Best Kayak Paddle Leashes of 2020: Buyer’s Guide

Some links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Click here to learn more.

No one wants to end up dropping their paddle into the water and seeing it float away or worse sink into the depths. Now some paddlers would say, “just hold on to your paddle” and there are no worries. 

Unfortunately, the realities of kayaking are that at some point you’re likely to capsize and holding on to your paddle may not be so easy. At other times, you may just want your hands free and not have to worry about losing your paddle.

A paddle leash allows you the freedom and security to do other things with your hands rather than having to maintain a grip on the paddle at all times. A paddle leash is a line that is connected to your paddle with either a velcro strip or a cinch lock strap and attaches to either you or your kayak using a carabiner or clip. 

So, for those of you interested in maintaining a secure connection with your only means for propelling your kayak, the paddle, we offer this guide to finding the best kayak paddle leash. 

Comparison Chart

YYST Orange Paddle Leash Paddle Holder Tool Lanyard - No Paddle (Orange X 4 Pack)
Campingandkayaking Made in The USA! NO Hook & Loop to Fail! Paddle Leash with a 2 Rod Leash Set, 3 Black Leashes Total Plus 1 Carabiner.
Premier Kayak Gripper Paddle Leash. Made in USA.
Paddle Leash Safety Rod Bungee Rod Holder Gripping Gear Leash with Innovative Gel Grip to The Paddle or Rod for Kayaking, Canoeing (Set of 3)
Adjustable Kayak Safety Rod Leash Fishing Rod Paddle Leash (Red 2 pcs 3 Feet)
YYST Paddle Leash
Campingandkayaking Paddle Leash
Premiere Kayak Gripper Leash
Boncas Paddle Leash
Adjustable Kayak Paddle Leash
1, 2, 3, or 4 Piece
3 Pieces
1 Piece
3 Pieces
2 Pieces
Tubular Webbing, Stainless Steel Wire, Aluminum Hook
Tubular Webbing, Aluminum Carabiner
Shock Cord
Woven Nylon, Aluminum Alloy Carabiner
Tubular Webbing
36 in. Length Unstretched
20 in. Length Unstretched
48 in. Length
40 in. Length
36 in. Length Unstretched
Velcro Adjustment Cinch Loop
Web Loop Securing
Stretch Strap Gripper Insert Securing
Web Loop Securing
Velcro Adjustment Cinch Loop
7.2 Ounces
2.4 Ounces
6.4 Ounces
4.8 Ounces
4.8 Ounces
Orange
Black
Black
Black
Bright Red
YYST Orange Paddle Leash Paddle Holder Tool Lanyard - No Paddle (Orange X 4 Pack)
YYST Paddle Leash
1, 2, 3, or 4 Piece
Tubular Webbing, Stainless Steel Wire, Aluminum Hook
36 in. Length Unstretched
Velcro Adjustment Cinch Loop
7.2 Ounces
Orange
Campingandkayaking Made in The USA! NO Hook & Loop to Fail! Paddle Leash with a 2 Rod Leash Set, 3 Black Leashes Total Plus 1 Carabiner.
Campingandkayaking Paddle Leash
3 Pieces
Tubular Webbing, Aluminum Carabiner
20 in. Length Unstretched
Web Loop Securing
2.4 Ounces
Black
Premier Kayak Gripper Paddle Leash. Made in USA.
Premiere Kayak Gripper Leash
1 Piece
Shock Cord
48 in. Length
Stretch Strap Gripper Insert Securing
6.4 Ounces
Black
Paddle Leash Safety Rod Bungee Rod Holder Gripping Gear Leash with Innovative Gel Grip to The Paddle or Rod for Kayaking, Canoeing (Set of 3)
Boncas Paddle Leash
3 Pieces
Woven Nylon, Aluminum Alloy Carabiner
40 in. Length
Web Loop Securing
4.8 Ounces
Black
Adjustable Kayak Safety Rod Leash Fishing Rod Paddle Leash (Red 2 pcs 3 Feet)
Adjustable Kayak Paddle Leash
2 Pieces
Tubular Webbing
36 in. Length Unstretched
Velcro Adjustment Cinch Loop
4.8 Ounces
Bright Red

