Choosing your sailing gear carefully can make all the difference to performance and sailing gloves are no exception.
The type of gloves you require differ according to the type of sailing you’re doing. However, all gloves should provide protection from the elements, rope and other friction burns and general knocks and bumps.
During Winter when you are sailing, it’s much more difficult to keep your hands warm, especially as you are generally using them a lot of the time to grip wheels, tie knots and deal with on board electronics.
It’s actually a big task to find a pair of gloves that will keep your hands protected from the elements whilst still enabling you to perform intricate tasks that might require flexibility from your hands and fingers.
We’ve picked out some of this season’s best sailing gloves from top brands.
Gill have long been one of the world’s leading sailing glove brands. The Championship gloves have proved very popular among the dinghy and inshore sailing community due to their excellent grip and flexibility.
They feature Gill’s Dura-Grip™ fabric on the palm which offer this excellent level of grip. The stretch fabric allows for a snug and close fit but is also durable. They are available in long and short fingers depending on the temperature of the sailing conditions you frequently sail in.
These gloves have a superior fit giving you maximum flexibility and dexterity. Available in both long and short finger versions, the performance gloves from Musto offer excellent protection from rope burn.
Musto introduced a new technology for the fabrics in this range, meaning the wearer will have better grip and which makes the glove much more hard-wearing. The pre-curved construction of these gloves offers excellent grip and they are fully adjustable with multiple stretch panels.
Musto have reinforced the fingers in these performance gloves to help prevent rope burn, and the quick dry Amara fabric means you’re hands should stay warm.
The Helmsman glove offers a versatile glove that is designed to offer protection from the harshest conditions. They offer a level of warmth exceeding that of many competitors and the waterproof/breathable liner will help to keep your hands dry and comfortable
Designed for long shifts at the helm these gloves offer excellent comfort but don’t hinder your dexterity. Using Gill’s Dura-Grip™ technology they also offer excellent performance in wet and dry conditions.
These Gill sailing gloves include a drawstring closure, as well as the ability to tighten the glove around the wrist with wrist adjustment webbing. Both of these features should help your hands to stay protected from the elements whilst you’re sailing.
SealSkinz have been developing 100% waterproof gloves and socks since 1999 and are considered one of the best sailing manufacturers in the world. The activity gloves offer an extremely comfortable alternative to conventional sailing gloves.
These gloves are made from goatskin leather, making them much more supple than alternatives whilst still being warm and durable. Pre-curved fingers in these gloves give you some extra comfort whilst providing more dexterity to allow you to do most jobs on the boat without having to take the gloves off first.
Made by the experts, the Activity Gloves are 100% waterproof and breathable and should keep your hands warm and dry. They also feature a supple but durable leather palm making them an excellent all round glove.
These gloves are the perfect choice for inshore and offshore racing. The wind resistant Neoprene and Primaloft® hydrophobic insulation keeps your hands warm even when they’re wet.
They offer excellent grip and dexterity thanks to the patented pre-curved fingers and will last a lifetime thanks to the seamless construction. Available in either long or short finger variants, these gloves really live up to their name!
Best Sailing Glove Brands
Although gloves designed for sailing can be pricier than high street Brands, they are well worth the investment. Sailing gloves have to be comfortable and hard wearing. If your gloves fail to deliver on warmth, comfort and grip it could effect your whole sailing expedition.
SealSkinz are without doubt one of the best manufacturers of sailing gloves. Their gloves are worn by competitors in top boating competitions. In fact two thirds of the teams in the last Global Challenge, arguably the toughest yacht race in the world were wearing Sealskinz gloves. Sealskinz focus heavily on creating sailing gloves which are waterproof & breathable and dexterous. Many of Sealskinz sailing gloves contain unique product features that are hard to find in other sailing gloves.
Gill are considered by many as the world leader manufacturer of sailing gloves, and they have their kit used by race teams across various genre’s of sailing. Gill invest heavily in rigorous testing on the water and in extreme weather conditions. Gill also made the bold move in 2002 to move away from using “branded” fabrics, and instead use fabrics chosen and engineered for their sailing gloves, meaning they actually have a lot more control over the performance of their gloves.
Musto is a British manufacturer, and is the world’s leading offshore sailing brand. The Musto brand was developed by silver Olympic medal winner Keith Musto, which provides some reassurance that the team are designing sailing gloves with an awareness of the problems encountered off shore. Musto use well known and well tested fabrics in their gloves .including Polartec®, Arctec® and GORE-TEX®.
What Type of gloves should you invest in?
Keeping your hands dry is one of the key factors in keeping your hands warm, this isn’t easy when you’re constantly handling wet equipment, so we would recommend investing in sailing gloves which are waterproof no matter what type you go for.
Regular seafarers will want to invest in at least a few pairs of gloves to be ready for the mixture of tasks and elements that sailing can present.
For warm conditions, thin mid weight gloves will suffice. These will just enough to protect your hands when performing most onboard jobs.
For very cold conditions where you don’t need your hands for anything but grasping your flask of tea, full mittens like these ones from SealSkinz are perfect.