Gifts for kayakers

Gifts for Kayakers and Canoeists That May Just Save Lives

Choosing gifts for kayakers and canoeists isn’t quite as easy as you may think. There’s a lot of gear to be had, but much of it is super pricey or far too specific to be chosen by anyone but the user. On the other end of the spectrum there are a whole load of useless novelty items that won’t mean much to someone who gains so much from just being out on the water.

So to make buying the perfect present for the paddler in your life, we’ve put together a list of gifts for kayakers and canoeist that we think they’ll love, need, use and really appreciate. They’re also not so pricey that you’ll need to take out a bank loan to buy.

12 gifts for kayakers and canoeists

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SealLine Bulkhead View Dry Bag

SealLine Bulkhead View Dry Bag

There’s nothing worse than finishing a day on the river, looking (and feeling) like a drowned rat, only to find your ‘dry’ clothes are sodden. Packing gear in decent bags, that don’t leak, is essential. And no paddler can have too many dry bags in their life. Be a lifesaver and give the gift of dry clothing with this SealLine Bulkhead View Dry Bag. Not only can its satisfyingly dry contents be seen through the transparent panel, but the waterproof valve also allows all the air to be squeezed out, making the bag more compact and packable. Take that soggy clothing!

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Amazon | REI | Backcountry


NRS Paddle Wetshoes

NRS Paddle Wetshoes

The only things worse than cold hands on the river is cold feet. And although these ‘wet’ shoes won’t prevent your tootsies from getting a soaking, they’ll sure keep them warm. The Terraprene neoprene has heat-reflecting titanium adhesive which does an exceptional job at warming up the water inside the boots. They also have a side zip for easy entry and tough rubber outsoles that wrap up around the toe and heel for extra protection. Jump into a pair to make sure the only thing that causes cold feet on your next river trip is that death-defying line you’re considering!

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Amazon | REI | Backcountry


Take Me to the River Copper Mug

Take Me to the River Copper Mug

Featuring an etched canoe and paddle design, this 16oz mug is the ideal gift for paddlers who like a little campfire tipple at the end of a big day on the river. But because it’s crafted from 100% copper, it isn’t the sort of mug for sipping steamy hot coffee. Na-ah. This is for the cold, strong stuff only. Pair it with a bottle of homemade sloe gin for a thoughtful touch and you’ll have one very happy paddler on your hands.

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United By Blue


Salamander Retriever Kayak Rescue Throw Rope Bag & Tow Tether

Salamander Retriever Kayak Rescue Throw Rope Bag and Tow Tether

A rescue rope is an essential piece of safety gear for every paddler. So if the kayaker in your life doesn’t already have one, then this is THE best gift you could possible choose. Designed to be worn around the waist, the tough Cordura bag, which contains 60 feet of floating rope, can be quickly released and thrown out to carry out a rescue. Yes, it’s kind of a serious sort of gift, but it’s a must-have for anyone paddling on whitewater.

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Amazon


Aquapac Waterproof Phone Case

Aquapac Waterproof Phone Case

Staying in communication when out on the river or sea can be an absolute lifesaver should you get into trouble. And a water-damaged phone is no good for anyone. House it in this Aquapac Waterproof Phone Case, however, and you can confidently get help should the need arise. Touch-screens still function through the case, and you can hear normally too. Plus, there’s no need to miss out on action shots with the handy camera window on the backside. #kayakselfie

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Amazon


WRSI Current Kayak Helmet

WRSI Current Kayak Helmet

Another one to go on the list of serious gifts for kayakers is a helmet. Paddlers who like to take on fast moving water are at the mercy of the river and all that lurks, unseen, underwater. We need not dwell on the details, so get the head of your kayaking pal protected in this WRSI Current Kayak Helmet. Its multi-impact shell has an EVA foam liner and polyurethane sub-shell to effectively dissipate impact. Plus, there are handy drainage holes to keep water flowing freely through it. Add to that the fact that it is made by WRSI (Whitewater Research and Safety Institute) and this really is a no-brainer of a gift.

