Selecting the right gloves for you
Dive gloves are important for two main reasons; warmth and protection. To ensure you achieve these three, you have a lot of considerations when choosing the right diving glove for you. Style, size, thickness, wrist strap and grip are the main features we have broken down and discussed here, in hope of guiding you to the perfect pair for you.
Sizes for dive gloves are pretty straight forward, they come in the S, M, L, XL etc format. Sometimes they come in sizes that cover both such as XS-S, M-L, L-X but this largely depends on the manufacturer you buy them from. We recommend trying your dive gloves on before use, if you order them online, you can always return them for a different size.
The thickness of the glove you choose depends on the temperature of the water where you will be diving. They vary from 2mm up to 7mm are constructed from neoprene. Warmer waters should go for a thinner glove but any cold water divers should opt for a thickness of at least 5mm. As mentioned earlier in the purpose of dive gloves, cold hands can affect your dexterity and prevent you operating equipment or performing safety tasks, so it is vital that your gloves are thick enough to keep your hands suitably warm.
Most wrist straps on dive gloves are made up from a stretch material to wrap around and tighten the glove and are then secured in place with Velcro. On some gloves, you will find a concealed zipper as a means of tightening the glove to the wrist, the one you choose it entirely down to personal preference. Some gloves or mitts are slip on with no wrist tightening strap, it is important that this type will tuck securely into your wetsuit.
While the basic glove consists mainly of neoprene, there are additional features such as grip and tear resistance offered with use of materials such as rubber and Kevlar.
Grip is important to aid functionality so your hand can securely hold important equipment; there is a wide range of styles available dependant on manufacturer. Kevlar is an extremely durable hard wearing material with is almost completely impenetrable. Especially useful for tech divers who use their hands a lot under water, they will protect you against any abrasions or scratches for not much more expense.
Mittens are three finger gloves which are designed for the utmost hand warmth when diving. Made of neoprene, their thickness usually ranges from 5mm- 7mm. They have separate finger holes for your thumb and index finger but they group the other three fingers of your hand together which keeps your hand as warm as it can be whilst not impeding on dexterity and freedom to operate other equipment.
Five finger Gloves
Five finger gloves are the most popular as they are available in a range of thicknesses to suit most divers' needs. They allow for more flexibility the thinner they are, but don't let that trump the importance of keeping your hands warm. Even 7mm variations of this style of glove will not be as warm as the mitten style glove.
Dry gloves often come with wrist straps to seal any water out and keep your hand completely dry when diving, this in turn will keep your hand warmer. You must ensure they are sealed correctly as leakages can be distracting and uncomfortable during a dive.