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Kayak Cockpit Covers – How To Choose One?

One of the things you shouldn’t do when storing or transporting your sit-inside kayak is leave the cockpit exposed. You’ll be surprised at the amount of dirt, debris, dust, and even insects that can accumulate in your kayak when the cockpit is left uncovered during storage or transportation.

Using a kayak cockpit cover saves you the time and trouble of having to clean your yak’s cockpit, especially after prolonged storage. Kayak cockpit covers also keep water out of your yak’s cockpit and help keep your vessel in top condition during storage.

There are several kayak cockpit covers available on the market. All cockpit covers aren’t made equal and you need to separate the gems from the stones. Below you’ll find a guide to help you make informed decisions when buying a kayak cockpit cover. Here we go.

Why Use a Cockpit Cover?

Many kayak enthusiasts are not convinced that you need a cockpit cover. They feel you shouldn’t store your kayak outside where it’s exposed to the elements. However, not everyone has enough space in their homes to store their vessels. If you are in a similar situation, you should consider inflatable kayaks as they offer unparalleled ease of storage.

You’ll definitely need a kayak cover if you don’t have a barn, garage, or other spaces to store your yak. Even when you have a barn or garage, a kayak cockpit cover will prevent dirt and dust from accumulating in the cockpit of your kayak. Insect infestation will also be prevented by a kayak cover.

Some kayak cockpit covers are suitable for transportation and can be used to prevent dirt or water from accumulating in the cockpit of your yak during transportation, especially when the kayak is on the roof of your vehicle.

How To Install a Kayak Cover On Your Kayak?

A kayak cover is easy to install on a kayak and can usually be carried out by one person with relative ease. Follow the steps below to install a cockpit cover on your vessel.

  • Place an end of the cockpit cover over an edge of your kayak’s cockpit.
  • Then, gradually adjust or extend the cover until it completely covers the entire opening of the cockpit.
  • Secure the cover in place by using the grips.

How to Choose Your Kayak Cockpit Cover?


Popular materials used to manufacture cockpit covers include neoprene, polyester, and nylon. Neoprene has the advantage of being completely waterproof but is heavier than the others. Polyester has a good level of water resistance (not waterproof) and is lighter than neoprene.

Nylon has the least water resistance of all three materials and is the cheapest.

Size and Fitting

This is a no-brainer as your cockpit cover has to fit your kayak. Ideally, cockpit covers should fit snugly on your yak’s cockpit. This way, it’ll provide the optimum protection you are looking for while also remaining in place.

Measure the size of your cockpit and check the fitting of the cover you are buying. Cockpit cover manufacturers usually include a size chart on the products’ page. Be sure to use this chart to get the right cover size for your kayak.

Waterproof and Dirtproof

You should look out for the materials used to manufacture cockpit covers since some materials are more suitable for a particular purpose. For example, if you’ll be storing your kayak outdoors, then it makes sense to buy a waterproof cockpit cover. The same applies if you intend to use your cockpit while transporting your kayak.

However, if you’ll be storing your kayak indoors (barns, garages, sheds, and so on), there is no need for waterproof covers.

When you’re looking for a cockpit cover it can be a good idea to take into consideration where you will use it. For example, if you are planning to use it for outdoor storage, you will probably want to think about getting a waterproof cover.

The same goes if you’re planning to use it while transporting your vessel. However, if you’re simply looking for a cover to protect your cockpit from dust and critters while it’s being stored in your garage, you may decide that it’s not necessary for it to be waterproof.

Any quality cockpit cover would keep dirt so there is no need to worry about this. It’s the level of water resistance that one needs to look out for.

Attaching System

Cockpit covers usually come with mechanisms that can be used to attach them. Cords are the most common attachment system and are easy to tighten. Other covers use clips or cables.

If you intend to use your cockpit cover for transportation, go for one with clips as they remain firmly in place even in windy conditions.

Final Thoughts

While you can do without a cockpit cover, you stand to gain a lot from using one. Many paddlers remain unsold on their importance and if you are one of them, getting a quality cockpit cover may change your option due to its simple and yet practical performance.

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