What Makes Good Sailing Gloves?

Being an avid sailor and mentor, I recognize the significance of owning high-quality sailing gloves. These gloves are essential as they shield your hands, improve your grip, and offer comfort during your time at sea. In this piece, I will delve into the pivotal aspects to bear in mind while selecting sailing gloves, and extend useful recommendations stemming from my extensive research and experience.

Importance of Sailing Gloves

Sailing gloves offer several benefits that make them essential gear for any sailor. First and foremost, they protect your hands from blisters, rope burns, and other injuries that can occur while handling ropes, sheets, and winches. The constant friction and strain on your hands during sailing activities can lead to painful abrasions, but a good pair gloves can significantly reduce the risk.

In addition to protection, sailing gloves provide a better grip, allowing you to handle ropes and equipment with greater control and precision. This improved grip enhances your overall performance, especially during maneuvers that require quick and accurate adjustments. Whether you’re racing or cruising, having a secure hold on the lines can make a noticeable difference in your sailing abilities.

Furthermore, gloves can provide insulation to keep your hands warm in colder weather conditions or during long passages. This is particularly important when sailing in regions with low temperatures or when facing strong winds. Cold hands can impair your dexterity and comfort, making sailing more challenging and less enjoyable. The right pair of gloves can help you maintain warmth and focus on the task at hand.

Sailing Gloves

Factors to Consider When Choosing Sailing Gloves

It’s crucial to consider various factors to ensure you find the right pair that meets your specific needs. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:


Look for gloves that offer adequate protection against rope burns, blisters, and other potential injuries. Reinforced construction and padding in critical areas, such as the palms and fingers, can provide the necessary protection without compromising dexterity.


If you often sail in colder climates or during winter months, consider gloves that provide insulation to keep your hands warm. Neoprene or fleece-lined gloves are popular choices as they offer excellent thermal properties while maintaining flexibility.


Dexterity is vital for performing intricate maneuvers and tasks while sailing. Look for gloves that allow for a good range of finger movement and flexibility. Fingerless gloves or gloves with pre-curved fingers can provide enhanced dexterity for more delicate operations.

Touchscreen Compatibility

In today’s digital age, touchscreen compatibility is becoming increasingly important. If you need to use electronic devices while sailing, such as chartplotters or smartphones, opt for gloves with touchscreen compatibility. This feature allows you to operate touchscreens without removing your gloves, keeping your hands protected and maintaining convenience.

Material and Design

Consider the material and design of the gloves. Different materials offer varying levels of durability, grip, and breathability. Look for gloves made from high-quality materials that are specifically designed for sailing. Reinforced palm and finger panels, hi-vis detailing, and secure wrist closures are some features to look out for.


Based on my research and the insights from various sources, here are some recommended products that offer a combination of protection, grip, durability, and comfort:

Gill Pro Gloves

Gill Championship Gloves

Gill Deckhand Sailing Gloves

Musto Essential Sailing Short Finger Gloves

Gill Helmsman Gloves

Zhik Superwarm Neoprene Wetsuit Gloves

Decathlon Forclaz Warm and Windproof Glove Mittens

Zhik G2 Performance

Fingerless Gloves

Sealskinz Waterproof All-Weather Gloves

These gloves have been highly recommended by sailors and are known for their quality, functionality, and comfort. Make sure to choose the gloves that best suit your needs and preferences. When selecting the right sailing gloves for your needs, it’s important to consider factors such as the type of sailing you do, the weather conditions you typically encounter, and your personal preferences. Some sailors may prefer full finger gloves for maximum protection and warmth, while others may opt for cut finger gloves or fingerless gloves for enhanced dexterity and flexibility. It’s recommended to try on different styles and sizes to find the perfect fit that offers both comfort and functionality.


Good sailing gloves play a crucial role in hand protection, grip, and comfort while sailing. When choosing sailing gloves, consider factors such as protection, insulation, dexterity, touchscreen compatibility, material, and design. Recommended products include the Gill Pro Gloves, Gill Championship Gloves, Musto Essential Sailing Short Finger Gloves, and Zhik Superwarm Neoprene Wetsuit Gloves, among others. Remember to select the gloves that best suit your specific needs and preferences. By wearing high-quality gloves, you can enhance your sailing experience and sail with confidence.


Do I really need gloves?

While not mandatory, wearing sailing gloves offers hand protection and numerous benefits in terms of grip and comfort while sailing. They can help prevent injuries and improve performance on the water.

What are the different types of gloves available?

There are various types of sailing gloves, including full finger gloves, cut finger gloves, fingerless gloves, and hybrid-design gloves. Each type offers specific features and advantages.

How do I determine the right size for gloves?

To find the right size, refer to the sizing charts provided by the glove manufacturer and measure the circumference of your hand at its widest point. A snug fit is desirable for optimal performance.

Can I use regular gloves for sailing?

Regular gloves may not offer the same functionality and features as gloves designed specifically for sailing. Sailing gloves are engineered to withstand the demands of the sport and provide specialized protection and grip.

How should I care for my gloves?

Follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Rinse the gloves with fresh water after each use, avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight, air dry them completely, and inspect for signs of wear and tear regularly.

Sailing Gloves
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Michael Thompson

Embarking on a lifelong love affair with the sea, I found solace and exhilaration in the art of sailing. From navigating treacherous waters to harnessing the wind's untamed power, my passion has evolved into a mission to inspire others. Join me on a voyage of discovery as we explore the vast horizons of sailing's timeless allure.

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