Kayaking is a deceptive hobby. Starting out, it seems like all you need is a good kayak and paddle. Once you delve deeper into the sport, you will find more equipment and accessories to enhance your paddling experience. If you have a husband, sister, or friend who is into kayaking, a heartwarming gift to give them is something related to their hobby. This also works if you are just looking for a gift for yourself! Here are the 10 best kayaking gifts you can get.
1. Dry Bag
We all have valuables we want to keep dry, and unfortunately, kayaking involves a lot of flips, waves, and splashes. Food and clothing are essential items that kayakers need to protect, and the best way to protect these are with a dry bag!
Three things to look for in a dry bag are storage space, material, and safety features. 10-liter dry bags work well for quick paddling trips, but multi-day trips might need around 30liter capacity. Vinyl dry bags are more durable, but nylon dry bags are lighter. Roll-down tops are crucial safety features to keep your equipment dry and protected.
2. Life jacket
Nothing shows you care more for a kayaker than buying the best life jacket you can find. Like car safety, kayaking safety is extremely important. Kayakers usually need a US Coast Guard Approved Type III or Type V life jacket. A good kayaking life jacket needs to give its wearer good mobility. Find one that fits well, is comfortable, and has large armholes for easy rowing. Having pockets are also handy for storing important items.
Life jackets can either be standard or inflatable. The former is packed with foam while the latter with CO2. Standard jackets are low-maintenance and warm, while inflatable jackets need more care, are cooler, and are more comfortable.
3. Hydration Pack
It can be hard to catch a break to drink when you have both of your hands on the paddle. A hydration pack will help keep a kayaker hydrated! When choosing a hydration pack, these factors are essential: durability, size, maintenance, and ease of use.
Hydration packs usually last around six months to a year, but high-quality hydration packs can go beyond this. A 3-liter hydration pack should also work well for a day of kayaking. There are two kinds of mouthpieces: the bite and push-cap types. Both types have their up and downsides, so choose the one you prefer!
4. Polarized Sunglasses
Kayaking can be pretty harsh on the eyes. The glare from the water and clouds causes a blinding effect and decreases your performance and enjoyment. One way to reduce the strain on your eyes is using polarized sunglasses! Brown or amber glasses work best for water activities such as fishing and kayaking. Glass lenses have the best performance but are the most expensive and heavier. Make sure to include a head strap! Polarized sunglasses make ideal gifts for kayak fishermen.
5. Kayak Float
Kayak floats are safety equipment to ensure that your kayak remains above water and displaces any water that fills it. Rescuing a kayak that’s barely above water can be a dangerous endeavor, so kayak floats are there to make it easier and safer. It is important to be always safe whether you are working out at home or sweating on a kayak! These floats work by attaching them to the fore and aft parts of the kayak. Sometimes you can find float bags that also double as dry bags!
6. Deck Bag
You can’t have too much space on a kayak. Sometimes packing light isn’t enough, so any way to expand your storage is a boon. Deck bags help by giving you a quick way to store and access your gear! It can also help balance your kayak in a pinch, loading weight on either the front or back. Make sure that the deck bag you choose is waterproof. PVC or nylon makes for the most durable material. A good deck bag is one that you can easily attach to your kayak!
7. Kayak night light
If you ever get stuck paddling late or decide to try out a night trip on your favorite lake, kayak lights for night paddling will be your best friend. The United States Coast Guard even made a kayak night light mandatory. A kayaker should have either an electric torch or a white light lantern.
A route can look completely different at night, so having a light can save your life. A flag and light combo kit use a lit flag while deck lights have the bow and stern glowing up. You could also use a portable handheld light.
8. Kayak Seat
You will spend most of your time sitting down while kayaking, so having a comfortable seat will do wonders. The time you spend sitting down makes a kayak seat one of the must-have kayak accessories. Usually, kayak seats with a higher backrest are better. Some kayak seats also prioritize lumbar support. For the exterior fabric, neoprene is more durable, but polyester is more water-resistant. EVA foam is lightweight and durable, while the molded foam is cheaper and more firm for padding.
9. Floating Cooler
Sometimes, the storage on your kayak is not enough. Attaching another smaller floating boat is one of the great kayak cooler ideas! It is also less hassle to take out drinks than having to remove a separate cooler from your storage. Floating coolers make drinks more accessible to you and other kayakers with you.
A large and heavy floating cooler can slow you down, but it can also carry more drinks for longer treks. Some coolers are inflatable and can be collapsed when not in use but are less durable. Other coolers are watertight and are good for dry storage.
Kayaking is a perfect time to spot wildlife and enjoy the nature around you. Having a pair of binoculars is helpful to see creatures like birds with a closer view! Binoculars, unfortunately, can be bulky and cumbersome to bring on a paddling trip. A monocular is much more convenient! Monoculars are lighter, cheaper, and easier to use with one hand. Make sure to find one that is waterproof.
You will never run out of heartwarming gifts to give to a loved one passionate about kayaking. From safety to convenience, there is equipment out there to enhance the paddling experience. So keep these in mind the next time you look for great gifts for kayakers.