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Friday, February 18, 2011

Drysuit Diatribe: Dry Gloves

I used to use the DC ring system for dry gloves. When I got the gloves, I was convinced that for deeper dives, where any wet gloves will compress a lot, my hands would be cold unless I had dry gloves. I eventually gave them up for two reasons. One, I have slightly less dexterity/sensitivity in them (in particular, accessing stuff in my pockets was harder). Two, I don’t like how you don’t really know if the ring system is going to leak until you are in the water. The second problem could be addressed by using ZipGloves, which are certainly less prone to leaking. The downside with this is that you can’t take the gloves off without taking your arms out of the suit, which I think would drive me crazy. It would seriously interfere with my ability to inhale cheetos on the Escapade. Also, if you rip a glove, your entire suit will leak (I think there are some kind of ZipSeal with an inner seal, but I’ve never seen anyone use them).

By the time I switched back to wet gloves, I had a warmer undergarment, and the wet gloves were fine. I’ve also switched to warmer wet gloves – I use the Waterproof 5mm glove.

But if you do want to use dry gloves despite all of the above, I have some tips. The best way to not be annoyed to death by your dry gloves is to have a good fit. If none of the standard-sized gloves fit your hands well, there are tons of other lines of gloves out there, so you can usually find something that fits better (I ended up using one kind of glove on one hand and another on the other). Also, I found that the liners can affect fit. I found that slightly puffier gloves filled the fingers of my gloves better and actually gave me better dexterity. So I guess my main advice is to try some different stuff out and see what works best. Lots of people around here use dry gloves, so someone probably has some gloves sitting in their garage that you can try.

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