Beginner Surf Gear

The Best Wetsuit Gloves

It doesn’t matter how good your wetsuit is – if the water is icy then your hands will freeze up! Anyone surfing in cold waters will understand the importance of wetsuit gloves. They provide an additional layer of warmth to one of your most exposed and sensitive areas. Having warm, functioning hands will also help you to paddle more efficiently and enjoy your surf a whole lot more.

These gloves also help to protect the hands against sharp rocks and reefs. These days, wetsuit technology has become quite advanced. This means that there are all kinds of different gloves available, with a range of thicknesses and protection options. These accessories are an easy way to enhance your surfing experience and protect your body better from the cold water. Let’s check out some of the best wetsuit gloves available, and what to look out for when finding the right pair. 

best wetsuit gloves

What Are Wetsuit Gloves?

Wetsuit gloves are super simple accessories that have been designed to protect the hands in cold waters. As you would guess, these are gloves made from neoprene (wetsuit material). They are worn with a wetsuit in order to extend the coverage and insulation over your hands and fingers. 

Wetsuit gloves help to keep your hands nice and warm, as well as provide protection while in the water. They are great for surfing, kayaking, diving, waterskiing, and any other watersports. 

Types Of Wetsuit Gloves

While wetsuit gloves may seem like pretty basic bits of equipment, there are quite a few different options to choose from. Depending on what you will be using the gloves for, and under what kind of conditions, there are some important aspects to consider. 

Wetsuit gloves are available in different levels of thickness. The most common examples are 3mm, 4mm, and 5mm. The thicker the glove, the more suitable it is for colder waters. However, you also need to consider stretch and flexibility. Super stretch neoprene gloves are ideal for providing the most movement and flexibility. 

If you opt for a 5mm pair of gloves, they will provide excellent warmth in deeper colder waters (ideal for divers). They will however limit the movement you get in your hands though. Most swimmers and surfers may go for a 3mm pair. These are suitable for most water conditions, while still providing enough comfort and flexibility. 

cold water surfing barrell

What To Look Out For When Buying Wetsuit Gloves

Wetsuit gloves come in a wide range of different varieties. Depending on where you will be using the gloves, and the kind of activity you will be doing, there are some important aspects to consider. 


As mentioned earlier, thickness plays a vital role in wetsuit gloves. The thicker they are, the warmer they will be. This will also mean more restriction though. There are some great materials out there that provide serious warmth and insulation while still remaining fairly thin and flexible. 


Neoprene is the common wetsuit material that these gloves are made out of. However, there are different varieties of this in different products. Some use a more stretchy type of neoprene, and some use additional materials – such as rubber. The material used is important for determining the overall durability, comfort, and effectiveness of the gloves. 


Your hands are not just there for paddling – you will need them to hold onto things too! Make sure that your wetsuit gloves provide enough grip while in the water. If you will be using the gloves for something like kayaking or wakeboarding, then having good grip traction in the palms is important. 

surfing in snow

The Best Wetsuit Gloves

Ready to enjoy a whole new world of warmth in the water? Then its time to choose a pair of wetsuit gloves. We have outlined some of the top products available, split into three different thickness categories. 

3mm Gloves

3mm gloves provide less warmth than thicker versions. However, they are easier to wear and more flexible. Here are some of the best 3mm gloves available. 

O’Neill Psycho Tech 3mm Gloves

  • O-ring seal around the wrist
  • Tacky grip palm cover
  • Lightweight

This pair of 3mm neoprene rubber gloves by O’Neill offers a performance-driven product in a very lightweight, flexible form. 

The Techno Butter Firewall material used in these gloves provides amazing insulation and warmth. There is also an O-ring seal around the wrist to prevent water from entering the gloves. This also makes it easier to take on and off. 

oneill psycho wetsuit gloves 3mm

Rip Curl Dawn Patrol 3mm Gloves

  • Freeflex neoprene material
  • Fully textured
  • Flexible

Rip Curl is always a leading brand when it comes to surf apparel, so their Dawn Patrol gloves should definitely be considered when looking for something to warm up the fingers. 

The fully textured neoprene material allows for a strong grip on slippery objects in the water. The gloves are made from freeflex neoprene material. This means that they are flexible and lightweight, while still providing sufficient warmth and insulation. 

rip curl dawn patrol gloves

Hyperflex Wetsuits Access Gloves

  • A durable glove
  • Glued and blind stitched
  • Horizontal micro block grip

Hyperflex has designed a pair of wetsuit gloves that are simple yet effective. These neoprene gloves offer comfort, durability, and functionality. The 3mm thickness makes them easy to wear, while still providing enough warmth for most cold water surfs. 

The gloves have a strong grip from the micro block textured palm. The stretchy neoprene is unrestricted and easy to slip on and off. They are also a good value for money pair of gloves. 

hyperflex wetsuit gloves

4mm Gloves

4mm wetsuit gloves are an appealing middle ground. They offer more warmth, without being too restricted. Here are some quality 4mm gloves on the market. 

