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

Level Six Bonavista

rated 4 of 5 stars This paddle jacket is completely windproof and rainproof. It keeps me warm on rainy days paddling, when I wear it over a shortie wetsuit or over a merino wool shirt and shorts. This men's jacket suits women too. It's a fairly close-fitting style, so buy a size larger if you plan to layer it over a thick sweater. Kayaking on the West Coast near Vancouver and Seattle means needing rain gear — the real thing, not cheap stuff. This jacket is listed as "Made of eXhaust 2.5-ply waterproof-breathable… Full review

LifeProof nüüd case for iPhone 5/5s/SE

rated 4.5 of 5 stars Plain and simple: this thing works. My phone survived days-long exposure to heavy rain with no damage whatsoever. Very simply, it seems to work as advertised. For two years or so, my general impression was that it was simply functional and practical. It provides solid protection from drops, dust, and moisture with a less bulky profile than either LifeProof's larger cases or waterproof cases from some competitors because instead of covering the screen, it seals the rest of the case around it with… Full review

Klymit LiteWater Dinghy (LWD)

rated 3 of 5 stars OK, but not robust. We don't have much water—even less white water—down here in Australia, but I decided to buy a LWD anyway. I've taken it on two Lilo trips down the Colo River (near Sydney) and while it definitely outperformed the conventional Lilo, on the second trip it developed a leak in the seam between the main chamber and the otherwise un-inflated floor. There was also air escaping from this leak to the outside. There does not seem to me any way to repair such a leak as it's in the heat… Full review

NRS Vapor PFD

rated 4 of 5 stars A great low price paddling PFD. It may not offer all the bells and whistles of higher end PFDs, but it is made of high quality materials with a form fitting design that provides comfort. I first purchased two of these PFD's when I got my first canoe at the age of 17. I chose them because my parents made it very clear that I would not be allowed to use this hand-me-down canoe unless I outfitted it with the proper safety equipment. Where I bought, what I bought, was up to me. These PFD's were inexpensive,… Full review

Dagger Axis 12

rated 3.5 of 5 stars The Dagger Axis 12 is my first kayak. Not the first I've ever paddled, but the first I've ever owned. I've got more background with canoeing. Ease of Use  The Dagger Axis 12 is pretty easy to get right into and use. But the seat is highly customizable, so you might want to spend a little time on dry land getting that dialed in before you take it out on the water. Some adjustment on the water is possible, but not convenient. There are also adjustable foot pegs which I've found a little easier to… Full review

Wenonah Escapade

rated 5 of 5 stars A very nice tandem/solo fast canoe. I have the Escapade in a kevlar/flex core layup. The canoe weighs 51 lb in this configuration. It is also available in kevlar and also in Tuf-Weave. It is a shorter touring canoe in a performance hull. This means it holds a bit less gear for touring than the longer ones. Since I am a backpacker I have the lightweight gear that suits this canoe very well. I was surprised at the stability with the two young grandkids; I was expecting the worst but was pleasantly… Full review

Outdoor Products Ultimate Dry Sacks

rated 2.5 of 5 stars These are not dry sacks in the traditional sense, but they are an economical alternative when less protection will do. Not intended for submersion and labeled as merely weatherproof they make no claim to being dry sacks other than their name. Great for organizing and protecting gear inside a pack. This three pack of Chinese made roll top sacks caught my eye at a local shop due to the price. I wasn't looking for bags at the time, but grabbed them simply because they cost so little and I was sure… Full review