Winter Clothing and Gear

If you live in the north and wish to paddle in weather cooler than 45 degrees, you need the proper protective gear. Dress for the water temperature, and not the air. Wear at least one thermal layer under whichever protective outer layer you choose. Always wear a lifejacket, especially when paddling alone.



The ultimate cold weather paddling protection. They can be expensive but if you are paddling in Canada or in freezing weather it will keep you alive if you fall in the water.​

All round shell


For cold water and air temperatures. Look for at least 2mm thickness. Zippered farmer John/Jane style offers the best combination of comfort and protection.

Solid outer layer

Semi Drytop/Pants

Good protection for warmer water temperatures and when the air is cold.



Look for waterproof neoprene construction. Your feet will be one of the first things to freeze so make sure they do not get wet.

Must have!


HotHands hand warmers can make a world of difference on cold days. Stuff some in your boots and gloves and not even notice the cold.


Water bottle

A nice extra item to have is a insulated water bottle. It will keep your drink warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Stay away from bottles with a nipple or built in straw as it might freeze.



Finding and selecting the right gloves can be tricky, everyone has their own preference. Choose something at least water resistant and durable. Using mittens or lobster gloves can offer more warmth but less dexterity. ​

Safety item

Dry sack

Having a dry sack is essential for cold weather paddling. Bring along an extra pair of gloves, socks, hot hands, phone and battery bank.


Pealess whistle

Every boat should be equipped with 1 whistle per paddler. Get a pealess design so it works if wet and attach it to your lifejacket.

Warm and wind proof


A balaclava will keep your neck, face, and head warm even on the coldest days.


Battery bank

Cold weather kills batteries. You dont want to be caught 10 miles from home stranded on the bank with a dead cell phone. Bring along extra juice and also be able to take that extra selfie.


Life Jacket

Kokatat life jackets are comfortable, low profile and allow for good range on motion.