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9 Best Inflatable Kayaks and Rafts for Whitewater in 2020

Discover some of the year’s best inflatable kayaks and rafts from Advanced Elements, AIRE, Cronin and Kokopelli. Perfect for day trips and whitewater, each of these boats boasts comfort, versatility and efficiency. Grab one of these boats and get on the water.

Best Inflatable Kayaks and Rafts for Whitewater

Attack PRO Whitewater Kayak by Advanced Elements 

Price: $699.99
advancedelements.com

Fully upgraded with drop stitch technology, take on the roughest conditions in the Attack Pro Whitewater Kayak. With 12 inches rocker, a wide stance, and a 9.5-inch tube diameter, this self-bailer is stable, responsive and made for whitewater. Featuring thigh straps, a high-back seat and adjustable foot pegs, it weighs in at only 25pounds, making it light enough for longer portages. It is a blast on the water.


AIRE Cub from AIRE

Price: $2,999
aire.com

Built to be the ultimate river playboat, the Cub, at 10 feet and five inches, is a sporty and nimble raft. Accommodating a two- to three-person paddle team for high-adrenaline technical water, this rowdy little raft is sure to be an exciting ride.

Outfitter I from AIRE

Price: $1,649
aire.com

A bruiser in big water with large tube diameters, extra width, and low seat position make the Outfitter AIRE’s most stable and forgiving whitewater kayak. It plows through whitewater and is perfect for novice kayakers just getting a feel for the sport or the big water experts who need a beefy boat. Ideal for adventurous day outings or packing in gear for overnight river trips.

Tributary Tomcat Solo from AIRE

Price: $719
aire.com

Priced right and built to last, AIRE’s Tomcat Solo is a fun, stable kayak for paddlers just exploring the whitewater world. With vinyl bladders and a rugged PVC outer shell, this durable little inflatable will continue to be a reliable boat as your skills improve. A comfortable inflatable seat comes standard. Also offered in a tandem option to tackle whitewater with a friend.

146DD from AIRE

Price: $4,899
aire.com

The 146DD is the newest size in AIRE’s Double D raft series. This roomy ride can comfortably accommodate a six-person paddle team with a guide in the back and is perfectly suitable for rowing expeditions. If you are looking for a fun paddle raft that can also handle overnight trips, look no further.

BAKraft Hybrid from AIRE

Price: $1,649
aire.com

The BAKraft Hybrid is the lightest self-bailing packraft of its kind. Designed with a Vectran fabric shell and a urethane AIREcell, AIRE has created a lightweight, packable boat with superior air retention and simplified in-field repairs. At seven feet this versatile packraft is perfect for any packrafting enthusiast and for the laidback day hiker. AIRE also offers a 10-foot option called the BAKraft Expedition.


Tributary SPUD from AIRE

Price: $419
aire.com

Built with stability in mind, the Spud is a great choice for introducing kids to whitewater. It is lightweight, short and stable, providing a great feel for running waves, punching holes and crossing eddy lines. With its wider dimensions, adults can enjoy a wild, playful boat as well.


Ugly Ducky from Cronin Inflatables

Price: $1,100-$1,150
cronininflatables.com

The Ugly Ducky is a unique personal inflatable. Ready to tackle the steepest creeks or carry large loads, and equally capable in big and low water. Built to increase the confidence of the paddler through stability and ease of navigation in whitewater, this is the perfect boat for commercial customers or experts looking to push their personal limits.


Recon with Tizip from Kokopelli Packraft

Price: $900
kokopellipakraft.com

The Kokopelli Recon is not your traditional packraft. Engineered from Kokopelli’s toughest reinforced PVC material, the Recon is perfect for road-to-river whitewater and after-work laps. With the exact same shape and design as their original Whitewater Series Nirvanas, the Recon is self-bailing and weighs in at 18 pounds.

