When you are first introduced to the world of kayaking, you may begin to feel overwhelmed by the vast array of kayaking accessories available.
Unlike a life vest, kayaking accessories may not be necessary, however, these little tools are the finer details and add-ons that turn a kayaking trip into an excellent trip that is fun, safe, and comfortable.
I am Angel and I am a kayak instructor and ex-professional kayak athlete. Over the years, I have tried and tested many kayak accessories. Some of them have made my journeys much more enjoyable and easier.
In this article, I will share my recommendations of the very best kayak accessories available in the market so you may choose the most suitable one according to your preference.
Sounds good? Keep reading!
The Best Kayak Accessory (Quick Summary)
- MARCHWAY Waterproof Dry Bag – the ultimate way to keep gear dry
- YYST Kayak Paddle Leash – keeps your paddle nearby
- Attwood Universal Folding Anchor – perfect for taking breaks
- Minn Kota Endura Transom Mount Trolling Motor – suitable for long distance kayaking trip
- YakAttack ParkNPole – great anchor for shallow water
- Garmin Striker 4 Fish Finder – useful gear for kayak fishing trip
Who Should Get These
Anyone who has purchased their kayak or would like to enjoy activities such as fishing, camping should consider getting the related accessories.
These accessories allow you to add your personal touch to your kayak so it will provide the best performance for you. No matter if you love fishing, camping, or wanting to paddle with your pet, getting the most suitable accessories will make your trip a lot easier.
Some of the accessories mentioned here could improve your overall experience, while some of the accessories are designed for specific activities, depending on your purposes, you may want to pick the suitable accessories.
Best Kayak Accessories: What to Consider
No matter the type of kayaking accessory you are in search of, there are certain qualities that you should keep an eye out for before purchasing.
When it comes to buying any kind of watersports equipment, you need to think about its durability. Due to the unpredictable nature of water and being exposed to the elements, you will want accessories and equipment that are made to last. Take the time to spend a bit more money on good-quality and long-lasting accessories for your kayak.
Durable kayak accessories will leave you feeling confident that you and your equipment will be prepared for whatever the condition.
Kayaking accessories should be able to withstand a certain amount of impacts and abrasions, so take into account the thickness of the material used. Materials for kayaking accessories should be thick enough to withstand a certain amount of wear-and-tear while also being wholly functional and lightweight.
Freshwater? Saltwater? or Both?
Take into account if you are planning to kayak in both freshwater and saltwater before buying kayak accessories. Saltwater can take its toll on equipment if not cleaned in freshwater after use.
High-quality materials such as aluminum and certain plastics are more likely to withstand the elements, especially saltwater. Be aware that more inexpensive materials such as an iron will rust even in freshwater.
Size and Weight
Kayaks are not renowned for their available space. As such, when buying accessories for your kayak, it is essential to remember to take into account the accessory’s weight and size. Limited space onboard means that those kayaking accessories will need to be carefully selected and must serve a specific purpose.
Adding accessories changes the shape, size, and weight of the kayak. It often can have a negative impact on how the kayak sits and moves on the water.
Before buying any additional accessories for your kayak, it is paramount that you are aware of the space available to you. This is necessary to ensure that with any add-ons, you will still be able to maneuver and paddle comfortably.
Some kayak accessories are made with a specific kayak in mind, and as such the accessory may not be compatible with your kayak. Accessories should be as lightweight as possible, as any unnecessary weight can cause the kayak to become unbalanced. The more compact an addition is, the less likely it is to have an impact on your comfort.
Ease of Use
Kayaking accessories are there to make the time spent kayaking more enjoyable. The accessories that you add to your kayak should therefore be quick and easy to install but also be readily accessed. Before installing your accessory, it is always best to think about where it will be with where you will be sitting.
Accessories should be stored securely when not in use but should be quickly reached if required. Kayak accessories should also be installed in a way that they are not in your way when paddling.
We suggest testing out your kayak accessories before embarking on a long trip. This will ensure that you are aware of how they work and how to easily access them. By testing them out before a trip, you will have the time to complete any necessary adjustments and figure out where it is best to store the accessory if required.
When you are out on the water, you will want to be sure that your accessories will be able to withstand any unexpected dips. Electronics have become an essential part of our lives, and they are used to ensure safety. Still, they can also be used to have fun while out kayaking.
When looking for cases or housing for these electronics, you will want to ensure that it is completely waterproof, not just water-resistant. The safety of your belongings is only guaranteed if the container in which it is stored is entirely waterproof.
