Cold Hands No More: Top Five Must-Have Products for a Warm and Enjoyable Scuba Diving Experience

As a new scuba diving hobbyist living in the Pacific Northwest, I knew that I had to complete my open water scuba diving certification during the winter months, when the water temperatures drop to their coldest. Despite my excitement to get certified, I was nervous about diving in the cold waters while wearing a wetsuit, as I had previously tried snorkeling in the area during April and left the experience with cold, numb, and painful hands while wearing 5MM diving gloves.

Knowing that I often have cold hands, I researched online for ways to keep my hands warm while scuba diving. While most people suggested using a dry suit or diving in a warmer location (“Just go to Mexico”), I decided to give wetsuit diving a try with some additional gear. After trying out different products, including 7MM Bare diving mittens (the MVP of cold-water diving equipment!), I found a combination of items that kept my hands toasty and comfortable during my dives.

  1. 7MM Bare Diving Mittens — The 7MM Bare diving mittens are warmer than typical diving gloves because of their mitten design and density. The design allows for a greater surface area of contact with the body, which helps trap heat more effectively. The 7MM thickness provides extra insulation, making it ideal for cold water diving. If you, like me, have cold, bleeding icicle hands after five minutes in 5MM gloves, the 7MM density will make all the difference.
Bare 7mm Mitt
Mittens in action near some opalescent squid eggs on a snowy day in January

2. RTIC Thermos The RTIC Thermos is an excellent addition to any diver’s kit. It can be filled with hot water and used to pour warm water over hands between dives. This helps to keep the hands warm and comfortable, reducing the risk of cold-related injuries such as frostbite. This particular thermos kept our water piping hot for 24 hours!

RTIC Thermos

3. Portable Propane Fire Pit A portable propane fire pit is a great way to warm up between dives. It can be kept running on the beach and used to warm up the hands and other parts of the body. The fire pit can also help create a relaxing and comfortable environment during breaks between dives. We even used it to roast hot dogs!

Portable propane fire pit

4. Folding Collapsible WagonThe Folding Collapsible Wagon is an essential tool for any diver who wants to minimize the length of time spent in the water and transporting equipment. It can be used to move all equipment to and from the beach, reducing the time spent in the water and allowing for more time to warm up between dives. It is a must-have for lugging over 200lbs of scuba gear.

Collapsible Outdoor Wagon with Beach Wheels

5. North Face Winter ParkaThe North Face Winter Parka is a high-quality winter jacket that is perfect for warming up after the dive on low-temperature days. It provides excellent insulation and is designed to trap heat, keeping the body warm and comfortable even in cold and wet conditions. The women’s and men’s versions of the parka are available on Amazon and are graded for subzero conditions.

Women’s North Face parka
Men’s North Face Parka

Scuba diving in cold water conditions can be challenging, especially if you are prone to having cold hands. However, by investing in these top five products, you can keep your hands warm and comfortable, making your diving experience more enjoyable and safer. The 7MM Bare diving mittens, RTIC Thermos, Portable Propane Fire Pit, Folding Collapsible Wagon, and North Face Winter Parka are all excellent additions to any diver’s kit and are highly recommended for anyone planning on diving in cold water conditions. I promise the extra effort will be worth it in the end when you make friends with a Giant Pacific Octopus.



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