Kayaking is a sport that’s enjoyed by many people all across the world. It’s a great way to be close to nature and it’s also a fun way to keep fit. You may not have realized it, but there is more than one type of kayaking.
Whitewater kayaking is one type and it involves working your way through flowing rivers. Flatwater kayaking is another type that’s a little less extreme and involves moving across calmer waters. There’s also fishing kayaking that’s come about in the past few years and is perfect for all you anglers out there.
Whether you prefer sea kayaks, inflatable kayaks, touring kayaks, sit-in kayaks, sit-on-top kayaks, or even tandem kayaks, they don’t come cheap and, to get your hands on a decent one, you’ll be looking at a few hundred dollars minimum.
So, for that reason, you’ll want to protect your kayak as best you can. One way in which to do this is through the use of a cockpit cover. But, before you go shopping for one there are a few things to bear in mind:
- Material: Most kayak cockpit covers are made from either neoprene or nylon. Neoprene is much durable than nylon, but it's also heavier and lacks waterproof properties. On the upside, neoprene is stretchy and ensures a tight fit. Nylon, on the other hand, is waterproof, but it’s extremely lightweight. So, depending on where you’ll be storing your kayak will largely depend on whether you need a neoprene or nylon cockpit cover.
- Water-resistant. Unless you’re going to be storing your kayak outside, you don’t need to worry about finding a cockpit cover that’s waterproof. A water-resistant cover should be just fine.
- Get your measurements right: Most manufacturers will have size guides posted on their website to help you get the right fit the first time around. Make sure you check this out first before purchasing.
- Cost: Kayak cockpit covers can vary quite a bit when it comes to cost. But don’t be fooled into thinking that because it’s expensive it’s any good, as that’s not always the case. Make sure you check out the material and size carefully before you buy. This will save you a great deal of time and money in the long run.
To give you a helping hand in deciding what’s best for you, the following are some of the best kayak cockpit covers available at the moment:
Sizes available: Regular (44 inches), X (45–60 inches), Tandem (up to 104 inches). Price range: High. If you want to buy from a name you can trust and money is no object, consider getting your hands on this Seals Cockpit Drape. This cover fits any cockpit up to 26 inches wide, regardless of the size you opt for. It’s made from a high-quality nylon that’s both waterproof and durable. Simply stretch it over the cockpit and attach using the series of bungee cords.
Sizes available: Xs/S/M/L/XL. Price range: Low. If you’re on a bit of a budget but still want an effective solution to keep your kayak’s cockpit protected from the elements, then look no further than this Docooler Breathable Cover. It’s made of Oxford cloth and has an elastic drawstring to ensure a tight fit. There’s no struggling to put on and it does the job wonderfully.
Sizes available: Small (21.5” x 38.5”), Medium (25” x 45.5”), Large (25.5” x 52”), X-Large (25” x 56”). Price range: Mid. This kayak cover on offer from BEST is an excellent choice for many reasons. First, it’s made using waterproof polyester that’s both hard-wearing and UV-resistant. Another reason it’s one of the better covers out there is that the bungees are double stitched on for maximum security. And, in the rare event that you do have any issues with quality or the kayak cover doesn’t fit, BEST will give you a full refund or replace your item for you, no questions asked.
Sizes available: 1.2, 1.4 Deck, 1.7 Deck, 2.2 Deck, 2.5 Deck. Price range: High. Another fine example of a kayak cover on offer from Seals, this Sprayskirts Neoprene cover is ideal for keeping out unwanted dust and all those creepy crawlies. It’s made from a top-quality neoprene that’s extremely durable and should last a long time. The ⅜’ bungee and tether hook both ensure there’s a snug fit and it’s super easy to put on. There’s even an extra clip for added protection.
Sizes available: 32/18, 38/20, 44/21, 49/22. Price range: Mid. Keep all those unwanted leaves and spiders out of your kayak with this fabulous cockpit cover on offer from Harmony Gear. Made from a tough, durable 410 denier nylon it’s water-resistant and made to last. The fitted shock cord rim is adjustable and should fit snugly on most kayaks. For exact sizing info, be sure to check out the Harmony fit guide before making your purchase.
Sizes available: Universal Plus. Price range: High. There’s no need to worry about getting the wrong measurements with this kayak cover. Made from a super stretchy neoprene, it’s flexible enough to fit any sized kayak with a little stretching. It also has an adjustable shock cord to ensure a snug fit. The NRS Super Stretch cover looks good and is extremely durable. If you’ve got the spare cash, it's definitely an option worth considering.
Finding the right kayak cockpit cover for you doesn’t have to be a daunting process. The above are some of the best models available to buy right now and there’s pretty much something for everyone on there. We’ve done the hard work for you. All that’s left for you to do now is make your choice and go and get it.