Step By Step Guide
On that subject, have a look at the wetsuit known as the Hevto Guardian (I) Warrior:
It is a wetsuit that covers the entire body and is constructed of neoprene 3 millimeters thick and connected with two additional layers of nylon. It is designed to be worn in water between 50 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
When you think of kayaking, the first thing that usually comes to mind is a breezy day in the summer with the sun beating down on your skin. However, some of us still like kayaking during the colder months, provided that we are equipped with the appropriate winter kayaking gear.
You will need to switch from a wetsuit to a drysuit whenever you are kayaking in bad weather, and the temperature is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. That is because the wetsuit will not provide adequate protection against the cold.
A drysuit operates in a somewhat different manner, which is evident given its name:
Dry Suit Guide
Because it creates an airtight barrier around you, you won't get wet, and the layer of air inside will keep you warm. A drysuit is your best option when staying dry is directly correlated to your chances of survival; nevertheless, you will need to put a few layers of insulating clothing underneath it to provide enough thermal protection.
The Crewsaver Atacama Sport Drysuit is one of my very favorite drysuits. It is a three-layer, breathable fabric constructed into a front-zip drysuit with neoprene gaskets at the neck and wrists, built-in dry socks, and a drysuit liner. The front of the suit has a zipper.
To add to the comments made in the previous paragraphs, "cold and wet" are not anyone's notion of a good time; nonetheless, you can still find people kayaking during the wintertime. I guess we're all crazy around here, huh?
In all seriousness, if you plan to go kayaking when the weather is expected to be chilly and windy, you should bring a paddle jacket with you and your kayaking gear.
This article of kayaking gear is known by various names, including paddling jacket, spray top, and splash jacket, but its function is always the same: it protects paddlers from water spray.
It is an outer layer that shields against the wind and prevent water from penetrating further inside the garment.
Throw it on top of your wetsuit to provide an additional layer of thermal protection, and you'll be good to go, even if the weather isn't in the best shape.
The WindRider Paddling Spray Top is an incredible alternative to consider. It is constructed out of PVC-coated nylon and features soft yet secure neck and wrist openings, Velcro adjusters, and a barrel lock waist closure so you can wear it more comfortably.
People have been seen out kayaking while wearing tennis shoes, and some prefer not to wear shoes at all. Some people, believe it or not, kayak while wearing flip-flops, an entirely different category of inappropriate behavior.
To all I know, you could be one of them, but accept what I say because I have good reason to believe it:
One of the worst decisions you might make is to go paddling while wearing "normal shoes."
To begin with, it destroys the condition of the shoes, and two, it gives off an offensive odor when it's on your feet. And third, when getting into or out of the kayak, you risk slipping and harming yourself because of the uneven surface.
NRS ATB Wetshoe
The NRS ATB Neoprene Kayak Shoes are a fantastic illustration of what I have in mind for this footwear category. They are constructed of neoprene, are thick enough to keep your feet warm and comfortable, and are designed to provide grip across various terrains.
In various sports, the use of a helmet is considered an essential piece of safety equipment, and in some instances, it is even required. And one of them is kayaking, which I don't know if this comes as a surprise to you or not.
When going for a leisurely paddle on a calm lake, a kayak helmet may seem like a bit of an unnecessary piece of safety equipment.
However, if there is even a remote possibility that you would collide head-on with rocks or logs while kayaking, you would be a fool not to purchase a kayak helmet for yourself.
Whitewater kayakers, I'm looking at you.
It is essential to wear a kayak helmet when paddling since it can prevent potentially deadly traumatic brain injuries and minor ego injuries. That's all there is to say about that.
When it comes to kayaking helmets, sometimes known as "brain buckets" (yep, that is a common nickname for them).
Best Kayak Helmet in 2021 – Save Your Head With Quality Products!
The Tontron Kayaking Helmet is one option that comes highly recommended:
It has a tough ABS outer shell, which will prevent damage to the head in a head-on collision, and a flexible EVA liner, which will further cushion the impact. In addition, it features ear guards that can remove 11 vents to guarantee that it is sufficiently breathable.
Paddling gloves aren't on the same level as a personal flotation device (PFD) or a paddle when it comes to being an essential piece of equipment for kayaking. In my opinion, therefore, I wouldn't consider them an absolute must.
However, having them is beneficial, mainly if you frequently go kayaking in icy waters or are prone to getting blisters from paddling for extended periods. I do not doubt that any kayaker who has significant experience would concur with me on that point.
