Best Kayak Covers

Best Kayak Covers

If you must store your kayak outdoors, a kayak cover can help protect it from the weather. We'll discuss some of the best cover models to assist you in making the best decision. The best method for storing a kayak over the winter is in a garage or basement, away from the sun, dust, and insects.

Why Should You Use a Kayak Cover?

Using a kayak cover can help extend the kayak's lifespan. This is not only good for the environment, but also for your wallet. If you take care of your kayak, you won't have to spend money on repairs or replacements every few years.

But against what are we attempting to protect our kayaks?

UV Protection

Sun damage is often overlooked. However, storing your kayak in direct sunlight can hasten its degradation. It is essential that you store your kayak out of direct sunlight, and the simplest way to do so is to cover it.

Protecting against dust

Dust may appear to be a minor issue, but it gets into every crevice of your kayak. This dust can clog ratchets and bolts, as well as penetrate glued foam and cause it to detach. Obviously, this is the worst-case scenario, but even in the best-case scenario, it will look a bit gross and you will need to clean it off. Cover your kayak and save yourself a job.

Keep the bugs away!

Your overturned kayak is the ideal winter habitat for a variety of animals and insects. Springtime is notorious for the presence of rodents and even bird nests in closed cockpit kayaks. But even sit-on-tops aren't immune to the critters, and you can find all sorts of filth after they leave.

Keeping your kayak in a garage can help prevent this, but it's not a foolproof solution because these pests are tenacious. A resilient cover is a simple way to keep pests out.

Water Protection

water in a kayak? It seems like it shouldn't be a problem, correct? However, there is a distinction between going for a paddle and storing water for months at a storage facility.

Before storing your kayak, be sure to thoroughly dry it out. Any remaining moisture can cause damage to the gear and lead to the growth of mildew and mold during the winter. Like with dust, you will have to spend a considerable amount of time cleaning this in the spring, when you could be out on the water.


Many individuals do not cover their kayaks when transporting them. Covering your kayak, or at least its cockpit, while it is being transported on your roof rack or trailer can keep your equipment protected. It also makes sure that slush and road grime don't ruin your efforts to keep your kayak in good shape during the winter.

However, not all covers are suitable for transport, as we will see next.

Types of Kayak Covers

Bag-Style Covers

During transport, bag-style kayak covers are likely your best option for keeping your kayak covered. The zipper is double-stitched and waterproof to prevent water from entering. Before storing your bag, ensure that it is waterproof and that it is clean and dry. Bag-style covers can be difficult to put on and remove, so you should usually avoid bagging them after each usage.

Shower-cap Covers

Shower cap covers stretch over the top of your kayak and tighten at the perimeters. Typically, they are held in place by an elastic band or rope, as well as clips to keep them from flying away. These covers are simple to install and remove and can be used for storage throughout the year. These are particularly suited for indoor, off-the-ground storage indoors for longer-term storage.

Kayak Cover vs. Cockpit Cover

Cockpit covers differ slightly from entire kayak covers. As the name implies, cockpit covers cover only the cockpit. This means that your kayak is still subject to UV and weather damage. But cockpit covers work well to keep water, bugs, and dirt from getting into the cockpit.

What Are Kayak Covers Made of?

When purchasing a new kayak, selecting the material for the kayak's cover is one of the most significant considerations you must make. Varied materials have different qualities and will affect the cover's waterproofness, durability, and cost. Covers of a heavier weight will be more robust, but can be more difficult to stretch over your boat.


The most popular material for kayak covers is polyester. A cloth with a higher denier will provide a more durable cover, capable of withstanding greater wear and tear. Polyester possesses water-resistance properties that have stood the test of time.

Oxford Cloth

Oxford fabric is frequently utilized for kayak covers that are less expensive or less concerned about waterproofing. Oxford cloth is a resilient fabric that provides good UV protection and some water resistance. If you intend to purchase an Oxford cloth cover, look for one with a denier count of 200 or more.


Frequently, neoprene is utilized for cockpit covers. These covers are the easiest to install, typically the most waterproof, and the best for transporting your kayak. However, they are not as durable as other covers and can collect water over time. This will be discussed in further detail in the following section.

Best Kayak Covers Review

Kayak Cover by Wilderness Systems

The universally fitting, robust cover from Wilderness Systems fits sit-on-top kayaks. The durable, water-repellent black polyester cover has been tested to endure strong UV exposure while maintaining a trendy appearance. It is available in five sizes (x-small, small, medium, large, and x-large) and is a wise investment for anyone who stores their kayak outside.

