The best time to test some cold water gear is when it’s cold and you are actually on the water fishing. Cold weather kayak gloves that don’t inhibit fishing are always high on the search list from November through April across the US. I recently had occasion to test out the NRS Hydroskin 2.0 Forecast gloves when the weather was spitting on the river and temps stayed in the low 40s all morning. The Forecast Gloves run $45.
Before I get to the goods and areas of improvement, let’s see what NRS says about the Forecast gloves.
NRS Forecast Product Details
NRS HydroSkin 2.0 Forecast Gloves deliver the warmth of 2 mm neoprene with convertible thumb and fingertips to give you extra dexterity for fishing and knot tying.
- Tips of the thumb and first two fingers can be slipped out for tying knots, working camera controls and other fine motor operations. Hook and loop patches hold the glove tips out of the way.
- 2 mm neoprene provides warmth on cool boating days.
- Grippy silicone palm pattern for paddle and oar control.
- A fitted, stretchy slip-on wrist cuff makes the glove easy to put on and take off.
- Pairing snaps on the wrists help keep the gloves together.
|Material:||2 mm neoprene|
|Seams:||Single needle with high tenacity thread|
|Palm Material:||Silicone palm pattern|
|Wrist Closure:||Fitted cuffs|
The Good from the NRS Forecast
As advertised, the Forecast is a good cool weather glove. The silicone grip allows good paddle control in wet conditions. I also appreciated the warmth it provided. It’s important to note, this is not a waterproof glove. It uses the body’s natural heat to warm the moisture between the skin and internal neoprene. While this might keep your hands a bit wet in the river, it does keep them warm. Water molecules conduct energy (heat) 25-40 times faster compared to air molecules. The Forecast gloves are made of small closed neoprene cells that are filled with air which provide insulation against cold water by trapping heat in. The thicker the neoprene, the warmer the glove will be because it has more heat-trapping insulation.
The fitted cuffs are good for paddling because they limit additional water entry and because they are elongated if you are in a jacket with untapered sleeves your skin isn’t exposed around the wrists as it would be with a normal glove that only covers to the base of a palm.
I appreciated the foldable fingers for the thumb, index, and middle fingers in the Forecast glove and that there was a mechanism to hold them open for tying knots. I also really liked that NRS chose 2mm neoprene. Much thicker would feel clumsy and the dexterity in your fingers you sometimes need for certain fishing techniques would be much harder to obtain.
Some Thoughts on Improvement
The way the fingers are held open with velcro is great until you forget. I was on the river for about 10 minutes and had the fingers closed because I was paddling upstream for a stretch. My nose was itching and so I reached up with the glove and used the back of my hand (in the glove) and regretted it. I scratched my nose with the abrasive velcro. Ouch! For future versions, I’d love to see a different way to secure the fingers back. Heck, even a full mitt that can fold back might be a good solution.
Not to harp on the velcro but it also loved to catch on my fishing line while I was tying knots. The seams on the outside of the gloves did this a bit too. I use a few knots that I use all 10 of my fingers to tie (at least out of habit, not as much necessity) so having fold back options for all of the fingers would be cool. I’m sure with some practice I could get better but first trip out I found myself pulling my gloves off a couple of times to complete more complex knots like an Alberto braid to fluoro join knot.
These are good gloves now and should serve you well when water and air temps are 30-55. What I am really hoping for is a revision for next Fall which moves away from the velcro.
Other Cool Weather Options
If you are looking for something a touch thinner, like 1mm for winters in Florida and Texas, you might look up the NRS Fusion gloves.