9 Best Kayaking Gloves : For All Kayaking Seasons

Though they’re one of the last things that most paddlers think about, getting the best kayaking gloves plays a key role in long kayaking trips. Whether you’re hitting the water at the height of summer or in the winter, a sturdy pair of gloves act as excellent protection against the elements. The right pair could save you from a nasty sunburn, uncomfortable blisters, and frigid water exposure.

Below, we’ve drawn up a shortlist of the most popular kayaking gloves on the market. Each glove has been highlighted for its unique features and best use cases. We’ll also touch on some of the most important features you should watch out for when choosing between gloves. Let’s jump right in!

Best Budget Choice

#3 Fishingtree Gloves

3.5/5

Best Pick

NRS Boaters

#1 NRS Boaters

4.5/5

Best Premium Choice

Camaro Bonding Gloves

#3 Camaro Gloves

4/5

Kayaking Gloves Review

 

1. NRS Boater’s Mens andWomens: Best Overall Pick

NRS BOATERS

 

>>Check Out Mens at NRS<<

>>Check Out Womens at NRS<<

5/5

Features

  • Best overall kayaking gloves
  • Material: Nylon-Spandex blend
  • Wrist Closure: Stretch
  • Design: Open finger

No matter where or how you paddle, the NRS Boater’s gloves are built to provide protection against adverse weather conditions. Constructed with a quick-dry rashguard core, the material offers 50+ UPF sun protection while vegan leather palms protect against blisters.

>>What Customers Think<<

Best of all, the fingerless design leaves your hands free for tasks that require dexterity. Vent holes integrated along the palm increase cooling and naturally wick away sweat.

For both men and women, these gloves are ideal for warm-weather boating and kayaking.

Pros

  • Provides 50+ UPF sun protection
  • Available for both men and women
  • Nylon-Spandex blend provides warmth, water protection, and enhanced dexterity

Cons

  • May not be best for winter or late Fall paddling
  • Some users state that it’s difficult to choose the proper size
  • Only available in one color

 

2. Kokatat Neo Kayak Mitts: Best Cold Water Pick

Kokatat Neo Kayak Mitts

>>Check Price on Outdoorplay<<

4.5/5

Features

  • Best gloves for cold water kayaking
  • Material: 3 mm Neoprene
  • Wrist Closure: Hook-and-Loop closure
  • Design: Closed gauntlet

The Kokatat mitts offer 3 mm of smooth skin neoprene and are reinforced with two-sided neoprene for the palm. A comfortable, wide-opening gauntlet allows wearers to get the best grip on their paddle.

>>What Customers Think<<

Even on the coldest days in the roughest conditions, these gloves offer excellent durability and warmth. Built with roll-up closure and a watersports-grade hook and loop closure, you can remain gripped to your paddle with confidence.

Pros

  • Provides most warmth for the coldest conditions
  • Allows for enhanced grip to kayak paddle
  • Comfortable, wide opening suits many different users

Cons

  • Significantly reduces dexterity and mobility
  • May make hands too hot on less cold days

 

3. Camaro Seamless Bonding Gloves: Best Premium Pick

Camaro Bonding Gloves

>>Check Price on Rei<<

4.5/5

Features

  • Best premium-quality kayaking gloves
  • Material: 5 mm Neoprene
  • Wrist Closure: Stretch on
  • Design: Seamless closed finger

Crafted with 5 mm of high-density neoprene, the Camaro seamless gloves provide both flexibility and warmth. The use of a seamless bonding process means that the gloves are totally watertight – that’s right, no stitches!

>>What Customers Think<<

Moreover, non-slip silicone print on the palms enhances grip while providing for better dexterity. In addition to a 95 percent neoprene construction, the gloves stretch is improved through the inclusion of 5 percent nylon.

These full-finger gloves are best for paddling in cold water and chilly weather conditions, especially when remaining dry is of utmost importance.

Pros

  • Seamless design makes gloves completely watertight
  • Non-slip silicone print on palm improves grip
  • Designed to last for years without getting stretched out

Cons

  • May be hard to find proper fit
  • Not best for situations that require finest degree of dexterity

 

4. Level 6 Gritsone Paddling Mits: Best Winter Pick

level six gritsone gloves

>>Check Price on Outdoorplay<<

4/5

Features

  • Best gloves for cold winter paddling
  • Material: 3 mm Neoprene
  • Wrist Closure: Tapered entry
  • Design: Liquid-sealed stitch mitt

Considered one of the toughest mitts out there, the Level 6 Gritsone gloves utilize three distinct forms of neoprene to provide warmth for all-day-long trips. The gloves feature 3 mm of neoprene while each seam is reinforced with a sturdy liquid seal – that means these mitts boast a watertight construction.