Shop: Kayak Cover by Wilderness Systems at Amazon

Hobie Pro Angler 14 Cover.

This premium cover is tailored to fit the Hobie Pro Angler 14 precisely. The cover is movable and can fit boats of comparable dimensions. It includes a storage bag that doubles as the obligatory red safety flag for transit. Keeping your kayak covered when trailering will shield it from the gravel and dirt churned up by the road.

Shop: Hobie Pro Angler 14 Cover at Amazon

Kohree Kayak Coverage

The Kohree cover is a one-stop versatile cover suited for inside and outside storage and for short-distance travel. Silver-colored polyester helps reflect sunlight while protecting it from dirt and dust. An affordable pick, the Kohree would be a great addition to an outdoor storage setup or a solid dust cover in an indoor setup.

Shop: Kohree Kayak Coverage at Amazon

Advanced Elements

Unlike other "shower cap"-style covers, the durable Advanced Elements cover provides protection for the entirety of your kayak. The cover has a roll and clip closure, similar to that of a large dry bag. Since the cover lacks additional straps to secure surplus fabric, it is not ideal for trailering. It has additional space if you are short on room and need to store paddles with it.

Shop: Kayak Cover by Advanced Elements at Amazon

Kayak Cover iiSport

IiSport kayak covers are at home in your basement, garage, or outside covered storage area. The covers are reasonably priced and adjustable with a drawstring around the boat's hull. It would be an excellent basic dust cover in a climate-controlled environment and an additional layer of protection in an outdoor storage situation. Different colors can aid in distinguishing whose boat is whose without the need to uncover everything.

Shop: Kayak Cover iiSport at Amazon

FAQs About Kayak Covers & Storage Bags

Where should I store my kayak?

Even a less-than-ideal outdoor storage location can be outfitted to keep your boat secure until its next voyage. If you lack space indoors, any covered or well-protected outside space will suffice, such as beneath a porch, carport, or along the side of a building. You can even build a special building to store your kayak and other large items.

How do you store a kayak or canoe outside?

A protected kayak left on the ground during the off-season will distort and sustain hull damage due to the accumulation of debris. If you have vertical storage space, you can simply store the boat upright with the cockpit facing out. A tarp set up as an A-frame tent on the side of a building can protect it from wind, salt, and precipitation.

Is it OK to leave your kayak outside in the winter?

Over time, if you reside in an extreme region, you may need to store your kayak away from elements such as cold temperatures, wind, and salt. If you lack a suitable storage area, consider contacting a nice friend or neighbor, or paying a marina to store it for you. Consider what elements your party's venue brings to the table.

Can you use kayak covers to store other things?

The Hobie Pro Angler 14, iiSport, and Kohree covers are sufficiently adaptable and less particular to cover paddleboards and canoes. Similar to selecting a kayak cover, it is important to know the size of whatever you plan to cover. Some of the covers on our list are highly specialized for kayaks, but others are more generic.

How should I store a kayak cover?

When not in use, keep your kayak cover clean, dry, and folded in a bag or tote. Taking the time to fold the cover will allow you to determine the extent of any damage. Small problems can be resolved before they become significant. No matter what cover you select, it will perform poorly if maintained in moist circumstances.

When should I replace a kayak cover?

At the beginning and end of each season, check your kayak cover. UV damage can eventually degrade the polyester, and bumps and scrapes can lead to rips and tears. The greater your investment in a cover, the less frequently you will need to purchase a replacement. Some of the boat covers we recommend use elastic, which can wear out and get loose over time.

Are Kayak Covers Waterproof?

Frequently, a kayak cover is treated with polyurethane to make it waterproof. Without this, water-resistant covers with a high thread count may be practically waterproof. If you store your kayak upright, you can use a short spar or similar item to create a ridge under the cover to aid in water drainage.

What Size Kayak Cover Do I Need?

Measure the length, width of the beam at its widest point, and depth of your kayak. You can also find this information in the manufacturer's specifications. Don't forget to add distinctive features such as the seat to these measurements. After getting these measurements, compare them to the size of the cover you want to make sure it fits perfectly.

Kayak Storage Considerations

When storing your kayak indoors, especially during the winter, try to keep it off the ground. UV rays, wind, precipitation, and cold can all cause damage to your cockpit cover and kayak. If you must store your cover outside, do it under a tarp or in a protected area. A cover can also prevent kayak theft.

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