Have you ever gone to load your kayak by yourself, only to find that it's…
Kayaking is a fun outdoor pastime, but it can also seriously affect your hands.
All that exposure to cold water, harsh wind and sunlight can damage the skin on your hands, leaving them susceptible to chapping, breaking, and potentially bleeding. This can be seriously painful and also affect your kayaking performance.
So how can you avoid this problem?
By wearing a good pair of kayaking gloves! They act like an extra layer of skin, thermally protecting your hands from all kinds of harsh weather.
This helps keep your hands warm and dry, preventing your skin from any issues that can cause pain and dexterity issues in your hands.
So now you know that you need a pair of kayaking gloves - what ones should you buy?
There are many kinds of kayaking gloves available and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. With so many materials, sizes and styles available, it can be tricky to find the right one for you.
So, let us show you our five favorite kayaking gloves that are some of the best available. Take a look at our choices and see if the right kayaking glove is there for you!
OUR TOP PICK
For an all round solid pair of kayaking gloves, we recommend you try out these gloves from XUKER.
Their water gloves are adept for all kinds of water sports, so you know that they have put a lot of time and research into the gloves’ design for it to be ideal for those heading out into the water in all kinds of environments.
Made mainly from neoprene, these gloves are able to retain a layer of water to help provide extra thermal protection once the water layer warms up from your body heat.
This helps keep your hands warm as you kayak through any kind of weather condition. Neoprene is also very flexible, allowing you to have good dexterity and mobility in your hands to help keep control of your kayak.
The palm also features an anti-slip rubber palm to help you keep a grip on your paddle shaft even as it becomes wet and slippery.
The Velcro wrist strap is adjustable to fit most wrists comfortably, making sure that you don’t feel restricted or uncomfortable while using the gloves.
They also provide a firm grip that won't cut off circulation but help keep water out of your gloves to keep your hands dry.
There is also a range of sizes available for men, women and children, and it features a unisex design to help find the perfect fit for most hands.
The design on the fingers is a little constricting if you have very long or thick fingers which can feel uncomfortable to some. So remember - use the useful guide provided by XUKER so you can be confident you’re wearing gloves that are the right size for you.
If you want a pair of gloves that will protect your hands from the elements, then check out the XUKER Water Glove range that is available on Amazon.
- Made using neoprene material, a type of synthetic rubber that is capable of using water to provide you with an extra layer of thermal protection.
- Features an anti-grip rubber palm to help you hold onto your paddle shaft more confidently.
- Available in a lot of sizes to help you find the perfect fit.
- We found the design on the fingers are very short and narrow, so it's not ideal for those with longer or thicker fingers as they may find these gloves a little restricting on the digits.
A lot of kayakers also enjoy a bit of fishing. Many anglers use kayaks to head out further across bodies of water to catch more fish, so it is important for them to find the right kind of glove that works as both a kayaking glove and a fishing glove.
The best ones for the job are the Palmyth Fishing Gloves.
They offer extra dexterity and mobility in the fingers by using a fingerless design. With the ends of the fingers exposed, anglers are able to work with much smaller equipment that big bulky gloves would not be able to.
It also has a Velcro wrist strap that allows you to adjust the size depending on how your hand fits around your wrist. It's made from durable nylon and polyester materials that are designed to stand up to the rigors of being used, making this a very durable type of kayak glove.
It also uses Spandex material, a woven type of synthetic material that is great for protecting your hands against cold and wind.
The reinforced palm also features non-slip silicone dots, but these are not very effective and are easy to peel away.
However, anglers usually stick to calmer waters where their paddle shafts are less likely to get soaked with sprays of water, so the non-slip silicone dots do help you grip a dry shaft well.
If you are planning on kayaking in rougher waters, then you will be better off with something more equipped for the job.
Despite that, these gloves do their job of protecting your hands so if you are struggling with dry and flaky skin on your hands due to exposure, then these gloves will definitely help you fight that issue.
