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Best Garden Gloves, Ever!

I've never been the kind of gardener to use garden gloves. Part of it is probably due to sheer ignorance, but mostly it is probably cultural. I never really thought of the dangers or gardening and exposing your naked hands and arms to potential hazards in the garden. Cuts, scrapes, dirt under your fingernails and bug bites all seem to be things a gardener comes to accept. Garden gloves always strike me as being something for women.

For a couple of years I politely turned down companies who offered me garden gloves, for the reasons stated above, but then a year ago I met Alice Strong, owner of, at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show. It was there that she gave me a pair of Atlas garden gloves and told me to test them after telling her of my resistance to wearing garden gloves. She told me about how the gloves were originally designed for assembly line work and all of a sudden the idea of garden gloves seemed less feminine than before.

Atlas garden gloves for men urban gardening

(Me and my Atlas garden gloves on the day we discovered this pretty big earthworm. It was a happy day because we realized we must be doing something right in the garden to find evidence of them when they hadn't been spotted in years.)

I brought them home and quickly tossed them in the closet with a bunch of other garden products and forgot about them. Then one day I came across the garden gloves while I was headed out to the garden and put them on. Almost immediately the shiny fabric made me feel self-conscious. The gloves looked sparkly and something the King of Pop would wear. Just as I was about to take them off the mailman arrived at the gate and not wanting him to see the shiny garden gloves I was wearing; I did the first thing that came to mind. I stuffed my hands into the nearest planted container in the garden all the way up to my wrists. I motioned that I couldn't take the mail in my hands because my hands were occupied doing gardener things and he left the mail on the steps. 

Atlas garden gloves for urban gardeners
(Here we are one day making seed collars out of toilet paper tubes to act as seed/plant markers. Who needs a garden trowel when you can use your fingers to sow seeds?)

After he moved onto the next house I pulled my hands out of the soil and went about my business of cleaning up garbage from the garden, weeding, planting, picking and squishing Japanese beetles. By the end of the day the gloves looked less King of Pop and more Dexter. Eventually, wearing garden gloves seemed natural and I wondered why I had been so resistant to them in the past. At the end of every day I'd remember the qualities of these gloves that Ms. Strong mentioned on that fateful day. It usually felt like I wasn't wearing any gloves at all, and my hands weren't sweaty or smelly after wearing them for hours on end. These gloves even cleaned up nicely by simply tossing them in the washing machine.

Atlas garden gloves for men, root-bound plant

(Me and my Atlas garden gloves one day planting some root-bound pepper plants in the container garden.)

While working in the garden I could easily take a phone call, send a text, sign for packages delivered by UPS or take a picture without having to take off the gloves. I found that leaving the garden gloves on the front porch made me want to do more garden chores that I'd usually put off.

Then I discovered all the ways I could use the Atlas gloves inside the house. I wore them to fix a leaky toilet, carry drywall and plywood (no splinters!) during a remodeling project, putty the windows, open jars and twist off bottle caps with ease because of the texturized rubber palm. This is where the story take a sad turn. Somehow during the house remodel I lost my Atlas gloves. These pictures and memories are all I have left of my year-long experimentation with garden gloves. The Atlas gloves were so useful for things other than gardening that I didn't leave them in one place and now they're gone. I plan on getting another pair because there is a lot of crap in the garden right now that I really need to deal with before planting new plants. It is just going to take some time because I feel like I need some time to get over the grieving process before getting another pair. I really thought the two of us would be together for years to come, they were that sturdy.

So, if you're looking for garden gloves I HIGHLY recommend the Atlas line of gloves especially for urban gardeners. Gardening in an urban setting you come across a lot of gross and dangerous things in the garden and it is important to protect your hands. Since Alice Strong is the one who introduced me to them I also recommend buying Atlas gloves from her online gardening store,

Aside from being given my Atlas gardening gloves for free I wasn't compensated for blogging about them.


  1. I can feel your love for these gloves coming through the post. I am the same way...especially being down here in sweltering hot humid south Fl., but if I ever feel I could in any way, shape or form, wear gloves, I will check these out!!! :)

  2. I love the Atlas gloves, too, although mine aren't sparkly. I also never used to wear gardening gloves. As I would say, they're for girls, LOL! I like the Atlas nitrile ones because you can still get the precision control but your hands don't get all dirty and cut up. In really hot weather, I put a little bit of baby powder inside the gloves before I put them on, and they come off easier. I also wash my garden gloves, in cold, and air dry them. If you put them in the dryer, the plastic gets all sticky over time. (Um, or so I heard. Yeah, that's it.)

  3. Haven't tried Atlas, but I will - based on your recommendation. I'm a girly girl gardener and long ago learned to keep a supply of different kinds of gloves available. Am currently used some "Mechanix" gloves as my primary, heavy duty all around pair, but highly recommend "Foxgloves" as well. They are stretchy and give you the touch that you are describing with the Atlas. I use them when I am weeding and watering, but not doing heavy work. Thanks for the recommendation and, more importantly, the source!

  4. Julie,
    Give them a shot, I think they'd do pretty good in your climate since they're breathable.


    Good tip about not putting them in the dryer. I neglected to mention that I air dried mine too.

