Everybody knows that too much exposure to the sun isn’t good for your skin, especially if you’re fair and prone to burning. We’ve been taught to wear sunscreen and to cover up outside, but there’s one area that often gets forgotten–our hands. Whether we’re playing sports, driving, or going for a stroll, when we’re in the sun our hands are almost always exposed. So to prevent sun damage, it’s a good idea to wear UV protection gloves.
However, picking a pair of UV protection gloves isn’t something that you want to do off the cuff as there are a lot of factors to keep in mind. In this guide, we’ll show you what to look for when choosing the right pair of gloves for you. After that, we’ve put together 10 of our favorite UV protection gloves to help you get started on your search.
How to Choose UV Protection Gloves – Buying Guide
Finding a pair of gloves with UV protection automatically makes things a bit more complicated than just choosing a pair of regular ol’ gloves. Luckily we’ve got this guide to help you out!
How High of a UPF Rating Do You Need? 15 for Driving and 50+ if You’re Outdoors
UPF stands for ultraviolet protective factor and is a measurement of how well a piece of clothing blocks UV radiation. A rating of 15 will let through 1/15 (about 7%) of UV rays; a rating of 50 will only let through 1/50 (2%). Naturally, a higher rating is always better, but it’s most important if you’re in direct sunlight for hours at a time.
If your exposure time is shorter or you’re not in direct sunlight, then a lower number is adequate. If you’re looking for something specifically to protect you from UV rays, always check to see that it has a UPF rating.
What Sort of Cloth will Provide the Best UV Protection?
Not all materials are the same, and some will block UV radiation better than others.
Choose Synthetic Fibers for Effective Protection
Different fibers provide different levels of protection. Synthetics like polyester and nylon are the best at disrupting UV rays. Wool and silk are moderately protective. Other natural fibers like cotton are not very protective without additional treatment.
Look for Less Stretch (and Less Spandex) for Thicker Protection
Thicker, more densely woven fabrics will be more protective than thinner ones. Because of that, stretchy fabric is less effective since it gets thinner as it stretches.
Often, spandex gloves or spandex-blend gloves are made for stretch; though these gloves are pretty much guaranteed to fit better, know that you’ll be giving up a bit of UV protection. Also keep in mind that knitted or elasticized fabrics will stretch too.
Pick a Lighter Color to Reflect Light
We all learned in grade school that dark colors absorb light while light colors reflect them, and the same holds true for UV rays. Darker colored fabrics will absorb light (and thus UV rays), so for the best protection, go for a lighter color that will better reflect the light away from you.
Choose a Length Based on Your Usual Sleeve Length
The goal of UV protection gloves is to protect you from the sun, so you want to ensure that your gloves cover any exposed skin on your arms. Gloves come in a wide range of cuts from wrist-length all the way up to mid-bicep.
Generally speaking, longer is better since it’ll cover you for the most possibilities. But if you always wear long sleeves anyway, it doesn’t make sense to have gloves that go up above your elbow.
Fingerless Gloves for Fine Movements, Touchscreen Compatible Gloves for Smartphones
Although the goal is to protect yourself as much as possible from the sun, sometimes wearing full gloves can be too unwieldy, especially if you’re doing something that requires smaller movements. If so, or if you need to actually feel things with your fingers, look for fingerless options.
Fingerless gloves also come in handy if you need to handle a smartphone or tablet. However, if you want full protection, you can also look for touchscreen-compatible gloves.
Top 10 Best UV Protection Gloves to Buy Online
So now that you know what to look for in a pair of UV protection gloves, here are 10 of our favorites to help you start your search.
10. Maxdot Women Sunblock Fingerless Gloves
Light Protection for Driving
Made from cotton with air holes on the palms, these gloves are soft, comfortable, and ideal for summer use. They are fingerless and have palm grips, so if you’re worried about driving with gloves on and slipping on the wheel, these gloves can offer some peace of mind.
However, as they are made from cotton, which is not inherently UV protective, and do not come with an official UPF rating, these are probably best for indirect sunlight or shorter periods of time. They also only come in one size, so if your hands aren’t of an average female size, these might not be the best choice for you.
9. MarJunSep Women’s Lace Driving Gloves (Set of 4)
Driving Gloves for Any Outfit
These driving gloves come in a set of four with four different colors, making them ideal for any outfit or if you simply need spares to leave in different places. They have a grippy palm for traction and even come with a special fabric on the index finger so that you can still use your phone while wearing them.
Although they’re made for driving, these gloves do come with a UPF 50+ rating, so you can feel good wearing them outdoors in direct light as well. However, they only come in one size, meaning that they might be too tight or too loose depending on your hand size.
