Best Bets for River Gear


Not sure what to pack for your whitewater rafting or kayaking trip? Be prepared for any river adventure by bringing along these great items.

Kokatat OutFIT Tour PFD Kokatat OutFIT Tour PFD

Stay safe on the river wearing this U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFD that includes a strobe lash tab and reflective tape for added safety. The deep cut neck and arm holes allow for full range of motion, while the shoulders are adjustable for a custom fit. Safely store electronics and other important items in the multiple zipped pockets. Also available in a women’s-specific style, the MS Fit Tour. $143

Kokatat TROPOS Swift Dry PantKokatat TROPOS Swift Dry Pant

Keep dry when rafting through rapids or kayaking in the waterproof, breathable Swift Pant, which features a neoprene waistband and latex ankle gaskets to provide protection when wading into waist deep water. $129

Kokatat GORE-TEX® Rogue Dry TopKokatat GORE-TEX® Rogue Dry Top

Ready to invest in a superior dry top for your water adventures? Then this is it! Not for the budget conscious, the Rogue blends three different GORE-TEX® laminates for breathability, durability and superior dryness. Latex gaskets with neoprene keep water out so you stay dry and comfortable. $400

Helly Hansen Trail MocHelly Hansen Trail Moc

Get the toe protection and grip of a trail running shoe combined with the ventilation of a sandal! Great for running, rafting and hiking, these all-purpose shoes shed excess moisture and drain quickly to keep feet cool. $80

Chaco® Pro Series SandalChaco® Pro Series Sandal

If you’ll be spending lots of time time on the water, invest in these sandals designed for and by river guides. The ultrasticky Vibram® outsole grips on wet rocks, slick surfaces and steep hills to prevent falls. But be wary of using this sandal in your natural habitat, the sticky outsole marks floors. Available in a variety of strap styles, but we like the Z/1® Pros because they stay on your feet and can accommodate neoprene booties for cold water use. For men and women. $105

Julbo® Boavista SunglassesJulbo® Boavista Sunglasses

Designed for active women, the Boavista’s wrap-around design gives you full eye protection while the grippy stem ends hold glasses on without sticking to your hair. The Octopus® lens is photochromic, polarized and features a water-shedding hydrophobic coating that’s ideal for river rafting. $180

Granite Gear Überlight DrysackGranite Gear Überlight Drysack

Stow items you want as you raft in this ridiculously light, transparent drysack (less than half the weight of a similar-sized sil nylon sacks). It’s completely waterproof to protect gear, even if the boat flips. Available in a variety of sizes from 7–18 liters. From $38.95

PelicanTM Camera CasesPelicanTM Camera Cases

Keep your camera easily accessible and safely stored aboard a raft with a PelicanTM case. These watertight, crushproof cases are guaranteed for life and come in a variety of sizes to fit any camera. They feature an O-ring seal and open cell core for full protection against dropping and water. Prices vary.


About Author

Jenny Willden is the Managing Editor of Outdoor Sports Guide and a self-proclaimed gear and grammar nut. She's a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association and the Adventure Travel Trade Association. A lover of adventure and travel, she's happiest when riding horses or snowboarding in Utah’s mountains. Follow Jenny’s exploits on Twitter @jennywillden or Instagram @jlwillden.

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