    I've heard of "Mechanix" I think they're the "brother" company of the "Ethel Gloves" brand and I hear they're pretty good.

    I picked up some knockoffs of the Atlas gloves at the dollar store and I'm testing them now. the fabric isn't as nice but not bad for 99 cent gloves.

  5. Do you know which of the Atlas gloves you had, ie the model name? I have gone through a million pairs of cheap gloves and while a dollar isn't much to pay, they are thin cheap cotton and it eventually add up. Haven't seen the knockoff kind. :-)

  6. Maybe I should give gloves a try. I like the feel feeling of dirt on my hands though. I also like going barefoot. That includes while shoveling. A bit odd and probably not in my best interest so maybe I should work on both of those things. :)

  7. I was exactly the same as you - never owned a pair of garden gloves in my life (despite being of the feminine persuasion). Then I found an Atlas pair after sustaining a pretty bad cut from broken glass in the garden, and I've never looked back. Half the time I forget they're on and I'll walk around the house doing stuff, leaving dirty hand prints everywhere. I'd be an awful criminal.

  8. I think I will give these a try. I have tons of gloves and always find myself barehanded when I am emersed in planting. I can't work well with them on my hands!


  9. They are the BEST! Hands down my favorites. A couple of years ago I gifted a pair to the owner of the nursery where I work, and she loved them so much (she didn't used to wear gloves either,) she started ordering them to sell. They sell like hotcakes. They always sell out. 'Course, our raving about them doesn't hurt.

    Those are the gloves I was raving about at the IGCS last year - remember? Now you know why I was raving about them!

    I never used to wear gloves either - now I wear them most of the time. I'm a big fan of Atlas gloves.

  10. After reading the post and all of the comments, I also want to give Atlas gloves a try. After two days of working in the garden, my fingers are already rough from using the cheapo gloves. Thanks for the wonderful blog.

  11. Well, I think I better bring out my only glove (new and not used yet!) to put it to good use. Maybe I would get use to using them like you did. Thanks for this post MBT :-D

    Atlas should consider putting your story into one of their publicity material. Good testimony of their product! Send them this post for their info ok.

  12. I've always liked the feel of the earth in my hands and always will, I try to garden with my bare hands for that reason..the only times you'll find me with gloves is if i'm using larger garden tools ( rake, hoe...etc) or picking up things that require gloves. But these Atlas gloves sound very addicting..

    1. My hands sweat in gloves that are not real leather. I found leather work gloves that work with touchscreens. They are T4 brand gloves - got them on Amazon. Leather palms made with this Touchtec leather so I can answer my phone when I'm outside. Top of glove is cool stretchy material. I use them for mowing, raking, digging. Love em.

  13. I could use a pair of those. Last year between all my projects I went through 5-6 pairs of gloves. I kept wearing holes in them. I don't consider gloves as feminine - they are just a necessity! I would hate to have to remove all the brush and yard waste with my bare hands!

  14. I didn't use gloves until last year--and they are nice to have. No more small cuts and stained hands. Need a new pair now...

  15. Jennifer,

    Unfortunately I don't. Never took a pic of the other side of the gloves. BUT, I know they still sell them because they had them at the booth at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show this year. I looked at the website and they don't picture them on there.

    Shoveling snow? That's crazy. But I feel the same way about touching soil.

    Thanks for the feedback nice to know others have used them too.

    Gatsby Gardens,
    Give these a try if you see them at your local garden center. They're a nice tight fit that makes them seem like you're almost wearing nothing.

    Garden Girl,
    Yeah I remember you talking about them at IGCS and now know exactly what you mean. I'm not surprised your garden center sells out of them.

    You're quite welcomed. I hope you get a pair and take care of those hands.

    Definitely bring out that glove and get a tour of the garden.

    Finding My Green Thumb,
    They are very addicting. Like I said when we were doing work around the house I was able to use them like work gloves.

    5-6 pairs? Wow, that is a lot of work to be doing in the garden. Fortunately, my garden projects aren't that large and one pair of gloves seemed to last me the whole season.

    Right? Who knew it wasn't natural to go around with cuts and bruises on your hands. I've seen the light and will now wear gloves all the time.

  16. I've learned that with gardening gloves, you get what you pay for and that cheap gloves don't last long. Currently, I'm using Dickie's, which are mostly leather and last a good while before holes appear at the ends of the fingers. And using gloves is the only way I know to keep the dirt from being hopelessly ingrained below fingernails and in skin.

  17. Great post and while I don't garden much (I have plastic herbs in my strawberry pot--high end fakery though--these gloves sound perfect for everything round the house as well...I'll go take a look!

  18. These sound worth trying, because I've always felt the way you do about gloves. I have been known to use leather "Bionic" gloves when doing a lot of shoveling or raking, but the dexterity isn't there for fine tasks.

  19. My problem is my hands sweat in gloves that are not real leather. I found leather work gloves that work with touchscreens. They are T4 brand gloves - got them on Amazon. Leather palms made with this Touchtec leather so I can answer my phone when I'm outside. Top of glove is cool stretchy material. I use them for mowing, raking, digging. Love em.



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