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9 Best Winter Gloves for 2024

Growing up with eczema meant that winters were always a rather stressful time. The cold, dry air led to my skin cracking and bleeding, and any time I went outdoors I had to make sure I was wearing gloves.

Though I don’t struggle with eczema anymore, I still take extra care of my hands in the winter and always have a pair of gloves on me. However, not all gloves are created equal. You want something that will keep your hands warm but won’t restrict your movement.

Our top pick for the best winter gloves is the Columbia Sweater Weather fleece gloves due to their warm, sweater-material as well as the grippy, touchscreen-compatible palm.

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Best Overall: Columbia Sweater Weather Fleece Glove

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Image by Columbia

These winter gloves are excellent for preventing cold hands. Featuring fleecy, sweater material, they’re ideal for everyday wear, whether you’re running errands or hiking a trail. The grip material on the palms is synthetic, making it easy to use your phone to make sure you’re on the right trail.

These lightweight gloves will feel like a second skin when you’re out and about. With adjustable, elastic wrists, they won’t fall off when you’re moving quickly. You also won’t have to worry about cold fingers when you’re wearing these gloves.

When you aren’t wearing them, you can also clip them together and keep them in your pocket, for the next time you head outdoors.

Best for Snowsports: Black Diamond Soloist Finger Glove

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Image by Black Diamond

Sort of a cross between a glove and a mitten, these would be great for skiing or mountaineering. With a polyester glove liner and a goat leather palm, they have several excellent features.

The Black Diamond Soloist Finger Gloves come with a BD.dry waterproofing insert, as well as having an EMPEL water-resistant finish. Along with being waterproof, they are also super warm, made with soft-recycled fleece that will ensure warmth when you’re out in extremely cold weather.

On warmer days, take advantage of the removable liner by taking it out and just wearing the water-resistant shell, to ensure dry hands no matter what you may be doing.

Best Leather Gloves: Hestra Gloves Fall Line Glove

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Image by Hestra Gloves

A good leather glove is great for working in any condition, as it protects you from possible injuries. This is a great pair of work gloves, but their intended use is as a pair of ski gloves. Hestra Gloves didn’t skimp on quality, with excellent insulation and the body of the glove being made of goat leather.

The full-finger gloves feature a removable liner, as well as a neoprene cuff with hook-and-loop closures, as well as coming with a carabiner (not safe for climbing). These gloves feature outseams that will help you grip your ski pole or whatever else you might need to grab when you’re working outside.

Whether you use these as your new work gloves or for your next ski trip, they will keep your hands protected and warm. Make sure you take care of your gloves by using the glove treatment in between uses to make sure they last.

Best Lightweight Gloves: Arc’teryx Venta Glove

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Image by Arc’teryx

Though these may look like extremely thin gloves, the Arc’teryx Venta gloves have three layers of warmth, excellent for cross-country skiing and other winter sports activities, and they’re touchscreen compatible.

Made from Gore-Tex fabric, these gloves also feature four-way stretch to ensure comfort the entire time you’re wearing them. They have a fleece lining for added warmth in the extreme cold. Though they are not skin-tight gloves, they feature a slim and snug fit and help prevent you from getting cold.

With TPU-reinforced palms, you’ll have a strong grip on your ski poles. They also have reinforced leather tabs to help you pull them on and off even in cold weather.

Best Wool Gloves: Smartwool Cozy Glove

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Image by SmartWool

Made from high-quality merino wool, these gloves from Smartwool may not be the warmest gloves on the market, but they are pretty close. They offer thermoregulation and because they’re made of wool, they reduce odor without having to wash them after every use.

These merino wool gloves are made to be a great pair of grab-and-go gloves. Throw these on when you’re shoveling snow and stay warm without worrying about your hands getting sweaty and needing to change halfway through.

The cuffs feature ribbing to help them stay on and are touchscreen gloves, allowing you to keep them on when you get into the car and need to start directions or put on a playlist.

Best Cycling Gloves: PEARL iZUMi Gel Cycling Glove

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Image by PEAR iZUMi

If you love to cycle and don’t want to give that up just because it’s getting colder out, never fear, these will make excellent winter gloves for when you head out on your next bike ride, whether that be through your neighborhood or out on the trails.

These gloves are made to be highly insulated and sensitive so you can feel each bump and turn as you’re riding. Made from synthetic leather and recycled polyester, it’s crazy to think that such a thin glove could pack so much punch.

Touch-screen compatible, PEARL iZUMi’s gloves will protect you from wind and water, but won’t prevent you from articulation when you need it on your bike.

Best Heated Gloves: ActionHeat 5V Premium Heated Glove

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Image by Action Heat

The average person will be able to find a great pair of gloves and those will keep them warm during their trip outdoors. But if you get really cold, really fast or you’re heading out somewhere with sub-zero temperatures, you’re going to need more than fleece and wool. You’re going to need heat.

