What To Wear On A Multi Day Kayaking Trip? Ensure You’re Prepared!

Are you heading out for a multi-day kayaking trip? Knowing what to wear is essential for a successful and enjoyable experience.

The right clothing, from base layers to wetsuits, will help you stay warm and safe on the water.

To ensure a comfortable kayaking trip, it is important to consider the environment and weather conditions and any kayaking activities you will be doing. Learn more about how to pack for multi-day kayaking adventures

The following guide provides an overview of what to wear on a multi day kayaking trip.

So pack with these must-haves for a great adventure on the water.

Read Also: Best Kayak For Multi Day Trips

What To Wear On A Multi Day Kayaking Trip? (Step-By-Guide)

Wearing the right clothing on a multi-day kayaking trip is important to ensure your comfort and safety.

Your clothing should protect you from the elements and provide adequate insulation to keep you warm in cold weather.

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you choose what to wear on your multi-day kayaking trip, from base layers to waterproof outerwear and essential accessories.

Video Guide: What To Wear On A Multi Day Kayaking Trip?

Video Source: @auntymonkey01

Choosing the Right Clothing For A Multi-Day Kayaking Trip

Before you embark on your multi-day kayaking trip, choosing the right clothing for a comfortable and safe journey is essential.

When selecting clothing for an outdoor adventure, choose items that will keep you warm and dry. It is also important to consider the environment, weather conditions, and any kayaking activities you will be doing.

Multi Day Kayak Trip Clothing Recommendations

Here are the recommendations for what to wear on a multi day kayaking trip:

Quick Drying Clothes

Quick Drying clothes are a must for multi day kayaking trips, as you’ll likely be spending multiple days on the water.

They are ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, Kayaking, camping, and traveling, where people need to dry their clothes quickly to continue their activities.

Don’t Fret Over Getting Drenched And Feeling Uncomfortable.

You don’t have to worry about getting drenched and uncomfortable while on an adventure. These clothes are designed to dry quickly, allowing you to stay comfortable and dry even when exposed to water or sweat for extended periods.

Less Chance Of Chafing Or Blisters

Quick-drying clothes help reduce chafing and blisters by keeping your skin dry and comfortable, allowing a more enjoyable and productive physical activity experience.

Easier To Pack And Bring Along

Quick-drying clothes are easier to pack and bring, making them a great option for people who travel frequently or engage in outdoor activities frequently.

Sun Protection

Sun protection is essential for anyone spending extended periods outdoors and especially important for kayakers exposed to the Sun’s rays reflecting off the water. Here are some sun protection recommendations:

Reduce The Risk Of Sunburn And Skin Damage.

Sun protection is essential to reduce the risk of sunburn and skin damage. Here are some useful tips to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the Sun:

  • Use sunscreen with at least SPF 30
  • Wear protective clothing
  • Seek shade
  • Wear sunglasses
  • Avoid tanning beds

Stay Comfortable While Paddling In The Sun.

Paddling in the Sun can be a great way to enjoy the water, but staying comfortable is essential to avoid overheating and dehydration.

Here are some tips to help you stay comfortable while paddling in the Sun:

  • Wear lightweight, breathable clothing
  • Drink plenty of water:
  • Pack snacks
  • Wear a hat
  • Use sunscreen with sweat and water resistance

Protect The Face, Neck, And Ears From Harmful UV Rays.

To protect your face, neck, and ears from harmful UV rays, follow these tips:

  • Wear a hat
  • Use sunscreen
  • Wear protective clothing
  • Seek shade
  • Use a neck gaiter


You are choosing the right footwear when Kayaking is essential. It should protect your feet from rocks and other obstacles in the water, be easy to get in and out of the kayak, and allow efficient water drainage and drying.

Protect Feet From Rocks And Other Obstacles In The Water.

To protect your feet from rocks and other obstacles in the water when kayaking, consider wearing water shoes or neoprene booties made of quick-drying material with good drainage for efficient water drainage and drying.

Choosing slip-on shoes can also make getting in and out of the kayak easier.

Ease Of Getting In And Out Of The Kayak

The ease of getting in and out of the kayak is an important consideration when choosing footwear. Slip-on shoes, sandals, or water shoes that are easy to take on and off can make getting in and out of your kayak easier.

Efficient Water Drainage And Drying

Efficient water drainage and drying are equally important when choosing footwear for Kayaking. Water shoes or neoprene booties that provide good water drainage and quick moisture drying can help avoid discomfort during long hours of paddling. This is especially important when kayaking in cold water, which may result in chills and lower body temperatures.

Opting for footwear with efficient water drainage allows water to escape instead of soaking the material and prolonging the time for drying.


Layering is essential to staying comfortable and protected during outdoor activities, including Kayaking. Proper layering helps to regulate the body temperature, manage sweat and moisture, and protect against harmful UV rays.