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Amazon | REI | Backcountry


Malone SeaWing Car Rack Kayak Carrier

Malone SeaWing Car Rack Kayak Carrier

There’s no denying it: a car rack kayak carrier is certainly one of the more utilitarian gifts for kayakers and canoeist on our list. However, the heartache it will save, compared with struggling to secure your craft onto a regular car rack, makes this easy to set up, low profile carrier worth its weight in gold. It comes with bow and stern lines and the rack flexes gently to cradle your boat. So avoid unnecessary boat transporting stress and get your kayak carrier on!

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Amazon


Sea to Summit Solution Gear Paddle Leash

Sea to Summit Solution Gear Paddle Leash

Losing a paddle on gnarly whitewater river runs is as bad as a swimmer losing an arm. And although leashing a paddle to oneself isn’t for everyone, using one will guarantee the avoidance of being the butt of all ‘up sh*t creek’ jokes for the rest of eternity! This Sea to Summit leash extends from 43 to 75 inches and stretches with movement so as not to interfere with paddle strokes. An excellent stocking filler for street-cred conscious kayakers.

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Amazon | REI


Sanborn Canoe Minnetonka Paddle

Sanborn Canoe Minnetonka Paddle

This beautifully crafted paddle is the perfect gift for paddlers who tend to spend more time dreaming of splashing around on the lake than actually getting out there! Hand-made in Minnesota, these made to order western red cedar, aspen, and dark walnut wood paddles certainly won’t look out of place on the wall of said dreamer. But when the time is right, and a canoeing outing is actually on the cards, the elegant shape of this Sanborn paddle blade has all the precision and efficiency needed for effortless gliding through still waters.

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United By Blue


NRS Pilot River Knife

NRS Pilot River Knife

Every serious paddler should own a river knife. Not only does it make them look even more badass than they already do, but it’s also a rather useful safety net that can save the day in sticky situations on the river. The Pilot River Knife has a 3 inch blade with both smooth and serrated edges. Plus, the glass-reinforced nylon sheath firmly locks the knife into place when not in use, and is released easily by squeezing both its sides. And of course it wouldn’t be an proper outdoor knife without the compulsory built-in bottle opener — you know, for all those emergency drinking sessions!

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Amazon | REI | Backcountry


Sea To Summit Paddle Glove

Sea to Summit Eclipse Paddling Gloves

These Sea to Summit Eclipse Paddling Gloves don’t do much in the way of keeping hands warm and dry. But with tough synthetic leather palms that are reinforced for greater durability in all the hardwearing places, they do a cracking job at preventing blisters. And no blisters means no off days! They also have a UPF rating of 50+ for sun protection, and the lightweight, supple fabric doesn’t detract from the feel of the paddle. Another great stocking filler.

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Amazon | REI | Backcountry


Chaco Z1 Classic Sandals

Chaco Z/1 Classic Sandals

If nothing from the above list of gifts for kayakers and canoeists floats your boat, then a pair of Chaco sandals is sure to please even the most fussy recipient. The Classic Chaco Sandal is the shoe of choice for paddlers far and wide, and for good reason. They’re incredibly comfortable, the polyester webbing dries super quickly and can be adjusted for a customised fit, and the Vibram rubber outsole provides excellent traction in all conditions. Choose from a huge range of colours and patterns that somehow make outdoor sandals actually look great. Style and function at its very best.

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Amazon | REI | Huckberry

About the author

author-joey

Joey Holmes is based in Cornwall, UK, and runs Cool of the Wild. She can’t get enough of being outdoors – whether that’s lounging around the campfire cooking up a feast, hitting the trail in her running shoes, or attempting to conquer the waves on her surfboard – she lives for it. Camping is what she loves to do the most, but has also spent many many hours clinging to the side of a rock face, cycling about the place, cruising the ski-slopes on her snowboard and hiking small mountains and big hills.

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