21 Best Kayak Accessories – Kayaking Gear

You’re so close to hitting the water. You’ve found the perfect kayak, life jacket, helmet, and paddle, and now you need to outfit your boat with all the best kayak accessories. Whether you’re out for the day or paddling overnight and camping, there is sure to be something you can’t live without on this kayak accessory gear list.

best kayak accessories
best kayak accessories

Whether you’re just getting into kayaking or a seasoned pro, take a look at our list for all the things that you never knew you needed. After all, when it comes to buying too much stuff, outdoor gear doesn’t count.

Getting the Best Kayak Gear

There is a lot of kayak gear on the market. Some of it is well-made, and some are junk. Therefore, we’ve done the dirty work for you and perused hundreds of the best kayak accessories to recommend to you. These are items we own, would like to own, or are highly recommended by most users. So read on, friends, for the list of kayak accessories you should consider adding to your gear for your next kayak adventure!

Kayak Storage

Kayak Dry Bags

When out on any body of water, it’s wise to have a dry bag or waterproof bag to store your gear. The MARCHWAY Floating Waterproof Dry Bag is hands down one of the most popular dry bags you’ll find on the internet. It comes in 5L, 10L, 20L, 30L, and 40L, so there is a size to meet everyone’s needs, and it comes in 18 colors, so there is something to suit everyone’s tastes!

Made of ultra-tough waterproof fabric, these bags work by folding the top down 3-4 times, then buckling, creating a seal to keep water out. If you leave a little air in the bag, it turns this into a waterproof floating pouch should it end up in the water. Or tow behind, although they could leak a little water if fully submerged for extended periods.

The smaller sizes come with single adjustable straps, while the larger ones have double straps.

These dry bags are tried and true by thousands of devoted fans, from beginners to pros, and are reasonably priced. Perfect for kayaking, camping, hiking, and trips to the boundary waters. These dry bags can keep your gear dry and organized. They can even hang in the air in a tree off of a tree branch. These will keep any food stored in a dry bag away and out of reach of any animals such as bears.

Kayak Dry Box

If you’re looking for a hard-sided option for storing items that require a bit of extra protection, like a cell phone, batteries or walkie talkies. Look no further than this Outdoor Products Watertight Box. It’s made of tough polycarbonate and comes in two sizes.

It comes with an O-ring closure for a watertight seal. While it’s not designed to stay waterproof when submerged underwater for long periods, reviewers that have had it submerged say their items stayed perfectly dry.

Kayak Crate

If you’re one of the many kayak anglers on a sit-on-top-kayak, a kayak crate will come in handy to stow all your gear. The Wilderness Systems Kayak Crate has several features that appeal to people who fish or want extra storage. A good spot to store your spare scupper plugs, paddle leashes, or other gear that you need to keep tucked away in a secure location while your paddling through the water.

It fits most kayaks, including top kayaks, and comes with four rod holders. The lid has additional storage and lash points for securing it to your kayak. This crate will serve multiple uses, whether you store your tackle, bait, extra gear, or clothing.

It would be a great addition to a double sit-on-top kayak to give you extra storage. Additionally, it only weighs 10.9 pounds. It’s not waterproof if it goes for a dunk and is fully submerged, but it will keep everything dry for the most part from splashes, rain, dew, and fog.

Kayak Safety

Kayak Knife

A kayak knife is for safety purposes (and maybe spreading peanut butter in a pinch). If you’re using ropes to tie up, lash things, and more, there is always the potential for an accident. Having a knife to cut something or someone free in an emergency is critical. Most life vest jackets or personal flotation device have a place to attach a knife designed specifically for water use.

The NRS Co-Pilot Knife should, hands down, be your top pick for a kayak knife. It has a stainless steel blade with two serrated edges for quickly cutting through rope or other materials. The handle is designed to fit your hand comfortably and comes with a glass-reinforced polypropylene grip for easy grasping when wet. 

The tip is flat to keep you from puncturing your gear and doubles as a flathead screwdriver. It also has a built-in bottle opener. However, experienced river guides are fans of this knife because it stays in place. After all, a knife won’t do you any good at the bottom of a river in deep or shallow water. It also comes in a variety of six colors, which is fantastic.

Emergency Whistle

While many won’t ever think about taking an emergency whistle when kayaking, it’s never wrong to have one if you get in a jam and need someone’s attention. The aluminum alloy SHvivik Emergency Whistle is designed to work when wet and is super loud. Anyone within hearing distance should have no problem hearing this whistle.

These compact, lightweight whistles come in a two-pack with a keychain and rope so you can hang them around your neck or attach them to your kayak life jacket. Reviewers overwhelmingly comment on how loud it is, from scaring the dogs to scammers on the phone.

Safety Strobe Light

If you plan to be in the water after dark, or even in low-light situations, a safety strobe light will ensure others see you out on the water. The Botepon Battery Operated Kayak Navigation Lights receive high ratings at a low price.

