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If you’re going to be kayaking, then you need to make sure you have all the right gear to ensure you have an ultimate ocean sport experience. While most people are aware that kayaking gloves exist, they think that they only need them when the weather turns cooler or for more advanced kayaking like on rapids. This just simply isn’t true. he right gloves for kayaking will ensure that you stay warm and comfortable throughout the day, enhance your grip to the paddle, and keep you from accidentally dropping gear in the water. This makes them an essential piece of kayaking gear, and something no adventurer should paddle without.
Once you’re ready to invest in quality gloves, you’ll need to do your research to find the best pair to suit your needs on the water. We know that it can be intimidating diving into all of the choices and features, so here we’ve gathered some great options on the market today to narrow your search and get you out on the water as soon as possible!
Top 5 Kayaking Gloves Compared
Our Reviews of the Best Gloves for Kayaking
1. NeoSport Wetsuits Finger Glove
We love that these gloves are tough enough to tackle a number of different water sports, including kayaking, scuba diving, and snorkeling. Made of an incredibly soft material, these gloves are great if you’re new to wearing hand protection while kayaking and want to get a pair that won’t be bulky or uncomfortable. They fit snug to your hands, feeling like a second skin. Additionally, the synthetic leather palm is padded, which gives you a better grip on your paddle and prevents your palms from getting sore, blistered or cramped.
Because these gloves dry so fast you don’t have to worry about them stinking up your car on the way home or remaining wet in your bag if you forget about them. They are great for keeping your hands warm during the winter or when the water is cold, but because they are thin enough you don’t have to sacrifice your mobility for warmth. They feature wrist fasteners to keep them in place, which means you don’t have to worry about them accidentally coming and falling into the water. You’re also sure to love the extra control you have from your fingertips being exposed.
2. The Fishing Tree Half Finger Fishing Gloves
If you want to make sure that your hands will be protected from the harsh UV rays of the sun while you are on the water and that you’ll have as much control of your gear as possible, then these gloves may be right for you. They have sun protection woven into the fabric of the gloves, which means that you don’t ever have to worry about it washing out. Additionally, because your fingers are exposed, you will be able to maintain a great grip on your paddle and other gear, without worrying about dropping it into the water.
These gloves are fast drying and the fact that they will stretch and move with you while you are kayaking is an added bonus. Unlike some other gloves that are so sturdy that it’s difficult to move your hands and fingers, you won’t sacrifice hand control when you opt for this product. The pads on the palms of these gloves offer plenty of grip so that even if you are tired or your hands are cold, you will be able to maintain a solid grip on your paddle.
3. Seavenger Abyss Stretchy Mesh Gloves
Ideal for use in cold water and weather, these gloves are great to provide your hands with as much protection from the elements as possible. These gloves cover your hands and fingers completely, which will prevent your hands from getting cold when in the water. You can rely on the reinforced thumb and palm to last for a long time without wearing out, which is great because this is where a lot of stress occurs on gloves.
The leather palms will provide you with a great grip so that you won’t have any problems holding onto your wet paddle, and they will make you feel a lot more in control while on the water. Because these gloves area available in sizes from XXS-XXL, and feature a durable wrist closure, you will have complete control over how your new gloves fit and keeping them comfortable throughout the day.
4. Warmers Barnacle Paddling Glove
This half-finger glove is perfect for kayakers, as it allows you to have incredible grip on your paddle so that there isn’t any risk of accidentally dropping it and losing it in the water. These gloves are made of materials that dry quickly, preventing them from causing unpleasant odors or having to put wet gloves back on in the afternoon after a break from the water. The synthetic leather palm is ideal for providing friction between your hands and the paddle, making it a little “sticky” and ensuring the ultimate grip on your gear.
It can be difficult to find gloves that offer the right amount of padding in the right places to keep your hands protected from blisters while you are paddling. These gloves are quality designed, and have additional padding to help prevent the glove from rubbing on your skin in high stress areas. This means that you won’t have to worry about whether or not your hands will be exhausted and blistered at the end of the day, as the gloves offer plenty of great protection for kayakers and other ocean sport enthusiasts.
5. Polymath Fingerless Kayaking Gloves
These lightweight, stretchy, and comfortable gloves are ideal if you want to enjoy UV protection from the sun without the inconvenience of wearing bulky and uncomfortable gloves. Because they’re made from a quick dry fabric, you don’t need to worry about how wet and uncomfortable your hands will feel while you’re out in your kayak. They feature additional leather reinforcements along the palm, side of the hand, and at the base of the thumb.
These gloves feature pulls at the wrist and at the fingertips so that you can easily pull these gloves off and on, no matter how wet or damp your hands may be. The fingerless design allows you to retain a lot of dexterity and mobility while kayaking, to give you ultimate control of your paddle and gear. Thanks to the longer cuff design on these gloves, not only will your wrists be protected from the sun, but they’ll also be supported and comfortable throughout the day.
