Canoes are an expensive piece of equipment to replace. Unfortunately, exposing them to the elements shortens their lifespans. If you keep them in the box, they will last extremely well, but what fun would that be?
There are a lot of ways to keep them going for longer, though. Ensuring that they are cleaned off after being exposed to salt water is one way. Keeping them free of dust and debris and, most importantly, out of the sun, is another.
Protection From the Elements
Canoe covers provide protection from the elements and, just as importantly, keep your cockpit from being home to little critters. The cover takes the strain to help prolong the life of your canoe.
There are plenty of options out there when it comes to covers. You can choose a simple option that resembles a shower cap to a degree. These fit around most of the bodywork and ensure that the cockpit is completely protected.
Alternatively, you can choose something that encloses the whole body. These will usually be zippered and provide more complete protection. Naturally, this added protection does increase the basic cost as well.
Canoe Cover Reviews
We have rounded up a selection of both types, at varying price points. In these canoe cover reviews, we look at how they measure up in terms of effectiveness, durability, and value for money.
No cover will last a lifetime. At best, you can expect up to around about five seasons of use from them. We do recommend replacing them every few years or so in order to get optimal protection. All fabric that is subjected to the elements twenty-four seven will take strain.
The ones that we look at here will last well and come in at a reasonable price. It won’t break the bank to replace them every few years.
Our Picks for Best Waterproof Canoe Covers
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This is a basic canoe cover. It comes in a range of sizes so do be sure to measure your canoe before ordering one. There are seven different sizes in total. These start at 8.9 feet and go all the way up to 18 feet. The chances of you not finding the right size with this model are slim.
It does also feature an elastic edge so that it can be fitted snugly over your canoe. It is quick and easy to use – just unroll it and stretch it into place. It helps to keep off dust and will prevent creepy crawlies from nesting there during the off-season.
It is made from durable Oxford fabric that is entirely waterproof and UV resistant. This means that storing your canoe in the backyard is possible now, even if you cannot keep it under cover.
The surface shrugs off dust as well, so it is an excellent option when you want to keep it in the garage but don’t want to have to worry about too much cleanup.
If you do want to clean it, it can be wiped down easily with a damp cloth.
It is easy to carry and can provide a temporary cover when you are at the beach or waterside as well. Say, for example, that you want to take a break – use this model to keep the surface clean and protected from sand and debris.
Store the canoe face up or face down, as you prefer.
The fabric is tear-resistant, and the elastic is good. We do advise gentle handling, though. We would have liked a few straps so that it could be more firmly tied down during inclement weather. It will hold up in mild to moderate wind but could blow off if conditions are really bad.
- Made from Oxford fabric
- It comes in at a reasonable price
- Elasticated to ensure the perfect fit every time
- Snug protection
- Will keep out dust, water, and insects
- Works well for off-season storage and also for use on site
- No straps to tie off on the underside
These covers are durable and made from marine grade polyester material. They are rip-resistant, UV-resistant completely encloses the boat. This makes them great for keeping out bugs and other creepy crawlies.
The fabric is urethane coated for maximum water-resistance. To have canoe covers waterproof 100% is very difficult because of the stitching. This company has tried to overcome this problem by having no external seams.
If left out in the rain, you can expect some seepage, especially during heavy rains. Keeping it in a more sheltered spot will help. Alternatively, store your boat upside down to prevent the pooling of water.
We also recommend opening it up to release any water inside after particularly heavy rains. It is mildew-resistant and dries out pretty quickly, so this is not much of an issue.
It stands up well to wear and tear and is fairly easy to clean. Some users have mentioned tree sap will stain the cover. However, it is better to have that than to have it stain your boat. For most other dirt, a quick wipe down once in a while is more than adequate.
The zipper is a nice strong one and, overall, the cover is easy to take off and put on. It does come with a storage bag to keep it in when not in use.
There are three different sizes to choose from, ranging from 13 feet to 18 feet. As always, we recommend that you check the sizes carefully before you make your purchase.
Because it is fully enclosed, you don’t have to worry about the cover blowing off easily. We wouldn’t recommend using it on your car’s roof rack, though.
There is a two-year warranty on this product.
