Stay Protected: Essential UV Gear For Paddling Trips

Stay protected during your paddling trips with essential UV gear. From wide-brimmed hats to polarized sunglasses, we've got you covered.

Imagine yourself out on the open water, paddling away in your kayak or canoe, with the sun shining down on you. While the warm sun might be inviting, it’s important to remember the damaging effects of UV rays. That’s why it’s crucial to stay protected during your paddling trips. In this article, we will take a closer look at the essential UV gear you need to make your adventures safe and enjoyable. From sun hats and sunglasses to rash guards and sunscreen, we’ve got you covered to ensure you can fully enjoy your time on the water while keeping your skin safe from harmful rays.


Wide-brimmed hat

One of the most important pieces of UV protection gear for your paddling trip is a wide-brimmed hat. This hat provides ample shade for your face and neck, shielding you from harmful UV rays. Look for a hat with a brim that measures at least 3 inches wide to ensure maximum protection. Choose a hat made from breathable materials like cotton or nylon, as this will help keep you cool and comfortable while out on the water. With a wide-brimmed hat, you can enjoy your paddling adventure without worrying about sunburn.

Paddling hat with neck flap

If you’re looking for even more sun protection, consider a paddling hat with a neck flap. This hat features a wide brim like a traditional wide-brimmed hat but also includes a fabric extension that covers the back of your neck. This additional coverage is especially beneficial when you’re out on the water for extended periods, as it helps prevent sunburn on your delicate neck area. Make sure to choose a paddling hat with a neck flap that is made from lightweight and quick-drying materials for optimal comfort.

Baseball cap with neck cover

For a more casual and sporty look, a baseball cap with a neck cover is a great option. This type of hat combines the classic style of a baseball cap with the added sun protection of a neck cover. Look for a cap that has a detachable or foldable neck cover so you can adjust it based on your preference and the level of sun exposure. With a baseball cap with a neck cover, you can keep the sun off your face, neck, and ears while enjoying your paddling adventure in style.


Polarized sunglasses

Protecting your eyes from the harsh glare of the sun is crucial when you’re out on the water. Polarized sunglasses are designed to reduce glare and provide clear vision, making them an essential piece of UV gear for your paddling trips. These sunglasses have a special filter that blocks out horizontal light waves, minimizing glare and allowing you to see beneath the water’s surface. When choosing polarized sunglasses, opt for a pair with UV protection to shield your eyes from harmful UV rays.

Floating sunglasses

If you’re worried about losing your sunglasses in the water, consider investing in a pair of floating sunglasses. These sunglasses are designed to stay afloat when dropped in water, ensuring that you don’t have to worry about losing them during your paddling adventure. Floating sunglasses often come with polarized lenses and UV protection, providing both style and functionality. With floating sunglasses, you can confidently enjoy your paddling trip without the fear of losing your eyewear.

Wrap-around sunglasses

For those who prefer maximum coverage and protection, wrap-around sunglasses are an excellent choice. These sunglasses feature wide lenses that wrap around your face, providing protection from all angles. The wrap-around design minimizes peripheral light and reduces the risk of sunburn on the sensitive skin around your eyes. Look for wrap-around sunglasses with polarized lenses and UV protection to ensure optimal eye safety during your paddling trips.

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Long-sleeve rash guard

A long-sleeve rash guard is a must-have item for paddling trips, as it offers excellent sun protection for your upper body. These lightweight shirts are made from UV-resistant fabric, which helps block harmful UV rays from reaching your skin. The long sleeves provide additional coverage for your arms, minimizing the risk of sunburn. Choose a rash guard with a high UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating for maximum sun protection. With a long-sleeve rash guard, you can enjoy your paddling adventures without compromising your skin’s health.

Lightweight moisture-wicking shirt

To stay comfortable and dry during your paddling trips, consider wearing a lightweight moisture-wicking shirt. These shirts are typically made from breathable and quick-drying materials like nylon or polyester, which help wick away sweat and keep you cool. Look for shirts with built-in UPF protection to shield your skin from harmful UV rays. A lightweight moisture-wicking shirt is a versatile piece of UV gear that can be worn alone or as a base layer under a rash guard, depending on the weather conditions.

UPF-rated paddle jacket or hoodie

For paddlers who venture out in cooler and windier conditions, a UPF-rated paddle jacket or hoodie can provide the necessary protection and warmth. These jackets and hoodies are specifically designed for water activities and often feature a UPF rating to block UV rays. Look for options made from lightweight and breathable materials that offer sun protection without compromising your mobility. A UPF-rated paddle jacket or hoodie will keep you warm and shielded from the sun’s harmful rays during your paddling trips.

UV-protective gloves

To protect your hands from both the sun and potential blisters, consider wearing UV-protective gloves. These gloves are made from lightweight and breathable fabric that offers UPF protection, shielding your hands from harmful UV rays. Look for gloves with a non-slip grip to ensure a secure hold on your paddle. UV-protective gloves not only provide sun protection but also offer added comfort during long hours of paddling, making them an essential accessory for your paddling trips.

