Are Kayaking Gloves Necessary?
[Tips To Warm You Up While Kayaking]

Are Kayaking Gloves Necessary FI

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The purpose of a pair of gloves is mainly to keep your hands warm. But that’s not the only thing it does!

So, You want to know Are Kayaking Gloves Necessary? Yes. Kayaking gloves are necessary.

Let BoatPriority.com tell you why.

But more than that, we’re also here to give you details about:

  • What kayak gloves are and how they differ from other kayaking hand gear;
  • Why you need a kayak glove;
  • Things to consider before you buy a pair or two; and
  • Lots more…

Different situations call for different gloves. So read on to know whether or not a full-finger pair of gloves is the one you need.

Strap on!

We’re moving forward… 

What Are Kayaking Gloves?

Kayaking gloves are gloves that are specifically made for paddling. The best paddling gloves provide resistance to either cold weather or scorching heat. 

It should also provide comfort and protection from blisters that you can get from the paddling shaft.


A kayak or paddling glove is made of neoprene, also known as synthetic rubber. It can protect the hands from both cold and heat. It’s also durable and flexible. That’s why neoprene gloves are most commonly used.

Later, we’ll talk more about the features you’d want to find from your gloves. For now…

Why Do I Need a Kayaking Glove While Kayaking?

Are Kayaking Gloves Necessary

Like we said…

Keeping your warmth is not the only purpose for covering your hands when you go kayaking. So why else do you need to wear gloves?

When you go paddling under warm weather, you might think you don’t need a kayaking glove. It’s hot on the hands, and it’s extra weight – yes, people do complain about that. The most common opinion is that kayaking gloves are only necessary under cooler weather.

Here’s our take:

Kayaking is so much fun, so we can be at it for half to a full day. Now, imagine paddling non-stop for an hour. Your back is not going to start aching for a while, neither will your shoulders. But your hands are a different story.

Your hands will get sore after gripping a paddle shaft for so long. 

Soon enough, you’ll get blisters on your palms. You can’t enjoy your water adventures with aching hands!

That said…

It’s even more necessary when you go out in a cool climate. And you’d be better off with thick gloves.

Aside from the cold air, cold water will definitely get to your hands. Then your fingers would stiffen, or your skin would dry up and get irritated.

Those things will also suck the fun out of the adventure.

So yes…

A good pair of kayaking gloves is what you need to survive long hours on the water – even under warm weather.

Neoprene gloves vs. Mitts and Pogies

What’s the difference?

Compared to mitts, gloves are less warm but would give you more mobility. That’s due to the individual fingers.

You might already have an idea what mitts are.

They’re these thick gloves without the fingers, wrapping your whole hand like you would a baby’s. They restrain your hands’ movements and are usually slippery at the palms.

Another gear is the pogies.

Unlike the other two, they’re attached to the paddles instead of your hands. Usually, you stick them on velcro tapes. Then you grip your paddle on the poggies.

They’re warmer compared to gloves. But they’re heavier. On shorter trips, this isn’t a significant disadvantage. But it would affect you on your longer trips. Especially since pogies’ design collects water.

What to look for when buying Kayak Gloves?

People usually choose thick gloves. But they’re not always the best. It all depends on the weather conditions and what’s specifically comfortable for you.

So we give you…

… the basic things to consider to know whether you’re holding quality gloves:

Water resistance

A lot of problems may arise from getting your hands wet while paddling. But if there’s one abundant thing in your kayaking trip – that’s water. It’s inevitably going to keep splashing. So your gloves should offer protection from that water. 

Right fit

Unnecessary friction can give you blisters if you keep trying to fit a loose glove onto your hand. In the same way, tight gloves are very uncomfortable. So look for gloves that conform snugly to your hands in size and shape.

Glove material

Neoprene is the most common material used for gloves. It’s very durable and weather resistant.

Neoprene becomes comfortable when combined with either latex or spandex. Under warm conditions, the latter two are better choices. But in lower temperatures, they’re not much of a hand covering.


Don’t forget!

Check the stitches; look out for holes. If the gloves were already damaged in storage, it’s never going to hold under kayaking and paddling strains.


When the glove is made of tough materials, it’s no use. Quality gloves are flexible because your fingers need to move. And the extra padding makes that difficult.

For this reason, thick neoprene is recommended. It easily goes back to its former shape and won’t impede your hands’ mobility. 

Some of the newest designs…

… have arched fingers or flexible knuckles. If you can find these types, go for them!


It would be more difficult to paddle even with a thin layer of fabric on your palms. That’s why the best gloves have enough friction at the palms so the wearer can have a firm grip on things.

Fingerless Or Full-Finger Gloves?

Are Kayaking Gloves Necessary

Given that they’re made of neoprene, both kinds of gloves are recommendable. But each has its pros and cons.

Let’s start with the fingerless glove.

It’s suitable for warm weather conditions. With these gloves, your fingers are free to breathe and pick up stuff. Kayakers usually choose this to maximize the use of their thumb and index finger while on the water.

They cover the palms, so there’s protection from blisters. But your fingers need the same security too. That’s the most significant concern.

Whereas, with full-finger gloves…

Your whole hands are protected from any abrasion. It’s better for cool environments because your fingertips need more warmth than any other part of your hand.

But – you guessed that right – your fingers’ mobility is limited.

So it all depends on your priority.

Can you use cycling gloves for kayaking?

If for some reason…

… you can’t find a single neoprene glove at short notice; the best alternative would be biking or cycling gloves.

They can protect your palms from blisters or small wounds. They’re also warm and flexible. Plus, they’re made to give the cyclist a firm grip on their handlebars.


Don’t expect them to be waterproof. They’re usually not because cyclists don’t need them to be. But kayakers like you and I need water-resistant gloves.

Conclusion: Are Kayaking Gloves Necessary

Are Kayaking Gloves Necessary

On your next paddling trip, we hope you bring the proper kayaking gloves with you. It will definitely help you last longer on the water and have more fun!


If you don’t already have gloves for kayaking or paddling, don’t worry! There’s a lot to choose from on the market.

But instead of testing each one, you can take your pick from our top list RIGHT HERE!

The only downside to kayaking is the strenuous paddling.

Good thing…

… There are gloves – and other boating gears – that help improve our experience. So don’t mind the extra few bucks. It’ll all be more than worth it in the end.

So, there you have it, fellow paddler…

‘Til our next kayaking adventure!

Related: Best Kayak Paddle – (2024)

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