The ActionHeat 5V is a heated glove that lasts up to five hours and can get as warm as 150 degrees. Charge the battery packs and the gloves, and then you’re on your way to non-stop warmth during your time outdoors, whether that be shoveling the driveway or an exciting backcountry excursion.

These gloves feature three heat settings with the heating elements strategically placed to ensure warm hands during your time outside. Many winter gloves will keep you dry and warm, but not like these ones do. These might literally be the warmest gloves you ever wear.

Best Thermal Glove: SmartWool Thermal Merino Glove

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Image by SmartWool

A good pair of thermal gloves are thin, warm, and wick moisture as you warm up outdoors. These thermal gloves from SmartWool are no exception. Made from 100% merino wool, these gloves will keep your hands warm while you’re outside while also keeping them dry from sweat.

These gloves make an excellent liner glove if you have a bulkier glove that you like the feel of, but want a warmer lining. The merino wool aids in breathability, thermal regulation, and odor resistance. These gloves are also touchscreen compatible so you can use them in your day-to-day life.

These gloves offer extra comfort which makes them a great liner glove when you know you’re going to need to layer up. Don’t compromise warmth for comfort as you know these will slip on right under your favorite pair of winter gloves you already own.

Best Mittens: Black Diamond WindWeight Convertible Mitten

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Image by Black Diamond

Though gloves offer more dexterity and better grip, sometimes a pair of mittens are good to have on hand. These winter mittens from Black Diamond are warm and windproof, but they are convertible to ensure that you can grab and grip when needed outdoors.

Made with a Polartec fleece lining, these mittens are warm and comfortable and feature durable palm patches made of suede. The best part? When you do need your fingers, you can fold back the top of the mitten.

The convertible mittens come with magnet closures which will keep the top of the convertible top out of your way when you’re digging for something in your bag or trying to grip onto something important.

Why are Gloves Important

Buying a pair of winter gloves may seem like a minor task when you’re planning an outdoor adventure, but protecting your hands is incredibly important. You do some much with your hands and fingers in your day-to-day life, and leaving them vulnerable to the elements could be dangerous.

Growing up with eczema, dry, cracked, and sometimes even bloody hands were the norm for me. If you never wear gloves, you can begin to develop the same symptoms, which can take years to treat and get under control.

Of course, eczema is uncomfortable, but it’s more of an inconvenience than other issues that could develop by exposing your bare hands to the cold. If you’re out in extremely cold temperatures without gloves, there’s a chance of developing frostbite.

Even when you are wearing your gloves, it’s still important to make sure that they’re waterproof or at least water-resistant. When you’re out in the cold and your hands get — and stay — wet, there’s a chance of developing chilblains.

Chilblains are sores caused by extended exposure to extreme cold and wet environments. If you know your gloves aren’t entirely waterproof, it may be a good idea to pack a few extra pairs in your bag as an extra safety precaution.

What to Look for in Your Next Pair of Winter Gloves

While an ideal pair of winter gloves will keep your hands warm and dry, the best pair will do the same without significantly hindering fine motor skills. So when you’re shopping for your next pair, you should try to find insulated gloves with weather protection features that also strike the right balance of durability and comfort.

Insulation

There are numerous kinds of insulation used to make warm gloves. Some of the most common include down feathers, synthetic fill, fleece, and cotton.

  • Down is a natural fill, recovered from waterfowl like geese and ducks. It’s warm, expensive, and not very effective when wet.
  • Synthetic insulation tries to replicate down. While it’s not as expensive, it’s also not as warm. However, it does insulate better when wet and it dries a lot faster than down.
  • On their own, cotton gloves can be very warm, but they’re also highly absorbent, so they aren’t ideal for enduring snowy and icy conditions. However, can be good liner gloves.
  • Fleece gloves are typically made from synthetic fabrics, so they’re more water-resistant than cotton gloves.

Weather Protection

When we say weather protection, we mean features that make the glove windproof and waterproof or water-resistant. More often than not, the exterior of the glove will be constructed from a durable material such as synthetic fabrics, leather, or Gore-Tex. What’s more, they may also contain design features like an extended cuff, a zippered pocket for inserting a hand warmer, and wrist cinches to keep the end of the glove tight around your wrist.

If you need ski gloves, popular features include what’s mentioned above as well as wrist cords to tie your gloves to your jacket sleeves, thumb wipes to wipe your face or nose, and a leather palm (or goat leather body) to assist your grip. Another popular feature worth mentioning is touch-screen compatibility, which means there’s material on the fingertips of the glove that allows you to interact with a smartphone.

