What to Wear for White Water Rafting

The sun is shining bright and the day is light. Nature is indeed beautiful and snow has almost melted on the hills, you are starting to explore the beautiful river. Hola, it’s time for river rafting. But the question is what to wear. The rivers are natural and elegant but can be challenging and rough sometimes.

What to Wear for White Water Rafting

When you think about river rafting, you need comfort and safety first. Whether you’re with your loved one, solo, or with a group of friends, opt for the outfits that will keep you dry, comfortable, warm and protected. Additionally, you need sturdy and robust shoes that will offer support on rocky and difficult riverbeds.

Also, you need a personal flotation devicePFD to protect your head. Outfits that you wear should not be a hindrance while rafting. So folks today we will be discussing the outfits you should wear while performing a river rafting activity!

What to Wear for White Water Rafting

Well, what you should wear during white water rafting depends totally on the time and season of the year you’re going. For example, if you’re going for river rafting in the summer season then your dress will be totally different than that of the winter season.

Whitewater River Rafting Clothing Details

Keep the below points in mind for whitewater river rafting:

1. Give priority to layers

It is forever going to save you if you bring in or wear extra layers when you become wet even during summer days. So, it is always recommended to carry extra layers of outfit.

2. Avoid cotton layers

Unless you have no other option for layers, avoid cotton layers. Go for the outfit layers that are manufactured from quick-drying material like wool fabric or synthetic. Likewise, look for fabric such as merino wool, polyester, nylon, or similar ones that can help you be comfortable even if you’re wet.

3. Use sun protection accessories

Sun can produce scorching heat near the banks of rivers and enormous mountains. Hence, in order to safeguard yourself and keep cool, protect your sensitive skin with sunscreen lotion, hat, cap, and glares.

4. Always wear a PFD and Life jacket

You need to wear a life jacket during the whole river rafting journey along with a PDF cap (Personal Flotation Device). Even a slow-moving river can be dangerous.

5. Dress for the water

As per expert recommendations, it is necessary to wear watersports outfits. Plan to wear a swimsuit, wetsuit, drysuit, or booties.

What to wear for a commercial river rafting trip

In order to execute commercial river rafting trips, you need to carry essential items like helmet, wetsuit and life jacket. In this way, you can focus on extra layers.

1. Layers

A swimming bathing suit, board shorts, or any other quick-drying bottom layer that is comfortable and fit below a wetsuit. Instant drying water shorts are one of the greatest options for morning rafting when water can be moderately warm. Ensure you carry lightweight, synthetic leggings and instant drying pants can be a good option too.

Ensure that you protect your body from the scorching sun rays. Under such circumstances, consider a rashguard. Rashguard should be instant drying and stretchy and it should offer UPF sun protection. You can also use water shirt has alot of comfortable features and it does not have formfitting feature. On cold days, prioritize wicking and warm layers as extra layers. You should avoid cotton material even not underwear.

2. Eyewear

You must wear polarized sunglasses to look smart while performing water sports. They help to reduce reflection and are comfortable to your face.

3. Footwear

The best footwear for rafting can be the one that is appropriately fit and comfortable for your feet. You can choose water sandals or water shoes that are comfortable and if soaked, can be manageable. In the winter season, it is recommended to wear woolen socks under sandals or your shoes.

4. Headwear

Baseball cap or a paddling hat can be worn during the rafting period. Make sure your baseball cap or paddling hat is fit and cinched tightly and it doesn’t get hurt. Also, it should keep your head safe from getting washed off. Also, you must carry a cap visor to get sun protection.

Additional items to carry while white water river rafting

Bring safe and comfortable equipments or outfit layers that match with the surrounding and climate conditions. This is because safety is solely your responsibility while going to perform any adventurous sport.

1. PFD (Personal Flotation Device)

Your most important piece of equipment is your Personal Flotation Device. Ensure that your PFD is Coast Guard-approved, secure, and fits well.

2. Warm climate layers

If you’re paddling in water which is 70 degrees or warmer, heed the following advice from the industry: Put on a bathing suit or quick-drying bottoms and a sun-protective top layer. Additionally, bring a waterproof shell and an insulating middle layer to help keep the water off so you’ll be ready if the weather changes.

3. Paddling Helmet

A paddling helmet is one of the most essential equipments required for whitewater adventurous sports.

4. Cold Climate Jacket

Consider carrying these extra items to keep yourself warm and dry while going out in water that is colder than 70° F or when bad or unpredictable weather is predicted.

5. Paddle Jacket

You may stay toasty on top by wearing a paddle jacket. A rain jacket that is waterproof and breathable will also work, but tops designed specifically for kayaking feature, river rafting or any adventurous gaskets that function better to keep water out.

6. Splash Pants

You should wear any kind of splash pants or rain pants that are waterproof and sealed wt the ankles side that help you to keep dry. They’re indeed good choice that can help you layer over leggings or normal shorts when it gets stormy.

Additional accessories

Make sure there is at least one first aid kit on your journey. It’s helpful to have a whistle on hand for emergency communication, especially in noisy rapids.

You can bring along extra clothing, hats, and refreshments in a dry bag. Also think about packing a waterproof case cover or layer for your camera or smartphone.

Finally, it’s imperative to use sunscreen when near a river because the reflection of the light off the water might cause unexpected burns.


We have mentioned almost everything about what to wear for white water rafting. If you have any queries, doubts or suggestions, kindly share the same in the comment section or connect to us on our social media channels.

Also, you can write and highlight your suggestions, we would love to hear them.

Written by Emma Parker

Hi, I'm Emma Parker, a passionate outdoors enthusiast and blogger. I love nothing more than exploring the great outdoors and sharing my experiences with others.

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