These long gauntlet-style gloves are designed to keep hands warm during long and relatively inactive periods spent on deck. They are therefore ideal when steering.
Gill Helmsman sailing gloves promise the luxury of warmth in challenging conditions and are reminiscent of traditional drivers’ gloves in the days before cars had decent heaters.
However, in this case the long gauntlet serves a different purpose. It allows for a decent size overlap inside the sleeve of a foul-weather sailing jacket.
This minimises risk of water running down your arm and then inside the glove.
An insulating inner layer of fabric provides a high level of warmth and retains thermal properties even when wet.
Gill Helmsman gloves also give a comfortable, almost luxurious, feel that makes you look forward to wearing them.
The palm is made of a flexible, but grippy and heavily reinforced Dura-grip material. This extends up the fingers and thumb, wrapping around the finger tips.
The material is tough enough for occasional rope handling, even though this is not the primary purpose of these gloves.
The forefinger of each hand also has an extra pad of material that enables touchscreen operation.
The fingers are quite wide, so using a phone feels clumsy, but it works well on a larger chartplotter display.
Other features include two adjustment points for a comfortable fit, plus elastic at the wrist.
A small clip that can be used to join the gloves together when not in use is a neat touch likely to prevent them becoming separated.
Water beads off the fabric and, while I couldn’t test the waterproofing on a long-term basis, I’m still impressed by how long they stay dry on the inside.
The name suggests these gloves are intended for a specific use. However, in reality Gill Helmsman gloves are suitable for anyone who is likely to be inactive for long periods while on deck.
If you don’t want to sail in mittens nothing else will keep your hands warmer than a pair of Gill Helmsman gloves.