Best Kayak Accessories
With so many kayaking products on the market, it can be difficult to narrow down what ones you might need and what ones you could perhaps do without.
Kayaking is becoming more and more popular and so are the accessories, but how do you which ones are the best? Are any of them really useful?
15 Kayak Accessories: At A Glance
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We have researched to find some of the best kayaking accessories out there.
Exciting products that will be both fun and practical and some that will simply help to make your paddling experience easier and more comfortable.
What Sort Of Accessories Do I Need For My Kayak?
The type of accessories you might need for your kayak will often depend on the activities you plan to do when you’re on the water. For example, you might want accessories that can make fishing easier or you may want to keep gadgets charged while on a camping trip.
On the other hand, you might need accessories that can help you get your yak from A to B or help you store it more conveniently.
Accessories can be a great way to personalize your boat and give it the extra features you always wished it had.
Bungee cord can be a practical accessory to add to your kayak, whether you want to customize your yak with additional storage options or even replace your existing bungee rigging. You can also fashion other accessories from it, such as paddle holders.
A spare paddle can also be a good idea to have on board your yak, just in case anything happens to your original one. A four piece paddle means you can easily store it in a backpack or inside the storage hatch on your yak.
If you have a dedicated fishing kayak, you probably have plenty of features that are designed to make your fishing trip a little easier. But there are still lots of accessories you can add to customize your vessel for even more successful fishing days.
If there’s one thing you might want to add, it’s a fish finder, as this can help you locate the fish more easily and help you find your way back. A fish finder can be a good choice as it’s made with kayaking in mind, so it has a portable carrying case with sealed battery, charger and cable management system.
How To Mount Accessories On Your Kayak
There are a few ways you can mount accessories on your yak. How you do it will often depend on the type of accessory you’re mounting and the mounting points on your kayak.
Video: YakAttack GearTrac (rail for accessories)
Many accessories that are designed to be mounted to a kayak will often come with hardware that can be mounted to gear tracks on your vessel. If you plan to attach a few different accessories, gear tracks can be a good investment, as this can reduce the amount of drilling you may otherwise have to do, as the accessories become mounted to the gear tracks rather than directly to the hull.
Some accessories will require additional mounting hardware to mount them to gear tracks, so it’s worth checking in advance. But there are usually mounts you can get that will let you attach accessories, such as cameras or fish finders that can then be secured on your gear tracks. Camera mounts rundown
Alternatively, some kayaks may have specific areas or plates for mounting accessories. However, you may still have to drill into your boat, particularly if you’re transforming a non-angler kayak into a fully rigged fishing kayak and want to add rod holders.
Best Kayak Accessories
1: C-TUG Kayak Cart
Transporting your kayak to and from the water can often be a challenge if you don’t have the right equipment. This C-TUG cart is designed to make your life a little easier.
It can be assembled quickly and easily, without the help of any tools, and can be quickly dismantled when you get to the water. The added benefit of this cart is that when it’s dismantled it can fit into a hatch on your kayak or on your storage area, so you can paddle knowing your cart will be with you when you head back to land.
It is crafted with corrosion resistant materials, giving it extra durability in saltwater conditions and it also benefits from being resistant to UV light, which will help protect its integrity. The rubberised pads can be adjusted to suit the size of your kayak and it has a strong load capacity of up to 300 pounds.
Not only that, the tough rubber wheels are puncture resistant and suitable for all terrains, including soft sand.
2: SealLine Black Canyon Boundary Dry Pack
Finding somewhere to keep your belongings safe and dry while you’re out on the water can often be a struggle. That’s where this dry bag from SealLine can help.
Made from durable PVC-free fabric, this bag is fully waterproof, allowing you to pack in your gear and valuables and keep them safe and dry while you’re paddling.
You can choose from 4 different colors and 3 different sizes (35 liter, 70 liter and 115 liter), depending on your needs. The bag is also lightweight, with the 35 liter one weighing just 1 pound 6 ounces, so it’s not going to weigh you down.
It could be a great choice if you’re looking to pack in gear for a camping trip. Plus, for easier carrying the bag has adjustable and well-ventilated shoulder straps with a built-in suspension system for extra comfort; handy if you have to trek a little to your campsite.
3: Sokoo 22W Solar Charger
If you’re planning on heading out for the day, or especially for a few days, this solar charger can be a great accessory to have with you, so that you can still keep all your gadgets operating while you’re off the grid. This one from Sokoo is portable, lightweight and best of all, it’s waterproof!
It has a compact design that measures just 12.2 inches by 6.3 inches, and is only around an inch thick when folded. When the panels are open for charging it’s only 22 inches in length, so it can be good if you’re short on space. The charger weighs just 17 ½ ounces, meaning it can be an ideal accessory if you’re looking to travel light.
This durable little 22 watt charger delivers 5 volts of power through dual USB ports, so you can charge two devices at the same time, such as your phone, camera, GPS or fish finder. Just face the solar panels towards the sun while you’re out and about and keep your gadgets running during your adventures.
The solar charger features waterproof PVC coated canvas fabric, so you don’t have to worry about it getting splashed while you’re paddling and it should also survive if it falls in the water.
