A Comprehensive Guide to Scuba Diving Gloves

Explore the ultimate guide to scuba diving gloves – materials, thickness, care tips. Dive in safely and stay warm underwater!


Scuba diving is an exhilarating experience that allows us to explore the wonders of the underwater world. However, it’s essential to ensure proper gear to make the dive safe and enjoyable. Among the essential equipment for scuba diving are gloves, which play a crucial role in protecting your hands from cold temperatures, abrasions, and potentially harmful marine life. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about scuba diving gloves, from their importance to the different types available and how to choose the right pair for your underwater adventures.

diver in the water

Why Are Scuba Diving Gloves Important?

Scuba diving gloves serve multiple purposes, making them an indispensable part of a diver’s gear. Here are some key reasons why they are important:

  1. Protection: Scuba diving gloves protect your hands from various hazards, including sharp rocks, coral reefs, and marine life such as jellyfish and sea urchins. They act as a barrier between your skin and potential abrasions or cuts, reducing the risk of injury.
  2. Thermal Insulation: Underwater environments can be significantly colder than the surface, especially in deep dives or during dives in colder climates. Scuba diving gloves provide thermal insulation to keep your hands warm and prevent discomfort or even frostbite.
  3. Enhanced Grip: Wet surfaces and equipment can become slippery underwater, making it challenging to maintain a secure grip. Diving gloves typically feature textured palms and fingers, providing better grip and dexterity when handling gear or navigating rocky terrain.
  4. UV Protection: Exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays is still a concern underwater. Some scuba diving gloves offer UV protection, shielding your hands from sunburn and long-term damage.

Types of Scuba Diving Gloves

Scuba diving gloves come in a variety of materials, thicknesses, and styles, each designed to suit different diving conditions and preferences. Here are the most common types:

  1. Neoprene Gloves: Neoprene is a popular material for scuba diving gloves due to its excellent thermal properties and flexibility. Neoprene gloves come in various thicknesses, ranging from thin gloves for warm-water diving to thicker options for cold-water environments.
  2. Kevlar Gloves: Kevlar is a durable and abrasion-resistant material often used in dive gloves designed for diving in challenging conditions or environments with sharp surfaces, such as wrecks or caves. Kevlar gloves provide excellent protection against cuts and punctures.
  3. Mesh Gloves: Mesh gloves are lightweight and breathable, making them ideal for warm-water diving or as a secondary layer underneath thicker gloves. While they offer less insulation, mesh gloves provide added protection against abrasions and allow for greater dexterity.
  4. Dry Gloves: Dry gloves, also known as drysuit gloves, are designed to be used with drysuits to maintain a watertight seal at the wrist. These gloves keep your hands completely dry, providing maximum warmth and protection in cold-water diving conditions.
diver wear a gloves

Choosing the Right Scuba Diving Gloves

When selecting scuba diving gloves, several factors should be considered to ensure they meet your needs and preferences:

  1. Water Temperature: The water temperature of your dive destination will dictate the thickness of gloves you need. Warmer waters require thinner gloves (1-3mm), while colder waters necessitate thicker gloves (5mm or more).
  2. Dexterity: Consider the level of dexterity required for your dive activities. Thicker gloves offer more insulation but may limit finger movement, while thinner gloves provide better dexterity but less warmth.
  3. Durability: If you’ll be diving in environments with sharp or abrasive surfaces, prioritize gloves made from durable materials such as neoprene or Kevlar to ensure they can withstand wear and tear.
  4. Fit: Proper fit is crucial for comfort and performance underwater. Choose gloves that fit snugly without restricting blood flow or causing discomfort, and ensure they have adjustable closures to prevent water from entering.
  5. Additional Features: Some gloves come with extra features such as reinforced fingertips, extended cuffs, or touch-screen compatibility. Consider these features based on your specific needs and preferences.

Caring for Your Scuba Diving Gloves

To prolong the life of your scuba diving gloves and maintain their performance, proper care and maintenance are essential. Here are some tips:

  1. Rinse thoroughly with freshwater after each dive to remove saltwater, sand, and debris.
  2. Allow gloves to air dry completely away from direct sunlight before storing them.
  3. Avoid contact with sharp objects or rough surfaces that could cause tears or punctures.
  4. Periodically inspect gloves for signs of wear and tear, such as fraying seams or holes, and replace them as needed.
  5. Store gloves flat or hanging to prevent creasing and maintain their shape.
black diving gloves

Dive Glove Durability

Durability is an important factor to consider when choosing diving gloves, especially if you’ll be diving in environments with sharp or abrasive surfaces. Gloves made from high-quality neoprene or reinforced with Kevlar offer increased durability and resistance to tears, punctures, and wear. Look for gloves with reinforced palms, fingertips, and seams for added durability and longevity.

