Stay warm on your autumn paddling trip.
By Alli Hill
Just because fall is here doesn’t mean your paddling adventures have to end. In fact, many die-hard paddlers know the real fun is just beginning, given that colder water and air chase away most of the crowds at some of the best paddling spots. From warm gloves that give you good paddle grip to dry bags for keeping all your necessities safe from the water, here are just a few essential items for your fall kayaking adventure.
Even in a sit-inside kayak, you’ll want to waterproof yourself as much as possible. Level Six’s line of splash tops for men and women are must-haves for fall paddling, thanks to equal parts form and function. They’re backed by some of the best engineering to keep you dry (and warm!), and have a sleek design to top things off. Visit Level Six's website to check out the Splash Pants they have available as well.
In addition to a top that keeps you dry, you'll need a comfortable base layer. Layering is key during those fall months. If you get too hot, layers can be shed. If you get to cold, you can always add on. The NRS HydroSkin 0.5 shirts for both men and women are the ideal base layer. The shirt is lightweight, durable, and locks in your body's warmth. The underarm panels are made of a special H2Core Rashguard material to prevent chafing and allow for friction-free paddling.
If you're paddling in cooler temperatures, it's essential to keep your hands warm and comfortable. Not only do the NRS Guide Gloves provide warmth, but their open-finger design ensures that you don't lose any of your dexterity. The Guide Gloves also offer protection against blisters and cushioning for a comfortable grip on your paddle.
The colder temperatures are no match for this cozy and comfortable balaclava. The super-soft fleece covers your mouth to combat chapped lips while providing total head coverage to prevent body heat from escaping. This balaclava provides great protection against wind, rain, and cold shock during immersion.
Keeping your feet warm when kayaking in colder weather is crucial, so opting for a boot (rather than a shoe) is the way to go. The NeoSport Hi-Top Zipper Boots are a favorite. The boot comes in 3mm, 5mm, and 7mm for warm, moderate, and cold temperatures. The threading is heavy duty and abrasion resistant and the durable soles make for great traction in even the most slippery conditions.
When you're paddling, there’s a chance you end up in the water. Getting your clothes wet is always dangerous but especially so during the chillier months. Keep extra clothing and other gear dry inside Osprey's Ultralight Dry Sack. This affordable dry bag comes in a range of sizes, from three to 30 liters. The rectangular shape makes for efficient packing and the water-tight roll-up closure ensures that no water is getting inside.
No fall paddler should be without a trusty bilge pump to get water out fast. Seattle Sports Co. makes an awesome pump complete with an easy-grip rubber molded handle for efficient pumping. If you do drop it, the pump is designed in a custom high-visibility neon green so it's easy to locate.
Spray skirts might not keep out every drop of water, but they can help insulate your sit-inside kayak and keep out most of the rain and splash-over. The Seals Sea Sprite Spray Skirt features a high-performance neoprene deck and a three-ply breathable waterproof fabric tunnel with adjustable and removable suspenders. This neoprene/nylon hybrid can withstand moderate to extreme weather conditions.