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Gloves vs. Pogies

Planning on paddling my kayak on Huron River next weekend. Temperature 35 degrees. Should I wear neoprene gloves or pogies?


  • Gloves or both
    If you like piggies, go for them. But pack some gloves, should you lose your paddle with the piggiies on it or need to spend time in the water...
  • Both better unless...
    your neo gloves are something like diver's dry gloves or the super-warm NRS gloves. If you are talking 2mm neoprene or the basic hydroskin gloves, that is not warm enough for 35 degree water. You hands will be icicles.
  • Options
    Bring both and more
    and wear what you need.

    Most paddlers do a lot of experimenting with their hand comfort in the cold.
  • Options
    i use both
    but prefer my ursuit neoprene gloves. they are awesome. for me. i dont like pogies for rough weather, since i change grip a lot, but they are nice for touring.keeping the head and the rest warm is important for warm hands.
  • Having paddled the Huron many times
    in all kinds of conditions I would say you would not need either, even at that temperature. I know that people differ in their cold tolerance but the Huron is a class 1 river with one class 2 rapid at the end of the usual run. Having said that, gloves are a pita for river paddling. Pogies are warmer and give you a less tiring grip on the paddle shaft. If you really need to wear something go with Pogies.
  • Gloves a PITA for river paddling?
    Why is that?
  • my 2 cents worth .....
    ..I have always read that your better off with gloves.....if u lose the paddle with pogies attached ...you have nothing to keep the hands warm !! Cold, frigid finger's don't grip well. I also 2nd the opinion that w/ gloves U can change your hand position on the paddle shaft, to suit the need. For instance .. a very wide paddle sweep by gripping the very end of the blade, to turn.
  • mitten are most effective
    I don't do a lot of paddling when the temperature gets down to freezing, but I have found that a nice pare of mittens work much better than gloves. However, I have found that for my cold weather paddling, a pair of waterproof Thinsulate gloves work very well and they are less than $10. I've also found that if the sun is shining and there is little wind, my hands stay warmer with no gloves at all on a black carbon, or glass shaft. That of course only applies to above freezing temperatures.
  • my vote for pogies vs mittens
    Most pogies I've used can be set to slide along the paddle shaft easily. This works for me on all my paddles except for my Greenland Paddle. The barely pogies fit around it, but do not slide. OK for just paddling but if you want tpo slide your grip you must let go first.

    I used mittens one winter and the level 6 mittens were really nice and warm and worked great with any paddle, but you may need to need to take them off to seal your skirt and then you can lose them.

    So if your the kind of Greenland paddler that is trained to never exit the boat with your ocean cockpit and absolutely bombproof list of rolls, then I think mittens would be great.

    If your the kind of white water or surf paddler that would never ever let go of your paddle as long as you are coonscious then pogies would be great.

    I've never tried pogies with gloves. The coldest water I paddle is in the 40's and I've never needed more than the pogies.
  • Pogies with light gloves...
    Just saw this post again and had the thought that, if you are not a regular winter paddler, the investment in true winter gloves may be overkill. But the combination of lighter weight gloves and a pogie can get you comfortably into chillier stuff without having to invest in a level of either that could only be used a couple of months a year.

    As to hands getting cold in that water - I am sure there are people who can handle it. I have never been one, and I would hate to recommend that anyone take that chance and be stuck 25 minutes into the paddle with hurting hands.
  • you can use both simultaneously-
    I have some loose fitting neoprene pogies that I wear with neoprene gloves going inside them. I really like the warmth of pogies but since I paddle streams with a lot wood, having your hands free is often a must. I just push the pogies into the center on the paddle shaft when I'm not using them.
  • Options
    Love those pogies
    -- Last Updated: Jan-15-13 12:22 AM EST --

    Paddled the Huron often in the winter over the years
    as well as the Shiawassee River.
    Annual St Patricks paddle at Island State Rec
    aka Kensington Kent Lake Dam has been going on for
    over a decade.




    Pogies allow that hand flesh on paddle shaft "feel"
    for better control and finesse of the blade.

    Wearing a glove means you're compressing that material
    resulting in quicker hand/wrist fatigue.

    Redundancy is vitally important in winter.
    I always have backup sets (plural) dry gloves nearby
    in case of a severe dumping with extended swim.
    That redundancy also involves fellow paddlers going
    out as a group to increase that safety margin.
    Fallen trees, strainers, stumps, roots are obstacles
    and flipping at the wrong time could be real nasty,
    especially with snow melt raising the water level.

    I like SnapDragon brand - easy to get hand in and out.
    They hold their shape well, no fumbling,no fuss.

  • Practice with pogies and gloves
    Last time I swam it was to grab a water bottle from bottom of boat. I lifted up on the paddle while holding the water bottle. May I please suggest you ask someone to help stabilize you whan making changes, or hold unto a dock. PLEASE DRESS TO SWIM A fuzzy rubber farmer jane or john is better than nothing. You are concerned about your hands but what about your body?