These LED lights come in one red and one green light and have three modes: steady, slow flashing, and fast-flashing. They take a 3023 battery, which is included, and come in a silicone case and with a clip so you can attach them anywhere.

These are not waterproof but work great for lighting up your kayak.

Bilge Pump

Having a kayak bilge pump on hand is a nice safety option in time of need. This Seattle Sports bilge pump allows for manual pumping. Suck in water with a pull of the bilge pump handle and push out water with a push of the bilge pump handle.

Kayak Transport

Kayak Carts / Kayak Trailer

Kayaks can be heavy and cumbersome. Therefore, a good cart can help you maneuver your kayak to the water quickly and easily. While we believe great gear can be worth the money, we also know good products don’t always have to break the bank. That’s why we like the Bonnlo Universal Kayak Carrier.

This kayak cart is well-made, easy to assemble, and has straps and bungee cords to attach your boat. It can carry up to 156 pounds and folds up when not in use. But the one thing that sets this cart apart from others is the airless tires. Rather than worrying about flats or having to keep the tires inflated, these are solid rubber. At this price point, this cart is a no-brainer.

Kayak Hitch-Mount

Kayaks are typically longer than even the largest truck bed. A kayak hitch mount can solve this problem by essentially extending the length of your truck bed. The MaxxHaul Hitch Mount Pick Up Truck Bed Extender does just that.

This mount can be used for kayaks and much more, including ladders, canoes, pipes, lumber, and anything too long to fit in the truck bed. The hitch mount fits 2-inch receiver hitches and adjust in length to suit your needs. With quick-release clevis pins for quick assembly and disassembly and reflective tape for visibility and safety, this is a handy tool to have in your garage, not only for moving your kayaks but also for home improvement projects. You really can’t go wrong. 

Kayak Extras

Kayak Spray Skirts

Spray skirts keep your legs dry and help you stay warmer in cooler weather. They’re optional but can come in quite handy. Some are made for specific kayaks, while others are adjustable to fit a variety of brands. We recommend the SEALS Coastal Tour Sprayskirt as an excellent general-purpose spray skirt.

This spray skirt is made of medium-weight coated nylon packcloth and is suitable for moderate paddling conditions. It comes with a drawcord to adjust to the lip of your specific kayak. As with most good skirts, this one comes with suspenders to keep the skirt tunnel up properly and keeps water from pooling or getting inside.

This handy skirt also comes with a zippered pocket for easy access to maps, sunscreen, or just stow trash. The seal is a high-quality, trusted brand for kayak skirts, and this one is certainly worth a try.

Kayak Anchor

Perhaps most handy for fishing or docking in the shade, a kayak anchor will keep you in place rather than floating away. A kayak anchor doesn’t have to be heavy or expensive to do the trick. Instead, take the Extreme Max BoatTector Complete Grapnel Anchor Kit.

This anchor weighs 3.5 pounds, so your kayak won’t be weighted down until you throw it in the water. It comes with a 25-foot rope, a buoy, and a storage bag. It has four shanks suitable for coral, rocky, or heavily weeded bottoms.

Experienced kayakers recommend this anchor for single or tandem kayaks, canoes, or other lightweight flotation devices.

Kayak Repair

Suppose you’re looking for a handy hard-sided kayak repair kit. In that case, the West System 655-K Plastic Boat Repair Kit is a viable option. For minor repairs, it has easy-to-follow instructions and holds well. It comes with G/flex epoxy, gloves, mixing pallets, mixing sticks, and detailed instructions. Whether you have a repair to make now or you want to prepare for a future need, this is a handy kit to have on hand.

Kayak Gloves

A hand’s repetitive use and friction on even the best kayak paddle can cause blisters and make for a miserable day. A good pair of gloves is a good idea and can help solve this problem. The Palmyth UV Protection Fishing Fingerless Gloves are a popular option for men and women.

These gloves offer UV protection to protect you from sunburn and come up high on the wrist to protect that spot between typical gloves and your shirt. They come with partially synthetic grips and breathable materials to keep you cool. The fingerless design ensures dexterity for fishing, eating, or other activities while protecting your hands while paddling.

Use the size chart to get the perfect fit, and choose from six colors and designs for a style that suits your personality!

Kayak Paddle Holder

Sometimes, you need a way to get your paddle out of the way because you’re fishing, eating lunch, or just relaxing. A paddle holder is a great way and great option to do this, and therefore we recommend the YakAttack RotoGrip Paddle Holder. Another option is a paddle float.

These come in a two-pack, which reviewers say is necessary for being the most secure. They’re well made, easy to install on a kayak track, and will keep paddles within reach. The RotoGrip holds your paddle firmly in place.

Kayak Air Pump

If you have an inflatable kayak or on of the many inflatable boats, you need a kayak pump. We like non-electric pumps for inflatable kayaks, so you never have to worry about batteries, and because they’re lightweight and can be carried with you should you get a leak. The ADVANCED ELEMENTS Double Action Pump including Pressure Gauge is our top pick.

