Sea kayaking season is in full swing—are you geared up and ready to paddle? Check out these six essentials:
Delta 15.5 GT
This versatile touring boat finds a nice compromise between speed, stability and ease. Little rocker in the V-shaped hull keeps it on track and cruising at a good speed for its length. We found the boat almost impossible to flip. The thermo-molded construction is tough like plastic, but prettier and stiffer. The cockpit is large and comfortable and the hatches are generous. Overall, a boat equally adept at hauling gear or day tripping.
Sunday Afternoons UV Trucker Cap
Sure, any trucker hat will shade your nose from the sun, but few have the technical chops to protect the rest of your noggin like this one. The front fabric deflects 98 per cent of sunrays and is sweat-stain resistant. Even the lightweight mesh is sun proof. Both are water resistant. And there’s a wicking sweatband sewn inside to manage perspiration. It may not be from a truck stop in Saskatchewan, but you can expect a whole lot more comfort.
Kokatat Poseidon PFD
(from $175; kokatat.com)
On its own, the Poseidon is a bare bones PFD, with a centre zip, reflective hits and soft next to skin. But like a coffee at Starbucks, it is designed to be customized. A bunch of accessories strap and clip onto the jacket via built-in loops and buckles. Pick the ones you want—from chest pockets to tow belts, hydration to knives—and outfit the PFD to your specs. The closest thing to a custom PFD most of us will ever need.
Therm-a-Rest EvoLite Mattress
We were early converts to the comfort of air mattresses and their impressively compact pack size. Yet, as we went woozy inflating them, we coveted our buddies’ self-inflating mats. Now we can have the best of both. Using strips of porous lightweight foam, the EvoLite combines self-inflating convenience with the packability and four-centimetre cush of an air mat. Now, our lungs and backs are happy.
Gerber Freescape Camp Kitchen Kit
One of the beautiful things about sea kayak touring is the capacity to bring gourmet ingredients to the dinner table. And quality meals require quality knives, like this set. Slide the shelf from under this cutting board to find a rockered chef knife and an easy handling paring knife. Pop them out of their slots, run them through the imbedded sharpener and chop away. There is even a cuttings-catcher for separating ingredients and staying organized.
Named for one of the world’s great whitewater rivers, these sandals are meant to handle abuse. Pull on the single strap of webbing and it cinches across the forefoot, the inseam, around the heel and across the top of the foot, locking in a custom fit quickly and easily. Backed by microfibre, the straps are soft and never pinch. And the amphibious outsole lugs grabbed slippery rocks and then emerged to dig into dirt trails, too.