The problem is that your hands are the significant points of contact between you and your kayak paddle, and because of this, they endure a considerable amount of abuse while you're out on the water. Any injury you can think of, from blisters to cuts to frostbite.
Best Sailing Gloves In 2020 – Comparison & Reviews!
To that end, have you given any thought to purchasing a set of kayaking gloves, such as the Brace Master Kayaking Gloves, for instance? Thanks to the high-quality leather palms, your hands will have something to look forward to, and you'll also have a lot stronger grip on the paddle as a result of these palms.
I was hoping you could take a look at my review of the best kayak gloves to see a variety of other options if the Brace Masters don't suit your preferences.
When the water in your kayak rises to the top, there is no bowl of rice large enough to save an expensive electronic item such as a fish finder, cell phone, GPS, or battery.
If I didn't have a watertight dry box to put it in, I wouldn't even carry my lunch on board a kayak; I certainly wouldn't bring something more substantial.
Therefore, in this sense, a dry box is an essential piece of kayaking gear that you need to bring with you on every trip.
And before you have the chance to ask, sure, waterproof dry bags work just fine for storing spare clothes and other items like that, and they can double as a makeshift throw bag – but unlike a dry bag, a dry box will provide you more organized storage space; don't try to use it to save anyone!
I am currently using the Plano Dry Box; however, I have changed the container to protect the batteries of my fish finder from getting wet, and I couldn't be happier with how it functions. Even while I haven't had the opportunity to test whether or not it is entirely waterproof just yet, it does prevent moisture from getting in, and that has been more than sufficient so far to assist in extending the battery life.
Even though kayak float bags are just large bags filled with air and are nothing to write home about, they serve an extremely crucial purpose.
You might be wondering why an air-filled sack is such an essential piece of kayak equipment.
Who can find the solution right there in the title? The kayak's buoyancy can be increased by adding these air-filled bags, also known as kayak float bags, which fit into the bow and stern compartments of the kayak. Bulkheads are typically located in these areas.
You could leave those spots unoccupied, and believe me when I say that, I understand how ridiculous the concept of spending your hard-earned money on a bag that's just full of air sounds. However, if you do not use such space for storage, it is recommended that you fill it with air.
NRS HydroLock Kayak Stow Float
Said it reduces the volume of space occupied by water and increases buoyancy.
In light of this, I recommend looking at the NRS Kayak Float Bags. They are constructed from 10-gauge urethane to offer dependable and leak-free performance and are designed to fit in the stern compartment of the kayak.
How do you plan to get rid of the surplus water that fills up your kayak if it capsizes or when you're paddling through some rough waves?
Permit me to provide an answer to that for you:
It would help if you had a kayak bilge pump, my friend. It is a piece of kayak equipment that is simple to operate and has the potential to save lives.
I mean, what are your other options? Are you going to use a bucket?
Yeah, I didn't think so.
Even a tiny amount of water moving around in your kayak might be bothersome. Still, a more significant amount of water can influence the stability of the kayak, which in turn can jeopardize your safety.
No matter what the weather is like, you should always have a kayak bilge pump and, if possible, a bailing sponge with you when you go out on the water.
Seattle Sports Breakaway Bilge Pump & Parts Kit
When it comes to kayaking safety equipment, this is the bare minimum you need. Include a bingle pump as one of your kayaking safety criteria. That is something that I strongly recommend doing.
I was wondering whether the Seattle Sports Paddler's Kayak Bilge Pump could be of interest to you.
It is lightweight, easy to keep underneath your kayak seat for rapid access, and it is neon yellow, which means that it will be difficult to miss in the event of an emergency.
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The excess water that could collect at the bottom of your sit-on-top kayak is drained away through the scupper holes, which are small holes found at the bottom of the kayak. Only sit-on-top kayaks come equipped with this unique characteristic, known as self-bailing.
You can skip this step if you have a sit-inside kayak, but if you do not have such a kayak, you should seriously consider purchasing a pair of scupper plugs and kayaking devices that resemble bathtub plugs.
Under typical circumstances, you will almost certainly keep the scupper holes open most of the time. Scupper plugs, on the other hand, can be used in situations where you wish to avoid the kayak's self-bailing capability, such as when you are taking in an excessive amount of water.
A Guide to Scupper Plugs
That is when scupper plugs can be of great use.
Be cautious to ensure that the 0.75-inch molded nylon plugs included in the H2o Quality Kayak Drain Plug Pack are compatible with the scupper holes in your kayak before purchasing this brand.
Keep a kayak bilge pump available even if you utilize scupper plugs because you never know when you might need it.
