What Are The Best Sailing Gloves? 11 Sailing Gloves Reviewed

Last Updated on September 21, 2023 by admin

To Summarize: We picked 11 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 Sailing Gloves
Ronstan Sticky Race Gloves 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 Sticky Race Sailing GlovesRonstan Race Gloves
4.4 out of 5 stars
buy from Amazon
Gill Short Finger Championship Sailing GlovesGill Short Finger Championship Sailing Gloves
4.8 out of 5 stars
buy from Amazon
GILL Deckhand Sailing GlovesGill Deckhand Gloves
5.0 out of 5 stars
buy from Amazon
Gill Pro Sailing GlovesGill Pro 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 G1 Short Finger Sailing GlovesZhik G1 Sailing Gloves
5.0 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
GILL Deckhand Sailing GlovesGill Junior Short Finger Deckhand Gloves
5.0 out of 5 stars
buy from Amazon

What To Look For In Sailing Gloves

The most effective way to protect your hands from rope burns, 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 Sailing Gloves
Ronstan Sticky Race Gloves with Cut Fingers

Key Specs

BrandRonstan
MaterialFaux Leather, Mesh
SizesXX-Small, X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large
Finger LengthShort Finger
ColorBlack / Grey
Closure TypeHook and Loop
Other featuresDouble stitching in high-wear areas
Double thickness in palm, fingers
Mesh in low-wear areas for flexibility, comfort
Added grip reduces fatigue
Low cut wrist allows free movement and good visibility of a watch

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 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.

Pros

Mesh panel construction provides fast drying, comfort, and flexibility
A low-cut wristband offers a snug fit
Double stitching and double padding reduce 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
The sticky coating is considered an annoyance with some users (although I thought it was fine!)

The Ronstan Race Gloves come in 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 Short Finger Championship Sailing Gloves

Gill Short Finger Championship Sailing Gloves
Gill Short Finger Championship Sailing Gloves

Key Specs

BrandGill
MaterialPanel: 93% Nylon / 7% Elastane
Main: 60% Nylon / 40% Polyurethane
Cuffs: 60% Neoprene / 40% Nylon
SizesX-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large
Finger Length3/4 Finger
ColorBlack
WashingHand Wash
Other featuresWraparound palm protection
Easy to grab silicone grip at cuff
Dura-Grip on the palm provides good grip without compromising flexibility, durability
UV 50+ protection & water repellent
Finger seams are offset to reduce pressure points

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 the 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 black finish 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 Deckhand Gloves

GILL Deckhand Sailing Gloves
Gill Short Finger Deckhand Sailing Gloves

Key Specs

BrandGill
MaterialPanel: 93% Nylon / 7% Elastane
Main: 60% Nylon / 40% Polyurethane
Cuffs: 60% Neoprene / 40% Nylon
SizesX-Small, Small, Large, X-Large, XX-Large
Finger Length3/4 Finger
ColorBlack / Grey
WashingHand Wash
Other featuresFinger seams are offset to remove pressure points
Reduced cuff length eliminates bulk, and improves comfort Silicone grip on the cuff is easy to grip
UV 50+ & water repellent

Another set of gloves in the Gill range is the Gill Short Finger Deckhand Sailing 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 burns and other injuries.

Pros

Pre-shaped construction ensures a good fit
Comfortable fit with stretch fabric at the back that dries fast
UV 50+ sun protection and a water-repellent design
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 Pro Sailing Gloves
Gill Short Finger Pro Gloves

Key Specs

BrandGill
MaterialNylon, Elastane, Neoprene
SizesX-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large
Finger Length3/4 Finger
ColorBlack / Yellow
Closure TypeOutside-facing wrist closure
WashingHand Wash
Other featuresFinger seams are offset to remove pressure points
Designed to ensure maximum wrist flex and comfort
Flexible and comfortable
UV 50+ & water repellent

The Gill Pro Gloves are for 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 provide 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

Although there are many sizes, double-check that yours fit properly
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Helly Hansen Short Sailing Gloves

