Best Gloves For Kayaking (Half, 3/4 and Full Length Fingers)
When your hands are your source of power when it comes to paddling, it can be a good idea to keep them protected, as you don't want the conditions to be a limiting factor to your performance.
And wearing the best kayaking gloves can be a great way to do this (and protect your hands). But with so many out there and different styles, it can be difficult to know which ones will be best for you.
So that’s why we’ve decided to create this guide to help you understand why you might need them and give you a few pointers for what to look out when choosing the best kayak gloves on the market today.
Top Choices: Kayaking Gloves
What Are Kayaking Gloves, And Why Use Them?
Kayaking gloves are specifically designed for paddling, so they will tend to be waterproof or water resistant to keep your hands dry and protected from the elements.
Unlike traditional gloves, the best kayak gloves will also have more of a non-slip fabric on the palm side of the glove, so you can keep a tight grip on your paddle. Most paddlers prefer to still be able to feel their paddle through the gloves.
If you paddle over long distances or in cold weather conditions, the best kayaking gloves can offer great protection against blisters. Kayak gloves can also be ideal in keeping your hands warm and dry while paddling in cold conditions. At the same time, glove thickness can be important if you're looking for warmth.
Keep Your Eyes Open For…
Probably an essential part of a kayak glove is the grip on the palm. You’ll want to be able to have a good grip of your paddle whether your gloves are wet or dry. Some styles will also have padding, which can improve the level of protection that the glove can offer.
The grip should help to protect your hands from blistering caused from gripping and rotating your paddle.
Waterproof fabric will tend to be preferable when it comes to the best kayaking gloves, as the last thing you want is cold, damp hands inside your gloves. Many of the fabrics you’ll find are quick drying too, which can be helpful if they get wet.
Video: Different Kayaking Gloves
The thickness of the fabric can be important, as, depending where and when you paddle, you may either want a warm glove for cold conditions or a lightweight one for warmer weather.
Most kayak gloves will usually be made with synthetic materials, which can be quicker to dry, lighter weight, and offer superior grip.
Taking a Breath
Having breathable fabric can be useful as it can help to prevent sweat and moisture building up inside your gloves. This means your hands can stay relatively dry and more comfortable during longer paddling sessions.
The best kayaking gloves will often have ventilation in the form of breathable materials, particularly in the outer layer.
Fingerless Or Full-Finger Gloves?
There are two different styles of paddling gloves and you’ll probably find that it’s a matter of personal preference or paddling conditions when it comes to choosing a pair for yourself.
Fingerless gloves are made in a similar style to biker gloves, so your hand is covered but your fingers are exposed. The benefit of these types of kayak gloves is that it can allow you to use your fingers to grab or tie things and open things, such as bags or water bottles.
However, they may not offer the same sort of protection as full length ones because your fingers are uncovered and could be susceptible to blistering as well as the effects of the cold. This style might be better suited to warmer paddling conditions.
Full length kayaking gloves are designed to cover your entire hand and, as the name suggests, all of your fingers. This can be better for keeping your hands warm during colder conditions and can help to keep your fingers from blistering, usually with extra padding.
However, the downside to some of these kayak gloves is that they may restrict your ability to handle smaller objects, such as rope or gadgets.
Many kayak gloves of this design will sometimes also have thermal protection, whether it's an additional lining or an increase in glove thickness to keep your hands warmer. However, thick gloves may affect your dexterity.
11 Best Gloves For Kayaking
Top Half-Finger (and ¾) Gloves
1: WindRider Pro Sailing Gloves
These WindRider Pro Sailing Gloves are ¾ finger kayak gloves that are designed to be breathable and quick drying. They feature a synthetic amara leather palm for better grip and it also has a small amount of padding, so you can still feel your kayak paddle but should give you added protection.
The mesh back is designed to wick moisture away as well as help with breathability in warmer conditions. These premium gloves also have a velcro wrist strap for a secure fit and are designed to fit around your wrist to allow for better movement while you’re paddling.
These can be great as multi sport gloves.
2: Hyperflex 3/4 Finger Gloves
These fingerless Hyperflex Gloves come in a full range of adult sizes and can be ideal for a variety of paddling sports that require finger movement. They feature a padded synthetic leather palm that is designed to offer protection and durability, as well as comfort and grip while you paddle.
The vented fabric at the fingers allows for breathability and the velcro strap on the wrist means you can loosen or tighten them easily. The kayak gloves also feature lycra fabric for added stretch, which could make it more comfortable when moving your hands and fingers.
3: NRS Women's Boater
These NRS Women’s Boaters are ideal for warm weather kayaking and feature added UPF 50 sun protection. With branded rashguard backs and amara leather palms, these women’s kayak gloves are also built to keep you cool during warm weather and provide your hands with blister protection and grip. For cold conditions, you may need a thicker glove.
Another feature is the snap buttons that keep the gloves together as a pair when you’re not using them, which can be useful when you’re fetching them from your gear bag.