6. NRS Men's Hydroskin Gloves
These are great gloves for kayaking, designed to keep your hands warm and dry while out on the water. This is great for the kayaker who enjoys adventuring in cooler water. Not only do they have a stretchy and snug fit design, offering ultimate comfort and convenience, but they are also designed to insulate hands to prevent heat loss in cold weather and water.
Thanks to the addition of warm thermal inner lining, these gloves keep your hands warm no matter how cold the water gets. They are also great for protecting arthritic hands and preventing joint pain while kayaking.
With a PowerSpan exterior, these gloves easily stretch in four directions, which means that you can enjoy unrestricted movement in your hands, and a solid grip to your paddle and gear. They are designed to provide superior grip, thanks to the addition of a silicone pattern on the glove, giving kayakers of all abilities more confidence on the water.
7. WindRider Pro Sailing Gloves
These are incredibly rugged gloves that are designed to last through years of kayaking expeditions. They feature great protection for your hands without restricting movement in your fingers, allowing you to enjoy a full range of motion.
Thanks to the ¾ fingerless design, you’ll have excellent grip on your paddle and other gear without having to take the gloves off. Unlike others on the market that will cause your paddle to twist in your hands, these gloves give you ultimate handling while kayaking .
Made of a thick material with a highly padded design, these gloves are great for avid kayakers who are going to be spending long hours on the water. When you wear them, you’ll enjoy protection from all of the elements, including sun, hail, rain, and snow. They also dry quickly, which will prevent overheating on very hot days and ensure that you are comfortable throughout your adventure while wearing them.
8. MRX Multicolored Sailing Gloves
These gloves are designed to give you the control and confidence that you need when kayaking. Not only will they help you to grip your paddle with ease so that you don’t lose control of it when in the water, but they offer exceptional protection for your hands, as well.
The palms of these gloves feature Amara fabric, which is almost indestructible. By lining the gloves with this fabric, MRX makes sure that your hands are safe and protected while out on the water. Additionally, you will love how easily you can get them on and off, thanks to the hook and loop closure.
The fingerless design means you can easily tie knots, answer calls, and handle any fine motor projects out on the water without problems. Additionally, the ¾ design still offers plenty of protection. They are comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time and won’t chaff or irritate your skin when your hands are wet.
9. Sea to Summit Solution
When heading out for a quick and warm kayaking trip, you’ll likely want to choose lightweight gloves as opposed to a more heavy-weight style.These gloves in particular are designed to be very lightweight while also offering protection from the sun and elements, creating a more relaxed kayaking adventure.
Not only are they designed to protect your hands from getting sunburned, but also to be very flexible and comfortable to wear while on the water. The flexible wrist and fingers allow you to move easily and to maintain complete control over your paddle and gear.
These gloves do not feature any additional padding, which means that they dry incredibly quickly- great for a day spent on the water. This also means that they are easy to get on and take off once they have gotten wet. The ¾ design is great for leaving fingertips free for use.
10. ZIPOUTE Neoprene Diving Gloves
Great all-in-one gloves for the kayaker who also wants to get out of their kayak and enjoy the water around them, these gloves offer incredible hand protection. You won’t worry about injury when picking up shellfish or other sharp objects under water, or about getting blisters after a full day of paddling.
Thanks to the ergonomic design of these gloves, they fit perfectly to the hand and offer plenty of stretch and movement. You’ll love the snug fit, without feeling constricted while wearing. The flexibility is controlled, however, and doesn’t result in the gloves stretching out as much as other gloves on the market.
The palm grips on these ZIPOUTE gloves allow you to enjoy superior gripping power, crucial for holding onto your kayak paddle. They also feature additional padding in the wrist and plenty of flexibility by the thumb for ultimate comfort, and to reduce the chance of blisters or hand fatigue while wearing.
Kayaking Gloves Buyer's Guide
While kayaking, your hands can really take a beating while you’re out exploring the sea. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to be kayaking in the middle of the summer or on a cold winter day, it’s important to take steps to ensure that you are protecting your hands. Investing in a quality pair of kayaking gloves is the best way to ensure your hands longevity when you’re out on the water, and they will make protecting them easy.
To help you in your search for the best gloves, we’ve gathered some key features to look for when choosing which pair best suits your needs.
Think About the Fit
One of the first things that you want to consider when shopping for kayaking gloves is how well they fit. Gloves that don’t fit correctly on your hands will lead to a number of problems. One of the main issues with ill-fitting kayaking gloves is that a super tight glove will restrict the blood flow in your hands, making them feel colder, but gloves that are too loose will cause the material to rub and create blisters.
If possible, try the gloves on before your purchase, and consider the materials and thus how they’ll fit once wet, too.