    I have busted ice trying to get to shore. My kokatat dry suit kept me warm but I once returned from a solo trip and found the relief zipper was open. If I had swam, I would probably be dead. Neoprene is cheaper and simpler. Please avoid the myth of personal invincibility. We are not designed to survive cold water!
  • Neither
    Level Six mittens.
  • I've been using gloves only
    For all my cold weather paddling, mainly white water and some flat water. No issues. The Glacier Gloves I use keep their shape so there is no effort to hold the paddle, I can do what I need to do with them on (e.g., put/remove spray skirt, helmet, nose/ear plugs, drink water, blow my nose ...).

    I've been eyeing poggies for durability compared to the Glacier Gloves, but I have no complaints about the gloves otherwise.
  • Why that is
    Gloves effectively increase the size of the paddle shaft and the result is hand fatigue. Gloves are not as warm as Pogies. In fact, Pogies can be too warm at times. Gloves interfere with your ability to do some tasks and removing your gloves in order to do something is often problematic.
  • I have glacier gloves
    And I found doing the list of things you give difficult if not impossible. I guess this is a YMMV situation.
  • I use neoprene gloves all the time
    with no issues for both kayaking and canoeing.

    The particular model I use in the Glacier Glove Kenai All Purpose. I don't experience any increased hand fatigue with these. I haven't tried any other model.

    I guess it comes down to personal preference.

  • I can't say it's as easy as without
    but it still seems to work with gloves on. My hands get cold easy and I can't imagine being comfortable enough without gloves for more than a minute or two in really cold water. I really need to try poggies one of these days to see how they work, but somehow I suspect I will be colder in them than ideal without some sort of thin glove...
  • Well...
    I don't know anyone who hasn't wandered into the water with their relief zipper open at least once. It took me two times to really learn the lesson. (I use a lowered pzip.)

    My personal dry suit advice - before launching walk into the water and immerse up to the neck. In addition for checking things like open zippers, it is also the easiest way to burp your suit and to figure out if you need to add or delete layers.
  • Options
    -- Last Updated: Jan-17-13 10:15 AM EST --

    It's happened, we're human.
    Burping the dry suit via walking/wading in a bit,
    works great before heading out for the day.

    A buddy check, similar to a climbing gear check;
    also finds un-noticed vulnerabilities as the
    group checks one another before launch.

  • Pogies
    I prefer pogies. I like my hands on the paddle, and the pogies keep my hands plenty warm. On the other hand (so to speak), I have a friend that wears gloves under her pogies. I was recently with a larger group, and some of us had pogies, some neoprene gloves of different thicknesses, some with fingerless gloves, and some were bare handed. You might try different things and see what works best for you.
  • Either, or both
    I like fingerless gloves. In the cold water I wear the neo ones, NRS Guide Glove. My girlfriend always has cold finger, she often wears Glacier Gloves.

    A couple weeks ago we wore our usual on the river and both had cold fingers. Last weekend on the river we both wore the neo fingerless and pogies. I had surprisingly warm hands. Hers got cold, but she said no colder than with the Glacier Gloves the week before.

    We both found pogies take some getting used to. IE. the minor change in withdrawing your hand from the pogie before you grab a rock, or the extra drag under the water when you setup for a roll, or the lack of certainty that your hands are actually in the air before you roll. Minor adjustments to be made.
  • survey says: personal preference
    I think the thread indicates that there's no clear consensus, other than try and find out which you prefer and why. However, I do like the idea of always having a good set of gloves as a backup regardless in case your hands get really cold or you end up in the water for any legnth of time.

    Personally, I like the hand-on-paddleshaft contact you get from poggies, so I use them for sea kayaking applications where I'm mostly above-water and going forward. However, I prefer gloves for WW, particularly playboating, where I know I'm likely to spend some time upside down.
  • both
    I'd go with light gloves & pogies.

    I've found that even a light glove(neoprene back, synthetic leather palm) makes a big difference in extending functional time in cold water.
  • Hmm...
    For kayaking, I have far more fatigue without gloves and wear them right through warmer weather. The only gloves I have to get off to do anything are, once in a while, the winter diving dry gloves because they are quite thick. But most times I don't have to take gloves off to do things, and I also got a small shaft when I went to the paddle I use the most. I also grip pretty loosely with opening my hand at each stroke, to the point that I have to remember to tighten up the grip a little in messier stuff.

    Canoeing is a whole different story and not a place where I have been able to find an ideal long term accommodation, because the basic J-stroke does unkind things to my wrist. I'll pay more mind to that when the canoe comes out this spring.
  • Did yer say....
    -- Last Updated: Jan-18-13 8:00 PM EST --

    Evil Sex Kittens? Shazam... Dat woyks fer me!

    Oh wait! Never mind, ah' jus' put me readin' spectacles back on.


  • Options
    The Potential Problem With Pogies
    Fellow Paddlers -


    This classic, textbook case is all about the tricky business of keeping your hands warm. In this instance, the use of Pogies without any additional hand protection resulted in a failed self-rescue and the destruction of the paddler's kayak.

    It's an important reminder that without adequate protection, you can be rendered completely helpless by cold, numb hands - even though the rest of your body is toasty warm inside a drysuit.

    Moulton Avery
    Founder and Director
    National Center for Cold Water Safety
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