Best kayak sunshade reviews 2022

If you are a kayaker, you might have had kayaking experience under extreme sunshine. You also know what the thing is that it can save you from this intense sunshine, which is not good for your health. Yes, I'm talking about kayak sunshade.

Those who are new in kayaking need to know about this thing to save them from getting sick after kayaking under sunshine. In this article, I'll discuss a few crucial aspects of kayak sunshades and will provide you with a description of some selected items. Best Bike kayak trailers will solve your problem if you are having trouble to carry your favourite kayaks with you. 

kayak sunshade

What is Kayak sunshade?

The kayak sunshade is the equipment you need while kayaking under the extreme sunshine. Kayaking under sunshine is a very familiar thing and the professional kayakers often go through this situation. But, you guys might be aware that intense sunshine and the UV ray are harmful to our body.

This will make us fall sick, what of course a professional kayaker won’t want. That’s why they use a cover over their kayak to save them from the extreme sunshine. The size of the shade depends on your kayak’s size and the type of shade you want. So for comfortable kayaking in under the hot sun, you must use a kayak sunshade.

How does a kayak sunshade work?

The main task of a kayak sunshade is to save the kayaker from the excessive hit of the sun and provide him or her a smoother kayaking day. Now let's know how a kayak sun shade actually works.

  • A sunshade saves the kayaker from the excessive hit of the sun.
  • It hampers the UV ray to attack the skin of the kayaker, which is harmful to any human being.
  • A sunshade saves the kayaker from being getting sick because of the extreme sunshine.
  • For a comfortable kayaking experience, a kayaker would love to keep a sunshade always with him or her.
  • Though it is the less important work a kayak sunshade does, I would like to mention it. If your sunshade is colourful and attractive enough, it will add beauty to your kayak undoubtedly.

How to choose a kayak sunshade?

Before you make your mind to purchase any of these listed kayak sunshades, you need to know the crucial considering factors.

  1. Heavy-duty polyester fabric or oxford cloth is better.
  2. It should have UPF 50+ rating.
  3. It must withstand the roughest windy condition.
  4. A hassle-free installation is necessary.
  5. The inclusion of a carrying bag provides convenient transportation.

Let's break deeply into these considerations and make buying a lot easier for you.

Heavy-duty construction

A heavy-duty and top-grade shade doesn't tear or rip off easily. The durability and longevity are defined by the materials used to make the shade. Polyester, ripstop polyester fabric, and oxford cloth, etc., are some common construction materials.
When the question is about durability, a heavy-duty ripstop polyester fabric shade will go on to serve well. However, oxford cloth is another mostly used material. It is not as cheap as polyester. Also, you can think of similar durability from it.


Regardless of the material used to construct the shade, it should be UV-protected. As you are looking for sunshade, a UV-treated design is a must. Without having the capacity of withstanding the extreme UV-ray, the shade remains of no use.
UPF 50+ rating is the sign of quality UV-protective coating on the fabric. Moreover, it also means that the shade can block up to 99% of UVA and UVB rays to ensure maximum sun protection.

Stability and sturdiness

The construction and hardware type are the two main things that define stability. One shade can withstand the roughest condition in the water and another can't even support a gentle breeze. So, there's a huge difference between these two.
A sturdy installation ensures proper stability on any type of kayak. When you are going on a long kayak ride, you should ensure stability, because you never know anything about the water.

A stable shade also comes in handy when you are fishing from inside the shade. On the other hand, if you aren’t going far from the seashore you should worry about the stability or strength much.

Ease of installation

One must purchase a complete kayak sunshade package that includes all required installation hardware. Metal hardware forms the strongest setup. Also, there should be an instruction manual to enhance the whole installation process.

Carrying bag

You might think a carrying bag is just as minor a requirement as a sunshade. But you will feel the need for a heavy-duty, drawstring bag when it comes to transport it. When the shade is not in use, you can simply store it inside the bag.
It is a safe and secure place for storage, which also comes in handy for transportation. If you are a professional kayaker, you must need a sunshade for rough situations. Through the carrying bag, you can easily take it on the go.


Why a sunshade has to be water-resistant? Well, that is an interesting question, so is the answer. While kayak, you may come into contact with poor weather conditions. If the shade is water-resistant, it can protect at least your upper body from the rain.
Also, while kayaking, the water-resistant design can ensure protection from sudden water splashes. All in all, it keeps the kayaker dry and cool all the time.

