What should you look for when buying scuba diving gloves?
Like any hobby, you can go as expensive or as cheap as you want when it comes to buying important gear. Having said that, diving is the type of activity where you don’t have to spend a lot to get quality gear. Plus, you have to ensure you’re buying from reputable sellers, as faulty equipment could lead to a very serious accident.
This guide has been written based on my experience with diving gloves, and outlines exactly what I look for, regardless of experience levels.
There’s no need to spend a fortune, but you should be wary of anything that seems too cheap. So, what does ‘cheap’ mean in this context? basically, stick to reputable stores like the ones I’ve linked to, and you’ll be fine… then you don’t have to worry about whether you’re paying too much or too little for a new pair of quality diving gloves!
The most common material you’ll see good gloves made of is neoprene, which is used primarily for its durability. You’ll also see some of the more premium gloves coated with kevlar (yep, like the vest), which provides an even greater reinforcement to the glove without largely adding to the overall weight.
That is another point; you don’t want your gloves to be made off too-bulky a material, otherwise, you won’t be able to grip or swim. This is particularly important if you’re looking to go spear fishing… what’s the use in a reinforced glove if you can’t close your first, swim properly or grip a spear?
Finally, I’ve included multiple gloves for broader diving uses, and then also ones for specific types of diving. If you think there are any that I’ve missed, please let me know and I’ll get them added to this list!
What makes these gloves ‘the best’?
I suppose ‘best’ is subjective, but ultimately what I’m looking for here (based on these gloves that are tried and tested) is that they tick-off the following:
- A fair price
- Quality (which is crucial for diving)
- Easy to wear
- Have actually been tested
You’ll see as this guide goes on why I’ve decided on these gloves too. There’s quite the variety to ensure that there’s a glove in here for you based on your diving skills and experience. If you do have any questions, feel free to drop me a message or speak to your local diving school about the correct equipment for you.
15 of the best scuba diving gloves for all skill levels
1. 3.5mm Akona Scuba Diving Gloves
To start things off, we have these excellent mid to lightweight diving gloves. Made from 3.5mm neoprene, they’re a good trade-off between warmth and dexterity, suitable for cool (but not cold) water diving. They’re both glued and blind stitched, for a strong and sealed effect, and the titanium construction means they’re both comfortable and extremely durable.
They have AkonaGrip on the palm for extra grip when handling items underwater, and a handy wrist gusset for ease of removal and putting on. At $25.95, they’re competitively priced, a great option for snorkelers or divers!
2. 5mm Akona Superstretch Gloves
When you start to require warmer gloves for diving, there’s often that dreaded trade-off with dexterity. When neoprene gets to 5mm, it can be cumbersome, especially in complex structures like gloves.
Akona here have managed to get around that to a certain degree – their Super Stretch neoprene stretches 200% more than ‘normal’ neoprene, meaning that a 5mm glove can be warm and still allow you to handle things safely and easily while diving.
It has a long wrist for added overlap with your wetsuits, and the gusset provides a tight seal!
3. 5mm Kevlar Rugged Tear Resistant Pre-Curved Gloves
For professional or very keen amateur divers, a rugged pair of gloves is a must. Comfort is nice, but most regular strength neoprene gloves won’t last long at all if they see the intense use that professional divers are likely to give them.
These 5mm gloves have a tear-resistant Kevlar palm, and should last for ages even when used and abused.
The fingers are also wrapped in Kevlar, and are pre-curved to help enable gripping items, as Kevlar isn’t the most flexible! Despite their strength, they’re still quite comfortable – a great choice for those looking for a tough glove.
4. 2mm Camouflage Spear Fishing Gloves (Amara Palm Camo)
While most 2mm gloves aren’t renowned for their strength, this pair are surprisingly tough!
With reinforcements in both the palm and the fingertips, they’ll outlast most other lightweight gloves, all while offering the same dexterity and comfort that users will be looking for in such a thickness. The neoprene is extra soft, and they feel flexible even for a 2mm glove.
They come in both blue and green camouflage, and would be a great choice for those looking for a comfortable warm water spearfishing glove!
5. 3.5mm Akona Kevlar Black Scuba Diving Gloves
If you’re looking for an extremely tough mid-weight diving glove, this may be perfect for you.
They’re 3.5mm, so great for cool water diving and snorkeling, but also have a thick Kevlar coating on the palm and fingers.
This does mean that they lose some of their dexterity, but they do gain an incredible degree of durability. They’re well made, glued and blind stitched for a watertight construction, and have an effective wrist gusset to provide a tight seal.
6. 5mm Cold Water Diving Textured Palm
A very solid choice for cold water diving, these gloves will keep you warm for long sessions.
There’s nothing worse than having more in the tank (literally and metaphorically) but having to come up due to cold extremities; these 5mm gloves, in addition to being thick, are glued and blind stitched, which creates a good seal to prevent cold water penetration.
