Bruce Jacobs and Rachael Sprot, skippers at Adventure sailing company Rubicon3, put a selection of insulated waterproof winter sailing gloves through their paces over the autumn and winter.
A sailing glove for the winter needs to be warm, even when it gets wet, and still allow you to conduct the majority of tasks on deck without needing to be taken off. It’s perhaps one of the hardest items for manufacturers to get right – it’s one big compromise and we’ve never found the perfect glove. Over the winter, we tried four more.
Gill Extreme – £39
These gloves have loads of neoprene to keep your hands warm even when they get soaked. A long cuff keeps your wrist really warm and the PU grip on the palm worked well.
The trade off for all that warmth is that they are a bit slow to get on and off and quite bulky once on. Gill says there are plans to update the Extreme glove design this season.
Features: 1.5mm neoprene with good grip and insulation.
Verdict: A little impractical for our expeditions.
Gill Helmsman – £45
Designed to be worn only when helming, these gloves were good for those long nights when not much is happening on deck. They kept out the wind and rain well. The problem with a lined glove is that when the hand is wet, they are far too difficult to get back on.
Features: Waterproof, windproof and breathable with webbing and drawcord wrist adjustment.
Verdict: One for gentle conditions.
Henri Lloyd Cobra – £30
The neoprene in this glove means that even when they (inevitably) get wet, they keep your hands warm. The Maxigrip surface proved particularly good when handling intricate jobs and overall we were really impressed with this glove. Tough, flexible and easy to get on and off even when wet.
Features: Double neoprene cuffs and thermal insulation.
Verdict: Our favourite glove of the test.
Musto Performance Winter – £35
Neoprene on the back of the hand and at the cuff does a pretty good job of keeping a wet hand warm, and the high grip palm was effective. Of all the gloves on test, these were the most curved by design and this helped them to have excellent grip and flexibility.
The palms were also the toughest of the test and stood up to constant rope work very well.
Features: Neoprene gloves with double lined insulation on the back of the hand and wrist.
Verdict: The ends of the fingers weren’t the warmest once the gloves were wet.
Bruce Jacobs and Rachael Sprot are co-founders of Rubicon3, an adventure sailing company that specialises in expeditions and voyages to some of the world’s more remote and exciting locations. From the heat of Africa to the wilds of Greenland and Svalbard, these routes are the ideal proving ground for testing sailing equipment.