What to Wear River Rafting in Moab, Utah  

What to Wear River Rafting in Moab Utah

You’re riding the river under the perfect blue sky. It’s as good as life gets! But, only if you’ve made a few basic preparations, like taking the kinds of clothes and other river gear you need to bring. That can be the difference between a beautiful day of white water rafting at Moab and an uncomfortable, shivering and/or sunburned episode. So, good job doing your research by reading this information on what to wear rafting. Way to prepare for a great time out on the river!

Whitewater Rafting Clothing Basics

You’ll need to prioritize safety and comfort in choosing which clothes to wear for whitewater rafting. Bring layers of clothing to stay dry and warm. Choose the fast-drying wool-based fabric or synthetics like nylon or polyester, not cotton. To be sure you have everything you need to make the most of your time on the water in warm or cold conditions, use this river rafting gear checklist:

Warm Weather Rafting Clothes

On rafting trips in water of 70°F or above, there’s little risk of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to river water, rain, and wet clothing in the outdoor air.

Bottom and Mid Layer: Wear a swimsuit and a fast-drying top and shorts, leggings, or lightweight pants to protect your skin from direct sun and to avoid having just a swimsuit against the rubber raft and the direct sun.
Top Layer: Bring a summer rain jacket in case of rain.
Change of Clothes: Bring dry clothes so you can change after you’re back on the river bank.

Cold Weather Rafting Clothes

On rafting trips in water under 70°F, staying cold for too long from being drenched by cold rain or river water can lead to hypothermia or other severe health effects.

Bottom and Mid Layer: Wear rain pants, or better, wear splash pants, which seal around the ankles to help you stay dry. They’re great for layering over shorts when the weather changes.

Top Layer:
A water shirt, rain jacket, or a paddle jacket (which is most effective for keeping dry in wet conditions).
Wetsuit: Wearing a wetsuit and wetsuit booties allows a thin film of water inside the suit and in the booties. That water becomes warm and helps keep you warm. Wear an underlayer like shorts or leggings of fabric that won’t ride up or bunch up inside the suit.
Dry Suit: Like wetsuits, dry suits are made for protection against cold in wet conditions. But, unlike wetsuits, dry suits are sealed around the neck, wrists, and ankles to keep water out, and people normally wear one or more layers of clothing under the dry suit.
Paddle Gloves: Paddle gloves help hands and arms stay warm in cold, wet environments. They also provide the additional benefit of protecting your hands from blistering due to friction from paddling.

All Weather River Rafting Items You Need

So, now you’ve got your river rafting clothes ready for a warm or cold day on the water. But, whatever the weather may be during your river rafting experience, here are some important items you need to bring with you.

Polarized sunglasses help reduce reflection and glare coming off the river. A retaining strap is essential for wearing glasses on the river. Get one that secures firmly to your sunglasses and floats if it drops in the water.
Headwear: Wear a paddling hat or other hat with a chin strap to keep your hat secure. If you wear a baseball cap, test to be sure it can be adjusted tightly enough to keep it in place. Whichever kind of hat you choose, just be sure it can be kept from blowing away in the breeze or washing away in a wave that sprays over the raft. If you’re wearing a helmet, adding a cap visor helps with sun protection.
Footwear: Wear durable, supportive water shoes for walking in a rocky unstable river bed, or wear water sandals that have heel straps to secure them on your feet. Or, you can just wear a pair of old athletic shoes that you don’t mind using in the water. In cold weather, wear wool socks under your sandals or shoes.
Zippered Pockets: If you choose tops and bottoms with pockets, zippers are an ideal way to secure the essentials, such as a whistle, car keys, credit card, etc. This is the surest way to avoid having these items end up in the water and lost forever.
Additional Accessories Bring a waterproof bag for your extra clothing layers, snacks, etc. Also, bring a waterproof case for your phone, car fob, etc. Don’t forget to bring high-SPF sunblock.

River Rafting Safety Gear

Here are some additional items you will need to have with you during your river rafting excursion. If you have a professional white water rafting guide, some or most of these items might be provided for your group:

Personal Flotation Device (PFD) Even shallow slow currents can be a safety risk. So, be sure you have your life jacket on at all times while you are on the river. Your PFD should fit snugly and be adjusted to stay on well. Plus, of course, you’ll need a personal flotation device (PFD) that is Coast Guard Approved.

Protective Helmet
Wearing a paddling helmet is a must for any whitewater river rafting trip for adults and children alike. On professionally guided rafting tours, your guides will probably provide a selection of helmets for you, but, when in doubt, ask in advance.
Sun Protection Protect yourself from the intense sun with a hat and sunglasses, and high SPF sunscreen. Even during cloud cover, you are well advised to shield your skin. Consider a rashguard (a.k.a swim shirt), for sun protection and other great benefits mentioned.
First Aid Kit and Whistle Be sure that your group is taking at least one well-supplied first aid kit and an emergency whistle or other fool-proof loud noise maker to communicate in loud rapids if necessary.

You’re Ready for the River!