- Rip-resistant, heavy duty fabric
- Water resistant
- Fully enclosed model
- No external seams
- Easy to take on or off
- Stands up to wear and tear well
- Usually easy to clean
- Comes with a bag to store it in
As camo canoe covers go, this model is pretty interesting looking. It has a camo pattern, and that can help if you are trying to ensure that the canoe is less visible in your yard. It comes in three sizes that range from 13 foot to 18 foot.
We would have liked it to offer a wider range in terms of sizes, but it will fit a lot of different models. This does make it pretty versatile. We do suggest that you take measurements before you purchase to ensure the perfect fit.
It is simple to use – just unroll it, put it in place and then tighten the drawstring until everything is snug. We prefer the drawstring to the elastic because you can adjust the fit more. It does a great job of keeping out dust, water and various forms of insect-life.
It is UV-resistant and so will help to prolong the useful lifespan of your canoe. It does an excellent job of keeping the harshest rays of sunlight away from the polymer of the craft.
Whether you need to store your craft in your back garden, or in a shed, this is an affordable option. It does resist dust build-up and is great for off-season storage. If need be, you can easily hose it down, or, if you prefer, clean it with a moist cloth.
It folds up into a reasonably small package when not in use, making it ideal to take on the go with you. So, should you want some protection when your canoe is out of the water, this is easy to pack and take along with you.
The drawstring does allow you to get a really good, secure fit. We would have preferred it to also have at least one strap for extra security though. For the price that you are paying, though, it offers great value for money.
- Made from durable fabric
- Not badly priced at all
- The drawstring helps you get a really snug fit
- Will keep out dust, water, and insects
- Works well for off-season storage and also for use on site
- It would have been nice to have an extra strap or two
Be prepared – these canoe covers are going to cost you a little more, but it has some great features. First of all, it is a larger cut so that you can also store your life vest, paddles, etc. in your boat.
It is made of durable, high-quality polyester that is tightly woven to ensure that it lasts well and provides superior protection. The fabric has been created without the use of carcinogenic chemical products.
What we really loved about this one, though, is that it has a zipper. The cover completely encloses your craft to make sure that nothing touches the surface of it.
It is UV-resistant, water-resistant and because it closes completely, bugs cannot get a foothold. The dual zipper allows you to easily and quickly remove or secure your canoe or kayak. You can also lock the cover in place if you like.
Carrying everything is simple because there are handles placed on the outside. So, zip up your canoe ea
Handles are strategically positioned for easy installation and carrying.
We do advise using this if you are storing your boat under some kind of cover. If this is not possible, store it upside down. This is water-resistant but not waterproof, and so there is a possibility of water seeping through.
Storing it out of the direct rain, or upside down with, however, will prevent water pooling inside.
This does have a five-year limited warranty against manufacturer’s defects. It is a good product that will stand up to a fair amount of abuse.
You can choose to have it in any color you like, as long as it is charcoal. We would have liked a bit more variety here, but that is minor. The charcoal is good in that it does not show dirt as easily.
- Has extra room to let you store accessories as well
- Full UV-protection
- Resistant to mildew
- The fabric is durable polyester and dries quickly if wet
- It won’t stretch out of shape or shrink
- Five-year warranty
- High water resistance
- Full cover and zipper for ease of use
- Best as a storage solution – will not stand up to wind shear on the roof of your car
The elements can be hard on your canoe. That’s why this canvas canoe cover is a good option for protecting your canoe. The cover is sturdily made and encloses the craft completely. This ensures that there is no space for bugs, leaves, etc. to get into the cockpit.
The cover is highly water resistant but not waterproof. The manufacturers recommend tenting the cover in the middle when it is in place. This will allow the water to run off easily and prevent it from pooling and soaking through.
If you are not going to do this, it is better to keep it out of the rain.
The cover is UV-resistant and so will protect your boat from the ravages of the sun.
There are four sizes to choose from and these range from ten feet to eighteen feet. The covers are wider than normal so will fit most shapes and styles. We do recommend taking measurements before deciding which model to order for yourself.
If you are not sure which model to order, you can call the companies helpline for assistance.
The fabric is highly durable and will stand up to wear and tear well. It features reinforced seams to ensure that these do not rip easily.
The zipper is of good quality and protected by a flap that is water-resistant. If we could change one thing, though, it would be the length of the zipper. It reaches half-way around, so a little more maneuvering is required when putting it on or taking it off.
There is a five-year limited warranty in place, and the company offers toll-free assistance on weekdays. Vortex offers really good customer support.
The price is more mid-range, and this will work well for out of season storage or casual protection.