Accommodating person

You should ensure whether you are going single or with another person on the trip. It is because any shade size won’t fulfill your demand or shade more than one person. There are shades for a single person and also for two or more persons.
What alternative is available for kayak sunshade

A canopy is an ideal replacement or alternative for a kayak sunshade. There are many users, who would keep canopy and sunshade on the same page. However, it seems to me that these two covers are different.

There’s a small list of kayak sunshade alternatives –

  1. Installing a canopy
  2. Holding an umbrella
  3. Wearing a hat or cap. 

A sunshade is specialized to protect from sunlight and extreme UV-ray. On the other hand, the canopy isn't made only to keep the user safe from sunray; rather it has several purposes. The canopy is more like a shelter on the kayak.

It becomes useful equipment while fishing on a kayak. However, if the canopy has a UV-treated design, it can also play a similar role to a sunshade. Keeping the sunray away from the user then becomes a convenient task.

Except for setting up a canopy, you can hold an umbrella above the head. But it’s not an ideal option for sun protection, because you have to use one of your hands all the time to hold it. It prevents you from doing other works and ultimately ruins the trip.

Another alternative is to wear a hat or cap. It is the least supported way of protecting you from the sunray. It will only protect the head and the face to some extent. But complete protection is never possible neither with a hat nor with a cap.

Best kayak sunshade

1. Adventure Canopies Kayak Sun Shade - 10 Foot & Larger Single Person Kayaks


Brand: Adventure Canopies

Weight: 4 pounds

Key features

  1. The manufacturer used high-quality 600 Denier polyester fabric to construct the sunshade. 
  2. The patented frame has four points of quick-release connectors.
  3. It comes with adjustable height.
  4. The package includes stainless hardware.
  5. There is a drawstring carrying bag. 
  6. Provides 10 square feet of shade
  7. 54 inches in length
  8. Exceptionally stable in rough weather.

This kayak sunshade provides 10 square feet of shade. It measures 54 inches in length and conveniently adapts to any kayak with exceptional stability during windy and rough weather conditions. It comes with an adjustable height. It is built with stainless steel hardware, but very much lightweight.

As of being a sunshade, the fabric should protect the exterior from UV rays. Only then, it can assure of keeping the users of the kayak are free from extreme sunlight. It comes with a UPF 50+ rating, which tells you the story.

The manufacturer has included everything necessary hardware in the package to provide a hassle-free assembling process. After you have correctly assembled it, you can change the height depending on the sitting position and ensure the best comfort.

Also, it is a convenient process to remove the shade when you don't need it anymore. It has a foldable design and a drawstring carrying bag for proper storage. It also allows the user to take it on the go.

User experience

The shade is built to protect the users from rough weather conditions, and it has done it quite well. It is important to keep the upper body dry even it's storming outside. The shade keeps the upper body protected, but the lower body or legs became the victim.

To ensure protection, a proper and quick installation is required before you are heading for the trip. Using the instruction manual provided in the package the users took only 30 minutes installing it, on average.

The good

  1. It is a lightweight and rigid sunshade that offers top-level durability and strength.
  2. With a UPF 50+ rating, it can block 99% of UVA and UVB sun rays.
  3. It is highly stable during windy and rough weather conditions because of its unique design.
  4. Using the fiberglass poles, it offers simple and hassle-free installation.
  5. Convenient storage and transportation are possible with the carrying bag.
  6. One can find proper comfort in any seat position by adjusting the height

The bad 

The structure comes to be flimsy for few users.

2. Hobie Kayak Sun Shade


Brand: Hobie


Key features

  1. The shade comes with sophisticated articulation. 
  2. It has sliding line adjusters.
  3. The package includes a heavy-duty, drawstring bag.
  4. There are multiple color options available.
  5. UPF 50+ fabric
  6. Constructed with lightweight ripstop nylon
  7. Water-resistant.

This kayak sunshade is designed to withstand all of the action from water adventures as it is constructed with lightweight ripstop nylon, which is rugged and durable. The UPF 50+ fabric protects from the powerful sun rays. 

It is made to enhance the fun on the kayak journey and maintain a proper shade. As the fabric has a UPF 50+ rating, you don't need to worry about the shade it offers. It doesn't matter whether it's raining or the sun is shining brightly; it can come in handy every time.

With the addition of three different colors, the kayak finds a new look each time. Following the instruction manual, you can do the installation in a hassle-free manner. The proper protection from unfavorable weather condition let the user spend more time on the kayak.

