7 Best Kayak Spray Skirts: The Ultimate Guide to Staying Dry

by | Last updated Jul 12, 2024

Best Overall Seals Sprayskirt
Seals Sprayskir

Bombproof 4mm neoprene construction, snug fit, large grab loop, and a 3-year warranty make this the top choice for whitewater kayakers.

Best Value NRS Drylander
NRS Drylander

Affordable yet durable 3mm neoprene, adjustable shock cord, and latex-free construction make this a great option for budget-minded paddlers.

Most Featured Dagger Outbound
Dagger Outbound

This spray skirt is a favorite among whitewater enthusiasts thanks to its bombproof construction and excellent fit. 4mm neoprene construction, adjustable cord rand.

Kayak Spray Skirts

Are you tired of feeling like a drowned rat after every kayaking trip? Spray skirts are your solution! These handy pieces of gear keep you dry by sealing you into your kayak.

But with so many options out there, how do you find the perfect one?

No worries, we’ve got you covered. In this ultimate guide, we’ll break down the best kayak spray skirts for every paddler

What is the Best Kayak Spray Skirt?

The “best” kayak spray skirt really depends on your paddling style and needs. Do you need something rugged for whitewater? Or a lightweight option for touring? To help you decide, we’ve rounded up the seven best kayak spray skirts on the market. Let’s dive in!

1. Seals Sprayskirt

This one’s a total game-changer, especially for whitewater kayakers. It’s tough as nails yet comfortable enough for long days on the river. I love how it fits snugly, keeping all the water out without restricting my movement.

Seals Sprayskir

Our Take

0out of 10

It's a fantastic spray skirt that ticks all the boxes for whitewater kayakers. The high price and potential for overheating in warm weather are the only downsides.

Key Benefits

  • Material: 4mm neoprene with a 3mm volcano cone and neoprene waist tube
  • Fit: The implosion bar maintains the skirt's shape, even in the roughest water
  • Grab loop: Large and easy to find in an emergency
  • Additional features: Comes with a 3-year warranty, giving you peace of mind
  • Warranty: 3-year manufacturer's warranty

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $189.95
Seals Sprayskir

Pros

  • Bombproof construction
  • Excellent fit and comfort
  • Large, easy-to-grab grab loop
  • 3-year warranty

Cons

  • On the pricier side
  • Neoprene can get warm in milder temperatures

2. Immersion Research

If you're looking for a top-notch spray skirt for whitewater kayaking, the Klingon Empire Bungee is worth serious consideration. It's incredibly durable yet flexible enough to allow for easy movement.

Immersion Research

Our Take

0out of 10

This is a fantastic spray skirt that excels in whitewater conditions. Its durability, snug fit, and 3-year warranty make it a top choice, but the price and potential for overheating in warmer weather are minor drawbacks.

Key Benefits

  • Material: 4mm neoprene with a 3mm volcano cone and neoprene waist tube
  • Fit: Double-pull waist cinch ensures a snug fit around your waist
  • Grab loop: Large and reinforced for easy access
  • Implosion bar: Integrated for a secure fit and prevents water from entering
  • Additional features: Comes with a 3-year warranty

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $240
Immersion Research

Pros

  • Extremely durable and abrasion-resistant
  • Snug fit thanks to the double-pull waist cinch
  • Large, reinforced grab loop
  • 3-year warranty

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Neoprene can be warm in milder temperatures

3. Dagger Outbound

Dagger Outbound

Our Take

0out of 10

The Snapdragon Whitewater Dynamic Duo Spray Skirt is a top-of-the-line option for serious whitewater kayakers.

Key Benefits

  • Material: 4mm neoprene with a 3mm volcano cone and neoprene waist tube
  • Fit: Adjustable shock cord rand ensures a tight seal around the cockpit coaming
  • Grab loop: Large and durable for easy removal
  • Implosion bar: Helps maintain the skirt's shape and prevents water from entering
  • Additional features: Comes with a lifetime warranty

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $162.65
Dagger Outbound

Pros

  • Incredibly durable and well-made
  • breathable
  • Large, durable grab loop
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Most expensive option on our list
  • Neoprene can get warm in milder temperatures

4. NRS Drylander

The NRS Drylander Shock Cord is a reliable and affordable option for whitewater kayakers who want a durable and comfortable spray skirt.

