Best kayak gloves - thumb

Best Kayak Gloves – Our Guide for 2021

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Kayaking is fun but your hands take a bit of beating when paddling. And before you know it, you may find clauses and blisters on your hands. This is where kayak gloves come in as they protect your hands and prevent blisters and calluses from developing.

Using a kayak glove will also allow you to grip your paddle better and this can improve your performance on the water. Kayak gloves are also invaluable in cold weather as they keep your hands warm.

You’ll be forgiven for thinking buying a pair of kayak gloves is as easy as picking any glove that comes your way. This can’t be farther from the truth. Material, weather, season, comfort, protection, durability, and fit are the factors you need to put into consideration when buying kayak gloves.

I’ve tested several kayak gloves on the market and have compiled a list of the very best kayak gloves available on the market. Here they are:

The 7 Best Kayak Gloves for 2021

Hyperflex 3/4 Fingerless Gloves

Hyperflex 3/4 Fingerless Gloves – Helps Protect Hands - Kayak Gloves for Kiteboarding, Canoeing and Stand-Up Paddle-Boarding - Padded and Vented for Durability and Comfort - Adjustable Wrist Cinch , Black, Large

$17.95  in stock
Amazon.com
as of September 19, 2021 6:46 am

The Hyperflex 3/4 gloves are designed to protect optimum protection of your hands during water sport activities. The palm of this glove is padded with premium breathable synthetic materials that provide great stretch for top-notch comfort.

These gloves can also be used in mildly cold conditions as they offer warmth and improve circulation in your hands. You’ll also be able to grip your paddle better with these gloves without fear of having bruises or calluses.

I like that the hyperflex gloves are also very durable. You definitely do not want to bet buying kayak gloves every now and then and this glove will last for a long time.

 Specifications

  • Material: Spandex fabric
  • Design: Fingerless

Pros

  • Easy to put on and off.
  • Optimum comfort and warmth.
  • Superb protection.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • Runs a bit small. Sizing chart could be better.

Other Buying Options:

FitsT4 Unisex 3/4 Finger Gloves

FitsT4 Unisex 3/4 Finger Surfing Gloves for Water Ski, Canoeing, Windsurfing, Kiteboarding, Sailing, Jet Skiing and Stand-UP Paddle Boarding Adjustable Wrist Cinch, Comfortable Fit

$15.99  in stock
Amazon.com
as of September 19, 2021 6:46 am

The FitsT4 kayak gloves are another excellent kayak glove you should take a look at. They offer optimum protection of your hands and keeps blisters, calluses, burns, and even plain and simple chafing away. There’s a lot of padding beneath the palm areas of this glove for more protection when paddling or lifting your kayak.

This kayak glove is also breathable and this ventilation your hands while also ensuring the gloves are quick-drying. The back mesh also helps keep your hands dry and cool.

As these gloves feature the ¾th design, your fingers can move freely. This makes it easy for you to grab items and go about other activities more conveniently. And the hook and loop closure incorporated into these gloves and you can get a secure fit.

 Specifications

  • Material: Synthetic Leather
  • Design: Fingerless

Pros

  • Comfortable.
  • Easy to put on and off.
  • Quick-drying.
  • Long-lasting.

Cons

  • Slightly undersized.

NeopSkin Water GlovesOur Top Pick | Full Finger

NeopSkin Water Gloves, 3mm & 5mm Neoprene Five Finger Warm Wetsuit Winter Gloves for Scuba Diving Snorkeling Paddling Surfing Kayaking Canoeing Spearfishing Skiing (3mm-Black, 2XL)

$19.99  in stock
Amazon.com
as of September 19, 2021 6:46 am

The NeopSkin kayak gloves are suitable for different water sports from kayaking to diving, snorkeling, boating, fishing, rafting, and so on. Thanks to the premium and skin-friendly neoprene material, this glove is equipped to protect your hands and also keep them warm while on the water.

There’s an adjustable wrist strap that helps secure this glove on your hands. The straps also cover your wrists tightly ensuring that sand or other small things are unable to get into the gloves.

The rubber printed palm has an anti-slip which will help you maintain a firm grip with your paddle. This glove isn’t lacking when it comes to durability and you’ll be using it for a very long time.

