Help me out coldwater paddlers

My NRS padding gloves just don’t cut it in the cold water.

Here is what I am looking for: Gloves that are waterproof and warm, but yet are ultra light weight and thin. I don’t want them to have a sticky grip, but on the other hand I don’t want them to be slippery. In other words I would like them to have a grip like my hand.

I almost forgot these are for kayaking.

So if you have something that fits the above specs, tell me their name.

Thanks in advance

Cheers, and

Merry christmas,


Pretty hard to meet your specs
Nordic Blues are warmest but thick and expensive. I also use $20 Aleutian Gloves from Sportsman’s Warehouse. Thick but flexible. You can use the gloves you have now and line them with latex surgical gloves.

Don’t think you can get there from here
In my experience thin and warm don’t go together. I have NRS thin and thick neoprene and neither is good below freezing for very long. What does work are a pair of old well worn Gore Tex / Thinsulate camo hunting gloves. Thin they ain’t but there is a leather grip on the palm and fingers much like your hide and they stay warm and dry longer than anything else I’ve ever tried. They breathe which the neo doesn’t. I think it’s the key to staying dry. For what it’s worth my $.02 your mileage may vary.

Nordic Blues or
If you cut out the liner that comes with them (carefully!) and then you can wear a slightly thinner glove under them. But real thin feeling, even with that change? Probably not.

Or you can go thicker, get a pair of Deep Sea Dry Gloves from a dive (scuba) shop. Relatively new product, better than NRS Reactor gloves on warmth and paddle shaft feel. But hardly thin.

Or Pogies, which allow you to wear fairly thin gloves under them. But with Pogies you have to take your hands out of them to scratch your nose, or slide your hood back down, that kind of thing.

It’s easiest to relegate practice stuff that requires really good paddle shaft feel to warm indoor pools when the temps head into the lower 40’s and below.


I have three pairs of waterproof gloves. SealSkins, NRS, and Nordic Blue. The first two meet all of your requirements except warmth, (they are not). The Nordic Blue are warm and water proof, but a bit bulky. Sing provided some hints about burping them but I have not tried that yet.


When your gloves get wet
Wring them out. I use the NRS neoprene (2mil) gloves and they will take on some water but they insulate well after I wring them out. I also keep a back-up pair.

I have found that dressing warmly keeps my hands warm (good blood flow). I use my hands as a “guage”. When my hands start to get cold, I add layers/pick up the pace/stop for food.

Hated them at first
But learned to like the pogies when the chips are down. Keep your NRS gloves handy for rest stops though.

I use
Navigunner gloves from Blackhawk. Warmer than my Sealskins and more comfortable than any other Neo glove I have tried. (I ahve not tried the nordic blues or pogies so cannot compare em)

below freezing
isn’t for me, but at 28 degrees my hands were warm with the aforementioned Aleutian gloves and Mountain Surf pogies (basically neoprene windblocks).

I gave up sub-freezing paddling because it’s no fun trying to get an ice-covered kayak back into the hold while slipping around on an ice- covered, tippy dock.


Being a GP’er, pogies are anathema – you can’t change your grip (Which I do a lot). I’m told they work better than anything else, though.

What I found works best for me is a set of aleutians one size too big, with polypro liners under them. Cheap neoprene fisherman’s gloves from Wal-Mart are #2 on my list of warmness. I may try a set of Greenlandic mitts sometime, too. The inuit know a lot of stuff about survivng & functioning in the cold that the rest of us don’t…

My better half has Raynaud’s syndrome, and she’s an expert on keeping hands warm. It was her suggestion. She uses Aleutians under a set of specially modified pogies that fit on her GP & can quick-release. She claims her hands get too hot sometimes with that setup.


I have been using
the Aleutian gloves I got from Campmor.

They are a thin neoprene on the inside which is coated with soft & grippy “sharkskin” rubber. I did not think they would be warm enough, but was suprised after paddling in 38F water 22F air that my hands were toasty once I got the blood flowing a little.

Because the outer rubber is soft, it is prone to cut easily. They wont last forever, but the price is good so I don’t mind. I patched one small nick in a fingertip with aquaseal and they are holding up great so far.

APS gloves may be the ticket,
they’re dry gloves, lighter than Nordics, and quite inexpensive, about $17 delivered. The only thing I don’t care for is they are only available with the long cuff. I prefer the short cuff designs although I find the long cuff gloves easier to put on without assistance… and during the Wyoming winters I never have any assistance :slight_smile:

I’ve got a pair of men’s large and extra large. I’m iced out for a while and you are more than welcome to try them, see how they fit and if they’ll work in your reality.

They run a tad small so I use the large with light liners in the early cold waters and the extra large with heavier liners when the waters hit the lower 30s.

If you’re interested, send me your mailing address and I get 'em headed your way.

You can see them at:

They are the third to last item down the page.

Pleasant waters.


Thanks all.
There are some fantastic knowledgeable and above all generous folks on this forum.

Thank you Tsunamichuck for sending me a private e-mail offering to send me some surgical gloves, and thank you Holmes375 for your generous offer.

I am going to look at several of the gloves mentioned.

I had to chuckle when I went to take a drink from a fresh water bottle that was on the front deck, and there was a chunk of ice in it.

Cheers and

Merry Christmas,


I second this combo
APS latex gloves with poly liners are a great combo and give you a lot of dexterity.

Another approach I’m trying right now is a pair of neoprene mittens over a thin pair of neoprene gloves. I just finished making a tuiliq to use with my SOF and had some leftover material. I just traced my hand, made an oversized cut-out, stiched them up, glued the seams and presto, a new pair of toasty mittens.


I have a pair of Seda Neoprene mitts for use with a Greenland paddle. otherwise switch back to a euro blade and use pogies. Black Mambas make my hands sweat, they are too warm so I use Yellow jackets…The yellow jackets also roll up on the paddle for storage in case you don’t need them but want to already have them on the paddle for “just in case”, just slide them to the center of the paddle.

Last winter
I went to drink out of my frozen water bottle and it had split down the side. Talk about a dribble cup…


A interesting side note:
In training, I am usually doing intervals, so rather than use a bladder and tube, I just take a couple of the Deer Park water bottles and keep them under my front bungees and then take water on my recoup period.

Since I keep a case of it in the car, I decided to call Deer Park and ask them if the bottles would split if they frooze, (it gets to zero and below where I live). They said the water can freeze solid, and the bottom of the bottle will bulge out, but it won’t split.

They also said that when it thaws there will be a white powder residue (calcium carbonate)in the bottom of the bottle which is harmless, but might not look palatable.



Try Chota Fleece Lined Gloves
They go for $31 and are really good.



Cycling Gloves
It doesn’t get quite as cold here, Jack. I can usually get by on winter cycling gloves (combination neoprene and thinsulate). Warm, breathable, water resistant, with a leather palm. They’re designed for gripping (hadlebars) so the feel works well for me.

I’ve been using…
the Chota thin skin glove lately:

They are still, thicker than the “Kenai” version of the glove sold by Campmoor as the “Aleutian”. They are warmer but I am slightly less dexterous, too. My jury is still out but I prefer the Kenai as I’m more dexterous and when it is really cold I double up with the pogies. The Aleutian has that silly velcro band that I find a PIA, but you can eliminate it fairly easily.

I agree that a season of hard use is all that I get out of my Kenai’s, but then I just save the old ones for extras for other folks on club trips and on days I know I will beat the heck out of them.

Augustus Dogmatycus