Pogies are the only way to go. I have the snapdragon ones and have used them for years even when outside temps froze our skirts and ice was frozen to our helmets. Gloves can constrict at the wrist slowing blood flow and then you have cold hands regardless. Plus the control that direct paddle contact gives is worth it.
If you are use to wearing gloves try pogies with your current gloves, but I would be afraid the pogies could not heat up like they are suppose due to your hands being covered. Remember pogies need to be wet to work best.
Not sure which of the two models I have.
I think they are the hyper hands. I’m sure either will do the trick.
The main thing is BIG CUFF, easy entry/exit.
Been thinking about pogies myself. I have some NRS gloves that are OK in moderately cold weather. I am hearing loud and clear that Snap Dragon is the way to go.
NRS Mambas or Snapdragon Hyperhands or Hothands
I used to use NRS 3mm hydroskin, although my favorites were some knock off brand that came from Walmart in Kentucky during hunting season, and were 3 or 5 mm and cost like $12. My point is look outside of just the exclusive whitewater stuff and think about other sports that would use waterproof gloves and you might find something you really like that you wouldn’t have expected.
My biggest complaint is that gloves that keep me warm enough have typically been so thick that gripping the paddle becomes a challenge after about an hour. Pogies are great for workouts and when I probably won’t be rolling or having to grab other equipment. I like thin (2-3 mm) neoprene gloves for more difficult paddling. I think an ideal glove would be a 3 compartment mitten with the thumb and index fingers free, reinforcement in the webbing, and some sort of fleece square on the back of hand for wiping things with.. Someone mentioned the wrist closures that don’t constrict the blood flow and that is a great point that I had not really considered, but have noticed in some gloves that I have tried. Some have had cuffs or thick velcro closures that interfered with wrist movement.
Although not an expert on this I will say that waterproof does not necessarily mean warm. The neoprene gloves and pogies that allow a little water in that can then be heated by your body are probably the best. One of the Pogie fans wrote about that. Playtex gloves are ok in an emergency, but even though your hands are dry, they will be cold unless covered by something else.
This is a great campfire topic. Unfortunately when we are camping, we usually aren’t thinking about cold weather gear. My advice would be to go to your local outfitter and try on every pair of gloves and pogies they sell, and grab a paddle with them. Online reviews are good, too.
In case you ain’t had enough, I have NRS Toaster Mitts, and for warmth they are great. My wife and I have been out on Lake Jordan while snowing (that’s how you know you’re hard up for some playboat practice). My hands have never been cold in them. They are a little awkward on and off, but not so bad on the paddle. (I don’t see cell phone calls or operating a GoPro multiple camera setup as convenient.)
They are neoprene, so of course they hold water & warmth like other gloves, but I think the fact that your fingers are all in a single “compartment” kicks it up a notch. Aleutians if you can still find them. I bought several pair from Campmor a few years ago.
Neoprene on the inside, rubber on the outside.
Just my 2 cents worth on the gloves. I’m a big fan of pogies rather than gloves. They feel a little strange at first, but are warmer than gloves & give you the same grip on the paddle as without them.
NRS makes a mitten, and I swear by them. I’ve pretty poor ciruclation in my hands and get cold fast and I never did find a glove that would work. The Mittens were the ticket otherwise I’d never get out there in the winter. brrrr
What I like about the mittens better than pogies is that if I do come out of my boat for a swim my hands are still protected and warm. The last time I wore my pogies in the winter and swam my hands got so cold it was hard to hold on to the rescue boat. Now I use my pogies in cool weather and the mitts in cold.
Forget the gloves, NRS Mamba’s are excellent. (or wear the hydro skins under them). There may be equivalently warm pogies, but gloves etc are either too restrictive or not as warm or both.
Please note that, if you use Pogies AND switch hand positions on your paddle when you roll, you cannot get your hands out of the Pogies fast enough to coordinate with your need to roll up for air. (As a C2 paddler, I switch hand positions on the paddle and roll to my offside – partner’s onside – so our paddles and hip snaps are together. So as not to confuse myself, my C2 roll is also my C1 roll.)
That’s the only downside to Pogies that I am aware of. Pogies are warmer
than any gloves I have ever used.