Overall, these fishing gloves from Palmyth are ideal for those who want full dexterity and be able to handle small equipment like fishing hooks while kayaking. They are available to purchase now on Amazon.
- Very light and flexible, making them comfortable to wear and allow you to have full dexterity of your fingers.
- Spandex material does a great job of protecting your skin, keeping your hands safe from the elements.
- A range of sizes and adjustable Velcro wrist helps you find the right size with ease.
- We found the silicone dots on the palm to be of little use keeping grip of a slippery paddle shaft but worked fine when the shaft was dry.
For kayakers who often find themselves in rougher waters, you will need a pair of gloves that help you keep a firm grasp on your paddle shaft. Your paddle is how you maneuver through waters, but it can get very wet and slippery due to water spray and rain.
So, you will need a pair of gloves that not only help keep your hands nice and dry, but help you hold onto your paddle so you can kayak safely.
A good type of kayaking glove that does just this is the gloves available from OMGear.
The palm on these gloves is covered in rubberized material which works as an excellent grip surface. This means that even if your paddle gets wet, you won't lose your grip because the palms are already protected.
Its anti-slip material stretches all the way up the fingers too so every part of your hand is able to hold onto your paddle shaft tightly. This is what makes them ideal for those who want a good grip on their paddle shaft above all else.
As for preventing wet and cold hands, the OMGear gloves are also great for achieving that goal. They are made using neoprene material which keeps your hands warm and dry at the same time.
Because the neoprene is not penetrated and the design of the gloves uses glue binding technology instead, water is less likely to leak through into your gloves. This means your hands are more likely to stay dry while kayaking.
The neoprene material is sandwiched between two layers of nylon, which is soft enough to prevent chafing and irritation of your hand. This makes these gloves very comfortable to wear. It also has an adjustable Velcro to help you achieve a more secure fit.
So not only are these gloves very comfortable to wear, they also work great at keeping your hands dry and tightly gripped onto your paddle shaft.
- These high quality gloves are expertly made using advanced technology and appropriate materials like neoprene and nylon.
- The reinforced rubber textured palm stretched all the way up to your fingertips, allowing you to keep a firmer grip on your wet paddle shaft.
- They are very comfortable to wear and easy to adjust for a tighter fit
- They are not perfectly waterproof, but do a very good job of protecting your hands from cold wind.
Kayaking may just be one of the many reasons why you want a good pair of kayak gloves. Kayak gloves are also very versatile and can be used in all kinds of situations and activities. Kayakers, anglers, divers, surfers - they all want the same thing.
A good pair of gloves to protect their hands from harsh conditions.
So if you want a pair of kayak gloves that you can also use for other activities, try out a pair of Palmyth Stubby Fishing Gloves.
They still use a breathable, protective material that is partly synthetic leather to help protect your hands from cold weather and harsh wind.
They also feature silicone dots on the palm for improved grip, although there are better gloves available with more advanced designs specifically for gripping wet equipment.
However, what makes these gloves more versatile than their competitors are its stubby fingerless design and UV protective features.
The fingerless design is far shorter than other kayaking fingerless gloves. Whereas other fingerless gloves will stop and your finger caps, this glove shortens the glove even further. This allows for more dexterity to help with angling, surfing and even driving jet skis.
Although this means they are not as efficient at keeping your hands dry as full-finger gloves are, they can still be used in a variety of activities thanks to their enhanced dexterity.
Its material is also very light and flexible, but it also helps protect against UV light. This means that these gloves also protect sensitive skin against harsh sunlight, reducing your chances of sunburn.
Even when submerged, your hands will be protected from UV rays, so these gloves really do provide extra protection against a range of problems.
- Flexible material and stubby fingerless design allows for complete dexterity that allows you to use your hands as normal.
- The materials are also protective against a range of potential hazards like harsh UV rays and cold wind that can damage the skin on your hands.
