6-minute read + 14-minute video
Aqua Bound Ambassador Ken Whiting features his pick of 2023’s best paddling gear items in this video from Paddle TV.
Aqua Bound Ambassador Ken Whiting (photo courtesy of Go Paddle)
No matter what your favorite boat is—kayak, canoe, paddleboard or packraft—you’ll find something on this list that’ll make life on the water easier, better or both.
Ken doesn’t include any paddles in this particular video. But these are other items you may want to look into for yourself and decide: Should they make it into your paddling gear collection too?
Take a look:
YakAttack: TowNStow BarCart Kayak Cart
A cart can make a difference between getting on the water or not for many paddlers. For small kayakers and for those with heavy, big boats it can be a real challenge to get their kayak to and from their vehicle and the launch.
TowNStow BarCart Kayak Cart (Photo courtesy of YakAttack)
The coolest thing about this cart is it completely breaks down with no tools needed. So it’s easy to store, easy to assemble, then easy to take apart and stow in your boat until you need it again.
The TowNStow BarCart can carry up to 450 pounds (your kayak and all your gear) and handles salt water without a problem. The similar but more affordable TowNStow Bunkster Kayak Cart is another option. 2023 retail prices: $250 and $180 USD.
Nite Ize: Runoff Waterproof Packing Cubes
These packing cubes come in small, medium and large sizes. They differ from normal dry bags in that they use their TRU Zip waterproof zipper instead of a roll-top clip system.
Runoff Waterproof Packing Cube (photo courtesy of Nite Ize)
These cubes are handy for packing snacks, a First Aid kit and other small gear items for any paddling trip. Each cube has a clear plastic front/top so you can see what’s inside, making it easy to find what you’re after. You can also use them to keep wet, smelly items away from your other gear when you’re ready to head home.
Each Runoff Packing Cube has a reinforced nylon handle and integrated anchor points for convenient and secure attachment to your boat. 2023 retail prices: $40-55 USD.
Astral: Loyak AC Water Shoes
Astral is well known for making high-quality water shoes. Their Loyak AC water shoes are very lightweight for warm weather kayaking, canoeing, packrafting or paddleboarding.
Astral’s Loyak AC water shoes (photo courtesy of Astral)
The soles are super grippy and flexible for hiking, portaging and launching in wet conditions. The ultra-fine ripstop uppers drain water quickly while keeping sand and pebbles out. Loyak AC Water Shoes are available for men and women. 2023 retail: $110 USD.
GearLab Outdoors: Deck Pod 2
A gear bag designed for the front deck of a kayak, the Deck Pod 2 has an attachment system that makes it super easy to attach to your deck. Once attached you have easy access to your gear items that can be stashed in any one of the Deck Pod 2’s several pockets.
Deck Pod 2 kayak gear bag (photo courtesy of GearLab Outdoors)
Carry a water bottle, snacks, gadgets, safety gear, extra clothes—whatever you need for all your kayak trips is secure, dry and at-hand. Its low profile means it never gets in the way of your paddling strokes. 2023 retail: $88 USD.
Zenbivy Sleeping System
A Zenbivy Bed has a sheet that fits over a sleeping pad to keep your bag in place on the pad. A mummy bag is built into the sheet, then a quilt is built into that. You’re free to use any or all of the various layers depending on the air temperature and your own sleeping warmth.
Zenbivy Bed sleep system (photo courtesy of ZenBivy)
Zenbivy Beds are ideal for canoe and kayak camping because of their lightweight (ultra-lightweight backpacking sets are an option) and flexibility. Anyone who’s had to keep getting their bag back on their sleeping pad several times a night can appreciate the built-in system! 2023 retail prices start at $309 USD for the full sleep system.
NRS: Axiom Dry Suit
A high-quality dry suit is important for any serious kayaker, canoeist, packrafter or paddle boarder who paddles regularly in cold water and/or cold temperatures.
Axiom Dry Suit (photo courtesy of NRS)
The Axiom Dry Suit from NRS is made of premium Gore-Tex Pro. It’s waterproof and windproof, but breathable. Latex neck and wrist gaskets and neoprene overcuffs ensure the water stays out as much as possible, and mesh holes drain any water that does get in. The suit includes Gore-Tex Pro fabric socks that fit under paddling booties.
The Axiom is a big investment, but take good care of it and you’ll never need another one. It’s available for men and women. 2023 retail price $1,295 USD.
Dryrobe: Change Mat
Dryrobe’s Change Mat provides a clean, dry surface to stand on outdoors for those times you need to change into or out of a wetsuit, dry suit or other circumstances. On one side is a water-repellant shell barrier, on the other is warm and absorbing synthetic lambswool.
Change mat (photo courtesy of Dryrobe)
Roll it up, secure it with its built-in elastic strap and stow it away easily between your paddling adventures. 2023 retail price: $30 USD.
Airbank: Puffer Pro Pump
The Puffer Pro Pump is a battery-driven pump you can use for any inflatable kayak, canoe or SUP to pump as high as 20 PSI. What makes this especially handy is you’re not tethered to your vehicle when using it.
This pump inflates and deflates, it’s half the weight of other pumps on the market, it comes with its own carrying case and seven different nozzle attachments. It automatically stops once your desired pressure is reached.
Puffer Pro Pump (photo courtesy of Airbank)
Ken was able to inflate a kayak three times on one charge, with juice left over. The battery’s advertised life is 500 inflations. 2023 retail price: $159 USD.
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We hope this have you some great ideas for gear items to add to your paddling kit. Enjoy the water!
Do you have paddle questions our friendly Customer Service Team can help you with today? Contact them: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]
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