When most people think of diving, they usually envision warm, tropical waters complete with sea wreckage. However, there are a number of scuba diving sites with cold water and enthusiasts who prefer colder waters that are equally stunning.
This includes freezing temperatures such as the waters in the Antarctic and Arctic regions all of which offer beautiful spots for divers who have appropriate equipment. This includes specially designed scuba diving gloves for cold water.
By suitable equipment, we mean scuba diving gear that is designed to provide thermal protection in frigid waters that can otherwise cause hypothermia.
Why you need diving gloves specially made for the cold
Normal diving gloves are designed to provide divers with thermal protection, as well as, protection from sharp underwater objects such as coral. However, these only provide adequate warmth for water that falls between 30° to 40°F.
Scuba diving gloves that are specifically made to weather cold conditions are made of different thicknesses that can withstand much colder temperatures. Needless to say, the thicker the material, the more warmth you retain. Typically, most experts recommend gloves that are at most 5mm thick for divers who prefer cold waters.
Besides being thick enough to maintain your core body temperature, the rest of its features are pretty similar to scuba gloves that are meant for warm waters. For example, they have a special surface on the palm that is either made of rubber or leather which allows divers to grip objects firmly. However, unlike these, cold scuba gloves do not come with Velcro closures since the material they are made of is thick enough to create a seal around a hand.
What makes these gloves extremely important for cold water divers is the fact that they can prevent hypothermia from setting in. This condition is not uncommon in divers who wear scuba gear that is meant for tropical settings. After submerging in water that exceeds 60° to 70°F, their normal body temperature starts to drop rapidly.
Our normal body temperature is about 98°F and hypothermia sets in when it drops below that number. When that happens, the nervous system and organs start to shut down slowly but surely. When left untreated, the condition can prove fatal. This happens more times than you can count because hypothermia sets in minutes.
With the surface miles above you, do you really want to risk it by foregoing cold-resistant scuba gloves? We lose heat from extremities first, such as our hands so if you wear thick dive gloves, you can prevent precious heat loss or make your body lose heat too slowly to allow hypothermia to set in
BEST SCUBA DIVING GLOVES FOR COLD WATER
Here are some of the best dive gloves in the market that can keep your hands from losing warmth in freezing water.
U.S. Divers Comfo Grip Cold Water Diving Gloves
The U.S. Divers Comfo Grip Cold Water Diving Gloves are thick enough to provide cold water divers the extra protection they need for a comfortable dive.
The 3mm neoprene construction provides additional warmth and the design is also curved to make the glove more streamlined. Plus, the material on the palm is made of rubber that ensures a steady grip in strong currents.
NeoSport Velcro Scuba Gloves
The NeoSport Velcro Scuba Gloves are an impressive 5 mm thick and ideal for scuba divers who need to dive in frigid waters. They are also available in 3mm.
The material is flexible enough to provide a secure grip and is thick enough to prevent precious heat from escaping. The gloves remain secure with wrist fasteners which prevent them from slipping off irrespective of grip.
BARE 3-Finger Mitt
As the name implies, the BARE 3 Finger Mitt is made in the shape of a mitten complete with a 3-finger design and is an impressive 7mm thick.
The unique design is perfect for providing additional warmth to divers since it keeps the fingers together thus, allowing them to regulate heat in both hands. The gauntlet style glove actually provides warmth right up to the forearms and the seams have a double layer of glue to seal the gloves in.
Akona gloves are designed to keep hands warm and protected from hypothermia in cold waters. Besides being 5mm thick, the fingers of the gloves are covered with ArmorTex, a material that is industrial grade and which is also puncture and cut-resistant. The seams in Akona gloves are blind stitched, as well as, glued to seal them against water and the fingers are already bent to provide flexibility.
New Tusa Waterproof Stretch Gloves
New Tusa Waterproof Stretch Gloves is designed to prevent the body from reacting to the cold and is about 5mm thick.
It does this by regulating blood flow to hands and fingers to protect them from prolonged exposure to the cold. The gloves are made to increase warmth, reduce restriction, and to keep the blood flowing.
Cressi High Stretch Premium Gloves
Cressi High Stretch Premium Gloves are made from neoprene that is highly stretchable, which makes it quite flexible.
The gloves are single-lined and are also available in 5mm thickness for cold water divers. The finish is made to make the palm non-slippery and the anatomical shape and pre-bent fingers ensure comfort.
While all of the cold water scuba diving gloves are ideal for winter divers, the BARE 3-finger Mitt stands head and shoulders above them all. Unlike the others, it offers an additional 2mm in thickness to make a difference for divers who swim in Arctic conditions. Plus, the unique 3-finger mitt design both protects the hands from injuries and keeps them warm enough to prevent the onset of hypothermia.
Remember, scuba diving gloves for cold water are essential gear for your safety not only your comfort. Gloves designed to prevent ‘white fingers’, are made so you can withstand the cold and remain stress-free during a dive.