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Guide To Kayak Cockpit Covers

Mark Armstrong
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Whether you’re traveling with your kayak or storing it, trying to keep it clean and dry can sometimes be difficult. However, there are many cockpit covers for kayaks that may be able to help minimize how much water or debris gets inside your yak.

Our Top Choices: Cockpit Covers

We know how annoying it can be to have to clean leaves or dirt out of your cockpit before you even hit the water, so we’ve put together this guide to help you choose the best cockpit cover for your kayak.

Guide To Kayak Cockpit Covers - Pinterest ImagePin

I Need A Cockpit Cover?! Why?

A cockpit cover can be an essential accessory for your sit-inside kayak. However, if you have a sit-on-top kayak, chances are you won’t have a cockpit to cover…If you’re a SOT owner – nothing to see here!

Unlike a spray skirt, a cockpit cover is designed to be used when your vessel is not in use. It’s built to protect your cockpit while in storage or when being transported. But like a spray skirt, it’s designed to keep water and other things out of your yak.


With a sit-inside yak, a cockpit cover can be an excellent tool in helping to keep your cockpit safe from bugs, as well as keeping it relatively clean and dust-free. This can be useful if you store your kayak in your garage.

For outdoor storage, a cover can be even more useful, as it can help to prevent rain or moisture from getting inside and damaging your craft. It can also help to keep small animals from making their home inside your kayak.

A covered cockpit can also help you keep other items protected from the weather or insects, as you can use the inside of your cockpit as a storage area for smaller items. This can be particularly useful if you’re short of storage space at home or if you’re camping overnight.

When you’re covering your kayak, it can be worth making sure the inside of your cockpit is completely dry first, or you could end up with mildew or other moisture issues.


When you’re transporting your kayak on the roof of your car or in a trailer, you may find that a cockpit cover can reduce wind resistance. This is because it can help to stop air from getting inside your cockpit.

Without a cockpit cover, air can get into your cockpit and create drag, which could have a negative effect on your gas mileage. It could also be dangerous, as the strength of the wind could pull on your kayak and cause it to come loose.

However, it can be a good idea to make sure your cockpit cover is properly secured to your vessel and/or your vehicle so that it doesn’t come loose and fly off while you’re driving along the road.

Covering your cockpit while you’re traveling can also be helpful in keeping the inside of your craft dry if you’re driving in the rain or snow. This means you could save time when you get to the water, as you shouldn’t need to bail out your yak before you launch.

> Good care for transporting kayaks and canoes

How To Choose The Right Cover For Your Kayak


When you’re looking for a cockpit cover it can be a good idea to take into consideration where you will use it. For example, if you are planning to use it for outdoor storage, you will probably want to think about getting a waterproof cover.

The same goes if you’re planning to use it while transporting your vessel. However, if you’re simply looking for a cover to protect your cockpit from dust and critters while it’s being stored in your garage, you may decide that it’s not necessary for it to be waterproof.


You’ll find that the sizes will vary when it comes to the different brands and styles, so it’s important to know the length and width of your cockpit beforehand.

Some models will be able to fit a range of cockpit sizes, following more of a one size fits all design, but others may be more size specific.

Video: Properly Measuring A Kayak Cockpit


If you intend to cover your cockpit during transportation you will need to make sure that it is properly and securely tied down. Some covers will come with more secure straps than others.

You’ll probably also find that some covers are designed to be used in transportation whereas some styles may be better suited for storage only.

5 Of The Best Cockpit Covers For Your Kayak

1: Seals Cockpit Drape

Seals Cockpit DrapePin

The Seals Cockpit Drape is a cover that is designed to fit cockpits up to 26 inches wide and up to 44 inches long. It also comes in a larger size, up to 104 inches for tandem vessels.

It features medium weight nylon packcloth fabric and comes with bungee cords that can secure the cover to your yak. This can make it an ideal choice for both transportation and indoor storage.

Because of its drape design it could be a good option for unusual cockpit sizes as it covers an area over the cockpit rather than fitting onto the rim.

2: Harmony Gear Cockpit Cover

Harmony Gear Cockpit CoverPin

This Cockpit Cover from Harmony Gear could be an ideal choice if you’re looking for a cover that can keep your cockpit dry and free from dust and bugs. This water resistant cover is designed for storage only and is not suitable for transportation.

But because of its durable nylon fabric, it can be used for both outdoor and indoor storage and could help to maximize your storage space by utilizing the cockpit for keeping additional gear.

It comes in a range of lengths and widths, as it is designed to fit around the rim of your cockpit, so you can get the best fit for your kayak.

3: Seals Cockpit Seal

Seals Cockpit SealPin

This Cockpit Seal from Seals comes in a range of sizes, designed to fit a variety of kayak models. The nylon packcloth fabric is built to keep water out, as well as bugs, so it could be a good choice for both indoor and outdoor storage. It also offers UV protection.

Another feature is the webbed hull cord that helps to keep the cover in place during transportation. It also benefits from having bungee cord around the rim, which can help to give you a more secure fit whether you’re storing your yak or traveling with it on top of your vehicle.

4: NRS Super Stretch Neoprene Cockpit Cover

NRS Super Stretch Neoprene Cockpit CoverPin

The NRS Super Stretch Neoprene Cockpit Cover is designed to fit a variety of kayak cockpits. Being made from neoprene, it repels water and can be easily stretched. It’s also built for durability.

The cover features a bungee cord around the rim, which can make it fit around your cockpit snugly and help to prevent it from coming off. It can be a good choice for keeping your kayak dry and free of bugs during storage and can be equally useful during transportation.

On larger cockpits, it may be difficult to get on at first but because of the neoprene fabric it can be a good idea to leave it on overnight in order for it to stretch. This should make it a little easier when putting it on the next time.

5: Seals Tandem Cockpit Cover

Seals Tandem Cockpit CoverPin

This Tandem Cockpit Cover from Seals is designed to fit over tandem vessels and comes in different Seals sizes, depending on the brand and model of your craft.

It features double-stitched seams for added durability and is made from nylon packcloth. It also has the benefit of having a waterproof coating to help keep your cockpit – and anything else you want to store in there – safe and dry.

The cover has bungee cord around the outside to give you a snug fit around the rim of your cockpit and it features two hull straps that wrap around your hull and the cover to give you added security when transporting your vessel.

It can be ideal for both transportation and storage.

Let’s Cover This Off…(Conclusion)

A kayak cockpit cover can be a great accessory to protect your vessel from the weather, as well as prevent any unwanted visitors from making a home inside your cozy cockpit. They can also provide ideal protection during transportation.

Remember to check your cockpit measurements in advance and make sure you choose a cover that’s right for your needs, whether it’s for storage or transportation.

Let us know your thoughts on cockpit covers by leaving us a comment. And let your friends and followers learn how to keep the bugs out of their yaks by sharing this with them. 

2 thoughts on “Guide To Kayak Cockpit Covers”

  1. Hi,
    My comment is that you don’t really seem to pay much attention to the comments; I see that diane has not yet got a response to her question of May 16, 2021. And here it is, May 8, 2024 already!


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