The Paddler's Gift Guide

Have a friend or loved one who spends all their days either out on the water or thinking about their next paddle? Perhaps that person is even you. No judgment here! If we're not out on the water we're counting down the minutes until we're pulling out our packrafts to hit the river again. With the holiday season upon us, the time of gift-giving is underway. Since paddlers can be elusive creatures, we've compiled a few paddling favorites to kick off your Christmas shopping.

For the paddler with everything

We decided to kick off the paddler gift list with the hardest to shop for, the paddler who seems to have everything. They're the friend who doesn't only have several packrafts, they have complete setups to spare. To be fair, they're your favorite person to paddle with since they always have gear to spare. Or that person might even be you and you're trying to come up with gift recommendations for friends and family. Luckily we have a few tricks up our sleeve, giving you a great place to start your gift shopping.

Delta Series_Feather Pump_Orange_Kokopelli_2019

Kokopelli Feather Pump

This little magic wonder is new this year, giving you the edge on your paddler gift giving. The ultralight rechargeable lithium-ion pump will inflate a packraft in 60 seconds flat. Hit the water even sooner, not to mention enjoy that tight packraft roll by using the Feather Pump to deflate your boat as well.

It only weighs 6 oz and enjoys a 60-minute battery life. If that's not enough, celebrate that you can also blow up a myriad of other gear, such as your sleeping pad.

Check out the Feather Pump.

Delta Series_Animas Gear Pack_Black_ Detail03_Kokopelli_2019

Kokopelli Animas River Bag

Also new this year, Kokopelli's Animas River Bag solves the challenge of gear storage both on river and at home. With 70L of carrying capacity, the Animas easily fits your packraft, 4-piece breakdown paddles, helmet, PFD, dry-suit, and paddling apparel. The high-performance mesh helps your gear breathe and prevent the funk. On the river, it integrates with the front four d-rings of any (past, present, or future) Kokopelli packraft. Rather than having a limited bow-bag, the Animas is expandable/compressible depending on where you attach the compression straps.

Check out the Animas River Bag.


Pelican G40 Charge Case

It's likely your paddler already has a waterproof case, which leaves you searching for a case that goes above and beyond. That's where the G40 Charge Case comes in. Not only does it provide the water and dustproof protection we love from Pelican (even to the point that this little guy both is submersible and floats), it also gives that extra boost of power to keep your smartphone going for your entire adventure.

Check out the G40 Charge Case.

Grayl Water Filter

Grayl Geopress™ Purifier 

The great irony for someone always on the water is that they still need to access clean water. This holiday season make drinking water easy with the gift of the world's fastest portable water purifier. Simply fill it up with water (and Grayl swears you can find the dirtiest water around), press the filter down, and then enjoy crystal clear purified water from anywhere.

Check out the Grayl Purifiers.

Kokotat Outercore Habanero Liner

I don't know if you've noticed, but up north it's cold out. That doesn't necessarily mean paddlers have given up the water in favor of snowsports quite yet. What it does mean that they need a little extra protection against Jack Frost. Insert Kokotat's one-piece dry suit liners. The Outercore Habanero Liners are paddling specific cozy onesie liners compatible with all of their drysuits. They seamlessly combine comfort and warmth for both men and women hitting the water when most of us are hitting the slopes.

See Women's Liners and Men's Liners.

NRS Mamba Pogies

You might not be able to tell from the photo, but these little beauties are fleece lined and glorious. The paddler who has everything is definitely crazy enough to be going out packrafting in the shoulder seasons, or even right through the winter. The unique Mamba Pogie design gives packrafters the ability to have direct hand contact with their paddle without giving up feeling in their fingers. Now that's the gift of warmth, and quite possibly the gift of keeping your fingers through a frigid cold paddle sesh.

Check out the Mamba Pogies.

For the New Paddler and Packrafter

If you know someone eager to dip their toes into the water with packrafting or simply looking to take advantage of the lakes in their backyard, we have you covered! You might be thinking that someone new to paddling would be super simple to shop for. You're not wrong, but there can be so many great gift options for the new paddler that you get slightly overwhelmed with ideas. That's why we narrowed it down to get you going.


Kokopelli Hornet-Lite Packraft and Paddle

As the lightest packraft of the Kokopelli fleet, the lake series Hornet-Lite is almost tailor-made for packrafting or paddle beginners. The paddle/boat combo makes it that much to get out on the water quicky. This minimalist boat is ideal for day trips, high-alpine lakes, backpacking, flat water, and paddling with dogs. Yes, it's perfect for your new to paddling pup as well. Don't let the beginner tagline fool you. Because it's so compact and versatile (as well as dog-friendly), this is the packraft of choice for many vanlifers, city dwellers, and minimalist paddlers.

Check out the Hornet-Lite.