Top 4 Touring Paddles For Adventurous Kayakers

Paddles for kayak touring. | Photo: Matt Stetson

Cadence from Lendal North America

Photo: Matt Stetson
Get your Lendal. | Photo: Matt Stetson
Price: $390 www.lendalna.com

Lendal’s Cadence is a high-angle performance paddle. The featherweight carbon construction gives the Cadence a comfortable swing weight and high return on each stroke. Its blades are tough, with a fine entry, and the power transfer is clean and crisp without flex.

The Cadence’s oval shaft is comfortable and allows for natural ergonomics, while Lendal’s Leverlok system offers feather adjustments and up to five centimeters of length extension on the fly. According to Lendal, the Cadence is designed to inspire confidence in novices, but also provide a paddle capable of tackling the most challenging waters. This is the lightest paddle in the Lendal lineup, weighing just 625 grams.


Crystal X from H2O Paddles

As precious as crystal. Photo: Matt Stetson
Price: $187
www.h2opaddles.com

The H2O Crystal touring paddle features an eye-catching, transparent nylon blades that combines performance and aesthetics. The Crystal’s blades are a new generation of transparent, high-performance polyamides—an aerospace-grade material—promising to be long-lasting and offering maximum feedback on the water. At the Paddlesports Retailer tradeshow in 2018, sales manager Shillion Mongru showed off just how tough H2O paddles are when he repeatedly smashed the blade with a hammer—with not even a scratch to show for it. According to H2O, the Crystal offers the benefits of a full carbon unit but at a fraction of the price.

Weighing in at 800 to 950 grams, the Crystal features a Fast Ferrule and uses click-locking technology for on-the-fly feather adjustments in 15-degree increments. It’s available in lengths from 210 to 240 centimeters.


Kalleq from Gearlab

Gearlab Kalleq paddle
Fitted to perfection. Photo: Matt Stetson
Price: $438
www.gearlabpaddles.com

Gearlab’s newest offering launched at last summer’s Outdoor Retailer tradeshow in Denver, Colorado. The name of the 800-gram Kalleq comes from the Inuit word for lightning, and it boasts the ergonomic efficiency and lowered wind resistance of a traditional Greenland blade.

Gearlab’s paddles feature innovative swappable paddle tips, which means paddlers can choose between flat tips or rounded tips—the flat tips provide greater stability when pushing off rocks in shallow water, while round tips extend the blade by a centimeter, extending paddle and stroke.

The Kalleq is 13.5 percent lighter than Gearlab’s top-selling Akiak paddle, and its edge width is reduced almost in half. The new, sharper edge of the Kalleq improves efficiency and paddling stability. Gearlab has also redesigned the Kalleq’s internal structure to improve strength and durability, highlighted by diamond pattern carbon weave along its length.


Tango Fiberglass from Aqua-Bound Paddles

Photo: Matt Stetson
The only dance you’ll ever need. Photo: Matt Stetson
Price: $274.95
www.aquabound.com

Combining beauty and performance, the Tango from Aqua-Bound is an excellent choice for paddlers looking to connect form and function at an affordable price. The Tango’s multi-laminate fiberglass blades are hand-crafted using high-pressure compression molding and come in three attractive, hi-visibility color options.

Along with its all-carbon shaft, this Tango Fiberglass paddle has a light swing weight and weighs just 737 grams. The Tango Fiberglass is available with Aqua-Bound’s 100-percent carbon Posi-Lok ferrule system, which clicks into position firmly and securely.

The Posi-Lok features corrosion-free construction, convenient dual-button release and infinite feathering angles. Available in lengths from 210 to 250 centimeters in increments of five centimeters.

