You like paddling under the sun but sometimes, the heat just gets unbearable. Maybe it is the exertion from intense paddling for hours or it could be the weather that is making you feel a little uncomfortable. Weather conditions can have a direct impact on the amount of time you paddle on the water. This is the reason why so many people are looking for kayak canopies and Bimini Tops as they protect people from the intense heat of the sunrays or from torrential rains.
Best 6 Kayak Canopies & Bimini Tops
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Here we have listed the top 5 kayak canopies, their advantages and disadvantages (if any) to help you make the right buying decision.
1. Lixada Kayak Boat Canoe Sun Shade Canopy for Single Person
Lixada Kayak Boat Canoe Sun Shade Canopy is a durable canopy designed for a single person. It is made from Oxford cloth which is water-resistant in nature. Strong Aviation Aluminum Rods are used to give its structure the support that it needs. Its 8 sq. ft. of coverage is more than enough for a single paddler. Easy to install, this lightweight kayak canopy can save from sunburns.
- Lightweight yet strong.
- Water resistant clothing is used.
- East to stow away.
- It does not come with gears to install it.
- Not ideal for windy condition.
2. WindPaddle Sails Sun Shade for Kayaks
Be it an inflatable kayak, sit-on-top kayak, traditional canoes or a decked kayak, WindPaddle Sails Sun Shade can be attached to the existing hardware without facing much trouble. It can be easily folded while you are out on the water. The biggest advantage of WindPaddle Sails Sun Shade is that it does not interfere with the stability of the boat in one way or the other. This canopy is ideal for rivers or lakes where the wind is strong.
- Offers maximum shade
- Spring activated
- No side brackets
- No instructions available
3. Adventure Canopies Kayak Sun Shade
Adventure Canopies Kayak Sun Shade is specially designed and developed for outdoor use and can easily withstand extreme weather. Mildew resistant polyester is used in this kayak canopy and offers full body protection from the sun. 4 points of quick release connectors are included in its structure. The poles are made from fiberglass and they can be unfolded easily in section. To keep the poles aligned, shockcords are used in the structure. Thanks to the inclusion of shockcords, Adventure Canopies Kayak Sun Shade can be folded and unfolded in a matter of few seconds. This canopy comes bundled into a drawstring bag that makes it super easy to carry around.
- Extreme stability in windy condition
- Durable and flexible in nature
- Dissipates heat effectively
- No cons as such
4. Leader Accessories Bimini Top Boat Cover
It is probably the best Bimini Top boat cover you can get at this price point. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get it. The canvas is made from Marine-grade 600D polyester that adds to its durability. Clear assembling instructions are provided saving both time and energy. Leader Accessories Bimini Top Boat Cover is UV resistant too. In the front and the rear, 4 adjustable nylon straps are strategically placed.
- Easy to put together
- The frame is strong and sturdy
- Water resistant canvas materials
- Made from plastic
- No such instruction available as to how big the holes have to be
5. MSC 4 Bow Bimini Top Boat Cover
At this present price tag, MSC 4 Bow Bimini Top Boat Cover is basically a steal. It can last really long if you dried it out before getting it folded and tucked it in a bag. The poles are made from Aluminum and they can withstand rust. Marine-grade double PU Coating is used against the canvas. MSC 4 Bow Bimini Top Boat Cover can be installed without using any tool and should not take more than 15 minutes.
- Storage packages in the back.
- Two rear support poles included.
- Front Adjustable Strap
- Should not be used when you are traveling more than 40 to 50km per hour.
- Some people complaining about the fading of the top.
6. 4 Seasons Bimini Top Boat Cover
4 Seasons Bimini Top Boat Cover provides a lot of shades which is good I believe. It has a robust structure and it does not take more than 20 minutes to get it installed without using any tools. This boat cover is mold resistant in nature and offers 100% protection from UV rays. Designed specifically for long term use.
- Free matching boot included.
- Rear support poles included.
- Anodized Aluminum Frame.
- Limited instruction from the manufacturer.
- Some people are complaining about the fading issue.
Advantages of Using Kayak Canopies & Bimini Tops
The biggest advantage of using Kayak Canopies & Bimini Tops is that it will help you stay out on the water for a longer period of time. Hate the land? Well, most kayakers do. So, if you wish to spend more quality time on the water, you have no other option but to invest in a good quality kayak canopy or Bimini top. There are no two ways about it. Bimini top can prove handy if you are planning to paddle for hours in hot weather. Unless you don’t mind developing sunburns, you have to purchase a Bimini top now.
Other than protecting you from the intense heat and also the UV rays of the Sun, kayak canopy and Bimini top also helps protect you from rains and thus helping you stay warm and dry in wintery days.
Disadvantages of Using Kayak Canopies & Bimini Tops
Of course, there are some disadvantages of using canopies and Bimini tops. Unless folded properly, you might be struggling a lot in windy condition. It might prove more of a hindrance than a help in such an extreme condition. Canopies can also interfere with your fishing activities. The fishing line can easily get tangled. Moreover, the performance of the boat can also be adversely affected by the extra weight of the Bimini Top. In addition to that, kayak canopies and Bimini tops can also make your boat less aerodynamic as they increase the height of the boat.
However, these downsides can easily be overcome folding down the Bimini top or canopies properly.
How to choose the right Bimini top or Kayak Canopy
To further enrich your boating experience, you need to find the right Bimini top or canopy. It is definitely not a great experience to face the wrath of the sun for hours. This is the reason why it makes sense that you should get a Bimini top or kayak canopy for your boat. Now, the market is getting flooded with hundreds of Bimini tops and that makes it all the more difficult for a person to make the right choice. Check out these following tips to make the right buying decision –
1. Its Size
The size does have a say when it comes to choosing a kayak canopy or Bimini Top. It should not be too large as it can have a direct impact on its stability. Bimini Tops with three bows are ideal for small kayaks or runabouts whereas Bimini Tops with four bows are ideal for large fishing boats and pontoons. In case, you have no idea what bows are, allow me to explain it. They are basically the steel frame that upholds the fabrics of a boat canopy.
2. Color of the Canopy
If you can’t stand the heat, you need to purchase a white color Bimini top. White color disperses the heat and thus allow you to stay cool under its shade. However, if you want to add more visibility to your boat, you can opt for a bright color boat canopy. Avoid black color boat canopy like plague.
3. Weather Can Make All the Difference
Of course, you want to protect your skins from the heat and the UV rays of the sun but that does not mean that you should ignore the importance of keeping yourself warm and dry in the rainy season. You need to find one kayak canopy that can be used as a shade in both the rainy season and in the summer.
4. Simple Installation Process
Do you have the time or the patience to install something that takes ages? Of course, you wouldn’t. So, while searching for the best kayak canopies, you need to try your level best to find a kayak canopy or a Bimini Top that does not take long to get installed. Since you have to do it all alone, you need to be super confident that you can get it installed without losing your mind in the process.
Canopies are primarily made of fabrics and poles. To make the canopy lightweight yet strong, most companies use aluminum poles these days.
The primary part of a kayak canopy is the pole and the fabric. Poles are usually made of aluminum which is lightweight but offers excellent durability. On the other hand, polyester is used to make the fabric. Some of the manufacturers use military-grade polyester which provides amazing durability.
Arthur G. Moore is a veteran paddler. He has over 10 years of whitewater kayaking experience in his kitty. When he was young, he used to love kayaking in rapid III and rapid IV but as time went on, he decided to concentrate mainly on covering long distances on a standard touring kayak. He is currently working as a senior editor for Kayak Manual.