NRS Drylander

Our Take

0out of 10

The NRS Drylander Shock Cord is a great all-around whitewater spray skirt that offers a good balance of durability, comfort, and affordability. While not the most rugged option out there, it's a solid choice for most paddlers.

Key Benefits

  • Material: 3mm neoprene with a 2mm volcano cone and adjustable shock cord
  • Fit: Shock cord and provides a secure fit and easy adjustment
  • Grab loop: Large and easy to locate
  • Implosion bar: Integrated for a snug fit and to prevent water from entering
  • Additional features: Neoprene is latex-free, making it a good choice for people with allergies

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $91.69
NRS Drylander

Pros

  • Durable and comfortable
  • Affordable compared to other whitewater spray skirts
  • Shock cord rand for easy adjustment
  • Latex-free neoprene

Cons

  • Not as bombproof as some higher-end options
  • May not be suitable for extremely cold conditions due to the 3mm neoprene

5. Seals Coastal

Designed for touring kayakers, this spray skirt is made from a lightweight and breathable nylon fabric that's perfect for warmer conditions.

Seals Coastal

Our Take

0out of 10

The Seals Coastal Tour Kayak Spray Skirt is a great option for touring kayakers who want a lightweight and breathable spray skirt. It's not the most durable option out there, but it excels in warmer conditions.

Key Benefits

  • Material: Nylon packcloth with a polyurethane-coated deck and bungee rand
  • Fit: Adjustable bungee and provides a secure fit and easy on/off
  • Grab loop: Large and easy to locate
  • Additional features: Neoprene punch-through waist tube for added comfort and durability

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $109.95
Seals Coastal

Pros

  • Lightweight and breathable for warm weather paddling
  • Adjustable bungee rand for a secure fit
  • Neoprene punch-through waist tube adds durability

Cons

  • Not suitable for whitewater kayaking or cold conditions
  • Less durable than neoprene options

6. Seals Sea

The Seals Sea Sprite is another excellent choice for touring kayakers who want a comfortable and reliable spray skirt.

Seals Sea

Our Take

0out of 10

The Seals Sea Sprite is a comfortable and reliable touring spray skirt with a great fit. It's not the most durable option, but it's perfect for paddlers who prioritize breathability and comfort in warmer conditions.

Key Benefits

  • Material: Nylon packcloth with a polyurethane-coated deck and bungee rand
  • Fit: Adjustable bungee and provides a secure fit and easy on/off
  • Grab loop: Large and easy to locate
  • Additional features: Neoprene punch-through waist tube and adjustable shoulder straps for a customized fit

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $154.95
Seals Sea

Pros

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Adjustable bungee rand and shoulder straps for a secure and comfortable fit
  • Neoprene punch-through waist tube adds durability

Cons

  • Not suitable for whitewater kayaking or cold conditions
  • Less durable than neoprene options

7. Wilderness Spray Skirt

This all-around spray skirt is a great option for recreational paddlers who want a versatile and affordable option.

Wilderness Spray Skirt

Our Take

0out of 10

The Wilderness Systems Tsunami is a great entry-level spray skirt that offers good value for the price. While not the most durable or feature-rich option, it's a solid choice for recreational paddlers.

Key Benefits

  • Material: Nylon with a polyurethane-coated deck and adjustable bungee rand
  • Fit: Bungee rand provides a secure fit and easy on/off
  • Grab loop: Large and easy to locate
  • Additional features: Neoprene deck and cockpit cover included for added protection

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $103.25
Wilderness Spray Skirt

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Versatile and suitable for a variety of paddling styles
  • Includes a neoprene deck and cockpit cover

Cons

  • Not as durable as neoprene options
  • May not be suitable for whitewater kayaking or extreme conditions

What to Look for When Buying a Kayak Spray Skirt?