They are a fingerless style which can make it easier to grab other objects and they have a velcro wrist fastener for a snug fit.
4: NeoSport Wetsuits Premium Neoprene Glove
The NeoSport Wetsuits Neoprene Gloves can be great for a range of watersports, with a stretchy Spandex back for comfort and a synthetic leather palm for grip. The palm is also padded for added protection.
These neoprene kayaking gloves are lightweight and designed for warm weather use and the vented palms help with breathability. For a snug fit, the velcro fastening secures the glove around your wrist.
5: NRS Men's Boater
The NRS Men’s Boaters are a lightweight fingerless glove designed for warm conditions. With UPF 50 sun protection they will help keep your hands protected from the elements. The synthetic leather palm can give you added blister protection and help you grip your paddle, while still allowing for maximum finger movement.
The fingerless design means you can tie ropes or open your lunch bag easily and the Spandex back means you can move your hands comfortably whether you’re gripping your paddle or carrying your boat.
The gloves fasten with a velcro hook and loop closure strap on your wrist.
6: The Fishing Tree UV Gloves
These fingerless kayak gloves from The Fishing Tree can be ideal for a variety of watersports and outdoor activities. They’re lightweight and offer UPF 50 sun protection, so could be a good choice for summer use, whether you’re paddling, fishing or even biking. In the coldest weather you may want to opt for a warmer glove.
They feature synthetic leather palms that are designed to offer you grip so you can grab hold of your paddle or even handle fish even when your hands are wet.
They also feature Spandex backs for added stretch and are quick drying for added comfort. The gloves provide a snug fit and fasten around your wrist with a velcro strap.
7: Kokatat Lightweight Hand Jacket Paddling Gloves
- Size: XS to XXL
These Kokatat gloves come in unisex sizes with hook and loop adjustable wrists. They’re made from nylon mesh to keep weight low and offer ventilation. The palm features a synthetic suede material for increased grip for wet and dry objects.
The fingerless gloves are designed for warmer weather, helping to keep your hands cool and free of blisters. However, the fabric doesn’t offer any UV protection, so remember your sunscreen.
- Lightweight mesh
- Unisex sizing
8: Mustang Survival Traction UV Gloves
These Mustang Survival gloves are made from a lightweight polyester/Spandex knit fabric that features UPF 50 protection against damaging UV rays. These unisex paddling gloves feature extended index finger coverage for added protection against blisters.
The AX Suede G-Series padding on the palm is designed to offer exceptional grip in wet conditions, including paddles and surfaces. It also offers fantastic abrasion resistance. Perforations on the palms help to improve ventilation.
- UV protection
- Excellent wet grip
Top Full-Finger Gloves
9: NRS Men’s HydroSkin
These NRS Men’s HydroSkin cold weather gloves are designed for paddling and feature a full hand design with a ThermalPlush interior lining to offer you warmth in cooler conditions but with a lightweight feel.
The gloves are made from 0.5 millimeter waterproof neoprene to provide insulation in cool conditions, but may not be ideal for icy cold conditions. The fabric features a water repellent coating to help keep you dry and a silicone patterned palm to provide you with grip when paddling.
There is no wrist strap on these gloves but the cuff is designed to fit snugly around your wrist, so they can be good gloves if you opt for the right size. The gloves have added four-way stretch for extra comfort and to make it easier when putting them on or taking them off.
10: Glacier Glove Perfect Curve
The Glacier Glove Perfect Curve kayaking gloves could be a good option if you’re looking for a warm and durable pair of gloves for winter and cold weather kayaking. These can also be ideal for scuba diving.
These full-hand gloves are made from raw neoprene, designed to keep you warm and dry while on the water. For added warmth for winter paddling they also feature a 2 millimeter fleece lining, which can give you extra protection against the cold, as well as keep your hands protected from blisters.
The kayak gloves feature curved fingers for a more natural and comfortable fit and they have a wrap-around strap to give you a more customized fit around your wrists.
11: BPS 3mm Double-Lined Neoprene Wetsuit Gloves
If you’re looking for kayaking gloves to keep your hands warm during winter paddling, these BPS gloves could be a good choice. They’re made from 3 millimeter neoprene, which is double lined to give you added warmth and extra durability.
The palm features a rubber pattern so you can grip your paddle or grab ropes. The wrist straps feature elastic and velcro to help give you a better fit and help to prevent water from coming in.
They could be ideal for a range of winter or cold weather watersports, including fishing, diving or paddle boarding.
Maybe you’ve experienced blistering or numb hands after a long day paddling. But with the right pair of kayaking gloves, you may find you can stay on the water longer and more comfortably.
They can give you the added protection against the elements, while helping you to keep a hold of your paddle comfortably. Whether you need them for winter or summer protection, make sure you choose a pair in the correct size and with the features you need.
To recap, we like these half-finger gloves from WindRider the best.
Don’t let your fellow paddlers suffer on the water; share this with them! And let us know if you have a favorite style of glove for kayaking.