23 Gift Ideas for Paddlers

1 Min. Read

Whether you’ve got a serious river lover in your life, or just someone who loves spending time on the water, these stocking stuffers and gifts for paddlers won’t disappoint. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite products (or things we wish we had) at every budget level. Take a peek…

The Best Gifts for Paddlers and Water Lovers

The Perfect Gifts for Paddlers and Water Lovers

The Splurge…

1) Red Paddle Co. Ten Six Inflatable SUP – Our Idaho manager searched far and wide for a good all-purpose inflatable SUP to bring along on river trips and landed on Red Paddle Co.’s versatile Ten Six Inflatable SUP. Great in flat water and diverse enough to handle some wave action, it’s no wonder this board is the most popular inflatable SUP in the world. It’s also the perfect new “toy” for anyone who loves to spend long days on the water exploring. ($1399)

23 Perfect Gifts for Paddlers and Water Lovers

UNDER $200

2) Drinktanks Growler – The 64 oz. Drinktanks Growler is a super cool and environmentally-friendly way for beer lovers to bring along their favorite brew to enjoy at camp after a long day on the water, or any outdoor adventure for that matter. Opt for the Keg Cap which can extend the life of the beer for up to five days. ($130 with Keg Cap)

3) NRS Bill’s Dry Bag – Every paddler needs a good waterproof bag and NRS is our go-to brand when it comes to dry bags. “The original,” Bill’s Dry Bag, is a good size when packing for multi-day river trips, super durable and comes in a variety of colors too. (From $159)

4) Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket – It’s warm, lightweight, wind-blocking, compressible, and water-resistant, which is exactly why Patagonia’s Nano Puff Jacket is a must-have for anyone who likes being active and outside year-round. It’s also a great piece of spring and fall paddling gear. Just don’t go swimming in it. ($229)

5) Goal Zero Venture 75 – This is the ultimate portable power option to keep devices like smartphones, cameras and GoPro’s charged on longer multi-day river trips and backcountry adventures. The rugged Goal Zero Venture 75 is good for multiple charges and can hold up to the outdoor elements. Not to mention, it can save the day if the power unexpectedly goes out at home, especially when paired with a portable solar charger. ($220)

6) NRS Big Water Guide PFD – After a while, a well-used PFD can get a little bit funky. So why not treat the serious river runner in your life with a brand spankin’ new life jacket. NRS’ Big Water Guide PFD brings more peace of mind in big water, as well as all day comfort on easier paddling days. ($145)

23 Perfect Gifts for Paddlers and Water Lovers

UNDER $100

7) Catalyst Waterproof iPhone Case – With iPhones replacing many people’s cameras, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing more and more of them on the river. That’s why it makes sense for boaters to have the Catalyst Waterproof iPhone Case, which is not only waterproof up to 16 feet, but can withstand things like sand and being dropped off a small cliff. (From $50)

8) Mophie Powerstation PRO – For something reliable and a bit more rugged than a solar charger, there’s the Mophie Powerstation to power up devices in the backcountry. Using a high-output, lightweight battery, these portable units can charge a smartphone two times or more which would be ideal on a multi-day adventure. And get this, it’s water-resistant too. (From $70)

9) Petzl ACTIK CORE Headlamp – Headlamps have become the flashlight of choice for, well, just about everyone. And when you’re digging through gear in the back of your boat in the middle of the night, they’re a blessing. And sure, there are a ton of options to choose from, but the rechargeable Petzl Actik Core is the Cadillac of headlamps. Your loved one will thank you. ($50)

10) Roll-A-Table – A Roll-A-Table is one of those gifts for paddlers that they don’t know they need…yet. These are standard gear on OARS trips and we couldn’t live without them. Flat surface on a sandy beach? Yes, please. Plus, it’s just a really great portable table for all occasions. ($99)