Digital Content Writer/Editor for Kayak Angler Magazine

Kayak Fishing Jobs: Kayak Angler staff at Virginia Beach

About Us

Rapid Media is the world’s leading paddlesports media company. We produce Paddling Magazine, including our annual 300+ page Paddling Buyer’s Guide and special 200+ page Paddling Trip Guide travel issue. We also produce Kayak Angler, the world’s leading kayak fishing magazine. Both our Paddling Magazine and Kayak Angler brands have significant digital assets including industry-leading websites, flipbook and app editions and the world’s most sophisticated online buyer’s guides. In our spare time, Rapid Media produces the international Paddling Film Festival and World Tour now touring to over 130 cities. Over the last 20 years we’ve worked hard to become North America’s most trusted paddlesports authority.

The Job — Digital Content Writer/Editor

As the Kayak Angler digital content writer/editor, you will be responsible for producing and optimizing online editorial content our readers want and enjoy, extending our reach and creating more loyal fans who turn to Kayak Angler for every gear purchase and travel decision they make.

Responsibilities include researching, planning, coordinating, assigning, writing, editing and publishing while meeting deadlines and following guidelines. The goal is to provide exceptional, essential, engaging, informative, honest and credible stories, news and reviews kayak anglers need to read.

You’ll collaborate and coordinate with the existing editorial and marketing teams to develop efficient and synergistic plans to maximize value and reach.

Expect to work in a variety of digital publishing and distribution platforms as well as with photography, video and social media.

You should have an understanding and voice of authority when writing about kayak fishing and the fishing and kayak fishing industries. Our readers are enthusiasts. You don’t work at Car & Driver because you own a minivan; you must be a car nut. You get the idea.

The position is in-house, full-time and year-round. Think…this is a real job!

Qualifications

  • Proven experience as a contributing writer, editor and digital content creator, ideally with a focus on product news and reviews
  • Marketing experience with social media platforms, inbound and SEO
  • Hands-on experiences with a range of kayak fishing products, including kayaks, gear, rigging, tackle, etc.
  • Strong writing, editing and proofreading skills with an excellent portfolio
  • Planning skills and ability to oversee projects from concept through finished layouts and production
  • Ability to manage multiple overlapping deadlines
  • Thrive on researching and telling stories important to kayak anglers
  • Clever wit and marketing savvy for punchy, effective headlines
  • Education in journalism, professional writing, marketing, publishing and/or digital media
  • Strong desire to live outside the city and an aversion to shopping malls
  • Willing to travel a few times a year to tradeshows, client meetings and editorial assignments, i.e. destination stories and gear testing

We believe the right candidate will know the skills and experience he or she will need to excel at all this.

Salary to commensurate with experience, of course.

The Office/Cottage

We are located in Palmer Rapids, which is a small rural community with a big heart. Our office is on the river-right bank of the Madawaska River. Yes, you can launch and fish from the dock. We’re five minutes downstream from class II-III+ Palmer Rapids, less than an hour from the mighty Ottawa River, and right in the middle between Algonquin Park and Calabogie Peaks ski resort. We fish, paddle, ride bikes and ski regularly and go swimming from the dock at lunchtime.

This job is based in the Ottawa Valley Palmer Rapids office. Alternative longer-term (think a couple years of in-house time first) arrangements may be made after you become familiar with the business and our systems. But we think you’ll like it here and want to stay and play. We are only two hours to Ottawa, and three hours to Toronto.

Our Team

The Rapid Media team consists of a publisher, director of marketing, director of sales, advertising and sponsorship coordinator, two magazine editors, graphic designer and production coordinator, film festival tour coordinator, some digital dude named Alex and our finance and circulation managers. Most of us wear flip-flops every day and have never been caught wearing ties at our desks. Creep us at our Team Page.

Apply Now

This is not a telecommuting position; only candidates who can work at the riverside Palmer Rapids office or truly have all the above skills and abilities will be considered. Sound like the perfect combination of work and play? Send your CV to [email protected]. Please include a nice letter with a little about you and why you’ll be an awesome fit for this position and on our team.

