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best cold weather gloves

Today was my first sub freezing paddle of the year and I have tried many different styles of glove but I may have found the best glove ever (in my opinion) by accident. It is made by the Memphis glove company and called the Ice Ninja, it comes in multiple sizes. The palm of the glove is covered by a textured latex that is not "sticky" allowing paddle rotation, and neoprene water resistance above your wrists. They are very thin for cold weather gloves, they were very warm at 30 deg air and 45 deg water temp.
I found them at an Ace hardware for $10, they are listed on amazon for as little as $5


  • Options
    Thanks for the post
    I looked them up. Pretty good especially considering the price. Even if they don't work, it's a good deal for $3.95.
  • This?
    Are you referring to this item? One of the reviewers (callcam) refers to a similar-but-different model by the same company, so, I'm asking. He refers to a difference in water proofing.

  • Those look good, thanks!
    I wear these: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kinco-Warm-Grip-Knit-Gloves-Thermal-EXTRA-LARGE-1790-XL-/190588619243

    I like them a lot. They're warm but not waterproof on top, so I always bring two and even three pairs of gloves in cold weather. Strangely, I've never gotten my gloves wet in the fall or winter, but I don't paddle in rough conditions when it's cold.
  • That's what I wonder too...
    These do not look like they are water proof, so not sure how well the mesh top protects from cold water... They are called "Ice Ninja" though, so not sure what other model there is...

    Regardless, I ordered a couple of pairs today to check them out. If they don't work for kayaking, I'll use them for garden work and auto repairs - this is the kind of gloves I use for these purposes anyway, so at about $4 a pair it's won't be a loss...

    I have been using Glacier Gloves for the past 3-4 winder seasons (including freezing temps, water and air) and they are great. Except, they tend to fall apart after just a handful of outings for me at the thumb base. Granted, I use them hard on white water and I think the issue is that my fingers are too long, thus forcing the glove to stretch too much in that area and wear off prematurely. Some aquaseal helps temporarily, and I'm experimenting with other ways to patch them-up before they start to wear out but have not found a good way to protect them. I guess I need to switch brands to something more durable, but these are excellent otherwise for paddling...
  • Kinco Gloves
    Here are what some folks in my area use. They keep your hands dry and warm, but make for an odd fashion statement. Good for paddling during deer season, though.


  • Do your Glaciers last?
    As I wrote above, for me I can't even get one full winter out of a pair without a lot of patching... But if they fit on your hand well and you don't paddle too hard, I suppose they could last a long time - I just torture mine too much -;)
  • Options
    Pogies are also an alternative, through I didn't care for the NRS style (too hard to get on large hands).

  • Options
  • Glacier Gloves
    work better than any other glove I've tried but I also use poggies and like them alot
  • toe warmers
    The instant heat packs that are used for winter sports work well dry but when wet, they lose their ability to work.

    This style of hot pack works wet or dry but are not as small as the flat ones.


    Nice thing is that they are reusable and you just need to boil them between uses to renew them. (You can NOT microwave them).

    There are many brands of these available. Not sure if any one is better than any other. I keep them in my emergency kit.
  • Which model? They have many.
    I use the Kenai All-Purpose.
  • mine have held up pretty well
    since I moved to Cali, I don't use them much anymore, so forgive me if I have to search my memory. I think a seam on the heal of one hand was starting to go, and a finger tip had a small chunk missing (still don't know how that happened). But they held up for years (like five) before they started going. I'm sure you're right--it all depends on how hard you are on them. I would baby mine. Normal paddling, no death grip. I didn't like the blue velcro strap, so I took them off. The gloves could take water from the back, but kept my hands warm the way a wet wetsuit would.
  • If you like those you'll love
    SealSkinz. They have that knit polypro interior and exterior, but an internal layer of thin neoprene throughout the glove, so they're more waterproof than the Ninja Ice.

    Yes, you can get water inside. Yes, the exterior can get cold if continuously wet and exposed to wind. But overall they're very good gloves for temps for me down to freezing (32 degrees) on the water.
  • Got them = No Good, IMO
    Just got the gloves in the mail today. IMO these are not good paddling gloves. They appear warm and fuzzy on the inside but have several problems that I don't think a paddling glove should have:

    (1) Not water proff at all - the top is some sort of tight mesh. Will also probably cause a good deal of evaporation cooling in winds (good for warm weather, not good for cold). OK might be OK if you don't get your hands wet, but ... (need I say more -;)

    (2) They are not shaped and at the same time are rather stiff - my hands feel like they will get tired holding a paddle... The fingers want to spring back to a straight position. In contrast, most paddling gloves are shaped - you don't need to expend any effort to hold the paddle with them beyond what you would need without them. Not so with these....