- These fingerless gloves are a great type of glove that can be used in a lot of different activities other than kayaking, meaning that you get your full use out of these versatile gloves.
- The silicone dots on the palm are not as an efficient way to increase grip-control as other reinforced designs.
And finally, for those who would rather a pair of kayaking mittens for extra thermal protection against cooler weather, we recommend you try these mittens from Palmyth.
These mittens were designed originally for ice fitting and are able to transform into fingerless gloves if you need to use the full dexterity of your hands.
This way, you get the best of both worlds - full dexterity when you need it, and warmth when your hands get too cold. All you have to do is draw back the mitts to convert them into fingerless gloves.
They are very big and bulky, even as fingerless gloves, which help protect your hands from the cold and wind. The soft shell of the mitten is also water-repellent and completely windproof, further protecting your hands as a good pair of kayaking gloves should.
However, the material used is not any kind of Spandex or Lycra. Instead, these gloves are made from faux leather.
Although they still do a good job of protecting your hands, materials like Spandex and Lycra are far more durable and protective against submerging.
Despite this, it is very easy to find the right size for you and these mitts will definitely keep your hands warm.
The palm is also reinforced with a silicone pattern to help improve your grip and its ability to convert into fingerless gloves make these mittens an ideal choice for those who can't decide between mittens or gloves.
- Very protective against cold air and wind thanks to its thick material and design.
- Reinforced silicone palm allows for better grip on wet paddle shafts.
- Able to convert between a kayak mitt and glove, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of both.
- Not very durable due to the lack of Spandex or Lycra used in its material.
Kayaking can really stress out your hands - especially if you don't have a proper pair of gloves. Usual gloves are not suited for kayaking as they usually are not waterproof or do not help you get a good grip on your kayaking oar.
So there's no doubt that what you need is a good pair of kayaking gloves to help see you through colder seasons - but what exactly should a good pair of kayaking gloves be like?
Let's take a look at all the things you should consider when looking for your ideal pair of kayaking gloves.
Kayaking gloves need to be able to do a lot of things like be waterproof and help you keep a firm grip on your oar. For these kinds of qualities, you need to find a material that is supple, durable, and yet comfortable to wear.
The type of material you choose can really affect how you find your kayaking gloves. For example, a pair of leather kayaking gloves would not be recommended as leather is easily damaged by water.
The constant cycle of using then drying a pair of leather gloves not only takes days to complete but will quickly wear out the gloves. So, choosing the right material is vitally important.
The three main materials used to make most modern kayaking gloves are Neoprene, Spandex, and Lycra. These are all synthetic materials that each have their own positives and negatives.
Spandex and Lycra are both woven synthetic materials that are very affordable to purchase. They are also very versatile with lots of properties that make them very advantageous for kayaking. They are light and stretchy, comfortable to wear and help protect your hands from UV light.
Although they usually need extra padding to be thermally insulating, they are still a good choice to start with when looking for the right material for your kayaking gloves.
Neoprene is a bit different from Lycra and Spandex. It is a synthetic rubber instead of a woven material. It is able to trap a small layer of water against the hand once wet and this water heats up due to your own body heat, providing an extra layer of thermal protection.
This makes neoprene a great choice when it comes to finding a good pair of kayaking gloves to use in cold weather conditions. They also help you get a good grip on your oar.
The whole point of wearing kayaking gloves is to protect your hands by acting as a second layer of skin.
The only way that these kayaking gloves can work effectively is if they fit your hand properly - so you need to find a pair of gloves that have a good range of sizes to help you find the perfect fit.
If your gloves are too small then you could end up putting strain on your wrist and cut off circulation. If your gloves are too big then they will move around and rub against your skin, causing blisters and calluses.
This is why kayaking gloves need to fit your hand properly - or they could end up causing more trouble than they are saving you from.
Kayaking gloves are available in a lot of different styles, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
You, of course, have ones that are styled like traditional gloves. They provide a good level of insulation and help you to maintain mobility and dexterity of your hands.
