A good sturdy pair of kayaking gloves will definitely save you a lot of grief. The constant friction between your hands and pedals is bound to generate cuts, calluses, abrasions, and a plethora of injuries that could very well progress drastically if not appropriately treated.
A good pair of caulking gloves will be made out of a sturdy material in order to take the brunt off of your hands. Moreover, it should fit you perfectly without being too tight or too loose. Logically, it ought to be waterproof, and it’s up to you whether you choose gloves that have full, half, or 3/3 finger coverage.
Nevertheless, the market for kayaking gloves is incredibly varied, to the extent that it can easily overwhelm anyone. That’s precisely why we’ve created this list with the five best kayaking gloves that you can purchase today.
The 5 Best Kayaking Gloves
Now, let’s dive right into our top five picks for the best kayaking gloves. Each one of these pairs has rightfully gained its position on this list and will show you why.
1. Neo Sport Men’s and Women’s - Best Overall
Our first pair of kayaking gloves is by one of the pioneers of sports’ accessories, Neo Sport. This model has been taken care of thoroughly in order to provide maximum comfort, protection, and coverage.
It’s made out of premium Neoprene that manages to protect your hands against heat and friction while maintaining its soft structure and flexibility. The palm grip has a cyclone design, which takes it to a whole other level.
This also leads to the pair being extremely versatile. As a matter of fact, this model was mainly meant for scuba diving. However, with all of its great qualities, paddlers have discovered it, and it became one of their favorites.
Additionally, it’s waterproof with full finger coverage, making it a bit more situated for cold temperatures. Lastly, the gloves have an excellent size range extending from XS all the way to 2XL along with a simple size chart that’s true to size, so this pair will fit you snuggly.
Unfortunately, they do come with some drawbacks, including the fact that the velcro strap at the wrist can be a little loose at times. Also, the seams where a lot of friction takes place have been known to break down prematurely. Plus, although we said that it fits quite snuggly, the length of the thumbs can be a little too much for some people.
- Rubberized texture
- Secure grip
- Wide size range
- Faulty velcro strap
- Seams are prone to wear and tear
- Thumbs can be a bit too tall
These rubberized Neoprene scuba gloves are an excellent option for paddlers. They grant you a secure grip for coverage, and a great variety to choose from. Hence, investing in them will definitely improve your paddling experience.
2. The Fishing Tree Fingerless - Runner-Up
This fingerless pair of gloves comes with thermal protection provided by its spandex and Amara/faux leather construction. This protection includes UV protection of UPF and SPF +50. Additionally, the fact that the gloves are machine washable doesn’t affect such great qualities.
Moreover, they’re lightweight, flexible, and dry quite fast, making them a fantastic choice for warm climates. But, that’s not all, you see, as long as you stick to relatively higher temperatures, you can use these gloves with more than one sport as they’re perfectly fit for rowing and cycling.
The fact that they’re fingerless means that you have a lot more freedom, maneuverability, and practicality on your hands. Hence, you’ll be able to carry out so many more tasks. One last thing is that the Fishing Tree Fingerless fishing gloves are unisex, and the quality remains standard and equivalent between both.
On the other side of the spectrum, no matter how amazing this pair is, it still comes with some disadvantages. The most prominent of these disadvantages has to be its ability to accumulate bacteria, and therefore, create a foul smell.
Lastly, the size range here is not as wide as you’d want it to be. If an angler has exceptionally large or skinny hands, then this pair wouldn’t be a sound choice for them.
- Dry fast
- UV protection
- Can get smelly
- Small size range
As long as you check the size chart, find your measurements on it, and stick to warmer weather, this fingerless fishing glove pair will be a great choice for you. These gloves are lightweight, flexible, fast-drying, and they come with premium thermal protection.
3. Neo Sport 3/4 Finger Neoprene - Best Versatility
Our second model by Neo Sport is all about versatility and taking you from one sport to another without costing you too much.
This pair is constructed out of Neoprene, spandex, and leather. Each one of these materials is placed strategically in certain positions in order to serve its purpose. For instance, the leather is mainly placed at the palms in order to give extra protection and a better grip for athletes.
The gloves dry quickly, and the wrist straps are designed to be extremely flexible to fit as many different sizes as possible. Moreover, they boast a thickness of 1.5 mm, a middle ground between the various sports that we have mentioned. These sports include biking, sailing, obstacle racing, and many more. Consequently, comfort and durability are paramount with this model.
