what to wear kayaking in summer

What To Wear Kayaking In Summer – Essential Clothing Guide For 2023

Summertime is the perfect time to get out and enjoy all that nature has to offer, and there’s no better way to do that than by kayaking. But what should you wear when kayaking in summer? Before you head out on your next adventure, you need to make sure you’re properly dressed for the occasion.

Maybe shorts or a bikini are perfect for summer kayaking. Yeah, this clothing is comfortable for walking in bitch in a hot summer morning, but it is not protective for your skin in sunburn. Also, if you won’t want to feel like a soggy sponge throughout the day wear full sleeve cotton shirt and cotton shorts.

No one can’t avoid getting soaked in water while kayaking. Water splashes from the paddle continuously, and somehow water finds out its way into the kayak.

Let’s see how we can deal with kayaking in the hot summer.

How To Decide What To Wear Kayaking

You should keep these points in mind while deciding what to wear when kayaking, no matter what season it is:

  • If you’re going to be kayaking in cold water, you should dress accordingly.
  • Don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun by dressing appropriately.
  • Look for fabrics that dry quickly.
  • Get dressed in something that allows you to move about comfortably.

How to Dress for Kayaking

It’s not a daunting task to find out what to wear during kayaking. Just ensure that you are following the tips we are showing here.

  • Don’t select clothes according to the weather and temperature of the air. Try to choose a dress for the temperature of the water.
  • Now, additionally, we can wear something to protect our skin from sunburn.
  • Quick-drying fabrics are the best choice for kayaking.
  • For paddling, you need to move your body freely, so freedom of movement is important from the clothes.
  • The type of paddling is also another important thing you should know before selecting.
  • Type of kayak you will be using. Sit-in or sit-on-top kayaks both have needed different clothing.

What to wear kayaking in summer

What to wear kayaking in summer

In the summer, select your clothing carefully. You may think the water is warm, but typically water temperature always stays under 20 degrees Celsius. So, it’s not about water temperature. It’s about the perspiration you have during paddling under the sun, for which you may feel warm. Let’s see what you should wear during kayaking.

Synthetic Layers

Wearing a thin layer of synthetic fabrics will keep you warm and dry. Because synthetic fabrics don’t hang out with our bodies like cotton when we have perspiration, for the bottom part of your body, try to wear moisture-wicking and insulating clothing.


You may think that in warm weather, trouser and long sleeves are nothing but a joke. But believe me, they will effectively protect you from sunburn and overheating. Try to choose clothes having UV resistant, fast-drying, and well-vented. So, the keynotes are you’ll need to keep yourself cool, dry, and protected from sunburn.

Bathing Suit

Bathing suits have a great prospect for kayaking. They are suitable for getting soaked and provide the warmness that the kayaker needs. Shorts and quick-drying shirts are also great choices with a bathing suit.

Quick Drying shorts

For the bottom of your body, quick-drying shorts are essential. We have already told about bathing suits here, but those are for boys, for broad women shorts, running shorts or anything synthetic that dries quickly will be suitable for a bathing suit.

RELATED: What To Wear Kayaking Women

Water Shoes

If you are riding a sit-on-top kayak, there is a huge chance to get soaked your shoes in water. That’s why a water shoe or sandal works great on kayaking. Also, for sit-in kayaking what shoes to wear kayaking is a common question. For any kayaking, you should select a water scandal. Your feet will get the adequate amount of air they needed in the water and also it will help you to avoid sudden cuts off your feet from the foot braces in a kayak. 

Sunglasses, A hat, and gloves

We are always told that a hat or cap protects our heads from the direct heat of the sun. It’s true. You can’t deny the little bit of kayak sunshade they give doesn’t help at all. But the problem is during kayaking, your hat can fly fishing kayak quite quickly because of the wind. So, it would be better if you could tie the hat up with your head, or you could use a hat lash or strap to attach it to the rest of your clothes.

Sunglasses are for both the bright sunny light of the sun and protect your eyes from sudden splashes of water. Some people have disgusting perspiration on their palms. So, during paddling, they feel a bit uncomfortable gripping the paddle. Gloves are a great option to prevent this problem.

Wetsuit or Drysuit

The wetsuit is one piece of clothing that offers thermal protection to your body when you are out on the water. Most of the divers use the wetsuit because the suit produces its own heat and is left to its own devices to keep you warm. Mostly, it has designed to keep the heat of your body underwater.

