There are many factors that contribute to a successful day of kayak fishing.
Piloting a good craft, using the right tackle, being blessed with optimum conditions, and having a bit of luck are just a few examples.
And wearing suitable clothing should not be overlooked.
That’s why the best kayak fishing pants can make the difference between a good day out and a great one.
Take a look at what’s currently on offer in the reviews below, and keep your pins happy while yakkin’.
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When it comes to kayaking gear and apparel, Northwest River Supplies are hard to beat, manufacturing top-quality boating gear and accessories since 1972.
They offer a wealth of kayak clothing options, but to kick us off, I’ve gone for the Freefall dry pants. Made with a special EclipseLT fabric, they provide unbeatable durability, all while keeping you dry with moisture-wicking technology to keep you cool.
Specifically designed to be comfortable when standing or sitting, they make for ideal kayak fishing pants, with plenty of room for layering and maneuverability.
The lengthened, gusseted crotch ensures you won’t get restricted near the family jewels, and the regular fit is relaxed and comfortable down to the feet.
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Superior build quality and design.
Zippered hip pocket.
Elasticated hip band with Velcro tabs.
Built-in dry socks.
Not really suitable for summer fishing.
Probably one of the best kayak fishing pants for winter, this is an excellent choice for cold water boating. Stylish, contoured, and very comfortable, you’ll be fully waterproof to the waist, without ever overheating.
Perhaps more synonymous with work clothing, Carhartt nonetheless produces some excellent products that are equally at home in the great outdoors.
Storm Defender by name and nature, if you’re looking for a weatherproof pant for kayaking in wet conditions, you’ve come to the right place.
The shell is lightweight and breathable, with a two-layer DWR membrane that ensures you stay protected without restricting your movements.
This makes them ideal for kayak fishing, with fully tapered seams, ankle to knee leg zips and storm flaps, and gusseted openings.
Double layering at the knees allows you to add pads and/or clean out debris, and drop-in cargo pockets with hook and loop closures are just right for keeping extra fishing gear to hand.
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Solid, durable build quality.
Waterproof and breathable.
Excellent wind protection.
Draw cord and lock.
No fly zipper or opening.
If you don’t mind the fact you’ll need to pull them down to relieve yourself, these storm pants from Carhartt offer unbeatable all-round protection from the elements, as well as complete freedom of movement while you’re on your kayak.
I feel I might be a little biased for including these tactical pants from 5.11 – because I bought them specifically for a recent kayak fishing adventure.
And boy did they hold up well. Made with a combination of polyester and cotton, they’re incredibly comfortable, with a special, stretchy, ripstop fabric that’s extremely durable.
But perhaps their major plus-point is the gusseted design, which ensures they’re one of the best pants for freedom of movement – no matter what activity you’re involved in.
If you’re concerned about tearing or ripping pants when on the go, then this could be the perfect solution for you. And the fact that they offer no less than eight pockets, makes them ideal for stashing extra gear and tackle when you’re kayak fishing.
Rugged and durable construction.
Affordable price point.
Great choice of colors.
Teflon-coated to resist stains.
Easy to clean and maintain.
Very highly rated.
None to speak of.
I took a chance on these pants for kayak fishing – as 5.11 products are more commonly synonymous with airsoft and tactical use.
But when my fishing multi-tool fit perfectly in one of the convenient pockets, and I enjoyed the nonrestrictive freedom of movement they offer, I was sold. And not only that, but they make you look and feel like a total badass.
Kokatat has been manufacturing paddle sports gear since 1971 and are based out of California, where they hand make the lion’s share of their top-quality products.
The Hydrus Stance is a dedicated paddling pant designed with three layers of waterproof but breathable fabric, for day-long comfort and protection when you’re out on the water.
The neoprene waistband is fully adjustable with hook and loop tabs, with built-in hydrus socks, so you’re fully waterproof up to the waist.
The addition of a printed layer on the inside contributes to a pleasant wearing experience overall, with a smart, stylish, and highly effective garment that has been specially designed for kayaking.
Cutting-edge design and materials.
Factory sealed seams.
Lightweight and breathable.
On the more expensive side.
Probably one of the best kayak angling pants for wet weather, the three-layered Tempest is a top-quality option for anyone who ventures out on the water in more challenging conditions. And you should check out this article on the best rain gear for fishing for more ways to keep you dry.
Another entry for NRS now with their Endurance paddling pants, this time designed specifically for women.
Made from a membrane and laminate Hyprotex material, you have 2.5 layers of weatherproof protection against the elements.
Fully sealed seams help keep water at bay, with a regular fit that looks and feels good on the figure. The waist enhances the comfort with a double hook and loop closure, and the same can be found on the splash-guard ankle cuffs.
Designed to be layered, the Endurance pants come into their own when the heavens open, and are versatile enough to be worn all day, or thrown on before the conditions become a bit more challenging.
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Stylish fit and design.
Water-resistant zippered thigh pocket.
Reinforced seat and knees.
Allows heat and moisture to escape.
Fully adjustable, customizable fit.
Reports that they run on the large side.
Easily the best kayak fishing pants for women, the Endurance model by NRS is a thoughtfully designed garment that’s as stylish as it is practical.
Perfect for extensive layering, you can wear this come rain or shine. Just remember to double-check the sizing before adding to cart.
Simms is one of the best fishing brands in the world, and their products are a by-word for quality in the business. Here, they offer us something a little different – the Challenger waterproof bib overalls.
While you might not automatically associate them with kayak fishing, many anglers are turning to bibs when out on their craft, as they offer excellent protection from the elements, with durable, and yet breathable performance and comfort, and practical fishing features to boot.
