Taking a dip in large bodies of water be they lakes, rivers, or oceans is one of the best ways to enjoy spending time outdoors. However, if you plan on doing anything more than tread water, it helps to have the proper equipment, so you can stay safe and perform to the best of your ability.
When it comes to swimming in the ocean, a proper wetsuit with all of the accompanying accessories is one of the most important pieces of equipment. However, if you want to take that a step further and spearfish, one of the most often overlooked pieces of equipment are the gloves.
That is why we put together a list of the 5 best spearfishing gloves of 2020, highlighting what each one does best. We also provide a helpful buyer’s guide, so you can figure out which spearfishing gloves are best suited for your next hunting/fishing trip.
The Best Spearfishing Gloves Reviewed
Cressi is easily one of the most experienced and well-known scuba gear brands on the market which likely helps explain why they consistently produce high-quality products– two of which made our list. The Cressi Hunter spearfishing gloves earned our most flexible spot, but they offer far more than that to justify their inclusion on our list.
Finding the right mix of specs can be tricky for spearfishing gloves since it matters as much what you fish as it does what gloves you wear. Thankfully, Cressi made it a point that their Hunter Series offers exceptional flexibility thanks to the use of elastic neoprene that provides a full range of motion for your fingers. On top of that, these are the only spearfishing gloves on our list that also includes a special lining material with black Metalite. This material weaves metal fibers through the lining’s fabric, making it much easier to slip these gloves on and off without soap or other lubricants.
While not the thickest we reviewed, the Cressi Hunter spearfishing gloves are 2 mm thick which is more than thick enough to offer decent protection in chilly, if not truly, cold water. The black Metalite also adds another layer of insulation with the ability to reflect your body heat back at you. As easy as it is to slip these gloves on and off, you do not have to worry about them coming off underwater thanks to the velcro strap closure. That said, these spearfishing gloves are not the most durable, especially around the seams, nor do they provide the best grip.
Hammerhead Spearguns is not nearly as experienced as some of the other companies we reviewed, but, as the name implies, focuses a bit more on spearfishing. This specialization likely provides them the insight necessary to make the most durable option we found, though being based out of Hawaii might present its own issues.
Out of all the spearfishing gloves on our list, none of them can compare with the overall durability of the Hammerhead Spearguns Ammara. For starters, these spearfishing gloves are made out of UHMWPE and boast an impressive cut resistance of level 5 and puncture resistance of level 3. On top of that, the Hammerhead Spearguns Ammara spearfishing gloves also utilize a seamless design, so you do not have to worry about the gloves coming apart at the seams like with some of the competitions we saw. Of course, if you prefer something a little bit different, these spearfishing gloves come in a variety of different materials from neoprene to multiple types of Nitrile.
While the Hammerhead Spearguns Ammara spearfishing gloves might be incredibly durable, they have to give up a bit in terms of their flexibility. While this is not strictly necessary, when you combine the stiffer UHMWPE material with a 1 to 1.5 mm thickness, you will not have the dexterity offered by some of our other entries. While that is not inherently the worst quality, the additional thickness does not even meet the standards necessary to provide adequate insulation for colder waters. Still, the Hammerhead Spearguns Ammara spearfishing gloves come with polyurethane and Nitrile covering the complete palm to give you a solid grip.
Bullet Proof Surf or BPS is easily the newest company on our list, but that means they have to go the extra mile to compete with more established brands. While we rated these as our best cold water spearfishing gloves, we could just have easily rated them our best budget spearfishing gloves too.
One thing you often run into when picking out spearfishing gloves is having to choose between gloves that provide a solid range of movement for your fingers or gloves that keep you warm. Thankfully, the Bullet Proof Surf Storm spearfishing gloves find a great balance by using high-quality neoprene for the main material. However, to make sure that you can still wear these gloves in cold water, they are also the thickest on our list. While these spearfishing gloves start at 3 mm in thickness, which is still good for cold water, they go all the way up to 5 mm in thickness– though this will reduce the flexibility a bit.
