The world of kayaking is becoming more popular and accessible than ever. There’s tons of great deals on boats out there allowing both new and experienced paddlers to get on the water and enjoy a number of different activities. Whether you’re into fishing, whitewater, nature viewing or just leisurely paddling, there’s a ton of awesome kayaking accessories out there to really add to your experience.
We’ve put together a top 10 list of some neat gear that you’re going to want to add to your kayaking set-up. We’ve included some great items for kayak fishing and whitewater as well as some gear for just enjoying your day on the water. Additionally, we included a few pieces of gear to help you get your boat from your home to the water with ease. There’s something for every type of paddler here, so consider what your kayaking set-up might need to better suit your experience on the water.
1. Vibe 12″ Beveled Kayak Accesory Gear Track
Here’s a really neat option for adding some accessories to your kayak. Having a track system on the rails of your kayak is an awesome way to customize your boat with whatever you want to have on board. The beauty of a track system is you don’t have to permanently mount any of your accessories, so you can swap out your gear depending on what you’re doing. There’s tons of possibilities with a mounted track system like this — you could install rod holders or get creative and build your own attachments like camera tripod mounts or a lean bar for stand-up kayaks. If you pair this track with a few uni trak accessory mounts by Feelfree, there’s no limit to what you could add to your kayak. The mounting plates will receive all sorts of gear, so you can really customize your boat. I’m currently in the process of mounting a fish finder on my kayak using the Feelfree uni-bar dashboard and a plate mount — should be a piece of cake! For the kayaker who wants a truly customized boat for their specific needs, there’s no better option than installing a track system and going from there.
Price: $24.99 & Free Shipping
2. Leader Accessories PVC Waterproof Dry Bag
If you can expect to get wet during your boating outings, then owning a couple of dry bags can be a smart move. A simple, but effective design, the modern PVC dry bag is great for storing and securing gear during white water excursions or while paddling on choppy days. This dry bag by Leader Accessories is perfect for keeping your sensitive gear away from the wetness, and it comes at an affordable cost. Available in seven different colors and sizes, (5 liter to 55 liter) there’s a Leader Accessories dry bag that’s right for you. This type of storage should not be overlooked as equally effective for shielding your sensitive electronics and other gear from fine dust or sand as well. Leader Accessories also includes an adjustable shoulder strap on this model, so it can be used as a day-pack if you want to take it to shore with you. When kayaking out to your favorite fishing spot or paddling on more long distance, rugged trips, stowing your gear in a couple of PVC dry bags will allow you and your crew to travel in confidence knowing your belongings are safe. If you’re interested in owning a waterproof storage unit with even greater storage capacity and portability, check out our recent post on waterproof backpacks. For paddlers who don’t have a need for a dry bag or backpack but want to ensure their phone stays dry, here’s a link to a reliable waterproof phone case.
Price: $11.99 — $30.99 (up to 56 percent off MSRP)
3. TMS Kayak/Canoe Trolley
Sometimes we could all use a little help getting our boat down to the water. If some of your favorite places to paddle require you to carry your boat more than just a few yards in order to put in, it can really be worth owning a kayak trolley. This is a highly reviewed unit that comes at an excellent price. For less than $40 and with free shipping, you can turn your grueling, vein popping portage into a nice easy stroll down to the water’s edge. This model has a 150 pound weight limit, so even with all your gear and accessories loaded up on your boat, this trolley can handle the strain your back can’t. There’s foam bumpers on each arm to protect the hull, so no more dragging your kayak over the ground, reducing its lifespan. The tires are three and a half inches wide and will roll fine over sand and gravel. Assembly of this unit is a breeze, so don’t worry about this trolley being a pain to set up. For the price, this is a great item to own for the adventurous kayaker who wants to get off the beaten path and find some new waters. Save your back and your bank account with this one and go find some new territory to put your boat in!