100% waterproof, they are fully adjustable, with a heavy-duty fabric that can take just about anything you throw at it.
The Challenger bib offers premium hardware, hand warmer pockets, taped seams, fishing pliers storage with drain, and more, all designed to ensure you have a successful day out on the water.
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World-class build quality.
Kill switch safety hoop for motorized craft.
Front zipper storm flap.
Not the cheapest kayak fishing pants out there.
It’s no surprise to find a Simms product in this review, and they do make some outstanding fishing waders and bibs that can comfortably be worn while kayaking.
The Challenger is one such garment, a great kayak fishing bib that offers practical protection no matter the weather. And for more from Simms – among others – check out this article on the best fly-fishing gifts available today.
As popular as fishing bibs are for kayaking, so too is this rain suit from Frogg Toggs. Do a bit of research on what kayak anglers like to wear, and I’ll bet my bottom dollar this option is mentioned more than once.
And there’s a good reason for that, as it’s an affordable, versatile solution, that works well in all conditions – and for more than just kayak fishing.
Wear the pants right off the bat, and keep the top packed in storage until it’s called upon if the clouds roll in.
The four-panel cut offers a nonrestrictive, comfortable fit, with adjustable leg openings and elastic waist. And it’s also available in an excellent choice of colors – including camo – so you can be sure you’ll look as good as you feel when you’re out there.
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Great price point.
Full-length parka cut.
Front zip with snap storm flap.
Very highly rated.
No pockets on the jacket or pants.
As an emergency rain suit, it doesn’t get much better than Frogg Toggs, and this makes for a great option for keeping your clothes dry when you’re kayak fishing.
They’re great if you’re on a budget, too, just like these awesome fishing kayaks for under $1000. However, having zero pocket options is going to be a deal-breaker for some, and this is arguably better suited for emergency rain protection, only.
Are shorts pants? For the sake of this review, we’ll say that they are. In warmer weather (with a suitably toasty water temperature), wearing long pants for kayak fishing will melt you faster than a bar of chocolate in a microwave.
These NRS Guide shorts are the perfect alternative, designed specifically for water sport use. The tough and durable fabric offers a four-way stretch for complete freedom-of-movement, protects you from the sun with UPF 50+, and packs in no less than five pockets to help keep you organized.
Made with a combination of nylon and spandex, a fully adjustable, nylon webbing belt is included, and the moisture-wicking, quick-drying material is perfect for paddling.
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Zippered fly with waist button for comfort.
A choice of colors would have been nice.
As far as paddling shorts go, this option from NRS is one of the best. Lightweight, durable, and quick-drying, they make for ideal summer kayaking pants, or even if you’re just lounging around the house on a hot day.
How to Choose the Best Kayak Fishing Pants
Below, you’ll find an in-depth guide for choosing the right kayak fishing pants for your needs.
An FAQ section will follow to mop up anything we might have missed.
Size and Comfort
While choosing the right size might be pretty obvious when it comes to clothing and apparel, there’s actually more to it than that – particularly for our outdoor gear.
Depending on the season and conditions you’re kayaking in, you might want to consider layering your clothing.
And depending on the type of garment, this might mean going for a size larger than you normally would.
However, many good kayak fishing pants already factor this in – which means you really need to pay attention to their size and specifications.
Ill-fitting clothes are going to make you feel uncomfortable, which makes for a miserable day on the water.
Double-check your sizing, read reviews from folks who are a similar build to you, and be sure to understand how baggy a garment is going to be in relation to adding layers underneath.
Remember, you need complete freedom of movement and maximum mobility, so anything that’s restrictive in any way is going to cause you problems – especially when getting in and out of your craft.
The same can be said for kayak pants – although not all products are blessed with pockets.
Consider how useful pockets are to you. Personally, I stand in “the more, the better,” camp. I look for deep hip pockets, at least one zippered compartment, and a utility pocket for a knife or cell phone.
However, some people prefer having no pockets at all, as you can feel restricted and loaded down if you’re carrying a lot of stuff around your legs.
This can be especially challenging getting in and out of a kayak.
Perhaps there’s a happy medium to be had? Either way, decide what’s important for you when it comes to in-pant storage.
And you should also make sure that the pants you choose have quality, long-lasting hardware. Zippers, clips, buckles, buttons – they’re all the first to fail if they’re not up to the task.
While they’re not necessarily trying to reinvent the wheel, some outdoor pants come with a few extra bells and whistles to entice your interest.
Accessory hoops, D-rings, or other points-of-attachment might be useful if you want to clip on tools or gear to prevent loss or damage.
Kill switch safety hoops are useful if you’re ever piloting motorized craft.
Belts are practical if you need to adjust the fit for whatever reason.
Even budget kayak fishing pants can be on the pricey side, particularly if they have been designed with the latest weatherproofing technology.
My advice is to match how much you spend with how much use you’re going to get out of it, and consider choosing a versatile outdoor pant that you can use for any number of activities.
But if you’re kayak angling more often than not, then I’d recommend spending more for a dedicated fishing pant that’s going to take a beating.
What are the best pants for kayak fishing?
It depends on your needs and preferences – which is why there are plenty of options on the market. The best for me might not be the best for you.
There is no single right answer to this question – it’s up to you to find out what works – and what works in the conditions and season you’re going to be out in.
What do I wear for kayak fishing?
Glad you asked. I suggest you head over to this dedicated article for more information on kayak fishing clothing. We’ve got you covered.
How should I dress for a cold water kayak?
Good question – you should always dress for immersion, which means paying attention to the water temperature – not the air temperature.
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