May 25, 2018

The Only Gardening Gloves I'll Ever Wear

I have worked in the garden industry for a long time, and I hate - and I'm not using that word lightly - hate wearing gloves while I'm working or gardening.

On my small hands, most gloves are too big or bulky, and they either fall off, or there is so much material bulked around my fingertips that I can't feel what I'm doing.  You know what I'm talking about.  You try to do something detailed, like pull small weeds, and it's like trying to thread a needle with a tube sock over each finger.

The cheap cotton knit or canvas gloves feel like you're wearing sweatpants on your hands, and the sweatier your hands get, the more dust comes through the fabric and sticks to them, creating sweaty mud under the fingernails and in every wrinkle in your hands. Yuck. Nope.

It's probably weird to hear a gardener say this, but I don't like to get my hands dirty.  I don't mind hard work, sweaty work, dirty work, as long as my hands stay clean-ish.  It's a sensory thing.

For years I struggled with wanting my hands to stay clean and protected from sharp objects, thorns, spiders under pots, etc., so I would TRY to wear gloves, but I'd always end up taking them off.

Showa/Atlas Nitrile Touch NT370 gloves

Right after college, I was working at an independent garden center and I decided to try a pair of Showa/Atlas Nitrile Touch NT370 gloves because they were inexpensive and I noticed everyone else was wearing them. I've never worn another type of gardening glove since, and I have purchased 12+ pairs over the years since then.

What are Atlas Nitrile Touch gloves?

They're a mesh glove that is dipped so that the palms are covered with nitrile that stretches down and around the tips of your fingers.  Your fingernails are inside the nitrile part of the glove, but the backs of your hands and fingers are covered by only a stretchy, breathable mesh.

Showa/Atlas Nitrile Touch NT370 6-pack

Why are they so amazing?

They fit!  LIKE A GLOVE. (Do you see what I did there?) They're designed to fit snug, and they come in several sizes.  I have small hands for a woman, so I prefer the size small, but if you have very long fingers or larger women's hands, the size medium will be just right. The size large fits average size man hands, but there is also a size XL for guys with giant hands.

Flexible. At my job I often have to switch between typing and doing something to get my hands dirty, and these gloves are thin and flexible enough that I can switch seamlessly between the two without removing my gloves.  I can even use a touch screen with my gloves still on!

Breathable. My hands get sweaty working outside in July/August, but these gloves are a breathable mesh on the back, so they dry very quickly.  I like to keep a spare pair of clean/dry gloves to change into in case the first pair gets sweaty or wet.

Machine washable.  I just throw mine in with the laundry and lay them out to air dry.

Great quality/value.  I have only gone through 12+ pairs because I wore mine 10 hours a day and washed them often.  With casual use, a pair of these gloves will last for years.  I only ever wore out one or two pairs.  The rest of them eventually got brittle on the rubbery part after 4-5 years, but by then I'd gotten more than my money's worth from them.

Inexpensive.  The last 2 times I bought my gloves in a 4 pair pack on Amazon for under $20. You can even get 6 pairs for around $20.  Even if you don't need that many, this might be the best value. Keep a few pairs and gift some to a friend.

Showa/Atlas Nitrile Touch NT370 4-pack

Don't confuse these gloves with look-alikes that fit poorly, make hands sweaty, and fall apart after a few wears.  You'll throw all your other gardening gloves away once you own a pair of Showa/Atlas Nitrile Touch NT370.

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