    (3) If the traction this rubber offers against a slippery wet paddle shaft is anything like a similar rubber on another set of working gloves offer, it will be very bad - my other set is lightweight but is essentially the same construction: feels great on the hand but is cold in the water and very slippery against the shaft.

    So, no I would not use these for paddling. Seem great for yard work or general wear in cold and dry weather.
  • Level Six is the Good Stuff
    JSMarch turned me on to these a few years back:

  • Options
    -- Last Updated: Nov-17-12 6:49 AM EST --

    Here are some other choices;


    These are mens. they have a womens and kids section as well.

    For surf ski in the winter cannot be beat.

  • Level six
    I have 2 pairs of these. They are super warm, my hands sweat in them even into 15-20 degree air temps. They are excellent as far as grip. They are waterproof.... but only for maybe 10 paddles. Then they leak and leak fairly substantially. I have Aquaseal all over the seams, that definitely helps. But I wish they would tape and glue their seams, especially at the thumb joint, and perhaps add a kevlar strip at the heavy wear areas....across the palm and at the thumb. But I still love these and buy a new pair every season.
  • Options
    it may be a little bulky but wool retains body heat when wet. i delivered mail for 25 years and in the winter the mailbox is cold to touch and in the rain even worse. i found the wool gloves would get wet but my hand stayed warm because of it's heat retention.
  • wool????
    I can't imagine using a pair of wool gloves on the water. Wool is fragile when wet, they are not windproof, they are not waterproof. Wool might work for a canoeist whose hands are not continually wet but not for winter kayaking in the north east.

  • Wool, what's worked for me
    -- Last Updated: Nov-20-12 1:42 PM EST --

    I sometimes wear cheap wool gloves inside a wind-shell mitten. In that situation, the wool is definitely not "fragile", as the gloves are holding up far better than the mittens. I first tried this combination on a cold, rainy day, when my new, thick neoprene gloves, which were SUPPOSED to be amazingly warm, turned out to be awful, seeming to be almost as cold as no gloves at all. In desperation I put on the cheap wool gloves and wind-shell mitts, and because it was raining quite hard, they were soaking wet in a matter of a few minutes, but my hands rapidly got warm in spite of being wet. I can think of NO other situation where it has been possible for my terribly cold-prone hands to go from painfully numb to toasty warm without any need to make them dry first, and without any additional heat source (like putting my hands inside my shirt to warm them with body heat prior to putting on better mittens). My hands have always been prone to getting very cold at the slightest excuse, so for them to become warm in that soaking-wet situation is totally amazing. Wool is amazing!! All you need is to have a wind-proof shell over the top.

    I won't say this would be best for the average kayaker, but I can say that the material is tough enough when under shell layer, and that a shell layer also provides the wind protection you want. Also, the few models of neoprene paddling gloves I've used leak through the seams every bit as rapidly as non-waterproof gloves, so "waterproof" hardly seems to be an issue for comparison.

  • I use wool liners in my dry gloves
    I wouldn't use wool gloves without the shells, but they're ideal for use as liners. They're warmer and more durable than synthetic liners.
  • Options
    level six new model
    I've used level six mitts for a couple of years and, although I like them a lot, I got holes in the left thumb. I contacted the company and they sent me a new pair of what seem to be a much improved model - the Creeker Mitt. I haven't tried them out yet, but the thumb seems to be reinforced well. And since I use a Greenland paddle, my hands are constantly in the water. "Fingers crossed."
  • Bluettes rubber gloves + wool?
    I was looking at waterproof gloves in the hardware store (not for paddling) and saw a couple of models that would probably work as outer shells for wool liner gloves.

    Hands would get damp from sweat, of course, and maybe some leakage down the wrists also, but wool does retain some insulating value even when soaked.

