7 Best Winter Gloves (2021)

Best Winter Gloves
There’s a lot that goes into picking the best winter gloves. You need to think about the material they’re made of, whether the insulation they have is sufficient, the length of the cuff, how flexible they are, and a host of other performance-related features.

We tested various brands of winter gloves to bring you our top 7 picks in different categories.


Best Winter Gloves – Winners

Check out our quick recommendations here, or keep scrolling for detailed reviews:


Best Overall Winter Gloves

1. Smartwool Ridgeway Glove 

  • Category: Casual
  • Shell: Leather
  • Waterproof: No
  • Pros: Excellent insulation, moisture-wicking, breathable
  • Cons: Sizes run a bit small

The Smartwool Ridgeway gloves are by far the best winter gloves we’ve come across to date. The outer shell is made of high-quality, durable leather, while the glove liner has a combination of merino wool and nylon.

One of the great things about Merino wool is its breathability and natural ability to wick moisture away from the hands. These are no doubt two of the most important qualities to look for in high-performance gear.

These insulated gloves are odor-resistant and extremely versatile, making them the ideal choice for any outdoor activity you engage in. Whether you’re out winter hiking or running in sub-zero temperatures, shoveling snow off the driveway, or going for a grocery run at your local farmers market, the Smartwool Ridgeways are ideal no matter what the situation.

The durable leather glove exterior not only looks great; it is ultra-versatile and multipurpose, which makes them suitable for work and play. They’re worth checking out.

View on Backcountry >>

Also Available on Amazon


Best High-End Winter Gloves

2. Black Diamond Solano

  • Category: Warmth
  • Shell: Goat leather, nylon
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Pros: Comfortable, heated, well-insulated
  • Cons: Lacks dexterity

If you enjoy powder skiing, then you will love what the Black Diamond Solano heated gloves bring to the table. These men’s winter gloves are built for high-performance, so you know your hands will stay warm and protected in sub-zero temperatures when hitting the slopes.

These insulated gloves have an internal heating element in each powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery located in a compartment on the underside of the wrist. Depending on how cold it is outside, you can adjust the heating settings to low, medium, or high to warm your hands from the wrist up to your fingertips.

The battery of these heated ski gloves can power the heating elements for up to 6 hours on the lowest heat setting so that you can have warm hands most of the day.

The Solano gloves are well-insulated thanks to the PrimaLoft Gold insulation they come with to keep your palms and the back of your hands warm even when the battery is turned off. The goat leather exterior also makes them highly water-resistant. Each extreme cold weather glove has a large gauntlet that can easily fit over most jacket cuffs. It even has a cinch cord you can tighten to keep the cold weather elements out on windy and snowy days.

We were impressed by the durability of this heated glove. They feel solid and well-constructed. A common point of failure we find on many winter gloves is the stitching on the fingertips. The seams usually start to come apart after a while. This isn’t the case for the Black Diamond Solano glove. The stitching on the ski glove feels tight and is well-hidden to extend its lifespan. They also have leather reinforcement on the palm and the gap between the index finger and the thumb.

While they are a little on the pricier side, the Solano heated gloves are a worthwhile investment. You don’t have to worry about them wearing out anytime soon.

View on Backcountry >>

Also Available on Amazon


Best Winter Work Gloves

3. Mechanix Winter Work Gloves

  • Category: Work
  • Shell: Rubber
  • Waterproof: No
  • Pros: Excellent grip, touch-capable
  • Cons: They’re a little stiff

If you plan to do outdoor work in the winter, wearing bulky gloves can make it difficult to get a good grip on things. The good news is – we finally found the best winter gloves for outdoor work: The Mechanix winter work gloves.

These rubber gloves are made of C40 3M Thinsulate insulation with a fleece-lined interior to trap heat and keep your hands warm in freezing sub-zero temperatures. They also have a SoftShell exterior to keep the cold air out, making them one of the most wind-resistant winter gloves on the market right now.

The thing we like most about the Mechanix heated work gloves is the exceptional grip they offer. This is thanks to the rugged Armortex patches embedded onto the palms to give you firm gripping power even in damp winter conditions. The thin glove patches also provide outstanding abrasion resistance to slow down wear and tear.

