Paddling Gear

Paddling Life’s Wintertime Kayak Review!

You expect a lot of things when you decide to review whitewater kayaks during December in Colorado. Staying warm definitely isn’t one of them. We packed up the quiver and drove to the Barrel Springs and Shoshone sections of the Colorado, still running thanks to a malfunction in the turbines of the nearby powerplant. Call us weenies, but it was the first time either of us had kayaked in Colorado in December (it was also the first time we’d ever used pogies on bike handlebars as part of the shuttle).

Gath Gedi Convertible Helmet

If it’s good enough for Great Whites, it’s good enough for great whitewater...Testing the Australian Design Award-winning Gath Gedi.

Testing the New VIO POV1 Helmet Cam

To get that great action footage, more and more paddlers are switching to a CMOS camera and Digital Video Recorder (DVR) instead of the traditional mini DV cam. It's the most compact and “clean” (i.e. fewest cables) video system on the market, and uses less power. PL's man in the field Mike Stoll puts it through its paces...

Esquif Pocket Canyon

Ready to rrrrumble tandem-style in a canoe? Check out Esquif's new Pocket Canyon canoe, perfect for weekenders looking to get out on the water...

Testing C4 Waterman’s Inflatable Paddle Board

Want to try the latest rage of paddle boarding, but don’t have the garage acreage to stash your board? Rest easy, oh space-deprived one. C4 Waterman’s new 11-foot Uli is a breakdown, inflatable paddle board that handles nearly as well as its more traditional, non-breakdown cousins. We put it through the test from Baja to the alpine lakes of Colorado...

Grand Canyon Gear Review

The Grand Canyon is the grand daddy of all river trips featuring three weeks of raging and river-running. The big water, bigger canyon and, hopefully, good friends, all add to its mystique. If you’re lucky enough to get on a trip, you’ll need the right gear. Paddling Life’s Nick Hinds was one of the lucky few this year, testing out everything from coozies and cutlery to fleece and flip-flops. Here’s what he and a few loyal testers found out:

Aire Ocelot and Jaguarundi

Getting down the river and having a good time is never mutually exclusive. So in the name of fun, AIRE has redesigned its Ocelot ($1,799, pictured) and Jaguarundi ($1,999) catarafts.

Wave Sport Habitat

Creek boaters need a home. Wave Sport brings them a downriver ecosystem with the Habitat($1,000)--one of the company’s more anticipated releases.

Kokatat Women’s GORE-TEX Meridian Dry Suit

Kokatat’s highly regarded GORE-TEX Meridian dry suit ($1,000) is specifically designed for kayakers, and now, women.

Shred Ready Freestyle Audio MP3 Package

Shred Ready (SR) has teamed with Freestyle Audio to bring your music to the river.

Wilderness Systems Ride 135

The Ride 135 ($800) is a modified version of its predecessor The Ride and will definitely maintain its popularity with anglers.

GSI Outdoors JavaPress

No need to neglect your morning buzz when you’re roughing it. Gourmet coffee or tea can be easily brewed using GSI Outdoors' stainless steel JavaPress ($39.95).

Royal Robbins Garb

Before you disregard Royal Robbins clothing as preppy street garb, remember the man who made the brand. Robbins completed more than 30 first descents from Chili to California, including Devil’s Postpile of the San Joaquin, an overnighter that is tough by today’s Class V standards.

Coleman Exponent FastBack Kayak

The Paddling Life crew loves surprises and nothing surprised us more this summer than the Coleman Exponent FastBack Kayak ($345).

Safety First – The Werner Four-Piece Breakdown

Even if you break down, you still want power. That’s our philosophy and that’s why it’s easy to stick a Werner Powerhouse four-piece($230) in the back of your boat.

Paddling Life’s Spring Pick Off

We love rivers. We know gear. So here's our Spring Picks, including Pyranha, Dagger, Jackson and Liquidlogic WW kayaks; drysuits from IR, Kokatat and Palm; and a review of Yakima's SkyBox Pro. Every piece thoroughly tested. That’s why it’s here. We like it. If it was up to us, we’d own it all.

Baja Boat Test O’rama!

When Paddling Life joined Johnson Watersports on a trip to Baja in March, it meant field-testing sea kayaks and fresh fish tacos. A look at 4 marquee sea kayaks, plus a review of the coveted Spyder, Spike Gladwin's customized surf machine...

2007 Fishing Kayak Review

It’s a good time to be a paddle (or pedal!)-powered angler. Long gone are the days when a cutting-edge fishing machine sported a milk crate in the back. A look at the Malibu Mini X, Hobie Mirage Revolution, Ocean Kayak Prowler Big Game, Cobra Tandem +1, and Perception Search 13 & 15.

Shredding the Schwag

Joe Carberry recently visited Portland, Oregon on a gear testing trip and the water was gushing. Bloated waterfalls and steep waves were par for the course, as were cold hands and ice-cold beer. Following is a run down of the gear he abused: Helemts--The Sweet Rocker S1; paddles: The AT 2; Palm Torrent Drysuit; PFD: Salus; Boat: Liquidlogic Ronin

Latest news

Exclusive Review and Video: New Stohlquist Descent Rescue PFD

Stohlquist adds second generation Descent Rescue PFD to it's line, wets paddlers appetite for new products With the help of...
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CN’s Magpie River Declared a “Living Entity”

Ranked by National Geographic as one of the world’s top ten whitewater rivers, the Quebec’s Magpie River now has...

New Film from NRS Fishing: A Resilient Paradise: Florida Keys

Combining Caribbean vibes with easy access from the mainland, the Florida Keys emit a unique energy—from the bustling patios...

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Exclusive Review and Video: New Stohlquist Descent Rescue PFD

Stohlquist adds second generation Descent Rescue PFD to it's...

New Alpacka Ranger is the Perfect River-based Solo Hunting and Fishing Packraft

Alpacka Raft launched, literally and figuratively, in the Fall...
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One More Time Around: Circumnavigating Australia

Stuart Trueman is hoping the third time is also a charm. Caffyn was 1st in 1983, then 27 years later Hoffmeister did it 2010. Now the Kokotat outfitted Trueman has decided it shouldn’t take another 27 before the continent of Australia is circumnavigated by kayak...