    Because these gloves were so inexpensive, experimenting with them would not be a big deal. You can always use them for household and yard cleaning duties if they don't work out for paddling/sport uses.
  • Thankful for Wool
    A couple weeks back I was hiking; crossing streams; and a little cold, cold water went down my boot. In a very short time my foot was warm and when I removed my boots later that day there was no evidence that water had gotten in. I credit wool socks and breathable boots.

    Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.
  • Level Six
    I used their gloves for three seasons, buying a new pair each season. The thumb area wore through repeatedly from wing paddle use, but they were the best combination of warmth, grip, and fit I'd found. Unfortunately, last year they revised the palm area I believe, for better wear. The new glove was nowhere near as pliable as the older model, and the grip surface was extremely slippery. Sent them right back.

    The Hyperskins are pretty decent-they wear through also, and are not the warmest out there, but they offer a great grip surface and fit.
  • Glacier Glove 3mm
    Wuz just in CampMor a couple days ago an' seen deez at $19.99 so ah' bought a spare pair.... now taday dems be $5 less at $14.99 online.


    Great find, thanks for the tip! Just ordered a few pairs. I don't think I've had the 3mm but with the 2mm I've been just at the edge of comfort on really cold days, so these should be perfect. Can't beat the price either - $49 locally at the paddling store vs. $15 there...
  • leaking?
    I got some XL Glacier gloves last week. Went under water with them while rolling and they became water logged inside. I had the strap sinched super tight too. They are fairly large for me though being XL. Im thinking there was too much folding on the cuff and the strap was causing some creases which allows water in.
    Im trying a L next and returning the XL . Hope that helps

    Also should you put your drysuit gaskets on top of the glove cuff or under it??
  • never on top it will not seal like it does on your skin. Never going to be totally dry your wrist that is exposed exposed will get wet. I would just put drysuit sleeve over the glove cuff. I bought a pair of XXL and will try XL next. Thumb is way to long. Think I will make this pair fingerless by whacking a bit of each finger for not so cold days.

  • Yeah, go smaller in size. Also, you're going to get some water in there. Won't be enough to be a bother, though.

  • I've tried a lot of different gloves over the years and the best I've found are Thinsulate waterproof. In my experience there are a few specifications that constitute good paddling gloves: They should be black, or dark blue in color to absorb heat from the sun. 2) They should be made from a very flexible material--not neoprene, or rubber. 3) The gloves should not be tight on your hand and fingers. 4) The palm and fingers should be reinforced with a wear resistant, but very flexible padding. 5) The gloves should have fairly long cuffs with ribbing to keep them snug above the wrist.

  • edited January 13

    When I paddle, my hands are in the water on virtually every stroke (that happens when you have long arms and paddle low-volume boats). Nordic Blue dry gloves are the best solution, but they're expensive. However, you can make your own much cheaper using inexpensive Atlas fisherman's gloves (N.B. uses the same Atlas gloves), which are available at commercial fishing suppliers, some general marine suppliers and online (http://www.fishermansheadquarters.com/fishing-gloves.htm). You can get wrist seals from OS Systems (www.ossystems.com), dive shops and kayak shops.

    Installing the seals is no different that doing it on a dry suit. I prefer the orange (double dipped) Atlas gloves to the blue (triple-dipped, as used in N.B. gloves), as the former are more flexible. I haven't had any wear problems with either one.

    I don't like the stock N.B. liners, so I replace them with wool and of course I use wool liners in my home-made versions. Because the shells are sealed and not breathable, your liners will get damp from sweat over time, so carrying an extra pair or allowing them to dry during a lunch stop is advisable.

    I see that the Showa Temres 281 gloves are supposed to be waterproof and breathable. They look like good candidates for making dry gloves. I found them on Ebay for less than $20 shipped. These guys have a good selection of Atlas models and Glacier Gloves:

  • @bnystrom said:
    ... However, you can make your own much cheaper ...
    ... Installing the seals is no different that doing it on a dry suit...

    Excellent idea - making your own with waterproof gloves and wrist gaskets. I like it. Though it doesn't necessarily address the dexterity issue, I might have to give it a shot. I've replaced gaskets on a dry suit myself with excellent results so gloves would be pretty simple.