If you think this job is amazing but not the perfect fit for you right now, please forward this posting along. Thanks for doing so. Learn more about Rapid Media at:

Digital Content Writer/Editor for Paddling Magazine

Rapid Media Office in Palmer Rapids, Ontario

About Us

Rapid Media is the world’s leading paddlesports media company. We produce Paddling Magazine, including our annual 300+ page Paddling Buyer’s Guide and special 200+ page Paddling Trip Guide travel issue. We also produce Kayak Angler, the world’s leading kayak fishing magazine. Both our Paddling Magazine and Kayak Angler brands have significant digital assets including industry-leading websites, flipbook and app editions and the world’s most sophisticated online buyer’s guides. In our spare time, Rapid Media produces the international Paddling Film Festival and World Tour now touring to over 130 cities. Over the last 20 years we’ve worked hard to become North America’s most trusted paddlesports authority.

The Job — Digital Content Writer/Editor

As the Paddling Magazine digital content writer/editor, you will be responsible for producing and optimizing online editorial content our readers want and enjoy, extending our reach and creating more loyal fans who turn to Paddling Magazine for every gear purchase and travel decision they make.

Responsibilities include researching, planning, coordinating, assigning, writing, editing and publishing while meeting deadlines and following guidelines. The goal is to provide exceptional, essential, engaging, informative, honest and credible stories, news and reviews paddlers need to read.

You’ll collaborate and coordinate with the existing editorial and marketing teams to develop efficient and synergistic plans to maximize value and reach.

Expect to work in a variety of digital publishing and distribution platforms as well as with photography, video and social media.

You should have an understanding and voice of authority when writing about paddling —including whitewater, canoeing, kayak touring and standup paddleboarding—and the paddling industry. Our readers are paddling enthusiasts. You don’t work at Car & Driver because you own a minivan; you must be a car nut. You get the idea.

The position is in-house, full-time and year-round. Think…this is a real job!

Qualifications

  • Proven experience as a contributing writer, editor and digital content creator, ideally with a focus on product news and reviews
  • Marketing experience with social media platforms, inbound and SEO
  • Hands-on experiences with a range of paddlesports products, including boats and gear
  • Strong writing, editing and proofreading skills with an excellent portfolio
  • Planning skills and ability to oversee projects from concept through finished layouts and production
  • Ability to manage multiple overlapping deadlines
  • Thrive on researching and telling stories important to paddlers
  • Clever wit and marketing savvy for punchy, effective headlines
  • Education in journalism, professional writing, marketing, publishing and/or digital media
  • Strong desire to live outside the city and an aversion to shopping malls
  • Willing to travel a few times a year to tradeshows, client meetings and editorial assignments, i.e. destination stories and gear testing

We believe the right candidate will know the skills and experience he or she will need to excel at all this.

Salary to commensurate with experience, of course.

The Office/Cottage

We are located in Palmer Rapids, which is a small rural community with a big heart. Our office is on the river-right bank of the Madawaska River, five minutes downstream from class II-III+ Palmer Rapids, less than an hour from the mighty Ottawa River, and right in the middle between Algonquin Park and Calabogie Peaks ski resort. We paddle, ride bikes and ski regularly and go swimming from the dock at lunchtime.

This job is based in the Ottawa Valley Palmer Rapids office. Alternative longer-term (think a couple years of in-house time first) arrangements may be made after you become familiar with the business and our systems. But we think you’ll like it here and want to stay and play. We are only two hours to Ottawa, and three hours to Toronto.

Our Team

The Rapid Media team consists of a publisher, director of marketing, director of sales, advertising and sponsorship coordinator, two magazine editors, graphic designer and production coordinator, film festival tour coordinator, some digital dude named Alex and our finance and circulation managers. Most of us wear flip-flops every day and have never been caught wearing ties at our desks. Creep us on our Team Page.

Apply Now

This is not a telecommuting position; only candidates who can work at the riverside Palmer Rapids office or truly have all the above skills and abilities will be considered. Sound like the perfect combination of work and play? Send your CV to [email protected]. Please include a nice letter with a little about you and why you’ll be an awesome fit for this position and on our team.

