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

Nova Craft Prospector 16

rated 4 of 5 stars Rigid construction and classic design make this the SUV of the wilderness. It makes friends on every trip. Taken my 16' Novacraft Prospector canoe down rivers and on week-long lake trips. Loaded it up and still had 6" freeboard. You will bulk out before you weight out—and we take cast iron dutch ovens, charcoal, fuel cans, watercubes etc; we camp heavy. Paddles well with two, although the Clippers pass us on flat water.  We pass them ashore on rough water because they are taking water in over… Full review

Advanced Elements Touring 4-Part Paddle

rated 4.5 of 5 stars This is a sturdy and reliable paddle that takes apart into four pieces, so it fits well into the bag of a folding or inflatable kayak. The price is good. I've used it for three years of recreational flatwater paddling. The Touring paddle has become my preferred paddle, after experience with plenty of two-piece paddles, and two other four-piece paddles. I've used it for over three years. I initially tried it because it is an Advanced Elements paddle, and I am a big fan of their folding inflatable… Full review

Advanced Elements Ultralite Pack Paddle

rated 3 of 5 stars This is the most affordable kayak paddle I've found that can be taken apart into four parts. It is great for using with folding or inflatable kayaks, as it is packable and portable and weighs about 24 ounces. The slim metal shaft suits small hands. I have not used it for whitewater or challenging conditions. Kayakers need spare paddles. I chose two of these Ultralite Pack Paddles to go with the Lagoon inflatable kayak given to me a year and a half ago, by the manufacturer. One I keep as a lightweight… Full review

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