11) Patagonia Wavefarer Board Shorts – Speaking of durable gear, Patagonia products are known for lasting a lifetime. And when sitting on a boat all day or in a kayak, men and women alike will appreciate a comfortable pair of shorts. All the better that Patagonia Wavefarer Board Shorts look good too. ($69/Men’s – $65/Women’s)

Gifts for Paddlers: Tula Hats


12) Tula Hats – When it comes to personal river style, there’s something for everyone with Tula’s wide selection of hats. Made out of sustainable fibers, these packable hats also offer the added perk of UPF50+ sun protection. (From $47)

13) Klean Kanteen Vacuum Insulated BottleOutside Magazine has tested the heck out of insulated bottles and Klean Kanteen’s 20 oz. Insulated Bottle withstood drops from cliffs, bullet holes and more. While that doesn’t necessarily matter on the river, what does matter is that it keeps hot beverages hot for hours and cold beverages cold for hours (even in the most extreme temps). ($34)

14) Pelican Case 1170 Dry Box – These durable, water-resistant cases are perfect for protecting things that matter on the water most like hand-held electronics and cameras. For this reason, we like the size of Pelican’s 1170 dry box with high-density protective foam on its interior to customize it for your needs. ($57)

15) GSI Outdoors JavaPress – There’s no need to sacrifice good coffee on the river. With the GSI Outdoors JavaPress, a more durable French press-like contraption, fresh, sludge-free coffee is guaranteed. ($38)

16) The Handler – If the river lover in your life loves adrenaline, then chances are they already own a GoPro to capture their craziest whitewater moments. Help them accessorize with the Handler Floating Hand Grip, which will keep their GoPro steady and afloat for the most creative water-based shooting. ($25)

23 Perfect Gifts for Paddlers and Water Lovers


17) ENO Twilights LED Lights – Spend enough time on the river and you’ll know that you have to bring a little flare to your camp. That’s where the ENO Twighlights LED Lights come in. Not only will they provide some much-needed light when the sun goes down, but in a variety of colors, they’ll also bring out the fun vibe. ($25)

18) ExOfficio Give-N-Go Underwear – Nobody actually likes getting underwear as a gift, but we promise the ExOfficio Give-N-Go Underwear will put a smile on anyone’s face. Highly breathable and quick-drying, these are the perfect undies for paddlers and adventurers alike. Check out our review. (From $25)

19) Sea to Summit Pocket Towel – When you spend all day on the water you get used to being wet, but that doesn’t mean a towel isn’t needed. That’s why the quick-drying and compact Sea to Summit Pocket Towel is ideal for river rats who probably only pull out the towel after taking a “shower.” ($20)

20) Whale Foundation Calendar – Anyone who’s ever done a Grand Canyon rafting trip will appreciate the Whale Foundation’s annual calendar, which provides a glimpse at some of the Grand Canyon’s finest views and special places. You can feel good about this gift too because the proceeds from each calendar sold goes to support the health and wellness of the guiding community. ($15)

23 Perfect Gifts for Paddlers and Water Lovers

Stocking Stuffers for Paddlers

21) Chums – Nothing can ruin the perfect day on the water like losing your favorite sunglasses. That’s why everyone needs a solid eye-wear retainer like Chums. Choose from their floating styles in case that huge rapid really hits you in the face. (From $8)

22) Rite in the Rain Outdoor Journal – Is it just us, or does being in the great outdoors inspire the creative soul in all of us? Just in case inspiration hits, your river lover will always be prepared with the Rite in the Rain outdoor journal. ($9)

23) Super Salve – Essential for dry conditions, Super Salve offers fast relief for dry skin and is a favorite among river guides. ($21)

Last updated 12/6/2022

Photos: James Kaiser, Drink Tanks, Catalyst, Tula Hats, Eagles Nest Outfitters, Chums

Cari Morgan heashot

Cari Morgan

Cari Morgan is the Content Marketing Manager for OARS. Since 2014, she has managed the company’s blog, The Eddy, and has been the primary “voice” behind the brand’s social media sphere.

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