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Best Gloves for Cold Weather

Updated on January 18, 2015

What are the warmest gloves?

The warmest gloves might not even be designed for the activity you want to use them for so it is definitely worth thinking about sports or activities that are normally conducted in the cold, such as warm winter gloves for Skiing or activities that require dexterity to be maintained such as cycling, if you just want the best warm gloves to keep your hands warm then it doesn't matter too much what they were designed for as long as they work!

The best gloves for cold weather will depend on the environment, man made insulation such as primaloft is cheaper and in damp conditions performs better than natural down filling, but on really cold days down is the number one choice.

Image from Flickr - Struma River in Winter by Klearchos Kapoutsis

Canada Goose Gloves - Amazon
Canada Goose Gloves - Amazon

So what is the warmest glove?

Simply speaking Down is the warmest insulator available, however it is not effective if wet and so requires a good waterproof outer and inner (your hands will sweat in down gloves if it's even remotely above freezing), but when it's very cold it's normally also very dry and so when the temperatures drop to below 20 degrees fahrenheit it is time to consider these as an option.

Canada Goose Glove - Image from Amazon

Synthetic insulators, such as Primaloft, are not far behind down in terms of insulation, plus they continue to work well when wet, therefore you'll often find this material in gloves that will be used in harsh or physical environments such as skiing, cycling and motorcycling.

Glove wearing tip

Try buying a size larger than normal and wearing your gloves with a thin warm glove liner made from silk, you will not only improve the overall insulation, but you also can keep the liner on for tasks where bulkier gloves might prove cumbersome.

Extreme cold weather gloves

Canada Goose Men's Down Glove
Canada Goose Men's Down Glove

Down filled gloves are a luxury for many people, but when you really do need to keep your hands warm in the coldest environments then nothing else will do!

 

Natural Down Insulation

The warmest gloves will have a filling made from goose or sometimes duck down, down is the highest insulating material available but it does come in different grades or "fill power", this relates to how effective the down is at lofting, or expanding to fill the space available, this in turn traps lots of air which is what creates the insulating layer.

Remember not to get down wet or it loses it's insulating properties, in damp climates it might be better to look at man made fillings...

Black Gloves Rothco - Amazon
Black Gloves Rothco - Amazon

Insulated Military Gloves

Designed for use in hostile environments, these need to be tough and also retain some dexterity in the fingers, the gloves pictured are the highest rated with positive comments from those serving in theater right now.

Black Insulated Military Waterproof Cold Weather Gloves - Image from Amazon

The best cold weather gloves for skiing should also be considered....

Outdoor Research Men's Adrenaline Gloves - Image from Amazon

Skiing gloves can be fantastic for cold weather, afterall you don't get to do much skiing when it's too warm to wear gloves! Most are not really designed as extreme cold weather gloves, simply because skiing is quite a high intensity activity, however they are generally waterproof and windproof. Because bulk doesn't matter a huge amount these gloves may not be the best for tasks such as driving, cycling or fishing, but for general walking about in the cold they could well be perfect.

Heated Gloves

Heat Factory Pop-Top Mittens - Image from Amazon

Heated Gloves come in two types, either chemical handwarmer or battery powered. Reviewing heated glove reviews it is very quickly clear that battery powered ones are poorly executed and generally only heat the palm and back of hand rather than the fingers (which is not very helpful if you have Reynauds Disease. Personally I wouldn't bother!

Gloves that have a pouch to hold Grabber Hand Warmers work much better, particularly mitten designs that convert to gloves or fingerless gloves such as the Heat Factory Pop-Top Mittens

Are Cycling Gloves just for Cycling?

Definately not! Cycling Gloves can be a very good choice for cold weather, cyclists fingers can get very cold very quickly due to the windchill, they also cannot be as bulky as cold weather motorcycle gloves or warm ski gloves as the wearer normally needs to be able to shift gears and grab the brake easily.

The Planet Bike Borealis Fall/Winter Full Finger (Large) - Image From Amazon Glove as pictured above is a clever design which provides increased protection for your extermities, while leaving your index and fore fingers free to carry out quite delicate tasks.

