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Updated Nov 3, 2022 3:51 PM
While the expression “cold hands, warm heart” is considered a compliment, we prefer to have a warm heart and warm hands. With the best winter gloves, you can rest assured your hands will be comfortably warm and dry even in the coldest of situations. The best gloves will fit your hand properly while still allowing you to handle any outdoor cold-weather activity with ease. With so many options to choose from, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the features found in the best winter gloves.
If you will be primarily wearing your gloves for outdoor winter sports like skiing, you will want to find warm, waterproof gloves that allow for moisture-wicking as well as a secure fit at the wrist to keep snow and cold out. For a cold commute, the best winter gloves will allow you to use touchscreen technology without going barehanded. For people with cold sensitivity, there are even gloves with heating technology. And for tough outdoor work, you will want to be sure your winter work gloves are made using durable materials and allow for a safe grip of tools, as well as offer protection from water, snow, and ice. We’ve detailed the most important features to look for and selected some of the best winter gloves currently on the winter clothing market (and you can check out our roundups of the winter hats, best snow boots, heated socks, heated insoles, and even heated slippers to help you stay extra cozy).
Best waterproof for men: Outdoor Research Arete GlovesBest waterproof for women: Outdoor Research Vitaly GlovesBest touchscreen: Black Diamond Heavyweight Screentap GlovesBest ski gloves for men: Dakine Men’s Excursion Gore-Tex Short Snow GloveBest ski gloves for women: Dakine Women’s Excursion Gore-Tex Short Snow GloveBest warm leather gloves: Hestra Mens Leather GlovesBest heated: Savior Heated GlovesBest budget: Carhartt Men’s W.P. Waterproof Insulated Glove
Things to consider when shopping for the best winter gloves
First, let’s familiarize ourselves with the features commonly found in the best winter gloves, and find out which materials and styles will provide the protection and warmth you’re looking for. The questions below are designed to help you find the cold-weather gear you really need.
Do you need waterproof gloves?
When planning to be active outdoors this winter one of the most essential features to look for in gloves is waterproofing. Aside from the obvious discomfort when wearing cold, wet clothing, it is actually dangerous. Lack of proper protection from the cold can lead to frostbite, which is inherently more common in your extremities.
Be careful to investigate whether the gloves you’re considering are truly waterproof. Many gloves are sprayed with a PVC-based treatment that will provide only water repellency. When searching for the right waterproof gloves you may want to avoid gloves that have a single-layer solution for waterproofing. One waterproof layer will make sure your hands are not wet but can cause the inside of the gloves to collect sweat and then inadvertently get wet from the inside out. Any type of wetness will increase the rate at which heat leaves your body and will be uncomfortable.
The best waterproof gloves use a triple-layer solution. An inner layer with moisture-wicking fabric is a key feature to look for as this will help prevent the wetness created from sweat. Triple-layer waterproofing also includes a middle layer membrane, such as Gore-Tex or Porelle, which is highly effective at keeping moisture out while still being breathable. The final layer on the exterior of the glove can include water-resistance treatment or protection from cuts and wear and tear.
Best waterproof for men: Outdoor Research Arete Gloves
These insulated, waterproof winter gloves for men will provide excellent protection from the cold and feature a Gore-Tex insert, Primaloft Gold insulation, as well as a leather palm for added grip and durability. The gauntlet-style cuff with elasticized wrist and cinch will help keep water, snow, and cold air from entering the glove. You can also find waterproof winter gloves for women in this model, too.
Do you need touchscreen gloves for on-the-go phone tapping?
With the latest research pointing out that most Americans check their smartphones every 10 minutes, it seems safe to assume most of us will be using our phones outdoors this winter. Even a few minutes of texting or email checking will make a gloveless hand chilly. By selecting a glove that offers touchscreen accessibility, you will be more comfortable this winter.
One way touchscreen use on gloves is made possible is by making the fingertips out of a conductive material, which absorbs electrical currents. This feature tricks the smartphone into thinking you’re using your naked fingers. Another way to achieve touchscreen accessibility is having UR Powered conductive treatment to the glove which allows for the entire glove to be micro conductive.
It is important to note, however, that the extra material of a glove can sometimes take away from the accuracy of your texting. To combat this, most touchscreen gloves are designed thinner. While this helps keep your smartphone use more accurate, it will take away from warmth. That being said, there are certain gloves that are designed to be warmer than others. But as a general rule of thumb: If you are in a very cold climate you may want to use touchscreen gloves as a “glove liner” or a glove you wear inside another glove or mittens. Either way, you will be warmer keeping your gloves on rather than removing them to use your mobile technology.
Best touchscreen: Black Diamond Heavyweight Screentap Gloves
These synthetic gloves use a flexible Polartec material along with a small panel of goat leather on the palm to provide a good amount of warmth. UR-powered material allows for touchscreen use. If being used in extreme cold, we recommend using these as a glove liners.
Ready to hit the slopes?
Winter sports, like skiing, can be great for your well-being, especially when you stay warm and dry with the right gear. When planning for a full day of skiing, you want to be sure you have the best gloves. Protecting your extremities is important for both your comfort and safety.