Kokopelli Feather Pump

Yes, we also recommended this for the paddler who has everything. Truth is that the new Feather Pump is just that incredible. Give the new paddler in your life the gift of instantaneously inflating their packraft making it that much easier to hit the water. In case you didn't catch the details earlier, the Feather Pump only weighs 6oz, has a 60-minute battery life,  and will inflate your packraft in 60-seconds.  With a boat that easy to inflate, there's no reason to not get out on the water all the time.

Check out the Feather Pump here.

MTI Reflex Life Vest

We're big on safety here at Kokopelli, which means we recommend that all paddlers wear PFDs. Once you have your boat setup squared away, the next step is investing into the proper life vest for your paddling style. The MTI Reflex Life Vest is a great option for the lake paddler. It's versatile with a great fit that accommodates a variest of body shapes. Even better than that, it comes with both large cargo pockets and zipper cargo pockets to store everything from your cell phone to your keys.

Check out the Reflex Life Vest.

Pelican™ Dayventure Sling Cooler

What makes a paddle even better? Making it a day trip complete with lunch on the go. Pelican's™ Dayventure Cooler is both water-resistant and lightweight, making it perfect to strap it onto the front of your packraft (what better way to use those d-rings?). The sling design equipped with a padded shoulder strap and rubberized carry handle makes it easy to tote along for a short hike.

Check out the Dayventure Cooler.

topo rain jacket

Topo Designs Global Jacket

Once you get the hang of paddling,  you're going to want to hit the lake all the time. That means navigating all types of weather or riding out the surprise afternoon shower. Topo Designs' Global Jacket is the perfect versatile layer for when you're out on the water. It's a lightweight shell with venting pockets and just enough stretch. Roll up the jacket for a compact clothing, perfect for the minimalist or when you're traveling.

Check out the women's Global Jacket and the men's Global Jacket.

Chaco shoe

Chaco Z/Cloud Sandals

No one likes to hang out in wet sneakers and your new paddling friend will be in the same boat. While often overlooked, proper shoe wear is key to successfully navigating your first season out on the water. Especially for warmer weather paddling, the Chaco Z/Cloud sandals are the perfect blend of an athletic fit, arch support, and comfort. Designed to be in the water, the Chaco sandals dry quickly. Just make sure to have your friends show off their Chaco tan lines at the end of the summer.

Check out the Women's Z/Cloud Line and the Men's Z/Cloud Line.

For the Bikerafter

Bike rafting adds a whole new level to packrafting. Whether your friend is simply looking for a two-wheeled shuttle after your paddle or hitting the trails before finishing out the day on the river, we have several gifts to spark their interest.

Kokopelli Rogue TiZip

As the premier boat of the Kokopelli Adventure Series, you could almost say the award-winning Rogue Packraft was custom designed with bikerafting and bikepacking in mind. Rated up to Class II rivers with a spraydeck and sprayskirt system, this is the ideal boat when protection from the elements and comfort are a priority but pack size and weight are critical. Easily strap your bike to the bow of your boat utilizing the 4 front D-rings. Once you're ready to hit the trail, pack your boat down to the size of a paper towel roll, strap it onto the handlebars and head out.

Check out the Rogue.

Kokopelli Delta Inflatable Dry Bags (Set of 2)

An ultimate gift for any paddler, especially the packrafting sort, the new for 2019 Delta Inflatable Dry Bags (Set of 2) are the top-notch dry-storage solution. What really sets these bags apart, especially for bike rafters limited on storage space, is that they are designed to fit within the pontoons of your packraft. That makes it easy to pack along with the essentials and still be able to strap your bike to the front of your packraft.

Check out the Dry Bags.

Niner Defiant Top Tube Bento Bag

When headed out on your bike rafting adventure, you need the best possible bag to strap to your bike. Niner and Defiant partnered up to go strapless with their custom-made top Bento Bag. Officially ditch those obnoxious velcro straps that are always rubbing against your leg or on your frame. Take advantage of that extra space for a few accessories or mid-adventure snacks.

Check out the Top Tube Bento Bag.

Aeroe Spider Cradle

For the bike rafter in  your life, Aeroe's new Spider Cradle will completely up their game. Rather than spending a lot of energy strapping the Rogue to their handlebars, they can invest that time perfecting their packraft roll. The Spider Cradle seamlessly straps a variety of gear vertically or horizontally on your handlebars, front forks, rear rack or seat post mount.

Check out the Spider Cradle here.

Chaco water shoe

Chaco Torrent Pro

As much as we love the Chaco sandal, hitting the biking trails needs something with a little more closed-toed protection. Since your bike rafting friend likely doesn't want to carry two sets of shoes out into the backcountry, Chaco's Torrent Pro cross-trainer covers both terrains. Chaco worked with professional whitewater athletes to ensure this river shoe hit all the main features, such as a serious grip for slick surfaces and quick drainage.

Check out the Women's Torrent Pro and the Men's Pro Torrent.


Werner Shuna Paddle

To stay on top of their paddling game, your water-loving friend has likely checked out the Werner Shuna Paddle. This best-selling High Angle blade was designed for mid-sized power for strokes in all directions and optimized for flex and strength. Keeping things fresh, the Shuna comes in six different color options, including a patriotic flag.

