Any time you get ready for an outdoor excursion there is a lot of planning to do. From choosing the location to packing up your gear, planning is important for having fun. With a cockpit cover, you won’t have to spend time cleaning out dry leaves, dust, spiders, or anything else that might end up in your kayak between uses. The best cockpit cover will keep it clean between uses so you can get in the water faster. You’ll find a handy kayak buying guide and info about our top choices below.
In a Rush? The Winner after 50 hours of research is:
Good for storage or transport
Durable and long-lasting
Super stretchy neoprene material
Easy to adjust
Best cockpit fit
Best Kayak Cockpit Covers
- 1. NRS Super Stretchy Neoprene Cockpit Cover – Best one-size-fits-all cockpit cover
- 2. Seals Kayak Cockpit Drape Cover – Easiest to adjust
- 3. Seals Cockpit Seal Cover – Wide range of sizes for a customized fit
- 4. Lomo Neoprene Cockpit Cover – Best water-resistant cockpit cover
- 5. Harmony Gear Cockpit Cover – Most durable kayak cockpit cover for storage
|#1||NRS Super Stretchy Neoprene Cockpit Cover - Best one-size-fits-all cockpit cover||Material: Neoprene|
Sizing: Universal is 28”-40” and Universal
Plus is 40”-57”
Fittings: Shock cord band
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|#2||Seals Kayak Cockpit Drape Cover - Easiest to adjust||Material: Nylon|
Sizing: Sizes varying from 44”-102”
Fittings: Tether hook and bungee cords
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|#3||Seals Cockpit Seal Cover - Wide range of sizes for a customized fit||Material: Neoprene|
Sizing: 1.2-7.0 (sizing chart on the site where
you enter your kayak info for a perfect fit)
Fittings: Rim attachment and bungee cord
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|#4||Lomo Neoprene Cockpit Cover - Best water-resistant cockpit cover|
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Sizing: Small deck for 60-70cm, keyhole
deck for 70-80cm, big deck for 80-90cm, and
custom XL for 90-100cm
Fittings: Shock cord and securing loop
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|#5||Harmony Gear Cockpit Cover - Most durable kayak cockpit cover for storage||Material: Nylon|
Sizing: By length and width, available in
32/18, 34/19, 36/19, 38/20, 41/23, 44/21,
Fittings: Adjustable shock cord
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Top 5 Kayak Cockpit Covers
1. NRS Super Stretchy Neoprene Cockpit Cover – Best one-size-fits-all cockpit cover
The NRS Super Stretchy Neoprene Cockpit Cover is constructed from a stretchy neoprene material to offer a better fit. It stretches around the outer lip of your cockpit and an adjustable shock cord band secures it in place.
This cockpit cover resists water, which makes it a great choice for storage or transport. The smooth skin neoprene is 1 mm thick and resists abrasion, which makes it durable and long-lasting. It comes in two sizes- universal and universal plus.
Even though this comes in a universal size for larger cockpits, it still can be difficult to stretch over some larger areas. The material is stiff and the cord can be too short for some kayaks, so check out the reviews beforehand to see it might fit your kayak. In some cases, it might work if you have a second person help you stretch it over the cockpit the first time.
2. Seals Kayak Cockpit Drape Cover – Easiest to adjust
The Seals Cockpit Drape Cover is a good choice if you want a more flexible fit over your cockpit. It does come in several sizes, however, the sizes are made to fit up to a certain width.
This kayak cover is made of nylon packcloth, which is a medium weight material. It is not waterproof but it will work for transporting and storage inside of a building.
The Seals cockpit drape has loops on the outside that attach to bungee cords. The bungee cords wrap around the hull of the kayak. Then, make sure you tighten or loosen them for a customized fit. Something to note is that if you tighten them too much, the hooks can break fairly easily. While you do want a snug fit, you want to avoid over-tightening.
3. Seals Cockpit Seal Cover – Wide range of sizes for a customized fit
The Seals Cockpit Seal Cover is designed for a wide range of sizes, ranging from a 1.2 to 7.0 deck size. You can use information found on the Seals website to size what would be best for your kayak cockpit.
This cover is made using durable nylon that is tear-resistant. It also offers UV protection and has double-stitched seams for added durability.
The Seals cockpit cover attaches to the rim using the company’s rim grip technology and an adjustable bungee cord. It also has a hull strap for added security, which is especially nice when you are going down the road. While the material is not waterproof, it is water-resistant.
The one issue with this is getting the right size. While having a wide range of options is good, it makes it harder to get one that fits just right. With the wrong size, it can cause any weight on the kayak cover to make it detach. If you are worried about sizing, be sure to purchase from somewhere with a return policy so you can get one that fits.
4. Lomo Neoprene Cockpit Cover – Best water-resistant cockpit cover
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The Lomo Neoprene Cockpit Cover is made of durable Neoprene. It’s designed to sit on top of just the cockpit and uses a shock cord and securing loop to secure it in place.