If you think this job is amazing but not the perfect fit for you right now, please forward this posting along. Thanks for doing so. Learn more about Rapid Media on our websites:

8 Best Touring Kayaks Under $3,600 for 2020

Discover the year’s best touring kayaks under $3,600 from Delta Kayaks, Zegul, TRAK Kayaks and Oru. These designsare efficient, responsive and a joy to paddle—without skimping on comfort and accessories.

The Best Touring Kayaks Under $3,600

Delta 15.5GT by Delta Kayaks 

Price: $2,350
deltakayaks.com

The 15.5GT is a comfortable cruising kayak with superior load-carrying capacity and sure-footed performance that inspires confidence in all conditions. This expedition-ready kayak offers excellent speed and handling without compromising stability, thanks to an extended waterline and moderate V-shaped hull that keeps paddlers on course in almost any sea state. It delivers the rock-solid stability and impressive glide that give you the confidence to tour farther.


Easy 12’9″ x 26″ by Zegul 

Price: $2,749 -$3,449
zegul.taheoutdoors.com

Easy to transport, easy to maneuver, easy to paddle. The Zegul Easy is suitable for wide range of activities from day touring to cruising on the lake and fishing. Compact, efficient and suitable for a wide range of rider skill levels and sizes. A well-balanced hull make the rudder only necessary for longer trips. Extra width creates stability while a unique hull design maintains excellent glide.


2.0 by TRAK Kayaks

Price: $3,599
trakkayaks.com

The TRAK 2.0 is the extremely durable, customizable, 16-foot seaworthy portable kayak. Braver than the rest. The TRAK 2.0 is the result of 12 years of innovation and input from more than 1,600 paddlers. They’ve re-engineered their boats to be lighter and stronger, building the ultimate in a touring kayak. Durable. Versatile. Portable.

Traverse 17.5T from Delta Kayaks

Price: $2,750
deltakayaks.com

The Traverse 17.5T is a light and fast two-person kayak ideal for new and experienced paddlers. The lightest full-featured tandem in its class, the stable and maneuverable Traverse is a joy to paddle and fits easily in a standard garage. Outfitted for safety, comfort and paddling performance, this sleek double is perfect for your next adventure.

Coast XT from Oru Kayak

Price: $2,499
orukayak.com

This fast and capable hardshell origami kayak is designed for rugged expeditions, paddling in surf and wind, and for longer camping trips. When not in use, stash it in your closet, throw it in your trunk, or check it on a plane to make paddling part of all of your adventures. Built dimensions: 16′ x 25″. Boxed dimensions: 33″ x 12″ x 29″. Weight: 36 pounds. Max load: 400 pounds. Assembly time: 15 minutes.

Delta 17 from Delta Kayaks

Price: $2,495
deltakayaks.com

The Delta 17 is a fast and versatile touring kayak, ideal for extended trips, comfortable cruising and play. It fills all these roles with satisfying grace and efficiency, and is a veritable champion on ocean swells and in rough conditions. The Delta 17’s V-shaped hull, pronounced chine and moderate rocker offer impressive tracking and a smooth transition to edge. It has loads of storage space for extended tours.

Delta 16 from Delta Kayaks

Price: $2,425
deltakayaks.com

Excelling in rough seas, surf and wind, the elegant Delta 16 offers a balanced combination of maneuverability and tracking. This nimble sea kayak stays the course in challenging conditions, holds a lively pace with ease and has plenty of storage capacity for multi-day exploration. With substantial rocker and a moderately concave sidewall, the Delta 16 edges with satisfying bite, and turns on a dime. At 16 feet, its performance is best explored by a medium-sized paddler.

