Whether you enjoy kayaking on lakes, down rivers or into the open ocean, this sport requires the proper gear to keep you safe and comfortable. Being able to personalize your boat to your unique touches will allow you to get it to perform in ways you could only dream of. Your kayak isn’t complete without the best accessories.

There are lots of essential kayak accessories on the market such as life vests and bilge pumps that will keep you safe while taking up little space. Especially on long weekend trips you will need somewhere to store your gear. Storage options range from dry bags to added bungee systems.

The best kayak accessories are designed to increase your happiness and reduce your struggles. When buying a kayak it is important to consider where you will store your boat and how you will transport it. Luckily, there are accessories for that.

We have done the research to come up with the best kayak accessories. These will make your days on the water more enjoyable

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How To Choose A Kayak Accessory – Buying Guide

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Whether you are looking for inflatable kayak accessories, or for your rigid boat, you have tons of options. Forever growing in popularity and expanding the limits of what is possible, accessorizing your kayak personalizes your boat to your needs.

Some accessories, such as life vests, are needed for safety whereas accessories like rudders are optional. These however completely change your kayaking experience giving you a different experience and making it so that you take a new angle on this sport. These accessories can transform your regular kayak into a fishing boat one weekend and a sailboat the next.

As this is a water sport the best kayak accessories will come waterproof and even float when possible. Weight is an important consideration so you will find that all accessories will focus on a lightweight design. All kayaks have a weight capacity and finding accessories that keep you under this rating is key. These accessories can allow you to bring home the day’s catch, anchor for an afternoon on the lake or attach your gear to a leash to keep it close by.

Kayaking is a sport that is ever changing and evolving. Kayak accessories allow you to update and upgrade your kayak without forking over even more money to buy a whole new rig. Don’t have enough storage? Add a bungee system to your deck. No matter your needs, there are accessories that will help you to achieve your perfect setup. Also, we have a whole list of kayak gifts you might want to add to your list.

Durability

When it comes to buying any kind of kayaking equipment, you need to think about the durability of it. The fact that you will be spending most of the time in the water is reason enough to look for products which are going to stand the test of time. Depending on where you are kayaking, you may be in salt water too. Salt can take its toll on any equipment, and if salt is left on a kayak accessory, then it can begin to eat away at it. Buying accessories which are made from high-quality materials will go some way to that accessory lasting.

You are also going to be outdoors. You need to think about the elements. The sun is going to be beating down on you from above. Even when the clouds are out in force, the UV rays are still going to be getting through. There will also be rain and wind at some point. You also need to worry about the transport and use of your kayak and accessories. You are going to be moving around a lot, mainly from your home to the water. You are also going to be moving across uneven terrain. When you are moving your kayak from your vehicle to the water or lifting it to portage across a dry piece of land, you do not want to have to be careful about what you are doing. You want your kayak accessories to stand up to some knocks here and there.

When you are looking for kayak accessories, there are a few things which you can look out for. Waterproof is nice if you can find it, but water-resistant is a must. Especially if you are using an electronic device. You should be looking for equipment which is marine or military grade. When this is the case, you know that it is going to hold up in the water. What is the accessory made of? Aluminum is strong and will be lightweight. Look for quality PVCs and plastics. Look for materials which are thick enough to take impact while still remaining functional. You want something which can hold up to impacts, abrasions, and knocks. Take the time to find accessories which are built to last, and always remember that a little more money spent when you are buying an accessory means less money spent in the long run.

Size

When you are buying an accessory for your kayak, the actual functionality is the most important aspect of that accessory. The price will factor in next. Then will come the size. There is no point in getting an accessory for your kayak if it is not going to fit on your kayak.

When you go kayaking, you first need to transport your kayak to the water. When you have the kayak in your vehicle, there will probably be some space for your accessories, but when it is time to transport your kayak from your vehicle to the water, you want to be able to transport your kayak and all the accessories in as few trips as possible. When you are looking at kayak accessories, you should have one eye on the size and the weight of the accessory.

