Best Winter Gloves: Beating the Curse of Chilly Hands

Gloves coffee
Written by Sean Nelson

When it comes to being outdoors during the harsh realities of winter, there are few things quite as torturous as experiencing fingers that feel as though they could quite possibly be turning into icicles. It can be an almost unbearable feeling, that is, if you have any feeling in your fingers at all when it is so cold.

It is important not to rely on gloves that have been made for use during the summer, as they simply aren’t suitable for weather that is so cold. What you do need is a pair of the best winter gloves on the market, that way you will be providing yourself with a barrier between your fingers and the elements, or even your fingers and any ice tools that you might be using.

Most people don’t think about their hands straight away, instead they think more about a coat – or other products that protect the body as a whole. Yet anyone that has experienced the cold of the elements working against their fingers will know that the first part of your body to go cold will usually be your fingers, and it can be the most debilitating.

Suffering with cold based in your hands can make every task seem harder than it should be, and protecting them will be vital for making sure that your adventure is a success. It can be hard to do anything while your fingers feel as though they are going to fall off, and because of that it is important to protect your hands by any means necessary.

What should you look out for when buying a pair of gloves?

The first thing that you should remember when you are looking to purchase a pair of winter gloves is that there are some big differences between normal gloves, and gloves that have been specifically designed for use in the cold. All of your summer gloves should be banished to the cupboard and never considered during the colder months of the year. This is because summer gloves are usually used for fashion, whereas winter gloves are generally designed to be active wear.

Most of the winter gloves that you will see on the market are designed specifically for use in areas such as skiing and mountaineering. There are five key factors that you should be considering when you are looking for the best gloves for winter, they are:


You should always ask yourself, what is your intended use for the gloves that you want to purchase? If you plan on purchasing a pair of gloves for everyday use, then maybe you don’t need some of the specifications that certain designs will feature. Whereas if you plan on using the gloves while mountaineering and using specific tools, or while skiing, then you will want to purchase a pair of winter gloves that have been specifically designed with that in mind.

Is the pair of gloves that you have found suitable for each of your needs and requirements? You should never settle for a pair of gloves that do not tick each of the boxes that you have. If you do settle for a pair of gloves like that then you simply will not be happy with them in the long-run.

Outer Material

When it comes to the best cold weather gloves, one of the most important features would have to be the material. The material that your gloves are made out of is vital, and you should always attempt to look for the highest quality materials that you can.

Most winter gloves will feature a synthetic material on the backside of the hand, as the synthetic material offers more dexterity than other materials. Whereas some of the main materials that you will find on the palm of gloves include goat skin, leather, and even products that use materials like Kevlar, and army-grade leather.

The reason that leather is usually used on the palm is because the majority of these gloves have been designed for winter sports, and there is always a risk that you could fall and hurt yourself. You want to keep your hands warm and safe at all costs.

But, while these thick materials can also provide an impressive barrier between your hands and the cold elements that you would otherwise be exposed to, too much padding can be a hindrance. This is because it can have a negative effect on the dexterity of your hands.

Inner Material

No matter what purpose you have for your chosen pair of gloves, they should always feature an inner shell. The inner shell offers the insulation that the outer material doesn’t feature, and this insulation is the key. The main purpose of winter gloves is to keep your hands warm, and you can find a variety of different insulation types.

Usually the inner lining of a pair of gloves can be both removed and washed, and this gives you another good reason to purchase a pair, especially if you are partaking in winter sports. An inner lining should also be capable of wicking any excess moisture directly away from your hands.

Another key thing to note is that mittens are actually better at keeping your hands warm than the majority of other glove types, this is because you experience heat radiating from your other fingers. The only problem is that mittens simply aren’t practical for the majority of uses that people would have for them.


The overall design of a pair of winter gloves is important, especially when it comes to the closure that a pair of gloves feature. If you are heading out into a winter sport environment, then you need to make sure that absolutely no snow can enter the glove, otherwise you will be putting your hands at risk – not to mention ending up with a wet glove.