>>What Customers Think<<

With a tapered entry cuff and pre-curved fingers, the gloves will keep you dry and warm in the coldest conditions. The knuckles are secured with an additional Armortex neoprene layer, providing enhanced durability for years of paddling. These gloves are especially recommended for white water paddling and rough coastal conditions.

Pros

  • Provides excellent warmth in cold conditions
  • Completely watertight
  • Certified by a 100 percent lifetime guarantee

Cons

  • Hampers dexterity and mobility significantly
  • Tapered entry may be too tight for some users’ wrists

 

5. NRS Guide: Best Mid-Season Gloves

NRS Guide Gloves

>>Check Price on NRS<<

4/5

Features

  • Best kayaking gloves for early to late Fall
  • Material: 1.5 mm Neoprene
  • Wrist Closure: Hook-and-Loop closure
  • Design: Open finger

The NRS Guide gloves are constructed with 1.5 mm neoprene, providing excellent insulation against cold weather. Unlike other materials, neoprene won’t hamper your dexterity, yet will provide warmth for cool Autumn days.

>>What Customers Think<<

The neoprene-reinforced palm protects against blisters, providing long-term protection to your hands. A silicone pattern on the palm allows for even better grip and fluidity of motion. The gloves are sutured with high-tenacity thread that won’t snap, even after years of consistent use. At more than half the price of other neoprene gloves, it’s hard to go wrong with the NRS Guide.

Pros

  • Hook-and-loop closure provides excellent fit for multiple wearers
  • Thin neoprene construction offers insulation yet enhanced mobility
  • Silicone patterned palm provides better grip and durability

Cons

  • Fingerless design may not be protective enough for winter
  • Best for narrow range of time in between changing seasons
  • Doesn’t feature seamless design for watertight performance

 

6. Kokotat Lightweight Gloves: Best Touring Pick

Kokatat Lightweight Gloves

>>Check Price on Outdoorplay<<

4/5

Features

  • Best gloves for touring and light recreation
  • Material: Nylon-Spandex upper & synthetic suede palm
  • Wrist Closure: Hook-and-Loop closure
  • Design: Open finger

Lightweight and meant to stay out of the way, the fingerless Kokotat gloves offer sun protection for your hands yet remain cool at the height of summer. The synthetic palms are reinforced with synthetic suede that keeps the highest points of contact from wearing down.

>>What Customers Think<<

With a hook-and-loop adjustable closure, these gloves are ideal for sharing. Users should keep in mind these gloves provide minimal protection from the water, so they should only be used in calm conditions or during the summer.

Pros

  • Very lightweight and breathable
  • Wicks away sweat and water
  • Offers excellent sun protection

Cons

  • Will not be protective enough for cool water conditions

 

7. NRS Mens Hydroskin Gloves: Best for Fall

NRS Hydroskin Gloves

>>Check Price on NRS<<

4/5

Features

  • Best gloves for Fall
  • Material: 0.5 mm Neoprene core, thermal inner lining
  • Wrist Closure: Wrist pairing snaps
  • Design: Closed finger

The NRS Hydroskin gloves are great for cooler weather. Insulated with an ultra-thin 0.5 mm neoprene core, the gloves insulate well without adding extra fabric. The neoprene covers a thermal inner lining that further repels moisture and dries quickly.

>>What Customers Think<<

The PowerSpan shell allows for unhampered use of your hands or fingers, making it surprisingly easy for kayakers to tie knots with the close-fingered gloves. The shell is coated in a durable water repellant that further reduces evaporative cooling. The Hydroskin gloves are perfect for “in-between” days in Autumn and early Winter.

Pros

  • Thin, lightweight gloves provide enhanced dexterity
  • Thermal plush inner lining improves natural insulation of neoprene exterior
  • DWR coating enhances natural water-resistance of the gloves

Cons

  • Gloves expose users to chloroprene, which is known to cause birth defects and cancer
  • Some state that the grip palm material wears off over time
  • Hard to put on when gloves or hands are wet

 

8. Fishing Tree Fingerless Gloves: Best Budget Option

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

3.5/5

Features

  • Best budget-friendly kayaking gloves
  • Material: Spandex back with faux leather grip
  • Wrist Closure: Wrist pairing snaps
  • Design: Open finger

 

The Fishing Tree fingerless gloves are unisex, offering up to 50+ SPF protection and featuring no artificial spray-on chemicals.

