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

Sea to Summit eVent Compression Dry Sack

rated 4 of 5 stars A rare combination of dry sack and compression sack in one affordable package. The Sea to Summit eVent compression sack has held up in a variety of conditions without breaking a sweat. The eVent dry compression sack is a great combination of dry bag and compression sack products. This allows any outdoor enthusiast to cut back on the gear they are taking into the wild. This product is as straightforward as it gets and is easy to use. I got a large and it easily fits a 40-degree synthetic sleeping… Full review

Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 Ultralite

rated 3 of 5 stars Nice lightweight kayak. Roomy large cockpit. Defect in manufacturing, screws at handles cause cracking and eventual breakage of material. At first I loved this kayak, but after just a few uses, I noticed the handles starting to crack around the screw. This was under warranty, I've been waiting for over three months for a replacement with no delivery date yet to be seen. Now I have a hole in my kayak and can not use it. The material is very flimsy. If you fall out of the kayak and try to climb back… Full review

Alpacka Raft Mule

rated 4.5 of 5 stars This pack raft has been a game changer in the types of trips that I am able to do. I've owned the raft for six months and it is now a key part of my gear. I haven't taken it through any rapids yet — mostly calm waters on lakes and rivers within Southern Ontario — so my review is limited to those uses. It is very light (a bit over 5 lbs), and impressively strong. I am taller (6'2"), and usually carry a lot of gear so the Mule's larger specifications were perfect for me. Like most of my gear,… Full review


rated 5 of 5 stars I use this kayak five days a week all summer long. I can't say enough good things about this boat! Sturdy, durable, comfortable, light, easy inflation, and on and on. I will admit it is on the expensive side, but I guarantee you are buying a kayak that will probably still be in good working order long after you have passed on. Full review

NRS PackRaft

rated 3.5 of 5 stars Excellent product for getting into packrafting. Durable, easy to inflate, fine for short paddle trips away from roads. Too bulky to carry on a long backpacking trip. I'd been wanting to try packrafting, so when I found the NRS Packraft on clearance at REI, I picked it up. I'd been reading reviews of the Alpacka Rafts, and this product is heavier, bulkier, and less evolved than those top-of-the-line packrafts.   But the NRS raft is much cheaper (especially on sale), was available locally, and lets… Full review

Dagger Caper T

rated 5 of 5 stars Now discontinued for some time, this was Dagger's original whitewater Royalex boat. If you are able to locate a used one, I would encourage you to purchase this fine piece of a legendary canoe maker's history and use it! I've owned my Dagger Caper for over ten years now and couldn't be happier with it. I am not an expert paddler and have only used this boat on up to Class III+ whitewater. I frequently paddle this boat on mild whitewater and it is a joy. I paddle mainly on the Hiwassee River, Nantahala… Full review

Nigel Dennis Kayaks Romany Surf

rated 5 of 5 stars Great handling, 16 ft. sea kayak for surfing and couple of day trips. The volume of this kayak fits larger people best. I am 6'4" and 210 lbs. It is extremely hard to be comfortable in a pure sea kayak for a large, tall person. Think about those eskimo skin on frame kayaks. There is no way a person of my size would fit.  This kayak is pretty high up there in the performance range, still be a good fit for me and not compromise on performance. Hardest part is finding a kayak that my feet fit into… Full review