  • Material: Neoprene for colder water and whitewater kayaking, nylon for warmer conditions and touring.
  • Fit: Snug around your waist and the kayak's cockpit coaming to prevent water from entering.
  • Grab loop: Essential for quick and easy removal in case of a capsize.
  • Implosion bar: Helps maintain the skirt's shape and prevents it from collapsing inward.
  • Additional features: Some skirts offer pockets for storing small items, while others have adjustable straps for a more customized fit.

How Can a Spray Skirt Benefit You?

Kayaking in extreme water

A kayak spray skirt isn't just about staying dry – it's a game-changer for comfort and safety on the water.

By creating a watertight seal between you and your kayak's cockpit rim, it keeps out splashes, waves, and rain, ensuring you stay warm and focused on your paddling.

This is especially crucial in colder conditions or rough waters where even a little water can lead to discomfort or even hypothermia.

For whitewater kayakers, a neoprene skirt is non-negotiable. It not only blocks water but also provides a snug fit that helps you roll your kayak if you capsize. Touring kayakers often opt for lighter nylon skirts, prioritizing breathability for longer journeys.

Beyond keeping you dry, a well-fitted spray skirt with a neoprene tunnel adds an extra layer of security.

It essentially creates a seal around your waist, preventing water from sneaking in from the top. This is particularly beneficial in rough conditions where you might get splashed from above.

Buyers Guide

When doing our research to find the best kayak spray skirt, we determined our recommendations using these factors:

Kayaking in extreme water
  • Pricing: How much did each product cost, and did it offer good value for the price?
  • Features: What were the best features of each product? Did it have a reliable grab loop, a sturdy implosion bar, and any additional features that stood out?
  • Material: Was the spray skirt made from durable neoprene for whitewater or rough water or a lightweight nylon for sea kayaking or touring?
  • Fit: Did the skirt offer a snug fit around the boat's cockpit and the paddler's waist? Was it adjustable for a customizable fit?
  • Negatives: What was missing from each product? Were there any potential drawbacks, such as overheating or limited durability?
  • Support or Refund: Does the manufacturer offer a warranty or refund policy in case of defects or dissatisfaction?
  • Reviews: What did other paddlers say about their experiences with each product?

Wrapping Up

Choosing the right kayak spray skirt can make the difference between a soggy, miserable paddle and a dry, enjoyable adventure.

Kayaking in extreme water

Remember, the "best" skirt depends on your individual needs and paddling style.

Consider the water conditions (calm water or rough water), your kayak's cockpit size, and your personal preferences regarding material (nylon or neoprene) and fit.

By following our guide and considering the key features like a reliable grab loop, a sturdy implosion bar, and a secure rubber seal, you'll be well on your way to finding the perfect spray skirt to keep you dry and comfortable on all your kayaking adventures.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a kayak spray skirt used for?

A kayak spray skirt creates a watertight seal between you and your kayak's cockpit, keeping out water from splashes, waves, and rain. It's essential for staying dry and warm, especially in colder conditions or rough water.

What are the different types of kayak spray skirts?

The two main types are neoprene and nylon. Neoprene skirts are thicker, more durable, and better suited for whitewater kayaking. Nylon skirts are lighter, more breathable, and ideal for touring and warmer conditions.

How do I choose the right size kayak spray skirt?

Measure the circumference of your kayak's cockpit coaming (the lip around the opening) and your waist. Choose a skirt that fits snugly around both to prevent water from entering.

Can I use a kayak spray skirt on any kayak?

No, spray skirts are designed for specific kayak models and cockpit sizes. Check the manufacturer's sizing chart or consult with a kayaking expert to find the right fit for your kayak.

How do I put on a kayak spray skirt?

Start by attaching the rand (the edge of the skirt) to the cockpit coaming. Then, pull the skirt over your waist and secure the front of the tunnel under the deck of your kayak.

Fahim Joharder

Fahim Joharder

Author

An avid kayaker & fisherman, explores waterways globally, sharing his passion for water sports and conservation through captivating stories and tips.

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