 Specifications

  • Material: Neoprene
  • Design: Full finger

Pros

  • Easy to wear and remove.
  • Secure fit.
  • Comfortable and warm.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

Other Buying Options:

KastKing Sol Armis Sun GlovesOur Top Pick | Fingerless

KastKing Sol Armis Sun Gloves UPF50+ Fishing Gloves UV Protection Gloves Sun Protection Gloves Men Women for Outdoor, Kayaking, Rowing,Silver Mist Prym1,Large - X-Large

$21.99
$19.99
 in stock
1 used from $16.09
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of September 19, 2021 6:46 am

KastKing has been winning accolades for producing a number of innovative products and I was keen to check out their kayaking gloves when I found out they’ve produced one. Safe to say I wasn’t disappointed after testing their gloves.

The great build quality and top-notch performance of the KastKing Sol Armis make it an all-round and versatile glove for water-based outdoor activities. There is the Poly-Spandex shell that ensures a super close fit. I like that the shell also flexes allowing you to move your hands freely.

Key wear zones in the palm and finger areas are reinforced for added protection and to prevent quick wearing off. The material is also very breathable making these gloves suitable for hot weather.

The pull tabs allow you to pull off the gloves easily as they are close fitting. And you also get sun protection thanks to the SPF50 material.

 Specifications

  • Material: Polyester
  • Design: Fingerless

Pros

  • Comfortable.
  • Breathable.
  • Offers unrestricted movement
  • Extra padding in key areas on the palm.
  • Good construction and design

Cons

  • Everyone might not like the camp design.
  • Sizes may run a bit small.

Other Buying Options:

BPS Water Gloves

BPS Neoprene 3mm Thermal Gloves with Anti-Slip Palm - Water Gloves for Wetsuit, Kayaking, Rafting, Surf, and Other Water Activities - for Men and Women (Black / Red Brown, Medium)

$17.99  in stock
Amazon.com
as of September 19, 2021 6:46 am

The BPS Neoprene Wetsuits Gloves come in a wide range of designs and colors. If the design of your globes matters to you, you should take a look at these gloves. However, there is more to these gloves than just aesthetics as they provide superb protection to your hands.

BPS offers these gloves in two thickness options – 3mm and 5mm. Both sizes are made of double-lined neoprene that is almost completely waterproof. And the rubberized palm allows you to grip your paddle comfortably for improved performance.

The wrist closure of these gloves not only brings about a secure fit with your hands but also prevents water and sand from entering the gloves. I like that the BPS gloves can withstand rugged use which significantly improves the durability of the gloves.

 Specifications

  • Material: Neoprene
  • Design: Full finger

Pros

  • Comfortable.
  • Easy to put on and off.
  • Very rugged.
  • The design blocks both sand and water.

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

Glacier Glove Perfect Curve Glove

Glacier Glove Perfect Curve Glove

$26.69  in stock
Amazon.com
as of September 19, 2021 6:46 am

The Glacier Glove is designed to protect your hands in harsh and cold weather and temperatures. It also comes with a windproof lining and inner. So if you are going ice fishing or just paddling in the bitter cold, this glove will get the job done. The design of these gloves is somewhat unique as it is essentially a cross between a fingerless glove and a mitten.

You’ll like the versatility of the Glacier Gloves as you can also use them in warm weather. All you have to do is flip the mitt back. An innovative design brings about a slit on the thumb allowing you to poke it out for use whenever you desire.

Made of 2mm neoprene material, these gloves keep your hands comfortably warm especially in cold weather. And you are able to comfortably grip your paddle without any bruises.

 Specifications

  • Material: Neoprene
  • Design: Full finger

Pros

  • Comfortable and warm.
  • The windproof fleece provides additional warmth.
  • The flip-mitt design makes it versatile for use in different weather conditions.
  • Good grip.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • Paddlers with large hands may have fit issues.

Other Buying Options:

Southern Fin Apparel Kayak Fishing Gloves

Southern Fin Apparel Kayak Fishing Gloves for Men Women Kids UPF50+ UV Sun Protection Fingerless Flyfishing, Rowing, Kayaking, Paddling, (Black, Large/X-Large)

 out of stock
Amazon.com
as of September 19, 2021 6:46 am

The last kayaking glove on this list, the Southern Fin provides superb protection to make your time on the water more enjoyable. It comes in several combinations which allows you to choose a pair that matches your kayak or attire.

The Certified UPF50+ and SPF UV material protect your hands from the harmful rays of the sun and the palm is further reinforced with synthetic leather to add extra comfort and prevent wear and tear. You’ll also be able to grip your paddle firmly and comfortably whether these gloves are wet or dry.