Traverse 15s from Delta Kayaks

Price: $2,295
deltakayaks.com

The Delta 15s is an ideal choice for small and medium-sized paddlers seeking a performance kayak with great cruising speed, exceptional tracking and superior edging. Quick, responsive and easy to handle, the 15s is perfect for seasoned paddlers or those seeking to take their skills to the next level. With abundant storage and an optional rudder or spring-loaded skeg, the 15s is perfect for extended touring as well as ocean play.

Best Whitewater Safety Gear for 2020: Throw Bags & Helmets

Discover some of the year’s best whitewater safety gear from Kokatat, Level Six, Predator and Shred Ready. Helmets and throwbags are two of the most important safety items for whitewater paddlers. Here’s Paddling Magazine’s top five favorite safety items for 2020.

The Best Whitewater Safety Gear in 2020

Huck 50′ Throw Bag with Belt by Kokatat 

Price: $79
kokatat.com

For paddlers who place a premium on being prepared, this compact throw bag comes with 50 feet of quarter-inch floating polyethylene core rope (max strength 1,465 pounds). It has a fully adjustable quick-release nylon belt and can be worn on the waist or lap. Easy to stuff after each use, the bag fits flat against the body, has a quick-drying mesh top, foam side panels for flotation and reflective piping.


Quick Throw Pro from Level Six

Price: $120
levelsix.com

The Quick Throw Pro features 65 feet of 3/8” static dyneema rope with a new glow in the dark sheath. Its new easy re-stuff system means you can pack the bag faster and easier than ever before. High-visibility reflective piping and screens, mesh drainage panels, a 600-denier durable nylon bag and belt loops to pair with a new quick-release throw bag belt creating the ultimate rescue system available.

Team Carbon Shiznit from Predator

Price: $209
predatorhelmets.com

New limited edition visor colorways. Features include a heat-cured pre-preg full carbon shell, medium length visor and PD1 dial fit-adjuster, as well as fit kit. Plus: multi-impact closed-cell EVA foam liner, durable Dacron chinstrap webbing and buckles with locking side divider. Stainless steel rivets. CE EN1385 certified.

Zeta from Shred Ready

Price: $169.95
shredready.com

The Shred Ready Zeta Helmet combines the style and swagger of iconic sports figures with DCLAN energy management foams on a user-friendly platform. Three anatomically correct shell sizes allow for the perfect fit. ABS injection molded shell. Multi-Impact molded DCLAN foam liner. HOG 4.0 BOA Retention system. Interchangeable fitting pads. 2019 IDEA Design Award winner.

Huck 70′ Throw Bag from Kokatat

Price: $169
kokatat.com

Ideal for kayak touring, the Salus Ungava is a unisex-style vest with all of Salus’ trademark features, including soft foam, round edges and contour fit. Additional features, including hand-warmer pockets, the ability to attach a quick-release belt, zippered security pocket, mesh drop-down pocket for quick access, five lash points and added reflective trim, make the Ungava a welcome companion on any water adventure.

Sparehand Demo Rack

The new Demo Rack is an original innovation from Sparehand. Aimed at retailers, the Demo Rack is ideal for showcasing pedal drive kayaks, allowing customers to test out a kayak’s configuration and pedal to their heart’s content without having to hit the water.

“The Demo Racks elevates the kayak to clear the drive system, and allows for easy paddler on and off,” says Spearhand rep Mike Tsou. Sparehand president Dennis Wang was on hand to show how easy and stable it is to get on and off a kayak when resting on the demo unit.

Made of high tensile steel, the Demo Rack comes in two sizes. The shorter option lifts the kayak 14 inches off the ground while the taller unit lifts the kayak 17 inches off the ground. The Demo Rack is rated for 410 pounds.

The Demo Rack can also be used for showcasing canoes. It’s also a perfect storage rack for home use as well.

The Demo Rack’s curved features and safety straps help center and stabilize larger boats.

“This portable rack improves the retailer experience by allowing customers to test boats in-store,” summarizes Tsou. MSRP is $299 – $369.