The space on a kayak is very limited. When you set out to buy a kayak, there are two ways to go. You can spend a little more money to get a kayak which is outfitted with a lot of accessories, or you can spend less and then add accessories to your kayak. When you are adding accessories, you should think about a few things. Firstly, the dimensions of your kayak. If the accessory is too wide or too long for your kayak, then it is simply not going to work. You should also make sure that it is compatible with your kayak. You should be thinking about the weight it is going to add to your kayak, and how it is going to change the size and shape of your kayak. You may be able to get your kayak into your car with no problems, but when there is a rod holder attached, can you still do that? Can you still lift the kayak in the same way?

Be careful when you are ordering products from another country as the sizes can vary, and even if the sizes are in American sizes, the casual size can be way off. If you check in the comments section, you can often find comments about the sizes if the actual size is a lot different to the advertised size.

You should always choose a product which does what it is intended to do, and if you can do that, then we always recommend going as small and light as you can.

Ease Of Use And Installation

Many kayaks already come with accessories installed. When you are buying an accessory to add to your kayak, the last thing you want to be doing is spending hours trying to add it. Kayaking is a simple and relaxing water sport. The less time you can spend installing accessories, and the more time you can spend in the water, the better. When you buy an accessory, it will come with an installation guide. We always recommend following that side to ensure that the accessory works as it should. If your accessory does not come with an installation guide, then you can always find one online. Of course, you may not need an installation guide to use your new accessory.

You should also think about the positioning of your accessories on your kayak. An anchor is a common accessory for people who want to fish from a kayak. When you are placing an anchor on your kayak, it should be in a place where you can reach it from your sitting position. The same goes for your rod holders. They should be in a place where they are not in the way of you, but you can reach them if you need to. When you are buying your accessories, try to imagine where they would go on your kayak. If there is no place to install your accessory, then there is no point in buying them.

When you have your accessory installed, you also want it to be easy to use. When you are out on the water, you do not want to have to be messing around trying to get something to work. Most newer kayaking accessories have been designed to be used as easily as possible. For this reason, we would recommend buying newer equipment than older equipment. With manufacturing techniques constantly improving, the newer accessories are not only easier to use but are also often cheaper than competing older products.

Weather And Water-Resistance

When you are out on the water, protecting your equipment is essential. If you have electronic equipment, such as a GPS or a FIshfinder, then you will want a waterproof case for them. When you are looking at other equipment, you want at least some water resistance. Some accessories are naturally water resistant, while others come with a water-resistant coating. If you have a product which is resistant to water, then it is going to last a lot longer.

When you are looking for a container or case for your GPS or Fishfinder (or any other container for an electronic device, such as a phone), you need to ensure that the case is waterproof. Many containers, and accessories will be water-resistant, but if the device or container ends up in the water, then water will get in, and the device will be ruined. You can only guarantee the safety of your belongings if the container is waterproof.

Look for something with a good seal. Any seals on edges should be watertight. The main seal over the opening where your belongings will go should also have a fastening system which will keep the water out. The seal should close to keep the water out, but it should also be easy to use. A good test is to inflate the container if you can, seal it, and then try and squeeze the air out. Air will be able to get in an out before water will, but it should give you a good idea of the waterproofing of the container. Another thing to look at is if you can retrieve the container easily. The container is designed to take care of your belongings should they fall in the water, but there should be a way to attach the container too. If the container does fall into the water, you want to be able to get it out again. It may have a leash to attach it, or it may attach permanently.

You should also be looking at some of these things when you are buying clothing or anything which has material in it (such as kayak skirts). When you are looking for any type of clothing, you should be looking for waterproof over water-resistant. One of the main things to look for with clothing is the seams. If the clothing is waterproof, then the seams should be taped. Look for double-stitched seams which will give you more durability, but also look for tape over the seams to keep the water out.

Many clothing products will also come with their own waterproof spray to keep the garment waterproof over time. You can also buy this spray if you want to waterproof existing clothing. When you are looking for waterproof shoes, it is especially important that the shoes are actually waterproof. If water gets into your shoes, then it can really affect your feet. You do not want to be on a long kayaking trip with permanently wet feet. Look for shoes which seal up around your ankle, and do not let water in that way.

