7 Best Kayaking Gloves: Grip & Protect for Your Paddle Time

by | Last updated Jul 10, 2024

Best Overall NRS Maverick
NRS Maverick

Comfortable, durable 2mm neoprene gloves with excellent grip for most paddling conditions.

Best Value Glacier Glove
Glacier Glove

Best Value: Affordable, thin, and surprisingly warm 1.5mm neoprene gloves.

Most Featured Stohlquist
Stohlquist

3mm neoprene mittens with fleece lining, gauntlet cuff, and excellent grip for maximum warmth.

Kayaking Gloves

Are tired hands and numb fingers ruining your paddling adventures? You’re not alone. But guess what? Kayaking gloves are the secret weapon you’ve been missing.

These specialized gloves are designed to improve your grip, prevent blisters, and keep your hands comfortable in all conditions. No more “kayaker’s claw!

Be ready to elevate your paddling game. Dive into the seven best kayaking gloves that’ll have you paddling like a pro in no time.

What are the Best Kayaking Gloves?

With so many options on the market, finding the perfect pair of kayaking gloves can feel like navigating a maze. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Whether you’re battling icy waters or seeking extra grip in the summer sun, this list will guide you to the best kayaking gloves to match your needs.

1. NRS Maverick

My go-to gloves for most paddling trips! The NRS Maverick Gloves strike the perfect balance between agility and protection. They’re like a second skin, allowing you to feel your paddle without sacrificing warmth or grip.

NRS Maverick

Our Take

0out of 10

These gloves are my everyday workhorses. They're versatile, durable, and keep my hands comfortable in most paddling conditions. The only reason they don't get a perfect 10 is their lack of waterproofing and touchscreen compatibility.

Key Benefits

  • Material: Durable 2mm Terraprene neoprene with reinforced Amara synthetic leather palm overlay.
  • Fit: Form-fitting with a pre-curved design for maximum dexterity.
  • Grip: Excellent grip thanks to the textured palm.
  • Cuff Style: Pull-on cuff with a velcro closure for a secure fit.
  • Waterproofing/Water Resistance: Water-resistant but not waterproof.
  • Touchscreen Compatibility: No.
  • Warmth: Suitable for mild to cool conditions.
  • Breathability: Moderate breathability.
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty.

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $49.99
NRS Maverick

Pros

  • Excellent dexterity
  • Comfortable fit
  • Great grip
  • Durable construction

Cons

  • Not waterproof
  • Not touchscreen-compatible
  • Not the warmest option for frigid conditions

2. Glacier Glove

These gloves are specifically designed for kayakers who prioritize feel and dexterity. They're ultra-thin yet surprisingly warm, making them ideal for those shoulder seasons when the weather can be unpredictable.

Glacier Glove

Our Take

0out of 10

If you prioritize feel and agility above all else, these gloves are a fantastic choice. They're not the most durable option, but they'll keep your hands warm and elegant in most paddling conditions.

Key Benefits

  • Material: 1.5mm Fleece-lined neoprene.
  • Fit: Super snug, like a second skin.
  • Grip: Textured palm for a secure grip.
  • Cuff Style: GlideSkin cuff to seal out water.
  • Waterproofing/Water Resistance: Water-resistant.
  • Touchscreen Compatibility: Yes.
  • Warmth: Surprisingly warm for their thinness.
  • Breathability: Very breathable.
  • Warranty: One-year warranty.

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $62.07
Glacier Glove

Pros

  • Exceptional dexterity
  • Touchscreen compatible
  • Warmer than expected
  • Very breathable

Cons

  • Not as durable as some other gloves
  • Not the best choice for very cold water

3. Stohlquist Fit Mitt

When the temperatures drop and the winds pick up, these are my go-to gloves. The Stohlquist Fit Mitts are incredibly warm and offer excellent protection from the elements.

Stohlquist

Our Take

0out of 10

If you're paddling in cold conditions, these gloves are a lifesaver. They'll keep your hands toasty warm and protected from the elements. The only drawbacks are their reduced dexterity and breathability.

Key Benefits

  • Material: 3mm neoprene with a fleece lining.
  • Fit: Snug but comfortable, with a pre-curved design.
  • Grip: Textured palm and fingers for a secure grip.
  • Cuff Style: Long gauntlet cuff with a velcro closure.
  • Waterproofing/Water Resistance: Water-resistant.
  • Touchscreen Compatibility: No.
  • Warmth: Exceptionally warm.
  • Breathability: Less breathable than thinner gloves.
  • Warranty: One-year warranty.

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $44.99
Stohlquist

Pros

  • Extremely warm
  • Great grip in wet conditions
  • Durable construction
  • Long gauntlet cuffs provide extra protection

Cons

  • Not as dexterous as some other gloves
  • Can get a bit sweaty in warmer weather
  • Not touchscreen compatible

4. Harken Reflex

These gloves are designed for sailors, but they're also a great option for kayakers who want maximum grip and protection. The Harken Reflex Gloves feature a unique silicone palm print that provides an incredibly secure grip, even when wet.

