What to Wear on a Colorado River Rafting Trip

What to Wear on a Colorado River Rafting Trip
A Colorado rafting trip is an exciting adventure filled with white-water thrills, drops and peaks sought after by outdoor enthusiasts. Because the water in Colorado can still remain cool throughout the year, dressing appropriately is essential. With rafts that slam up against rock walks and splash down waterfalls, riders are likely to get wet and cold throughout their excursion. Having a light layer of clothing that repels water and keeps skin dry is the best choice of clothing for a Colorado rafting trip. Most outfitters provide splash or life jackets unless the excursion is held independently.

Under Armour

Under Armour makes breathable and water-repellant clothing that is tight-fitting and not bulky like other trail and sport clothes often do. Some good selections for men, women and children to wear while white-water rafting would be either an Arbora tank or sleeveless top. There is also a Proxima short-sleeve T-shirt that sits just below the shoulders. Under Armour also has swain or showalter shorts that are good choices and offer Under Armour protection without the loose fit. A coldgear subzero mock is a long-sleeve Under Armour that fits snugly to the body and regulates temperature---this is great for wearing underneath a tee or tank. The Under Armour chimera is a trail-running shoe that is also perfect for rafting and helps maintain grip while riding and while getting out of the raft.

T-shirt and water shorts

If wearing a tee on a Colorado rafting trip, be sure to wear a tight-fitting Under Armour underneath. Tees should be a made from a lightweight cotton material but should not be too baggy. The reason for this is that when rafting, baggy clothing can easily get stuck on paddles or limbs that hang down near the rapids. Water shorts are essential on a Colorado rafting trip, and should be worn instead of cotton or jeans.


In Colorado, the weather can also be unpredictable. Not only can some rapid areas see cooler weather, they can also see the occasional snow shower---even in the summer months. Areas closer to mountain peaks may occasionally see a snow fall as well. While a rafting trip isn't likely to take place in cold winter weather, wearing tennis shoes that are water repellant are a wise choice. Sandals are permitted but should be trail sandals or sandals that have secure straps that do not stick out.


An important piece of attire that many rafters often forget is sunglasses. Sunglasses that block up to 95 percent of all UV rays are recommended. For white-water rafting in Colorado, the sun can reflect off of the water and snow-capped mountains causing glare---sometimes blinding, if the sun is too bright. Sunglasses that wrap around the face are also beneficial to wear---they will also protect against water splashing and foreign incoming objects.


A wetsuit is a viable clothing option for a Colorado rafting trip. The reason is because of the temperature of the water. Even during summer months, if the water is warm, the air temperature may be cool. The wetsuit will help keep the body warm and maintain a constant body temperature. Wetsuits are also a good idea for a longer white-water trip that's over two hours. Wetsuits can cover the entire trunk, arms and legs or just part of the body. Partial wetsuits are acceptable for shorter trips when the weather is cooler.

Article Written By Julie Boehlke

Julie Boehlke is a seasoned copywriter and content creator based in the Great Lakes state. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. Boehlke has more than 10 years of professional writing experience on topics such as health and wellness, green living, gardening, genealogy, finances, relationships, world travel, golf, outdoors and interior decorating. She has also worked in geriatrics and hospice care.

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