Ugo Dry Packs Keep Your Electronics Safe

Anyone who spends much time around the water has lost a cell phone, keys, wallet or all three into the drink. To prevent further loss, Ugo Dry Packs are the toughest personal carriers on the water.

Starting with a high-quality, dry-suit zipper that’s approved for hazmat suits, Ugo seals out all water and seals in air. Not only is the Ugo air-tight, but it floats, too. The clear window allows paddlers to see and use their phone. Use the phone to film photos and video underwater. It even plays music with minimal sound dampening. The Ugo keeps electronics from overheating or freezing and it doesn’t collect condensation.

The case comes with a padded strap and D-rings to attach to a belt. After thousands of units sold, Ugo says they’ve never had a failure. In addition to holding electronics, the Ugo also has room for keys, wallet and other smalls. The dry pack comes in sizes for a cell phone, tablet or small computer. They’re working with Line Cutterz to develop a model for anglers.

To keep your electronics safe, rely on Ugo Dry Packs on the water and off.

7 Best Life Jackets for Canoeing in 2020

Discover some of the year’s best life jackets from Salus Marine Wear, Stohlquist WaterWare, Gul Performance Wear, MTI Life Jackets and Kokatat. Whether you’re looking for a PFD for an adventure just out your back door, or a PFD that will keep you safe on the trip of a lifetime, these versatile life jackets will keep you protected on the water.

The Best Life Jackets for Canoeing in 2020

Solo by Salus Marine Wear 

Price: $139
salusmarine.com

Designed with a unique combination of soft foam for comfort and Cordura nylon material for durability, the solo is well suited for any performance sport. Mesh shoulders and large armholes offer freedom, while eight points of adjustment ensure a customized fit. Convenient cargo-style pockets keep your valuables safe and fleece-lined side pockets keep your hands warm. Available in red or mango color.


Cadence from Stohlquist WaterWare

Price: $119.95
stohlquist.com

Soft foam and a thin back design provide more mobility and comfort for long days on the water. Two large zippered front pockets and large quick-stash pockets hold everything you need to bring with you, and keep it secure and easy to reach. Cross-chest cinch straps eliminate ride-up, and the internal mesh helps regulate temperatures on warm days.

Hustle and Hustle R from Kokatat

Price: $139.95
kokatat.com

The low-profile, side-entry Hustle PFD has two stacked and sculpted GAIA PVC-free floating foam panels that wrap around the torso to allow optimal comfort. Covered in 210D high-tenacity ripstop nylon with adjustable, padded shoulder straps and three side adjustments for secure fit. A large front pocket allows for secure internal organization. A single lash tab on the front for accessories.

Stepping up, the Hustle R provides guides, teachers and rescuers a full Type 5 rescue vest with the same fit and comfort as the Hustle in a pull-over vest. The Hustle R adds quick release safety harness and O-ring and protected rescue tab lash tab. The Hustle R is covered with tough, dependable and stain-resistant 500D Cordura.

Saco PFD from GUL Performance Apparel

Price: $175
gulnorthamerica.com

The versatile Saco PFD delivers ultimate protection, comfort and peace of mind, whether enjoying whitewater adventures or flatwater touring. Featuring an anatomical fit, this pullover, low-profile PFD utilizes Gul’s Infinity+ failsafe shoulder strap system. Incorporates a Spacer Mesh Liner, 3D webbing, anti-ride-up waist belt, spacious Slimline front pocket, reflective details and EaZZy glide straps.

Ungava from Salus Marine Wear

Price: $169
salusmarine.com

Ideal for kayak touring, the Salus Ungava is a unisex-style vest with all of Salus’ trademark features, including soft foam, round edges and contour fit. Additional features, including hand-warmer pockets, the ability to attach a quick-release belt, zippered security pocket, mesh drop-down pocket for quick access, five lash points and added reflective trim, make the Ungava a welcome companion on any water adventure.

