To Summarize: We picked the eleven most popular sailing gloves available on the market. We compared construction, durability, design, and features of each. We also looked at fingerless and full-fingered gloves.
Many of the choices here scored high marks on design, fit and strength. Most fared well on dexterity, gripping ability and comfort (including quick drying).
Our top pick, however, is the Ronstan Sticky Race Sailing Glove. Not only did we find that they were long-lasting, but they were very well priced, so should be a good option for many sailors. Sure, there may be better gloves out there, but when you take into consideration value for money, these were our pick.
The complete list of sailing gloves we looked at is included below along with a short list of pros and cons for each, a short review and information on how to order your pair.
Ronstan Sticky Race Glove with Cut Fingers
Every sailor knows that choosing the right sailing gear, such as a good pair of sailing gloves, is important to sailing performance. The best sailing gloves protect your hands from rope burn, as well as sunburn, the cold, and general knocks and bumps.
Fortunately, there are several types of sailing gloves that sailors can choose from and this article aims to give a review of some of the best sailing gloves, and the more popular brands and styles.
Here are some of the best sailing gloves that dinghy sailors & yachties can choose from:
What To Look For In A Good Pair Of Sailing Gloves
The most effective way to protect your hands from rope burn, cuts, and blisters from handling lines is with a good pair of sailing gloves. There are gloves that provide extra grip, additional padding, and increased protection. However, the type of sailing that you do and your position in the boat should guide you on the type of glove you should purchase.
There are two basic kinds of sailing gloves:
- fingerless (or short fingered), and
- three-fingered / long-fingered / full-fingered gloves.
Fingerless gloves tend to be the most popular choice and the exposed fingertips can provide additional dexterity while sailing or racing. It is also much easier to find the right fit with fingerless gloves.
You will have far more protection with full-finger gloves, however, the added dexterity of the finger-less variety often outweighs the extra protection for many sailors. The full finger design will not roll down the fingers as fingerless gloves can sometimes do, especially when they age.
Another consideration with sailing gloves is the fabric they are made of. Synthetic leather, known as Amara, heavy-duty Proton, polyester and sticky coating are common choices.
One additional factor that will have an impact on your sailing glove selection is durability. In other words, the strength of the construction and how well the glove holds up to the amount of use it will have. Your particular circumstances will have a bearing on this. Frequent sailors and racers obviously require stronger gloves.
Detailed Reviews Of Some Of The Best Sailing Gloves
Ronstan Race Gloves
These gloves are made from ‘Amara’ synthetic leather which is known for its maximum strength and minimum stretch and shrinkage. It has double Aramid stitching in high wear areas and also boasts of double thickness in the palm and fingers area for better protection and grip. It uses mesh panels for better flexibility and comfort and also for quick drying.
Its neoprene wristband is low cut and specially designed for a snug fit and easy access to the sailor’s watch. It also has UPF 50 (Ultra-Violet Protection Factor). Sticky gloves lessen exhaustion caused by too much physical effort when holding the rope.
- Mesh panel construction provides fast drying, comfort, and flexibility
- Low-cut wristband offers a snug fit
- Double stitching and double padding reduces wear and tear in crucial areas of the glove
- Excellent gripping ability
- Fit may be a little tight on large hands
- Sticky coating considered an annoyance with some users
Gill Men's Short Finger Championship Gloves
When it comes to gloves for sailing, Gill is one of the most innovative brands available. This particular style of Gill sailing gloves provides not only flexibility but is comfortable as well. The unique design incorporates a pre-shaped fabric that perfectly conforms to the shape of your hand, which assists in providing grip and traction when needed. The fabric is stretchy on the back of the hand and includes reinforcement around fingers with a seamless design.
The ‘fingerless’ style keeps fingertips free for chores requiring higher dexterity. A clever addition is the location of the wrist closure – on the inside of it – which prevents false and premature watch starts. The combination of black and gray make these functional gloves sporty and classic in appearance.
- Comfortable thanks to a pre-shaped fabric design
- Nice, good fit
- Fingerless design assists with gripping and dexterity
- Not as durable as some other sailing gloves on the market
- Some users find these gloves "too lightweight"
Gill Junior Deckhand Gloves
Another set of gloves in the Gill range are the Gill Junior Deckhand Gloves.
