If you have a kayaker (or aspiring kayaker) on your list, chances are they'll love a thoughtful piece of gear for time on the water. We have plenty of great gift suggestions for anyone who enjoys a quiet day on the lake or a river party with friends.
Do you have someone on your list who wants their first kayak, but you don’t quite know where to start? Old Town has you covered here with the Vapor 10 Package. The Vapor 10 is an ideal first kayak for small to medium paddlers, including older kids and teenagers. It’s nimble, easy to paddle, and comfortable enough for hours on the water. It’s a great gift on its own, but with this package, you also get a universally sized PFD (designed for anyone over 90 lbs) and a 230 cm paddle perfectly sized for the Vapor 10. Christmas shopping? Done.
Jackson Staxx - $699 to $849
Need kayaks for the whole family but puzzled on where to store them? Enter the Jackson Staxx. Like its name implies, the Staxx is meant to be, well, stacked. You can store all your family boats on top of each other in a small garage space, or stack a few boats together to save roof rack space on the way to the lake. Convenience isn’t the Staxx’s only strong point—it also offers a stable platform, plenty of space for small kids or dogs, and a comfortable adjustable seat back for more time on the water.
Malibu Two XL - $999
Another great solution for families with small kids, the Malibu Two XL is a classic tandem sit-on-top that can fit two adults and a toddler or one adult and an older child. It’s a convenient, flexible platform for families or couples looking to spend some quality time together. Made of sturdy, rotomolded plastic with enough weight capacity for two adults, the Malibu Two is sure to serve you well for years to come.
AquaBound Manta Ray Hybrid - $149.95
No matter how perfect the kayak is, it isn’t going far without a paddle. For a high-quality, durable paddle at a mid-range price, check out the AquaBound Manta Ray Hybrid. A carbon shaft offers a light swing weight, while a plastic blade keeps the price down and AquaBound’s signature PosiLock ferrule allows for a full range of blade offset angles. It’s our go-to for a lot of reasons. If you choose to gift this paddle, check out AquaBound’s sizing chart here to select the perfect length.
Did you know that you should replace a PFD after about 5 years? True story—the foam loses buoyancy after a while, so older PFDs often don’t float as well as they used to. If you have someone who needs a comfortable new vest, look for the Stohlquist Cadence (men’s fit) or Glide (women’s fit). These designs have a thin back to avoid interference with high kayak seats, soft foam for comfort, and plenty of pocket space for all the snacks and accessories you might need on the water.
NRS Boater’s Gloves - $29.96
Who has time for sunburns and blisters? These fingerless gloves from NRS offer grip, sun protection, and freedom from pesky blisters. Offered in men’s and women’s sizing, there’s a fit for anyone. Pretty simple gift, really.
While we’re on the subject of sunburn, I think we can all agree we should avoid it. It’s hard to stay on top of sunscreen application, though. The Huk Pursuit shirt keeps the rays off in style. It’s a lightweight, moisture wicking fabric that’s easy to wear around town or over a swimsuit on the river. Did we mention it has our sweet logo?
There aren’t many parts of river days that we don’t like, but loading and unloading can certainly be a pain. Cam straps simplify the process. No knots required, no risk of overtightening a ratchet strap. These sturdy 15-foot straps come complete with a carry bag, buckle pad, and the Appomattox River Company logo.
Astral Loyak - $90
Who said water shoes couldn’t also just be great shoes? Not Astral. Astral’s Loyaks are stylish, comfy, and water-ready. On the river, they drain water and silt through built-in drain holes. The removable rubber insole doesn’t absorb water, and the super-grippy G-Rubber outsole helps us balance on slippery rocks. Out in public, no one would have any clue they’re water shoes. We wear our Loyaks around town every day.
What river picnic is complete without a great picnic blanket? Rumpl’s Original Puffy sheds sand and beads water. It’s made of all recycled materials and comes complete with corner loops and a cape clip for those chilly nights by the campfire. The National Parks collection whisks you off to scenic places while supporting the work of the National Park Foundation.