What to Wear when you’re Kayaking [year]

When you’re kayaking you’re going to want to be properly outfitted. Even when you’re on calm waters, there’s always the chance you can roll or fall in. Your best choice is to wear clothes that are either waterproof or dry quickly – but what specifically?

Ideally you’ll need a full set of gear, tops, trousers, socks and accessories. We already have a guide on the Top 10 Water Shoes for Kayaking, which you can use to find your perfect fit.

For the rest though, I’ve done the hard work for you. Scoured the internet, collected the best pieces, and separated them into categories: whatever you’re looking for we can help you find. This is What to Wear when you’re Kayaking.

Best Kayaking Clothes – Reviews

Best Tops

1. Koofin Gear Performance Fishing Hoodie Shirt

Koofin Gear Hoodie Shirt

What’s Good?
  • UPF50 Sun Protection: Offering a high level of sun protection, while also remaining breathable means you won’t burn or overheat while wearing this.
  • Quick-Drying and Highly Breathable: Moisture-wicking fabric moves sweat away from the skin and dries quickly on the surface.
  • Extremely Comfortable: Four-way stretchable fabric means you’ll find a range of motion and comfort when wearing this hoodie shirt.
  • Spacious Hood: The hood is big enough to wear a cap underneath, meaning you can protect your face from the sun, while the hood protects your neck and ears.
What’s Bad?
  • Potentially Ill-Fitting: Some customers have had an issue with sizing, so make sure you check the sizing guide to get the right size for you.

This is a fantastic hoodie shirt that comes in a range of highly visible colours. Since it’s both breathable and quick-drying, it won’t matter how warm it is or how wet you get, because you’ll be cool and dry in no time.

The only issue is that some customers have found the fit hasn’t been 100% accurate. It’s always best to double-check the size guide and order the size that fits you best.

This is a fantastic offering by Koofin, and it’d be a mistake if you didn’t add this to your collection.

Shop This Product

2. TSLA Women’s Hoodie Zip Front

TSLA Women's Hoodie Zip Front

What’s Good?
  • Multiple Colours: You have a choice of 8 different colours including lavender, peach, and sky blue.
  • Avoid Getting Sunburnt: With a 50+ Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF), you can kayak at ease knowing parts of your body aren’t going to turn bright red.
  • Anti-Rash Fabric: Thanks to this TSLA’s high-density fabric (polyester and spandex), you’ll be protected from irritating rashes and abrasions which are common when kayaking.
What’s Bad?
  • No Size Chart: People have experienced problems getting the wrong size and this is likely down to the fact that there is no size chart. For this hoodie, it’s also best to get the size up.

Overall, the TSLA Women’s Hoodie is perfect if you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive zip-up hoodie because it will protect you from the sun, has great air circulation for keeping you cool, and is made out of durable, stretchy fabric which help you keep comfortable and looking good.

Shop This Product


Best Pants

1. Little Donkey Andy Men’s Cargo Pants

Little Donkey Andy Men's Cargo Pants

What’s Good?
  • UPF 50+ Protection: You won’t need to worry about sunburn when wearing these, with their UPF50+ Protection. Perfect for long days on the water.
  • Ripstop and Moisture-wicking Fabric: Scratch-resistant and durable, these cargo pants can withstand whatever rigorous activity you can throw at it. Plus they allow both sweat and water to evaporate quickly.
  • Water and Soil Resistance: The fabric is treated to repel both water and soil with ease. Ideal for keeping you clean and dry both to and on the water.
What’s Bad?
  • Inseam Length: The inseam length on these cargo pants is the same across sizes, meaning if you have long or short legs, these are unlikely to fit you properly.

Stylish and effective, these cargo pants are brilliant for long trips out on the water. You can comfortably spend all day without getting too hot or sunburnt. Their only failing is that there is no variety in leg length. It won’t matter if you order a small or extra-large, the leg is almost exactly the same length.

Shop This Product

2. MOCOLY Women’s Cargo Pants

MOCOLY Women's Cargo Pants

What’s Good?
  • Stretchy, strong, and sexy: These cute MOCOLY cargo pants are crafted with a 4-way stretchy fabric (polyester and elastane), are difficult to tear thanks to this design, and look the part too!
  • Protected from the Sun: The fabric these MOCOLY pants are made from are built to keep you safe from ultraviolet rays of 50+.
  • Take Necessities with You: These pants have what is known as YKK pockets. These pockets allow you to store large items such as your phone/keys. And guess what? It’s water-resistant so you don’t have to worry about getting anything wet.
What’s Bad?
  • Can be Tight-Fitting: Some people have found that these bottoms are very tight around the thighs and large at the waist, and have indicated that they’re best for slimmer girls.

