To Summarize: We picked twelve of the most popular sailing gloves available on the market. We compared the 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).

Ronstan Sticky Race Gloves
Ronstan Sticky Race Glove with Cut Fingers
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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 list of pros and cons for each, a short review, and information on how to order your pair.

Background

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.

Our Picks of the Best Sailing Gloves

Here are our picks of some of the best sailing gloves that dinghy sailors & yachties can choose from:

ImageTitleRatingMore Info
Ronstan Race GlovesRonstan Race Gloves

4.6 out of 5 stars
buy from Amazon
Gill Mens GlovesGill Men's Short Finger Championship Gloves

4.5 out of 5 stars
buy from Amazon
Gill Junior Deckhand GlovesGill Junior Deckhand Gloves

4.3 out of 5 stars
buy from Amazon
Gill Short Finger Pro GloveGill Short Finger Pro Gloves

4.6 out of 5 stars
buy from Amazon
Gill Grip GlovesGill Grip Gloves

4.0 out of 5 stars
buy from Amazon
Helly Hansen Short Sailing GlovesHelly Hansen Short Sailing Gloves

4.5 out of 5 stars
buy from Amazon
Zhik Sailing GlovesZhik Sailing Gloves

3.7 out of 5 stars
buy from Amazon
Harken Sport Men’s Spectrum 3/4 Finger GlovesHarken Sport Men’s Spectrum 3/4 Finger Gloves

4.4 out of 5 stars
buy from Amazon
SLAM Sailing GlovesSLAM sailing gloves

4.6 out of 5 stars
buy from Amazon

What To Look For In 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

Ronstan Sticky Race Gloves
Ronstan short finger “Sticky” Race Sailing 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.

Ronstan short finger “Sticky” Race Sailing Gloves

PROS

Mesh panel construction provides fast-drying, comfort, and flexibility
A 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
Good value for money

CONS

Fit may be a little tight on large hands
Sticky coating considered an annoyance with some users (although I thought it was fine!)

The Ronstan Race Gloves come in from double extra-small to double extra-large sizes. Prices range from about $25-35. For more information about the product, visit the Ronstan website here.

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Gill Men’s Short Finger Championship Gloves

Gill Men’s Short Finger Championship Gloves
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 makes these functional gloves sporty and classic in appearance.

PROS

Comfortable thanks to a pre-shaped fabric design
Nice, good fit
Fingerless design assists with gripping and dexterity

CONS

Not as durable as some other sailing gloves on the market
Some users find these gloves “too lightweight”
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Gill Junior Deckhand Gloves

Gill Junior Deckhand Gloves
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.

PROS

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

CONS

Depending on your needs, these gloves may not last as long as expected
Sizing may be an issue for larger hands
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Gill Pro Gloves

Gill Short Finger Pro Glove
Gill Short Finger 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.

These Gill sailing gloves are best for inshore dinghy & yacht racing, and short offshore racing. They come in short-finger and long finger versions.

They have gloves that can fit a child’s hand and have sizes up to double extra-large. Visit their site here.

PROS

Contoured fit provides excellent dexterity
Extra protection with Proton palm and finger padding
Grip fabric on the lower palm is extremely useful

CONS

Extended thumb and index finger may be too long for some users
Although there are many sizes, double-check that yours fit properly
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Gill Grip Gloves

Gill Grip Gloves
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 their 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.

PROS

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

CoNS

A little too lightweight according to some users
Not as durable as other gloves by the same manufacturer
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Helly Hansen Short Sailing Gloves

Helly Hansen Short Sailing Gloves
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.

PROS

Lightweight sailing gloves
Affordable option
Nice looking design

CONS

Sizing not close – they can run very small
They are not waterproof (like many sailing gloves)
No extra padding in the palm would be helpful to some users
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Zhik Sailing Gloves

Zhik Sailing Gloves Grey-Black
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 a 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.

PROS

Recommended for use with dinghy/cat racing/sailing
A good mixture of hand protection and dexterity
Easy to trim an inch off the thumb and pointer finger for extra dexterity

CONS

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
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Burke Leather Sailing Glove

Burke Leather Sailing Glove
Burke Leather Sailing Gloves

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. The price is about $25. Find out more about Burke Leather Sailing Glove here.

pros

Palm and fingers have extra reinforcing
Affordable price, good value
Back features a stretchy mesh construction
Strong, durable leather

Cons

Fit may vary, be sure to double-check
Some users do not like the design

Burke Performance Amara Sailing Glove

Burke Performance Amara Sailing Glove
Burke Performance Amara Sailing Gloves

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 sailor’s 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.

PROS

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

CONS

Cost a little more than other gloves
Some users claim the leather loses elasticity over time

Burke Full Finger Sailing Glove

Burke Full Finger Sailing Glove
Burke Full Finger Sailing Gloves

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 durable grip is comfortable, while 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 velcro tab closures cutout secures the glove in place.

The price is pegged at $39.00 and sizes range from extra small to double extra-large.

Read more on the Burke Full Finger Sailing Glove here.

PROS

Ergonomic design provides an excellent fit
Anti-snag Neoprene wristband
Comes with a watch cutout with secure closures
Strong, durable construction throughout

CONS

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

Harken Sport Men’s Spectrum 3/4 Finger Gloves
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 is 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.

PROS

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

CONS

Some users don’t like the rubber compound used
Mesh vents at finger bases make the gloves weaker in the view of some users
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SLAM Sailing Gloves

Slam Sailing Gloves
SLAM 3/4 Finger Sailing Glove

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.

PROS

Nylon/Lycra blend
Good gripping ability
Lightweight but strong
Affordable price, good value

CONS

Available in many sizes, but be sure to double-check the fit
Webbed back does not add durability
Gripping ability debatable
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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.

3 Comments

  1. Geoff Newbury on February 7, 2017 at 11:27 am

    After many years of using various sailing gloves, I have settled on Metolius Climbing Gloves.

    These are a short finger leather glove, about the same price as a sailing glove, but made with a heavier leather, and in particular, a double layer of leather around the outside of your hand.
    Recommended

    • Admin on February 7, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      Hi Geoff, thanks for your recommendation.
      For anyone wanting to check these out, here is some more info… click here.

  2. Maximus Panin on December 30, 2020 at 10:13 am

    I’m using 5 years french assembly gloves from a building store. There are closed and open fingers. Reliable and durable 🙂
    https://www.epi-net.fr/nouveau-epi-net/la-main-et-le-bras/mitaines-et-gants-doigts-coupes/mitaine-5-doigts-ouverts-paume-renforcee-mo990.html

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