Kayaking in sunny weather is very enjoyable and makes the whole experience even better. However, when it becomes too hot and the sun is too strong, we quickly find ourselves in a very unpleasant situation. Direct sun exposure can make us sick, and you probably know that UV rays are harmful to the skin. One of the things that can greatly help in resolving this problem is a kayak canopy. It creates a comfortable shade for you to sit in, eliminating the potential risks to your health.

Finding the best kayak canopy depends not only on the type of kayak you own, but also on the type of protection you need. To help you with this, we created a buying guide that will point you in the right direction when choosing. Furthermore, our product selection features many different styles of kayak canopies, so you can quickly find the one you need and set off on your kayak adventure without worries.

How To Choose A Kayak Canopy – Buying Guide


The most important thing about the kayak canopy is that it gives you proper protection. This means that the shade should be large enough for your entire body, and that the UV rays are filtered out so they can’t reach your skin. When these criteria are met, you can concentrate on other things. For example, it should be easy to install, should be made from heavy-duty materials and it shouldn’t interfere with your paddling technique when set up. In addition, it’s a big plus if it’s lightweight, as you’ll see later on.


When it comes to size, you should make sure that it puts a shade over the entire cockpit. You won’t come across many size options when buying, except rough size limits for some products. The reason for this is that most canopies are very adjustable and versatile, so you can fit them on a large number of vessels. Of course, not every canopy for kayak offers the same level of adjustability, so it’s very useful to know the dimensions of your kayak and check whether you can install it properly.


Many materials are used to make canopies, with upsides and downsides to each one. Most common ones are canvas, polyester and nylon. Canvas is strong, convenient, creates a nice shade and it’s breathable which feels nice. On the other hand, polyester, nylon and other synthetics lack the breathability and strength, but they are cheaper, lighter and give you much better rain protection. While this is a personal preference, it’s important that your bimini top for kayak is reliable and durable.

Another thing that is equally as important as the fabric is the frame – this set of poles gives your canopy strength and stability. Much like with bimini tops for boats, the frame can be made of steel, aluminum or fiberglass. Steel is strong but heavy, so it’s not very common. Aluminum and fiberglass are much better choices because they won’t bend or break easily, but they also won’t overload the kayak.


Before buying, you should think about how and when you’ll be using the canopy. Most of us use it as a shade, and the best kayak bimini tops give us excellent UV protection with a high UPF. Even though canopies work really well, you will get the best result if you carefully consider what to wear kayaking too, and get high-quality sun protective clothing pieces. In addition, don’t forget to bring a sun hat and sunscreen with you. While its main purpose is to work as a sun shelter, you may sometimes get caught in a shower. If you live in an area where it rains often or you get frequent weather changes, it may be a smart choice to get a waterproof kayak canopy.


You will notice that most kayak sunshades come in bright colors, most often yellow or white. The reason for this is that these colors heat up much slower compared to darker colors. It helps keep the temperature lower in your head area. As a bonus, bright colors make you easier to spot while on water.


It’s a really big advantage if the canopy installation can be quick and painless. Depending on the product, the process is different. Some require you to drill holes in your kayak, while others can be glued onto the surface or strapped onto existing structures. Additionally, it’s much easier if the canopy comes with all the hardware you need to install it. You should also think about assembling the canopy itself, and things that help here are shock cords inside the poles to help you put everything together faster.


Q: Why Do I Need A Kayak Canopy?


It’s a great way to protect yourself from sun and rain. It makes staying in the kayak more comfortable, and it’s recommended when kayaking with kids. In addition, it’s a useful addition when going kayak fishing, since anglers often spend long hours in their fishing kayaks. You should really give it a try, and pack it along with other kayak essentials you need to take with you.

Q: Will A Kayak Canopy Make The Kayak Heavier?


This depends on the material used when making the canopy. As we mentioned, canopies made of canvas with a large number of poles can add a significant amount of weight and cause problems. On the other hand, a product made of polyester with fiberglass poles is probably the best kayak canopy choice for lightweight kayaks. The same thing applies when buying a canoe umbrella shade. Think about this when choosing, because it can impact your paddling experience and make you tired sooner.

Globo Surf Overview

If the sun often gives you headaches and limits your time on the water, a nice canopy might be just the thing you’re looking for. It’s a piece of equipment you should get if you want to prevent sun-induced problems to your body. Installing one will allow you to enjoy all the kayak health benefits even when the sun is high up. You should definitely put it on your list of kayak accessories, and we’re sure that you’ll be glad you invested in something so useful!

More Kayak Reviews:

Have you tried a kayak canopy that made it onto our list? Was it easy to install? Are you satisfied with the protection it gives you? What about quality and durability? Please share your experience with us in the comment section below.

Globo Surf
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!