It doesn't matter whether you live in Dubai or Antarctica, if you're getting into paramotoring you're going to need some gloves. Not only will gloves keep your hands warm, but they'll also protect you from injuries that can be caused by launching your paramotor.
In this post we'll check out the best gloves for all seasons and temperatures, and I'll give you some recommendations based on what I'm personally using. These gloves can be used for both paramotoring and paragliding.
Why are paramotoring gloves so important?
Flying in warmer temperatures
If you're only planning on flying in warm temperatures, you may think that gloves aren't necessary, but you'll be surprised at just how cold your hands can become, even flying during a midsummer heatwave.
If you're only flying low, and for less than 10 minutes at a time, you may not experience any problems. But the higher you get, the colder it becomes. That, plus a 35 mph windchill, and cold air that's being pulled past you by the propeller, will quickly suck the heat from your hands making flying very uncomfortable.
But just how cold does it become at altitude?
The chart shows the temperature decrease for every 1000 ft you climb. But it’s also important to remember that the air temperature can vary for a number of different reasons: sun, shade, buildings (or lack of them) and inversions (cold air sinking into valleys because it’s heaver than warm air).
You'll also notice that you feel much colder as you open up your trimmers. This is simply because you're travelling much faster, and because you require more power to maintain altitude, meaning the propeller is spinning much faster, pulling far more air past you.
So a warm summers day can easily expose you to very uncomfortable temperatures when flying at higher altitudes.
Flying in colder temperatures
Pilots won't fly for long without gloves in temperatures less than 50°F (10°C). But with a set of good gloves, these lower temperatures can provide us with some of the best flying we'll experience.
The lack of thermals during cooler months means silky smooth air, so buying a good set of paramotor gloves is a great investment.
The best paramotor gloves for general flying and warmer temperatures
I'll rarely fly my paramotor without gloves. When I'm wearing gloves my hands are protected from friction burns caused by lines while launching, and I can climb to any altitude I like and my hands remain warm and comfortable.
You'll want a glove that lets you hold the throttle and brakes comfortably, and one that's durable, as the constant rubbing against the controls will soon wear a hole in lesser gloves.
There are no gloves that are made specifically for paramotoring, but a motocross glove will be the most durable glove you'll find. They're also comfy, and they'll allow you to move your hands and fingers freely, which is important for pilot feedback from the paramotors controls.
I've been using a set of basic motocross gloves shown below for many years, and they've been perfect for flying and ground handling. They're very durable, and are still going strong after 6 years, and hundreds of hours flying!! You can find these on Amazon by clicking here.
Things to look for in general paramotoring gloves
- Durability to protect against falls and friction burns from lines and risers.
- Freedom of movement for hand and fingers.
- Not too thick that they block feedback from main controls.
- Easy to put on and take off mid air (I'll explain why later)
The best paramotor gloves for cooler temperatures and winter flying
If you haven't yet experienced the thrill of winter paramotoring you really are missing out. That's why I recommend every pilot has a good set of gloves ready for when the temperatures drop.
The pain you will experience in your hands and fingers without wearing good gloves is excruciating, so I've listed the most reliable gloves I've used below.
Bare in mind that thicker gloves will give you much less feedback from the controls, so they will take some getting used to. I recommend ground handling and practice launching without the motor running until you are fully accustomed to the feel of the gloves.
These are recommended for high altitude flying where you'll experience much cooler temperatures. Make sure the ones you buy are both windproof, and waterproof as you'll be putting your hands onto wet ground to lift yourself up once strapped into the harness.
When I started flying I made the mistake of buying porous gloves, and paid the price of freezing finger tips on many occasions. ouch!
I recommend these gloves (link to Amazon), as they are suitable for very cold temperatures, they're windproof, and they're waterproof.
I've tried so many heated gloves and most are absolute rubbish when it comes to paramotoring and paragliding!
But after many years of searching, I managed to find a great pair that have also stood the test of time. These heated gloves are by a company called Savior, and they use rechargeable lithium polymer battery packs to produce a good amount of heat.
I’ve used these gloves for the last three winters and I love them, they really are great. I originally chose them due to recommendations from other pilots online, and they have proved themselves very worthy paramotor gloves.
Unlike many heated gloves, the back of the hand, fingers and thumbs are also heated. This is the part of the hand that really gets a battering from the cold air during flying, so this is a really important feature.
You can check the current price of these awesome heated gloves on Amazon HERE.
Things to look for in winter and heated gloves
- Durable - choose tough materials.
- Breathable to stop moisture buildup inside of the glove from cooling your hands.
- Waterproof to stop moisture soaking through from wet ground.
- Ski rated.
- Heated gloves should be heated on the backs of fingers and hand.
- Powerful, long lasting rechargeable batteries.
- Easy to put on and remove mid air.
What if I can't launch my paramotor wearing thick gloves?
Many pilots just can't get to grips with launching their paramotor in thicker winter gloves. I admit, it took me a long time to get used to it. This is simply because you cannot feel how much pressure you're putting on the throttle lever, and you cannot feel any feedback from the brake lines.
As I mentioned earlier, you can ground handle, and practice launching in your ground handling harness to get used to the gloves. If you still find that you are struggling to launch in your gloves, don't worry as there is another way around this...
All you'll have to do is put your gloves into your harness pocket and zip it up, launch without gloves, and climb to a safe altitude to put them on. Doing it this way is also a good idea if the ground is wet, as putting your gloves onto wet ground to lift yourself up isn't a good idea, even if they are waterproof.
Just be very careful putting your gloves on in mid-air, as it's extremely easy for them to catch the wind and get pulled out of your hand. This could really ruin your day if they end up in your propeller!
Go get your gloves!
So now you know what to look for in a paramotor glove, you can go and chose the one that suits the type of flying you'll be doing the most. I recommend you buy one of each as I did, this way I was ready for any weather condition that came along.
Don't forget to choose the right size gloves by referencing the size chart below, and if you choose a glove that's different to what I recommended above, please study the reviews first, because most gloves will be no good for paramotoring whatsoever.
Enjoy your longer flights with warmer fingers!