Stretchy, warm and protective fabric makes these gloves a great choice for wreck divers

Akona is a Hawaii-based manufacturer of scuba diving and snorkeling equipment, specializing in what might be called “soft wear,” such as bags, backpacks, wetsuits and boots. The company also produces a limited amount of hardware, such as knives, masks and fins.

One of their unique product features is their use of ArmorTex material, which is extremely light but also highly durable. In fact, Akona ArmorTex is, pound-for-pound, a full 10 times stronger than steel. This makes it well suited for bonding onto typical stress points on clothing that experiences extensive wear, such as scuba gear.

Akona’s ArmorTex glove is lightweight and comfortable, utilizing ArmorTex on stress points like the palm and fingertips. By adding ArmorTex to these areas, rather than to the entire glove as with their All-ArmorTex Glove, they can create a lighter glove with better fit and an increased touch sensitivity, while maintaining material strength where it matters most.

The glove is made with a 4-way stretch type of neoprene, which allows for a much tighter fit. This, in turn, ensures better touch sensitivity, making it easier to operate line reels, computer buttons or other equipment. It also reduces water movement inside the glove, a key element when it comes to staying warm in any wetsuit material. The gloves come in a 3.5 mm version for temperate waters and a 5 mm for colder waters.

Both the stretch and the sensitivity is most apparent in the 3.5 mm version, but even in the 5 mm, you’ll get a much snugger fit than you would in most gloves without them being hard to put on or remove, a problem I’ve had with numerous gloves that aim for a similar snug fit. The combination of the fit and the tear-resistance makes these gloves an ideal choice for wreck dives, where even the sharpest bit of exposed metal would have a hard time penetrating the palm (do watch where you put your hand, of course). The gloves would be too warm, strictly speaking, for tropical waters, but you could still use the 3.5 mm gloves for a Caribbean wreck dive. All in all, these gloves live up to their promise, and at the price, they’re a good option for your next pair, regardless of whether you choose them for the fit or the protection.

Available: Now

Price: $58 for 3.5 mm; $64 for 5 mm.

Wrap-up

8ScubaDiverLife score

Akona ArmorTex Gloves

Snug fit without being restrictive or hard to put on

ArmorTex protection on stress points

Low water-exchange rate

Sizes seem to run a bit small, so make sure you either try them on before purchasing, or, if ordering online, can return them if they’re too small.

The combination of the fit and the tear-resistance makes these gloves an ideal choice for wreck dives, where even the sharpest bit of exposed metal would have a hard time penetrating the palm (do watch where you put your hand, of course). The gloves would be too warm, strictly speaking, for tropical waters, but you could still use the 3.5 mm gloves for a Caribbean wreck dive. All in all, these gloves live up to their promise, and at the price, they’re a good option for your next pair, regardless of whether you choose them for the fit or the protection.

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