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

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
NRS Men's H2Core Silkweight Hoodie

A super comfortable, sunproof, and fast-drying hoodie that works as well as for home, hut, and camp lounging as on the river. On our May 2018 raft trip through Cataract Canyon, most of the guides and some of the repeat clients wore these hoodies all day out on the river, often with the hood up as full protection from the relentless Utah sun. My wife and I ordered a pair after getting back to Tucson and haven’t been out on a river since. But right now these shirts are on closeout at NRS for a nice… Full review

rated 1.5 of 5 stars
LifeProof FRĒ Series Waterproof Phone Case

When new, the case offers admirable protection. Unfortunately, the case suffers from premature wear and allows debris/dust to collect between the screen and screen protector. I purchased this case at clearance for about $50 for my iPhone6+ around the time the iPhone 7 was released after previously using a LifeProof NÜD case with the same phone. The Nud did not adequately prevent bending of the phone resulting in "touch disease" (search it) and also blocked touch access to the edges of the screen. Full review

rated 3 of 5 stars
LifeProof FRĒ Series Waterproof Phone Case

This slim profile case protected my phone admirably, the waterproofing especially held up well, even while kayaking. Regrettably, after one year the case "bowed" and the control buttons for volume, on/off and Bixby no longer work as they don't match up with the phone's buttons. For this reason, I don't recommend buying this case. For the first year I've owned this case, it's performed admirably for my activities: daily work commute, hiking and kayaking. And the sound quality for the speaker and… Full review

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
L.L.Bean Manatee 12 Deluxe Angler

I purchased this kayak mainly for duck hunting. I bought the 12' version as I am 6'3" tall and over 250 lbs. This kayak is easy to paddle, carries me in full winter clothes plus decoys and gear. I have had it out on the Delaware River in strong crosswinds and had no issues paddling it through the waves. It’s a comfortable kayak that I can sit in for hours duck hunting. I mainly bought this kayak for duck hunting three years ago. I have used it for fishing and for pleasure paddling too. My two… Full review

rated 5 of 5 stars
Astral Layla

This is a woman's life jacket (PFD) that is comfortable and well-designed. Front offset zipper means over-the-head entry and then zip up on the right side. Waist-belt and two side straps per side and shoulder straps all adjust for a secure fit. I bought this lifejacket in December 2018 and have been using it for kayaking and canoeing all the 2019 paddling season, May through September. I love the fit. It has seven adjustment points (waist belt, 2 side straps per side, 2 shoulder straps) and doesn't… Full review

rated 5 of 5 stars
Sea to Summit Big River Dry Sack

Quality bag and durable without too much weight. Just back from an 11-day trip into the Tundra North of Brooks Range, Alaska, and with rain days of 9 out of 11 these bags worked great. I used two 35L bags for my clothes and food and even the tents were soaked inside and we used a pan to bail them out every day; my stuff stayed dry. This size was perfect for the fly in a floatplane and even fit into the floatplane's floats. Not all gear impresses me, but these did their job well. They maybe even… Full review

rated 5 of 5 stars
Exped Cloudburst 25

A lightweight, completely waterproof summit and day pack that can ride in a bigger pack for doing side trips on longer hikes, doubles as a dry bag in the pack. Attention to details make it comfortable and highly functional. My wife has a habit of conveniently forgetting critical items so that she can replace them with something newer and better. For five years or so we both have been using the minimalist Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Day Packs for side trips on longer backpacking trips. On the first stopover… Full review