  • @magooch said:
    I've tried a lot of different gloves over the years and the best I've found are Thinsulate waterproof. In my experience there are a few specifications that constitute good paddling gloves: They should be black, or dark blue in color to absorb heat from the sun. 2) They should be made from a very flexible material--not neoprene, or rubber. 3) The gloves should not be tight on your hand and fingers. 4) The palm and fingers should be reinforced with a wear resistant, but very flexible padding. 5) The gloves should have fairly long cuffs with ribbing to keep them snug above the wrist.

    I never saw thinsulate gloves which are waterproof. Any links thanks!

  • I found my Thinsulate gloves at a local outdoor store a few years ago for either $5.95, or $6.95--they were on sale. They are labeled "Thinsulate Waterproof" and really what they are is water resistant. That means a quick splash in the water won't soak them, but if your hand is in the water for more than a split second, the glove is going to soak up some water. This is not a problem for me, because my hands almost never touch the water when I'm paddling and my drip rings keep the water off the part of the shaft where my hands are. I've learned over time that a lower angle paddling style has numerous benefits in this regard as well as efficiency etc.
    If that doesn't bring on some differing opinions, I'll be surprised.

  • edited January 14

    Another suggestion: Dachstein boiled wool gloves and mittens, which used to be standard issue for Himalayan climbers and polar explorers. Yes, they are expensive ($40 to $60 a pair) but they are virtually indestructible. I still have and use the same pair of red mittens and grey gloves that I bought 40 years ago when I was into winter mountaineering and ice climbing. The dense soft wool knit is warm even when wet and and can be worn under wind/wp shells. I find they are also more flexible than most insulated or thick neoprene handwear. I used them for ice climbing and they would often be soaked through but still comfortable. Because they are pre-shrunk (knit by hand oversized and then boiled to shrink down) they can be washed and machine dried. They have extra long cuffs that protect your wrists far up under your jacket. The mittens are so thick you can use them as insulation under your butt if you have to sit on ice or hard snow. My Dachsteins have outlasted almost all the outdoor gear I accumulated during my adventuresome 20's despite being used far more often.

    They make wonderful and indestructible 100% wool socks, too. I have a red pair that are at least 30 years old. Unlike most other "ragg" wool socks, they don't have nylon thread "reinforcement". The problem with nylon fibers is that they don't stretch like wool yarn does and over time the nylon filament gradually abrades the wool until it wears away at the toes and heels, where the socks stretch and move. Anyone who had the old Wigwam brand grey ragg socks we all used in the '70's and '80's for hiking and sking will probably recall ending up with "bald" sock heels eventually.

    I used to have the Dachstein mountaineering sweater, too, (another favorite of the early Himalayan alpinists) which I preferred to down or fleece wear for cold and damp conditions. Unfortunately I outgrew it and had to gave it away. You would be hard-pressed to find a warmer sweater anywhere.


    There are so many products that "aren't as good as they used to make them", but Dachstein is a notable exception.

  • @willowleaf Have you ever used them paddling?

  • I have some old Dachstein mitts and gloves. What I remember about them is that they're warm, but when they get wet while ice climbing and particularly when they start to ice up, they are slippery as heck and nearly useless. There's a reason that nobody uses them for climbing anymore, they're really at their best as liners under a pair of mitten shells with grippy palms.

    As for paddling with them, like most of the other options discussed here, they're no good in cases of immersion, as they'll just become waterlogged and heavy. I also wonder if salt water will damage them.

  • I've worn the gloves canoeing in cold weather and they worked fine, they got slightly damp though I did not get them completely soaked.

    Salt water doesn't damage wool at all. North Sea fisherman and US Navy crewmen have worn woolen clothing for centuries. I used to buy those navy blue wool Navy issue winter uniform pants with the 14 button drop front (allegedly designed so sailors could pee over the side without dropping their pants) and tailor them for myself to wear for winter backpacking. (side note: the development of polyester fleecewear for cold and wet conditions started with Helly Hansen making garments for North Sea fishermen and sailors in the 1960's).

  • best gloves?- stash a thin pair of nrs gloves in your pfd (for emergencies) and use pogies, pogies, pogies!

  • I recently purchases some boiled wool mittens but have not yet used them paddling. I have wondered though how one might add some of that grippy stuff to the palm (like some gloves/mittens have when you purchase them). I have thought about silicone or something along those lines. It just needs to stick to the glove and remain flexible. I welcome any thoughts.

  • edited January 18

    You're probably better off using grip wax on the paddle shaft.

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