Overall, these MOCOLY Women’s Cargo Pants are comfortable to wear for any type of outdoor sport (let alone kayaking). They tick all the boxes for being strong, stretchy, breathable and even UV-ray protective. The one problem is that they are not suitable for girls who are curvy. You can check out the sizes (and 14 different colour options) by clicking on the link below.

Shop This Product


Best Socks

1. RANDY SUN 100% Waterproof Socks

RANDY SUN 100% Waterproof Socks

What’s Good?
  • Comfortable and Waterproof Layers: Excellent protection from abrasions and blisters with 100% waterproof technology.
  • Included Sizing Chart: You have a choice of three different sizes (small, medium, large) and fortunately, there is a size chart you can use to get the perfect fit for you!
  • Lightweight and Long-Lasting: A lot of thought has been put into the material of these socks. With 6 different fabrics combined together, the RANDY SUN’S socks are excellent at absorbing moisture and are also very lightweight.
What’s Bad?
  • Potentially Too Tight: You may find these socks to be too tight at the top depending on how big your calf is as one person has complained about this in the past.

Walking around in wet and uncomfortable socks is any kayakers/hikers worst nightmare. These RANDY SUN’S socks are a brilliant solution to this problem. Not only will your feet stay 100% dry but you can also walk around in comfort without needing to bring the plasters.

Shop This Product

2. BUUJEY Waterproof Merino Wool Socks

BUUJEY Waterproof Merino Wool Socks

What’s Good?
  • Three-Layer Design: The three-layer design used in the production of this sock makes it completely windproof and waterproof. Perfect for any situation where your feet could get wet.
  • Lightweight but Warm: The merino wool used means that the Buujey socks are incredibly effective at keeping your feet warm, without weighing them down.
  • Anti-Slip: These wool socks effectively grip and shape themselves to your feet. The end result is socks that won’t slip and let you fall over.
What’s Bad?
  • Snug-Fit: The tight fit of these socks mean that they can feel a little constricting.

Perfect at what they were designed for, these socks will make sure your feet stay dry, as long as water doesn’t get in over the top. They will perform well at keeping you comfortable on your way to the water, and during your journey.

Shop This Product


Best Accessories

1. B BINMEFVN Bandana Face Cover

B BINMEFVN Bandana Face Cover

What’s Good?
  • Multifunctional: The bandana’s tubular design means you can tie it in different ways, turning into either a neck scarf, hat, ski mask or headband.
  • Moisture-Wicking: It doesn’t matter how you wear it, or what activity you do. The moisture-wicking of this bandana will keep sweat and moisture away from your face and dry in minutes.
  • Elastic Fabric: The fact that the fabric can stretch means that one size fits all.
What’s Bad?
  • Can Slip Down: Some users have found that the bandana can slip down the face to around the neck.

This is a fantastic product that offers a lot of versatility. It’s perfect for keeping yourself shaded on a hot day, and keeping you any sweat away from your eyes.

The elasticity is a great feature, but it isn’t perfect. If worn as a mask and not folded correctly, it can slide down the face leaving your face exposed.

Overall, it’s still a great product and considering its wallet-friendly price, it’s well worth picking one up.

Shop This Product

2. HULISLEM S1 Sport Polarized Sunglasses

HULISLEM S1 Sport Polarized Sunglasses

What’s Good?
  • Lightweight Polycarbonate Frame: This frame is so light, you’ll forget that you’re wearing them until you take them off.
  • UV 400 Mirror Flash Coating: Limiting the amount of light that gets into your eyes is a massive plus, especially when you’re on the water. Sunlight reflects off the surface and it can become blinding. Thankfully, these filter almost all of that out.
  • Stress Resistant: These durable frames are brilliant at handling whatever your adventures throw at them. Customers have reported they stay on even after rolling.
What’s Bad?
  • Frame can Arrive Off-Centre: The arms of the glasses aren’t perfectly equal, and one sits slightly above the other.

A brilliant pair of active, polarised sunglasses. They’ll handle whatever you can throw at them. The vision quality is crisp and clear, meaning you’ll be able to look through these glasses with ease. 

Their production quality isn’t the best, but then this is expected at such a budget-friendly price. 

At the very least, they’re good as eye shields to prevent any splash getting in your eyes.

Shop This Product

What should you look for when buying clothes for kayaking?

Think about what you need the clothes for. To protect you from the sun, and keep you dry. There isn’t a lot of shade out on the water, so this is something you definitely need to bear in mind.

You’re also very likely to at least get splashed, or even roll completely. Both of which will leave you soaked, so it’s best to wear some quick-drying clothes, so that you don’t stay wet for too long.

Whatever you choose to buy, make sure it’s right for you and what you need.

Happy Kayaking.