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Old 11-13-2008   #1
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 30
What Gloves do you wear? Recommendations...


I am looking at getting a set of gloves for my kayak. It seems that NRS has the most out there to offer as far as selection is concerned. My paddling will be taking place May - Oct...with the bulk in Jun - Sept, so the glove will be more for blister protection.

Actually I was thinking about getting 2 set of the fingerless and another with fingers...

How would you rate the NRS Hydroskin, and the NRS Guide Gloves?

Would you recommend those, or something else. Any suggestions are appreciated. Also...any recos for a PA Boater Forum that does not suck...something for the Yough or Slippery Rock. None of the forums I have found match this one...



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Old 11-13-2008   #2
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
I don't really like gloves. Many boaters use pogies so you can still grab the paddle with your hands and have the warmth of pogies over them. If you are paddling in super cold conditions, toaster mitts are good for hand warmth.

As for blisters, if you paddle with any regularity the blisters go away and become a callous, so I wouldn't think blisters should be a reason for handwear long term.

I wear pogies in very cold rockies runoff with air temps into the 50's. When air temps are in the 30's I start thinking toaster mitts. The mittens keep your hands warmer than gloves.

The problem with gloves is that the thicker they are, the warmer they are, but the less dexterity you have. This problem is solved pretty well by pogies.

Of course there are likely many boaters who prefer gloves, but the majority I run into are

1) use pogies when its cold 85%+
2) never use any handwear at all <10%
3) use some other sort of handwear like gloves <5%

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Old 11-13-2008   #3
Airborne2504's Avatar
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 420
I also like the pogies. I like being able to feel the paddle shaft. I've tried gloves, and I feel like I have less control due to the fact that I can't feel where my hands are at on the shaft.

I just got back from a Westwater trip and pogies kept my hands, warm and dry. And, if you need to adjust your hand posistion on the paddle, the pogies easily slide where your hand goes with little force.

I use the IR Microwave Pogie; keeps the hands warm and toasty, and is low profile so getting your hands in and out is quick and biting required on one pogie to get them on all the way.

Here's the link to the IR's:
Immersion Research MicroWave Pogie
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Old 11-13-2008   #4
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 273
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I am originally from the Northeast and have found that...

80% of Colorado boaters wear pogies
80% of Northeast Boaters wear gloves
(Paddling in the Northeast is usually colder, since it involves paddling in the late fall, winter, and early spring)

A lot of boaters in Colorado prefer pogies because you can grip the paddle directly with your hands, which at feels more natural at first. However, I find that after using gloves just a few times, I easily adjust to the slightly different grip.

Pogie pros:
-direct grip on paddle shaft
-do not wear out (holes) as quickly
Pogie cons:
-must cannot be worn during rescue situations, and your hands will become useless in a matter of minutes
-if you swim and loose you paddle, you also just lost you pogies (can be serious on wilderness runs like the upper animas for example)
-cannot change grip positions as easily.
-makes seal launching considerably more difficult (usually must be done without wearing pogies)
-not as warm as gloves

glove pros:
-can be worn during rescue situations; allows you to keep finger dexterity much longer (could possibly save your buddies life)
- allow you to change the location that you grip your paddle
- if you swim, you still have your gloves
- they are warmer!
glove cons:
-tend to get holes in certain spots
-some people say they can be hard to adjust to (gripping the paddle)

When it comes down to the safety of the people you kayak with, gloves are without a doubt the way to go. They really are not that hard to get used to. Paddle wax or a small shaft paddle can help, but personally I have never needed either to adjust.

NRS Reactor gloves are the warmest and best that I have tried. Watch out for those "Toaster mitts", truly a safety hazard!
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Old 11-13-2008   #5
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,347
OK, not a kayaker here, but I like gloves. I use the guide and rapid glove. The guide glove is very thin, pretty much lycra, good for hand protection (sun, cuts, blisters, etc) NOT a cold weather glove. My husband got the reactor this fall, just before we took a cold-water whitewater rescue course, so it wasn't boating. But for warmth and comfort, he loved them. I'm going to get a pair for April boating this year.

I second the comment about one of the benefits of gloves over pogies is in rescue situations. You can't help anyone if you can't function, and one of my priorities is to not watch a friend die, or at least not be in a situation where my choice affected my ability to help. Also think long scouts, and if you like to take multiple runs, your hands will stay warmer keeping them in the gloves on the hike - and protect you in case you fall - slicing a glove is better than slicing skin.
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 11-13-2008   #6
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
I have a pair of the NRS creeking gloves with the kevlar, which I like for select runs (icy creeking, like the Source). They have a faux leather palm, however, so they're not very warm. But I'll let you guys in on a little secret for increasing leather glove warmth: wear a pair of latex gloves underneath.

Another trick- for dead-of-winter pogie use, I've taken a pair of thin glove liners and put a pair of dishwathing gloves over those. Then you just have to tuck the cuffs of the DW gloves into your drytop gaskets. When I used to man up for long, cold Westwater in February, that combo worked very well. Always bring extra pairs in case they get torn.

Now, to the original post: I believe Bob's main concern was blisters, not warmth, so I would go with a comfortable leather palm glove from NRS. Neoprene tends to cramp my hands. My $.02
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Old 11-13-2008   #7
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 174
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Glacier Goves cannot be beat! The gloves, not the pogies.

Products - Water Sports
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Old 11-13-2008   #8
FRESNO, California
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 39
One more vote for Pogies. I like the feel of the shaft. (Insert joke here)
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Old 11-14-2008   #9
Chief Niwot's Avatar
West of Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 643
Gloves for Protection

I have been wearing the basic NRS gloves for years. However, after breaking the tendon in my ring finger labor day(mallet finger, tendon above the finger nail) on the Big Tommy, I want to go for some protective gloves next year.

Luckily, this injury happened at the end of the paddling season. It is still a problem trying to get it better. I have been splinting for six weeks to let the tendon reattach and still not 100% right. I will be teleing at the area without poles for the start of ski season. I hope it is recovered by the time we get real snow and I need them poles for steeps, trees and the BC.

Any recommendations for protective gloves other then the NRS creeking gloves?
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Old 11-14-2008   #10
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
Originally Posted by xkayaker13 View Post
I am originally from the Northeast and have found that...

NRS Reactor gloves are the warmest and best that I have tried. Watch out for those "Toaster mitts", truly a safety hazard!
You surprised me with this one. The NRS Reactor glove is super warm, but it's also super thick and bulky and I feel like I lose a lot of dexterity with it. I find it a little difficult to work a rope with them or any finer motor skills. Their thickness also forces you to grip different and I feel different muscles in my forearms get worked (compared to pogies or nada).

I almost always use pogies, but agree gloves are a bit safer in really cold water/weather. However, I disagree with 2 of Christian's pros/cons. I find it very easy to slide them on the shaft to change grips. Precarious seal launches can make it difficult to get your one hand in the pogie before launching, but this usually is a minor problem as you just slide it to one side and grab the paddle, then put it in after landing.

One pogie con in creekboating is sometimes you need to pull a hand off the paddle to grab something and then grab the paddle again. If seconds are critical it can throw you off trying to get your hand back in the pogie or sliding the pogie to the side.

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