Quick-drying board shorts

For paddlers who prefer to wear shorts, quick-drying board shorts are a practical choice. These shorts are designed to dry rapidly, preventing discomfort caused by wet fabric while still providing adequate coverage. Look for board shorts made from moisture-wicking and water-repellent materials like nylon or polyester. Additionally, choose a pair with a UPF rating to protect your legs from harmful UV rays. Quick-drying board shorts are a great option for paddling trips, ensuring maximum comfort and sun protection.

UV-protective leggings

If you prefer extra coverage for your legs, UV-protective leggings are a fantastic choice. These leggings are made from lightweight and breathable fabric that offers UPF protection, shielding your legs from the sun. Look for leggings that are designed specifically for water activities, as they are often quick-drying and provide excellent mobility. Whether you wear them on their own or as a base layer under board shorts, UV-protective leggings will keep your legs protected and comfortable during your paddling adventures.


Broad-spectrum sunscreen

No UV gear article would be complete without mentioning the importance of broad-spectrum sunscreen. This type of sunscreen is designed to protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays, ensuring comprehensive sun protection. Look for a sunscreen with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) rating, ideally SPF 30 or higher, to provide adequate coverage. Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen generously to all exposed areas of your skin before heading out on your paddling trip, and reapply regularly as directed on the product label.

Water-resistant sunscreen

Since paddling trips often involve water activities, it’s crucial to choose a water-resistant sunscreen to ensure long-lasting protection. Water-resistant sunscreen is designed to stay effective even after exposure to water, sweat, or moisture. Look for a sunscreen that is labeled as “water-resistant” or “very water-resistant” and check the specified duration it remains effective after water exposure. Remember to reapply water-resistant sunscreen as directed, especially after towel-drying or significant water immersion.

SPF lip balm

Don’t forget to protect your lips from the sun’s harmful rays with SPF lip balm. Lips are particularly susceptible to sunburn, and regular lip balm without SPF may not provide adequate protection. Choose a lip balm with a high SPF rating, ideally SPF 30 or higher, to shield your lips from UV damage. Apply the lip balm generously and reapply throughout your paddling trip, especially after eating, drinking, or licking your lips. With SPF lip balm, you can keep your lips moisturized and protected during your adventures on the water.

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Sunblock for Equipment

UV-resistant kayak or canoe coating

Protecting your paddling equipment from the sun’s damaging UV rays is essential for its longevity. Look for a UV-resistant coating specifically designed for kayaks or canoes. This coating forms a protective layer that shields the surface of your kayak or canoe from fading, cracking, or other sun-induced damage. Follow the instructions provided with the coating to ensure proper application and maintenance.

UV-resistant spray for paddle blades

Paddle blades are often exposed to prolonged sunlight during paddling trips, making them vulnerable to UV damage. To protect your paddle blades, consider using a UV-resistant spray. This spray creates a protective barrier that reduces the risk of discoloration, fading, or weakening caused by UV rays. Apply the spray to both sides of your paddle blades and allow it to dry thoroughly before using your paddle. UV-resistant spray for paddle blades will help maintain the integrity and lifespan of your paddling equipment.

UV-protective cover for gear

To safeguard your gear and equipment from UV damage, invest in UV-protective covers. These covers are designed to fit various types of paddling gear and provide an extra layer of protection against the sun’s harmful rays. Look for covers made from UV-resistant material that is durable and water-resistant. Whether it’s a kayak cover, paddle bag, or gear storage solution, UV-protective covers will help prolong the life of your equipment and keep it in optimum condition.


Water shoes with UV protection

When it comes to choosing footwear for your paddling trips, opt for water shoes with built-in UV protection. These shoes are specifically designed for water activities, providing grip, durability, and sun protection. Look for water shoes made from quick-drying and breathable materials, such as neoprene or mesh, to ensure optimal comfort. The UV protection in these shoes prevents sunburn and offers an extra layer of defense against harmful UV rays. With water shoes, you can explore both land and water with confidence during your paddling adventures.

Neoprene socks

For additional foot protection and insulation, consider wearing neoprene socks. These socks are made from a synthetic rubber called neoprene, which provides excellent insulation and flexibility. Neoprene socks are perfect for cooler water temperatures, as they help keep your feet warm and protected. Look for socks with a snug fit that can be worn comfortably with water shoes. Whether you’re paddling in cold water or walking on rocky shores, neoprene socks will provide the necessary comfort and protection for your feet.


Neck gaiter or buff

A neck gaiter or buff is a versatile accessory that can be used in various ways to protect your neck, face, and head from the sun. Made from lightweight and breathable fabric, a neck gaiter can be worn around your neck to shield it from UV rays or pulled up to cover your lower face and ears. It can also be worn as a headband or a hat liner to offer additional protection for your head and scalp. Choose a neck gaiter or buff with UV protection and moisture-wicking properties for maximum comfort during your paddling trips.

