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Would you like to take your kayak on rapids? Or are you planning a long-distance kayaking trip in northerly places? Perhaps you simply want to keep heading out on the water in winter? Whatever the reason, it’s important that you protect your hands against the elements. So, what are the best kayaking gloves?

Here at The Adventure Junkies, we strive to offer our readers in-depth information and detailed overviews about the best outdoor gear. So, if you want to avoid getting blisters, prevent your fingers from freezing or keep your hands warm, you’ll want a good pair of gloves.

Below, we provide an overview of the ten best kayaking gloves on the market. We also talk about a number of things you should keep in mind when buying a new pair.

For more of our top kayaking gear recommendations, check out the Best Wetsuits for Kayaking

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Kayaking Gift Guide

 

Quick Answer - The Best Kayaking Gloves

  1. Sea to Summit Eclipse
  2. Kokatat Lightweight
  3. NRS Boater’s
  4. NRS HydroSkin
  5. Glacier Premium
  6. MRS Gloves
  7. Warmers Barnacle
  8. NeoSport 3/4

 

Comparison Table - Best Kayaking Glove

PictureNameMaterialFingerlessPriceRating
Sea to Summit EclipseSpandex shell, synthetic leather palm and neoprene cuffsYes$$4.3
Kokatat LightweightNylon/spandex shell and Amara synthetic suede palmYes$$4.1
NRS Boater’sNylon/spandex shell and synthetic leather palmYes$5.0
NRS HydroSkin0.5mm neoprene shell and patterned silicone palmNo$$$5.0
Glacier PremiumNeoprene with fleece liningNo$$$4.0
NRS MaverickNeoprene with titanium laminateNo$$$4.2
MRS GlovesSpandex shell, synthetic leather palm and neoprene cuffsYes$3.8
Warmers BarnacleSynthetic leather/spandex/neoprene/terry cloth shell and synthetic leather palmYes$4.2
NeoSport 3/41.5mm neopreneYes$3.9
PictureNameMaterialFingerlessPriceRating

Reviews - The Best Gloves for Kayaking

Sea to Summit Eclipse

Specs
  • Fingerless: Yes
  • Material: Spandex shell, synthetic leather palm and neoprene cuffs

BEST FOR: AVOIDING BLISTERS

PROS: Thin fabric for nuanced feel grip, UPF 50 sun protection, 2mm neoprene cuffs, durable

CONS: Not good for cold weather

Kokatat Lightweight

Specs
  • Fingerless: Yes
  • Material: Nylon/spandex shell and Amara synthetic suede palm

BEST FOR: BOTH MALE AND FEMALE KAYAKERS

PROS: Synthetic suede provides solid grip, reinforced fabric between thumb and index finger, mesh back, hook-and-loop wrist closure, unisex design

CONS: No UV protection

NRS Boater’s

Specs
  • Fingerless: Yes
  • Material: Nylon/spandex shell and synthetic leather palm

BEST FOR: VALUE FOR MONEY

PROS: Affordable, light, UPF 50 sun protection, fleece on thumb helps remove sweat, non-slip grip, Velcro wrist closure, quick-drying fabric, durable material

CONS: None that we could find

NRS HydroSkin


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Fingerless: No
  • Material: 0.5mm neoprene shell and patterned silicone palm

BEST FOR: IN-BETWEEN WEATHER

PROS: Great protection with thin fabric, good palm grips, fits well, four-way stretch outer layer, water repellent coating, thermal plush inner lining, stretching slip-on wrist

CONS: Pricier than other models

Glacier Premium

Specs
  • Fingerless: No
  • Material: Neoprene with fleece lining

BEST FOR: WINTER KAYAKING

PROS: Waterproof, fleece on the inside provides warmth, pre-curved knuckles

CONS: Thickness makes for limited finger movement

NRS Maverick

Specs
  • Fingerless: No
  • Material: Neoprene with titanium laminate

BEST FOR: EXTREMELY COLD CONDITIONS

PROS: 2mm neoprene, waterproof, neoprene HydroCuff, superb grip, durable, offers warmth even in icy conditions and the coldest weather, good fit

