So you spend hours laying out and spreading your goose or duck decoys in the water, only to realize that you can't actually feel your hands anymore. Regardless of the weather your hands are still going to end up cold and wet if the right gear is not used.
Setting up decoys correctly in the water can be a time-consuming, long process. Your hands are inevitably going to get wet and end up VERY cold. The last thing you want is having to sit for a full day's hunt with freezing cold hands, it just makes your whole experience much less enjoyable. You don't want to just keep your body warm and dry, you also need to ensure that you have the full use of your hands when waterfowl hunting, and don't have to sit there all day with your hands tucked away just to keep them warm.
Wearing gloves is obviously recommended when setting up decoys, however, not just any standard pair is up to the job. You want to ensure that you have a pair that's explicitly designed for decoy use. That's why we've gone around reviewing and compiling a list of the best decoy gloves on the market, including a buying guide to help you decide which pair is right for you.
#1. Stormr Realtree Max 5 Stealth Gauntlet Neoprene
These long gauntlet decoy gloves from StormR are made from neoprene, which makes them supremely comfortable and stretchy, while remaining very waterproof. And thanks to the extra long gauntlet, you can reach your arm straight into the water without fear. A microfleece lining insulates your hands in the coldest of weather, while the 5mm thick neoprene – the same material they make wetsuits out of – keeps any and all water out. The internal seams are glued and blind-stitched to prevent any leaks. StormR has given them Hi-Grip Palms, so nothing slips out of your hands in the wet.
These gauntlet decoy gloves come in both RealTree-5 Max, and Mossy Oak Bottomland. Either one will do the job keeping you firmly blended into the scenery as you wait out the hunt. Of course, when gloves are 5mm thick, they won’t be particular dexterous, so if that’s a deal-breaker, you may want to look elsewhere. But that’s to be expected with decoy gloves of this size. If thick, warm waterproof gauntlets are what you’re looking for, these are a solid choice.
5mm thick neoprene. Warm and waterproof
Micro Fleece lining for insulation
Hi-Grip Palms provide good grip in wet conditions
Thick neoprene does not provide good dexterity
Neoprene is not breathable; can run hot in less-than-frigid temperatures
At half the price of the StormR Gauntlet, these gauntlets from Glacier Glove are another fantastic piece of kit. Made of 2mm thick neoprene and a fleece lining, they are warm and cozy as well as completely waterproof. They have a seamless palm design, so that nothing interferes with your grip, and so that no water gets through any seams. They come in Max 4 camo for a seamless blend with your hunting outfit, and the elbow-length fit means you can reach into bone-chilling cold water without blinking an eye. At half the price of the Stormr Stealth Gauntlet, these are another solid pick for a pair of decoy gloves.
While they may not look it, especially at their dirt cheap price, these Glacier Gloves are seriously warm, and can keep your hands comfortable in below-freezing conditions. The 2mm thick neoprene means they retain some dexterity when handling a rifle, decoys, etc, but may not be agile enough for fine fingering; you’ll need another pair of gloves for that.
2mm thick neoprene. Super warm
Seamless Palm Design ensures seams don’t get in the way and don’t leak.
If you like the look of the STORMR gauntlet above, but want something lighter and without the elbow-length sleeves, the Stormr Stealth Decoy gloves will do the trick. Like their gauntlet counterparts, the Stealth Decoy gloves are made of 5mm thick neoprene, lined with a warm and cozy microfleece to keep the chill out. Internal, blind-stitched seams ensure nothing leaks. This makes them both totally waterproof and totally windproof. They’ve got the same durable, Hi-Grip palms as the gauntlet, ensuring wet decoys or ducks don’t slip out of your hand. And you’ve got your choice between the RealTree Max-5 and Mossy Oak Bottomland camo patterns.
The shorter gauntlet on these gloves allows for a much easier on/off design, as opposed to pulling giant gloves on over your arms. They’re not the best choice for shooting, as the extra thick neoprene takes away some of the dexterity of smaller gloves. But they work well for retrieving duck decoys, for piloting the boat, and other less precise jobs.