- Thick, high-quality fabric used
- Full cover model with a lot of room in it
- The high-strength zipper that is not likely to break or snag
- Water-resistant flap to protect zipper
- Better suited for a lighter canoe because of the zipper
- You should tent the cover if it will be exposed to the rain
If you are looking for Old Town canoe covers, this model should do nicely. It will fit a range of different shapes and makes as well, though. It is cut on the bigger side to ensure that there is always enough room.
It comes in three different sizes ranging from 10 feet to 16 feet. As always, we suggest taking measurements before putting in your order. The company does provide a cover size chart to help you match your kayak perfectly.
The fabric used is high-strength and very durable. It is tear-resistant, highly water-resistant, mildew resistant and UV-resistant. It is a cover that completely encloses the boat and is sealed with a zipper. It is highly effective at keeping out bugs.
The stitching at the seams has been reinforced. The manufacturers have used bar tacks to help make stress points more secure. This, in conjunction with the extra room, makes it a lot more durable.
Cleaning it is simple enough – just wipe it down. It also comes with a bag for storing it in when it is not in use.
It is strong enough to use as a cover when transporting the canoe on your roof rack. However, whether this would work for you would depend on the actual fit. Because of the larger cut, it might not be streamlined enough.
It does feature strong handles to help you carry the kayak more easily. It is ideal for out of season use and also for when you need protection while out and about. It comes with a storage bag to keep it in when it is not in use.
The price is really good, especially considering the company’s no questions asked satisfaction guarantee.
- Strong fabric and highly durable
- Bigger cut so nice and roomy
- Reinforced stitching
- Full cover with a zipper
- Mildew resistant
- Water resistant
- Simple to clean
- Nice camo design
- 100% Satisfaction guarantee
- Good price
If you are looking for canoe covers for outdoor storage, this could be a good option to consider. The cover is UV-resistant, highly water resistant and completely encloses your canoe. This gives great protection against the elements and bugs, etc.
As it is not completely waterproof, we do recommend storing it under some sort of cover outside. We also recommend storing your kayak upside down to prevent any problems with water pooling.
If there have been heavy rains, it is a good idea just to check whether or not water has gotten inside. If it has, it can be quickly drained. The fabric does dry easily.
It is heavy-duty polyester and so fairly durable. It has been treated so that it will deter the growth of mildew and mold. We do not, however, recommend that you use it if you are transporting your boat on the roof rack.
The zipper is strong, and removal is fairly easy. It has a hook and loop flap to protect it when closed. We would have preferred it to reach all the way around, though.
This option comes in three different sizes ranging from 13 feet to 18 feet. We do suggest that you check the sizes properly before making your final decision. It is a fairly generous cut, so there are quite a few different models that are catered for.
The seams have been double stitched to ensure a more durable finish. A handle sewn in makes it easy to carry.
- Durable, high-strength polyester
- Fabric chemically treated to retard mold and mildew growth
- Good for out of season storage
- Better if out of direct, heavy rain
- Double-stitched seams
- Water-resistant rather than waterproof
- Strong zipper
- Easy to use
- Wipes clean fairly easily
- It comes in three different sizes. Will fit most models.
- Fully enclosed to ensure canoe completely protected.
- Good pricing
Summing It All Up
You want the best possible protection for your canoe so that it will last a lot longer. These covers provide great protection against the elements and take some of the slog out of boat care. You can pop them on out of season to keep the sun off and keep debris and bugs out.
You do need to take a commonsense approach, though. There are very few options on the market that are fix and forget. The models that we have chosen are no exception. That means that you need to check for issues like water leakage, debris buildup, etc. from time to time.
However, if you are reasonably careful when storing your craft, these covers will do an excellent job of protecting them. By reasonably careful, we mean taking steps to prevent water pooling in the folds of the fabric. And also ensuring that they are kept relatively clear of debris.
Fabric of any sort that is exposed to sun and water for any length of time is going to start rotting. You can stave this off by keeping the canoe upside down and checking it after heavy rains. So there really is not any “no-maintenance” option here.
But that doesn’t mean you have to do a boatload of work either. Using clever storage methods, clearing off dirt and debris and making sure that the fabric has a chance to dry out will go a long way to preserving it.
By putting in a little effort every now and again, you get a lot of rewards. Combine that with the great quality options that we looked at here, and you have a winning solution.