Key features to look for when selecting the best gloves for skiing are waterproofing, a breathable membrane, moisture-wicking fabric inside the glove, durable materials, an ergonomic fit that has some degree of grip for your ski poles, and a snug fit on the wrists. We recommend selecting a two- or three-layer waterproof glove that has a breathable membrane like Gore-Tex. Even though you are out in the cold, you are also moving and exercising so you can expect to sweat—and staying dry is going to make you so much more comfortable for the duration of your time skiing. A longer cuff for the wrist is a good idea along with the ability to secure the wrist tightly with velcro or toggles. Keeping the cold air and snow out of the glove will keep you dry and also it will be sure there aren’t any drafts between your glove and your sleeve. Lastly, you want to find a comfortable fit, that isn’t too bulky, and that is designed with a little grip for your poles, as well as the flexibility to open and close your hand in comfort.
Best ski gloves: Dakine Men’s Excursion Gore-Tex Short Snow Glove
These are stylish, streamlined ski gloves designed with a Gore-Tex membrane for a breathable, waterproof fit. The PrimaLoft Gold insulation along with wool blend lining will help keep hands warm and dry. These ski gloves also come in women’s sizes.
Want stylish leather gloves that can stand up to the cold?
There is no denying the classic, timeless style of leather gloves. When looking for the best warm leather gloves that can also keep you warm, you want to be sure that your leather glove is paired with an inner liner. Leather gloves can be lined in cashmere, flannel or fleece materials.
When compared to high-tech triple-layer waterproof winter gloves, you will find that leather gloves will not be quite as warm — but for most cold climates a lined leather glove will be sufficient to keep your hands warm. Leather is also very durable and has a more professional, stylish look.
Best warm leather gloves: Hestra Mens Leather Gloves
Available in several classic muted colors along with classic black, these leather gloves are a perfect choice for a cold-weather commute to the office and boast more insulation and warmth than most fashion leather gloves. The leather is made from Swedish elkskin and the gloves are lined in a soft polyester knit. With added polyester fiberfill insulation these gloves are able to handle temperatures up to -18C. The wrist snaps also help keep cold and wind out away.
Have very cold hands? Try heated gloves
Cold affects us all differently, and some of us have a greater sensitivity. One solution for this is to look for winter gloves that are heated. The best-heated gloves will offer protection from the cold, waterproofing, as well as comfort. With heated gloves you may be able to spend more time outdoors enjoying winter activities.
The ability to heat gloves is generally possible by two methods. First, some heated gloves use rechargeable batteries, and a typical charge will last up to 6 hours on the highest setting. Better battery-charged heated gloves will even offer the ability to remove the electrical components to allow for washing and drying gloves. Most of these gloves have a USB cord outlet. In order to keep both your hands and the electrical components dry, these gloves should be waterproof. The second method used to heat gloves is through insulation. Along with extra insulation, there is typically an area to place a heating pad. Without electrical components to worry about these are easier to maintain and will typically be durable and long-lasting.
Best heated: Savior Heated Gloves
For the ultimate in winter warmth, these heated gloves harness heat from their rechargeable batteries, as well as their multi-layers of insulation. The interior of the glove is made of cotton, and the exterior is a mix of lambskin and polyester. Fully adjustable, these gloves are equipped with three heat settings and offer noticeable heat within 30 seconds. Recommended for cold outdoor activities and to help soothe arthritis.
Want the best winter gloves for your buck?
The market for winter gloves is flooded with options in all price categories, and often lower-cost gloves will use lower-budget choices for materials and construction. Sometimes this can result in a pair that will not last as long, or perhaps may not protect your hands from very cold temperatures. If you are looking for a temporary solution or you don’t require protection from extreme cold, you may feel comfortable going with a lower-priced winter glove option. However, there are some sturdier lower-cost winter gloves out there for your consideration. The option we suggest below is durable and can handle tough outdoor jobs.
Best budget: Carhartt Men’s W.P. Waterproof Insulated Glove
These winter gloves are constructed with polyester fiber and offer a waterproof insert as well as fast-drying technology to help wick away sweat. Easy pull-on gloves offer adjustable wrist straps to keep snow, wind, and freezing rain out. Added palm and finger grip help assure dexterity with use. Be aware that the look is a bit bulkier and more utilitarian for some settings.
Q: How do you measure your hands for gloves? In order to know what size gloves to order, you need to measure and determine your glove size. Glove size is determined by measuring your dominant hand only. Using flexible tailor measuring tape you should wrap the tape around the circumference of your hand around the palm. Don’t forget to check the manufacturer’s size guide before ordering.
Q: How should gloves fit? The best gloves will fit snugly around the fingers, with only about ¼” of extra fabric to “pinch” above the fingertips. Proper fit should be found when wearing gloves that were measured and determined to be your correct glove size. The right fit allows for dexterity, comfort as well as warmth. If using the gloves for driving, the fit should be snug as well but also allow for a bit of stretch as well as grip to make handling the steering wheel comfortable and safe. For skiing, the cuff of the glove should cover your entire wrist.
Q: Are gloves or mittens warmer? Technically the most warmth can be obtained from mittens, not only will the fingers together increase warmth but the larger fabric area allows for the greatest amount of layering of insulated materials. However, gloves can handle extremely cold temperatures due to advances in technology and materials. Cold-temperature activities that require more dexterity would benefit from gloves, while less dexterous activities might consider mittens.
A final word on the best winter gloves
Shopping for the best winter gloves means finding a comfortable glove that fits well, and will stand up to all your winter activities. Looking for flexible, soft gloves that aren’t too bulky and offer top-of-the-line waterproofing and insulation will be your key to warm and dry hands all winter.