This can be very important when it comes to handling your oar and other equipment as your thumb and fingers can all move independently.
There are also mitten styled kayak gloves, lovingly nicknamed kayak mitts. Mitts provide a lot more insulation than traditional gloves but they also reduce the dexterity in your hands.
This can make holding an oar or paddle very difficult, especially if you are still a rookie kayaker.
To help get around this, a kayaker invented a type of glove called Pogies that are basically sheathes of material that can attach directly to the shaft of a kayak paddle.
They offer protection against both the wind and cold but are not as effective as a proper pair of kayaking gloves or mitts.
This is because Pogies feature an open wrist so you can slide your hands in and out with ease so you will probably have to wear another pair of gloves underneath.
However, if you find that your kayaking gloves are not as thermally protective as you like or you are struggling to hold onto your paddle, getting yourself a pair of Pogies as well can help solve the situation - but it’s better if you can avoid the problem all together.
So, when looking for your ideal pair of kayaking gloves, choose if dexterity or insulation is a more attractive feature for you.
More advanced kayakers may be more confident with handling a paddle so they can afford to lose a bit of dexterity in return for more warmth and protection. Consider your skills and pick which style best suits your needs.
Finger vs Fingerless
Some kayaking gloves come with two options - fingers or fingerless.
Dexterity is a big reason why a lot of kayakers may choose the fingerless options, especially if they like to fish or hunt while kayaking.
The last thing these kayakers want to do is constantly putting their gloves on and off to fiddle with tiny and fidgety equipment like lures and hooks.
Fingerless gloves help solve the problem also they do leave a lot of skin exposed to the elements.
So unless you see yourself needing to be able to unhook a fish or shoot a gun while in your kayak, finger gloves are probably the better option as they are better for keeping your hands dry and warm.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Are Kayak Gloves Sized?
Sizes in kayak gloves vary from brand to brand, but most offer sizes ranging from extra small to extra large. These sizes depend on a number of factors including the length and width of your hand and the circumference of your palm.
Most kayak glove manufacturers supply a useful guide when figuring out which size best fits your hand so we recommend that you take a few measurements of your hand and use that to find the right size for you.
Why Should I Buy Kayaking Gloves?
Kayaking gloves are extremely useful.
They help keep your hands dry and warm while kayaking, reducing the chances of your skin being damaged and chapped from harsh wind and cold.
Without them, your hands could become painful and numb, losing dexterity and reducing your ability to maneuver with a paddle properly.
They also help reduce pain and strain around your knuckles and palm. Plus, they are still great to wear in the summer as they help protect your hands from sunlight, reducing your risk of burning your hands.
For these reasons, a lot of kayakers could recommend that you wear a pair of gloves while kayaking. This way, your hands can stay healthy and you can kayak to the best of your ability.
Where Is The Best Place To Buy Kayaking Gloves?
Kayaking gloves are available in a lot of different places. You can always go to Amazon or to independent retailers. Retailers that tailor to sport enthusiasts and outdoor recreationalists will definitely have a range of kayaking gloves available for you to choose from.
Or, if you have a particular pair in mind, you can always go directly to the company and purchase straight from them.
Can I Use My Smartphone With Kayaking Gloves?
If you are brave enough to take your smartphone with you while kayaking then we salute you! Smartphones do not do well in water so taking it with you while you are in nothing but a very small vessel while out surrounded by deep water is not highly recommended.
However, if you want to be able to use your smartphone while wearing kayaking gloves, then you will probably need fingerless kayaking gloves.
The material on finger gloves can get very wet during use and this can end up damaging your smartphone.
Also, materials like Lycra do not interact well with screens so you will either keep tapping your smartphone out of frustration or end up taking your gloves off.
So no, unless you have fingerless kayaking gloves, you are unlikely to be able to use your smartphone while wearing them.