Unlike any other heated work gloves you might have come across, the Mechanix is carbon-infused with touch conductive material on the thumb and index finger. That way, if you need to use your smartphone or tablet, you don’t have to use a fingerless glove or take them off entirely just to use the touchscreen.

The gloves have a secure fit and come with a built-in Velcro strap you can adjust for a better fit. They also have a removable clip that comes in handy for securing the gloves.

All in all, as far as the best winter work glove goes, nothing beats the Mechanix glove. They are heated mitts that are certainly worth checking out.

View on Amazon >>


Best Budget Winter Gloves

4. Jeniulet Winter Gloves

  • Category: Casual
  • Shell: Dacron, velvet
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Pros: Affordable, well-insulated, multipurpose
  • Cons: Sizes run large

High-quality gear like thermal gloves doesn’t come cheap. More often than not, you may have to sacrifice durability and comfort when buying items on the lower end of the price spectrum. When looking for an affordable pair of winter gloves, we were on the hunt for something functional, effective, and affordable.

The Jeniulet winter gloves are a great budget option if you’re looking for something under $20. The great thing is – nothing about them looks or feels low-budget, and it certainly lives up to everything you would expect in a solid pair of winter gloves.

For starters, they have a -30°F rating meaning, they’ll keep your hands well-insulated in freezing sub-zero weather. They’re made of heavy-duty, waterproof Dacron and lined with soft and thick fluffy material made up of six layers of warm, windproof glove fabrics.

This waterproof glove also has a double-thickened sponge velvet outer layer, with soft PU leather along the fingertips to keep them from freezing in the cold winter weather. The leather lining offers excellent grip and abrasion resistance, especially in damp conditions.

One of our favorite things about the Jeniulet gloves has to be the double waterproofing. Both the inner and outer layers are waterproof with no risk of leakage, so your hands stay dry even in snow and rainy conditions. This is quite an impressive feature for winter gloves in its price category.

The thumb and index finger on each glove are lined with touch conductive material that allows you to use touchscreen devices without having to take the gloves off. All in all, if you’re looking for an affordable winter cycling glove or winter gloves for hiking, running, and riding, the Jeniulet gloves are a solid choice.

View on Amazon >>


Best Heated Winter Gloves

5. Snow Deer Upgraded Electric Heated Gloves

  • Category: Warmth
  • Shell: Sheep leather, polyester
  • Waterproof: No
  • Pros: Heated, ideal for FIR therapy, versatile and multipurpose
  • Cons: They’re a little bulky

As far as heat-radiating winter gloves go, it doesn’t get any better than the Snow Deer range of electric heated gloves. They don’t just look great; they are designed to keep your hands warm and cozy even in freezing, sub-zero temperatures.

Each glove contains carbon fiber heating elements sewn into the inner layers of the fabric. The elements cover the surface on the back of the hand, the back of the fingers, and the fingertips and are powered by a 7.4V 2,200 mAh rechargeable battery.

The gloves have three heat settings you can use to switch the temperature to high, medium, or low. The battery lasts up to 2.5 hours on the highest heat setting and 6 hours when set to low. It takes approximately 3-4 hours to charge the battery to full.

Snow Deer winter gloves are made of soft, sheep leather that covers the palm surface and windproof, water-resistant polyester at the back. The interior has a soft fleece lining to trap the heat and keep your hands warm even when the battery is off. The wrist has an adjustable Velcro strap you can use to cinch it in and keep the harsh elements out.

The tips of the thumb and index finger contain touch sensors that work on touchscreen devices, so you don’t have to take off your glove to make or answer a phone call or send a text message.

All in all, if you’re in the market for a cycling glove or a high-quality cold weather glove you can use for skiing, hiking, or riding a motorcycle in sub-zero temperatures, these are the gloves you need.

View on Amazon >>


Best Winter Gloves for Kids

6. Columbia Unisex-Kid’s Fast Trek Gloves

  • Category: Casual
  • Shell: Polyester
  • Waterproof: No
  • Pros: Comfortable snug fit, abrasion-resistant, convenient pull-on closure
  • Cons: The fingertips aren’t touch conductive

Shopping for kids’ winter gloves can be a nightmare. Half the time, they’re too bulky and never seem to fit properly. The Columbia Kids’ Fast Trek gloves are by far the best winter gloves for kids we’ve come across. They are true to size and specially designed to fit smaller hands.

