What to Wear Kayaking in Summer? Stay Cool and Comfortable

As an avid kayaker, I understand the importance of wearing appropriate attire while out on the water. Kayaking is not only a great way to enjoy nature and get some exercise, but it also requires certain clothing choices to ensure comfort and safety. In this article, I will delve into what to wear kayaking in summer, exploring the factors to consider when choosing the right gear and highlighting the benefits of specific materials. So grab your paddle and let’s dive in!

When it comes to summer kayaking trips, staying cool and comfortable should be at the top of your priority list. The sun can be scorching during those long hours on the water, making it essential to wear clothing that allows your body to breathe and prevents overheating.

Additionally, being comfortable in your attire can greatly enhance your overall kayaking experience by allowing you to focus on enjoying the scenery rather than constantly adjusting uncomfortable clothing.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the right kayaking attire is crucial for a comfortable and safe experience on the water.
  • Factors to consider when choosing kayaking attire include breathability, UV protection, and quick-drying materials.
  • Footwear and headwear are important components of kayaking attire, as well as accessories like sunglasses and hats.
  • Different water temperatures require different kayaking attire, such as wetsuits for colder water.
  • With the right kayaking attire, you can stay cool and comfortable on your next kayaking adventure.

What to Wear Kayaking in Summer

Importance of Choosing the Right Kayaking Attire

Choosing appropriate kayaking attire is not just about comfort; it also plays a crucial role in ensuring safety while out on the water. The right gear can protect you from potential hazards such as sunburns, scrapes from rocks or branches, or even hypothermia if you find yourself unexpectedly submerged in cold water.

Moreover, wearing proper attire can enhance your performance as a paddler. Ill-fitting clothes or materials that restrict movement can hinder your ability to maneuver effectively in your kayak. On the other hand, well-designed gear that allows for freedom of movement will enable you to paddle with ease and efficiency.

Factors to Consider when Choosing Kayaking Attire

When selecting kayaking attire for summer adventures, there are several factors worth considering: body type and fit, type of kayaking (recreational or whitewater), personal preferences regarding style and functionality.

Firstly, understanding how different body types interact with various clothing styles is crucial. For example, individuals with a larger build may prefer looser-fitting garments to ensure comfort and ease of movement, while those with a slimmer physique might opt for more form-fitting attire to minimize drag in the water.

Secondly, the type of kayaking you plan on engaging in will also influence your clothing choices. Recreational kayakers may prioritize comfort and breathability, while whitewater enthusiasts might lean towards more durable and protective gear.

Lastly, personal preferences play a significant role in choosing kayaking attire. Some paddlers prioritize functionality over style, opting for practical gear that meets their specific needs. Others may value fashion as well and seek out stylish options that still provide the necessary features for an enjoyable kayaking experience.

Breathable Fabrics for Kayaking Attire

What to Wear Kayaking in Summer

Metrics Description
Breathability The ability of the fabric to allow air to pass through it, keeping the wearer cool and dry.
Water resistance The ability of the fabric to repel water, keeping the wearer dry and comfortable.
Durability The ability of the fabric to withstand wear and tear, ensuring the kayaking attire lasts for a long time.
Stretchability The ability of the fabric to stretch, providing the wearer with freedom of movement and comfort.
UV protection The ability of the fabric to protect the wearer from harmful UV rays, reducing the risk of skin damage.

When it comes to staying cool during summer kayaking trips, breathable fabrics are your best friend. These materials allow air to circulate around your body, preventing excessive sweating and discomfort caused by trapped heat.

Nylon is one such fabric known for its breathability. It is lightweight and quick-drying, making it ideal for hot weather conditions on the water. Polyester is another popular choice due to its moisture-wicking properties that help keep you dry even when perspiring heavily.

Personally, I have found that investing in high-quality breathable fabrics has made a world of difference during my summer kayaking adventures. Not only do they keep me comfortable by allowing air circulation but they also dry quickly after getting wet from splashes or unexpected dips into the water.

UV Protection for Kayaking Attire

Protecting your skin from harmful UV rays should be a top priority when selecting kayaking attire for summer trips. Prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to painful sunburns or even long-term damage such as premature aging or skin cancer.

To combat this risk, consider clothing options with built-in UV protection. Many outdoor apparel brands offer garments with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) ratings, which indicate the level of protection provided against UV radiation. Look for clothing items with a high UPF rating to ensure maximum sun protection while out on the water.

Personally, I always make sure to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants made from UV-protective fabrics during my kayaking adventures. Not only do they shield me from harmful rays, but they also provide an added layer of defense against scrapes and scratches that can occur while navigating through rocky areas.

Quick-Drying Materials for Kayaking Attire

Quick-drying materials are essential for kayakers as they allow you to stay comfortable even when wet. Whether it’s from splashes or unexpected capsizes, having gear that dries quickly can prevent chafing and discomfort caused by prolonged exposure to moisture.

Spandex is a popular choice for quick-drying attire due to its ability to wick away moisture rapidly. It is also known for its stretchiness, allowing for unrestricted movement while paddling. Polyester is another material worth considering as it dries quickly and resists wrinkles, making it ideal for extended trips where laundry facilities may not be readily available.

During one particularly memorable kayaking trip last summer, I found myself unexpectedly submerged in the water after hitting a hidden rock beneath the surface. Thanks to my quick-drying attire made from spandex and polyester blends, I was able to continue paddling without feeling weighed down by heavy wet clothes.