Best Kayak Paddle Leashes Reviewed

1. YYST Orange Paddle Leash

YYST Orange Paddle Leash Paddle Holder Tool Lanyard - No Paddle (Orange X 4 Pack)

Review

The YYST Orange Paddle leash receives favorable customer ratings due to the high quality construction and durability. This product will stand up even under harsh salt-water conditions. The hook used to attach the leash to your kayak or personal flotation device is made from an anti-corroding thick aluminum and has a stainless steel wire gate with a wide opening that easily attaches to your kayak. 

The woven nylon-wrapped cord is versatile, flexible and easily adjustable. It will provide a secure connection between you and your paddle, while being extremely comfortable and not inhibiting your ability to paddle. The bright orange color makes it easy to spot in the water. The leash cord is 36 inches long when contracted and will extend, when fully stretched, to 72 inches, making it ideal for any application.

The attachment to the paddle is a velcro adjustable loop with a maximum diameter of 2 inches. The leash is lightweight and not bulky, easily fitting into your pocket or backpack when transporting. YYST offers you the ability to choose from a variety of quantities when purchasing.

PROS

  • 1 to 2 Meter Long Stretchable Paddle Leash
  • Easy to Use and Adjust
  • Bright Orange Design is Attractive and Highly Visible
  • Durable Materials are Ideal for Salt-Water Protection
  • Lightweight and Portable
  • Velcro Paddle Loop for Holding Paddle or Fishing Rod

CONS

  • Hook and Gate Could be Stronger for Attachment to Kayak or PFD

2. CK (Campingandkayaking) Paddle Leash

Campingandkayaking Made in The USA! NO Hook & Loop to Fail! Paddle Leash with a 2 Rod Leash Set, 3 Black Leashes Total Plus 1 Carabiner.

Review

The CK paddle leash is made in the USA and provides a product that is easy use and requires minimal effort to attach and release. There is no hook and loop to fail with this product.

The 3 black gear leashes include, 1 leash for your paddle and 2 additional leashes for your fishing rods or other light gear. This gear pack provides a great deal of flexibility in uses. If you need a longer leash, you can simply loop the 2 additional leashes together to make one longer leash.

The cord is textured and is not slippery. The woven construction allows the bungee to stretch but is not a loose elasticity. The cord will elongate up to 20 inches providing sufficient ability to paddle while keeping it from restricting your movements.

This product is lightweight and durable with a stainless steel gate that will stand up even in salt-water. 

PROS

  • Durable Materials Designed to Withstand Marine Elements
  • Cinch Lock Attachment Webbing for Quality Grip
  • 3 Leashes Included
  • Elastic Cord Elongation up to 20 Inches
  • Lightweight and Strong Stainless Steel Carabiner for Attachment
  • Also Available in Single or Double Leash Options

CONS

  • Short Leash Length isn’t Ideal for Everyone

3. Premier Kayak Gripper Paddle Leash

Premier Kayak Gripper Paddle Leash. Made in USA.

Review

The Premier Kayak Gripper Paddle Leash is a straightforward design utilizing a shock cord. This leash is designed for those paddlers who would rather not use a coiled, bungee style leash. If you are one of those paddlers that prefers a looser leash the Premier is one you should check out.

The leash has a super strong, durable and lightweight design and a generous 4 feet of shock cord that suits all paddling styles. The materials used are corrosion resistant and this product is made in the USA with a lifetime warranty.

The paddle strap has a gripper insert that prevents the strap from sliding up or down the paddle shaft. The strap stretches to fit all paddles.

The shock cord and nylon fasteners were specifically designed to withstand harsh conditions including saltwater. The leash is versatile enough to be used with fishing rods or other lightweight gear. 

