Scuba diving gloves are among the most important components of your diving gear. Proper underwater hand protection is important not only in order prevent injuries resulting from touching or rubbing against edgy or rough surfaces, but also because you need to prevent heat loss through your hands in order to maintain the dexterity to use your diving equipment. Therefore, wearing the right gloves is absolutely essential for safe and comfortable dives.
Diving gloves are all made from neoprene materials, but they vary wildly in terms of heat retaining qualities. Some gloves are made from thin neoprene and are more suitable for warm water environments, where you don’t need so much thermal protection. If you are planning to dive in cold water, however, you should choose thicker gloves designed to protect you against lower temperatures. Choose gloves that are 2-3 mm thick for warm waters, but go for 5 mm neoprene if you will dive in waters colder than 20 degrees C (68 F). However, be warned that enhanced thermal protection comes for a price – the material that cold water gloves are made from being thicker, you will have considerably less dexterity when wearing your gloves.
Besides thermal protection, there are other aspects you should pay attention to when selecting the most suitable gloves:
Seams – seamed gloves are less watertight, so make sure you go for gloves with liquid taped seams or items that are stitched;
Choosing the right fit – the special material used in scuba diving gloves expands in the water, so choose gloves that feel a bit tight when you put them on outside the water. Most manufacturers use their own size charts, so consult the charts before you choose your gloves;
Secure fastening – some gloves come with straps that allow you to tighten them more securely around your wrists, thus providing more comfort;
Sturdiness with extra grip – choose gloves that have an additional grip layer on the palms, as they are more resistant to abrasion.
You can purchase your gloves from dive shops, stores that sell sporting equipment and from online shops as well. The scuba diving gloves are probably among the cheapest components of your diving gear, but if you are a beginner and you don’t know whether you will become a regular diver, you can rent your gloves before your dives from a local dive shop and buy your own later.