Nomad from MTI Life Jackets

Price: $89.95
mtilifejackets.com

MTI’s new premium universal vest. Large cargo pockets with stretch mesh offer secure storage for must-carry items like a smartphone. Stash sunglasses in the elastic loops without fumbling to open a pocket. Features upscale Oxford and ripstop nylon fabric finished with reflective material and adjustable padded shoulders and handy tethered signal whistle—because a vest with so many bells deserves a whistle.


Betsea from Stohlquist WaterWare

Price: $129.95
stohlquist.com 

The women’s specific Betsea features the ergonomic Wrapture-shaped torso that wraps around the body for a close, low profile and comfortable fit. The Cross-Chest Cinch harness keeps flotation positioned low on the torso, eliminating ride-up. Interior sculpted cups and Stohlquist’s exclusive Graded Sizing ensure the perfect fit. Also available in Petite size (75 to 125 pounds) for smaller paddlers.

7 Best Kayak Paddles for 2020

Discover some of the year’s best kayak paddles from Sawyer Paddles and Oars, Aqua-Bound, GearLab, Angle Oar and Werner Paddles. These excellent designs showcase superior touring performance and are dependable in any conditions.

The Best Kayak Paddles

Trout Unlimited Copperhead Kayak Paddle from Sawyer Paddles

Price: $395
paddlesandoars.com

Sawyer’s perfect all-around performance touring kayak paddle for the recreational paddler. Features an ovalized straight shaft with a large grip for easy indexing. The stunning and buoyant dihedral carved paddle blade cores are reinforced with fiberglass, carbon fiber and Sawyer’s distinctive Dynel ToughEdge providing reinforcement for inevitable impacts. A percentage of every paddle sold helps TU.


Versa Adaptive Kayak Paddle from Angle Oar

Price: $315
angleoar.com

Versa opens up kayaking for people with shoulder or back injuries, physical disabilities (including one-arm amputees), or limited upper body strength. Versa comes with a mount for sit-in kayaks that supports the weight of the paddle, reducing joint stress and creating a smaller range of motion. Can be used straight or angled. Great for adaptive paddling, military or parks and rec programs.

Tango Fiberglass from Aqua-Bound

Price: $289.95
aquabound.com

A few years ago the Tango came out of the gates and converted kayakers with its flutter-free forward stroke and effortless weight (just 26 ounces). Now a trusted companion on the water, the Tango has the look and feel that consumers are coming into shops asking for. New this year is the Green Tide pattern that really stands out on and off the water. Hand-built in Osceola, Wisconsin.

Kalleq from Gearlab Outdoors

Price: $438
gearlaboutdoors.com

The Kalleq offers kayakers the ultimate touring experience. It is the lightest and strongest paddle in Gearlab’s line, thanks to its revolutionary engineering, brilliant design, premium materials and seamless carbon fiber construction.

Surge from Werner Paddles

Price: $260
wernerpaddles.com

For those paddlers seeking the utmost power and dependable catch in a high-impact resistant fiberglass layup. Tested by some of the best expedition kayakers in the world on some of the most demanding rivers. The Surge delivers confidence with every stroke.

Whiskey Fiberglass Bent from Aqua-Bound

Price: $399.95
aquabound.com

The Whiskey is a high-angle paddlers dream about, offering unmatched horsepower and torque with minimal effort. Add in the natural bent shaft and you leave fatigue in the rearview mirror. Now available in the Green Tide pattern, the three blade options are sure to make a real statement on the water. Hand-built in Osceola, Wisconsin.


Gamut Mount-Supported Paddle Holder from Angle Oar

Price: $170
angleoar.com

The Gamut Paddle Holder supports the weight of your paddle, reducing stress on shoulders, joints and back. It comes with a support mount that attaches to most sit-in kayaks. The rotating head allows the paddle to move in every direction. Perfect for longtime paddlers who aren’t ready to give up kayaking due to age or injury. Great for adaptive paddling, military and parks and rec programs.