What to Wear Kayaking.

What to Wear Kayaking.

What to Wear in a Kayak

What to Wear Kayaking. Personal Clothing/Equipment Requirements.

What to wear Kayaking is a necessary consideration, if you want to enjoy your time on the water.  Following are recommended options. All of the items listed fall into a category known as Personal Protective Equipment   (PPE).

Sun Protection.

There is often little shade or protection from the sun when paddling on Lakes and rivers.  So when considering what to wear kayaking protection from the sun should be a priority to ensure an enjoyable fun experience. We recommend the following :-

A man standing on a bridge dressed as a kayaker should be covered from head to toe.
Ready to go as protected as possible

Hat- Ideally should be broad brimmed

and wind resistant.

A good choice is a safari type of hat that covers neck area.

Sunglasses-  Should be attached with a strap.

Long Sleeved Shirt-Purchasing long sleeved collared shirt- old dress shirts from second-hand clothing shops will save you money.

Long pants or shorts that cover the knees- when sitting bent legged in a boat your knees and lower thighs are very exposed to overhead sunlight.

Sunscreen- Pay particular attention to face, neck, under chin, ears, backs of hands and knee/thigh area.


Kayakers should always wear shoes with sturdy grippy soles, toe protection, and a secure fastening system.Enclosed footwear can also assist with sun protection.

Keen sandals-Offer ventilation and drainage as well as toe protection.

Chaco Sandals- Maximum ventilation and sturdy soles. No sun or toe protection.

Old Runners– Good protection but foam absorbs water.

Dunlop Volleys- Cheap, low profile, grippy, good protection and no water absorbing foam.

High-end water shoes- Five, Ten, Teva, Sea to Summit, Ultimate in protection and performance but expensive and not that durable.

Rain Considerations.

Don’t forget rain is always a possibility when thinking about what to wear Kayaking. The shelter can be far away, depending on your journey’s length. Always carry a raincoat.

It is preferable to have a waterproof and breathable material like Gortex. Other options include paddling specific apparel such as dry tops.

Warmth considerations.

In cold conditions avoid apparel made from cotton. Cotton insulates using open air pockets in between the fibers. When cotton gets wet, these pockets fill with water, and the garment loses its insulating properties.

Fabrics such as wool, nylon, and polypropylene insulate with closed air pockets inside the fibers. Garments made from these materials will hold some of their insulating properties when wet.

There are also specialist water garments such as neoprene wetsuits and Gor-tex Drysuits.