To help with this a lot of different gloves have been designed with adjustable cuffs, so you won’t have to worry about your wrists being too large, or too small for the gloves.

A lot of products also feature handy wrist loops. The function of wrist loops is to allow you to secure the gloves directly to your wrist when you take them off, that way you are not likely to lose your gloves when you take them off. It isn’t an odd occurrence to see a stray glove out on the ski slopes, and the idea of wrist loops was probably thought up after someone lost a glove or two.

Another thing that you should remember if you are heading out into the winter sport environment is that you would benefit from having a goggle wipe on your glove. With a goggle wipe you can directly wipe the snow away without having to constantly take your hand in and out of your glove. One other key is that the glove should always have a textured palm, or textured finger tips, both of those function to give you a reinforced level of grip.

Just remember that all winter gloves have been designed with one goal in common, to keep the chill off of your hands in freezing cold temperatures. While keeping your hands warm and toasty. The gloves should always be able to handle freezing, and sometimes even sub-zero temperatures.

One key way that most designers factor this into the design of their gloves can be seen in the amount of coverage that the gloves offer, they go well beyond the wrist to keep the snow and cold away from your hands.


Dexterity is a topic that is often overlooked, but in reality it is quite possibly one of the most important things to consider when you are choosing a pair of winter gloves. It is important to have complete control over your hand movements at all times, and can you imagine suffering with stiff hands while trying to make sure that your hands remain practical?

So one thing to consider is that while some heavily insulated gloves will directly shield you from the elements, they will also directly restrict your hand movements. If you are ice climbing with tools, or participating in winter sports, or even just drinking from a water bottle then a pair of non-dextrous gloves would prove to be incredibly problematic.

Best Winter Gloves for Men Reviews

POC Helmets and Armor Men’s Wrist Glove Big

POC Helmets and Armor Men's Wrist Glove Big

Weight: 1 pound.

Dimensions: These run from 6.3 – 9.5” depending on size.

Features: Thinsulate® insulation, a water-resistant softshell fabric, and a palm that is made of tough goatskin.

Best use: Winter sports and hiking.

The POC Helmets and Armor Men’s Wrist Glove is a fantastic option for anyone that is new to winter gloves, and it proves to be one of the best options currently on the market for anyone that partakes in winter sports. The slim profile of this glove, added to the pre-bent fingers mean that this glove offers the consumer a high level of dexterity, giving your hands the freedom to move almost naturally.

The vast majority of people that use this glove use it for winter sporting purposes, and most have found that it can keep their hands warm throughout the day. This particular pair of gloves also features a goggle wipe that is situated directly on the thumb of the glove, this means that you can easily clean snow off of your goggles without having to remove your hands from your gloves constantly.

Anyone who has been skiing will know just how often your gloves end up covered in snow from the harsh world around you, so these gloves feature an inner lining of Thinsulate® insulation, protecting your hands from the cold environment.

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Hestra Morrison Pro Model Ski Glove Unisex

Hestra Morrison Pro Model Ski Glove Unisex

Weight: 9.9 ounces.

Dimensions: 12 x 7 x 4 inches.

Features: Thermolite® insulation, a cow-hide upper body, and an army-grade leather palm.

Best use: Winter sports.

The Hestra range of gloves have been specifically designed for specific winter sports, and the Hestra Morrison Pro Model Ski Glove has been designed for skiing, although it is suitable for other uses. They do prove to be one of the best pairs of winter gloves that are currently on the market, and this is because they are known to keep people’s hands warm over long periods of time.

They can do this because of their fleece lining and their Thermolite® insulation, both of which help to keep your fingers warm. They also feature a membrane that is both waterproof and breathable, so that is can wick away any excess moisture that might be on your fingers.

Most of the customers that have purchased this glove do find it to be an excellent choice for skiing, and most people seem to agree that this particular pair of gloves are highly dextrous. Stiff hands would ruin any type of day that involves winter sporting activities, so a pair of gloves that feature that sort of dexterity are important.