User experience

If you are not sure whether it works or not, you need to know that it truly protects the users from sun and rain. The lightweight shade is easy to carry and easy to install as well. Soon after the installation, you will discover yourself under shade.
No matter how extreme the sunlight is outside, you are away from it. Kayakers love fishing during their trip, and even after putting on the shade above, you can continue fishing.

The good

  1. It protects the users inside from extreme sunray as it comes with UPF 50+ rating.
  2. With the water-resistant coating, you will stay dry throughout the shading time.
  3. Due to its rugged and durable construction, it can withstand rough water situations.
  4. The shade stays protected inside the drawstring bag when not in use.
  5. It is quick and convenient to assemble.
  6. It creates a unique look on the kayak using multiple colors.

The bad

It doesn’t have any adjustable height option.

3. Lixada Kayak Boat Canoe Sun Shade Canopy for Single Person


Brand: Lixada

Weight: 1.1 pounds

Key features

  1. The shade has a strong aviation aluminum rod. 
  2. It is a shade specially designed for a single person.
  3. There is a drawstring storage bag available in the package.
  4. The shades are available in 13 different colors. 
  5. Made of ripstop, water-resistant oxford cloth and shock cord aluminium rod
  6. Offers 8 square feet of shade
  7. Folds compact and lightweight.

This kayak boar canoe is designed with durable oxford cloth and strong aviation aluminium rod. It offers approximately 8 square feet of shade. It is easy to install.

If you are looking for a single-person sunshade, it is the ideal product for you. It is not a big shade like most others found in the market, but enough to provide proper shade to one person. 

If you are alone on the trip, you also don't have to worry about the installation or breakdown. According to the manufacturer, it provides hassle-free installation. Moreover, there is a drawstring carrying bag that comes in handy while storing it.

User experience

Comparing to the price, it's a nice sun-protective companion in kayak trips for the majority of users. The main problem most users find is the difficulty of installation. However, this shade offers a quick and easy installation process.

Another superb side for the buyers is that it is used well under the low tree barks. The shade doesn't remain on the taller shades side, which the users find useful in compact areas.

The good

  1. With the shock-cord aluminum rod and ripstop fabric construction, it can withstand the windy conditions in the water. 
  2. It connects to the kayak firmly and provides an easy installation.
  3. The shade protects the users inside from sunburn.
  4. Because of the foldable compact design, it provides convenient storage.
  5. You can transport it easily inside the drawstring carrying bag.
  6. The water-resistant fabric repels water with ease. 

The bad

  1. The shade is not wide enough. 
  2. It is not a superb choice under windy conditions.

4. MOOCY Sun Shade Canopy for Kayak Canoe


Brand: MOOCY 

Weight: 1.3 pounds 

Key features

  1. The manufacturer used durable oxford cloth with sunscreen coating.
  2. It has a collapsible aluminum rod included in the package.
  3. There are three installation cords available.
  4. The package includes one support stand rod.
  5. It comes with a drawstring storage bag.
  6. Made of coated sunscreen cloth and collapsible aluminium rod
  7. Offers eight sq ft of shade
  8. Easy to setup.

This kayak canoe is made of coated sunscreen cloth and collapsible aluminium rod. It offers approximately 8 square feet of shade. The canoe is easy to set up and fold down. 

It has a collapsible rod for installation, which has both positive and negative sides. The positive side is that you can easily install and store the shade by folding down or collapsing the rod.

On the other hand, you won’t enjoy superb stability from this setup. It is better if the rider chooses a windless situation to use the shade.

User experience

According to most users including me, it’s a perfect kayak companion if it’s not a windy day. The sun-protected fabric isn’t strong enough to withstand such risky conditions. You won’t find it tough installing the shade.

Moreover, it will be set up in almost every kayak model. None of the users have so far face any difficulties regarding transportation as the package already includes a carrying bag for this.

 The good

  1. It can protect the users in calm and light windy conditions.
  2. The shade is compatible with most types of paddle boats.
  3. The collapsible rod forms a firm and stable installation.
  4. It is easy to install and break down.
  5. Taking the shade on the go is a matter of time with the drawstring carrying bag.

The bad

It is not one of the sturdiest sunshades in the market.

5. Sport-Brella Versa-Brella SPF 50+ Adjustable Umbrella


Brand: Sport-Brella

Weight: 1.8 pounds

Key features

  1. The sunshade comes with a 360-degree and 4-way swivel design. 
  2. The expanded umbrella is 40 inches by 42 inches.
  3. It has heavy-duty clamps that open up to 1.5 inches.
  4. There is a compact carrying case included in the package.
  5. The package includes protective eye safety tips.
  6. Rugged cover and durable connector
  7. UPF 50+ protection
  8. Adjustable angle design.

