What to wear when kayaking in cold weather
Extend your paddling season to all-year round

 After an unprecedented Summer, where spending time outdoors kayaking or canoeing was a daily escape and the highlight of our days, you might be wondering how you can extend your paddling season to all year-round and carry on your paddling adventures. 

Kayaking and canoeing in cold weather can be a real fun experience! Your favourite paddling spots are quieter and less crowded; the crispy mornings views are incredibly beautiful, and you can stop to relax, enjoy a layer up and get ready for the cold weather.

Wearing basemid and outer layers is a great way to stay warm on the water. You can add or remove layers when needed and opt for thicker or lighter fabrics depending on the weather.nice warm drink or a comforting meal and just take the time to appreciate your surroundings.

However, what you wear kayaking or canoeing can really affect your overall experience on the water.

To help you feel comfortable and enjoy your time outdoors, we have listed some tips on what to wear when paddling in cold weather.

Layers, Layers, Layers

Layer up and get ready for the cold weather!

Wearing basemid and outer layers is a great way to stay warm on the water. You can add or remove layers when needed and opt for thicker or lighter fabrics depending on the weather.

Always dress for the water temperature and avoid cotton fabrics as they absorb water and stay wet. Choose synthetic, comfortable, abrasion-resistant materials instead.

Outer Layers 

Choose waterproof, breathable one-piece drysuits or two-piece dry touring cags and whitewater dry tops and trousers to protect you from the outdoor elements.


Drysuits are one of our favourite pieces of kit!

If you are planning in spending longer periods of time kayaking and canoeing, exploring new places, and want to stay warm and dry throughout the day, a drysuit is one of the best investments you can make. Drysuits offer great protection from wind and water and if maintained properly, can last a good number of years.

Drysuits are suitable for various paddling disciplines, from sea kayaking to whitewater canoeing.

Usually made of a quick-drying, waterproof fabric, most quality drysuits from well-renowned brands such as NRS and Typhoon allow freedom of movement (including cleverly positioned zips and offset seams for ease-of-use and durability), and keep you protected against the elements, with latex seals around the wrists and neck to keep the water out.

We recommend wearing thermal layers underneath the drysuit, to help retain heat.

Alternatively, if you are planning in diving or going for a swim, wetsuits are a great option to keep you warm on the water.

Take a look at the NRS Crux Drysuit (available for men and women), a real staff favourite! 

NRS drysuit


Keep your feet as dry and warm as possible. We recommend wearing water shoes, boots and socks made of a quick-dry material, such as neoprene. If you are walking through muddy areas with lots of branches, we recommend getting shoes or boots with a resistant grip, made to last, such as Astral's Brewer 2.0.  

Gloves, Mitts and Pogies

Protect your hands from the cold by wearing gloves, mitts or pogies when kayaking or canoeing. 
Neoprene gloves offer great grip and warmth. Pogies (open palmed gloves that fit onto your paddle shaft) are also a good option to consider.

Buoyancy Aids

Always wear a PFD when kayaking or canoeing. PFD's or buoyancy aids will provide body warmth and most importantly, will keep you afloat.

Hats / Helmets

Beanies, neoprene hats and skull caps will keep your head nice and warm when paddling in colder days. If you are kayaking or canoeing on whitewater, we recommend wearing helmets for additional safety.

Our team loves kayaking and canoeing all-year-round and we hope you will too!

Choose the right gear and go for versatile, comfortable, durable paddling clothes, that will resist the test of time.

Consider the type of paddling that you will be doing, the level of physical intensity required and the type of water and location where you will be kayaking when getting new gear.

 Our team is here to provide impartial advice and help you find the right paddling gear that will suit your needs, budget and lifestyle.

We would love to hear from you!

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