With a dry bag, it is especially important that the bag is completely waterproof. Again, look for double-stitched seals which are taped. There are two important things to think about with the bag. The fasteners at the top should seal your bag up so that no water gets in to make your belongings wet. The fasteners should also be easy to use. You should be able to get in and out of your bag with ease.

When you are looking after your waterproof equipment, pay attention to the seals, and do not let them get contaminated with dirt or oil. Products such as sunscreen or bug spray can contaminate the seals and cause them not to work as they should. When you are packing your waterproofs in your bags, you should fold them up loosely so you do not damage them. You should also make sure that your waterproof equipment is completely dry before you put them into storage. We recommend drying them in the sun before packing them up.

Whenever you are looking at waterproof electronics, it can be enticing to buy a product which is waterproof, but to save money, it is waterproof only to a meter or so. Think about where you are going to be paddling, and ensure that your device will survive if it falls in the water. If a device will die when it hits the bottom of a lake, then there is no point even having it.

FAQs

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Q: What Kayak Accessories Do I Need?

A: There is no real answer to this question, as a lot depends on where you are kayaking, when you are kayaking, and why you are kayaking, but there are some accessories which will benefit you on most trips.

For any trip, the first thing which you will need is a kayak. This is pretty obvious. If you are here searching for kayak accessories, then you either have a kayak already or have on in mind, but if you do not, then you can check out our top-rated kayaks. When you have your kayak, you should then be thinking about your kayak paddle. These two things are your bread and butter of kayaking. As we discussed earlier, you should always wear a buoyancy aid when you are in your kayak. When you are looking for a personal flotation device, you should look for one which is comfortable enough to wear all day. Some people have complained that when you are sitting in your kayak for long periods of time, a PFD can become a nuisance and is uncomfortable, but with advances in materials and construction, PFDs are more comfortable than ever. Look for PFDs which allow for good movement around the shoulders. You should also look for a buoyancy aid which gives good buoyancy and fits snugly and tight. If you want to go the extra mile with safety, then you can also add a helmet.

A bilge pump can be a useful addition to your gear. If you ever get water in your kayak, then you are going to want to get it out. There are a few ways to deal with this. Some kayaks are designed to let the water in and out. Those kayaks are better suited for kayaking down rapids. When you are kayaking to fish or recreationally, you will get some water in your kayak. Most of the time there will not be enough water in there to cause you any real problems. If you are kayaking for a long time, then you might get a lot of water in your kayak. If you get too much water in your kayak, then there is a chance that it will not sit in the water properly. It may even sink. You also do not want a lot of water around your feet, legs, and rear. Unless you have waterproofs on, your skin can become irritated. A bilge pump will help you to easily get the water out of your kayak. Your second option for avoiding water in your kayak is to use a spray skirt. A spray skirt will seal you in the cockpit. You wear the skirt around your middle, and then when you get into your kayak, you attach the outside of the skirt to the kayak. This creates a waterproof seal on the cockpit and stops any water from getting in. Look for a skirt which is made from high-quality materials, and one which is durable enough to last on many adventures.

A paddle float can form part of your survival gear. They are great if you fall out of your kayak and cannot get back in. You slip the float over one end of your paddle and inflate the float. Once the float has been inflated, you place the float in the water and the other end of the paddle on the kayak. You can then use this to hoist yourself back into your kayak. When you are looking at paddle floats, look for one which is easy to inflate and can be used multiple times.

A whistle can be essential to your paddling experience and is even mandatory in some places. You can use your whistle in a variety of ways. If the water you are on is busy, then you can alert traffic that you are coming through. It helps you to stay noticed. In an emergency, you can use the whistle to draw attention to the emergency. You can use it to help someone locate you if you are lost, or you kayak is damaged. You can also use your whistle to communicate with fellow kayakers. We recommend that you find a whistle which can be attached to your life jacket. You also want to stay away from whistles which use a floating ball. If the ball gets wet, then the whistle is not going to work. If you do fall in the water and need to signal for help, then the whistle will be useless. You do not need to spend a lot of money on a whistle. As long as the whistle makes noise, and will still work even after it has got wet.

