Why Should You Dive With Dry Gloves?
If you have been wondering why you should dive with dry gloves, then you are in the right place.
Over the past two years, more and more divers have been choosing to upgrade their thermal protection when diving in drysuit to add a dry gloves system of one design or another to their gear.
In this post we are going to give you the low down on the good, the bad and the ugly in the world of dry gloves for cold water diving.
What are Dry Gloves?
Dry gloves have been around for some time, unlike wet gloves, are watertight. They essentially become an extension of your drysuit keeping water out and your hands dry.
How are they attached to a drysuit?
Dry gloves are usually attached with two sets of rings. One set of rings are installed at the wrist seals of your drysuit. The other two at the wrist section of the gloves. Depending on the brand, the rings are secured by pushing or screwing together, creating a watertight seal.
To answer this question it is best to examine the information below but here is a short breakdown;
- Both Systems can be fitted without suit modification to existing Latex or Silicone seals.
- Neither system can be fitted to Neoprene seals with suit modification (Cutting and gluing)
As the rings create a watertight/airtight seal, don’t your hands squeeze as you descend?
As your wrist seals are still installed the simple answer is yes! However, this is easily avoided by breaking the seal using wrist warmers, straws (small tubes) or small pieces of bungee. This will allow the air to flow between your drysuit and gloves. As long as the wrist seal has been broken, air from your drysuit will be drawn into your gloves. This will equalise the airspace during descent. If you do happen to feel a slight squeeze, raise your hands above the level of your drysuit. This will force air into the gloves quickly.
So, you have now equalised your gloves during descent. But how do you dump the air during ascent?
We mentioned above that to force air into the glove you can raise your hands above the level of your drysuit. Simply lowering your hands below the level of your suit will force air back into your drysuit and out of your shoulder dump along with the rest of the expanding air.
Do they ever leak?
Leaks can occur but can usually be avoided by ensuring that the gloves have been put on correctly and also that nothing is being touched which may puncture the glove.
Rubber gloves don’t really have insulating properties, how do they
keep your hands warm? Rubber keeps the water out, glove liners keep the heat in. There are many glove liners on the market in all sizes and thicknesses and what you will wear will usually depend on the water temperature you plan to dive in.
Are dry gloves warmer than wet gloves?
Yes. Some wet gloves are great but with your hands being in contact with the water they will cool faster, eventually feeling numb which reduces dexterity and renders your hands almost useless! (Many Tech Diving agencies also recommend dry gloves for this reason and take advantage of the extended dive times they offer). Also, when removing your wet gloves between dives, your wet hands will take a very long time to rewarm. That is if they manage to rewarm at all! When removing dry gloves between dives, your hands are as dry as they were when you started and rewarm quickly. Being able to use your hands between dives comes in very useful for changing tanks and getting your gear ready for your next dive!
If you are a diver who wants to enjoy the UKs colder months or enjoys diving in colder water abroad, installing dry gloves is a must and something you definitely wont regret. If you are ready to take the plunge and get the feeling back in your fingers this diving season, come speak to the guys at Scuba Leeds to find a solution that is right for you.