They are made of 100% polyester with a plush microfleece lining on the inside for extra warmth and comfort on cold winter days and nights. There’s something about soft fleece that feels super cozy against the skin.

It is naturally warm, making it the perfect winter solution for keeping little hands nice and toasty regardless of the frosty conditions outside. The wrists have a soft elastic cuff for a snug but comfortable fit to trap the warmth inside and keep the harsh winter weather out.

The Columbia gloves are made with enhanced grip, abrasion resistance, and minimal bulk, making them ideal for kids’ hands. They also come with a pairing clip to keep them together when they’re not in use.

Everything about their design reveals incredible attention to detail – from the stitching to the expert craftsmanship. One thing is for certain, though. The Columbia Kids’ Fast Trek gloves are built to stand the test of time. You won’t need to get your kids new gloves for several seasons to come. Their price point isn’t too bad either.

View on Backcountry >>

Also Available on Bass Pro Shops

Also Available on Amazon


Best Winter Gloves for Touchscreens

7. Clheatky Electric Heated Gloves Rechargeable

  • Category: Casual
  • Shell: Canvas, PU leather
  • Waterproof: No
  • Pros: Heated, true to size, great value for money
  • Cons: They’re not warm gloves when the heat’s turned off

There aren’t many heated gloves on the market that work with touchscreens. The Clheatky electric heated gloves are the exception. First impressions – they look great. They’re sleek and don’t look or feel bulky. That’s a far cry from most of the heated touchscreen gloves we’ve come across before.

The tips of the thumb and index finger on each glove are lined with a touch conductive material that works on any touchscreen device. That way, you don’t have to take off the glove to make a phone call, take a photo, or do anything else you would want to on your smartphone or tablet.

As far as heating goes, each glove contains heating elements that cover the back surface of the hand, the back of the fingers, and the fingertips. They are powered by a pair of 3.7V 4,000 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion batteries located in a small compartment in the wrist section of each glove. The compartments have sturdy zippers to lock the batteries in place as you go about your routine.

They come with three heat settings – high, medium, and low – that you can switch to depending on the ambient temperatures. On the highest setting, the battery runs for a maximum of 3 hours and 6 hours on the lowest setting. The Clheatky gloves adopt an intelligent heating system that promotes blood circulation in the hands, making them ideal for individuals with arthritis and joint/muscle pain.

The gloves are true to size and designed to fit both female and male hands. If you’re looking for heated women’s or men’s gloves for snowmobiling, hiking, skiing, or shoveling snow that you can also use on touchscreen devices, you should definitely check them out.

View on Amazon >>


Winter Glove Buying Advice

man wearing gloves during hiking

Source: Unsplash

There are few things in life more uncomfortable than having cold hands. Frozen fingers make it impossible to do anything. Even something as simple as getting your fingers around your motorcycle or bicycle handlebar is virtually impossible with frigid hands.

Before you go off and grab the first pair of gloves you come across, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when looking for the best winter gloves for sub-zero temperatures. Here’s everything you need to know.

Winter Glove Categories

First, you need to understand the different winter glove categories that exist. Different types of gloves are specially designed for different types of outdoor winter activities. Here’s a brief overview of the various winter glove categories to look out for.

Warmth

At the risk of stating the obvious, winter-ready gloves need to be warm. The amount of warmth you get depends on the level of insulation they have. Gloves with waterproof inserts, windproof exteriors, and thick lining made of wool, fleece, or synthetic fiber, are guaranteed to keep you warm and protected from freezing outdoor weather.

The ideal level of insulation you need ultimately depends on the ambient temperatures and the activities you intend to be doing. For context, the glove insulation you need on a ski glove will be different from what you’ll require in a golf glove or in a glove to shovel snow off your driveway.

Performance

Performance-oriented winter gloves are designed for sustained cold exposure in ultra-cold winter conditions like when you’re skiing, snowboarding, mountaineering, or bike commuting during winter.

