Kayaking in the summer is a great way to exercise, explore the outdoors, and enjoy time with friends. So, if you’re wondering what to wear kayaking this summer, you’ve come to the perfect place.

You can use this comprehensive checklist to ensure you have everything you need before kayaking this summer.

One thing that makes it better is if you’re wearing something comfortable and stylish that will keep you cool while you’re out on the water. Make sure you cover up as much as possible with loose-fitting clothing that allows air to circulate through your body.

We’ve put together some great options to help you choose the right outfit for kayaking in summer. From tops and bottoms to accessories and footwear, these are all things that we recommend adding to your wardrobe to help you stay comfortable while being active outdoors.

Quick-Drying Fabrics

The first thing that comes to mind when you think about summer clothing is cotton. This is a good choice for everyday wear, as it is breathable and quick-drying.

However, cotton can get saturated with water when wet or soaked. Therefore, you will want to keep a shirt that has been pre-dried somewhere in your bag in case you find yourself soaked after getting caught up in a wake.

The best materials are synthetic polyesters or quick-drying nylons like rash guards. Another excellent material is merino wool, which wicks away moisture and dries rapidly.

Tough But Comfortable Clothing

You want to ensure your clothes are comfortable when you’re wearing them while out on the water, but they also need to be durable enough so that they can withstand weather conditions like the summer scorching sun rays.

So, you should look for pants made from durable materials like cotton or polyester that have been treated with waterproofing treatments so that they don’t get soaked through quickly when wet.


Cags are lightweight garments used as a top layer designed to keep your top half dry. The principal purpose for staying dry while kayaking is to keep warm for longer; but, if the sun is shining brightly, you may not mind a little splash to cool you down and so may choose to forego wearing a cag or jacket.

On the other hand, these tops will provide UV protection, which will help protect against dangerous rays during the summer.

Wet Suits

Is it necessary to wear a wetsuit even in the summer? When kayaking in the summer, your spray skirt will keep you warm for the most part.

However, if the water temperature is much lower than the air temperature, you may want to consider wearing a wetsuit.

A decent rule of thumb is to put the water and air temperatures together, and if it’s less than 100 degrees, you should dress appropriately if you find yourself in the water.

They manufacture 2mm-thick shorties that reach the knees and elbows – enough to shield you from a splash, but not so much that you overheat while not being splashed.

Sun Protection for Your Body

The jacket’s design protects you from the sun’s rays by shading your face, neck, chest, and arms with a wide-brimmed hat that covers your ears.

The jacket also features reflective piping on the back, shoulders, and arms to keep yourself safe while on the water during emergencies or accidents.

In addition, long-sleeves, Rash guards, or other apparel made of UPF-rated fabric will provide the necessary protection for a long day on the water.


In terms of footwear, you want something that will safeguard your toes and the soles of your feet. Many individuals swim in old tennis shoes, which can be fine but stink and are difficult to swim in.

If you don’t have or don’t want to invest in neoprene paddling booties, we propose something similar to a hiking sandal with a back strap.

These also dry fast, making it less likely that your feet would become sore. If you fall, flip-flops would be too hard to keep on.

Buoyancy Aids

A buoyancy aid is probably the most critical piece of kayaking equipment. This will keep you safe if you fall into the water.

The quantity of flotation provided is indicated in Newtons (N), with a higher value indicating more significant support.

The bare minimum to look for is 50N. Kayaking buoyancy aids are designed to allow for complete mobility while remaining secure around the ribs. In addition, they usually have breast pockets to keep your belongings safe.

A Life Jacket

Wear a PFD no matter how hot, calm, or long you intend to be in the water, how much experience you have, or how cool you believe you are. Accidents frequently happen in the water. Therefore, wearing one will significantly increase your chances of survival.

Other Essentials


Putting on a cap for summer kayaking can provide numerous advantages. To begin, wearing the proper kayak cap can be the difference between having a terrific kayaking excursion and returning home sunburned.

A hat will also significantly improve your sight on the water by reducing glare. Some caps include a built-in retainer, or you may purchase one separately to ensure your hat stays in place.


Sunglasses, like a hat, will help improve vision by minimizing glare on the water. If you’re concerned about losing your sunnies in the water, consider Gill’s floating sunglasses or a retainer to keep them in place.

Change Robe

A changing robe is a convenient piece of kit to help you get changed while being decent before and after kayaking. It is not recommended to wear on the water (because it could be a safety hazard). A towel cape keeps you dry when changing outside and provides enough space to change inside.

Summer is the ideal season for watersports, whether you’re an experienced kayaker or trying it out for the first time.

It’s also crucial to remember that the risks of UV exposure can result in a skin condition that lasts a lifetime. However, if you dress appropriately for kayaking in the summer, you’ll be covered and able to appreciate the experience fully.

You may take advantage of the warm waters, extended days, and sunshine while remaining secure and protected by wearing the summer kayaking attire described in this article.