Sailing gloves are one of the few pieces of gear to bridge the entire spectrum of racing, from Sunfish to TP52s to maxi racers—we all wear the same products to protect our hands. They’ve come a long way from the classic Trophy gloves of the 1970s. Synthetics have replaced leather, stitching is often done with Kevlar thread, and neoprene cuffs and mesh backs have become de rigueur for many. Each brand has its own proprietary materials, often with exotic names, especially for the area that gets the heaviest use when handling lines—the palm. And there is some notable attention to detail, such as locking tabs to prevent the Velcro wristband from opening if snagged on a line, watch cut-outs and sectioned materials allowing better finger articulation. A handful of designs are specifically built for cold and hot conditions, meeting the needs of frostbite sailors as well as those in more tropical climes.The true measure of a good pair of sailing gloves, however, is comfort, grip and durability. With comparable price points, If you want a straight-forward sailing glove, there’s plenty of choices. If you’re looking for some unique spins on the traditional glove, there are a few of those available as well. We chose to look at full-finger gloves, which for most models means all but the pointer finger and thumb are completely covered, although half-finger versions are available for many.
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