Although the glove traits for each activity may vary depending on the output, some common features to look out for include snug-fitting cuffs, palms with excellent grip, good quality insulation, windproof and waterproof capability, and good dexterity.

Work

Winter work gloves focus on durability since they’re often used for high-contact activities like chopping wood or operating heavy machinery. The one must-have for winter work gloves is a tough leather exterior. Leather is generally abrasion-resistant. It can withstand a lot before it starts to show signs of wear and tear, compared to, say, knit gloves.

Other features to keep an eye out for include a short under cuff design, reinforced palms, snug fit, and dexterity. For extra warmth, you’ll need to get something with an interior fleece glove lining, although this may come at the price of some dexterity. Some gloves have a removable liner option.

Casual

Casual gloves are designed for everyday wear. Their design focus is functionality when doing ordinary things like driving to work, walking around town, going for an early morning run, using your smartphone, and so forth.

When shopping for this category of gloves, look for features like touch conductive material on the fingertips, reinforced palms, fleece or wool on the liner glove, and snug-fitting designs.

Since they are not designed for high output activities, gloves in this class tend to be the most affordable of the lot. They are not as high-end as performance gloves, but they are superior to knit or casual cashmere gloves.

Insulation Types

hiker holding ice

Source: Unsplash

The next thing you need to consider is the type of insulation the glove has. Here’s an overview of the common ones.

Down

Down insulation is made from duck or goose plumage. As you can imagine, it would take a lot of plumage to provide a sufficient amount of insulation to withstand frigid weather conditions. As a result, gloves with down insulation tend to be quite bulky, which explains why they aren’t as popular as some of the other options below.

Wool

Wool, particularly the merino variety, is yet another next-to-skin base layer option for winter gloves. The downside is that it is heavier, bulkier, and less durable than other popular insulation options like fleece. Nonetheless, it does retain a significant amount of warmth, so if you don’t mind dealing with the bulkiness, wool-lined winter gloves are a great option to consider.

Fleece

Fleece insulation is the most common next-to-skin base layer in lightweight, casual glove designs. They are breathable, warm, and cozy enough if you don’t intend to spend too much time outside. They are also quite affordable.

The downside to fleece-lined winter gloves is that they don’t offer adequate wind and weather protection. If all you need is gloves to wear for short walks outside or around town, these would be a great option.

Synthetic

Synthetic insulation has all the right properties as far as protection is concerned. It is affordable, compact, durable, and provides a sufficient amount of insulation even when wet. Keep in mind that different synthetic fibers offer levels of insulation. For instance, 3M Thinsulate insulation and PrimaLoft insulation make for warmer gloves. They also last longer than the polyester-filled varieties.

Waterproof vs Water-Resistant Gloves

Most winter gloves aren’t waterproof. The ones that are either have a waterproof layer sandwiched between the outer shell and inner lining or a water-resistant shell that blocks out moisture. This shell is usually made with leather that has undergone a Sno-Seal or Gore-Tex treatment to create a water-resistant barrier.

If you intend to spend extended amounts of time outside exposed to the elements, ensure you get a waterproof glove. If not, a glove that offers some level of water resistance will do.


FAQ

What is the best shell material for winter gloves?

Tough leather shells that have undergone a waterproof treatment like Sno-Seal, Gore-Tex, or Nikwax are the most durable. Nylon is another durable shell material. Steer clear of simple fleece or wool exteriors on knit gloves. These are prone to wear and tear.

What’s the difference between a winter glove and a mitten?

A glove is designed to isolate the fingers, whereas a mitten keeps them together. Mittens are the go-to choice for people who suffer from perpetual cold hand conditions. The downside to wearing a mitten is the lack of dexterity.

What is the warmest glove for winter?

Gloves with waterproof inserts, windproof shells, and thick synthetic linings like 3M Thinsulate insulation and PrimaLoft are usually at the very end of the warmth spectrum. If you need a little extra heat, consider getting electric heated winter gloves instead.


Final Thoughts

There you have it – the best winter gloves on the market right now. When making a purchase decision, first think about what you need them for. That way, you can figure out which ones to get. Any of the options we’ve reviewed in this guide would be an excellent choice.

In the meantime, check out our top 10 picks for the best heated gloves in 2021.

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    Riley Draper

    Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.