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What To Wear Kayaking – Safe Kayaking Adventure

Outfit for kayaking

If you are planning to embark on a kayaking adventure soon, there is important info to get acquainted with before you do so. The most important is how to dress properly to stay comfortable and safe during the entire journey.

Kayaking isn’t just a fun activity that you can do whenever you feel like it and no matter what you’re wearing at the moment. You need to consider different factors before you get out on the water, including the weather, and dress appropriately.

Making sure there is versatility, durability, and comfort while you’re on the move is very important. That is why we provide you with excellent ideas on what to wear kayaking that will help you stay safe and comfortable at all times. No matter if the weather is hot or cold, you’ll be ready to tackle your next big kayaking adventure like a pro! Let’s dive right into it.

Kayaking in Cold Weather – What To Wear

Kayaking in Cold Weather


We’ll begin with a guide on what you should wear when kayaking in cold weather. Knowing exactly how to dress when kayaking in cold weather is very important because there is always a risk that you might fall into the water. If that happens and the water is super cold, you don’t want to freeze in your bikini or a T-shirt. That is why we recommend wearing the following clothing items when kayaking in cold conditions:

1. Layers

Layering is ideal for kayaking in any weather condition. If it gets too hot, you can remove a piece of clothing and make yourself more comfortable. On the other hand, if it’s cold, you’ll have enough layers that you won’t have to worry about being cold.

You should start with a base layer, which is swimwear. It would be much easier to remove other clothing later without having to find a private area if you’re wearing swimwear instead of underwear. Then, for the middle layer, you should choose an appropriate wetsuit.

Wetsuits are excellent for kayaking for more reasons than one, but the fact that they are water-repellent helps a lot during this journey, especially if you end up going into the water. As for the last layer, you won’t always need one. However, if it’s windy and cold outside, you may want to consider getting a windproof jacket or vest.

2. Drysuit

You’re probably wondering why you would need a drysuit if you already have a wetsuit. The thing is, these two aren’t entirely the same, which is why you should make a decision. You don’t have to wear both but choose which of these two suits your needs better. Drysuits are designed to stay dry at all times, unlike wetsuits which are typically water-repellent, but not completely waterproof.

If you’re planning on kayaking in extremely cold conditions where the chance of you falling into ice-cold water can be life-threatening, going for a drysuit would be a safer option. These suits are also made to be worn with multiple other layers of clothing.

3. Shoes

black shoes


When it comes to what shoes you should wear when kayaking, the answer is—waterproof. Firstly, you should get a pair of moisture-wicking socks. These socks are great because they dry quite quickly and help you keep your feet fresh and dry for longer. Then, getting a pair of hydrophobic footwear is recommended. This will be a great addition to keeping your feet dry at all times and safe from the icy water you may find yourself in.

4. Splash Skirt

The last thing you should make sure you have before kayaking in cold weather is a splash/spray skirt. If you aren’t familiar with what this is, don’t worry. We’re here to explain exactly what it is and how it works.

Splash skirts aren’t actual skirts that you wear—they are covers that you attach to the cockpit of your kayak. They are an excellent help when it comes to keeping the warmth inside, as well as rain and splashes. You can find them online and order one to have around whenever you’re planning on going kayaking in cold weather. It can be very helpful and convenient in a variety of situations and conditions, so you can’t go wrong with bringing one.

Kayaking in Hot Weather—What To Wear


Now that you know what to wear when kayaking in cold weather, it’s time to learn what to wear kayaking during the summer. The clothing will differ since you won’t have to worry about protecting yourself from freezing cold, but you will have to stay protected from the sun and some other factors. Check out the list below to see what you should wear kayaking in hot weather:

1. UPF Top

The most important factor to consider if you’re kayaking during the summer is the sun and how harmful its rays can be. That is why you need to make sure that you are as protected as you can possibly be out in the open water. UPF clothing is one of the best ways to make sure you’re safe when it’s extremely hot and sunny outside.

Since you don’t want to be too hot while kayaking, wearing a jacket or another heavy piece of clothing is a no. However, finding a UPF top is a perfect option. These tops boast UPF-rated sun protection, but that’s not all.

You can find one that is made with quick-drying fabrics and a cooling technology that will make spending time kayaking a real blast. You will both look good and feel comfortable, which is a big plus if you plan on going on a kayaking date with a special someone.

