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Best Kayak Canopy – 2021 Complete Guide

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Summer is one of the best times to go kayaking. But the intense heat of the sun can sometimes ruin your kayaking experience as you feel like you are being baked alive. Before you know it, you have sunburns and sunstrokes.

Many kayakers have cut their kayaking expedition short due to the sometimes unbearable heat of the summer sun. But the sun doesn’t have to stop you from spending time on the water, not if you have a kayak canopy.

Kayak canopies, sometimes called kayak bimini tops, are designed to protect you from the sun, rain, and the elements in general. You may consider wearing hats, sunglasses, and layers under the summer sun but all these can’t compare to the superior protection you’ll get from a kayak canopy.

There is no shortage of kayak canopies on the market and choosing one from the numerous options available may be a daunting task. I’ve carried out extensive research and testing to compile a list of the best kayak canopies available on the market. Continue reading to learn more about these kayak sun shades.

The 7 Best Kayak Canopies for 2021

Adventure Canopies Kayak Sun ShadeOur Top Pick

Adventure Canopies Kayak Sun Shade - 10 Foot & Larger Kayaks (Yellow Blast, Barracuda: Sit-On/Sit-in w/seat Below top of Kayak)

 out of stock
Amazon.com
as of September 19, 2021 6:58 am

A fitting name as this kayak canopy protects you from sun rays as you embark on your kayaking adventures. The Adventure Canopies kayak canopy also offers impressive stability, especially in rough waters.

I like that this kayak sun shade is notably small and lightweight. This combined with the foldable design makes this canopy easy to store and transport. The impressive adjustability of this canopy is perhaps its hallmark as it means this canopy can fit any kayak. Removing this canopy is also super easy thanks to release points along the frame.

Made of 600 Denier mildew-resistant polyester fabric, this bimini top is very durable. The frame is made from fiberglass which is very sturdy and durable. And the UPF 50+ rating means this canopy can block 99% of UV rays.

 Specifications

  • Material:  600D polyester fabric
  • Length:  54 in / 137 cm
  • Weight: 4.5 lbs / 2 kg
  • Coverage: 10 sq ft

Pros

  • Small and lightweight.
  • Easy to store and transport.
  • Impressive protection against sun and wind.
  • Easy to detach.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • Not ideal for use on inflatable kayaks.

Other Buying Options:

Lixada Kayak Canopy

Lixada Kayak Boat Canoe Sun Shade Canopy for Single Person

 out of stock
Amazon.com
as of September 19, 2021 6:58 am

If you are the type that likes to spend long hours on the water fishing or just relaxing, then you should take a look at the Lixada Kayak Canopy. This canopy comes with extended support rods that provide more space under the shade. You get more shade which translates to more comfort on the water.

This kayak canopy is lightweight, foldable, and can be stored in a carry bag included in the package. And it’s easy to mount this sun shade on your kayak.

The Oxford material is water-resistant and provides efficient protection from sun rays and wind. It is also water-resistant and protects you from sudden splashes of water.

Even though the design of this kayak canopy is simple, it’s very durable and long-lasting.

 Specifications

  • Material:  Oxford Cloth and Aviation Aluminum Rod
  • Size:  23.6 X 4.1 X 2.0 in / 60 x 2.7 x 5 cm
  • Weight: 2.4 lbs / 1.1 kg
  • Coverage: 10 sq ft

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy to store/transport.
  • Easy installation.
  • Extended poles mean more shade.
  • Comes in different sizes for different kayaks.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

Cypress Rowe Outfitters Kayak Canopy

Beige 3' by 5' Canoe/Kayak Sun Shade/Canopy by Cypress Rowe Outfitters

$149.00  in stock
Amazon.com
as of September 19, 2021 6:58 am

The Cypress Rowe Outfitters Kayak Sunshade is easily among one of the best kayak sunshades on the market. The brand is among the newer ones on the market but I was impressed with their product with the performance and functionality of their product.