These gloves are comfortable and well-made. They are also durable and long-lasting.
They are very reasonably priced, and will do a great job of protecting your hands from rope burn and other injuries.
- Pre-shaped construction ensures a good fit
- Comfortable fit with stretch fabric at the back that dries fast
- Amara finger reinforcements add to the durability
- Wrist closure on the inside prevents false watch starts
- Depending on your needs, these gloves may not last as long as expected
- Sizing may be an issue for larger hands
Gill Pro Gloves
The Gill Pro Gloves are for the serious sailors. If you are looking for the best sailing gloves that can withstand constantly serious sailing work then these may be the gloves for you.
They have a contoured fit and the back of the gloves feature a stretchable woven fabric for easy movement and more flexibility. The lengths of the fingers are generous and thus provides added protection. The cuffs are made of neoprene and provide maximum closure.
They have gloves that can fit a child’s hand and have sizes up to double extra-large. Visit their site here.
- Contoured fit provides excellent dexterity
- Extra protection with Proton palm and finger padding
- Grip fabric on the lower palm is extremely useful
- Extended thumb and index finger may be too long for some users
- Although there are many sizes, double check that yours fit properly
Gill Grip Gloves
A lot of sailors consider Gill Grip Gloves as the best value gloves. This is because it is less expensive than most sailing gloves but nonetheless gives superior performance.
It features textured latex material for excellent grip in both wet and dry and resistance to wear and tear. These gloves are comfortable and promote dexterity because of its seamless cotton liner.
They can also be easily cut to size if the user opts for short-fingered gloves.
Its sizes are small to extra-large and are priced at around $8.00-$12.00. For more details, visit their website here.
- As the name implies, these gloves have a superb grip
- Good value, affordable sailing gloves
- Fingers can be cut to fit as fingerless gloves with a seamless cotton liner
- A little too lightweight according to some users
- Not as durable as other gloves by the same manufacturer
Helly Hansen Short Sailing Gloves
These lightweight sailing gloves are made from 100% polyester. They feature a fingerless design to allow for extra grip and dexterity.
The sailing glove design has extra stitching where it is needed most making these a durable pair of gloves. Each finger hole is reinforced with additional padding and stitching to prevent fraying.
They are available in black with grey trim and are in sizes ranging from XS to XL. These well-designed sailing gloves are considered by the manufacturer to be the perfect sailing companion.
They come in short- and long-finger glove options.
- Lightweight sailing gloves
- Affordable option
- Nice looking design
- Sizing not close – they can run very small
- They are not waterproof (like many sailing gloves)
- No extra padding in the palm which would be helpful to some users
Zhik Sailing Gloves
These Zhik gloves for sailing are best for sailors who prefer lightweight with superior grip.
Sailors love the feel of high sensitivity and dexterity that these gloves provide. Fine latex coating on the palm gives the sailor superior grip.
The gloves cost around $10. The glove sizes range from 6-11 with corresponding palm measurements from 7cm to 10.5cm.
Learn more about Zhik sailing gloves by visiting their website here.
- Recommended for use with dinghy/cat racing/sailing
- Good mixture of hand protection and dexterity
- Easy to trim an inch off the thumb and pointer finger for extra dexterity
- Not very durable and won’t last long if you are a frequent racer
- Latex coating on the palm not as reliable as it could be
Burke Leather Sailing Glove
The Burke Leather Sailing Glove is made of high quality, marine-grade natural leather and held together by strong Polyamide stitching. Its palm and finger panels are reinforced and its ergonomic grip design allows the sailor to have a firm yet comfortable hold.
It has a stretch mesh back for comfort and ventilation. Its Neoprene wrist closure is designed to avoid snags while working the ropes and it has a cut-out to accommodate a watch while maintaining a comfortable and secure fit.
Sizes are available starting from extra-small to double extra-large. Price is about $25. Find out more about Burke Leather Sailing Glove here.
