Paddling Gear

Whether it’s an afternoon relaxing on the lake or a whitewater river expedition, you’ll find the best paddling gear, essentials, and apparel right here for your next kayak, canoe, or packraft trip.

We’ve got reviews, ratings, and price comparisons on the boats, paddles, and accessories to outfit you safely, plus, apparel, PFDs, and waterproof storage to protect your valuable gear.

See our top paddling gear picks in any product category below. Or browse independent equipment reviews and ratings by real canoeists and kayakers to select appropriate, dependable, real world-tested gear for your next paddle.

Recent Paddling Product Reviews

ZRE Power Surge FW-Z Light

rated 5 of 5 stars Hand made in the USA carbon fiber work of art that makes heavier paddles obsolete IMHO We purchased two ZRE Power Surge Light paddles a year ago and they still make us smile every time we use them or even just pick them up. At near 8 1/2 ounces (varies slightly by length), they allow two Medicare-age paddlers to paddle for four hours without even having our arms get tired. My wife has arthritis in her hands, so I phoned Mr. Zaveral himself for advice. He told us what measurements to take and then… Full review

Dagger Katana 10.4

rated 5 of 5 stars The plastic device on the front cockpit coaming is useful to bungie your paddle to the kayak for brief periods of time. Lay your paddle down 90 degrees to the longitudinal axis of the boat and then hook the bow bungie chord into the plastic device to lock in your paddle. The Katana is easy to outfit and the fitting can be dialed-in pretty tight because of all the pads and shims Dagger provides. I have a longer rec/touring 13 footer to use when I want to go fast in the lake or on swift moving water. Full review

Sanborn Canoe Co. Minnesota

rated 5 of 5 stars The Sanborn Canoe Co. Minnesota 14° is a light weight (19 oz.) and durable paddle making all environments pleasant. The paddle is comfortable in the hands, takes a beating, and comes out still looking beautiful. Some may think the light weight compromises durability, but not with this paddle. I recently purchased the Minnesota 14° bend for an excursion in the BWCA.  I have paddled with many other well-known brands before with no complaints, but this paddle came out on top for paddles to own. Full review

Old Town Trip 10 Deluxe Angler

rated 4 of 5 stars Excellent low-cost recreational kayak. This kayak is really nice for flat water and slow moving rivers. My wife and I are are new to kayaking and these were our first purchases. So far we have taken ours out on 16 trips in the past two months ranging from 90 min to our longest trip of 8 hours on the water, 2 miles to 14.88 miles. We have paddled in no wind to as high as about 15mph. It tracks reasonable straight and maneuvers pretty well. We kayak on flat water and slow moving rivers. The kayak… Full review

Perception Expression 11.5 Kayak

rated 5 of 5 stars Great multi-purpose boat for those of us who can only afford one boat. Suitable for a variety of situations, though probably not the ideal boat for any. I live in a city with lakes, rivers, and creeks, and it's perfect for all of it. Haven't tried it on whitewater yet, but considering it (will update if/when I do). It's generally very stable, but not the fastest kayak. Using the skeg helps you track across big lakes. Cockpit: Super comfortable. I needed one that my wide hips could still bail out… Full review

Ozark Trail Waterproof Cell Phone Dry Bag

rated 0.5 of 5 stars Bought this product at a local WalMart and it was supposed to be waterproof...put the receipt inside and dunked it in a glass of water and it was NOT waterproof!!! Extremely disappointed in this product! I purchased this product because I am going on a cruise and there will be several excursions that I go on that are in the water. This product was supposed to be a cell phone dry bag that I was to carry a cell phone and money and important documents in to keep with me during these water events. I… Full review

NRS NFPA Rescue Throw Bag

rated 4.5 of 5 stars Will save a life if USED CORRECTLY. (Practice.) I used this bag in Swift Water Rescue training. Works well and is easy enough to throw. Keep in mind it has plenty of rope and requires a bit of strength to throw the full distance. I only managed to throw it the full 75 feet two or three times in a day practicing with it. It's easy to coil, but it's still 75 feet of rope. Use a partner to help speed things up when coiling the rope. I really liked that the victim's end of the rope has a flotation device… Full review