Friday, October 11, 2013

Warm water gloves for diving

More often than not, I wear gloves while diving, even in the warm summer months.  This is primarily for protection, and not warmth.  If I neglect to wear them, after a weekend of diving I'll have cut my hands several times without fail (on the dock railing, on a piece of equipment, on a wreck, the list of possibilities goes on).

Because gloves are an item I use so frequently, I sought to find a pair for that met all of my criteria for diving:

  • Minimum loss of dexterity
  • Easy to don/doff
  • Ease of equipment operation
  • Sturdy
  • Quick drying
  • Inexpensive

After a test driving a variety of dive gloves I came to the conclusion that they were not what I needed at all. I didn't want form-fitting insulation or dense neoprene, I wanted protection, grip and dexterity.

Certainly dive manufacturers sell thin gloves for protection, but as it turns out a better solution was in my garage.  Mechanix, the de facto standard for work gloves, happen to be made entirely of synthetic material that holds up wonderfully for dive applications.  

Mechanix gloves are also widely used on firing ranges because they still allow for tactile sensation when worn, which is important for accuracy.  This same characteristic is beneficial when operating bolt snaps, flashlights, cameras, or really performing any task underwater.

I have several pair (and at $15.00 anyone can) but if you are feeling frugal, these don't have to be dedicated dive gloves.  When dry they hold up just as well in household applications as they do underwater.