Pay Attention to the Material
A common mistake made by kayakers is ignoring the material of their new gloves. The material used in the design plays a huge role in not only how well they will fit and feel, but also what temperature of water they are best suited for. Warm water gloves are often made from Lycra or Spandex and offer protection without adding a lot of insulation to your hands. Neoprene, on the other hand, is better suited for kayaking in cold water, as it’s insulated and waterproof.
The material used in the design of your gloves will also be a determining factor in the durability and longevity of the gloves, as well as what stands between you and the elements. Choose your material wisely.
Consider the Padding
One feature that you should consider in your new gloves is how thick the padding is. Many people think that thicker material is automatically better, and while this will offer you more padding, it is also more restrictive in finger and hand movement. Heavily padded gloves will also keep hands warmer, potentially an issue in warm water and weather. On the other hand, gloves that feature minimal padding won’t offer you protection against cold weather.
Considering the water conditions of where you’ll be kayaking is a determining factor when choosing which gloves best suit your kayaking needs. Understand your goals on the water before investing in gear.
¾ Finger Gloves
A key feature many kayakers look for in gloves is a fingerless design to offer ultimate grip on the paddle and gear. While fingerless, or ¾ finger gloves, do allow for superior hand control, they also expose your fingertips to the elements which can be uncomfortable in cold waters. Having bare skin certainly offers more control over the paddle, but you’ll need to consider what temperature water you’ll be adventuring in before investing if you want to get the most out of your purchase.
¾ finger gloves are great for warm waters and summer kayaking, as they offer air flow to the hands and don’t retain heat like full coverage gloves.
Easy and Snug Wrist Closure
Another feature that is worth considering is how the gloves are going to close on your wrists. There are some that simply slip on and then are held on by Velcro, which is great, but this material can easily wear out. While Velcro is perfect for users who want to remove their gloves quickly and easily, a more long-lasting option is a hook and loop closure. This ensures that you get a great fit each time and allows for more control over how tight the wrist portion of the glove is.
FAQs: Gloves for Kayaking
How Do I Choose the Best Size Glove for Me?
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when shopping for paddling gloves, because the size chart has nothing to do with the size of clothing that you wear. Instead of getting frustrated, all you have to do is take a measuring tape and measure around your palm, staying directly on top of the knuckles. Once you have that size in inches or centimeters, then you can match it with the size chart from the company you are considering.
Do I Really Need More Than One Pair of Gloves?
Kayakers who spend time in both warm and cold waters will benefit greatly from having two pairs of gloves. Because warm water and cold water gloves are made from different material types and offer different levels of protection and insulation, you want to make sure that you choose the right gloves for the water you’ll be in. Having two pairs on hand will ensure that you don’t get too hot or too cold when kayaking and will help you to really get the most of your adventure.
How Do I Prevent Blisters?
Even after choosing the right size and material in your gloves it is possible that you will get blisters when kayaking, especially when you are new to this sport. Make sure that you look for gloves which offer plenty of padding around the thumbs and palms, as these are high stress areas on your hands where you will do a lot of rubbing on your paddle. Make sure that you keep any sand out of your gloves before you get in your kayak, as loose sand will rub between your skin and the fabric and can easily cause painful blisters. Choosing the proper size and material to suit your needs will help keep your blisters to a minimum.
How Do I Create a Solid Grip on the Paddle?
Heavily padded gloves offer tons of protection in bad weather, but can make it more difficult for kayakers to grip the handle of their paddle. Luckily, there are products on the market that can be used with gloves to ensure that they get all of the grip possible, even when you are more worried about keeping your fingers and hands warm. Using wax is a great way to make the handle of your paddle extra grippy so that you don’t have to overcompensate by holding the paddle tighter, which can exacerbate arthritis and other hand conditions.
If you’re kayaking in warm waters, choose lightweight gloves with fingers exposed to offer a superior grip.
Investing in the right gloves for kayaking takes a bit of research and is a matter of personal preference. While you want to ensure that you will have a great grip on your paddle, you still need to be able to move your hands easily and have complete control over your fingers. Depending on your comfort level with kayaking, as well as the water conditions where you are going to be wearing your gloves, you will want to consider the pros and cons of full length, half, and three-quarter fingers so that you can find a pair that is right for you.
As far as kayaking gear goes, gloves are indispensable and will guarantee that your hands are protected from the elements, that you keep a good grip on your paddle, and that you can protect your skin from blisters. Here we’ve provided you with 10 great options to choose from, so pick the pair that’s right for you and get on the water in no time!
We hope this guide helps you understand the importance of, and the differences between, kayaking gloves. If we’ve helped in your search for quality ocean sport gear, we’d love to hear about it in the comment section below!
For more of our top kayaking gear recommendations, please visit the following articles.
Megan Jones is the lead author of Seaside Planet. She is an avid surfer, scuba diver, and travel enthusiast who takes any opportunity she can to spend time in the ocean. You can learn more about Meg and the rest of the editorial team here.