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

NRS Bandit I

rated 4 of 5 stars Bought it after a friend let me use his Duckie, but it was a totally different type of boat. The Bandit is small and maneuverable and a lot of fun. I purchased this inflatable used from an outfitter. Got it at about half the price of a new one. I then had thigh straps and foot braces installed. Ran the Upper Pigeon from the powerhouse input down to the SMO takeout about 200 times at levels from low water to about 4,000 FPS. I ended up swimming a couple of times. The first time I did it I sat for… Full review

Outdoor Research HydroLite Pack Sacks

rated 3 of 5 stars The Outdoor Research stuff sack is a compact and lightweight insurance bag against weather in moist or wet conditions. OR does a fine job of considering the finer details of functionality in this well rounded tote. The waterproofing tends to separate from the material especially at the seams. The Hydrolite pack sack is a water resistant bag as opposed to a waterproof bag. It is not meant to withstand full or partial water submersion like a dry bag. The bag does keep things dry if left out in the… Full review

Werner Ikelos

rated 5 of 5 stars It's my go-to paddle when I paddle rough water and in surf conditions. The big blade doesn't slip when you crank on it, and it's super-light. The Ikelos is one of my favorite kayak paddles. The weight might make you think it's a potato chip, but I use it for tough conditions and it has held up great. The ferrule system is the best one in the kayak paddle market, period. It's almost like it becomes a one-piece, the lock is so positive. The only downsides? It's a very big blade, so it'll kill your… Full review

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Pods

rated 5 of 5 stars Want to have the best organized pack, ability to unpack fast, pack fast in any weather condition, then these pods are for you. Organization is so good that I only have four items in my bag. Crazy eh? Ease of Use: After time, you will figure out what works in each pod.  For my large pod, I have my pillow, liner, bag, pad, sleeping clothes and spare clothes. The smaller pod holds all my other loose gear, but I also have my spare socks and fleece in this pod. Features: Waterproof material with tapered… Full review

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Angler

rated 2 of 5 stars The most important issue being the watertight storage, it's sadly not water tight and leaks like a sieve. Mine was purchased at Up & Under, UK, and manufactured under license by Palm Europe International. It was returned twice because of the bad leak and a full refund issued. No replacement offered as there is a mould (mold) issue and the 120 will always leak. If it was not for the leak it would have scored highly, but a boat that leaks is not much use. Full review

Coleman Expedition 146 dlx

rated 3.5 of 5 stars This is your utility workhorse canoe... It's not going to win any races, and it certainly won't portage well, but you'd be hard-pressed to find another canoe that will tolerate as much abuse as this one. This review is for the Coleman Expedition 146 dlx, also branded as the Pelican Excursion 146 dlx. Pelican acquired Coleman's canoe division in 2000 and continued making RAM-X plastic hull canoes to Coleman's specifications. Some canoes were branded Coleman, and some were branded Pelican. They eventually… Full review

Eureka! Terra Cotta Canoe Barrel

rated 5 of 5 stars Gear barrel, barrel pack, canoe barrel * NOT A BEAR-PROOF BARREL * This is a 64L food-grade (HDPE) "total-opening" cylindrical plastic drum with screw-on gasketted lid. Manufactured by CURTEC, and originally used for transporting pharmaceuticals. When they are retired, EUREKA! takes these barrels, cleans them, and gives them a second life as a canoeist's gear barrel. The size and weight of gear barrels make them less than ideal for long-distance backpacking on dry land. But being waterproof gives… Full review