4: Stohlquist Edge Life Jacket
A life vest is a must-have accessory when you’re out on the water. A well-fitting PFD can literally be a life saver, and this one from Stohlquist is engineered to keep you both safe and comfortable while you’re out enjoying yourself.
The Edge life vest is designed with mobility in mind and to suit a range of paddling styles. It’s made from durable, lightweight fabric with reflective detailing to give better visibility.
This ergonomically designed PFD benefits from having adjustable shoulder straps, 4 side pull straps and a convenient waist buckle closure at the front for a snug fit. Crafted with soft foam for added buoyancy, this PFD can be worn for whitewater, calm lake or sea kayaking.
It comes in 3 chest sizes for adults, ranging from 33 inches up to 54 inches and features graded sizing, which means you still have the required level of buoyancy and foam thickness for your body size or frame.
Another handy feature on this low profile PFD is that it has a zippered front pocket, so you can stuff in your small essential items (like a kayak knife, for example)so that they’re easily accessible while you’re paddling.
5: Suspenz EZ Kayak Rack
This EZ boat rack is designed for usability and it’s easy to use, just like its name suggests. You can mount the rack to either an interior or exterior wall, letting you save space in your garage or home and allows you to store your yaks off the floor to avoid damage.
The frame of the rack extends just 21 inches from the wall and can hold a vessel weighing up to 100 pounds. The rack is crafted from powder-coated steel, giving it extra durability to withstand outdoor conditions.
It features foam padding wrapped in 600 denier nylon to protect the hull of your kayak and, for extra protection there are built-in safety straps that tighten to secure your craft.
6: BEST Kayak Anchor
This anchor is built for kayaking and small boats and it could certainly be a useful addition to your cargo, especially if you like to fish.
The 3 and a ½ pound anchor is crafted from solid galvanized iron, so it’s naturally resistant to rust and corrosion, making it a good choice for both fresh and saltwater use. The anchor line is a strong 40 foot long marine grade rope and there is a convenient buoy ball attached.
This sturdy anchor will keep your kayak in place on the water, even in light winds or currents, which is handy if you’re fishing in a good spot or fancy a quick dip in the water and don’t want your yak floating away without you.
It even folds up for easy storage and comes in a handy little pouch. When folded it measures just 12 inches by 3 inches, so it’s not going to take up too much room on your deck.
7: Garmin Fenix 3 GPS Watch
When you’re out kayaking, having a GPS navigation device can be useful and sometimes essential if you’re out on a multi-day trip in unknown territory. With this Fenix watch from Garmin, you not only get GPS capabilities but you also get a watch, so you can keep an eye on the time when you’re on the water.
This high-tech watch is waterproof up to 100 meters, so it’s resistance to splashes and you can even swim while wearing it. It’s easy to use and you can see the compass and barometer on the main display.
Another handy feature of this watch is that you can sync it to your phone with the ConnectIQ app, so that it can alert you to notifications while you’re paddling. It also has the ability to store up to 10,000 tracks and 1,000 Waypoints, with the ability to navigate back to them with Trackback technology.
It can be a good choice if you’re looking for a high-tech GPS device that won’t take up extra room on board and will serve as a convenient, multi-purpose watch as well.
Don't want a watch? Here's our guide to GPS systems.
8: Scotty #279-BK Rod Holder
If you want to upgrade your yak for a fishing trip then attaching a rod holder can be a good idea. This one from Scotty comes without a mount, so you’re free to choose the mount that best suits your vessel.
It features a strong, cushioned holder that will secure your baitcaster reel and a front slot that allows your spinning reel to be held in place. It’s fully adjustable, so you can move it up or down to suit your needs.
There is a secure strap that clips over the top of your rod, helping to secure it, so you can fish while eating a snack or tending to your other rods. It also has fiber reinforcement in its durable nylon construction, giving it extra strength and resilience.
9: Kayalu Kayalite LED Kayak Light
For anyone who paddles at night or in low light conditions, having a light on your kayak is pretty much a must, especially if you’re paddling in waters with other vessels.
With this kayak light you’ll be able to stay safe and be seen, alerting other water users of your presence.
Designed for kayaks and inflatables, this light can attach easily to most small vessels with its steel clip and securing bungee cables that will attach to eyelets, D-rings, carry handles or even bungee cords.
The bright white LED light has a long battery life, running for 200 hours on 3 AA batteries, which come included. It’s crafted with marine grade components, making it durable for ocean use, and it’s also buoyant and waterproof up to 1000 feet.
Although the light is bright, it is not bright enough to be used to see where you’re going. It is not a flashlight but it will highlight the position of your vessel in the dark, so just remember you may need a separate flashlight if you need to illuminate the route in front of you.
10: NRS Basic Touring Safety Kit
When you’re heading out for a day on the water, it can be a wise move to make sure you have additional safety equipment and not just your life vest or helmet. This safety kit from NRS can be a good option for having with you on your kayak.
