12 Best Kayak Covers: Compare & Save

Properly protecting your kayaks and canoes is something a lot of us avid boaters neglect to do. UV damage from the sun, water spots and mold, dirt and grime, and even animal or insect infestations when you’re storing your boat can all be eliminated by utilizing a simple and easy to install boat cover.

Our top list of kayak covers has highlighted the best options for proper boat storage, whether you’re loading up your vessel for a road trip, stashing it deep in the garage, or even outside in the elements for the offseason!

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Importance Of Covering Your Kayaks

Protecting your boat from the elements and from potential critters that might try and make a home in there during periods of non-use is essential if you want to ensure your kayak enjoys a long life.

UV damage might not structurally damage your hull unless you really leave your boat exposed in some intense direct sunlight, but the power of the sun will absolutely chew through seat fabrics, damage integrated accessories and discolor the body of even the highest quality kayaks. The sun is no joke, so don't let your kayak or canoe sit under its detrimental effects without a cover if you don't have indoor, or canopy style storage. 

Water damage can be equally detrimental to your kayak depending on the boat's integrated components. This might seem counterintuitive and silly considering kayaks are obviously ok with getting wet, but longterm exposure to moisture and wetness can leave water spots on your hull, deteriorate seat fabrics and other soft components, as well as create a moldy or mildewy environment within the cockpit. Standing water within your boat can also encourage the propagation of nuisance insects like mosquitos. You're wise to keep your kayaks or canoes dry during periods of nonuse to ensure avoidance.

Animals like mice, squirrels, and insects might find your kayak or canoe cockpit or storage wells to make a nice home if your boat isn't properly covered. This could result in chewed seat fabrics (or other components of the boat), or animal droppings and nesting material accumulating - creating not only a mess to clean up, but also a sanitary concern and perhaps even potential for an actual confrontation with a disturbed critter - no thanks! Be sure to keep the neighborhood creatures out of your vessel if you want to ensure a clean and safe space to enjoy being on the water.

Dirt and Grime is likely the least detrimental factor to protect your boat from, but then again who enjoys getting into a filthy kayak? While dust, pollen, and debris probably won't do any actual damage to your boat, utilizing a kayak cover ensures you won't have to thoroughly clean up your kayak(s) every time you want to go for a spin if you live in a particularly filth-prone setting.

Cockpit Covers

While we recommend a complete kayak cover for the best level of boat preservation and protection, a cockpit cover that nicely seals out in the elements and any potential animal intruders is the next best thing. Cockpit covers are furthermore typically more effective at creating an actual watertight seal (depending on the model of course), so maybe even consider pairing a full boat cover and a cockpit cover in order to achieve the best level of boat protection.

A few of out favorite options for a wide range of kayaks and cockpit styles include:

Kayak Canopies 

Perhaps installing a more permanent canopy or overhang type structure is a preferred method to storing your kayak(s) in a traditional cover.

Utilizing a canopy, hoop house or instant-garage style enclosure will furthermore not only provide you with storage for a few boats, but can also be used to stash other items out of the elements. Lawnmowers and yard tools, trash and recycling barrels, fishing equipment, and portable fire pits and grills will all appreciate staying out of the rain, wind, and sun, to name just a few additional item applications.

If you choose to go with an open-ended style canopy enclosure that doesn't zip all the way up, keep in mind it won't keep the critters out, so perhaps pairing a traditional cover and a canopy will provide the best of both worlds.

A few of our top picks for affordable and reliable garage-style canopies and enclosures include:

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