Price: $36.95 & Free Shipping (21 percent off MSRP)
4. ONYX MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest
Here’s a great life jacket specifically geared towards paddle sports. If you’re a serious kayaker or looking to get into the sport, owning a life vest that’s specifically suited for paddling is pretty awesome. Comfort is everything when you’re paddling– wearing a lousy life vest can really take your attention off your experience while on the water. This vest is made from heavy duty nylon fabric and is accented with SOLAS grade reflective material for added visibility. You should always have an adequate life vest on board regardless of your swimming ability, and always wear a reflective life vest if paddling near boat traffic after dark. The mesh in the lower back area of this life vest is meant to sit flush against your seat instead of stuffing between you and your back rest. The arm holes are more than big enough to accommodate for full range of motion when paddling and the shoulder adjustments even have neoprene comfort pads. This life vest also has expandable zippered pockets with mesh drainage — a pretty great feature for having a few small items on hand while your paddling. All in all, this is a really rad unit that is the ideal kayaking life vest — and it comes at a super reasonable cost considering the price of comparable life jackets by competitors. Stay safe in comfort and style with this one — and never grumble about your sore lower back and improper paddling posture again!
Price: $38.24 — $51.25 (up to 15 percent off MSRP)
5. Scotty Baitcaster/Spinning Rod Holder
If you’re a serious kayak fishermen, you oughta have a rod holder or two on board. This unit by Scotty is just as good as any, and it comes at a great cost. This is the model I have mounted on my fishing kayak, and it performs great paired with my spin cast rod. I have this rod holder mounted on a Feelfree uni trak accessory mount, and I just pop it on and off my track system when I want to use it. It’s a solid built rod holder that isn’t made from cheap plastics. It’s adjustable in an effective manner and locks a fishing pole in with good security. I love being able to take a cast and have my hands free to eat a sandwich or work on rigging up my other rods. If you’re kayak doesn’t already have rod holders built in, then you’ll really appreciate this unit for when you’re both actively fishing and paddling from A to B. If you’re a fly fishermen, then check out Scotty’s fly rod holder that mounts the same way.
Price: $17.10 (25% off MSRP)
6. Garmin Striker 4cv with Transducer
Here’s a sweet little, easy to use unit by Garmin. Whether you’re an experienced fishermen with lots of knowledge surrounding fish finders or a beginner to fish finder and GPS electronics, this piece of equipment by Garmin is probably a great fit for your boat. This model is very highly reviewed on Amazon for being simple to use as well as highly effective and accurate. The three and a half inch color screen has a 480 by 320 pixel display resolution and provides a nice visual for what’s swimming around beneath your kayak. High sensitivity GPS is built in to this unit, so you can find your way back to the dock with this model as well as find fish with it. Perhaps the best feature of a fish finder like this is it’s ability to mark and relocate fishing spots you want to return to. When you’re on the open water and you find some nice structure that holds fish, you want to be able to find it again. There’s a transducer included here, so mount this bad boy up and get fishing! Although this model Garmin is inexpensive, don’t let the low price tag fool you into thinking it’s an inferior unit — a lot of boaters and fishermen praise the GPS and sonar for being more than adequate for their needs. If this model is a little out of your price range, Garmin offers an even more inexpensive unit that is also very highly reviewed and adequate for kayak use. Even if you’re not a fishermen, being able to see the topography of the sea floor, lake bottom or river bed can be seriously interesting, and the GPS component of a unit like this could get you out of trouble if you’re embarking on some more rugged and remote excursions.
Price: $156.98 & Free Shipping (13 percent off MSRP)
7. SeaSense Double Braid Nylon Dockline
Having good quality lines on board your water craft is always a wise choice. Depending on what you’re up to on and off the water, owning a few good lengths of rope is super helpful. This double braid nylon dockline by SeaSense is a highly reviewed, affordable option for lashing up your vessel, tying an anchor line, or securing your kayak in or on your vehicle for transport. This line is available in 3/8 to 5/8 inch thickness and 15 to 25 foot length, so there’s options that support medium to heavy loads. There’s three color options available (black, blue and gold/white) but I would recommend the blue line for greatest visibility in low light. Customer reviews insist this line both has a soft feel and holds up to salt and sun. It won’t fray after just a season of use assuming you’re using the line properly. This product is very reasonably priced considering the quality of the materials used and potential to last for years — it’s an overlooked item that is really worth owning for the novice or experienced kayaker.