The materials used to manufacture this glove are breathable and will provide good ventilation. Thanks to the fingerless design, you have more dexterity with these gloves and can take care of tasks that require more freedom of your fingers.

It’s easy to put ok and remove this glove thanks to the easy-removal tabs on the wrist and fingertip. And it is also durable and long-lasting.

 Specifications

  • Material: Leather
  • Design: Fingerless

Pros

  • Easy to put on and remove.
  • Excellent protection.
  • Fingerless design.
  • Breathable.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

Other Buying Options:

Best Kayak Gloves – The Guide 

Why Use Kayak Gloves?

If you intend to spend a lot of time on the water or paddle during the colder months, a good pair of kayak gloves should be part of your gear. Paddling puts a lot of stress on your hands and even more so if you are paddling for an extended period. Friction, heat, bruises, and calluses will come knocking if you paddle for long periods without properly protecting your hands.

Using a good pair of kayak gloves when paddling in the colder months is a no-brainer. Even you may have to wear gloves when leaving your home in cold weather. But when paddling in the colder months, kayaking gloves are a must as they protect your hands from the unforgiving cold and provide you all the warmth you need.

In summer, gloves prove themselves useful as well as they protect you from harmful sun rays.

What To Take Into Consideration When Choosing Your Kayak Gloves

Materials (Getting the right material for the season)

Popular materials used to manufacture kayaking gloves are neoprene, spandex, and lycra. Spandex and lyrical gave similar properties as both are light, thin, breathable, comfortable, quick-drying, and resistant to UV light.

Lycra and spandex lose some of their desirable properties when wet and are more suited for use in warm weather.

A synthetic rubber that is typically used in the construction of a wetsuit, neoprene is not fully waterproof, but unlike Spandex or Lycra, it doesn’t lose its thermal insulating properties when wet.

Neoprene is better suited for cold weather as it’s a far better insulator than either spandex or lycra and offers superb warmth. Neoprene is usually not completely waterproof and can get wet. However, it won’t lose it insulating properties when wet. Instead, neoprene will trap a small layer of water against your hand and then use the body’s warmth to heat this water and keep your hands warm and comfy.

Design: Full Finger vs. Fingerless

Generally, there is reduced feel and dexterity when wearing gloves. This usually isn’t an issue when paddling. But you may wish for more dexterity/freedom of movement of your fingers when tying a lure, casting rods, de-hooking a fish, and so on.

Fingerless gloves or gloves with fold back fingers will be a more preferable choice in this situation. However, open fingers mean more exposure to the elements. Despite the desire for more dexterity in cold weather, wearing fingerless gloves may not be the best option. It’s about your fingers exposed to freezing temperatures vs you being able to tie a lure a bit better. I know which one I’d choose.

Fit: A glove should fit like a…glove

It’s important you get the size of your kayaking gloves right. At the very least, your gloves shouldn’t be too big or too small. Too big and the glove will move and rub against your hands causing the very blisters and calluses you want to prevent.

Too small and the glove can put extra strain on your hands and wrist. This may reduce blood circulation to your hands and cause pins and needles.

Ideally, gloves should snugly fit your hands.

Thickness

The thicker your gloves are, the better they’ll be able to protect your hands and offer more warmth. However, this comes at the expense of dexterity. But protection and warmth is the highest priority in cold weather and you should use very thick gloves in this situation.

Warm weather paddling can do with less thick gloves and this is why some gloves’ manufacturers offer their gloves in two different thicknesses.

Grip

The grip on the palm is one of the most important parts of kayaking gloves. It’s important your gloves allow you to firmly and comfortably grip your paddle whether they are wet or dry. It’s common to see kayaking gloves having extra padding on the palm for more comfort and protection.

Breathability

Warm weather kayaking gloves need to be breathable as your hands will sweat as you paddle. A quality breathable glove will provide ventilation while also wicking away perspiration and cooling your gloves. Breathable gloves are also less likely to smell.

Final Thoughts

Kayaking is a fun sport and you should also be looking to buy gear that will improve your comfort on the water. Kayaking gloves are one of such gear and while you may debate about their use in warm weather, they are an absolute must in cold weather.

The good thing about kayaking gloves is that there are models versatile for all-season paddling if you don’t want to buy two pairs of gloves for warm weather and cold weather use.

Have any questions? Contact me in the comment section below.

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