Here is a simple guide to layering for Kayaking:

Base Layer

The base layer should be made of moisture-wicking fabric that keeps the skin dry, provides insulation, and helps regulate the body temperature.

Synthetic fabrics like polyester, nylon, or merino wool are ideal materials for the base layer.

Mid Layer

The mid-layer is all about insulation and warmth. Fleece jackets or down vests are excellent mid-layer options for Kayaking. The mid layer also adds warmth and helps trap heat, essential for kayaking in cooler temperatures or chilly water.

Outer Layer

An outer layer jacket or dry suit protects against wind, water splashes, rain, and spray. An outer layer can also provide additional insulation to keep the body warm and dry.

Life Jacket

A life jacket is an essential piece of equipment for Kayaking. When choosing a life jacket, ensure it fits properly, is comfortable, and meets the US Coast Guard’s safety standards.

A type III life jacket is recommended for kayaking as they provide excellent movement and comfort while maintaining the required buoyancy for safety.

Sport Specific Clothing

Sport-specific clothing for Kayaking should be lightweight, quick-drying, and protected from harmful UV rays.

Clothing should also be water-resistant and comfortable, with added features like mesh panels or reflective colors for visibility.

Choose clothes made from synthetic polyester or nylon, tailored for better movement and a comfortable fit.

Waterproof Bags

Waterproof bags are essential for keeping your gear dry and safe during kayaking trips. Dry bags and backpacks with roll-top closures are perfect for storing clothes and other essentials, while Pelican cases provide extra protection for electronics.

Deck bags are ideal for quickly accessing frequently used items such as snacks or sunscreen.

Be sure to test your waterproof bag to ensure it’s truly waterproof.


When kayaking on a multi-day trip, you will want gloves that protect your hands from blisters and calluses while providing good grip and dexterity. 

Prevents Blisters And Calluses On Hands From Paddling

Paddling for long periods can cause blisters and calluses on your hands.

To prevent this, gloves should provide adequate padding and a comfortable fit. Paddling gloves made of synthetic materials with reinforced palm or gel pads are ideal.

The gloves should also fit well, be breathable, and allow for good mobility.

Protects Hands From Cold Water Or Sunburn

When kayaking, your hands can be exposed to cold water or sunburn, which can be uncomfortable and even painful. Consider gloves designed for this purpose to protect your hands from these elements.

It Provides A Better Grip On The Paddle And Reduces Hand Fatigue.

A good grip on your paddle is essential when kayaking, and gloves can be an important factor in achieving this. Gloves that provide a textured or rubberized grip on the palms and fingers can help you hold onto your paddle more securely, reducing the risk of dropping it in the water.


Polarized sunglasses are essential for kayaking to reduce glare and reflections from the water, making it easier to see underwater obstacles.

Look for sunglasses with 100% UV protection, floatability, and a wraparound design to protect them from wind, spray, and debris.

Choose a lightweight, comfortable pair of sunglasses with adjustable nose pads and temple tips to ensure a good fit.

Reduces Glare And Reflection On The Water

Sunglasses with polarized lenses are crucial for Kayaking as they reduce glare and reflection on the water. This enhances visibility and makes it easier to navigate through the water.

It Helps Improve Visibility And Depth Perception Of The Water.

Sunglasses for Kayaking also help to improve visibility and depth perception on the water by reducing glare and enhancing contrast.

Polarized lenses help reveal submerged obstacles and make navigating different water conditions easier. This helps to improve overall safety and enjoyment during kayaking expeditions.

Protects Eyes From Harmful UV Rays And Glare-Related Headaches

Sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection are essential for protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays and preventing sunburn.

Polarized sunglasses can also help to prevent headaches related to glare.

By reducing eye fatigue and enhancing visual clarity, sunglasses can help to ensure maximum comfort and safety while kayaking.

Kayaking In Mild Weather: What to Wear

When kayaking in mild weather, you should choose lightweight and breathable clothing that is comfortable yet protects from the elements. Shorts, a t-shirt, and a lightweight, long sleeve shirt are ideal for warm conditions.

A hat with a brim and sunglasses will help protect your face from the Sun, while a water-resistant spray jacket or windbreaker will provide extra protection from wind and waves.

Choose Lightweight Clothing: Comfortable While Paddling.

When kayaking, choosing lightweight clothing that is comfortable while paddling is essential. This can help reduce fatigue and keep you cool.

Look for clothing made from breathable materials that will keep you dry and cool even during strenuous activity.

Remember to wear a properly fitted PFD and protect your extremities with appropriate gear like gloves and sun hats.

Moisture Wicking fabric: Choose Clothes Made Of Moisture

When kayaking, opt for clothing made of moisture-wicking fabric that pulls sweat away from your body to help you stay dry and comfortable. This is especially important during strenuous activity, as it can help prevent chafing and irritation.

