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

Stohlquist Men's Amp

rated 4.5 of 5 stars Best drysuit I've ever owned... This is my second Stohlquist drysuit, and it's a repalcement for a Stohlquist "Sport" that I got on sale nearly 10 years ago.  The Sport was imported from China, was very difficult to put on or take off, and ultimately leaked like a sieve through the fabric when I used it on a Memorial Day Middle Fork Salmon trip (i.e.; when I really needed it) in 2013, about 7 years into my ownership.  It supposedly was under a lifetime warranty, but to Stohlquist that meant lifetime… Full review

Nova Craft Trapper Solo

rated 4 of 5 stars If you are looking for a nice, small boat to toss in the back of your truck or sling over your shoulder for small rivers and ponds, I highly recommend it. It is a unique little boat that I think I will keep for a long time. This boat is another Nova Craft offering originally built by Chestnut in wood and canvas. It is symmetrical and has a shallow arch bottom. Fit and finish is excellent, as most Nova Craft boats I've seen. The laced seats are the most comfortable on the market and I'm unsure why… Full review

Perception Carolina 12

rated 4 of 5 stars I had only kayaked a few times, but was very interested in becoming a regular kayaker. However, I was on a budget. I did a fair amount of research when looking for a kayak, and a 12' kayak was suggested by a family member who teaches kayaking, because of ease in loading on and off of vehicle, and ease of navigating in creeks, marshes and smaller spaces. It was also recommended that I get a kayak with closed compartments so if I took in water it wouldn't sink. The Perception Caroline 12 has all this. Full review

Necky Eliza 15 with Rudder

rated 5 of 5 stars The Eliza is a sea kayak well-suited to women and men who are from small to moderate size. My Eliza fits me like a good shoe. Very responsive and stable! The Necky Eliza was designed to suit women paddlers, but it also suits men and teenagers. The people it doesn't suit are taller than 5'9" with big broad shoulders. The Eliza fits me perfectly at 5'1" — at 160 pounds, I'm at the top of the recommended weight for this model. Though I am stocky and plump, I can get into the cockpit easily onshore… Full review

Advanced Elements CargoPak

rated 5 of 5 stars The CargoPak is a tough drybag with good shoulder straps so it can be worn as a backpack. It is well-made from tough materials. Not only kayakers and canoeists will use this drybag, but also hikers and campers in a rainy climate. A brand-new CargoPak arrived from Advanced Elements for me at Christmas time. Wow! This drybag is fitted with decent shoulder straps, making it a rain-proof backpack as well as a kayaking drybag. The stitching is good and solid, with sealed seams. I've never had a drybag… Full review

World Famous 50' Throw Rope Bag

rated 4 of 5 stars This throw bag with floating rope is a good, affordable version of an essential piece of paddling safety gear. After seven years of use, the bag is faded from the sun but the rope is still in good shape. Guides will prefer a high-performance brand for hard use, but recreational paddlers will find this model adequate. Every paddler needs a throw bag of floating rope. This throw bag from World Famous is affordable enough to put one in every kayak, or two in every canoe or double kayak. It meets safety… Full review

Kokatat Orbit Tour

rated 4.5 of 5 stars This PFD is excellent for freedom of arm movement. It fits well over a paddle jacket. The straps can be adjusted to fit tighter when a paddler is wearing only a bathing suit. The Orbit is a very well-constructed PFD. I have used mine for seven years but all the straps and seams are still strong. The bright orange fabric has faded a little in sunshine and shows a few grubby marks. It looks like what it is: a tough PFD that has been worn hundreds of times on bright sunny days, in salt water and fresh,… Full review