Check out the Shuna Paddle.

For the Whitewater Pro

After the paddler with everything, the whitewater pro might be the next most challenging paddler to shop for. It's likely they have a fair amount of gear already, but never fear. We have the perfect list to get your gift-giving going this year.

Kokopelli Nirvana Spraydeck

The Nirvana Spraydeck is Kokopelli’s go-to whitewater packraft and sure to impress any whitewater enthusiast. Great for carving into eddies and surfing your favorite holes, the Nirvana is the perfect blend of durability and stability. Engineered with a narrow trim, aggressive rocker on the bow, and a large-volume stern, the Nirvana performs best in Class I – Class III. Weighing 10.1 lb (4.6 kg), the Nirvana packs down to the size of a sleeping bag. 

Check out the Nirvana Spraydeck.

Kokopelli Delta Whitewater Sprayskirt

When you're out on the water all the time, like your whitewater-loving friend likely is, staying dry is essential. Insert Kokopelli's Delta Whitewater Sprayskirt. It's engineered to keep you dry in water up to Class 4. It's also the packraft sprayskirt that won’t pool or implode because of the tensioned deck-stay. Another first, the water-resistant zippered tunnel fits most adults with the adjustable neoprene waistband. The suspenders are removable, allowing the sprayskirt to work with both non-tunneled and tunneled paddling apparel. In short, it's everything a whitewater pro could want in a sprayskirt. 

Check out the Delta Whitewater Sprayskirt.


Every great whitewater pro knows the importance of a quality helmet.  Sporting the style and swagger of an iconic sports figure is the icing on the cake when it comes to safety. That's what is so impressive about Shred Ready's new Zeta Helmet. Here you get unparalleled protection with that splash of style you're seeking out on the water. They also tackled the age-old challenge of creating an energy-absorbing helmet that is actually comfortable.

Check out the Zeta Helmet.

For the Multi-Day Adventurer

The last paddler we have on our list is the multi-day adventurer. This is the friend always headed out for the entire weekend or who always seems to magically have unlimited vacation days for their expeditions. Next to the new paddler, this may be the most fun paddler to shop for as there are so many ways to intersect with their adventures.

Nirvana Self-Bailer TiZip

A good multi-day adventure needs a durable, reliable, and lightweight vessel to get you through whatever the river throws at you. The Nirvana Self-Bailing fits the bill. As Kokopelli's premier self-bailing packraft, the Nirvana is engineered to keep you above the water and allows water to automatically drain. Since weight and size are pivotal, it's important to highlight that the Nirvana Self-Bailer only weighs 9.7 lb (4.3 kg) and packs down to the size of a sleeping bag. Adding the TiZip option gives you access to the pontoons of the boat, creating even more storage space. 

Check out the Nirvana Self-Bailer TiZip.

Kokopelli Emergency Patch Kit

You don't exactly want to be caught in a difficult position in the backcountry. That's why it's always good to have an Emergency Patch Kit on hand. Kokopelli's Emergency Patch Kit is designed to make field-repair a breeze and to get you back home no matter what. Unlike other quick or emergency patch kits that only have a layer of urethane and the adhesive, the Nylon-Aramid weave provides structural strength meaning your patch will last far longer and in the worst of conditions.

Check out the Emergency Patch Kit.

Topo Design Subalpine Pack

A new route for mountain gear, our Subalpine Pack combines the functionality of classic hiking packs with unmistakably Topo Designs styling. The spacious main compartment has plenty of room for gear, and the internal laptop sleeve makes it equally essential for an urban commute or a quick flight. A removable front pouch is perfect for toting your phone, wallet and keys as you explore a new city.

Check out the Subalpine Pack.

Topo boulder pants

Topo Designs Boulder Pants

One thing that is essential when planning out a multi-day adventure: weight. Topo Design's lightweight Boulder Pants meet the perfect blend of quick-dry stretch nylon and flexibility giving you the ease and comfort for anything your trip throws at you.

Check out the women's Boulder Pants and the men's Boulder Pants.

Wacaco Nanopresso

It's hard to imagine giving up your beloved caffeine when championing a multi-day adventure in the backcountry. With Wacaco's Nanopresso, you don't have to. With this hand-powered portable espresso machine, all you need is hot water and your favorite espresso from your campsite or even while on the water.At just over 6” and weighing less 1 lb, it is one of the smallest, quality, hand-powered espresso machines on the market.

Check out the Nanopresso.

Wolf and Grizzly Grill M1 Edition Kit

Few things are better than a perfectly grilled meal, and that is doubly true in the backcountry. The challenge is that no one wants to haul a grill with them on a multi-day adventure. After all, we're all about weight and minimizing your pack size here. That's why the Wolf And Grizzly Grill M1 Edition Kit is so innovative. It's all the key components of your grill designed to be both lightweight and portable. Get your backcountry fire roaring, place the grill kit over top, and be searing up your favorite meal in no time.

Check out the Grill M1 Edition Kit.