Burke Leather Sailing Gloves
- Palm and fingers have extra reinforcing
- Affordable price, good value
- Back features a stretchy mesh construction
- Strong, durable leather
- Fit may vary, be sure to double check
- Some users do not like the design
Burke Performance Amara Sailing Glove
The Performance Amara Sailing Glove is made from Amara leather known for its suppleness and strength. This kind of leather helps maintain the glove’s elasticity and form after drying.
It is ergonomically designed to allow for a stable yet comfortable grip. Its back is made of stretchable mesh for ventilation and its Neoprene wrist closure gives a snug fit. It has even a handy cut-out to allow easy access to the sailors watch.
The Kevlar stitches are scratch-resistant and the double Velcro lock-system ensures that unintentional release from ripping is prevented.
These gloves cost about $30 and are available in xs up to xxl. Learn more about the product here.
Burke Performance Amara Sailing Gloves
- Contains strong and supple Amara leather
- The back has stretchy mesh for ventilation and comfort
- Nice, snug fit with Neoprene wrist closure
- Has innovative watch cutout
- Cost a little more than other gloves
- Some users claim the leather loses elasticity over time
Burke PRO DURA GRIP LF Glove
This is one of the most comfortable sailing gloves. The fabric used is Amara synthetic leather, its design is ergonomic, and has 3 long fingers, and ¾ thumb and index fingers.
The Duragrip slit palm and XT Kevlar finger reinforcements are intended to provide a flatter area with minimum wrinkling for excellent grasp. These reinforcements are extended towards the sides. The back of the glove is ventilated through a stretch mesh, and the contoured Neoprene wristband is anti-snag.
A cutout is provided for the sailor’s watch and the double touch tab closures cutout secures the glove in place.
The price is pegged at $32.00 and sizes range from extra small to double extra-large.
Burke PRO DURA GRIP LF Gloves
- Ergonomic design provides excellent fit
- Anti-snag Neoprene wristband
- Comes with a watch cutout with secure closures
- Strong, durable construction throughout
- A bit more expensive than other sailing gloves
- Some users do not like the synthetic leather
Harken Sport Men’s Spectrum 3/4 Finger Gloves
With material identified as Black Magic, and the construction of the palm area of this glove containing a 50-percent blend of it, Harken Sport has done something incredible with sailing gloves.
The Black Magic material, mixed with 30-percent nylon and 20-percent rubber, provide a combination of strength, durability, and comfort that can stand up to the punishment you can give them.
The low profile design won’t mess with your watch and slim construction removes seam size and improves dexterity. The base of the fingers are treated to air-cooled comfort with mesh vents and these gloves have a tab built in for quick and easy pull on or pull off action.
They come in your choice of Nautical Blue or Sunset Pink.
- Strong, durable gloves
- Easy pull-on, pull-off design
- Low profile which won’t get in the way of a watch
- Good grip and flexible fit
- Some users don’t like the rubber compound used
- Mesh vents at finger bases make the gloves weaker in the view of some users
SLAM Sailing Gloves
These SLAM sailing gloves are made from a mix of Nylon, Polyurethane and Amara leather. They come with adjustable neoprene wristbands.
These are reinforced gloves that are comfortable and very reasonably priced.
They offer superior grip and are abrasion-resistant.
These are the 3/4 finger design, which comes in 2X-small up to XL sizes.
- Nylon/Lycra blend
- Good gripping ability
- Lightweight but strong
- Affordable price, good value
- Available in many sizes, but be sure to double check fit
- Webbed back does not add durability
- Gripping ability debatable
Do You Have A Preference In Sailing Gloves?
Every sailor knows that choosing the right sailing gear, such as a good pair of sailing gloves, is important to sailing performance. The best sailing gloves protect your hands from rope burn, as well as sunburn, the cold and general knocks and bumps.
There are many different brands and styles on the market today. A lot of trial and error on your part is necessary in order to find the perfect glove for your personal preference and style of sailing. The amount of sailing you do will have a bearing on the type and style of sailing glove you need.
The reviews of the sailing gloves featured here are intended to assist you with additional information when you are looking for a new pair. We hope this information has helped you with your decision.
So what's your personal preference for gloves? Please share your best sailing gloves below...