Head and Hands

What will keep my head and hands warm and preferably dry in a wet exit in cold water. I wear a polpropolene hat and neoprene gloves. As soon as I make a wet exit and I’m back in the kayak I put on a dry hat but my head never warms up again. Also the neoprene gloves never feel right holding a paddle. Any suggestions?

Staying warm-
I have been working on my rolls pretty much all winter in the frigid waters of Lake Michigan. In doing this, I have tried several different things to stay warm. I recommend taking a trip to your local dive shop and picking up a neoprene dive hood. Mine has a zipper in the back and seals nicely around my face. Even when my head is sopping wet, I have had no problems staying warm. I have used this in 33° water and 15° air. The only downside I have found is that when paddling with others, the dive hood makes it hard to hear others talking.

For the price, I have found my preferred gloves to be the Aleutian Gloves from Campmor. They are not rugged, but are very grippy and waterproof.


Good stuff here

– Last Updated: Apr-02-06 9:18 PM EST –


Check out the hoods and gloves.

I have the BARE 5/7mm hood which is too darn hot to paddle in but works great for rolling in cold water. I usually wear 2 NRS 1mm storm hoods when paddling in very cold water, if I get too warm, I just pull one of them down the back of my head and let it hang there. http://www.nrsweb.com/shop/product.asp?pfid=2029&deptid=942

Would you elaborate
From krousmon’s link:


What sort of hood would you choose? Do you have your full face exposed, or just a portion that a mask could cover?


a hat???


– Last Updated: Apr-03-06 1:31 AM EST –

None of the hoods on that site are quite what I have, but similar to the ones shown for use with a drysuit. (stops at neck) Closest would be this one, but mine zips in the back. http://scuba.com/shop/display.asp?id=022030
My eyes, nose, and mouth are exposed. The face opening seals from around the brow, across the temples to down around the front of my chin. The inside edges of the opening have a grippy surface to seal from flush-through and a zippered back pulls everything tight.

Because a great deal of blood is near the skin of one's face, I have never found the exposure of my face to be an issue.

I have one too
I have one of the NRS models and I like it for paddling but not for rolling.

It allows water to flush into my ears while underwater and then holds it there. Not good when the water is in the 30’s.

Even with two on, I still got water in the ears. I keep the diving hood within reach when the water’s really cold.

A Hat!
You read that right I wear a hat. A polypro hat. I figured a neoprene scull cap would trap to much heat while paddling so I was hoping someone would know of a thin water proof hat or scull cap. It probably doesn’t help that I’m bald! So my mellon gets a little frosted after a dip.

Dive hood. Hands Nordic Blue dry gloves. If the temps more moderate, I like the Aleution neoprene gloves.

hairy or bald
if the water is cold you gotta have something that can’t come off. Search around for fuzzy rubber or the equivalent for a hood or beanie. Neoprene has shortcomings if you’re not continually getting dunked. Fuzzy rubber is a stretchy fabric with a waterproof and flexible coating on one side with a thin fuzzy pile on the inside. If you can’t find it there’s probably a thin lined neoprene beanie or hood. You can roll one up and keep it in the pocket of your pfd so it’s ALWAYS there. That way you can have the option of putting it on or taking it off, like sunglasses,or putting it on after a re-entry because the cap swam away.

My rough guide is that if the water is cold enough to need a wet suit then I need a thin hood as ultimate backup just as the wet-suit is the ultimate backup. Not that I have to wear it all the time but that it’s always available.

The wet suit isn’t for 3 seconds of rolling, or 45 second rescues,it’s for 10 minutes of thrashing, and heat retention afterwards, or an hour of total immersion. Without good head protection each second of total head immersion feels like another minute of total body immersion regarding the loss of heat or debilitarion (loss of balance due to cold water in ear canal).

In some situations a bare head could reduce my comfort time from a minute to five seconds, ten minutes to one minute, etc.

In some classes I taught the air was 75 and the water about the same. Perfectly manageable without a wetsuit but after awhile someone starts shivering and the hood made all the difference.

If you don’t get a thin hood get something snug with a chin strap. You can always wear it under the hat.

cold mellon
Thanks for all the input everyone. I’ll be hitting up my local dive shop to see what they have. Stay warm!

try these

– Last Updated: Apr-03-06 8:06 PM EST –

it's not fuzzy rubber but the 1mm beanie or hood could be all you're looking for. You havent' said what the temps are in degrees.
With a light enough hood you can pull it off your head when paddling and pull it up when you need.
Looking around on the site you can find a heavy lycra hood,,I found that to be very useful under a fuzzy rubber hood for very cold paddling but still be able to hear.



or google around for a "fuzzy rubber hood"