Reviews You Can Rely On

Paddling

We test the top paddling brands from Bluefin, Isle, NRS, Yeti, Sea to Summit, and Outdoor Research, among others, so you don't have to
Paddling
If you need it on a river—or a lake—chances are we've reviewed it. Every year we buy hundreds of new items—from kayaks to SUP boards to inflatable SUP boards to dry bags—and run em' through the ringer. It takes months. Our expert testers love their job, and it's easy to understand why. Our side-by-side, 100% unbiased reviews cover the gamut. As always, be safe out there…and as for that old tattered life jacket in the garage? See what's new out there in flotation.

Most Popular

Best Pick Reviews in Paddling

Best Water Shoes of 2022

Best Water Shoes of 2022

After combing through 60 of the best water shoes on the market, we purchased and rigorously tested the top 7 to find the best.
Best Water Shoes for Women of 2022

Best Water Shoes for Women of 2022

Our lady testers took these models on rafting trips down the Grand Canyon, Arkansas River, and muddy rivers of southeastern Minnesota to find out which ones stand out among the heap.
Best Inflatable SUP Paddle Boards of 2022

Best Inflatable SUP Paddle Boards of 2022

We bought some of the best inflatable SUPs and paddled them in a variety of conditions to find out which offer the best stability, glide, and value. We also investigated how easily they...
Best SUP Paddle Boards of 2022

Best SUP Paddle Boards of 2022

Looking for the best SUP board of them all? We extensively tested all the best SUPs side-by-side to help you find the perfect board for your needs and budget.
Best SUP Paddles of 2022

Best SUP Paddles of 2022

After comparing over 125 different SUP paddles, we purchased the 14 most compelling paddles currently available and tested them side-by-side to help you find a superior SUP paddle.
Best Kayaks of 2022

Best Kayaks of 2022

In the market for a new kayak this season? We're here to help you make the most educated choice to suit your needs and paddling style. We studied 35+ options before buying the very best to...
Best Inflatable Kayaks

Best Inflatable Kayaks

Sick of being the only one without a kayak, but you have no room to keep it? Check out one of these inflatable kayaks and finally join your friends out on the river.
Best Kayak Paddle of 2022

Best Kayak Paddle of 2022

Want to get your kayak out on the water? Not sure which paddle to buy? Let us share our extensive hands-on research with you, to help you find the best touring paddle to suit your kayaking...
Best PFD of 2022

Best PFD of 2022

Searching for the right safety equipment for your aquatic adventures? After researching over 90 top contenders, we tested the best...
Best Dry Bags of 2022

Best Dry Bags of 2022

Unless you are willing to risk it for the biscuit, transporting water-phobic gear safely across a body of water requires adequate protection. We tested the top 14 dry bag models...
Best Life Jackets

Best Life Jackets

Be legal and stay safer by wearing the right life jacket on the water. We researched 40+ of the best models, then selected 14 to test side-by-side...


Recent Gear Reviews in Paddling

NRS Kicker Remix Review
Best Buy
Water Shoes - Men's

NRS Kicker Remix Review

While they don't work great on land, this shoe is a solid low-profile bootie for paddling. Great traction and warmth are along for the ride here, and our
Astral TR1 Junction Review
Editors' Choice
Water Shoes - Men's

Astral TR1 Junction Review

With a super comfortable and adjustable design and an excellent balance of proprioception and foot protection, Astral has made a well-rounded, high performing water shoe.
NRS Ether HydroLock Review
Best Buy
Dry Bags

NRS Ether HydroLock Review

This uniquely designed dry bag is the best we could ask for, combining top-notch water protection with a fairly reasonable price. It keeps water at bay...
Osprey Ultralight Drysack Review
Best Buy
Dry Bags

Osprey Ultralight Drysack Review

Offers just the right amount of bonus protection for your clothes as a water-resistant packing cube. Its lightweight rectangular design makes it perfect for packing clothes with minimal...


Paddling Learning Center

How to Choose an Inflatable Kayak

How to Choose an Inflatable Kayak

As the number of paddlers continues to grow, kayaking remains the most popular paddle sport, making up over half of all paddlers. With a growing number of kayak options on the market, why...
How to Choose Water Shoes

How to Choose Water Shoes

Water sports are tough on feet and footwear. We provide the key information you need to understand water shoes and pick a pair that work great for you.
How to Choose a Recreational Kayak Paddle

How to Choose a Recreational Kayak Paddle

We have all heard that proverb warning us about being without a paddle. A paddle is an essential tool for any kayaker who wants to be in control of their boat. Let us guide you on how to...
How to Choose a Stand Up Paddle Board

How to Choose a Stand Up Paddle Board

Stumped by SUP’s? We analyze the pros and cons of each board to help you find the perfect match, whether you are just starting out or an experienced paddler.
How to Choose a PFD

How to Choose a PFD

Though it seems like choosing a life jacket may be nothing more than selecting your favorite color, there’s so much more to it. Over hundreds of hours, we tested the best PFDs available...

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More