Summer paddling gloves for UV protection

Are there any gloves out there that are good for UV protection and are reasonably comfortable to wear while either canoeing or kayaking?

Sunscreen seems to be a problem to keep off of the paddle grip and shaft and it seems to soften the finish on my carbon canoe paddle grips as well as being a little slippery.

It’s more challenging to keep the sunscreen off of the canoe paddle grip and shaft than it is on a kayak paddle shaft because of all of the hand position changes when switching sides and varying strokes.

I’d prefer not to wear my neoprene Glacier Glove Kenai all purpose gloves, but I don’t want sunburn on the backs of my hands, either. The river trips are usually four to six hours in the sun.


never tried them, but they seem to fit your needs. Backs only no palm cover.

Kokatat offers sun protection mitts in their ‘destination’ line:

They look pretty goofy to me, don’t think I’d wear them. Warmers makes light weight paddling gloves that I also haven’t tried.

I found some very light weight stretchy Fox mountain biking gloves at a sporting goods store that I wear when all I want is sun protection - they were about $10 and have good palm padding. They’ve lasted longer than I thought they would.

Glacier Gloves
I use these year round in south FL and they hold up to about 2 seasons of every weekend paddling:

Scroll down to see the: LYCRA SUN GLOVE WITH Polyurethane PALM

A much better solution and you can
forgo the gloves:

My wife and I after applying sunscreen, and just before entering the boats, reach down and pick up a hand full of sand or fine gravel and wash our palms and under side of our fingers with it, and rub it around until the sunscreen is gone.

Works like a charm !



half fingered?
if you will consider this style, you’ll find the advantage is your keep your natural “touch” on the paddle shaft while the palm side improves grip (while maintaining the light loose hold to prevent wrist fatigue).

Harbinger makes them w. a solid palm and solid back of the hand. Crack of Dawn’s have a solid palm but the back has an oval shaped opening, which will tan your hands w. an oval like the logo for the Ford Motor Co. I know you will like that :wink:

Both styles are light, pack small, go on and off easily w. velcro, do not wiggle around or come off, & wear like iron. Cut to stay close to and low on the wrist. They also mate nicely over dry top gaskets and have enough length to tuck securely under a drysuit sleeve such as Kokatat’s.

NRS Lightweight gloves
I don’t know what they are called, but the lighweight gloves from NRS come in multiple sizes for a good fit, have a tough enough facing on the palms and fingers to stand up to badly worn (rough) paddle shafts, and light cloth everywhere that durability isn’t needed. I can operate all the tiny buttons on my digital camera with these gloves on, and I wear them almost all the time.

3 of the options
I’ve used NRS Boaters Gloves, Chota Paddling Gloves and West Marine Sailing Gloves (1/2 or 3/4 finger) for warm weather paddling. All three work fine. These days I prefer the West Marine Sailing Gloves. They seem to hold up the best and are 3/4 finger.

Sailing Gloves:

Boaters Gloves:

Paddling Gloves:

UV gloves at REI

I have a pair of these. Work well nad are not too bulky (I hate using gloves while paddling).Jim

I’ve been using gloves designed for
mountain biking. They stand up to water because they stand up to heavy perspiration. They have good “feel” and paddle shaft traction.

A lot of clothes and clothing accessories are being marketed as having high SPF protection. Personally, I have found that silkweight Patagonia gives quite adequate protection, and I can’t imagine what the SPF protection craze is about. If you can’t see things through a fabric, it’s going to provide considerable UV attenuation.

These work fine. If you have really fair skin, you’ll still get a little sun, but no burn (after a week paddling vacation last summer, I noticed a tan line on my hand). One added benefit to wearing them is that they keep your hands cooler if there’s any sort of breeze to blow across the wet fabric.

the BEST product - IMO
of course I can’t find a company in the US that makes them, and ordering them from NZ is a bit pricey. There are 3 companies (1 in NZ and 2 in Australia) that make them.

In the meantime I make my own using my old ones as a sewing template.

I wear them all year round, unless it is really cold. In the summer they keep the sun off (and don’t get too hot). In cold weather they keep the backs of my palms a bit warmer, and also keep the wind chill off the backs of my hands. Even more important is that I still have my fingers and palms free so I can feel my paddle shaft.

Look at these

They protect the back of your hand but give you barehanded contact with your paddle.

Thanks for the great suggestions.
It looks like I have several to choose from.

Batting gloves
I came across a pair of batting gloves in Walmart and tried them. Keep in mind I don’t like gloves and only wear them for working when i’m trimming roses but I wear batting gloves for paddling. The batting gloves are comfortable and have a gripping layer on the palms.

Full-fingered mesh-backed gloves
I just bought a pair of light work/gardening gloves made by West County. They’re machine-washable and have mesh backs and lightly padded palms. Because I don’t normally wear gloves while paddling, I can’t say how well these would work for that purpose. But if you might use them for other purposes, they’re a cheap try at $20 per pair, available at Whole Foods Market.