You’ve got your river rafting gear ready to go. Now you just need a reservation with the Moab area’s only licensed river rafting guide service. This is the way to pack the most excitement and fun into your Moab whitewater rafting experience. Whether you’re out for an afternoon of family fun or a multiple-day rafting adventure, we make it the most fun and the safest experience you can have on the water at Moab!

To reserve your river rafting dates at Moab, call Red River Rafting Tours at (435) 259-4046, or contact us here on our website anytime!

Red River Adventures is in the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame.

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The River People
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We strive to ensure that time spent with us is time that you will always look back on fondly. We want to leave you with a memories that bring a smile to your face no matter where you are, no matter what you are doing, and no matter how much time has passed. In addition to a deep reservoir of personal experience, our rafting guides are licensed by the state of Utah, have Wilderness First Responder and/or First Aid/CPR certifications, and are insured. Many guides also have swiftwater rescue training. Our climbing and canyoneering guides are AMGA-certified for the terrain in which they operate. Our skiing guides are certified for the terrain, and some are world-renowned for their experience. All of our guides are intimately acquainted with not only the river, rock and snow, but also with the incredible surroundings of the areas we guide.

River Rafting Reviews and Red River Adventure Testimonials!

Caitlin Mollahan
April 22, 2023

Amazing trip and guide! Would do it again

Michelle Harrison
April 20, 2023

We had a blast canyoneering the Bow and Arrow Canyon with Dan! He is a great well experienced guide. He is also super fun and patient. It was our first time canyoneering and we all loved it! We would highly recommend this trip to anyone!

Jen Hocherman
April 18, 2023

This half day rafting trip was fantastic! We would absolutely recommend it! Our guide Dan was knowledgeable and had lots of interesting information to share along the way. We rafted through four sets of rapids, got soaked, and had fun!

Makayla Taylor
April 17, 2023

Every part of this was amazing!! Dan was our tour guide and he was incredible! 100% recommend.

Joyann McChesney
April 17, 2023

Great day, fantastic guides! Highly recommend.

Alison Browning
April 12, 2023

We did Bow & Arrow route 2 adults, 2 middle schoolers. Kenzie was fantastic, especially with helping one child face fears on the big rappel. This is a great activity for adventurous families

Adam Smith
April 10, 2023

We had an awesome experience! I took my 4 kids ages 9-16 on the Morning Glory canyoneering trip. Our guide Kenzie was awesome! The 2 rappelling spots of 90 & 120 ft in Grandstaff were amazing and the most memorable time for my kids in Moab. Thank you!

Lisa reese
April 10, 2023

Carl was very easy to work with in planning your trip. All guides were fun, knowledgeable, and confident in their skills. I would recommend the Bow and Arrow as it has the most repels. The hike up and in was very scenic.

Brandon Swenson
April 7, 2023

Honestly the best river rafting company group in Moab. They are local experts, the guide we had really gave us a good time out there. Next time we're in Moab we're comin back!

April 3, 2023

Canyoneering was incredible! Our guide, Brian, was very knowledgeable about rappelling and the terrain. He made our group feel very safe the whole way. Highly recommended if you’re looking for an adventure!

William Kellagher
April 2, 2023

I did the Rock of Ages Canyoneering trip today & it was AWESOME!! Brian was an amazing guide and the group I was with was great. The best day I had on my Moab trip! If you're afraid of heights like me, don't let that stop you from booking a trip. It was incredible day

Brett Woodward
March 15, 2023

I took AIARE lvl 1 with Garth and Jeremy and I learned a ton and had a great time in the process, couldn’t ask for more!

Jake Scheuerlein
March 15, 2023

Garth and Jeremy were fantastic instructors and I plan on taking my Level 2 first thing next season thru RRA.

Antoine Rioux
March 7, 2023

Amazing experience! Our guide John understood very well our expectations for the day and chose safe options to have a lot of fun despite the considerable risk for avalanches (> 60 inches of snow in the last days).

Nathan Dorfman
February 28, 2023

I could not be more satisfied with my AIARE 1 class with Red River Adventures and awesome instructors Jake and Garth. Engaging, educational and a ton of fun.

Rebecca Raich
February 27, 2023

Great AIARE 1 class - instructors knew their stuff and were patient & professional. Class was pretty intensive, but I now feel like I can more safely adventure in the backcountry.

February 27, 2023

Highly recommend. Friend and I hired a guide for our first time ice climbing. Bryan was super knowledgeable and helped everyone grow and have a great time.

Zoe Huish
February 27, 2023

Had my Avy 1 Course this weekend led by Garth Tino and Jake Scheinman. They were both fantastic instructors and people. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience!

Nathan Hernday
February 20, 2023

Had an awesome time doing some ice climbing, guided by Jake. I was hoping to do as much learning as possible on gear and techniques, and he was fun and full of all the info that I was looking for. Jake and Red River Adventures are both highly recommended.

Lisa Ryan
February 17, 2023

We just got done with our tour with Jake. It was amazing! He was very educational and also very helpful for our first time out! I would highly recommend Red River Adventures for any touring trip.

