How to Choose a Paddle Bag

kayakings into the sunrise

If you’ve invested some significant cash into quality paddles, consider buying a paddle bag to store and transport them so they’ll stay in tip-top shape.

A paddle bag is especially handy if you’re going to travel with your own paddle(s) frequently. You can check them on a plane or stow them in your vehicle without fear of scratches, dings and breakage.

Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a paddle bag as well as some brands to look at:

Quality Craftsmanship to Protect Your Paddles

The last thing you want is a cheap bag to “protect” your favorite paddles! Look for a bag constructed of heavy-duty materials. The best ones have padding on the inside and ways to keep the paddles separated from each other to avoid scratches. Also look at the quality of the zipper and the handles.

Just like your paddle, a quality paddle bag should last for years. Here’s what you want:

  • Waterproof or quick-dry fabric
  • Padded interior
  • The right size for your paddles: both length and quantity
  • Some way to keep the paddles separated to avoid scratches and dents

Here’s a video from NRS that shows how to use a paddle bag:

The Right Size Bag for Your Paddles

Paddle bags are designed with different types of paddles in mind. They come in different shapes and lengths, so be sure the one you buy will accommodate your paddles. For example, GearLab’s paddle bag is made specifically for 2-piece Greenland kayak paddles…only.

NRS makes a few different styles and sizes of paddle bags, depending on how many paddles you want to fit and the type of paddles you have. This model ($99.95) is designed for kayak touring paddles up to 240 cm, and can fit up to three paddles:

NRS paddle bag

(photo courtesy of NRS)

NRS makes another model for whitewater and SUP paddles ($99.95), and a third larger one for storing up to twenty rafting or canoe paddles ($74.95).

Danuu Paddle Gear makes a paddle bag for both canoe and 2-piece kayak paddles that fit up to four at once ($67.95). They also make a SUP paddle bag that can fit two paddles up to 88 inches long ($73.95).

Seals also makes paddle bags and paddle blade covers. They offer a 2-piece kayak paddle bag that’s designed for two paddles ($89.95) and a Universal paddle sleeve for a 1-piece SUP or kayak paddle ($49.95). They also make covers for just the blades for $39.95 for a set of two. You can find their products through retailers like Outdoor Play and Austin Canoe & Kayak (ACK).

So when looking for a paddle bag ask yourself: Which paddles do I want to put in it? How long are they? How wide are the blades? How many do I have?

Easy to Carry and Store

For traveling, you want your paddle bag to be easy to carry. A shoulder strap is ideal for this, but in order to check on a plane that strap should be removable, as you see in the photo of the NRS bag above.

Whether for storing your beloved paddles during the off-season or for traveling, a quality paddle bag will make your life easier and extend the life of your paddles by protecting them.

What paddle questions can we help you with? Contact our Wisconsin-based Customer Service team today: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

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