A dry bag is essential when you are on a kayaking trip. You could load up with as many accessories as possible, but if you do not have anywhere to put them, or a place to keep them dry, then your accessories, and personal items could become lost or damaged. You can find dry bags in a variety of sizes, and the size you choose will depend on what you are carrying with you on your trip. Kayaks do not have a lot of space, so we recommend a few smaller bags as opposed to one large bag. Make sure that you find a bag that is waterproof and a bag which has enough room for all of your belongings. The advantage of using multiple smaller bags is that you can organize your belongings better. You can place your belongings, which are not initially needed, in a place that can only be reached when you are out of the kayak. The stuff you need on the trip can be placed in a more accessible place.

The exact accessories you need will depend a lot on where you are going and what you are doing. There are so many accessories to choose from that it can become overwhelming. Start with you kayaking trip and then choose your accessories. Do not start with the accessories, and then start picking the ones you most want. No matter what you are doing or what you need, there will be an accessory which can make your trip easier.

Q: What Are The Most Common Accessories For A Kayak?

A: If you are going out on a leisurely kayaking trip, then you can get away with not having much with you. If you are paddling around a lake, then you can have any needed accessories on the shore, but there are always a few things which we would recommend having with you at all times. You should always have a paddle with you. A helmet is also recommended if you are in a place with fast-moving water or rocky areas. A life jacket is essential on any kayaking trip. We would also always recommend a first aid kit, just in case.

If your trip is a little longer. Perhaps, you are going out for the day. There are a few more things which you can take. A signaling whistle and a locating kit will help you if you get into trouble. You can also take a spray skirt if you are worried about the water getting in, or a bilge pump if you do not want to have a spray skirt. A flashlight is always recommended in case you are caught in the darkness in your kayak. You should also take a dry bag to keep everything organized and dry.

If you are going out for more than a day, then there is some additional equipment which we would recommend taking. Some maps and a compass will be beneficial, and to compliment the maps you can also take a GPS. A knife is always a welcome addition and can be used for a variety of things. A paddle leash will keep your paddle joint to you, should it fall into the water by mistake. A radio can keep you connected when you have no phone signal.

When you are looking at the clothing you should take with you, you should always remember to dress for the weather, but be ready to adapt your clothing to the conditions, especially if you are out on the water for a long time. Look for clothing which is suck drying. This is good for all kinds of weather, but especially so when the weather is cool. As your clothing is sprayed with water, you want to get rid of the water quickly before it begins to get cold and cool your body temperature.

Look for clothing which will protect you from the sun. You should think about your hands and your head. If it is going to be especially cold, then a wetsuit would be recommended. Look for one which will keep you warm, especially if you fall into the water. Sunglasses are a great optional product to protect your eyes against the glare from the water, and sunscreen will protect any exposed skin from the UV rays of the sun.

There are many accessories which are used by kayakers, and even the ones which get the least use are common for many kayakers. When you are thinking about which accessories you need for your kayaking trip, you should consult our list of the 20 best accessories of 2018 and combine those items with the ideas in this buying guide. When you have the best ideas on where you are going and the type of kayaking you are going to do, then you can pinpoint exactly which accessories are going to be common to you.

Globo Surf Overview

Kayaking is an enjoyable sport you can practice in almost any body of water. From small lakes to the open oceans, their sleek and lightweight design allow you to go just about anywhere. Now, with the increasing amount of accessories available you can take this sport as far as you would like. From necessities such as whistles and storage racks to fun add-ons such as umbrellas and leashes accessories can make your day on the water much more enjoyable.

More Kayak Reviews:

Sources
  1. GPS System, Wikipedia
  2. Coast Guard, Go Coast Guard

Have you accessorized your kayak? Let us know which accessories are your favorite in the comment section below.

Globo Surf Kayak Accessories Review

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Was looking for some new cool stuff I could put on my kayak. Found your article. Really glad I did. Thanks

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!