I need clothing for kayaking in the summer. I already have the "heavyweight" equipment - thick neoprene longjohn and a whitewater cag. But for places where I need less protection from cold and injuries, I'd like something more breathable and less restrictive.

I looked into products marketed at kayakers and other water sport activities and ended up buying a kite surfers' rash guard for the top. I am quite happy with it, as it does not have the same hothouse effect as neoprene does. But the kitesurfers wear boardshorts as bottoms. They would have been OK for me, if they were available in long, but they end up well over my knee.

I would like some comfortable ankle-length layer which gives a small amount of warmth and can protect me from scraping my skin if I have to swim out, preferably also UV-protecting for the time I hang around before and after I get into the boat. And as all my watersports stuff, I'd like it to be quick-dry and machine washable.

The few striders sold by kayak stores are too short and/or made from neoprene. They're also quite expensive when compared to bottoms produced for other purposes.

Is there a type of clothing which covers the above criteria, the way rash guards cover them for tops? I was thinking of slightly denser pantyhose, but there are probably better solutions (is pantyhose quick drying?). Are there sports whose practitioner wears this type of clothing?

  • 1
    Just to clarify, So you don't want thin wet suit bottoms?
    – user2766
    May 21, 2015 at 16:09
  • @liam if by "thin wet suit" you mean "thin neoprene" then no. It's still an uninterrupted layer of rubber, and has a greenhouse effect on my skin :( If there are other options for thin wet suits, I don't know them.
    – rumtscho
    May 21, 2015 at 16:40
  • 1
    Already looked into running tights? They are of quite similar material and available in various thicknesses and lengths. You could take one that goes just beyond the knee and as you don't need all that fancy stuff like windstopper, fairly cheap ones should be sufficient. May 21, 2015 at 16:41
  • What about just getting wet before you hop in the boat? That and roll practice keeps me comfy in my farmer John all summer
    – mmcc
    Feb 21, 2019 at 1:41
  • 1
    I disagree with the duplicate. First, it is about the types of finished product (pants) being sold, and under what name to find them, as opposed to the much broader question about a material. Second, the other question is for coldish conditions, this one is for warm conditions. Third, the other question is the newer one, and this is already well answered. The answers of the other question are not adequate for what I wanted to know. If the answers of this questions are adequate for the OP of the other question, it is the other that should be closed. If they are not, then none should be closed.
    – rumtscho
    Feb 21, 2019 at 11:11

2 Answers 2


Sounds like what you're looking for is either an undersuit, or simply some swimming pants/tights. Wetsuit undersuits are worn under diving wetsuits to add insulation and comfort to the suit, and they help slide the suit on and off a bit easier, some are essentially built like a body-rashguard. Swim tights are exactly what they sound like, tight pants that are made for swimming.

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You could also try out some boater pants, they're waterproof and breathable with neoprene trim. They're great for keeping you dry while you paddle, but they're not exactly intended for being swam in.


I was searching for something like that myself earlier this year. Living in Florida, I was trying to find long pants that are light, cool, and dry quickly that I could wear hiking, camping, and kayaking, and didn't break the bank.

After trying a few different kinds, I found that 5.11 Tactical Fast-Tac Urban Pants work great for all those scenarios, and they're light enough that if I want to swim when I'm kayaking, I can. They dry pretty quick as well, and don't limit mobility much when they're wet.

Initially I avoided 5.11 Tactical because most of their stuff is a bit too extreme with their tactical-ness, but I was wandering around Bass Pro Shop one day and found them for $39.99. They fit comfortably, have an elastic waist, and a convenient magazine phone pocket on the right thigh.

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