The waterproof ability of kayaking accessories is not just crucial for protecting electronics. The more water-resistant a kayak accessory is, the longer it is going to last. Good seals and double stitching are what make kayak accessories more water-resistant. However, there is care involved in maintaining the waterproof ability of an accessory, so be aware of this when buying.
Best Kayak Accessories: Our Picks
Below is our list of the best kayak accessories which have been carefully selected with the qualities mentioned above in mind.
Whether you are heading off on a lengthy kayaking expedition or a short day-trip, a dry bag is a must-have in everyone’s kayak accessories. Useful for carrying clothes, towels, snacks, and even electronics, dry bags are a kayaker’s best friend!
MACRHWAY Waterproof Dry Bags come in a range of bright colors and sizes, meaning that there is a perfect one for all your needs.
Durability: These heavy-duty dry bags are made with durability in mind, having an ultra-tough waterproof fabric that resists tears and punctures.
Size and Weight: The dry bags are portable and lightweight and can easily be rolled up when not in use.
Ease of Use: Coming with shoulder or cross-body straps these bags are easily transportable and functional. The simple roll down top seal system allows for quick and easy access when required.
Waterproof Ability: They are completely waterproof, ensuring that all your personal belongings will stay dry.
Extras: The bag will also float on water once it is sealed. This means that you will be easily able to spot your belongings if they do manage to take an unexpected dip.
Cons: The waterproof ability is not guaranteed if the dry bag becomes fully submerged in the water.
Sometimes the unexpected happens when out kayaking, whether you end up capsizing or you drop your paddle. Too often, kayakers end up frantically looking for their paddle that has quickly drifted away. However, with a paddle leash, your all-important paddle will never be more than a few feet out.
YYST’s 36-inch paddle leash comes in red, making it even easier to spot on a stormy day.
Durability: The wire gate is made with stainless steel which means that even in saltwater, the material won’t rust.
Size and Weight: The leash can easily be folded and stored compactly if necessary. The leash is also small and lightweight enough that it will not interfere with your paddling.
Ease of Use: The leash is easy to attach and detach from the kayak and can easily be adjusted depending on the size of the paddle.
Waterproof Ability: N/A
Extras: The leash is perfect for stopping paddles from sinking and is extremely stretchy so it won’t break under pressure.
Cons: The velcro which attaches the leash to the paddle can become dirty with algae or seaweed and causes the material to lose its sticky ability.
Although relaxing, kayaking can be quite exhausting, especially if you are paddling against a strong current. Sometimes a quick break can be needed to rest, grab a snack, or even go for a swim. By having a small anchor onboard your kayak, you can ensure that you can take the necessary breaks.
The Attwood Universal Folding Anchor comes in a mesh bag and has a 20ft rope, it is one of my favorite accessories when I go for a kayak camping trip.
Durability: The anchor is made from galvanized steel, so not only is it strong it is also capable of withstanding bangs against rocks.
Size and Weight: While the anchor weighs 3lbs, if you feel that an anchor may be necessary for your kayaking trips 3lbs is the perfect weight for anchoring one- or two-man kayaks.
Ease of Use: The anchor can be easily stored in the mesh bag and can quickly be deployed if necessary.
Waterproof Ability: Galvanised steels means that the anchor won’t rust over time and won’t be impacted by the water.
Extras: The 20ft rope can easily be changed to something longer or shorter, depending on your requirements.
Cons: The anchor may drift if deployed in a sandy area.
Whether you are kayak fishing or cruising around the lake in your kayak, a trolling motor is a spectacular addition to your kayak. A trolling motor will allow you to go faster for a longer time, and it will give you more control of your kayak.
Minn Kota is one of the most trusted trolling motor brands. The Endura transom mount comes in a 30” shaft, so you won’t have to worry about the trolling motor sitting too high and getting in the way of your kayaking.
Durability: The shaft is a composite that flexes and won’t kink or corrode. Pound for pound, it is stronger than steel. For freshwater use, this is a very durable product.
Size and Weight: The motor will only add 17 pounds to your kayak, but you also have to add a battery. Batteries are where you will quickly add a lot of weight. The Minn Kota Endura has a 30” shaft, which is ideal for kayaks.
Ease of Use: Mounting and using the trolling motor is effortless. The transom mount is a screw locking mechanism. You set the mount on the back of your kayak and tighten the bolts down. They will not screw into or damage your kayak. Connecting the trolling motor to the battery is as simple as connecting two wires.