2. Shorts

For the bottoms, you should go with a pair of quick-drying shorts. Layering is also a good call when it comes to kayaking in hot weather since you can remove a piece of clothing if you get too hot. So, wearing a bikini, a UPF top, and quick-drying shorts will be great. You can take off your clothes if you want to go for a swim, and then put them back on once you come back to your boat.

You should also consider what shoes you wear. However, wearing your regular shoes isn’t advised here. You should go for a pair of water shoes which will allow you to move through the water quite comfortably but also protect your feet from any sharp rocks and other objects, as well as slippery surfaces.

3. PFD

PFD gear

The most important thing during kayaking in any weather is staying safe. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to hear about a case of drowning during kayaking. That is why you must wear a Personal Flotation Device (PDF). This will help you stay afloat in cases of accidentally falling into the water and encountering other sudden and bad scenarios, but that’s not all.

It will also give you a piece of mind, especially if you’re planning on kayaking with your friends or family. Make sure they all have their own PFDs so that you can have a fun time without worrying about anything bad happening.

4. Hat

We already mentioned how harmful the sun and its UV rays can be. That’s why you should make sure you’re additionally protected by wearing a hat. You can put on any hat that you want, there doesn’t have to be one made especially for kayaking.

Just make sure that it fits nicely so that it doesn’t fly away unexpectedly. It’s important to keep your head protected from the heat if you don’t want to risk having a sunstroke and cutting your exciting adventure short due to all the dizziness and fatigue.

5. Sunglasses

You should find a nice pair of polarized sunglasses to go with the rest of your outfit. Although they will protect your eyes from the sun and help you see better, there’s more to wearing them than just that. The glare from the water can often be blinding, and wearing sunglasses can help you deal with this issue. You should, however, make sure that they have a strap that will keep them close and not sink down into the water and get lost at sea.

6. Sun Protection Cream

Lastly, you need to remember to put sun protection cream on when going kayaking during high heat. SPF is a very important thing to remember and you shouldn’t take it lightly. UV rays, as we mentioned before, are very harmful whenever you’re out during the summer, not only when kayaking. But, considering the amount of time you will spend out in the sun when you’re kayaking, putting a sun protection cream on is crucial.

You can get sunburns that are extremely painful and take a long time to heal, so you should be very careful. Make sure to get a cream or lotion that is high in SPF, preferably SPF 50. That way, you won’t have to reapply it all the time, and you can spend longer kayaking and not worry about putting on cream.

Important Kayaking Tips To Remember


Knowing what to wear when kayaking is only one part of the equation. If you want to have the best experience without experiencing any issues, you should have a few useful tips and tricks in your arsenal. We provide you with useful advice to remember when going kayaking in the list below—check it out:

  • Always bring a dry bag that you can use to store your valuables, such as your phone, wallet, camera, and similar
  • Bring a spare set of dry clothes that you can use in case your first set of clothes gets wet by accident. You never know what’s going to happen when going on these adventures, so it’s important to be prepared and ready for anything
  • Make sure you never wear cotton or use cotton bags and similar when kayaking. Cotton is a great material and wearing it is usually a pretty good idea, but it also absorbs water and can make kayaking quite difficult. If you don’t want to be cold and wet, stay away from cotton when kayaking
  • When it comes to your clothes and bag, going for the ones with corrosion-resistant zippers or fasteners would be a great idea due to the water
  • If you plan on going kayaking on a windy day, bringing a pair of paddling gloves can be super useful. You won’t have to struggle with your paddles slipping out of your hands all the time and you’ll have much better control over your boat
  • Another useful tip for kayaking when it’s windy is to use lip balm. If you don’t want chappy lips, using chapstick or lip balm to protect them from wind is a must

Once you get acquainted with every piece of advice we provided, you’ll have no issues kayaking like a true professional. If it’s your first time going on a kayaking adventure, you’ll want to pay special attention to everything we said and make sure you understand why wearing a PFD and SPF is essential for this adventure. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so make sure you’re well-prepared for your journey.


Kayaking, although super fun and enjoyable, is not without risks. That is why you need to be ready to deal with every potential issue that could occur, so learning as much as possible before embarking on this journey is very important. By gathering all this important info, you’ll know exactly how to tackle any issue that arises like a professional.

Luckily, you don’t have to spend days trying to find information on your own. We made sure you have a summarized and user-friendly guide at your fingertips! All you need to do is follow the guide we provided, and you’ll be ready for your journey in the blink of an eye.

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