You don’t need to wear gloves when you go kayaking or paddleboarding for that matter, but there are times when they can be very useful. Long-distance paddling can leave you with blisters, and painful hands can take all the fun out of being on the water.
Gloves also enhance your grip, which is useful when it’s warm, and your palms are sweaty.
Gloves are also crucial for cold-weather paddlers. Cold hands can make gripping your paddle difficult, and the cold can turn a great trip into a miserable one.
Needless to say, you need different types of gloves for different paddling and weather situations. Fingerless gloves made from lightweight Lycra are perfect for summertime and ensure you won’t lose touch with your paddle. In contrast, full finger neoprene gloves will keep your hands warm in winter.
A good pair of kayaking gloves will make your paddling excursions more enjoyable and comfortable.
To help you choose the right gloves for your needs, we’ve tried, tested, and reviewed five of our favorites. With a range of gloves for all temperatures and conditions, you should have no problem finding the best kayaking gloves.
1. Hyperflex ¾ Finger Gloves
Hyperflex ¾ Finger Gloves are designed for all watersports and are especially useful for kayaking. Easy to put on and take off, these lightweight fingerless gloves are quick drying and very comfortable.
- Padded synthetic leather palm
- Perforated fingers for breathability and faster drying
- Adjustable Velcro wrist closer
- Stretchy Lycra backs for a snug fit
If blisters are your kayaking nemesis, these gloves can help. Designed to protect your hands while leaving your fingers free for increased dexterity, this product is comfortable and long-lasting.
- Good-looking design
- High-quality materials
- Won’t keep your hands warm
These light, well-designed gloves are ideal for warm weather paddling, where protection from blisters is more important than warmth. They will also enhance your grip if your hands get wet or sweaty.
2. WindRider Pro Sailing Full Finger Gloves
Despite their name, these gloves are perfect for kayaking. Breathable and fast-drying, they are full finger gloves, which means they offer complete blister protection. However, the tip of your thumb and first finger are left exposed so you can still tie knots, open snacks, or carry out other tasks that demand finger sensitivity and dexterity.
- Mesh back
- Padded brushed Amara leather palms
- Unisex design
- Adjustable Velcro wrist closure
These fast-drying gloves are ideal for frequent paddlers. They dry so quickly that you won’t have to wear soggy gloves the next day. You can also wash these gloves to keep them looking (and smelling!) good. With your finger and thumb uncovered, you’ll still be able to use your GPS and smartphone without having to remove your gloves.
- Versatile, wear them all-day-long design
- Great fit
- Non-slip grip
- High-quality materials
- Double-stitched construction
- Also available in a fingerless design
- Only available in one colorway
If you want a little more protection from your kayaking gloves, but still want to maintain some finger sensitivity, these are the gloves for you. They provide you with all the defense against blisters that you need but allow you to retain your dexterity. This is an excellent glove for kayak fishing.
3. BPS Double-Lined Neoprene Wetsuit Gloves
When temperatures start to drop, cold hands can be a real kayaking nightmare. Paddling will keep your upper body warm, and your spray skirt will do the same for your lower body, but what about your hands? For those days, neoprene gloves are hard to beat. Usually thought of as a diving staple, neoprene gloves are also perfect for kayaking.
- Available in 3mm or 5mm thickness
- Glued and stitched construction
- Lots of different colors to choose from
- Velcro wrist closure
- Rubberized palm for better grip
- High wrist design for increased warmth
With their high wrist design and Velcro wrist closure, these gloves can help keep your hands dry as well as warm. The grippy, rubberized palm means you’ll have no problem keeping hold of your paddle, even in very wet conditions.
- Great fit
- Very warm
- Choose from a variety of attractive designs
- Will affect dexterity
When kayaking in cold waters, neoprene gloves are your best option. They keep your hands warm when they are dry, and also when they are wet. With two thicknesses to choose from, you should have no problem picking the right gloves for your needs.
4. Stohlquist Toaster Pogies
Pogies are a special kind of mitten designed just for kayakers. This type of glove attaches directly to your paddle, and you place your hands inside them and gripping the paddle shaft directly. This means you won’t lose sensitivity for things like knot tying or using your GPS.
- 2mm neoprene for warmth
- Water-repellent design
- Velcro closure for secure fit on paddle
- Can be worn with gloves if you need even warmer hands
Serious kayakers often prefer pogies over gloves. They allow you to retain your natural grip on the paddle and won’t cause any kind of decrease in sensitivity or dexterity. Just slip your hands out whenever you need to use them, and then, when you are done, slip your hands back in and get back to paddling. Pogies are very easy to use.
- Very warm
- One size fits all
- Suitable for men and women
- Ideal for very cold weather
- Won’t protect you from blisters
If you prefer to feel a bare paddle in your hands, but still want to keep warm, these pogies are the answer to your prayers. Easy to attach and remove, they are a great alternative to gloves.
5. NRS Men’s Hydroskin Gloves
There is no denying that neoprene is one of the best ways to keep your hands warm while kayaking. Dry or wet, neoprene performs well. However, it does tend to reduce sensitivity, which can be a problem if you have to carry out anything that requires even a little dexterity. You’ll probably have to keep taking your gloves off so you can feel your fingertips. These Hydroskin gloves are only 0.5mm thick, which means you won’t lose sensitivity, but they’ll still keep your hands warm.
- 5mm neoprene with titanium for lightness and strength
- Four-way stretch outer layer with water repellent coating
- Plush cotton lining for increased warmth
- Non-slip silicone palms
- Pairing snap to keep gloves together when not being used
Despite only being 0.5mm thick, these gloves are very warm. However, they don’t make it impossible to use your fingers for things like tying knots. They are incredibly comfortable, close-fitting, and quick drying.
- Warm, comfortable, and easy to wear
- Great grip
- Easy to put on and take off
- Quite expensive
These gloves are a very real alternative to much thicker neoprene. If you want a glove that won’t rob you of all your finger sensitivity, these are the ones for you. They are more expensive than regular neoprene, but in return, you get a glove that won’t make your hands feel like they belong to someone else!
Picking The Right Kayaking Gloves
While you don’t have to wear gloves for kayaking, there are times when they can be very useful. A good pair of gloves can help protect you from blisters on long paddles and keep your hands warm when the temperature starts to drop.
They are generally budget-friendly and won’t take up much space on your kayak, so it makes a lot of sense to take gloves with you when you paddle. It’s always better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them!