Up and Down
Beyond the general mobility and insulation, the Bullet Proof Surf Storm spearfishing gloves are a bit of a mixed bag with some great qualities and other questionable ones. For example, this is one of the few pairs of spearfishing gloves we came across that comes with a full palm rubber dot grip. To complement that solid grip design, the Bullet Proof Surf Storm spearfishing gloves also feature velcro straps to keep them in place underwater. Of course, all budget-friendly products have to pay somewhere and for these spearfishing gloves that comes with little to no protection. It is also worth noting that while these gloves are plenty thick, you may need to seal the seams which use a flat-stitch.
SalviMar sees a return on our list to more established and experienced brands with this one seeming to focus on the warmer Italian waters where it was founded. With almost 80 years of experience, the SalviMar Dyneema spearfishing gloves are definitely in the running for the best overall spearfishing gloves we encountered.
The SalviMar Dyneema spearfishing gloves are the other option on our list for divers looking for a superior build that can handle numerous seasons without worry. Not coincidentally, these spearfishing gloves also happen to be the only other model on our list that is made of UHMWPE, an extremely durable material. While the SalviMar Dyneema spearfishing gloves do not provide its cut or puncture resistance ratings, it can comfortably be considered the second-best on our list. However, one area where these UHMWPE spearfishing gloves supersede those with better protection ratings is with its flexibility.
Give and Take
That said, a big part of the reason that the SalviMar Dyneema spearfishing gloves can offer excellent protection as well as durability is that they are thin. At only 0.8 mm, these spearfishing gloves are easily the thinnest on our list and should not be used for even chilly water. To make this issue worse, the SalviMar Dyneema spearfishing gloves also have sewn seams which means they do not provide good water-tightness. Still, if you plan on spearfishing in warm waters, you will appreciate how easy these gloves are to slip on and off. On top of that, the SalviMar Dyneema spearfishing gloves also come with a full palm grip made of a polyurethane and Nitrile microfoam.
Cressi finishes our list with a pair of spearfishing gloves that check most of the boxes and provide high-end specs at all of the relevant aspects. Because of this, we rated the Cressi ULTRASPAN spearfishing gloves as our best all-around option, although they also tend to be a relatively expensive pair of gloves.
As mentioned prior, being able to make a pair of spearfishing gloves that work equally as well in cold and warm water without restrictions is incredibly difficult. However, the Cressi ULTRASPAN spearfishing gloves manage to do just that thanks to the use of Ultraspan neoprene which offers exceptional flexibility. That said, rather than going all-in on flexibility, these spearfishing gloves also make it a point to insulate your hands better than most with a thickness of 2.5 mm– the second-thickest gloves on our list. To ensure that you do not have to worry about insulation or warmth, the Cressi ULTRASPAN spearfishing gloves employ a glue and blind stitching for the seams making them the most watertight option we reviewed.
As good of a job as Cressi did striking a balance, these spearfishing gloves suffer from the same durability issues that other models from the brand do– something that stands out even more considering their slightly inflated price. Though, it is worth noting that the Cressi ULTRASPAN spearfishing gloves also employ a camouflage pattern to help confuse your target. In terms of grip, this is a bit hit or miss as these spearfishing gloves have the least amount of grip features we saw. On the other hand, the grip follows a unique design that conforms better to the natural shape of your hand.
- Textile – This is your basic cloth material, though it can be made out of many different types of specific substances from polyester to nylon to even cotton. That said, most scuba diver gloves avoid textile as the main material because it does not protect as well as other materials. On the other hand, textiles tend to be less expensive, are easier to clean, and easier to put on than other materials.
- Neoprene – This is by far the most common type of material used for the best scuba diving gloves due to numerous qualities that make it effective. One of the best features of neoprene is that it affords solid flexibility without losing any of its structural integrity. On top of that, neoprene works just as effectively in hot or cold climates with temperature thresholds that far exceed anywhere you might choose to swim.
- Nitrile – The nitrile used for spearfishing gloves is a nitrile rubber that tends to find its use for specialized purposes more than general ones. Specifically, nitrile gloves offer superior protection from puncture compared to neoprene or textiles. Even better, nitrile rubber offers a suitable substitute for people who are allergic to latex– a common material used to make neoprene.
- Polyethylene – Do not mistake the polyurethane used for spearfishing gloves with the more common PE used in general consumer goods. In this instance, we are talking about UHMWPE or ultra high weight molecular polyethylene which confers some of the best puncture and cut resistance properties available for diving gloves. Even better, this material stands up to extreme temperatures well, is relatively easy to slip on, but not as flexible as some materials.
