Paddling gloves for cold water

Just wondering if you all can recommend some gloves for cold water paddling, like when it gets down into the 30s and 40s? I’ve been using some 3 mm neoprene dive gloves, which are alright, but my hands still get pretty cold. I’m guessing maybe it’s because they’re wetsuit material, and designed to be constantly submerged. What happens it, they get wet when paddling, and sometimes my hands will dunk into the water, but for the most part, they’re in the air and wind. Is there a better option out there?

Personally I still use old fashioned wind-proof pogies. I put them on over cheap work gloves for below freezing. I’ve spent $$$ on neoprene gloves recommended on this forum, they either don’t hold up or are too slippery (I feather). Also and not surprising, aluminum paddle shafts suck the warmth out of your hands - go composite or wood.


Glacier gloves

Better than pogies if you’re in the water a long time. When it’s really cold I use nothing, light gloves or pogies. Depends on wind and splash. In the event I find myself in the water and extended amount of time I always have Glacier gloves tucked well inside my PFD.

I love these and they are on sale for $15!

I wonder if your 3 mm gloves could be too thick. The fingerless Guide gloves work great for me with temps in the 40s or high 30s. I know that sometimes on longer paddles my hands may sweat inside the gloves and then get cold so I always have a couple extra pair of dry back-up options in cold weather

Do pogies fit on a GP?

Pogies will impede your ability to do extended paddle techniques. I have used Nordic Blue (“dry”) gloves, various brands of neoprene gloves, surfer’s claw mitts, Level 6 neo mitts and NRS toaster mitts. I now have pogies which I intend to deal with colder air conditions but NOT for water temp under 50 (your hands will get INCAPCITATED!). For me, NRS toaster mitts is the way to go. Provides warmth in cold water conditions (air down to 20s and water temp down to upper 30s) and yets affords a feel for the paddle. The plus is that NRS mitts will hold up for several winters of usage before a seam blows (but I still keep 2-3 extra pairs around to not miss a winter paddle), while I have had seams blow on Level 6 mitts after 2-3 times out.

Do a search on neo gloves and mitts and you’ll find a multitude of threads discussing this topic. Most of the information are still relevant. Not much has changed with winter hand protection.



I suppose it depends on the pogie. Mine can fit a larger diam shaft than what I have but not if the velcro is aligned all the way on either side.

I bought these in the 70’s. Once they are on the shaft I can slip my hands out. Slipping back in involves holding the pogie with the other hand for the first one, then with my teeth for the second.


A larger diameter shaft on a Euro paddle is still no where near the width of a Greenland Paddle blade. Most GP users value the ability to slide up and down the full length of the paddle and these techniques are what significantly differentiates GP from Euro paddling. A pogie that can accommodate a GP blade width of 3-3.5" would then offer much less protection from water and air intrusion from the sides of the pogies.


Here is Greg Stamer’s (PNet’s more eminent Greenland style paddler, with due respect to @RoyM) take on cold water hand protection:


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Not effectively in my experience. I have created some before.

I use NRS mittens they discontinued I think. I put a nitrile disposable glove on left hand under mitten and a neoprene chemical glove on right. Right is the skirt attachment, photo and smoking hand. High was 39 today wind brisk and that right hand got cold a few times. Not from smoking. It Becomes comfortable paddling in a couple minutes, not warm. If I put that set up on and don’t take the mittens off it is comfortable as long as I want to paddle. 3 hours today.
Kind of like cross country skiing, don’t take very long breaks.

Peace J

Kosi Pogis

Light, heat reflective, fits wide range of shaft diameters, stiffened cuff = easy on/off.


I have both 3mm and 7mm neoprene dive gloves. The 3mm gloves are good for water temps down to maybe 50 degrees. The 7mm gloves were warm (when wet) even in icewater.

100% agree with warm, windproof pogies. I’ve tried everything else and nothing else compares.


Pogies AND a wind proof warm hat. Without a something on my head my hands are cold.

I also agree with the pogies recommendation but I prefer wool gloves or mittens to neoprene for cold weather paddling.

I have been using Glacier Glove Perfect Curve Waterproof Fleece-Lined Neoprene Gloves whenever it gets into the 30 - 40’s and they always keep me warm and dry. If it’s even colder, I will wear a pair of alpaca gloves inside the Glacier Gloves and it is toasty warm. Glacier Glove Perfect Curve Waterproof Gloves - Large - Black : Tools & Home Improvement


I recently tried a Vessi glove which is water proof and a knit. I put light weight Merino wool gloves inside and was very happy with them. They were flexible, easy to move on the greenland paddle, (gearlabs Ipik so shoulders were helpful in maintaining positioning) and kept my hands dry and warm in plus 4C, 39F air and water was about 8C or 47 F in a high mountain lake here in B.C. The cuffs sat nice with my suits cuffs. I’m always dipping my hand in the water as I paddle so I was pleased to see these actually worked.

Dumb question as I don’t use gloves and only paddle seasonally

Can a pair of wool gloves be worn under any of the neoprene gloves, providing they don’t let water in at the wrist?

If they fit comfortably

+1 for glacier gloves. It depends what you mean by “cold” water. I have two sets that i vary through out the fall-winter-early spring depending on temps.

  • Warm water, cool air to cool air cool water: This is generally my NRS hydroskin territory, keeps the hands warm but will get soaked and can let a lot of heat out if its really cold out. I generally don’t wear these in the coldest of the winters.
  • When it gets really cold out i move to the glacier gloves which i really like, the pre curved fingers are nice.

I also have the NRS Maverick gloves which work well in really cold water but i don’t like as much as the Glacier Gloves, I find the Glacier Gloves are a bit more comfortable on the inside.