A dry suit has been made to keep you completely dry. Drysuits use materials like vulcanized rubber, foam neoprene, heavy-duty nylon, and crushed neoprene. The insulated foam helps keep you dry from water.

 Both wetsuits and dry suits are popular for kayaking. For wearing a dry suit, you need to wear a base layer of long underwear and an optimal layer of fleece. A wetsuit can be worn directly on the skin. For summer, a wet suit sounds suitable, but it depends entirely on the temperature of the water. The wet suit provides thin protection, so you may feel the coolness of water quite directly on your skin. But you won’t get wet.

In contrast, dry suits have different layers and a thick protection layer. It seems okay for kayaking, so a dry suit looks like an excellent option for what to wear for kayaking in cold weather. 

Life jacket (no inflatable life jacket)

Comfortable PFDs (life jackets) are the second most critical item. When kayaking, it’s almost certain that you’ll find yourself in the water at some point. When loading or unloading the kayak, even if you don’t flip the kayak, you may tumble out of the kayak or fall into the water.

Wearing an inflatable life jacket when kayaking should only be done when the water is calm and there is absolutely no risk of needing a PFD. Suspender or Belt inflatable PFDs make sense in this situation since they are low-profile and pleasant to wear. If you have a PFD, you’ll be insured in the event of an accident. Auto-inflating PFDs are not recommended for use when kayaking. A fresh CO2 cartridge must be used every time the air gun is re-armed since there are just too many simple ways to forget and inflate it.

Our recommended life jacket:

Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest

Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest

Spray top

It’s a good idea to wear a spray shirt on colder summer days when the weather is windy and the waves are crashing. An uninsulated spray top is a thin shell jacket that has an airtight closure at the neck and waist. They’re excellent at protecting against wind and rain. ‘ As long as the rain jacket isn’t so loose that water may readily seep up your back, it’s OK to use a generic raincoat.


The only purpose of your footwear is to keep your toes and heels safe from injury. However, most individuals choose to swim in their old tennis shoes since they don’t smell bad and make it difficult to move about.

Our recommendation is a sandal with a backstrap similar to a hiking sandal if you don’t have or don’t want to invest in specialized Neoprene Paddling Booties These are also quick-drying, so your feet won’t be bothered by them. If you slip, flip-flops will be impossible to wear.

What you should avoid wearing while kayaking

Here we’ll suggest you avoid wearing some clothing for kayaking. This clothing isn’t suitable for water, perspiration, and free movement. Let’s find them.

Cotton pants

Cotton is good at holding moisture and preparations. So, if you wear cotton pants like guarding and jeans, it means the pant will stay soaked all day long. We do not doubt that cotton pants and tops are great for comfort but huge among perspiration, they are not good at all.

Avoid Wearing Bulky Tops

Don’t wear thick and bulky clothing. Kayaking is all about hard work and continuous paddling. It becomes more challenging for a person who has worn a bulky top or coat because he/ she must put on a life jacket which makes the shape even more cumbersome.

Thermal Hat

The thermal hat is especially for swimmers and divers. Because they stay in the water for quite a bit of time. A sufficient amount of heat goes through the head. So, we lose our warmth. But in summer, you need to keep your body cool.

How to stay safe while kayaking in summer

How to stay safe while kayaking in summer
  1. Check the weather conditions before heading out
  2. Make sure you are aware of your surroundings and know how to read the water
  3. Use the proper safety gear, including a life jacket
  4. Don’t kayak alone
  5. Follow the rule of thumb: If in doubt, get out
  6. Be prepared to capsize and know how to get back in your kayak
  7. Be cautious of obstacles in the water and take extra care when paddling near them
  8. Be aware of the risks of hypothermia and take steps to avoid it
  9. Keep an eye out for wildlife while kayaking

Additional Things You Should Bring for Kayaking

Clothing isn’t the only thing you should be careful about during kayaking. There are also a few things you shouldn’t forget before going kayaking. Let’s see what those additional things you should bring with you are.


Yeah, water is the first thing you should bring with you. There is a guideline from the University of Michigan State about drinking water when kayaking with a baby. If you are kayaking for two hours, you must drink 7–10 oz of water every 10–20 minutes.

Multitool Box

We have learned from the elders and our school how important it is to carry a multitool box with you. We never know when there will be a need to cut loose rope or tighten any screw-in emergency.


You’ll surely starve even if you kayak for 2 hours. Also, it would help if you had the energy to move the kayak every second. So just like water, a couple of fruits and good healthy snacks will make the journey perfect.