With faux leather palms, the gloves provide adequate protection against the elements and help keep your hands dry in cool weather conditions. And unlike so many other gloves, this pair is completely machine washable and still retains its sun protection after each wash.

>>What Customers Think<<

Available in shades ranging from navy blue to beige, the gloves help prevent blisters and calluses. The gloves have been independently verified for sun protection by the SGS Group.

Pros

  • Available at low price point with high-quality construction
  • Blocks sunburn damage
  • Perfect for variety of watersports and outdoor activities

Cons

  • Will not be protective enough for cold or cool water kayaking
  • Spandex may get stretched out over time

 

9. Sea to Summit Eclipse Paddle Gloves: Best Performance

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

3.5/5

Features

  • Offers best performance guarantee over time
  • Material: 2 mm Neoprene
  • Wrist Closure: Hook-and-Loop closure
  • Design: Open finger

Offering up to 50+ UPF sun protection, the Sea to Summit eclipse gloves are constructed with 2 mm of neoprene. The protective gloves help prevent blisters and offer enhanced grip through a rubberized silicone textured palm.

The synthetic gloves are stretchy and breathable, working for multiple different paddlers that want to share a pair. Additionally, the cuff allows for a snug fit and comes with a rubberized tab closure.

>>What Customers Think<<

Both the palm and thumb area is reinforced with a double layer of neoprene, offering enhanced durability on the portions that paddling wears down the fastest.

Pros

  • Certified with UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Easy to fit
  • Features stretchy and breathable material

Cons

  • Runs on the small side
  • Palms of the glove dry slowly

 

How to Select the Best Kayaking Gloves for You

Before you purchase kayaking gloves, you’ll want to consider what type would best suit you all year round.

Material

Most kayaking gloves are offered in nylon, lycra, spandex, or neoprene. The best material will differ depending on the season you’re kayaking and the current water conditions.

For the most waterproof and durable performance, we can’t recommend neoprene enough. Neoprene is a thin rubberized fabric that’s somewhat stretchy, provides insulation, and wicks away water. By contrast, many summer kayaking gloves value breathability and sun protection. Great summer gloves are usually made of a nylon-spandex composite.

Fit

The last thing you want to do is buy gloves that don’t fit. Whatever you do – never buy a pair that’s too snug and ends up restricting circulation. Too-tight gloves could actually make you colder, while loose gloves make you more blister-prone.

Most gloves are sized based on the palm. However, many manufacturers release measurements about the wrist, knuckles, and fingers so that you can find the perfect fit.

Types of Gloves

The glove you’ll need with vary significantly based on the season.

Summer

For summer, you’ll likely need an open finger (or fingerless) glove that provides better dexterity. Summer gloves usually feature sun protection and thinner, sweat-wicking materials.

For instance, the fingerless NRS Boater is made from synthetic leather and includes vent holes that increase palm cooling. Its nylon-spandex blend helps keep wearers cool during the height of summer.

Spring and Fall

It can be difficult to select the right pair for those “in-between” seasons. Depending on your location, you’ll either want a fingerless or full-finger fit.

The best gloves in this category are ultra-thin, usually consisting of 0.5 mm neoprene with minimally sized inner thermal linings. This allows for the right amount of insulation without excess bulk.

Winter

Woman Kayaking in winter

It’s most important to include kayaking gloves on the kayaking clothing checklist during the winter when cold and water exposure can put you at serious risk. You’ll need a full-glove, mitt, or gauntlet fit, depending on how long (and cold) the trip is.

Mitts and gauntlets provide the best warmth guarantees and are usually made from 3 to 5 mm of neoprene. All high-contact points, like between the thumb and the pointer finger, are reinforced. Most winter gloves are seamless, providing completely watertight performance.

F.A.Q

 

Do I need kayaking gloves?

If you kayak frequently, you may want to consider investing in a pair of gloves. Over time, paddling can cause blisters and leave your hands open to sun damage. Gloves are especially necessary for those that kayak year-round.

What gloves do I need for white water paddling?

As you bounce from one rapid to the next, you’ll likely get very wet when white water paddling. Keeping your hands dry will help to stave off the chill and improve grip to your paddle.

We recommend seam-reinforced, closed finger neoprene gloves for the best performance during white water trips.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, it’s hard to go wrong with the NRS Boater gloves. Constructed with a premium rashguard and sun-protective materials, these all-season gloves leave your fingers free for situations that demand dexterity.

Yet, for the coldest possible conditions, you’ll want to go with the Kokotat Neo-Kayak mitts. Providing an easy entry-and-exit system, this completely watertight gauntlet offers the best performance in the chilliest waters.

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