You can expect superb protection from the elements (sun, wind, and water) from this 60-in long masterpiece. The marine-grade polyester used to manufacture this bimini top is of the highest quality and the aluminum frame is sturdy and rust-resistant (can be used in saltwater condition).

You’ll find the Cypress Rowe Outfitters kayak canopy easy to install and remove from any kayak or craft. The manufacturer claims this sun shade can last up to 20 years which I think isn’t too farfetched.

 Specifications

  • Material:  Marine Grade Polyester
  • Length:  60 in / 152 cm

Pros

  • Easy to install and remove.
  • Can be installed on any yak or canoe.
  • Excellent protection from the elements.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

Other Buying Options:

Mophoexii Kayak Canopy

MOPHOEXII Kayak Boat Canoe Sun Shade Canopy for Single Person with Storage Bag

$55.99  in stock
Amazon.com
as of September 19, 2021 6:58 am

Specifically designed for a single-person kayak, the Mophoexii kayak canopy has everything you need to protect yourself from the sun. It is small and lightweight making it easy to carry and transport. It also folds in a small carry bag included in the package.

Mounting this kayak sun shade is very easy and you’ll like that this canopy can fit into most kayaks and canoes. Removing this canopy is also simple and straightforward.

Thanks to the high-quality oxford cloth material, this canopy is water-resistant, offers excellent protection from the sun and wind, and also durable. The aluminum rod is resistant to corrosion and long-lasting.

 Specifications

  • Material: Oxford fabric
  • Length:  36 in / 91 cm
  • Weight: 1.2 lbs / 0.54 kg

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact.
  • Easy to install and remove.
  • Water-resistant.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

Other Buying Options:

Hobie Kayak Sun Shade

Hobie Bimini - Gray

$226.00  in stock
Amazon.com
as of September 19, 2021 6:58 am

The Hobie kayak bimini top deserves a spot on this list for many reasons. First, there is an innovative design that makes it easy to fit most single-person kayaks. Also, it’s very easy to install thanks to the beginner-friendly setup, and you get superb protection from the sun and rain.

This kayak canopy is ideal for paddlers looking for an easy to mount canopy for an extended and more enjoyable kayaking expedition. It’s also very lightweight and compact, making it easy to store, carry, and transport. There’s a heavy-duty bag included in the package for storage.

The aluminum poles are very sturdy and resistant to corrosion making them suitable for use on saltwater. The sun-protecting fabric is also very durable and comes with a unique articulation feature and sliding line adjusters that allow you to adjust this canopy according to the sun’s position

 Specifications

  • Material:  Ripstop nylon and aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs / 1.2 kg
  • Coverage: 7.5 sq ft

Pros

  • Efficient protection from the elements.
  • Easy installation.
  • Can be adjusted according to the sun’s position.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

Peyan Kayak Canopy

Peyan Kayak Boat Canoe Sun Shade Canopy for Single Person

 out of stock
Amazon.com
as of September 19, 2021 6:58 am

The Peyan Kayak Canopy is one of the lesser-known kayak canopies on the market. But I think this canopy deserves more attention due to its superb performance.

This canopy is designed for a single-person kayak and is versatile enough to be used for almost all brands. The Oxford cloth material is very tough and offers excellent protection from the sun and wind. You are also protected from sudden splashes of water thanks to the water resistance.

Installing and removing this canopy from your kayak is simple and straightforward. Transportation and storage are also straightforward thanks to the lightweight and compact design. And there’s a carry bag included in the package to make carrying and storing this canopy a lot easier.

This kayak bimini top also shines when it comes to durability as the high-quality materials make it long-lasting.

 Specifications

  • Material: Oxford fabric
  • Length:  36 in / 91 cm
  • Weight: 1.32 lbs / 0.6 kg

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight.
  • Easy to mount and remove.
  • Excellent protection from the elements.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

Other Buying Options:

S28esong Inflatable Kayak Canopy

S28esong Inflatable Kayak Awning Canopy, Boat Sun Shade Shelter,Beach Fishing Surf Folding Inflatable Kayak Sun Shade Shelter,Two-Person Dinghy Cover (Not Included Kayak)

$47.99  in stock
Amazon.com
as of September 19, 2021 6:58 am

The last kayak canopy on this list, the S28esong canopy is a top-quality canopy you should take a look at. The beginner-friendly installation allows you to mount this canopy on your kayak without any tools or stress.