It features a paddle float, which can help you re-enter your kayak in more difficult conditions, especially if you’re out on your own. It only requires you to fill one of the two chambers to inflate it for a self-rescue, so it’s quick and easy to use.
Another handy device is the whistle, as it’s designed specifically for watersports, so it’s pea-less and loud and will work if you need to alert your fellow paddlers or rescuers to your location.
The whistle also has a built-in clip and a hole for attaching it to a lanyard for more convenience. Another feature of this kit is the bilge pump. It can remove 7 liters of water in one chamber, with the ability to remove 8 gallons a minute, so it’s helpful if you need to clear the water from your cockpit in a hurry.
The kit also comes with a sponge so you can get any remaining water out of your cockpit, or help to get rid of any sand or silt that might have come on board.
11: Campingandkayak Paddle Leash Set
If you’ve ever had your paddle float away while you’re trying to jump back in your yak, then this paddle leash set could be of help. Built for kayaking, this set features 3 leashes in total, so you can attach one to your paddle and have two more for fishing rods or anything else you might want to keep a hold of.
Each durable leash is 20 inches long, with a bungee style stretch feature and they can easily be looped together if you want to create a longer leash. The leashes are made in the USA and come with a steel, saltwater-safe carabiner for attaching to your vessel.
You can use them to attach yourself to your yak while you’re wading out to a good spot for some fishing, or use them to attach other gear, such as waterproof packs that could fall overboard.
They could also be a good idea if you’re crossing over areas that might be too shallow for paddling, then you can tether yourself to your kayak and float it along behind you as you wade through the water.
12: GoPro Floaty Backdoor
If you’re taking your GoPro out on your kayak, the waterproof housing may not be enough to protect it if it does happen to end up in the water. The GoPro Floaty Backdoor is designed to attach to the back of the housing of your GoPro.
It is brightly colored so that it’s highly visible and, most importantly, it’s built to float. This means that if your GoPro takes a dive you should still be able to see it and retrieve it from the surface of the water.
This handy little Floaty also comes with tethers and anchors to help keep it secure. To make it more compatible with a range of GoPros it comes with spare backdoors for both the standard housing and the Hero4 housing.
It’s designed for watersports, from kayaking to surfing and paddle boarding and it shouldn’t affect the quality of your photos or videos, as it’s at the back of your GoPro. But it could allow you to make the most of your GoPro and your kayak, by giving you that extra little piece of security that you might need, especially if you’re running rapids.
13: YakAttack GT175 Generation II GearTrac
By adding this YakAttack GearTrac to your boat it can make mounting additional accessories on your yak even easier, as many mounts are often gear track ready. This gear track comes in a range of lengths, from 4 to 16 inches, so you can choose the best length for the particular spot on your vessel or get a couple and really kit it out.
It’s a heavy duty surface mount track and has been designed for marine environments. It also comes with durable stainless steel screws that help secure the track to your boat.
This is a versatile gear track that can be mounted on any flat surface on your boat and is only 1 and ¾ inches wide, so could even be attached to narrower areas. Another handy feature is that it can be installed completely from the top, which means you don’t need access to the inside of your hull.
This gear track can allow you mount other accessories, such as rod holders, camera mounts and fish finders, as well as lots of other things without having to drill additional mounting points on your vessel. It’s compatible with ½ inch wide mounting hardware.
14: CreekKooler Floating Insulated Cooler
Sometimes you might wish you had a little more storage space on your yak, especially when you’re heading out for a long trip. This floating cooler can give you that extra storage space without taking up valuable room on your yak.
It’s a 30 quart cooler that’s insulated, meaning it should keep your drinks cold and your food fresh, as it’s designed to keep ice frozen for 48 hours. This can make it a good choice if you’re heading out on a camping trip for a couple of days.
The cooler is designed like a miniature kayak and features a watertight lid to provide dry storage. It has a tow point at either side so you can easily pull it along behind your kayak. This can let you carry more gear in your kayak, as you don’t have to save space on your deck for the cooler.
It can hold up to 20 pounds of ice and 30 12 ounce cans and also features four built-in cup holders on the deck. The handles at either end of the cooler can make it easy to pull along the ground to reach your campsite or head to the water.
15: Yakpads Cushioned Gel Seat Pad
When you’re on the water for a long time, it can get a little uncomfortable if you don’t have the most comfy seat. With the Yakpads seat pad you can boost the comfort of your existing kayak seat.
Made with elastomer gel, it’s designed to reduce pressure when sitting and can maintain its firmness and flexibility without losing its shape. The gel filling is also insulated, which means that if your seat is particularly hot or cold, the temperature shouldn’t transfer through to you as you sit down.
This versatile seat pad features a high back support and comes with adjustable straps that can allow you to attach it to almost any kayak seat. You can also use it with other non-kayak seats, such as in the office, sports stadiums or even in the car.
It features a quick drying fabric over the gel lining and has a non-slip backing so that the seat remains in place without sliding around once it’s installed.
It can be an ideal addition to almost any kayak, including fishing kayaks or touring kayaks, where you might be on the water for several hours.
What kayak accessories do you have? Have we missed a "must-have" item from our list? Let us know about it below...