Dive gloves are an optional accessory for scuba divers seeking exposure protection, dexterity, and thermal insulation during their underwater explorations.
If you’ve never bought dive gloves before, you may not know exactly what to look for.
As a PADI Divemaster, I’ve dove all around the world in some coldest environments such as Monterrey, CA. I’ve also led underwater hunting trips where gloves are essential to gripping fish, lobster, and crabs.
Using my experience, I’ve narrowed down the choices of the best dive gloves to just four options based on:
- Material quality and thickness for protection and insulation
- Grip and dexterity for handling equipment
- Seams and construction for durability and flexibility
- Wrist closure system for a secure fit
- Compatibility with various diving conditions
- Brand reputation and customer feedback
- Pricing to value
- And much more!
Below, I’ll review the dive gloves I picked, and then jump into a dive glove buying and sizing guide.
Lastly, stay tuned for common FAQs that come up revolving scuba diving gloves.
Table of Contents
Best Dive Gloves
Best for Warm Water: Tilos 1.5mm Gloves
Material: Neoprene | Thickness: 1.5mm | Grip: Padded | Colors: 10 Options | Closure: Velcro
Now, these gloves are great for a few reasons but made for warmer waters. The 1.5mm Tilos are for tropical waters and can be used for all different types of activities like swimming or sailing.
They have curved fingers which is a nice feature to help prevent your fingers from getting strained when using them.
The palms, thumbs, and fingertips are also reinforced to last longer. The material is X-Form fabric which is a special limestone Neoprene that is made for those that have sensitive skin and can’t come in contact with petroleum-based materials. The lycra panels give you that extra stretch and mesh backing to allow the water flows through and doesn’t allow overheating.
- Very lightweight
- Only warm water use
- Not meant for heavy-duty use
For Spearfishing and Lobstering: Hammerhead Dentex
Material: Polyethylene | Thickness: ANSI Cut Level 5, Puncture Level 3 Protection | Grip: Nitrile Grip Coating | Colors: Red | Closure: None
These gloves are your go-to for spearfishing and when you have to deal with objects underwater that could cut your hands.
They are made of Dyneema fiber which is known for its high tensile strength compared to weight. By their math, it is up to 15 times stronger than steel which is quite impressive.
Even with this though these gloves provide you with a lot of comfort and dexterity while not being able to be cut.
They are rated by the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) at a cut level 5 and puncture level 3 so in lamens terms, if your spear or dive knife comes in contact with your hand accidentally you will be fine.
These gloves also boast a polyurethane coat on the palms which makes the ideal to hold things in and out of the water.
- High tensile-to-weight ratio
- Seamless knit design
- Rated ANSI level 5 cut resistant
- Rated ANSI level 3 puncture resistant
- Made for warm water
- The red color gets lost at depth
For Cold Exposure: Tilos Neoprene 3mm/5mm
Material: Neoprene | Thickness: 3mm/5mm | Grip: Nitrile Coating | Colors: Black | Closure: Velcro
The Tilos Neoprene Diving Gloves are designed for use during diving activities and come in 3mm and 5mm thickness options. The gloves are made from high-quality neoprene material that is known for its durability and insulation properties, which keep your hands warm in cold water conditions.
The gloves feature touch fastener closures that provide a secure fit and prevent water from entering the gloves. The fastener also allows for easy adjustment of the gloves, so you can customize the fit to your liking.
These gloves are suitable for both men and women and are available in a range of sizes to accommodate different hand sizes. It’s important to select the right size to ensure a comfortable and snug fit that allows for maximum dexterity while underwater.
The touch fastener closure of the Tilos Neoprene Diving Gloves adds to the overall convenience and functionality of the gloves, making them a great choice for any diving enthusiast.
- Pre-curved fingers kees hands in the natural position
- Adjustable velcro wristband
- Titanium coated neoprene
- Heaviest on list
- Overkill for warm waters
Cold Water Alternative: ScubaPro Everflex
Material: Neoprene | Thickness: 1.5mm-5mm | Grip: Padded | Colors: Black | Closure: N/A
These gloves are really great for travel as they dry quickly and are very light. The ScubaPro Everflex is 3mm and even with that thickness, this model still is able to fold up and be stored in your BCD or pocket easily.