Paddling gloves with UV protection

To protect your hands from the sun’s rays while maintaining a good grip on your paddle, consider wearing paddling gloves with UV protection. These gloves are specifically designed for water activities and are often made from lightweight, quick-drying, and breathable materials. Look for gloves that offer a snug fit and have a UPF rating to protect your hands from harmful UV rays. Paddling gloves with UV protection will not only shield your hands from sunburn but also enhance your paddling experience by reducing friction and improving grip.

UV-blocking umbrella

If you’re planning a more leisurely paddling trip, such as a picnic or a break on the shore, UV-blocking umbrellas are a fantastic accessory to have. These umbrellas are made from materials that effectively block UV rays and provide shade wherever you need it. Look for umbrellas with a high UPF rating to ensure maximum protection. UV-blocking umbrellas are lightweight, portable, and easy to set up, making them a great addition to your UV gear arsenal for those moments when you need extra shelter from the sun.

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Lightweight UV-blocking tent

For longer paddling trips or overnight stays, a lightweight UV-blocking tent is an excellent choice for shelter. These tents are specifically designed to block UV rays, providing a safe and shaded space to relax and rest. Look for a tent with a UV protection rating, preferably one that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Lightweight tents are easy to assemble and can be transported easily, making them ideal for paddling trips where you need a portable shelter. With a UV-blocking tent, you can enjoy a comfortable and protected camping experience during your paddling adventures.

Portable beach canopy

If you’re planning a beachside paddling trip or simply want to create a shaded area on the shore, a portable beach canopy is a practical solution. These canopies are designed to be lightweight, easy to set up, and provide ample shade. Look for a canopy with UV-blocking properties and a high UPF rating to ensure effective sun protection. Portable beach canopies are versatile and can also be used for picnics, relaxation, or as a communal shaded area for your fellow paddlers. With a portable beach canopy, you can enjoy the beach or shoreline while staying protected from the sun’s harmful rays.


Insulated water bottle

Staying hydrated during your paddling trips is crucial, especially when exposed to the sun’s rays. Invest in an insulated water bottle to keep your beverages cool and refreshing for hours. Look for a water bottle with a double-wall vacuum insulation design, as this will help maintain the temperature of your drink for an extended period. Additionally, choose a bottle with a sturdy and leak-proof construction that is suitable for outdoor activities. With an insulated water bottle, you can enjoy cold drinks throughout your paddling adventures and stay hydrated under the sun.

Hydration pack with UV-resistant reservoir

For paddlers who prefer a hands-free hydration option, a hydration pack with a UV-resistant reservoir is an excellent choice. These packs allow you to carry a significant amount of water conveniently on your back, ensuring easy access during your paddling trips. Look for a hydration pack with a reservoir specifically designed to block UV rays, preventing the growth of harmful bacteria or algae. Ensure the pack is comfortable to wear and has a reliable hydration tube system. With a hydration pack, you can stay hydrated and focused on your paddling without having to stop and reach for a water bottle.

First Aid

Aloe vera gel

In case of sunburn or skin irritation, having aloe vera gel in your first aid kit is essential. Aloe vera is known for its soothing and cooling properties, providing relief to sun-exposed skin. Apply aloe vera gel generously to sunburned areas to help moisturize and calm the skin. Opt for a gel that is free from unwanted additives and fragrances for a gentle and natural remedy. Aloe vera gel is a must-have item to alleviate discomfort and promote healing if you experience sunburn during your paddling trip.

Cooling gel or spray

To combat the heat and refresh your body during your paddling trips, consider including a cooling gel or spray in your first aid kit. These products are specifically formulated to provide a cooling effect on the skin, reducing heat and discomfort. Look for cooling gels or sprays that contain ingredients like menthol or aloe vera to provide a soothing sensation. Apply the cooling gel or spray to your neck, face, and any other areas that feel overheated. With a cooling gel or spray, you can stay comfortable and beat the heat during your paddling adventures.

Soothing lotion for sunburn

In addition to aloe vera gel, having a soothing lotion specifically designed for sunburn can provide relief and aid in the healing process. Look for a lotion that contains ingredients like chamomile or green tea extract, as these are known for their calming and nourishing properties. Apply the soothing lotion to sunburned areas to help alleviate pain, reduce redness, and promote healing. A soothing lotion is a valuable item to have in your first aid kit to address any sunburn-related discomfort during your paddling trips.

In conclusion, protecting yourself from harmful UV rays is vital during your paddling trips. By investing in the essential UV gear mentioned above, you can enjoy your adventures on the water while staying safe and comfortable. From wide-brimmed hats to sunscreen, clothing to accessories, and shelter to hydration, each piece of gear plays a crucial role in providing comprehensive sun protection. Remember to apply and reapply the appropriate sun protection products, dress appropriately, and stay hydrated to make the most of your paddling experience. With the right UV gear, you can embark on paddling trips with peace of mind, knowing that you are taking the necessary steps to keep yourself protected from the sun’s harmful rays.