One of the benefits of this being a neoprene cover is that it is water-resistant. It is also extremely durable and offers a tight seal over the top of the kayak for storage and transport.
Something to note is that this cover is sized by knowing just the length of your cockpit. The sizes are within a range of ten centimeters (for example, small is 70-80cm). You’ll need to stretch the cover sometimes to get a tight fit and the neoprene is very tough at first. Once you do stretch it across the hull and make sure it is in place, it won’t let anything in.
5. Harmony Gear Cockpit Cover – Most durable kayak cockpit cover for storage
The Harmony Gear Cockpit Cover is available in 16 different sizes. This makes it easy to get the perfect fit if you choose the right size cockpit cover for your kayak.
This cover uses an adjustable shock cord that grips the rim of the cockpit. The one downside of this is that for some sizes, the cord is too short. This makes it difficult to tie once the cover is in place.
The Harmony cover is made durable with 410 dernier nylon. It is also double-stitched at the seams. As an added benefit, it is water-resistant. Unfortunately, the company recommends this only be used for storage and not for transport.
Kayak Cockpit Cover Buying Guide
The most common materials used to make the cockpit cover are polyester, nylon, and neoprene. Neoprene is the best choice for someone who wants a cover that is 100% waterproof. The downside is that it is heavier than other options. Nylon cockpit covers are chosen by people who are looking for something a little more budget-friendly. Additionally, they’re usually easy to adjust to fit the size and shape of any cockpit. Polyester is usually a good mid-range cockpit cover and it is generally water-resistant, but not completely waterproof.
Something you’ll want to consider while choosing the material is how you’ll be using it. If you store your kayak outdoors, then a waterproof cover is going to be best. If you only need it for travel or for storage inside a garage or shed, then waterproofness is not a necessary feature.
Having a cockpit cover that is sized right is crucial for having a tight fit. Ideally, you want a cover that fits over the cockpit snugly. Manufacturers typically provide a sizing chart with the dimensions for each size their cover offers. Reference it to find out if you need measurements in centimeters or inches. You’ll need measurements of your cockpit before getting started. You can find instructions on how to measure your kayak cockpit below.
The fittings available for the cover usually consist of clips, cords, cables, or a combination of the three. Bungee cords can also be used to make sure the cover fits well, especially if you’re struggling with what the manufacturer provided. Keep in mind if you are transporting the kayak, something with a clip is important. This provides the stability to keep the cover locked down and the wind out while you’re driving.
FAQs About Kayak Cockpit Covers
Q. Do I need a kayak cockpit cover?
A. Technically, a kayak cockpit cover isn’t necessary. However, covers are a good way to protect your investment. The cockpit cover protects the seats and inside of the kayak. This is especially important if you are storing it outside where exposure to sun, wind, and the weather can wear down the materials.
Having a kayak cockpit cover also keeps leaves, spiders, bugs, and critters out of the nooks and crannies of your kayak. Since some can cause damage if they choose to nest in there, it’s a good idea even if you are storing your kayak cover in a garage or other building.
Finally, you’ll want a cockpit cover for when you are traveling with the kayak. When it’s tied to your roof, wind can go inside the kayak and cause a lot of resistance. The cover keeps the wind out and makes it easier on your vehicle.
Q. How do I measure the cockpit?
A. One of the biggest factors that’s going to affect how well a cockpit kayak cover works is having something that fits over your kayak properly. Some cockpit covers feature a one-size-fits-all design that eliminates this step. If you do choose one with size restrictions, you’ll want to be sure you have the proper measurements.
To get the best fit, you’ll need to measure the length, width, and circumference of the cockpit. When measuring the length, you are going to measure from the outside of the lip that goes around the rim of the cockpit. Measure the longest part from the front to the back of the cockpit–that is the length. Then, measure from the widest points at the sides to get the width. Finally, take a tape measure and wrap it around the cockpit to get the circumference. If you don’t have a tape measure, you can use a piece of string and measure that. Once you have the measurements, you’ll want to look at kayak cockpit covers that fit those measurements. You may need to reference tables on the companies website.
Q. How should I store the kayak’s cockpit cover when I’m not using it?
A. The most important thing for using cockpit covers is keeping them dry when they’re folded or not in use. Even when you choose waterproof materials, water inside the covers for any extended period of time can cause mildew to grow. Stick it in an airtight container when it’s not in use. This should be fairly easy, since most cockpit covers for your kayak are compact once they’re no longer on the cockpit.
Choosing the best kayak cockpit cover lets you protect your investment from critters, rain, dirt, debris, and anything else that might damage it or muck it up between kayaking outings. It also reduces fuel used when you’re out on the road. Hopefully, this guide has been helpful in choosing one that works best for you. Remember to think about how you want to use the cover (for storage, transport, or both) and size the cover right to get the best results. Checking out cockpit cover reviews can also be helpful, especially when others have had success with the same product.