USB Heated Gloves
USB Heated Gloves

USB Heated Gloves

USB powered heated gloves are great if you need to work on a laptop or computer in cool or cold environments, especially if you suffer from Reynaud's Disease. They aren't expensive either and the heating element is easily removed for washing which as the bonus of meaning you can transfer the element to another pair of gloves if you so wish.

Black with Stripes USB Heating Warmer Hand Gloves - Image from Amazon

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    • profile image

      SALAMAT ALI 2 years ago

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      MINI LEATHER GLOVES

      LATIFAbAD PACCA GARHA, KASHMIR ROAD, SIALKOT 51310, PAKISTAN

      WEB SITE: www.mini-leather.com

    • profile image

      Cindel 2 years ago

      MILA!!!!!!!!!!We miss you and many students think the maskite in the photo is that there are two extra knees. Is that it?We started making baskets last week. Ms. Griffin and Sydney's mom are working on one for you. Don't worry, they won't finish it. They will teach you and let you do that. Casey wants you to know that it is 1:55 p.m.We were wondering and concluded that the reason you and your family are wearing socks is because the weather is getting colder.Our schedule has been crazy lately because of basket making, Dr. Seuss's birthday, and we are doing our mystery book report projects which are commercials. We are putting our heads inside a real t.v. with the parts taken out that Grace brought in. We are trying to get the other students in our class to read the book we are presenting. It is sooo fun. We have new student council members. They are Matt and Hailey and we started a green team and we now recycle and compost.We have to go now to the garden with Mr. See who you will meet when you get back!Love,Team Griffin

    • Babbages profile image
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      Babbages 4 years ago

      @Orchids11: Thanks for the comment!

    • Orchids11 profile image

      Orchids11 4 years ago

      Great ideas here, as I am heading North soon to visit family, gloves are most certainly needed there.

      Thanks

    • bsalas lm profile image

      bsalas lm 4 years ago

      I've never heard of USB gloves before. What a great ideas!

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 4 years ago from Shanghai, China

      I love the usb heated gloves! What a good idea. In the parts of China where they have no heat the kids all wear gloves to school with no tips on the fingers. But there is a pocket you can pull around half of your hand, like a mitten, when you don't need to have fingers out for writing. It's still pretty cold.

    • profile image

      lionmom100 4 years ago

      My hands are always cold in winter and I have numerous warm gloves. My most useful are the heavy winter garden gloves for when I need to garden in winter. But my latest indulgence is my warm pair of cashmere lined leather gloves. The goosedown gloves look heavenly. Congratulations on the purple star.

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      MaryMitchell 4 years ago

      For someone like me with poor circulation a good pair of gloves is essential - a great choice here, thanks!

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 4 years ago from Concord VA

      Thanks for the great info! I've often wished for gloves to keep my hands warm while using the computer. Congrats on your purple star!

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 4 years ago from Washington KS

      Great variety of info here. Thanks!! I love cold weather and a good pair of gloves is essential.

      Congrats on the purple star.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 4 years ago

      I love my warm gloves in the winter but it rarely gets lower than around minus 7*C where I live. This is a nicely done lens and now featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2013. Hugs

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 4 years ago from Kent, UK

      Very useful information for the recent extra-cold spell we've had here in the UK. I made some mistakes in the gloves I did buy, unfortunately but now I know better. :)

    • profile image

      webgal 4 years ago

      come to Arizona - no gloves!

    • Babbages profile image
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      Babbages 4 years ago

      @WindyWintersHubs: Thanks a lot, means a great deal to get positive comments!

    • Babbages profile image
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      Babbages 4 years ago

      @Rosetta Slone: Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

    • Rosetta Slone profile image

      Rosetta Slone 4 years ago from Under a coconut tree

      I've never worn gloves (I live in a hot climate) but I loved your thorough explanations & tips for which to choose. Very useful.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 4 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Down gloves are indeed a luxury. The insulated military gloves would be a great glove to wear while on the ATV. Thanks for your reviews of these gloves! Congrats on your Purple Star. :)

    • Babbages profile image
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      Babbages 4 years ago

      @shellys-space: You can't beat them in my opinion, thanks for visiting, liking and leaving a comment!

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 4 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      My husband has a pair of down gloves and uses them often while he removes the snow. Congrats on your Purple Star!