O’Neill Gooru Tech 4mm Glove

  • Anatomical fit
  • Complete rubber-sealed exterior
  • Added jersey in-between the neoprene

Unlike the more common full neoprene variety, these gloves are 100% sealed in rubber. They are also completely double lined, made with durable Techno Butter neoprene. On top of this, there is an added jersey in-between the neoprene and the dip. These different layers all work together to provide a more durable, warm, and water-resistant product. 

These impressive gloves boast an anatomical fit for extra comfort. They dry really quickly and offer maximum warmth for their thickness.

oneill guru tech glove

XCEL Infiniti Glide Glove 4mm

  • 100% stretch neoprene
  • TDC Thermo Dry Celliant lining
  • Strong grip

These gloves by Xcel may seem simple, but they offer a range of benefits to the cold surfer. They are seriously durable while still being lightweight and flexible. This is thanks to the 100% stretch neoprene material.

The gloves are lined with XCELs exclusive TDC Thermo Dry Celliant – a material that makes them naturally hydrophobic. These gloves have an impressive grip in the inner palm, are flexible to wear, and have sealed seams for extra durability. 

xcel infiniti

5mm Gloves

5mm gloves are for the serious cold water user. Whether it is deep-sea diving or surfing in icy conditions, 5mm gloves will offer maximum warmth. Here are our best product picks.

Hyperflex Wetsuits Men’s 5mm Access Glove

  • Horizontal micro block grip
  • Durable neoprene material
  • Glued and blind stitched

The Access glove range by Hyperflex Wetsuits is all about providing a functional glove with a minimalist design. This 5mm version is thicker, warmer and better suited to colder waters than their other gloves. The same idea remains though – these gloves are easy to wear, affordable, comfortable, and durable. 

5mm hyperflex gloves

O’Neill Psycho Tech 5mm Lobster Claw Gloves

  • O-ring seal around the wrist
  • Wind-proof smooth skin
  • A “3 finger” design

This wetsuit glove by O’Neill is all about warmth and comfort. It may not be as easy to wear or control as other, slimmer gloves. However, you do get one of the warmest, most protected products out there. If the cold is your main concern, then these are the gloves to go for. 

The 5mm Lobster Claw gloves are made from neoprene rubber with a wind-proof skin to protect you against the elements. The palm and inner fingers feature a strong tacky grip to improve dexterity. There is also an O-ring seal around the wrist to keep out water, as well as make the gloves easier to take on and off. 

oneill psycho lobster claws

Surf Gear Lab 5mm Wetsuit Gloves

  • Premium grade neoprene gloves
  • Strap around the wrist
  • Grippy palms

Anyone venturing into seriously cold waters will love these gloves from Surf Gear Lab. They offer total warmth through their thick 5mm design. The gloves are made completely from premium grade neoprene – the ideal material for stretch and insulation. 

The gloves have a strap around the wrist to keep the fit tighter. This allows for better insulation and less water seeping through the wrist. The textured palms and fingers offer a solid grip under the water. 

Where Can You Buy Wetsuit Gloves

These products are pretty simple, so any decent watersport retailer should supply them. While you can buy wetsuit gloves at just about any surf shop, searching for them online is often best. Sites like Surf Gear Lab make it easy to find the exact product that you are after.


Wetsuit gloves are one of the easiest ways of enhancing your bodily warmth during a surf. These products are easy to wear and can add immense value to cold water sessions. Whether you are surfing in extremely cold conditions, or are just tired of having chilly fingers, then a pair of wetsuit gloves will make a real difference.

They also offer protection to the hands against all the elements out there and can be utilized by all kinds of watersports users. Be sure to check these products out, as a simple pair of gloves can go a really long way.

cold water swimming


How tight should wetsuit gloves be?

Wetsuit gloves are made out of flexible neoprene, so they will stretch when they are on. You don’t want them to be too tight though, as this will be seriously uncomfortable. Make sure you get a pair that does not fill with water but is tight enough to keep out the cold. 

Are wetsuit gloves necessary?

If you surf in cold waters, the hands will always tend to freeze up. As this is a sensitive and exposed area, wearing a pair of gloves can help a huge deal. They will keep your hands warm and allow you to enjoy the water more. 

How thick should wetsuit gloves be?

Wetsuit gloves are available in a range of thicknesses. The pair that you choose will depend on how cold the water is that you will be using them in. The colder the water, the thicker the gloves. 

2 thoughts on “The Best Wetsuit Gloves”

  1. I believe there is an error in your content. You wrote: Under “Types of Wetsuit Gloves”: “The thicker the glove, the more suitable it is for warmer waters. ” This is incorrect. The thicker the glove, the warmer it is. A thick glove is NOT suitable for warmer waters. That is, a 5mm gloves is not for warmer waters. I am writing to let you know this, as I see you have useful information on your site, but an error like this makes you appear less credible, less knowledgeable, less dependable, meaning fewer people would trust you for buying gear. I hope you will change this. Thank you

    1. Beginner Surf Gear Team

      Hi Deb. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We’ve fixed this error which arose from a momentary lapse in concentration when writing this article. Thanks.

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