Still, just like with any other product, we’ve to discuss the problems that we face with the Neo Sport 3/4 Neoprene gloves, which mainly revolve around the stitching. It could’ve been done in a much better way with a higher level of support in the high-friction areas.
- Adjustable elastic band
- 1.5 mm thickness
- Weak stitching
To wrap up this product, it’s a lightweight pair of gloves that you can use while participating in a multitude of different sports. However, you must keep an eye on the stitches and decide when the pair has had enough action.
4. Storm Double-Lined Neoprene - Best Budget
As suggested by its title, these gloves are double-lined; hence, they’re your ultimate choice if you want to go in below-zero climates. They’re incredibly durable, waterproof, and offer you a great grip.
In essence, this model was designed for scuba diving, so the palm grips are designed to help divers hold onto objects while they’re underwater. Thus, holding your paddles while you’re above the water surface, even if you’re wet, will be a piece of cake for the Storm Double-Lined Neoprene Gloss.
Furthermore, the pair is available in two different thicknesses, giving you the freedom to choose between 3 mm of thickness and 5 mm.
Also, the sizing is quite accurate, and it fits quite snugly. That may very well be due to the velcro wrist closure, which is sturdy and tight enough to prevent water from slipping into the glove. The fact that the closure is placed on the high-wrist design also aids with waterproofing your hands.
As for the strength of this pair, it doesn’t only come from it being double lined, but also the junctions that have been prominent disadvantages with other models have been treated here. That’s through using not only stitches but glue as well when closing the junctions.
All of these amazing features and specs come to you in a neat package for a relatively small price. This means that you can purchase more than one pair in case one breaks. Such a manageable price-tag is also a great incentive for beginners who don’t want to break the bank purchasing kayaking gloves.
Sadly, just like all Neoprene products, its lifespan is quite short, as Neoprene typically takes the brunt of all the beating that your hands are supposed to be suffering through. That’s why signs of wear and tear are quick to rear their heads.
Additionally, the fact that it has full finger coverage is bound to affect your dexterity. Hence, you won’t be able to carry out as many tasks as you’d like to. Lastly, it does not come with a size chart, so you’ll have to rely on previous purchases in order to know your own size.
- Great grip
- True to size
- No size chart
- Short lifespan
If you’re heading to Alaska or anywhere where you’d be facing extreme cold climates, then the Storm Double-Lined Neoprene gloves will be your best friend on such a trip. They’re incredibly strong and sturdy, plus they keep your hands warm and dry when you need it the most.
5. Glacier Islamorada - Best Summer Gloves
Being constructed entirely out of synthetic materials such as lycra and faux leather makes this pair of gloves your ultimate choice for hot sunny days. They’re fingerless; therefore, they offer good measures of dexterity, practicality, and efficiency.
Furthermore, the synthetic here will do its job and protect your hands from the heat of the sun with the 50+ UPF protection. Like many of its peers, the Glacier Islamorada gloves are lightweight, flexible, and fast-drying.
However, the difference here is that the palm is reinforced by extra synthetic leather, which takes the grip of this pair to a whole new level. Moreover, these gloves are a snug fit while maintaining a high level of breathability, which is essential when you’re out on long trips, and your hands are trapped inside the gloves for significant periods.
On the other hand, although this pair comes with an impressive range of sizes, these sizes tend to run smaller than the norm, so when ordering, it’s best if you size up.
Also, since the gloves are constructed out of synthetic materials, a foul smell is bound to appear if you neglect washing and drying them thoroughly after every use, as synthetic materials are perfect media for bacteria.
Additionally, as we’ve mentioned before, these gloves are not at all suitable for cold weather. They can hardly keep your hands warm, and they’re not in any way or form waterproof.
- Synthetic leather palm reinforcement
- Wide size range
- Sizes run small
- Foul smell
- Unsuitable for cold weather
The Glacier Islamorada kayaking gloves are awesome summer products. They’ll protect your hands against the heat, friction, and fatigue. Moreover, they provide an excellent grip, lightweight, flexibility, and dexterity. However, be aware of the smell and the cold days.
How to Pick Kayaking Gloves
Usually, picking gloves would be an effortless task, but when we’re speaking about kayaking gloves, there are certain criteria that you must take into consideration. That’s exactly what we’ll walk you through throughout this section of the article.