Harken Reflex

Our Take

0out of 10

If you're looking for the ultimate grip, these gloves are unbeatable. However, they're not the most comfortable or warmest option on the market.

Key Benefits

  • Material: Durable synthetic fabric with silicone palm print.
  • Fit: Snug and supportive.
  • Grip: Exceptional grip thanks to the silicone palm print.
  • Cuff Style: Short neoprene cuff.
  • Waterproofing/Water Resistance: Water-resistant.
  • Touchscreen Compatibility: Yes (on thumb and index finger).
  • Warmth: Not the warmest option.
  • Breathability: Very breathable.
  • Warranty: One-year warranty.

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $50.30
Harken Reflex

Pros

  • Incredible grip
  • Touchscreen compatible
  • Durable construction
  • Breathable

Cons

  • Not the warmest option
  • Not as comfortable as some other gloves

5. Level Six Pro

These gloves are a great all-around option for kayakers who want warmth, agility, and durability. The Level Six Pro Guide Gloves are made from a 2.5mm neoprene blend and feature a textured palm for a secure grip.

Level Six Pro

Our Take

0out of 10

These gloves are a solid choice for most kayakers. They offer a good balance of warmth, agility, and durability, making them suitable for a wide range of paddling conditions.

Key Benefits

  • Material: 2.5mm neoprene blend.
  • Fit: Snug and comfortable.
  • Grip: Textured palm for a secure grip.
  • Cuff Style: Short neoprene cuff.
  • Waterproofing/Water Resistance: Water-resistant.
  • Touchscreen Compatibility: No.
  • Warmth: Good for mild to cool conditions.
  • Breathability: Moderate breathability.
  • Warranty: One-year warranty.

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $55.00
Level Six Pro

Pros

  • Good balance of warmth and dexterity
  • Durable construction
  • Textured palm for a good grip

Cons

  • Not waterproof
  • Not touchscreen-compatible
  • Not the warmest option for frigid conditions

6. Sealskinz Waterproof

As the name suggests, these gloves are fully waterproof, making them a great choice for paddlers who frequently encounter wet conditions. The Sealskinz Waterproof All Weather Gloves are also surprisingly breathable, so your hands won't get too sweaty.

Sealskinz Waterproof

Our Take

0out of 10

If you need a waterproof glove that won't leave your hands feeling clammy, these are a great option. They're not the most elegant or warmest gloves, but they excel at keeping your hands dry in wet conditions.

Key Benefits

  • Material: Three-layer construction with a waterproof and breathable membrane.
  • Fit: Snug and comfortable.
  • Grip: Silicone print on the palm and fingers for a secure grip.
  • Cuff Style: Long gauntlet cuff with a velcro closure.
  • Waterproofing/Water Resistance: Completely waterproof.
  • Touchscreen Compatibility: Yes (on thumb and index finger).
  • Warmth: Good for mild to cool conditions.
  • Breathability: Surprisingly breathable for a waterproof glove.
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty.

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $46.15
Sealskinz Waterproof

Pros

  • Completely waterproof
  • Breathable
  • Good grip
  • Touchscreen compatible

Cons

  • Not the warmest option
  • Can be a bit bulky
  • Not as dexterous as some other gloves

7. NRS Hydroskin

These gloves are designed for whitewater kayakers and other paddlers who need maximum protection from abrasion and impact. The NRS Hydroskin Gloves are made from durable 0.5mm neoprene and feature reinforced palms and fingers.

NRS Hydroskin

Our Take

0out of 10

If you're a whitewater kayaker or need maximum protection from abrasion and impact, these gloves are a great choice. However, there are more comfortable or warm options on the market.

Key Benefits

  • Material: 0.5mm neoprene with reinforced palms and fingers.
  • Fit: Tight and form-fitting.
  • Grip: Textured palm and fingers for a secure grip.
  • Cuff Style: Pull-on cuff with a velcro closure.
  • Waterproofing/Water Resistance: Water-resistant.
  • Touchscreen Compatibility: No.
  • Warmth: Minimal warmth.
  • Breathability: Very breathable.
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty.

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $39.95
NRS Hydroskin

Pros

  • Extremely durable
  • Excellent grip
  • Breathable
  • Quick-drying

Cons

  • Not very warm
  • Not touchscreen-compatible
  • Not as comfortable as some other gloves

What to Look for in Kayaking Gloves?