Gloves vs. Mitts

While diving gloves cover each finger individually, diving mitts encase the fingers together in a single compartment. Mitts provide greater warmth by allowing the fingers to share body heat, making them ideal for extremely cold-water diving conditions. However, gloves offer better dexterity and grip, making them more suitable for activities that require precise finger movement, such as operating dive equipment or taking photographs.

gloves and mitts

Dive Glove Warmth

The warmth provided by diving gloves is determined by their thickness and insulation properties. Thicker gloves offer more warmth and are suitable for colder water temperatures, while thinner gloves provide less insulation but offer greater dexterity and flexibility in warmer conditions. When choosing diving gloves, consider the water temperature of your dive destination and select gloves accordingly to ensure comfort and warmth during your dives.

What are Diving Gloves Made From?

Diving gloves are typically made from neoprene, a synthetic rubber material known for its flexibility, insulation properties, and durability. Neoprene gloves come in various thicknesses, ranging from thin, lightweight options for warm-water diving to thicker, more insulated gloves for cold-water environments. Some diving gloves may also incorporate other materials such as Kevlar for added protection against abrasions and punctures.

What is the Best Thickness for Diving Gloves?

The best thickness for diving gloves depends on the water temperature and diving conditions. For warm-water diving in tropical climates, thinner gloves (1-3mm) provide sufficient insulation without sacrificing dexterity. In colder waters or during prolonged dives, thicker gloves (5mm or more) offer better warmth and protection against the cold.

Protection from Marine Life

scuba diving gloves not only protect your hands from abrasions and cuts but also provide a barrier against potentially harmful marine life. Thicker gloves offer better protection against sharp coral reefs, rocks, and encounters with marine creatures such as jellyfish, sea urchins, and fire coral. Additionally, some diving gloves feature reinforced palms and fingertips for added durability and protection.

diver girl set gloves

How to Wash Diving Gloves

To maintain hygiene and prolong the life of your diving gloves, it’s essential to wash them regularly. Here’s how to wash diving gloves effectively:

  • Rinse gloves thoroughly with freshwater after each dive to remove saltwater, sand, and debris.
  • Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water and add a mild detergent.
  • Gently hand wash gloves, paying attention to areas with accumulated dirt or grime.
  • Rinse gloves again with freshwater to remove soap residue.
  • Allow gloves to air dry completely away from direct sunlight before storing them.

Choose By Water Temperature

When selecting diving gloves, it’s essential to consider the water temperature of your dive destination:

  • Warm-water diving (above 75°F/24°C): Thin gloves (1-3mm) provide sufficient insulation without overheating.
  • Temperate-water diving (60-75°F/16-24°C): Medium-thickness gloves (3-5mm) offer a balance of warmth and dexterity.
  • Cold-water diving (below 60°F/16°C): Thick gloves (5mm or more) with thermal lining provide maximum warmth and protection against the cold.
diving gloves

The Best Diving Gloves in 2024

As of 2024, several scuba diving gloves stand out for their quality, performance, and features. Scuba diving gloves guide ,While personal preferences and diving conditions may vary, some top contenders include:

  • Aqua Lung Thermocline Kevlar Gloves: Known for their durability and abrasion resistance, these gloves feature Kevlar-reinforced palms and fingertips for maximum protection.
  • Scubapro Everflex 5mm Gloves: Constructed from high-quality neoprene, these gloves offer excellent warmth and flexibility, making them suitable for a range of diving conditions.
  • Mares Flexa Fit 5mm Gloves: With a pre-shaped design and stretchy neoprene material, these gloves provide a snug and comfortable fit, offering both warmth and dexterity underwater.


Scuba diving gloves are an essential piece of equipment that provides protection, warmth, and enhanced grip during underwater adventures. Scuba diving gloves guide, By understanding the different types of gloves available, how to choose the right pair for your diving conditions, and proper care and maintenance practices, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable diving experience. Whether you’re exploring tropical reefs or diving into icy depths, investing in high-quality scuba diving gloves is a must for any avid diver.

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