5mm thick neoprene is warm, waterproof
Microfleece lining for warmth
Hi-Grip Palms for grip
Easy to get on and off
Lack of dexterity, making them not very good for shooting
The Alaska Pro gloves from Glacier Glove are designed to be warm, waterproof and breathable, all at once. They’ve got 60g of Thinsulate lining the inside, which – if your hands tend to get cold – is reason enough to grab these bad boys. The leather palm is soft and supple, keeping them dexterous, without being too smooth and slippery, so you can actually pick things up when it gets cold and wet. The outer shell is both waterproof and highly breathable so your hands can breathe freely. That’s a nice bonus perk for a pair of gloves, and something we wouldn’t normally expect from gloves in this price range. They come in both Advantage Max 4 and RealTree Camo.
Reviews on these gloves are slightly more mixed, with some complaining about durability, and waterproofing; should the waterproofing fail, the gloves become waterlogged and, not surprisingly, fail to keep your hands warm. They are perhaps best suited for cool weather, as opposed to cold weather, hunting.
60g Thinsulate Lining
Soft, supple leather palm
Not super durable
Perhaps not suited for extreme cold weather hunting
If you really want the absolute most waterproof and durable of duck hunting gloves, opt for the Extreme Decoy Glove from Midwest Gloves and Gear. These elbow length gloves feature a 100% PVC coating for waterproofness over a Thinsulate lining, which provides some warmth in the winter; add a glove liner for extreme cold and icy temperatures. The sandy finish and rough grip are perfect for grabbing wet objects. And you can choose from both Mossy Oak camo print, and a plain brown.
These decoy gloves are a success where they mean to be; they’re warm, and the extended gauntlet cuff means you can plunge your hands wherever you need, and serve well for more than just duck hunting; field dressing a deer, snow blowing, chores around the house or farm. And when it comes to being waterproof, these things seriously are, and you can count on them keeping your hands warm and dry. They lack dexterity, but make up for with their sheer waterproofness.
Points To Consider When Buying a Pair of Waterfowl Decoy Gloves
By nature these gloves with typically come into contact with water when spreading either duck or goose decoys, so having a waterproof pair is essential. If the pair you're after isn't going to protect you from water, then remove them from your selection list straightaway.
Elbow Length Sleeves
Some goose or waterfowl decoy gloves run all the way down to the elbow, whereas some models just cover the hands. The elbow style can be popular as if you're spreading decoys about and have your hands in the water for a long time, you may want to ensure that the rest of your arm isn't going to get wet. The last thing you need on a waterfowl hunt is having to sit there all day with soaking wet arms, it's just uncomfortable. A standard, insulated non-elbow pair may be what you're after though, as these can still be appealing due to their lightness.
Dexterity and flexibility in these types of gloves can be an issue. Typically though they are not designed to be the most dexterous or flexible, they are simply manufactured to ensure that your hands are kept nice and warm when placing decoys in the water. The lack of dexterity may become an issue if you need to shoot with the gloves on as pulling the trigger can be a little difficult to do. It's just a case of deciding whether your gloves are solely for placing decoys or not.
Material Type and Insulation
What type of material does it sport? These gloves come in lots of different materials such as Neoprene, PVC and even leather. Each material has their own characteristics, though they should all be designed to keep your hands dry and insulated in some way or another. Check out above what material each of our best decoy glove choices is made of, and what the advantages and disadvantages are of each.
Do the gloves come in a big enough size for you? Are they going to be a tight enough fit as to not fall off, but also allow you to move your hands around freely? Check out the manufacturer's selection of sizes available, also, you can read what other users are saying about the general size and fittings of each pair.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Transport All My Decoys Around?
You don't want to be carrying all your decoys around with you by hand, especially if you intend on using a lot of them. Your gloves will help you when moving the decoys from the water, but if you're moving to a new location that requires a bit of traveling, you need to invest in something to hold them. The most simple and effective way is to carry them around in either a decoy bag or sled hauler, choose whichever one suits your style of travel and hunting, both are very good options and get the job done.
We've been clear and outlined that having the right protection for your hands is a must when dealing with decoys. Choosing the right pair shouldn't be a chore of a task. Your choice should ultimately keep your hands warm and dry, while also being flexible enough for you to freely deploy your decoys how you like. We've laid everything out you need to know about choosing the best decoy gloves above. If you're still unsure as to which pair are right for you, have another look at reviews and buying guide above.
Stay safe, stay warm, and go get those waterfowl!
Hunting is something that has been a big part of my family history for generations.Typically every spare weekend I have is spent outdoors either hunting or doing something else adventure related.This site uses my years of knowledge in the field to hopefully help improve the hunting experience of others.