These gloves are also windproof, and their design is both supple and durable to ensure that they offer consumers everything that they might need, and more!

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La Sportiva Syborg Glove

La Sportiva Syborg Glove

Weight: 1.23 ounces.

Dimensions: Exact dimensions are unavailable, but this set of gloves are available in sizes XS – XL.

Features: A breathable laminate fabric, with a highly reinforced leather palm.

Best use: Skiing, mountaineering and racing.

If you are looking for a simple pair of thin-line winter gloves, opposed to a pair that are thick with insulation, then the La Sportiva Syborg Gloves could be the perfect option for you. This incredibly thin pair of gloves has been designed to offer optimum dexterity, so they prove to be a fine option for anyone who is unsure about wearing a pair of incredibly thick gloves.

Now if you think that there will be issues that arise with the thin nature of a La Sportive Syborg set of gloves then you really don’t have to worry. The reinforced leather palm has been built to offer you a perfect level of both grip and durability, and the fabric mixture has been designed for optimum performance.

The breathable laminate fabric offers excellent water resistance, and skiers/mountaineering specialists have found that these gloves are an excellent option.

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Hestra Jon Olsson Pro Model Gloves

Hestra Jon Olsson Pro Model Gloves

Weight: 14.2 ounces.

Dimensions: 12 x 7 x 4 inches.

Features: Thermolite® insulation, a cowhide leather shell, and a brushed polyester lining.

Best use: Skiing, and other professional winter sports.

One of the key things that you should notice about this gloves before noticing the design is that they feature the Jon Olsson ideology. Jon Olsson is a fantastic athlete who participates in both the free skiing and alpine ski racing section. He holds 11 Winter X-Games podiums.

These gloves really have been built to represent his own needs, and one of the most important requirements he has is that his gloves should be lightweight freeride gloves. The pre-curved fingers also give you optimum levels of grip, while the pal has as minimum of a level of excess material as possible. This means that you have the dexterity that you need to move your hands naturally.

The Thermolite® insulation will provide you with the warmth that you require, while the neoprene cuff will help to keep the cold off of your hands. Snow on the other hand, will never get inside of your glove, unless you pick it up and put it in while the gloves are off of course! If you are looking for an incredible pair of lightweight gloves, then the Hestra Jon Olsson Pro Model Gloves could be ideal for you.

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Outdoor Research Lucent Heated Gloves

Outdoor Research Lucent Heated Gloves

Weight: 14.2 ounces.

Dimensions: 14 x 7 x 4 inches.

Features: Powerful heat technology, a leather reinforced palm, and a zippered compartment to protect your batteries.

Best use: Anyone can fully benefit from these gloves, especially people who suffer with cold hands.

When it comes to freezing temperatures, some people find that their hands are still cold inside of gloves. These gloves have been designed with that in mind, and even people who suffer with Raynaud’s Syndrome have found that these gloves are fantastic, and they can go skiing for full days in them.

The gloves feature fully customisable heat settings, that range from low – high. The ALTI heat battery powered heat technology is used by simply inserting a rechargeable lithium ion battery, and the gloves have their own little locked compartment where you can keep your batteries safe when you are out in the elements.

The heat from these gloves is exactly where you need it, focusing directly on the fingers. Opposed to similar gloves where the manufactured heat is focused directly on the palm of your hands. These gloves also feature a goat leather palm, that will keep your hands safe and secure. If you want one of the best options that the market can offer, then Outdoor Research Lucent Heated Gloves are the optimal choice.

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Mavic Cosmic Pro Wind Glove

Mavic Cosmic Pro Wind Glove X-Large Black

Weight: 3 ounces.

Dimensions: 13.6 x 4.4 x 1.6 inches.

Features: A touchscreen compatible material, a thin-line design, and optimum dexterity.