Durability and Comfort

As is the case for most outdoor gear, winter gloves should be both durable and comfortable. When we talk about durable gloves, you might immediately think of something you’d wear for work like Mechanix gloves. They’re great at protecting your hands in rough environments, but not all work gloves are built for wintry weather.

Comfort, on the other hand, is often synonymous with fit. When you’re wearing a well-sized glove, you should be able to have a relatively high level of mobility and dexterity for things like handling a phone, holding a ski pole, drinking from a water bottle, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions About Winter Gloves

When looking for the best winter gloves, there are a lot of important features to keep in mind. But if you’re feeling a little lost in the sea of available information, here are some frequently asked questions that can help you find your best winter gloves.

Are gloves one size fits all?

While the average man or woman will want to grab a medium-sized glove, it is not as simple as a one-size-fits-all situation. Gloves will often come in several sizes similar to ski socks. For glove size, companies will measure around your palm from front to back. Also, most gloves will have some active stretch, so they don’t need to be an exact fit, but they should fit comfortably and snugly without feeling too tight.

Are leather gloves always the best for winter gloves?

There are definitely perks to buying a pair of leather gloves, but they aren’t the only option when it comes to picking a winter glove. If you decide to go with leather, make sure you check the lining fabric. A warm glove is often made with wool to help absorb moisture if your hands start to sweat. Although leather does have perks — it’s usually very durable and high quality — it isn’t necessarily known for being the warmest fabric on the planet. Make sure you consider how much cold your hands can take without needing to add liner gloves.

What is the point of a three-finger glove?

Lobster gloves! Three-finger gloves are an excellent mix of a winter glove and a mitten. Both gloves and mittens provide different — but important — traits that often lead to you needing to choose between one or the other. The three-finger gloves are a nice compromise. The three-finger holes allow you dexterity closer to a glove, letting your index finger grip onto things a little easier, but also allows you to have better thermal insulation that will keep your hands warm.

How do I choose between gloves and mittens?

As we’ve previously discussed, gloves are usually a better option for intense winter sports as they allow you a stronger grip when holding gear. However, there are still times when a pair of mittens comes in handy. Mittens, though often given to children, actually do a better job keeping your hands warm than a pair of gloves do, as they provide better thermal insulation, and your fingers can feel the body heat off of one another.

Choosing your protective wear will depend on what activity you’re heading out to do. If you’re skiing, you’re going to want to make sure you have a strong grip, making gloves a better option. On the other hand — no pun intended — if you’re just heading out for a leisurely walk in the woods, you may not need as much dexterity, and a pair of mittens will do just fine.

What is the best kind of insulation for my gloves?

When shopping for your next pair of winter gloves, keep in mind the kind of insulation you’re looking for. Most often, you’ll see fleece, flannel linings, or synthetic liners. The fleece liner inside of a glove will definitely do the trick at keeping you warm, but if you sweat, it’s going to be stuck there.

Certain synthetics like Thinsulate are great for extended time out in the snow because of their ability to wick moisture. They’re also well-liked because they’re — as the name suggests — they’re thin which allows you excellent mobility. Other synthetic insulating fabrics will also work well when you’re out in the snow because they will do the job without adding too much bulk, like fabrics like fleece, flannel, or merino wool.

Do I need dexterity?

When you’re buying gloves you should be thinking about what you are buying them for the entire time. If it’s just a new pair of winter gloves, then you want to look for a warm lining and a waterproof membrane on the outside. If you’re buying something more specific like a pair of ski gloves or a glove for your outdoor winter chores, you’re going to want something extremely lightweight that will allow you excellent grip and protection from the elements.

How cold is it where I am going?

Depending on where you’re going will depend on the type of glove you get, though lightweight or mid-weight gloves will often be all you need. Adding a fleece lining to your favorite pair of gloves will help you stay warm wherever you’re going. If you’re heading into sub-zero temperatures, you’ll want to look into a heavy pair of gloves or even a pair with built-in heating components. If you’re going somewhere cold but not expecting a lot of snow, you might not need something with gore-tex built into it, but it doesn’t hurt to have it just in case.

Check out our list of the best hiking gloves.

How much waterproofing will I need?

Again, this will depend on where you’re going. If you’re heading out on an ice fishing trip with friends, you’re going to want a pair of waterproof winter gloves to ensure that you stay warm and dry when you’re outside. If you’re just going out on a winter hike, you can probably leave the 100% gore-tex gloves at home, though water resistance is always a good thing to have in case you take any slips or tumbles on the trail.

The Best Winter Gloves

When you’re shopping for a new pair of winter gloves, you want something that is going to protect your hands. The best winter glove is going to keep your hands warm while absorbing sweat and allowing breathability while also providing you with plenty of movement.

The perfect pair of gloves will depend on what you’re looking for, where you’re going, and what you’re doing. Keeping these things in mind before hitting purchase will allow you to better pick a pair of gloves for your next adventure.

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