CONS: Expensive, limited finger movement

MRS Gloves

Specs
  • Fingerless: Yes
  • Material: Spandex shell, synthetic leather palm and neoprene cuffs

BEST FOR: BUDGET-CONSCIOUS MEN AND WOMEN

PROS: Unisex design, four-way spandex cloth, neoprene cuffs, reinforced fabric between thumb and index finger, multiple colors

CONS: Can be bulky in the palms

Warmers Barnacle

Specs
  • Fingerless: Yes
  • Material: Synthetic leather/spandex/neoprene/terry cloth shell and synthetic leather palm

BEST FOR: WET CONDITIONS AND WARM WEATHER

PROS: Quick-drying materials, “barnacle” grip for superior grip, extra padding between index finger and thumb

CONS: Loose fit, especially for women and people with small hands

NeoSport 3/4

Specs
  • Fingerless: Yes
  • Material: 1.5mm neoprene

BEST FOR: MULTI-SPORT USE

PROS: Anatomical fit, wrist fasteners, light, water resistant, affordable, useable for biking, kayaking, sailing, wakeboarding and other water sports

CONS: Not 100% waterproof, lower quality materials

 

 

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST KAYAKING GLOVES

While kayaking, your hands are one of the first body parts that get cold, sore, wet and/or uncomfortable. It’s important to offer adequate protection if you’re going to do some serious paddling.

You might need kayaking gloves for various reasons. They will protect your hands against blisters on long-distance excursions,. They also offer better grip on your kayak paddle. Having better grip means less fatigue in your hands and arms. If you’re going kayaking in winter or kayaking in Antarctic or other cold regions, you’ll want to keep your hands warm and dry.

 

MATERIAL

The material your gloves should be made of depends entirely on where and how long you will be kayaking. For summer and warm weather kayaking, you’ll be alright with nylon/spandex gloves. Thick gloves are designed for kayaking in cold conditions. Waterproof neoprene is the way to go in that case. Some cold-weather gloves even contain a fleece lining on the inside.

It’s good to know that synthetic materials often dry much quicker. The downside of synthetic is that the seams give out faster, as noted by Paddling.com.

One of the big perks of kayaking gloves is that they offer extra grip. This is achieved by using synthetic leather, patterned or raw neoprene on the palms. All the best kayaking gloves have gripping palms. Don’t buy any that don’t provide that extra grip.

 

THICKNESS

When it comes to glove thickness, there is a difficult battle between protection and dexterity. The thicker your gloves are, the better they’ll protect your hands and keep them warm. On the other hand, this means that you’ll give up some maneuverability.

This is a delicate decision you have to make. Of course, in cold climates, keeping warm and dry should be your priority. In other climates, however, you can consider how much you’ll need your fingers. It is, after all, convenient if you have enough finger movement to adjust your helmet, check your watch, grab your bag, etcetera.

 

FIT

It’s also essential to make sure that your kayaking gloves fit your hands properly. A fit that’s too loose will be uncomfortable and maybe even cause blisters to form. It will also decrease the warmth offered by the gloves.

Gloves that are too tight, on the other hand, can cut off circulation in your fingers. This can be a serious problem in cold weather.

 

FINGERS

Fingers or fingerless? The pros and cons are pretty obvious here. Gloves with fingers are much warmer and often significantly more waterproof. They do allow for less dexterity, though.

Fingerless gloves are great for kayaking in warmer weather when you don’t need to worry about your hands getting wet or cold. Those gloves offer extra grip while keeping your fingers free. You’ll be able to use them as you would without wearing gloves.

READ MORE

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About The Author

Hiking, Kayaking & MTB Expert

Born in Belgium, Bram Reusen is a travel writer, photographer, craft beer lover and hiking expert based in Charlottesville, Virginia. From morning hiking trips to multi-month cycling adventures, he has plenty of experience venturing into the wilds of the world. He’s explored 28 national parks and visited 45 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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