You would believe that sunscreen does not quite qualify as "kayak equipment," and technically speaking, you would be correct in that assumption; however:
You are the target of the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can cause skin cancer.
Long-term exposure to UV rays can have adverse health effects such as accelerated aging, an increased risk of developing skin cancer, and damage to the eyes.
Even on overcast days, you still need to protect yourself from the sun by using sunscreen, even if it won't be adequate on its own. Who should always use sunscreen?
Formulations of sun lotion that are water-resistant and have an SPF rating of 30 to 50 are the ones you should prioritize purchasing. Not to mention, you need to reapply it every 40 to 80 minutes!
I can't say enough good things about Banana Boat Ultra Sport sunscreen, so you should try it. This broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 50 gives protection from both UVA and UVB rays. In addition, it is intended for active people who can withstand sweat and water for up to eighty minutes, making it a perfect choice for sports that take place outside, such as paddling.
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If you were going on a camping trip, you probably wouldn't leave home without a first aid kit in your backpack. The situation is precisely the same when one goes boating, and it's the equivalent of having an umbrella or a spare tire:
Most of the time, you won't require it, but when you do, you'll be thankful that you have it on hand.
A wealth of information is available concerning the components that ought to be present in your kit. Although there are specific guidelines, no two paddling first aid packs will be the same. But there are some guidelines.
To a large extent, it is determined by where you intend to go, who you will be paddling with, and your level of experience, amongst other factors.
First Aid Kit For Kayaking - What's in it?
If you are unsure how to put together your own, you can purchase a pre-made first aid kit for paddlers, such as the WELL-STRONG Waterproof First Aid Kit. It comes in a bag resistant to water and contains a total of 104 medical items of hospital quality.
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When you're working out, it's essential to stay hydrated by drinking water and plenty of it. Believe me when I say that kayaking may sometimes be a grueling workout.
Your water bottle will be your best ally for any outdoor activity in which you run the risk of not having constant access to clean, drinkable water, even though you will need to raise your overall hydration level.
You could use disposable water bottles that are only good for one use, but we both know what kind of impact that would have on the environment.
Plastic trash will inevitably wind up in the ocean no matter what you do with it; it doesn't matter if you dump it directly into the water or not.
Alternatively, why not give the Filtering Drinks Bottle by Brita a shot instead?
It is devoid of BPA and can take the place of about 1800 bottles used only once. Additionally, this water bottle has a built-in water filter that minimizes the amount of chlorine in the water with each sip.
Therefore, you are not only helping the world around you but also improving the health of your own body in the process.
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I know that swinging that paddle of yours all day long isn't a bother to you; the repetitive motions may sometimes almost feel like a form of meditation.
But when you travel greater distances in a kayak, let alone embark on a kayaking excursion that lasts for multiple days, you're likely to become tired at some point. And this is where the problems initially arise:
But if you don't put in the effort, your kayak won't move an inch, and you'll be trapped in the middle of nowhere. You're too tired to continue and would like to sit for a second there.
How does the idea of paddling across the sea in your kayak with the force of the wind sound?
That's right, and I'm referring to the process of attaching a real sail to your dingy little boat.
It's still kayaking – but better. Your ability to rely on and harness the strength of the wind to assist you in reaching your destination, along with the boost in speed that comes with it, adds a whole new degree of enjoyment to your outings. This talent also allows you to travel faster.
Advanced Elements Rapidup Sail Review Part 1
I am pleased to endorse the Rapid Up Kayak Sail Kit from ADVANCED ELEMENTS if you are unsure how or where to get started. This circular sail has an integrated spring frame, making it very easy to set up; once you release the tension on edge, the sail will expand up on its own, much like a pop-up tent.
It's probably apparent by now, but not all of the items on my list of the finest kayak accessories are required to have a good time on the water:
Some of these are essential bits of kayaking gear to keep you safe. Depending on the environment in which you plan to paddle, this can involve wearing a personal flotation device (PFD), a helmet, and a kayak paddle. Other things, like gloves or a kayak cart, are available to make your time spent on the lake more enjoyable and comfortable.
When you place your orders, it is up to you to determine which kayak accessories you require right away, which things may come in handy in the future, and which ones you can completely do without.
My last piece of shopping advice is that you should always make your purchases from recognized brands that provide excellent customer care and free shipping Monday through Friday.
Therefore, You need waterproof kayaking gear and accessories made specifically for you. shop carefully, and as always, keep yourself safe! Happy kayaking experiences!