This kayak air pump hand pump weighs a mere pound, meaning it won’t weigh you down on the water. The high inflation rate means you’ll have your kayak aired up in no time, and the multiple attachments ensure it will work for your specific kayak. Further, the gauge helps ensure you have just the right PSI for your kayak.

Kayak Fishing Accessories

Rod Holder

Extra rod holders may be essential if you’re fishing in your kayak. We recommended a YakAttack paddle holder, so we’re also going to recommend a YakAttack rod holder for your next fishing trip. Made in the USA, the YAKATTACK Omega Rod Holder has a track mounting base to quickly and easily mount on your fishing kayak track.

It works well with both spinning and fly rods of all sizes. A 360-degree collar allows you to store your rod in many positions for quick and easy access. If you fish in your kayak, get at least one of these rod holders!

Floating Fish Net

If you’re fishing on the open water, you don’t want gear that will sink to the bottom of deep water if you lose hold of it. Therefore, get a good floating fish net if you accidentally let go of the landing net while wrangling that trout. We think the PLUSINNO Floating Fishing Net is the perfect option.

This handy folding fish net opens quickly with the flick of a wrist. The handle is lightweight aluminum, while the hoop has an added foam ring for buoyancy. The net is rubber-coated, keeping it from getting waterlogged and smelling. It fits perfectly in a kayak or clips to the side.

Kayak Rod Leash

You’ve spent a lot of money on fishing rods, and the last thing you want to do is lose one in the water. A rod leash is a way to prevent this unfortunate mishap from occurring. We like the Camping and Kayaking rod leash because it can be used for your paddle, tying up your kayak, and securing much more.

Made in the USA, you get three waterproof polypropylene leashes for the money. The package also comes with one carabiner. While the carabiner isn’t made in the US, Camping and Kayaking did have it specially designed to withstand saltwater.

These leashes attach with a cow hitch, and when pulled tight, it gets tighter and tighter. So you can’t go wrong adding a couple of these leashes to your arsenal.

Kayak Food and Beverage

Kayak Cooler

While there are plenty of great coolers on the market, we can’t help but recommend the CreekKooler Floating Cooler. You don’t have the luxury of lots of space on a kayak, and that’s why we think this one is so handy since you tow it behind. Even when fully loaded, the design minimizes drag allowing you to pull it in still and moving water.

With two inches of insulation, this will hold ice for up to 48 hours. However, reviewers say it will keep things cold even longer because it sits in the water. The 30-quart size fits 30 12-ounce cans and 20 pounds of ice. Tow it behind your kayak, and you’ll have plenty of extra space on board for things like your fishing gear!

Multi-Mount Cup Holder

We recommend yet another YakAttack product with the Yakattack MultiMount Cup Holder. These products are made by people that kayak and live the lifestyle; therefore, they know what kayakers need.

The cup holder will withstand salt and freshwater, mount easily on your kayak track, and hold multiple sizes of beverage containers. It’s a great addition to any kayak setup.

Water Bottle

Along with the beer, make sure you bring plenty of water when out kayaking. There are many great options on the market but consider a few things. First, you’ll want something to keep your water cold all day, even in the heat. You’ll also want something strong enough to take a beating, whether it’s being thrown against the rocks accidentally or tossed onshore. Finally, make sure your water bottle is big enough to hold enough water to keep you hydrated all day.

For all these reasons, we recommend the ever-popular Hydro Flask Wide Mouth. While you pay a little more for this bottle, you won’t regret it. Plus, you’ll look cool carrying it since it comes in many different colors, and let’s face it, we know this is a trendy beverage container. But it’s for a good reason.

With several sizes to choose from, you can pick one that fits your needs. The wide mouth allows for easy drinking, and the honeycomb insulation will keep your water cold for up to 24 hours. If you want to add hot liquids, you’ll get up to 6 hours of warmth. Finally, the stainless steel is tough enough for even the roughest adventures.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, we’ve carefully gone through the best kayak accessories on the web and came up with recommendations for items in many categories. We don’t think you can’t go wrong with the items on this list between reviews, things we’ve tried, and things we want to try.

Kayaking is a great way to get outside on the water. Whether you’re taking your kayak camping, fishing, or just for a day float, many great accessories can make your trip even more enjoyable.

Additionally, winter and summer kayaking will bring different challenges. Fortunately, there is a variety of gear for the changing seasons to keep you warm (or cool!) and dry.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll repeat it: you can never have too much high-quality outdoor gear. It makes all your excursions more enjoyable when you have the right equipment. As a result, you’ll be more comfortable, less frustrated, and likely you will stay motivated to enjoy the outdoors far more often. Especially if you are a kayak angler and a good fish finder.

So, get shopping, become that water sports gear junkie, then get outside on the water and put your kayak accessories to use! While you are at it, consider a first aid kit.