It comes with a rugged cover and durable connector. The UPF 50+ protection keeps the skin safe from harmful UV rays. It has an adjustable angle with 360 swivel design.

Whether you want a shade on the kayak or just want to remain on the seashore under a shade, this umbrella design canopy will come in handy. It has a durable and stable frame construction, which performs well until there is no wind.

The loveliest feature of the canopy is protecting its users from extreme sunlight. Direct UV rays can be really harmful to the skin, and they won't let you enjoy the seashore moment peacefully. To solve this problem, you can conveniently expand the umbrella and set it up.

User experience

To be honest, the umbrella-designed shade is better for recreational shading. Also, it is easy to assemble and dissemble. However, it won't help you in the true sense when the wind blows even gently.

It umbrella might break or become useless completely due to the damage. However, it has a good coverage area to protect the users from direct sunlight.

The good

  1. It keeps the body skin safe by blocking 99.5% of UVA and UVB sun rays.
  2. It is a lightweight product that offers easy carriage.
  3. There are two push-button hinges for easy adjustments.
  4. With the heavy-duty clamps, a secure fit is ensured.
  5. It folds down for hassle-free transportation.

The bad

  1. The umbrella is very cheaply made and flimsy.
  2. It can't even withstand a gentle breeze.

Kayak sun shade cost

kayak image

You will find different kayak sun shades of different sizes and different designs in the market. It depends on your kayak size and type of shade you demand. Because of the variation in design, the cost of kayak sunshade also varies. You will find both cheap and expensive sunshade for your kayaks. Depending on the difference in designs, the cost of kayak sun shade ranges from $20 to $250.

If you want the shade for only saving yourself from the excessive sunshine and you own a small size kayak, then you can buy one spending within $80. But for a large kayak and if you are looking for a sunshade which will cover the whole kayak, it will surely cost you near $200 or even more than that. So, firs ensure what you want and then purchase for the right product.

How to install a kayak sunshade?

After buying a kayak sunshade, you might be worrying about how to install it or what things are necessary for installing a kayak sunshade. Well, here I'm providing you with the ways to install your new sunshade in your kayak.

  • For the installation process, you need a cover or sunshade with hubs, screwdriver, drill machine, spreader bar, installation instruction etc. things.
  • First of all, you have to set up the forward hubs one to three inches back from your front backrest.
  • Then install the rear hubs measuring 27 inches far from the front hub.
  • After setting the hubs, it's time to set the subframe in the exact place on the kayak.
  • Then if your kayak sunshade set has a wind spreader bar, connect it into tee up and tighten it.
  • At last, unfold your sunshade and connect it to the subframe. Now you can enjoy comfortable kayaking by saving yourself from the excessive sunshine.

Is using a kayak sunshade good?

You can only enjoy kayaking when you are staying under a moderate temperature and comfortable. But when the sun is shining extremely just above your head, the kayaking trip becomes a nightmare. Only a sunshade can bring back the thrill that time.
Without any doubt, a kayak sunshade is good to use. However, you might love to know the benefits of using sunshades while kayaking.

  1. It protects you from direct sunlight.
  2. It keeps the harmful UV-ray away from the skin.
  3. It can withstand windy conditions.
  4. Ensures the upper body remains dry.
  5. Gives a new and unique look to the kayak.

Direct sunlight can be harmful both for your health and your skin. By installing a sunshade, you can ensure complete protection from harmful UV-ray. It also comes useful when there is sudden rain, or the weather isn't familiar.
You could have got wet if there wasn't the shade above your head. There are different designs and colors available, which can make your kayak, look like a new one.


1. Why do you need a kayak sunshade?

To ensure protection from extreme sunlight, and UV-ray, you need a kayak sunshade. It also keeps the body dry by repelling the water from the surface when there is rain.

2. Is water resistance necessary for kayak sunshade?

Yes, a kayak sunshade must have water resistance. A water-resistant sunshade can ensure the user inside remains safe and dry by repelling the water.

3. Can a kayak sunshade withstand heavy windy conditions?

A kayak sunshade with a stable and sturdy setup can always withstand heavy windy conditions. These shades are made to go forward and protect the rider even the weather isn’t on the user’s side.

Final words

A kayak sunshade can save you from getting sick and spoil your kayaking experience. So for the professional kayakers and recreational ones, I would highly recommend using a kayak sunshade when you are riding under extreme sunlight.

Last Updated on July 25, 2022 by Efti

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