PROS

  • Strong, Durable and Lightweight Design
  • Utilizes 4ft. Shock Cord Design
  • Paddle Strap Features a Gripper Insert to Prevent Slipping
  • Constructed to Withstand Harsh Saltwater Conditions
  • Features a Lifetime Warranty

CONS

  • Shock Cord Design isn’t Ideal for Every Paddler
  • May Require a Carabiner to Replace the Plastic Attachment Clip

4. Boncas Paddle Leash

Paddle Leash Safety Rod Bungee Rod Holder Gripping Gear Leash with Innovative Gel Grip to The Paddle or Rod for Kayaking, Canoeing (Set of 3)

Review

The Boncas paddle leash has received favorable customer reviews for it’s gripping gear leash with an innovative gel grip. This product is made from sturdy materials that are durable enough to withstand harsh conditions. 

The Boncas leash is made of a high quality woven, anti-tearing nylon. The cord attachment is a D-shaped carabiner made of aluminum alloy that is rust and corrosion proof when in saltwater. The paddle connection is made with an innovative anti-slipping gel grip design that keeps it from moving up or down on the paddle.

The cord is elastic and is able to elongate to almost twice it’s length. Unstretched the leash is 35 inches long and when stretched the bungee section extends to 55 inches. Boncas offers this product in a 3 or 5 pack option. For an extra long leash, 2 leashes can be looped together to make one.

PROS

  • Anti-Slipping Silica Gel Design for Ultimate Grip
  • Lightweight and Versatile Design
  • Kit Includes Multiple Leashes and Carabiners
  • Available in 2 Kit Sizes: 3 or 5 Pack
  • Features Fastening Strap for Easy Storage
  • Cinch Lock Strap Design for Easy Attachment and Removal

CONS

  • Carabiner may Need Replacing for a More Durable Option

5. Adjustable Kayak Safety Paddle Leash

Adjustable Kayak Safety Rod Leash Fishing Rod Paddle Leash (Red 2 pcs 3 Feet)

Review

As the name implies this paddle leash is extremely adjustable providing the optimal gear to allow you to paddle without obstruction. With very favorable customer reviews this package offers 2 identical bright red leashes with adjustable loops. When retracted the internal bungee of the leash measures 36 inches.

The leash clip is made from a hard, solid and durable plastic with a stainless steel wire gate. The materials used in constructing this product allows it to stand up in harsh conditions, including saltwater.

The paddle connection is an adjustable velcro loop for easy use when attaching or releasing the leash. The unique design allows you to remove the loop, which is attached to a second clip and gate. This option allows you a variety of applications for connecting to other gear, another kayak or as a dock tie down on shore.

PROS

  • Rust and Corrosion Resistant Clip and Gate
  • Bright Red Color is Attractive and Highly Visible
  • Easy to Use and Adjustable Design
  • Removable Velcro Loop for Added Security
  • Clip and Gate Connector on Both Ends for Attachment
  • Includes 2 Leashes

CONS

  • Nylon Internal Bungee Material can Absorb Water

Reasons for a Kayak Paddle Leash

There are the purests or those who feel a paddle leash isn’t warranted or is overkill. This is probably all well and good, up until the moment you lose control of your paddle. Most paddles manufactured today float and we would strongly recommend not purchasing a paddle that does not. If your current paddle doesn’t float a paddle leash is a must.

Besides the potential for capsizing and losing your paddle there are other times you will want to be able to have your hands free, yet secure your paddle. Let's look at a few examples for reasons you’ll want to consider having a paddle leash:

  • No matter how skilled or experienced a kayaker you are, things happen that are beyond your control when kayaking. Below the surface can be unseen obstructions (a fallen tree, rocks), an unexpected wave or swell, strong currents, other kayakers or watercraft or a low hanging tree limb, all of which holds the potential for flipping a kayak.
  • Anglers are increasingly choosing to use kayaks as a means to access hot fishing spots. Being able to be hands free when the big one hits is essential. Additionally, a paddle leash can be used as a rod leash.
  • Kayaks give you access to otherwise unreachable areas of nature, offering amazing views of the environment, landscapes and wildlife. Many kayakers take advantage of this unique opportunity, photographing the sights and scenery.
  • If you’re out on the lake for some relaxation in the sun, a little cat nap or maybe to read a book, a paddle leash allows you simply let your paddle float alongside the kayak.
  • If you are like a lot of kayakers, your four legged buddy comes with you when you go kayaking. Getting into and out of the kayak can require some assistance and you don’t want to have to hold your paddle while doing so. A paddle leash allows you to focus on your pal, if the need arises, and not worry about losing your paddle.
  • Getting in and out of a kayak can be an adventure at times, especially if you have flipped and are trying to reenter your kayak. A leash gives you one less worry when your focus needs to be on getting in or out of the kayak.
  • A quality kayak paddle is not cheap. Replacing a lost paddle is far more expensive than investing in a paddle leash.
  • Even if you are not dissuaded by the thought of having to purchase a replacement paddle, it’s important to understand that you will greatly reduce your ability to propel your kayak without a paddle. Even if you are able to somehow retrieve your paddle, it’s going to come after experiencing some anxiety, exerting significant energy and likely ruining, at least a portion of your adventure.

The design and construction of paddle leashes has come a long way. The latest leashes utilize flexible cord systems, so they easily stretch and retract. In addition, they are lightweight, so as to not impede or restrict your ability to paddle. 

There are a variety of reasons and benefits for having and using a paddle leash and we have only provided a few examples above. So, now that you have decided to save yourself some pain and aggravation, let us provide you with recommendations for the top paddle leashes for you to consider:

Choosing a Kayak Paddle Leash: Buyers Guide

There is a wide variety and selection of kayak paddle leashes on the market, making choosing one a bit of a challenge. The following are a few features to consider in finding the best kayak paddle leash for you:

Type of Leash

There are three types of kayak paddle leashes and choosing one comes down to your personal preferences and intended uses:

  1. Coiled: A coiled leash extends and retracts as you go through your paddle motion, thus avoiding restricting your movement. The leash won’t hang in the water avoiding any drag or resistance.
  2. Bungee: This leash has an internal bungee that is wrapped in nylon material. The advantage is this leash stretches and retracts avoiding resistance and is very lightweight. Unlike the coiled leash the bungee can potentially drag in the water under certain circumstances.
  3. Straight: This style is made using a straight shock cord for paddlers who prefer a looser leash. For individuals who aren’t concerned with drag, want to avoid any resistance or interference and want a highly versatile product, you may find this the best option for a leash.

Length

The length of your paddle leash is an important consideration for the following issues:

  • Taller or larger individuals or if you have a wide kayak necessitates having a longer leash.
  • Anglers who will use the leash to secure fishing rods will need to factor in length to avoid snagging or restricting your movements.
  • Longer leashes provide the greatest versatility and freedom.
  • Shorter leashes, especially coiled and bungee products, help to avoid resistance and dragging in the water. 
  • Shorter leashes are especially important if you are kayaking in areas that potentially have obstructions (tree branches, plant growth) or in the case of whitewater kayaking when you want to avoid any resistance. 

Comfort

For the enjoyment of your adventures and to ensure you use your leash, make sure to find one that is comfortable and does not restrict your movement or get tangled when in use.

Versatility

If you plan to use your leash for multiple purposes (fishing rods, other gear, dock tie) versatility should be factored into the decision. An adjustable velcro closure provides flexibility to fit a variety of attachment points. A leash with a loop connector can be used on larger connection points and provides the option to loop two leashes together for one longer leash.

Final Thoughts

No matter your skill level or experience the reality is that at some point you’re going to lose control of your paddle or the circumstances will be such that you want to have your hands free without having to worry about securing your paddle.

Don’t let the great adventure of kayaking be spoiled by losing control of your paddle. An extra level of security, knowing your paddle won’t get away from you is well worth the relatively minimal cost of a paddle leash.

Let us know in the comments section what leash you choose. Happy paddling.

Best Kayak Paddle Leashes of 2020: Buyer’s Guide
Share
Tweet
Pin