I go to Colorado for kayaking then the question that will come first is what to wear kayaking in Colorado. But another important thing must wear for kayaking in Colorado is a whistle. Having a whistle attached to your PFD always works as a lifesaver.


A good set of polarized sunglasses will help protect your eyes from being damaged by the sun. If you actually like your sunglasses, a strap may be a good idea to keep them attached to you. Like everything else that goes out on a kayak, they’re easily knocked off your head into the water. The costlier the sunglasses, the better it seems for them to finish up at the rock bottom of the lake.


Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Water Resistan

Even if it’s cloudy, you’ll be able to still get sunburned out on a kayak. The water reflects the daylight back at you, providing you with another chance to induce burnt. The Yankee Academy of medical specialties recommends the following:

  • Broad-spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays)
  • SPF thirty or higher
  • Water resistance

Pocket knife or multitool

It’s a decent plan to own a knife or multitool hooked up to your PFD or life preserver. you simply ne’er very understand once you’ll have to be compelled to cut one thing loose or ought to tighten a fitting on your kayak. Having the correct tool will mean the distinction between each day curb and a full day on the water.

The importance of choosing the right clothing

  1. The right clothing can make a huge difference in how you look and feel.
  2. It can also affect how others perceive you.
  3. Choosing the right clothing can help you be more confident and comfortable in any situation.
  4. It is important to take the time to find clothing that fits well and makes you feel good.
  5. You will be happier and more successful if you feel good in what you are wearing.

Best Clothing for Kayaking and Canoeing

How to Prepare for Temperature Swings?

If you’re planning a kayaking vacation this summer, be aware that the temperature might fluctuate a lot from day to day. During the day in the highlands, temperatures may soar into the 90s, but at night they can drop as low as the 40s.

Preparation for extreme temperature changes is critical no matter where you want to paddle throughout the summer. Take a paddle at dawn or sunset, for example. The change in temperature is likely to be dramatic merely during the time you’re out on the lake.
As a result of these temperature variations, you will need to pack additional clothing on your kayak in order to be prepared and comfortable. Kayak deck bags are a great way to keep your extra layers dry while out on the water.

Packing your kayak for a long-term camping trip means you’ll need a deck bag to keep all of your cooking and sleeping supplies secure from the sun and rain.
When it comes to summer paddles, we usually pack a lightweight down jacket or windbreaker, even if it’s in the 90s outside.

Bring at least one full pair of dry clothing in case you capsize and need to change into something warm and dry again if you’re going on a longer excursion.

What clothing to wear for winter and summer kayaking


1. What cloth should I wear for kayaking?

 – It’s not a daunting task to find out what to wear during kayaking. Just ensure that you are following the tips we are showing here. Don’t select cloth according to the weather and temperature of the air. Try to choose a dress for the temperature of the water. Now additionally, we can wear something for protecting our skin from sunburn. Quick-drying fabrics are the best choice for kayaking.

2. What kind of shoes do you wear kayaking? 

– If you are riding a sit-on-top kayak there is a huge chance to get soaked your shoes in water. That’s why a water shoe or sandal works great on kayaking. Also, for sit-in kayaking what shoes to wear kayaking is a common question. For any kayaking, you should select a water scandal.

3. Do I Need A Life Jacket?

Yes, to put it succinctly. If you’re in a sit-on-top, a sit-inside, or a canoe, you should always wear a life jacket.
However, they are available in a variety of forms for varied sports, including paddling-specific versions. Life jackets specifically intended for kayak fishing are also available.

What type of kayak is best for summer use?

A sit-on-top kayak is a good option for summer use as it is easy to get in and out of and can be used in a variety of water conditions.

What are some good summer kayaking destinations?

Some good summer kayaking destinations include lakes, rivers, and the ocean.

What are some things to consider when packing for a summer kayaking trip?

When packing for a summer kayaking trip, you will want to consider what type of clothing to pack, as well as sunscreen, insect repellent, hats, and plenty of water.

What is the best clothing to wear kayaking in summer?

You will want to wear clothing that can get wet and that will protect you from the sun. A swimsuit or rash guard are good options.

Final Thought 

What to wear kayaking in summer and what to wear kayaking in spring both are vital, asking for the kayaker. You will get suggestions on what to wear during kayaking in any situation from the administration. But you will always need one thing, and it is water. Keeping yourself hydrated is the most important thing for kayaking.

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