- Metalite – Rather than being a general material used for the majority of spearfishing gloves, Metalite is more commonly found on the interior of scuba gloves. This material serves a couple of purposes with the most important being that it makes it much easier to put on and take off the gloves. As a bonus, the metal threads woven into Metalite reflect body heat back onto the user, providing more insulation than basic materials.
Best diving gloves for cold water are almost invariably the thickest diving gloves as well, though there are a couple of different features that can improve the insulation without necessarily increasing the thickness. Cold water diving gloves tend to be over 2 mm in thickness but are generally 3 to 5 mm in thickness for genuinely cold water.
On the other hand, some materials insulate better than others, like Metalite which reflects body heat while also making it easier to put gloves on and take them off. Keep in mind, the thicker and warmer the gloves, generally the less flexible they are too– regardless of the material used.
Lobster diving gloves and other situations where you are liable to come in contact with spines, moving fins, and the like need to be able to handle cuts and punctures than “basic” alternatives. The best way to accomplish this is by using UHMWPE which is easily the most protective and durable material used for the best scuba diving gloves.
Keep in mind, a pair of UHMWPE spearfishing gloves not only allow you to grasp your prey without worry, but you can also use them for a host of other tricky diving situations like exploring underwater shipwrecks. Beyond their material composition, some spearfishing gloves also include padding on the back of the hand to protect against general abrasions.
Because you hold a speargun in your hands while spearfishing, flexibility tends not to be the most important aspect. However, if your spearfishing gloves restrict your ability to pull the trigger on your speargun, they can easily cost you a kill and ultimately fail- regardless of whatever other benefits they might offer.
In terms of flexibility, materials can play a big part with textiles or neoprene offering the best flexibility, but it is important to consider the sizing as well. It is also worth looking for spearfishing gloves that include design features that conform to the natural shape and movement of hands to increase flexibility.
Looking for perfect diving dry gloves is a bit of a fool’s errand unless you also purchase a wetsuit that incorporates the gloves into its build. That said, you can still get gloves that keep more water out than others which improves several other qualities from the grip, comfort, warmth, and even stability.
While many spearfishing gloves come with velcro wrist straps, these generally do not keep out water as much as they prevent the glove from slipping off of your hand. Instead, getting a pair of spearfishing gloves that fit properly and do not have seams punctured entirely through the fabric is a better solution.
Regardless of their purpose, the best wetsuit gloves generally include some kind of grip, so you can manipulate tools underwater. In this regard, the best spearfishing gloves and best snorkeling gloves differ significantly as you need the former model to hold onto the speargun more than the latter need to manipulate general tools.
Various types of rubber are extremely common forms of grip with dotted patterns often increasing the grip’s capability through surface tension. However, there is no getting around the fact that Nitrile is the undisputed king of underwater gripping material, especially when combined into a plastic compound to extend its lifespan.
While some people might use aesthetic preferences when choosing a pair of spearfishing gloves, the best diving gloves in this context focus more on discretion. Consider that your presence is already something “out of the ordinary” for the fish you are trying to hunt and drawing additional attention to yourself will not make that task any easier.
The most common way to accomplish this is through the color of the gloves, but no one coloration works best for all fishing scenarios. For instance, the general color of the water will often determine how effective the camouflage is with the most common camo patterns being either blue or green.
As we can see, the best spearfishing gloves will differ depending on where you go fishing, your intended quarry, and what kind of feel you prefer. If you want a pair of spearfishing gloves that can handle some of the gnarliest spines and fins out there, the Hammerhead Spearguns is great.
The SalviMar Dyneema is also good for that purpose and offers a bit more flexibility, but they are strictly warm-water fishing only. Though, if flexibility is what you are after, the Cressi Hunters have that in spades while also offering plenty in the warmth department but are not truly cold water gloves.
For cold water gloves, the Bullet Proof Surf Storms have you covered, literally, with the thickest material used and plenty of grip. That said, the Cressi Ultraspan covers most of the bases with plenty of warmth, flexibility, and grip as well as a great fit and seal.