When you go diving you want to enjoy yourself or complete your mission in the most effective and comfortable way possible. Gloves can play a major role in keeping your fingers and hands warm and safe from other external factors that might cause cuts, abrasions or punctures.
What type of environment are you entering? Based on the temperature of the water, you should provide a level of thermal protection as a sort of extension of your wet or dry suit. When the water is cold enough for a heavy wetsuit or a drysuit, you will need a measure of insulation on your hands to make sure they are warm enough to have the necessary dexterity to be safe and comfortable. If you are doing a penetration into a cave or wreck, protection from abrasion is important.
What is the purpose of your dive? If you are doing construction or salvage work, you need a very sturdy glove. A photographer will need to have fairly articulate use of hands and fingers. Night diving or penetration has the risk of damage to the hands and warrants protection.
How thick should the gloves be? Generally speaking, the colder the water, the thicker the glove. The available range is .5-7 mm. A general guideline is:
- 1-3 mm: water between 16-24°C (61-75°F)
- 5-7 mm: water between 8-16°C (46-61°F)
The basic material used for thermal protection is neoprene. It is flexible and adheres well to the hands. When the material is thin, it is easier to put them on and take them off. When the material is thicker, not only is donning and doffing more difficult, there is also decreased flexibility and dexterity. For warm water dives, other materials including textiles and leather can be used.
Aside from neoprene, textiles and leather, several other materials are used. Amara is synthetic leather that can be used on the palm for added grip. Kevlar is a synthetic fiber that is used to reinforce against abrasion and general wear and tear, which is important on work gloves. Dyneema is another new polyethylene fiber that is also very strong that is appearing on some models.
There are also some design variations. The basic style is the normal five finger glove. For the coldest of water, mittens may be the ticket, but some dexterity will be forfeited. Donning and doffing is a consideration. Solid wrist gloves are more difficult in that regard. The elasticity of the neoprene is important for easy on and off. Split wrist designs with velcro or a zipper make donning and doffing easier, but perhaps the water flow in through the wrist will be greater.
The below selection provides a range for you to consider in your selection process, based on the type of diving you do.
Scuba Diving Gloves
- 1.5 mm neoprene
- Very light at 4 oz
- Heat taped seams for easy on and off
- Printed palm aids in gripping
- 5 mm stretch neoprene
- 7.2 oz
- Cold water glove with thermoflex lining for added warmth
- Easy on and off, snug fit and minimal water entry due to stretch material and seams that are stitched, welded and glued
- 5 mm Nylon II Neoprene for cold water
- 12.8 oz
- Water resistant finish
- 1.5 inch velcro wrist closure
- Ergonomic flexible pre-bent fingers
- Palm of woven, durable Akona ArmorTex material for resistence to abrasion and punctures with flexibility
- Glued and blind stitched
- Flexible premium neoprene in 3mm or 5mm thicknesses
- Very light 4 ounces
- Velcro elastic wrist enclosure
- Textured palm for a good grip
- Glued and sewn seams ensure no leakage
- 3 or 5 mm Everflex neoprene
- Contoured shape for flexibility
- Silverskin nylon lining with metalite coating for warmth retention
- Comfortable, quick drying inner plush lining
- Textured fingers for a good grip
- 2 mm neoprene and nappa leather
- Abrasion resistant palm
- Good sensitivity and dexterity in the fingers
- Large velcro area on wrist for adjustment
- 2.5 mm high stretch neoprene
- Metalite lining for smooth surface and easy on and off
- Preformed semi-bent fingers
- Non-slip finish for good grip
- 1.5 mm neoprene mesh back and Lycra panel insertion make for flexibility
- Amara leather palms for good grip
- Reinforced palm and thumb
- Durable blind stitched seams
- Adjustable wrist band
- Protection from scratches and punctures
- Warm water use
- 1.6 oz
Dive Glove Care and Maintenance
- Rinse in fresh water after each dive (just like a wetsuit). Don’t machine wash or use detergent.
- Allow them to thoroughly dry out of the sun in a ventilated place. Textile gloves will take longer than neoprene models.
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