Using the trolling motor is twisting the handle to engage the motor and pushing or pulling it to turn.
Waterproof Ability: It is designed for water usage. However, I wouldn’t recommend intentionally dunking it into the water.
Extras: This model comes in different lengths and pounds thrust if you need a longer shaft or more power. You might want to purchase a tiller extension handle.
Cons: It is rated for saltwater; however, it is not entirely sealed, and this could allow saltwater to get to the motor and or wires and begin to rust them.
Anchoring a kayak is essential; however, a traditional anchor is not always the best option. A shallow water anchor such as the ParkNPole by YakAttack can hold you in position better than a traditional anchor.
YakAttack is known for producing quality kayaking accessories. The ParkNPole 8 foot 2 piece stakeout pole is no exception. It unscrews into two pieces making storage quick and easy. The pole is also a push pole, so you can stand up and propel yourself with it instead of a paddle.
Durability: The YakAttack ParkNPole is very durable. It’s made of fiberglass and has metal insert threads to screw together.
Size and Weight: The pole is 8 feet long and weighs just under two pounds.
Ease of Use: The ParkNPole is very easy to use. To use it as a shallow water anchor, drop it through a scupper hole in your kayak and push it into the bottom of the body of water you are kayaking.
To use it as a push pole, grab it and gently push against the bottom of the body of water to propel yourself.
Waterproof Ability: It is designed for water usage. It floats if you drop it, and water won’t damage it if you fully submerge it.
Extras: You can purchase a four-foot extension to have a 12’ long pole instead of just an 8’ long pole.
Cons: It is a little high-priced, considering it is just a fiberglass pole. You can only anchor in the water a couple of feet shallower than your ParkNPole. So you must stay shallow if you plan on anchoring.
While fishing, it helps to know the contour and depth of the bottom. A fish finder will give you this ability with incredible accuracy. Having a fish finder on your kayak will enable you to “see” submerged vegetation and structure you would otherwise not be aware is below you.
The Garmin Striker 4 has the basic features you need to help you find more fish. If you’re not an angler, it is still nice to know what is below you, how deep the water is, and where you are paddling.
Durability: The Garmin Striker 4 is very durable. I have had mine for two years and haven’t had any issues with it.
Size and Weight: The unit itself only weighs eight ounces. However, you will need a battery. Luckily the battery doesn’t have to be a big heavy marine battery. A smaller battery will power the unit for a long time since it doesn’t draw much power.
Ease of Use: The Garmin Striker 4 is easy to set up and use with pushbuttons and menus. Connect the transducer and connect it to the battery, and you’re ready to use it!
Waterproof Ability: Garmin fish finders are designed for use around water, so it is no big deal if they get wet. However, I would not recommend intentionally submerging it underwater. If you were to flip your kayak, the unit should be fine if you quickly flipped the kayak back upright.
Extras: You can purchase separate transducers to get different features. However, eventually, you will need to upgrade the unit to take advantage of the latest and greatest features Garmin offers with their fish finders.
Cons: The Garmin Striker 4 is the base model fish finder, so it doesn’t offer all the fantastic features that the high-end Garmin fish finders offer. However, for the price, you can’t beat it.
Here are some commonly asked questions when it comes to kayak accessories.
Can you Add Accessories to a Kayak?
For sit-on-top, fishing kayaks, usually, there would be space or holes for you to attach accessories to it. However, some kayaks may not have holes or storage, in such a case, you can drill a hole and add accessories to the kayak.
Are Gloves Necessary for Kayaking?
I cannot say gloves are necessary for kayaking because sometimes I do kayak without any gloves. However, wearing a pair of gloves will protect your hand against blistering and make your trip more enjoyable.
I always paddle with my gloves on so I would say it’s not necessary, but it’s highly recommended you kayak with gloves. For beginners, you can simply wear a pair of work gloves for kayaking if you don’t want to spend the money.
It is never easy to choose the most suitable from a crowded market. This is why getting accessories for your kayak can be pretty difficult. There are tons of top brands out there and honestly, quite a number of them seem the same at first glance.
It is a wise decision to make an educated decision before you purchase an accessory. Every above accessory works well with your trips and kayak. They are waterproof, durable, easy to use, and comes with nice details.
Pick the one that best fits your habit and preference so you can enjoy an even better kayaking trip.
Do you own any kayak accessories? If so, what are those? Let us know in the comments below!