The quality is the same as all other ScubaPro products, excellent. They will keep you warm while still giving you the ability to manipulate and pick up objects. I really like the grip on the gloves and you can use them in and out of the water with no issues.
The outside is 3mm Neoprene and the seams are sewn and glued to keep out water while the inside has a liner to make it easy to get on and off.
- Smooth inside to get on and off
- Quick dry and water-resistant outer layer
- Very lightweight for travel
- Glued and sewn not seamless knit
- 3mm can be a little warm for some waters
- Run small, so make sure to try them on
Diving Gloves Buying Guide
There are actually a lot of things to think about when choosing a pair of gloves and you want to get it right.
We here at OtterAquatics have put together a guide that will help you understand what you should think about and things to consider when buying diving gloves.
As with most things and especially diving you get what you pay for. The better gloves will be more money.
The nice thing about gloves is that they will last a while and are relatively cheap but I would never go cheap on diving gear.
These two go hand and hand as different materials give you better durability than others. You want a pair of gloves that are durable so they don’t rip and you get your money’s worth.
Neoprene is the most common material used for diving gloves and offers a lot of stretch but doesn’t give you a lot of grip strength. This is why companies either use other materials and often reinforce the palms with materials like Kevlar.
This does extend the life of the glove. Another factor to increase durability is when gloves are covered in rubber this helps to stop rips and the gloves from wearing out in the places with the most use.
Instead of rubber coating the material Dyneema is another popular option out there. These gloves are good for underwater work and spearfishing and like Kevlar, they will provide protection from hazards.
The downside to these is that they don’t offer much thermal insulation so if you are in colder waters these may not be the best choice.
Do be mindful if you have latex allergies as some gloves are latex based.
You always have to be able to move your fingers and hands in the water, you need to make a lot of adjustments to inflate/deflate the BCD, clear your mask, check gauges, etc. With gloves on you will lose a bit of dexterity depending on the thickness and type of gloves.
But if you lose too much you won’t even be able to communicate with your dive buddy, which is a safety issue.
For the most dexterity, you will want five-finger gloves, which allow you to do anything you would without gloves while still getting some protection.
If you want a bit more warmth three-finger mitts are the next best choice. They are the happy medium between warmth and dexterity. You can still use your index finger and thumb to manipulate things but the other fingers are in a mitt keeping them warm.
The full mitts offer the least amount of dexterity but will keep you the warmest.
This is just like your booties and wetsuit and a personal preference. As I get cold easily I always have at least 3mm while others are fine with 1.5mm. You will have to see what works for you but here is a loose guide to when to use different thicknesses.
- Warm Water 80F (28C)- you can use a glove with a thickness from 1mm to 3mm.
- Cool Water Between 80F and 68F (28-20C)-a glove with a thickness from 3mm to 5mm should be warm enough for you.
- Cold Water Below 68F (20C)- You may be able to get away with a 3mm but for longer dives, multiple dives 5mm and on up will give you the most warmth.
You need to find a pair that will fit you well. Too small and you won’t be able to move your fingers and it will be very uncomfortable.
If you go too big they will get a lot of water in them and defeat the purpose of having gloves. The other issue with gloves that are too big is that they can snag on things and it is hard to use your gear.
In an ideal world, a glove that fits snugly but is not constrictive is the best, and when trying them on remember that they will loosen a bit in the water.
Frequently Asked Questions
But in most cases no, as you should not touch wildlife and avoid contact with all marine life, but accidents do happen.
There are a lot of things in the water that can harm you or you can harm like hard/ soft corals, fishing nets gills, wrecks, trash, rocks, and other debris.
If you get cold easily, don’t ruin your dive and consume more air just wear gloves, remember you lose body heat much faster in water.
If you are doing an ocean clean up please wear gloves as creatures can hide in the trash and sometimes there are objects that can harm you.
Yes, you can wear wet gloves with a drysuit, but you have to take into consideration that the seal on the sleeves is there to keep water out and if you put the glove under that it might not seal correctly.
When you buy gloves make sure to take care of them as with all of your gear, rinse in fresh water after each dive, don’t machine wash, and then let them dry in a well-ventilated area. When transporting them if you can let them flat that is best and try to fold them and not ball them up in pockets.