Christine Patterson
February 14, 2023

Awesome experience with John in the backcountry. Perfect mix of fun runs and learning experiences. Definitely a day I won’t forget !

Ben Romney
February 6, 2023

Did a one week guided ski trip in Hokkaido with Carl and local guide Mako. It was, without hyperbole, the best damn trip of my life. Skiing was phenomenal, followed by an amazingly relaxing, refreshing, and energizing onsen visit, then wonderful drinks/dinner, at a different spot every night for a great variety of Japanese cuisine. I honestly could t have asked for more.

Steven Obrzut
February 4, 2023

Great, friendly, and knowledgeable

Ema Waring
January 30, 2023

Brian J was a great guide for the beginner, full-day ice climbing tour in UT! Coming in with no prior experience, my party felt safe the whole time. It was a great workout and experience.

Kyle W.
January 30, 2023

Brian was an amazing guide for our ice climbing excursion and Red River made the whole experience super seamless and easy. 10/10 would book again.

January 29, 2023

The pow was legendary. The laughs were all time. One of the best trips of my life. Carl and co have it dialed.

Austin McMullen
January 25, 2023

Amazing experience with Jake in my Level 1 course!

Scott Conway
January 17, 2023

John and Adam lead us through the 3 day Avi 1 experience. It was very informative, well-managed and adaptive for the different skill levels of the class and accounting for the weather changes. I can not wait to take the next course with them.

Sarah Clark
January 15, 2023

Great day in the mountains with a great guide

Andrew Grimes
January 14, 2023

Really knowledge and professional guides. We had a super informative, well organized Avy1 class that was also a fun time. Thanks John and Adam!

Mark Holbrook
January 10, 2023

Wonderful trip with them skiing in BC with Northern Escapes Heli skiing!

A Google User
January 10, 2023

Red River put on a great Avy AIARE 1 course. Great knowledgeable guides giving practical skills that can be used everyday we are planning to go into the backcountry.

Mark Sghiatti
January 9, 2023

Instructors were great. Super friendly and accommodating.

Andrew Upton
December 30, 2022

Knowledgeable folks that are precise and efficient. Added a lot of fun to an avy 1 course while highlighting the dangers of the activity

Awesome experience. Carl was great at picking terrain to match ability and gave helpful tips /instruction

Brian Cain
December 24, 2022

We took an avalanche rescue class in the Wasatch with Red River. Our guide, Jake, was awesome! Small group, great/welcoming educational environment, fun all around. Update: came back for AIARE 2 and I'd give another 5 stars if I could. Another small group size. Chris & Sam were gurus. Both Red River classes were like an AMA with the snow oracle.

Ada S
December 21, 2022

Derek was a great guide, would highly recommend.

Luke Counterman
December 21, 2022

Took the AIRIE-1 course through Red River Adventures. Our guides John, Jake, and Garth were fantastic. The layout of the three days worked very well. There was an emphasis on participation especially in mapping and pre-trip planning. Group size was small on field days, 5-6 people per instructor, which enhanced learning. Overall exceeded my expectations for the course and had a blast skiing in the Wasatch backcountry to boot.

Max Valverde
December 15, 2022

Had an incredible avalanche one course. John, Jake, and Garth are true professionals and total legends in the backcountry. I’d learn from these guys, or go on a tour with them as guides any day of the week! Thanks again gents.

Shawn Gordon
December 10, 2022

Great Avalanche Rescue course. A good refresher for the season. Highly recommend John as a guide! His help and advice doesn't end when the class is over.

Jason L
December 10, 2022

John taught our avalanche rescue course and was fantastic. I am so much better prepared to respond in an emergency.

Ashley Bovee
December 8, 2022

Red River Adventure is the place to go for an Avy course! The guides are extremely educated, fun, and it is clear they love what they do. They were able to answer all my questions and beyond. John and Jake did a great job with the course, leaving me with more confidence, but respect, in the backcountry than ever before.

November 30, 2022

Kaya, Mary, and Spencer were the best guides one could ask for in every way

Ellie Jacques
November 30, 2022

Had an epic time with Kaya, Spencer, and Mary at crack camp. HIGHLY recommend crack camp for other climbers who have been on a couple cracks but lack formal instruction in crack climbing. Staff was professional and RRA/Carl was super helpful and communicative.

Anna Schapiro
October 23, 2022

We had a relaxing ride down the river in Moab with a guide who was extremely knowledgeable about the surroundings. Sadly Labor Day was the last day of the season for rafting. Keep that in mind!

Bruce Whittemore
October 12, 2022

Ben was an awesome guide. He was great to hang with. Was safety conscious, and was extremely helpful. We would definitely enjoy climbing with him again

David Zane
September 25, 2022

Unbelievably professional and skilled - amazing time

Keilah Butler
September 7, 2022

Great guides, great experience! Thanks!

Savannah Houle
September 6, 2022

It Was Absolutely Amazing, Had Such A Wonderful Time ! Loved Being Able To Swim And Enjoy The Views

Joe Carissimi
September 5, 2022

Great full day tour!! Sarah was an awesome guide. Good time had by all. Highly recommend it.