After years of trying stuff, here’s what I personally prefer ( and why):
1. Mountain Surf Creek mitts. Very easy to get hands in and out of…like when your paddle gets knocked out of your hand….or you need to split second push off of a rock or grab someone or their boat or a rope etc etc. If it’s really cold, you need to be able to get a cold hand back in the thing quickly without thinking about it.
Creek Mitts are shorter…with a wider mouth which is sturdy enough to quickly wiggle your hand into without much distraction and while in a rapid or busy situation.
To me, they are just as warm as any gloves or “heavy duty” pogies I’ve ever used. It’s the wind that gets you, not the ambient temp or water temp. They keep the wind off just fine. And you have full use of your ” paddle feel” in your hands which, is crucial in really cold conditions for key strokes and boat control.
For me personally, Mitts are warmer than any gloves I’ve used.
2. If you’re going to be remote, or portaging, creeking,or stopping or helping on the shore etc , those real thin gloves ( thin for dexterity) can be used together with the Creek Mitts or alone. ( very handy when creeking ,e.g., grabbing limbs in eddies, grabbing rocks, scouting, and paddling until you can get your hand back in the Mitt, etc.)
Hope this helps. Just my 2 cents. It’s an important matter. That’s why we’re posting back to you!! Wintertime paddling is AWESOME (especially in snow!!!) but the hands—they gotta work for you. That said, I humbly suggest….” less is more”…… you HAVE to be able to get hands in and hands out quickly.
I prefer the level six pogies (at era) they are really warm.
I use NRS reactor gloves. Give good grip on the paddle and are quite warm (great for winter handpaddling).
I don’t do alot of winter paddling, below 32 degrees.
I like the hydroskin gloves.
I have tried poggies but didn’t like the feeling of having my hands stuck to the paddle. it made me nervous about how i would pull my skirt if missed my roll! anyhow, thanks for asking. i’ve liked hearing other peoples ideas.
Just curious why you are ruling out pogies – did you try a pair that you didn’t like? Some pogies are pretty crummy but the right pair of pogies are hard to beat. On a really cold day you can combine them with a thin pair of gloves. For me, IR Microwaves are ideal – wide opening and short so they are easy to get on and take off yet long enough to cover my wrists and keep my hands warm. I add a pair of thin NRS gloves on exceptionally cold days.
My first pair of pogies was long and had a narrow opening – almost permanently soured me on pogies. I had someone recommend the IR microwaves and decided to try them and I’m really glad I did.
I wore gloves for probably the first 4 years of my paddling career until one cold day at Balcony Falls I took one of them off to take some photos. By the time I got back to my boat, I realized that the hand without the glove had dried off and was warm. The hand in the wet glove was still numb and freezing. From that time on, I didn’t wear gloves and found that, even though my hands were often freezing, they were better than when I wore gloves. For some reason I wasn’t interested in pogies at all. Then on an even colder day at Foster Falls , I was seriously wondering if my hands were getting frost bit. I could barely get them to grip the paddle they were so numb. Someone with pogies mentioned how warm their hands were. I didn’t believe them, so we swapped paddles. It was the single biggest “AH HA” moment of my paddling career. I got a pair of creeking pogies immediately after that trip and now absolutely swear by them. They might just be the greatest invention ever. Still don’t know why they work so well, but they do. The pogies I have are stiff and short, they do not collapse around the wrist, I have no problems at all getting my hands in and out quickly, I hear lots of people talk about wearing latex gloves underneath their pogies, but personally I haven’t tried that yet.
I’ve used NRS Maverick gloves below freezing temps before and had my hands get hot & sweaty, and cold hands are normally a problem for me. The Hydrocuff really cuts down on the exchange of warm body heated water with cold river water. Also, NRS has it’s Reactor glove on sale in XS for $9.95. They say it is their warmest glove, has wrist straps but no Hydrocuff.
I prefer pogies too and have used my comfortably down to 28 or so.
As Leslie mentioned, another downside to pogies, is if you lose your paddle you lose you pogies. If you’re in a remote area this can be a problem, so I also keep a pair of latex dish gloves in my drybag that will work in a pinch….
I have nrs, and others I don’t need
If you change your mind on pogies, Snap Dragon has hypalon short style pogies that are great. Gloves (no personal experience) but NRS Maverick or Naturals look really good. Maverick is raw neoprene, which not as durable as a nylon faced material, is much warmer as it sheds water. If they don’t have loops, you can add them yourself. Check out Outdoorplay, Coloradokayaksupply, etc sites for other options.