Footwear for Kayaking

Proper footwear is often overlooked but plays a crucial role in ensuring safety and comfort during kayaking trips. The right shoes will provide traction on slippery surfaces such as rocks or muddy riverbanks while protecting your feet from sharp objects lurking beneath the water’s surface.

Water shoes are an excellent choice for kayakers as they are designed specifically for aquatic activities. They are typically made from quick-drying materials and feature rubber soles with excellent grip. Sandals with adjustable straps are another option, allowing for a customizable fit and easy drainage of water.

I vividly remember a kayaking trip where I made the mistake of wearing regular sneakers instead of proper footwear. As soon as I stepped out onto a slippery rock to take a break, I lost my balance and ended up taking an unexpected dip in the water. Since then, I have always prioritized investing in suitable water shoes or sandals to ensure stability and safety while kayaking.

Headwear for Kayaking

Protecting your head and face from both the sun’s rays and splashes of water is essential during kayaking trips. Wearing appropriate headwear can shield you from harmful UV radiation while also keeping your vision clear by preventing water droplets from obstructing your view.

Hats with wide brims are an excellent choice for sun protection as they provide shade not only for your face but also for your neck and ears. Visors offer similar benefits while allowing more airflow around the head, making them ideal for hot summer days on the water.

During one particularly sunny kayaking adventure, I forgot to bring any form of headwear with me. As a result, my face got severely sunburned despite applying sunscreen regularly throughout the day. Since then, I have never embarked on a kayaking trip without my trusty wide-brimmed hat or visor.

Accessories for Kayaking

In addition to clothing choices, there are several accessories worth considering to enhance comfort and safety during kayaking trips:

Sunglasses: Protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays is just as important as shielding your skin. Invest in sunglasses with polarized lenses that reduce glare off the water’s surface while providing 100% UV protection.

Gloves: Paddling can put strain on your hands over time due to friction and repetitive motions. Wearing gloves with padded palms can help prevent blisters and provide a better grip on your paddle.

PFD (Personal Flotation Device): A PFD is an essential safety item for any kayaker, regardless of skill level or water conditions. Ensure you choose a PFD that fits properly and provides adequate buoyancy.

These accessories may seem small, but they can make a significant difference in your overall kayaking experience. Personally, I never embark on a kayaking trip without my sunglasses, gloves, and PFD securely fastened around me.

Kayaking Attire for Different Water Temperatures

what to wear kayaking in summer

It’s important to dress appropriately for the water temperature during your kayaking adventures to ensure both comfort and safety. Here are some tips for dressing according to different water temperatures:

Warm Water: In warmer conditions, lightweight clothing made from breathable fabrics such as nylon or polyester is ideal. Opt for quick-drying materials that will keep you comfortable even if you get wet from splashes or unexpected dips in the water.

Cold Water: When paddling in colder temperatures, layering becomes crucial. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer followed by insulating layers such as fleece or neoprene to retain body heat. Top it off with a waterproof outer layer to protect against wind and spray.

Remember that even if the air temperature feels warm during summer months, the water temperature can still be significantly cooler due to factors such as currents or depth. Always check local weather forecasts and consider wearing appropriate attire based on both air and water temperatures before heading out on your kayak.

Stay Cool and Comfortable on Your Next Kayaking Adventure

In conclusion, choosing appropriate attire is essential for staying cool, comfortable, and safe during summer kayaking trips. By considering factors such as body type, type of kayaking activity, personal preferences regarding style/functionality along with selecting breathable fabrics like nylon or polyester, you can enhance your overall experience on the water.

Don’t forget to prioritize UV protection by wearing clothing with built-in UPF ratings and invest in quick-drying materials like spandex or polyester to prevent discomfort caused by prolonged exposure to moisture. Proper footwear, headwear, and accessories such as sunglasses, gloves, and PFDs are also crucial for a comfortable and safe kayaking adventure.

Lastly, always dress appropriately for the water temperature by layering up or down accordingly. By following these guidelines and prioritizing comfort and safety in your attire choices, you can fully enjoy the beauty of nature while paddling through serene waters or conquering thrilling whitewater rapids. So gear up properly, grab your paddle, and embark on your next kayaking adventure with confidence!


What is kayaking attire?

Kayaking attire refers to the clothing and gear worn by kayakers to ensure comfort, safety, and protection from the elements while paddling.

What are the essential items of kayaking attire?

The essential items of kayaking attire include a life jacket, water shoes, quick-drying shorts or pants, a rash guard or quick-drying shirt, and a hat or visor.

Why is a life jacket important for kayaking?

A life jacket is important for kayaking because it can save your life in case of an accident or emergency. It keeps you afloat and helps you stay safe in the water.

What are the benefits of wearing quick-drying clothing for kayaking?

Quick-drying clothing is beneficial for kayaking because it dries quickly, keeping you comfortable and preventing chafing and irritation. It also helps regulate body temperature and wicks away sweat.

What type of shoes should I wear for kayaking?

Water shoes are the best type of shoes to wear for kayaking. They are designed to provide traction on wet surfaces, protect your feet from rocks and debris, and allow water to drain out easily.

What should I consider when choosing kayaking attire?

When choosing kayaking attire, you should consider the weather conditions, water temperature, and the type of kayaking you will be doing. You should also choose clothing that is comfortable, quick-drying, and provides adequate sun protection.

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