The gusset provides a tight seal, and the palms are dotted with a grippy material, to make handling things just that bit easier!
7. 1mm Akona Bug Hunter Gloves (Lobster Diving)
If you’re looking for a thin, comfortable protective glove for warm water lobster diving, this might just be perfect.
It’s just 1mm thick, with an extremely strong ArmorTex palm providing exceptional durability, and a neoprene back giving that little bit of extra warmth. The palm is nylon lined for extra grip, and the wide elastic wrist strap offers a comfortable yet tight fit.
These really are a well-thought-out technical pair of gloves, and for the price, you just can’t go wrong.
8. 3mm SeaSoft TI Titanium Dina Hide Gloves
For those who prioritise comfort while diving for leisure, these gloves may suit you well. While they’re just 3mm thick, they also feature two layers of Titanium Flake Foil to provide additional heat retention.
That means you have a surprisingly warm glove which is still incredibly comfortable and flexible. They’re also 75% Dina-Hyde, which adds a significant amount of durability and toughness, and there are no seams in the palms for both increased comfort and ease of fit.
They won’t suit heavy use and labour too well, but then that’s not what they’re for.
9. 3mm SeaSoft TI Pro Titanium Kevlar Gloves
If you fancy the comfort of the gloves reviewed above but with some added durability, then these may tick that box quite well.
They’re still 3mm thick, with two layers of Titanium Flake Foil for that extra bit of heat retention; in addition to that, they’re constructed with 75% Kevlar, which makes them really quite tough.
The palms and fingertips are reinforced with Kevlar to help the heavy wear parts last a little longer, and they still have no seams in the palm for added comfort!
10. 3mm Seasoft TI Titanium Kevlar PRO Edge Glove
Often those who want to participate in underwater activities that require a sensitive touch (such as spearfishing and photography) have to choose between warmth and sensitivity.
This pair offers a good solution to that dilemma; they’re 3mm thick, with double-layered Titanium Flake Foil for added warmth, but on the index finger and thumb, they’re just 1.5mmm.
This thinner patch means you can really feel what you’re handling, whether that’s shooting film or a speargun. They’re also made with 75% Kevlar, which means that while supple and well thought out, they’ll also last you a fair while!
11. 1.5mm Quality Mesh Reef Sporting Glove
For most of your warm water diving needs, these mesh gloves can provide you with an effective solution.
They feature lycra panels for added comfort and flexibility, with reinforcements in the thumb and palm for added strength where you need it.
They come in either all black or a blue and gray combination, and the Velcro adjustable wrist offers easy and comfortable adjustability. They’re truly versatile, and for just under $20, you can’t go wrong.
12. 5mm Tilos Keprotec Gauntlet Adjustable Glove
These gloves manage to offer both warm and durability at an extraordinarily low price. Made from 5mm neoprene, they’re ideal for cold water diving, and with the extended gauntlet will facilitate the creation of a very effective seal.
The fingers and palm are covered in a material called Keprotec, which is similar to Kevlar and adds enormously to their durability. The gusset is easy to tighten and release, and for under $15, I can’t really think of a better cold water diving glove.
13. 3mm Kevlar Rugged Tear Resistant Gloves
A great midweight option, these gloves are well suited to heavy use in cool water environments.
They’re 3mm thick for a good mix between warmth and dexterity, and the fingers are wrapped in Kevlar for extra durability. They’re glued and blind stitched as you’d expect from a high-quality glove, and the Velcro wrist closure facilitates a very effective seal against your sleeve.
With the palms also coated in Kevlar, this is the dream glove – strong, warm, and comfortable!
14. HyperFlex 7mm Cold Water Mitts Mesh Skin ‘Oven Mitt’ Gloves
For true cold water diving, you really can’t beat a mitt for keeping your hands warm. The mitts are 7mm thick, and are the warmest item of hand protection in Hyperflex’s line of handwear.
The neoprene is surprisingly flexible for the thickness, which helps a lot with warmth, but they certainly aren’t capable of any tasks that require any level of dexterity.
In addition to the 7mm neoprene, they use Chill Breaker mesh skin to block evaporative cooling, helping keep your hands warm even in extra cold climates.
15. OMER 5mm Spider Glove (Spearfishing Gloves)
Finally, we have another great hunting glove from OMER. At 5mm, it’s suitable for cold water diving, and will keep your hands comfortable for long sessions.
There are multiple points of reinforcement, making them extra durable, and there are effective grip pads to help with gripping the spear gun.
The cut is excellent, and if it suits your hand shape, you may find this provides a one glove solution to your cold water diving and hunting needs. They may be a little more expensive than the other gloves on this list, but they’re certainly worth it.
Whether you’re new to scuba diving and are viewing this guide as a beginner, or your current gloves have seen better days and you’re looking for new ones, then I hope it has been of use to you.
I love diving and writing these types of gear guides, and hopefully, you found this interesting as a reader too!
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