8. MelodySusie UV Shield Glove
Gloves for the Perfect Manicure
Many people love gel manicures for their longevity. However, they also directly expose you to UV rays during the drying process. These gloves are designed specifically to help solve that problem. They are light, nylon-based, and have a UPF rating of 50+. Plus, they’re machine washable!
These gloves come in four different colors: black, pink, purple, and white. Although they only come in one size, they are built with 15% spandex and with individually stitched fingers for extra flexibility and stretch so that they can fit a larger range of hand sizes.
7. HQdeal Sun UV Protection Sleeves (Set of 3)
Lightweight for Active Use
This set of three lightweight UV protection gloves goes all the way up over the bicep for maximum protection. They’re made from polyester and have a UPF rating of 50+. They’re also antimicrobial and moisture wicking, making them great for use while active outdoors.
These gloves have grips on the front of the palm and wrist as well as an elasticized armband that can accommodate arms up to 15 inches. However, some reviewers have noted that they can slip down during usage. If you find that happening to you, know that these gloves also come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
6. Coolibar Unisex UV Gloves
UPF 50+ in 5 Sizes
These gloves are great for those who want a near perfect fit. They come in five sizes, ensuring that your gloves will fit without too much wiggle room. Made from a moisture-wicking polyester and spandex blend, these gloves have a UPF rating of 50+ and are perfect for use outdoors.
However, despite the five different sizes, some reviewers have noted that the sizes run a bit small though that may also be due to the snugger fit. On a more positive note, these gloves also have touchscreen-friendly fingertips and grippy palms, making them ideal for almost any situation.
5. The Fishing Tree Half Finger Fishing Gloves
The Finest Fingerless Fishing Gloves
Looking for protection for your hands without sacrificing finger dexterity? These might be just the gloves for you. With an incredibly short finger portion and a UPF rating of 50+, these gloves are made for fishing and are ideal for any outdoor activity that requires a good grip.
On top of that, these gloves come in five unisex sizes that fit a palm circumference of up to 9 1/2 inches. The palm portion has one layer of faux leather for comfort and one layer of PVC for grip. The gloves are also machine washable, so feel free to take them along on even your messiest adventures.
4. Sunshine Lady Gloves Arm Length UV Protection Gloves
Long Gloves for Long Commutes
These gloves have a UPF rating of 50+ and are nearly 22 inches long, coming up over the bicep. However, they are also made completely of cotton and have a breathable mesh underside, making them light and comfortable for long wear in high temperatures.
While there is light slip resistance on the palms and fingers of the gloves, they are not ideal for sports situations. They also only come in one size, which might not work for some people, especially since they are long gloves and thus need to fit at not only the hand, but also the other parts of the arm.
3. Shinymod UV Protection Cooling Arm Sleeves (Set of 3)
Block Sun Radiation and Heat
These sleeves are great for any sort of outdoor activity. They have a UPF 50+ rating and cover the backs of your hands all the way to around mid-bicep. They come in just two sizes–adult and child–but the adult sleeves will comfortably fit anyone with an arm size of 8 inches all the way up to 14 inches.
Not only do these gloves protect you from the sun’s radiation, but they also block out its heat. They’re made from polyamide, which acts as a cooling material, helping you to stay comfortable while you’re out and about. These sleeves come in a variety of colors as well as pack sizes, so you’ll be sure to have the right glove for every occasion.
2. Palmyth UV Protection Fishing Fingerless Gloves
Intuitive, Easy to Wear Gloves
These fingerless gloves cover all but the very tips of your fingers, allowing for full coverage without giving up your sense of touch. They are certified UPF 50+ and have an extra long wrist cuff to ensure that bit of skin that’s normally exposed between the glove and your sleeve stays protected too.
These gloves have strategically placed synthetic leather areas that provide grip and traction without adding unnecessary bulk to places that don’t need it. They come in four sizes and fit rather snug, so these gloves also have pull tabs at the wrist and middle finger to make them easier to put on and take off.
1. Outdoor Research Activeice Chroma Full Sun Gloves
Cooling, Full-Coverage Gloves for Outdoor Use
Whether you’re hiking, kayaking, or fishing, if you’re outdoors and active, these gloves will serve you well. Full-fingered with a UPF rating of 50+, these gloves will keep the sun at bay no matter how hot or how long you’re outside. The fabric is even infused with xylitol crystals for a noticeable cooling effect.
The gloves’ palms have a perforated overlay for grip and a tapered wrist to keep them secure and snug. They come in sizes ranging from extra small to extra large, ensuring that they will be a good fit for you. Plus, they also come with attached clips to keep them together when you’re not using them.
Hopefully this guide has been helpful, and you’ve been able to figure out exactly what you’re looking for in a pair of UV protection gloves. Just remember, not all gloves are great for everybody, so always remember to keep your individual needs in mind!
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