Helly Hansen Short Sailing Gloves
Helly Hansen Short Sailing Gloves

Key Specs

BrandHelly-Hansen
MaterialLeather, Polyester
SizesX-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large
Finger LengthShort Finger
ColorBlack / Grey
Closure TypeVelcro wrist hook and loop closure
WashingMachine Wash
Other featuresShort finger for extra dexterity
Limited lifetime warranty

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
Comfortable to wear and durable
The grip is great and they are flexible and well ventilated

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 G1 Sailing Gloves

Zhik G1 Short Finger Sailing Gloves
Zhik Sailing Gloves

Key Specs

BrandZhik
MaterialPolyester, Nylon, Polyurethane
SizesX-Large, XX-Large
Finger LengthHalf Finger
ColorBlack / Yellow
Closure TypePull On
Other featuresLightweight and breathable fabric
Durable stitching for extra reinforcement
Offset stitching for comfort, durability
Targeted padding in the palm for comfort, performance

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. The reinforced palm has targeted padding giving the sailor superior grip and comfort. They also minimize pressure points by using offset seams that eliminate bulk in key areas.

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
Light and strong design

Cons

Not as durable as some and won’t last long if you are a frequent racer
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Burke Leather Sailing Glove

Burke Leather Sailing Glove
Burke Leather Sailing Gloves

Key Specs

BrandBurke
MaterialMarine-grade natural leather
SizesX-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large
Finger Length3/4 Finger
ColorBlack / White
Closure TypeDouble velcro locking system
Other featuresErgonomic design
Anti-snag neoprene wrist closure with watch cut-out
Reinforced palm & fingers
Stretch mesh back

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

Key Specs

BrandBurke
MaterialAmara synthetic leather
SizesX-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large
Finger Length3/4 Finger
ColorBlack / White
Closure TypeDouble velcro locking system
Other featuresDurable high-grip palm & finger reinforcement
Abrasion-resistant kevlar stitching
Ergonomic design
Anti-snag neoprene wrist closure with watch cut-out
Stretch mesh back

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 $35 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 an 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

Key Specs

BrandBurke
MaterialAmara Leather, Neoprene
SizesX-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large
Finger LengthFull finger with exposed finger/thumb
ColorBlack / White
Closure TypeVelcro locking hook
Other featuresWatch cut-out wrist to reduce accidental pressing of watch buttons
Amara leather is soft but durable

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

Key Specs

BrandHarken Sport
Material50% Black Magic, 30% Nylon, 20% Rubber
SizesJunior Medium
Finger Length3/4 Finger
ColorBlue / Black / White
Closure TypeHook
WashingMachine Wash
Other featuresLow-profile wrist to reduce accidental pressing of watch buttons
Black Magic material provides superior grip

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, provides 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
The low profile 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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Gill Junior Short Finger Deckhand Gloves

Gill Junior Deckhand Sailing Gloves
Gill Junior Deckhand Gloves – Short Finger

Key Specs

BrandGill
MaterialNylon, Elastane, Neoprene, Polyurethane
SizesChild (6″/15cm) / Junior (6″-6.5″ / 15-16.5 cm)
Finger LengthShort finger
ColorBlack / Grey
Closure TypeHook
Other featuresUV 50+ & water repellent

These Gill Junior Short Finger Deckhand Gloves are a smaller version of the Deckhand Gloves mentioned above. 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.

Pros

Good quality comfortable material
Good gripping ability
Lightweight but strong
Affordable price, good value

Cons

Some report that they are a small fit
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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.

About Brendan

Brendan has over 30 years experience sailing dinghies, yachts, and windsurfers, but has recently started Laser sailing. "I found it difficult to find all the information that I needed when I started sailing my Laser, and I am sure that others have had the same problem. So I combined all the information I could into this website to help other Laser sailors get the most out of this sport. If you have any questions or comments, let me know... I will get back to you as soon as I can."

4 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

  3. GP Racer on September 7, 2023 at 7:25 pm

    Gill Fingerless gone massively downhill, suede/suedelike fabric around thumb /thumb heel wears out in days of racing use. Be wary of offshoring quality issues!

    In short: ” **** “

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