One of the most overlooked, but important, parts of kayaking is caring properly for your kayak when it’s out of the water. Protecting your kayak from the elements or getting dinged during transport will ensure you get to go on paddling adventures for years. A simple and obvious solution is a kayak cover. They protect your kayak from exposure to sunlight, water, dust, and other harsh elements. A good kayak cover also prevents scratches and dents when traveling with your kayak. However, not all kayak covers are the same or suited for the same environment.
Here’s a quick guide to the best kayak covers for each season.
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Though made for different situations, all kayak covers should meet some of the same basic requirements. A good kayak cover should fit your kayak snugly and be made of high-quality, durable material that is also waterproof.
Types of Kayak Covers
It may seem like a basic piece of sporting equipment, but in actuality, kayak covers come in several different types.
Universal Kayak Covers
The most versatile and cost-effective option for kayak owners, universal kayak covers are designed to be, well, universal. They’ll fit almost any brand or type of kayak.
Custom Kayak Covers
As the name says, a custom kayak cover is tailor-made to fit a specific type of kayak. A more boutique item, they tend to provide some of the best weather protection and will fit your kayak like a glove.
Cockpit covers protect the interior of your kayak from debris, water, and other elements. They are designed to fit over the cockpit area of your kayak so you may need an additional kayak cover for full protection.
Protecting your kayak while it’s in storage is a bit different from protecting it outdoors at a campsite. That’s why storage covers are designed specifically to protect your kayak from dust, moisture, and pests.
9 Best Kayak Covers for Different Seasons
Summer Kayak Covers
Summer kayak covers need to prevent heat buildup and UV rays that can damage your kayak’s surface. They are made of lightweight and breathable material.
Danuu Brat Kayak Cover
The Danuu Brat Kayak Cover is made of high-quality nylon, making it a lightweight and durable cover. It protects your kayak from the sun and other elements as well. Adjustable straps mean a perfect fit every time.
Seattle Sports Sherpak Go! 15 Kayak Cover
The Seattle Sports Sherpak Go! 15 Kayak Cover offers protection and convenience with a is UV-resistant nylon. A zippered access point makes covering and uncovering your kayak a breeze.
Winter Kayak Covers
Winter kayak covers are, unsurprisingly, the opposite of summer kayak covers. They need to withstand harsh winter conditions and protect your kayak from snow, ice, and moisture. Look for a winter kayak cover made from thick, heavy-duty materials.
NRS Super Stretch Neoprene Cockpit Cover
The NRS Super Stretch Neoprene Cockpit Cover is made from a thick and durable neoprene material that insulates your kayak from the cold. It’s water resistant, too – you’re basically giving your kayak a wetsuit with this winter kayak cover.
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Seals Cockpit Drape
The Seals Cockpit Drape is made of heavy-duty nylon. An adjustable bungee cord ensures a snug fit, keeping your kayak cockpit safe from the elements.
Spring and Fall Kayak Covers
Spring and fall kayak covers need to protect your kayak against both the rain and sun. They are a bit more lightweight than a winter kayak cover but still need to be tough enough to withstand rapidly changing weather.
Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Kayak Cover
The Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Kayak Cover is made of heavy-duty polyester that is water-resistant enough to handle rain but can protect your kayak’s surface from the late autumn chill. A zippered access point makes covering or uncovering your kayak easy.
Perception TrueFit Kayak Cover
The Perception TrueFit Kayak Cover is made of lightweight polyester that can withstand both rain and sun. Thanks to an adjustable strap system, you won’t need to worry about your kayak fitting.
Choosing the Right Kayak Cover
The weather you’re protecting your kayak from isn’t the only thing to consider when settling on a kayak cover. Other considerations that may help you make your choice include:
Kayak covers come in a variety of different materials, including polyester, nylon, neoprene, and canvas. Each material has its unique set of advantages and disadvantages. Some are waterproof while others are only water resistant. Some are heavy, others lightweight.
A kayak cover need to fit your kayak snugly to be effective. Although many kayak covers come with adjustable straps or cords, you still need to make sure the cover’s basic size is correct for your kayak.
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The Type of Kayak You Are Covering
The wrong cover for your kayak won’t do you any good, so be sure you’re choosing the right kayak cover for your specific type of kayak.
Protecting your kayak doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, but be sure to strike a good balance between budget and the protection you need.
Kayak covers are essential accessories that protect your kayak from harmful elements and extend its lifespan. We hope this helps you decide what aspects and features a new kayak cover are most important to you.
FAQs about From Blazing Sun to Icy Storms: Find the Perfect Kayak Cover for Every Season
Q: How do I clean my kayak cover?
A: Clean your kayak cover with mild soap, like dish soap, and water. Rinse thoroughly and allow it to air dry completely before storing or using.
Q: Can I use a kayak cover while transporting my kayak?
A: Yes. In fact, this is an added benefit of having a kayak cover since it will provide additional protection against scratches and dents while traveling with your kayak.
Q3: Can I leave my kayak cover on my kayak all year round?
A: It’s not recommended to leave your kayak cover on your kayak all year round. While it may seem like a good idea in theory, prolonged storage in a kayak cover can cause moisture to build up and damage your kayak.
Q: Do I need a custom-fit kayak cover?
A: It’s not necessary to have a custom-fit kayak cover, though they do offer the advantages of a snug fit and maximum protection for your kayak. Still, a properly fitted universal kayak cover will still protect your kayak.
Q: How often should I replace my kayak cover?
A: Generally, a high-quality kayak cover will last for several years with proper care and maintenance. However, the material and usage will impact the lifespan of the kayak cover.