Look for lightweight, breathable materials that allow a full range of motion while paddling.

Sunscreen Or Sun Protective Clothing: Protect Your Skin From Sunburn And Skin Damage

Wearing sunscreen or sun-protective clothing while Kayaking is important to protect your skin from sunburn and damage.

Choose to clothe with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating and apply sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 30, paying particular attention to exposed areas such as the face, neck, and hands.

Choose Efficient Shoes: Shoes That Will Protect Your Feet.

When kayaking, choosing shoes that protect your feet from getting wet and maintaining grip and balance on slippery surfaces is important.

Look for water shoes, sandals, or wet shoes with good drainage, non-slip soles, and a secure fit to prevent slips and injuries. Avoid wearing open-toed or loose-fitting shoes.

Choosing The Right Clothing For Kayaking In Cold Or Warm Water

Wear waterproof layers like wetsuits, neoprene, wool layers, and waterproof outerwear for kayaking in cold water to keep warm and dry. Protect extremities with gloves, a hat, and proper footwear.

For warm water kayaking, choose lightweight clothing, sun-protective clothing, and sunscreen. Wear shoes with good drainage, grip, and breathability to avoid slips.

When choosing your outfit, remember to dress appropriately for hot and cold weather and consider the location and weather forecast.

Choosing Clothing For Cold Water Kayaking

Wear warm, waterproof clothing in layers to stay dry and warm.

Choose wetsuits, neoprene layers, wool or synthetic base layers, a waterproof outer layer, and proper extremity protection.

Wear Wetsuits Or Drysuits: Wetsuits Or Drysuits Are Ideal For kayaking In Cold Water

Wearing a wetsuit or dry suit can provide excellent protection and insulation when kayaking in cold water.

It’s important to choose one with the proper fit and thickness that provide comfort, warmth, and flexibility.

Wool or synthetic fabrics: That will keep You Warm Even When Wet

Wool or synthetic fabrics are excellent for Kayaking because they keep you warm even when wet. These materials wick away moisture and can even insulate when damp, making them ideal for kayaking in colder water or inclement weather conditions.

Neoprene Gloves And Boots: Keep Your Hands And Feet Warm

Wearing neoprene gloves and boots can help keep your hands and feet warm while kayaking in cold water. These insulating and water-resistant materials protect against cold water and windy conditions.

Choosing Clothing For Warm Water Kayaking

Infographics Showing What To Wear When Kayaking In Warm Water. We have all the information you need about what to wear in warm water kayaking right here for you:

Infographics Showing What To Wear When Kayaking In Warm Water

When kayaking in warm water, it’s important to wear lightweight, breathable clothing that will keep you cool and comfortable throughout the day.

Choose clothes made of moisture-wicking fabric, sun-protective clothing with a UPF rating, and a hat that provides shade.

Wear shoes with drainage and grip to prevent slips in slippery conditions.

Wear lightweight And Breathable Fabrics.

Choose lightweight and breathable fabrics that move with you and keep you cool and comfortable while paddling.

Quick-Drying Clothing

Opt for quick-drying clothing made of breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics to keep you dry and comfortable throughout the day.

Sun protection

Wear sunscreen, UPF sun-protective clothing, and hats to protect from sunburn and skin damage.

Shorts And Rash Guards

For warm water kayaking, shorts and rash guards can provide sun protection and help keep you cool and comfortable.

Which Kayaking Suit Is Right For You? Wetsuits or Drysuits?

Having the right protective gear is important when kayaking in cold or warm water.

The most popular options are wetsuits and dry suits, but deciding which is best for you can be challenging.

Wetsuits and drysuits have pros and cons, so understanding the differences and how they can help you make an informed decision.

Water Temperature

Water temperature is an important consideration when choosing between wetsuits or dry suits, as they offer varying levels of protection and insulation.

Duration Of Paddling

The duration of your kayaking outing and the conditions you may encounter can influence your choice of a wetsuit or dry suit for optimal comfort and safety.

Personal Comfort

Personal comfort is key when choosing between wetsuits or drysuits, as each has its fit, feel, and level of insulation.

Mobility And Flexibility

Mobility and flexibility are essential when kayaking, so choose a wetsuit or drysuit that allows for a full range of motion while paddling.

Final Verdict: What To Wear On A Multi Day kayaking Trip?

In this guide, we’ve discussed the various considerations and options when choosing what to wear on a multi day kayaking trip.

When selecting your clothing, consider the water temperature, duration of your outing, personal comfort, and mobility/flexibility.

Consider investing in a wetsuit or drysuit for optimal protection and insulation in colder waters and lightweight, breathable clothing for warm water kayaking.

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