  • Material: Neoprene for warmth, synthetic fabrics for breathability, and reinforced palms for durability.
  • Fit: Snug but not restrictive, allowing for a full range of motion.
  • Grip: Textured palms or fingers for a secure grip on your paddle.
  • Cuff Style: Choose between short cuffs for warmer conditions or gauntlet cuffs for added protection in colder water.
  • Waterproofing/Water Resistance: Consider how much water you expect to encounter and choose gloves accordingly.
  • Touchscreen Compatibility: If you need to use your phone while paddling, look for gloves with touchscreen-friendly fingertips.
  • Warmth (for cold-water kayaking): Opt for thicker gloves with fleece or thermal linings.
  • Breathability (for warm-water kayaking): Choose lighter, well-ventilated gloves to prevent sweaty hands.

How Can Gloves Benefit You?

Kayak gloves, also known as paddling gloves, offer a surprising number of advantages for kayakers of all experience levels.

Hand gloves

Whether you're a recreational paddler enjoying a leisurely day on the water or a whitewater kayaker navigating challenging rapids, kayak gloves can significantly enhance your paddling experience.

Here are some of the key benefits of using kayak gloves:

  • Improved Grip: Paddling gloves provide a better grip on your paddle, especially in wet conditions. This translates to better control and less hand fatigue.
  • Protection: Kayaking gloves protect your hands from blisters, calluses, and abrasions. Heavy-duty kayak gloves are ideal for rocky environments or whitewater kayaking.
  • Warmth: Gloves made from neoprene or other insulating materials help keep your hands warm in cold water. For extreme cold, consider kayaking pogies, which are mitten-like covers that attach to your paddle shaft.
  • Sun Protection: Many kayaking gloves offer UV protection, shielding your hands from the sun's harmful rays.
  • Dexterity: Fingerless gloves offer a balance between protection and skill, allowing you to adjust gear or tie knots easily.

Buyer's Guide

When researching the best kayaking gloves, we considered a variety of factors to ensure we found the top performers for various paddling needs. Our research included:

Gloves wearing hand
  1. Pricing: We evaluated the cost of each pair of gloves to determine their value for the price.
  2. Features: We looked at the materials, fit, grip, cuff style, waterproofing/water resistance, touchscreen compatibility, warmth, and breathability of each glove to understand their strengths and weaknesses.
  3. Negatives: We identified any potential drawbacks of each glove, such as lack of finger dexterity, insufficient thermal protection in cold weather, or poor ventilation in warm conditions.
  4. Support or Refund: We investigated each manufacturer's warranty and return policies to ensure customers have adequate support if needed.
  5. Reviews: We analyzed customer reviews to gain insights into real-world performance and identify any common issues or complaints.
  6. Personal Testing: We tested many of these gloves ourselves to assess their comfort, grip on the paddle shaft, and overall performance in different conditions.
  7. Expert Opinions: We consulted with experienced kayakers and outdoor gear experts to get their recommendations and insights on the best kayaking gloves.

By considering all these factors, we were able to compile a comprehensive list of the seven best kayaking gloves, each excelling in different areas to suit a variety of paddling needs and preferences.

Wrapping Up

Remember to consider the difference a good pair of kayaking gloves can make in your paddling experience. Protecting your hands from blisters, cold water, and harmful UV rays is crucial for both comfort and performance.

A man is wearing gloves

With the right gloves for kayaking, you can enjoy a better grip, longer paddling sessions, and, ultimately, more fun on the water.

So before you head out on your next adventure, ditch the bare hands and invest in a pair of gloves that will keep your hands protected and comfortable.

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced paddler, the right gloves will make a world of difference. Trust me, your hands will thank you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I wear gloves for kayaking?

Kayaking gloves offer numerous benefits, including improved grip, protection from blisters and cold water, and even sun protection. They can enhance your paddling experience by keeping your hands comfortable and safe.

Are kayaking gloves waterproof?

Not all kayaking gloves are waterproof, but many are water-resistant, which helps keep your hands dry in light splashes or rain. If you plan to paddle in very wet conditions, look for gloves specifically labeled as waterproof.

What's the difference between kayaking gloves and mittens?

Kayaking mittens cover your entire hand, offering more warmth than gloves but sacrificing some dexterity. Gloves, on the other hand, allow for more finger movement and better grip control. You can choose the style that best suits your needs and the conditions you'll be paddling in.

How do I choose the best pair of kayaking gloves for me?

The best pair of kayaking gloves depends on your personal needs and preferences. Consider the weather conditions you'll be paddling in, the type of kayaking you'll be doing, and your desired level of skill. For colder weather, look for gloves with thermal protection to help retain body heat.

How do I care for my kayaking gloves?

Most kayaking gloves can be hand-washed with mild soap and water. Allow them to air dry completely before storing them. Check the manufacturer's instructions for specific care recommendations.

Fahim Joharder

Fahim Joharder

Author

An avid kayaker & fisherman, explores waterways globally, sharing his passion for water sports and conservation through captivating stories and tips.

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