This canopy is also very small and lightweight. This makes it easy to carry and store. There’s a storage bag in the package to make transportation and storage a whole lot easier.

The material used to manufacture this canopy provides excellent protection from the sun and wind while also being water-resistant. You can also be certain of the durability of this kayak canopy thanks to the high-quality materials used to manufacture it. And you’ll be using it for a very long time.

 Specifications

  • Material: Oxford fabric
  • Size:  92 x 45 x 16 in / 236 x 114 x 41 cm
  • Weight: 2.1 lbs / 0.97 kg

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight.
  • Easy to install.
  • Excellent protection from the elements.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • N/A.

Other Buying Options:

Best Kayak Canopies & Sun Shades – The Guide 

Below you’ll find the benefits of a kayak canopy, how to install one, and factors to consider when buying a kayak canopy.

Benefits of Using a Kayak Canopy / Sun Shade

A common rule of summer is to always put on a generous amount of sunscreen even though most of us don’t follow this rule. When you are kayaking, you are exposed to a lot of harmful UV rays from the bright summer sun.

While there is the option of wearing layers, most people don’t want many clothes on while kayaking which totally makes sense.

A kayak canopy will provide you a lot of respite from the scorching summer sun and make your kayaking trips more enjoyable. You are also protected from other elements like wind and water.

How To Install a Kayak Canopy?

Manufacturers usually include detailed installation manuals in the package or provide installation videos. Installing a kayak canopy is easy as long as you follow the instructions.

You’ll need the manual in the package as it’ll show you how to properly align the frame sections. Also, the manual will tell you how the screw holes are arranged throughout the frame sections.

Using a screwdriver, tighten the screws on the frame while being careful not to tear the canopy top. The next step is to take the straps and attach them carefully with your kayak.

Unfold the canvas/cloths very carefully and insert them into the frame using straps. Buckle up the straps tightly to prevent the canopy top from being blown away by the wind.

How to Choose Your Kayak Sun Shade?

Material

Popular materials for kayak canopies include canvas, polyester, and nylon. All these materials are very durable, lightweight, and resist waters quite well. However, canvas offers the best protection from UV rays while polyester has the advantage of being more durable.

When it comes to frame materials, you should ideally go for aluminum or fiberglass as these two materials are sturdy, durable, and corrosion-resistant.

Size

Measure your kayak to know the exact size. This will guide you when choosing a canopy. Most kayak canopies are designed for medium to large kayaks. There are also models for smaller yaks but you need to know your kayak’s size so you can choose the right size for your yak.

Function

The purpose of your kayak canopy should be put into consideration. Obviously, you want sun protection. However, the water-resistant of canopies will vary as some are more suited to protect you from drizzle while others can withstand more downpour.

If it’s windy where you are kayaking, go for canopies work very sturdy frames to prevent the top from blowing away, or worse, acting as a sail and potentially moving you off course.

Kayak Compatibility

Check that the canopy you are buying is compatible with your kayak. Not all canopies can be used on inflatable vessels and you should read the descriptions of a canopy before buying it.

Also, check if the canopy is tall enough to be comfortable for you. People carrying a lot of gear should also consider the added weight of the canopy and determine if it’ll be suitable for their vessels.

Color

Basic science tells us that dark colors absorb heat the most while lighter colors absorb less heat and reflect more heat instead. This is why the color of your canopy matters and you should go for lighter colors like grey, yellow, white, and so on.

Final Thoughts

If the scorching heat of the summer sun is ruining your kayaking experience or cutting your time on the water short, all you need is a kayak canopy to get the much-needed protection from the sun.

They are available in different sizes and colors and you will have no problem finding one that fits and match the color of your kayak. Happy summertime!

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