What to Wear on Your Next River Adventure
Whether you’re rafting down the Grand Canyon or heading out to your favorite riverbank for a little fishing, there are certain materials and clothing that fare better on the water. If you’ll be out in the heat of summer, for example, you’ll want fabrics like Omni-Freeze™ Zero or Omni-Freeze Zero Ice™ to keep you cool. And if your river trip includes cold weather and icy water, river gear made with neoprene will keep you dry and warm.
Wear UPF-rated clothes
It’s always a good idea to wear UV-protective clothing for sun protection regardless of temperature—sunburn can happen even on cloudy days, especially when it’s reflecting off the water. So look for clothes with UPF-rated sun protection technologies such as Omni-Shade™ or Omni-Shade Sun Deflector™. A recent study found that UPF clothing works better than sunscreen, and it doesn’t need to be reapplied throughout the day.
Mind the forecast
Weather can change rapidly during any season, so if you plan to be on the river for a while, layering will help you ward off the chill of the morning and stay comfortable as the day warms up. In case of weather surprises, it’s a good idea to take along a set of dry clothes to change into before heading home, including a cozy fleece mid-layer and high-quality socks.
If your goal is to stay dry and comfortable on the water, avoid cotton clothing—once it’s wet, it tends to stay wet. Instead, make sure your river gear is made with quick-drying synthetic materials such as nylon and polyester.
Don’t forget your PFD
It’s often hard to tell if that serene river you’re floating down has a strong current or undertow, or if the riverbank you’re fishing from has a steep drop-off just a few feet away. So play it safe and be sure to keep a personal flotation device (PFD) with you on every river adventure.
What to wear kayaking and canoeing
Be sure to shield your head and face from the sun with a UPF-rated hat, and protect your feet with waterproof kayaking shoes. Consider throwing a fleece mid-layer in your dry bag, along with a lightweight rain jacket, just in case the weather turns.
If you’ll be paddling in cold weather, avoid the possibility of hypothermia by wearing gear made with neoprene to keep water away from your skin.
What to wear paddleboarding
For paddleboarding in the cooler seasons, you may want to bring a fleece jacket or lightweight windbreaker to ward off the chill and be prepared for changing weather.
What to wear rafting
For leisurely rafting or inner tube floats down a lazy river on a sunny day, clothes made with Omni-Shade technology and quick-drying fabric will provide protection from the sun as well as help you dry off fast once you get back to shore. And water shoes will help protect your feet as you go from float to riverbank throughout the day.
What to wear fishing
Look for fishing shoes with special stain-resistance like Omni-Shield Blood 'N Guts™ technology for easy cleaning and Omni-Grip™ traction specifically designed to help keep your feet where you want them.