The materials that you need have your gloves made of ought to enjoy sturdiness, strength, and durability. Nevertheless, the detrimental factors in regards to what kind of glove you should be wearing remain the temperature and the environmental circumstances that you tend to be paddling in.
Thus, if you’re in the summer, you’ll need something light that will protect your hands from the constant friction, while still managing not to wear them down by suffocating your skin. The best option for such conditions would have to be Spandex and Lycra.
Add to them some padding, and you’re good to go. These synthetics are lightweight, and they offer excellent protection.
On the other side, if you’re up for some winter kayaking, then you’ll need something more robust and entirely waterproof to keep your hands warm. The answer here is Neoprene, a synthetic rubber used in making wetsuits.
You might think that thicker is better; however, that’s not always the case, especially in the summer where such thickness will put extra workload on your hands and trap the heat inside such a small space.
During the winter, thicker gloves might very well end up being quite stiff. Therefore, you won’t only be trying to paddle your way through low freezing temperatures; you’ll also have to fight the glove to move your hand and fingers freely.
Hence, always try the glove first, and go for a moderate thickness that’s suitable for your hand size and strength.
Whether you choose to go with a pair of gloves that offers full-finger coverage or one that comes fingerless is based on your own preference and needs.
If you’re paddling in warmer weather, then fingerless kayaking gloves will prove to be a much wiser choice since they’ll give you the protection and padding that you’ll need on your palm in order to paddle freely, while maintaining a sense of maneuverability and practicality.
Having exposed fingers means that you can get a lot more done much faster. No matter how great the quality of your gloves is, if you’ve full-finger coverage, you’re bound to lose some maneuverability.
On the other hand, if you’re heading for a colder climate, then protecting your most vulnerable extremities should be your top priority, and that’s why you should go with full-finger coverage. That will also prevent your fingers from getting wet.
The phrase “fits like a glove” must originate from somewhere. That somewhere is the importance of having your gloves fit perfectly. If your gloves are a bit too loose on you, then you really are just doing a 360 here, as the space between your fingers and the glove will provide extra room for friction, therefore, resulting in abrasions even though you’re wearing your protective gloves.
On the other side of the spectrum, if your gloves are too tight, then they can easily cut off the circulation in your hands, which can lead to disastrous results. That’s why our advice is to always double and triple check the fit of your gloves, and that you’re entirely comfortable wearing and using them.
Always try to go for gloves that have high-quality, anti-slip grips on the palm and fingers. A lot of kayakers might skip over such a spec, although it’s quite essential. A good grip will save you a lot of effort of trying to control your paddle and kayak, allowing you to focus more and therefore, extend your on-water time and make it a lot more enjoyable.
Like any other part of your gear, your kayaking gloves will need a lot of care to extend their lifespan and make the most out of your investment.
Firstly, you must always rinse and dry them thoroughly after every use, especially if you’ve been out on saltwater.
Additionally, if possible, try to apply repairing sealant to any junctions or high friction points on the glove whenever needed.
Finally, always keep in mind that your glove is bound to show signs of wear and tear; hence, do not overuse it and do replace it whenever you notice that it is not fulfilling its job anymore. Overusing a glove might lead to serious injuries.
We’ve reached the end of our article, and to sum-up, purchasing the best kayaking gloves is an investment that will prove its worth to you over time. Kayaking gloves can be used in a multitude of other sports, and they’ll protect your hands significantly.
Cuts, abrasions, blisters, and calluses are all things that you’d like to keep strictly away from your hands, and kayaking gloves are the ultimate way to do just that.
Our first recommendation and our top pick will have to be the Neo Sport Men’s and Women’s gloves. They’re constructed out of Neoprene, which provides maximum strength, come with a cyclone design in their palm for a superior grip, and have a satisfactory size range.
Next will be our runner-up, the Fishing Tree Fingerless Fishing gloves that boast the UV protection of UPF and SPF +50, while enjoying lightweight, flexibility, and short drying time. This pair is highly versatile and meant to grant you as much practicality and maneuverability as possible.
Our last recommendation will be our budget pick, the Neo Sport 3/4 Finger Neoprene gloves. Now, this pair is all about maximum value. It’s designed for icy weather, as it’s waterproof, double lined, has both glue and stitches in its junctions, and comes in two different thicknesses; 3 and 5 mm.