Best use: Hiking, skiing, and partaking in winter sports.

The Mavic Cosmic Pro Wind Glove are a great example of a pair of winter gloves for men with numerous features, especially their great ergo cut. The ergo cut is essentially a pad construction, it consists of the minimal thickness of high-density EVA foam, so these gloves fit snugly against your hand.

This makes them protective, and yet highly dextrous. The microfiber thumb in the design of this product also wicks away any moisture that might be present on the hand, otherwise that moisture could make your hand colder than it otherwise would be.

This glove has both a high cuff and a full-finger shape, both of which keep the gloves streamlined, and this means that they are an excellent option for people that enjoy partaking in winter sports that involve speed. As well as other high adrenaline activities.

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Hestra Ergo Grip Outdry Long Glove

Hestra Ergo Grip Outdry Long Glove

Weight: 10.4 ounces.

Dimensions: 14 x 6 x 4 inches.

Features: An adjustable Velcro® strap, a hard-wearing goat leather palm, and a number of kangaroo leather reinforcements.

Best use: Anything that involves wet, or cold conditions.

Another fantastic option on the market is offered by Hestra, the Hestra Ergo Grip Outdry Long Glove. This particular pair of gloves is known for how well it fits, and its unique design. It was originally designed for mountaineering, so both warmth and safety had to be considered during the design phase.

To ensure that conditions inside the glove are kept warm the gloves were designed with a snow-lock, and they have an internal layer that locks heat in against the hand.

For durability the gloves were also designed with a hard-wearing goat leather palm, and they were even reinforced with kangaroo leather. Kangaroo leather is known to be one of the safest, and most durable materials on the market, and it is often used to make motorcycle gear. It is easy to see why they made the choice to put it into the design of this product, and if safety is one of your key concerns, these gloves will keep your hands safe and secure.

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Black Diamond Enforcer Cold Weather Gloves

Black Diamond Enforcer Cold Weather Gloves

Weight: 8.7 ounces.

Dimensions: 7.25 x 6.25” – 9.5 – 8.25”, dependent upon the size of the product.

Features: A GORE-TEX® insert, Primaloft® insulation, and the ability to handle sub-zero temperatures.

Best use: Mountaineering.

Now there will be people out there that are looking for a pair of gloves specifically for mountaineering, and finding the right pair can be quite difficult. This is because the gloves need to be dextrous, especially in the case of an emergency while mountaineering in the ice. It can be easy to slip in those conditions. Yet, they also need to be padded enough to be suitable for use with tools that are made for breaking ice, or climbing ice.

Black Diamond Enforcer Cold Weather Gloves offer all of that and more, as they have been designed specifically for that purpose. Firstly, these gloves feature a GORE-TEX® insert, and specialist Primaloft® insulation. Both of these products make this design suitable for handling sub-zero temperatures.

But, you also need to be able to handle your tools. So these gloves have been designed with dexterity in mind, but in a way that is specific to the use of ice-tools. This means that you have the security of being safe, while also being able to handle your tools in a safe environment.

Another key feature of this product is the EVA padding on the knuckles, your knuckles will even be protected against bullet-hard ice.

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Key Questions to Ask

So, when it comes to purchasing your first pair of winter gloves, or even your fiftieth, there are a few key things that you need to remember. Ask yourself a few key questions about any product that you are considering purchasing:

  • Does the design of the glove suit the purpose that you have in mind for it?
  • Does the inner material of the glove feature enough insulation to keep your hands warm?
  • Will the outer material provide a barrier between you and the elements?
  • Will you be able to freely move your hands within the gloves?

By asking yourself all of those questions you can make sure that the gloves are perfect for you, and perfect for all of your requirements and needs.

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Sean Nelson

Sean was backpacking since he was 7. He was born close to the RMNP and his father was a ranger, so life surrounded by mountains and wildlife is a norm for Colorado. He likes to explore, but prefers to stay in USA. In his opinion, there are too many trails and options in US to go abroad.