8. Boombotix Weatherproof Bluetooth Speaker
This powerful little speaker by Boombotix will ensure your day of kayaking has music. This portable, weatherproof speaker sounds really great for the size and cost — and you won’t be disappointed with how tough this little boom-box is. I’ve included this portable speaker in several of my reviews because of how versatile, inexpensive and resilient to water and impact it is! I purchased this speaker over a year ago last summer, and it has played countless hours of music for me. The powerful clip on the backside of the speaker makes it easily mounted on whatever you’d like! I take mine fishing and to the beach on a regular basis and it sees a lot of splash and a lot of sand — but nothing has stopped it yet. On a full charge my Boombotix will play music for around eight hours — pretty killer battery life if you ask me. If your favorite music device doesn’t have Bluetooth capabilities then fear not, you can use the auxiliary plug. This speaker can even be “daisy-chained” to other Boombotix speakers for more volume output. All in all, if you want to bring some music along on your paddling excursions this season, definitely check out this tough, dependable and LOUD speaker by Boombotix. On a final note — I purchased mine for $60 at RadioShack last year and am thrilled with the product, so Amazon’s price of $16 seems almost unreasonable for such a sweet little unit.
Price: $18.99 & Free Shipping
9. Icefox Rechargeable LED Headlamp
A good flashlight is always a must-have on any kayaking outing where you can expect the sun to go down. When you’re out of day light paddling back in to the landing after a day on the water, you’ll require a reliable light source. I have always opted for headlamps over conventential flashlights because they keep your hands free — particularly for activities that constantly have you’re hands engaged. Furthermore, I prefer rechargeable headlamps over battery powered lamps because packing loads of batteries is no fun. This unit by Icefox is a well reviewed, high quality headlamp. With four working modes of brightness and a 90 degree rotatable lamp, this light is pretty neat. Although it may be a bit on the cumbersome side, the battery life (up to eight hours) and brightness (6000 lumens) of this headlamp makes it worth its weight. A few customer reviews claim it may be a bit heavy on the head for children, but as an adult outdoorsmen this headlamp should not be overlooked. This light by Icefox will likely outlive your friend’s battery powered headlamps and save you the hassle and cost of purchasing batteries for every paddling excursion. At $26, the cost of this headlamp is totally comparable to the inferior competitor lamps — why settle for a crummy flashlight or headlamp that costs around the same?
Price: $25.99 & Free Shipping (63 percent off MSRP)
10. Cannon Escape Kayak Paddle
Owning a nice kayak paddle is seriously underrated. It might seem a little excessive to spend over $50 on a single paddle, but when you consider the fact that your paddle is the motor for your kayak, it’s worth owning a nice unit. I work as a kayak wilderness guide out of the salt marshes on my native Cape Cod, and let me assure you when you’re paddling against the current or tide having an effectively designed, nice quality paddle is EVERYTHING. There’s a huge difference between the comfortability and response of a cheap paddle and a nicer quality paddle — you’ll never want to own a hunk of junk paddle again after feeling the power and grace behind a nice blade. This paddle by Cannon is the unit that I own and use almost daily. It’s a great entry level paddle that will work well for just about any type of kayaking. I’ve owned this paddle for over a year now, and I really enjoy the pull it generates in the water — you can really crank with this one. It’s only 39 ounces in weight, and the balance on this unit is quite nice. The shaft is constructed from heat treated aircraft grade aluminum and feels great in your hands. This is a great quality paddle without having to spend a ton of cash (trust me you could spend a LOT on a premium paddle that would be very comparable to this unit). It’s a two-piece paddle with three blade offset angle options, so you can adjust it to stroke evenly or feather the blades if you prefer that style. All in all, this is a great option for a nice quality kayak paddle that will save you from spending an obscene amount of cash. If you’re interested in a really top notch paddle, then check out this adjustable fishing paddle also by Cannon.
Price: $59.00 – $69.74