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10 Best Thermal Gloves for Your Winter Adventures

Whether you’re taking a cold weather walk, skiing, hiking, or ice-climbing, we've rounded up the best thermal gloves to keep your digits toasty.

winter adventure gloves
Staff, Courtesy of Arc'teryx

Having the right thermal gloves when you’re embarking on a winter adventure can make all the difference between an exciting day and a miserable one. Winter gloves need to do more than just keep your hands warm, they also need to ensure that your hands don’t get too wet, but without adding so much bulk to your mitts that they impede your dexterity.

Today’s thermal gloves are more advanced than ever, with some even using insulation based on technology developed by NASA, making them lighter in weight while providing more warmth and better breathability. The lighter, warmer thermal gloves on the market make tackling your favorite outdoor activities easier than their bulky and outdated counterparts so you don’t feel like you’re trying to grip your ski poles or ice tools through a thick layer of foam.

Still, as any winter adventurer can attest, a long day out in cold weather may mean you want to bring a few pairs of gloves suited for different activities, so it’s good to have some variety.

What to Consider

When you’re looking for thermal gloves, the most important thing to consider is which activities you plan to use them for and the weather conditions you expect to use them in. For instance, you wouldn’t want to wear a pair of thin fleece gloves on a day when it’s well below freezing and you’re spending a significant period of time outdoors. Conversely, unless you have particularly poor circulation, you probably wouldn't want a pair of gloves intended for subfreezing mountaineering when you’re out for a late autumn hike and temperatures are in the 50s.

Looking for more winter gear? Check out our guides to the best winter coats, winter work gloves, and flannel pajamas for men.

After you know how and when you’ll be using your gloves, other factors you'd be wise to take into consideration are whether they're wind and waterproof, how much insulation is needed for what you’ll be using them for, and how they affect your manual dexterity. While many lighter-weight gloves are treated with a touchscreen-compatible coating, most of the heavily insulated gloves we tested weren’t.

How We Selected

There are hundreds of great gloves out there. We selected the best thermal gloves based on personal use as well as reviews from both customers and other expert sites. We’ve taken these gloves to the tops of mountains, ice-climbing in below-freezing weather, into the backcountry, and used them for all manner of fun and work.

We considered best uses for each of these gloves and how they affected our dexterity (how easy was it to tie into a harness while wearing them, for instance), as well as the materials they're made of, from their palms to the insulation and weatherproofing technologies that were used or not used in them. We also considered extra features like extended cuffs, glove leashes, closures, and touchscreen compatibility, among others.

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1
Best for Tech Use
MidWeight ScreenTap Gloves
Black Diamond rei.com
$39.95

Key Specs

  • Weight Per Pair: 42 g
  • Material: Polartec Power Stretch nylon fleece
  • Touchscreen-Compatible: Yes
  • Insulation: Polartec
  • Waterproof: No
  • Windproof: No
  • Sizes: XS-XXL

The Black Diamond Midweight ScreenTap Fleece Gloves are soft-shell gloves ideal for warmer winter days, as well as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, skinning uphill, hiking, or just wearing around town. As is the case with any soft-shell fleece glove, these may not last as long as thicker gloves, but they're definitely a versatile option for everyday adventures where you want breathability without sacrificing warmth.

The ScreenTaps have some of the best touchscreen compatibility we’ve seen and still work well after multiple washings over multiple seasons. The leather palm adds grip and durability for holding trekking or ski poles.

  • Touchscreen-compatible

  • Not waterproof
  • Not windproof
2
Most Inclusive Sizing
Etip Recycled Gloves
The North Face rei.com
$45.00

Key Specs

  • Weight Per Pair: N/A
  • Material: Polyester
  • Touchscreen-Compatible: Yes
  • Insulation: No
  • Waterproof: No
  • Windproof: No
  • Sizes: Men: XS-XXL, Women: XS-L, Youth: S-L 

The North Face made their Etip gloves even better by making them out of 93 percent recycled polyester. Etip gloves are a year-in-year-out favorite of adventures who aren’t afraid to get out on snowy days. 

These gloves are ideal for chilly runs and hikes, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and uphill adventures. They are incredibly dexterous and the silicone patterns on the palms of these gloves give them gecko-like stickiness, making it easy to take the perfect mountain selfie. With five-way stretch and fleece lining, these are comfortable everyday gloves that excel in the backcountry.

  • Made of recycled material
  • Touchscreen-compatible

  • Not waterproof
  • Not windproof
  • Not insulated
3
Best Windproof Gloves
Essence Gloves
Gordini skis.com
$39.99

Key Specs

  • Weight Per Pair: 68 g (for men's medium)
  • Material: Polyester
  • Touchscreen-Compatible: Yes
  • Insulation: No
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Windproof: Yes
  • Sizes: Men: S-XL 

This new triple-layer soft-shell glove is vegan, windproof, waterproof, and stretchy. While breathable, it’s warmer than other soft-shell gloves we’ve tried, making it an ideal glove for uphill workouts and cross-country skiing on cold days when a fleece glove isn’t warm enough. 

They feature a touchscreen-compatible index finger and have a textured palm and fingers for gripping, making them ideal for holding onto anything from tree limbs and axe handles to trekking poles. We did notice some water seeping through seams when held underwater, but not through the fabric body.

  • Waterproof
  • Windproof
  • Vegan
  • Touchscreen-compatible

  • Not insulated
4
Best for Using Tools
Stoney Gloves
Mammut amazon.com
$99.00

Key Specs

  • Weight Per Pair: 180 g
  • Material: Polyester/Goatskin/Polyamide/Spandex
  • Touchscreen-Compatible: No
  • Insulation: PrimaLoft recycled polyester
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Windproof: Yes
  • Sizes: 5-12 (EU Sizing)

A durable goatskin-palmed glove with ample dexterity and a lot of stretch and breathability built in, the Mammut Stoney Glove works for practically any winter activity.

The gloves' articulated fingers fit well around the handle of an ice axe and the pinkie seams don’t interfere with hanging on an ice tool. With a short cuff and hook-and-loop closure, they also fit well under a coat. Removable glove leashes ensure that you don’t drop them even if you take them off. 

  • Waterproof
  • Windproof

  • Not touchscreen-compatible
  • Expensive
5
Best Waterproof Gloves
282 Atlas TEMRES Insulated Gloves
Showa amazon.com
$26.95
$19.75 (27% off)

Key Specs: 

  • Weight Per Pair: 59 g
  • Material: Rubber
  • Touch-Screen Compatible: No
  • Insulation: Insulated acrylic liner
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Windproof: Yes
  • Sizes: M-XXL

The bright blue Showa Temres 282 (also sold as Atlas 282) is a Japanese fishing glove—no really!—that ice climbers and backcountry adventurers have a cultish love for. They’re insulated, light, and grippy. 

While absolutely waterproof, they’re only somewhat breathable, and on warmer days, this may make them uncomfortable for some wearers. Sizing of the gloves runs small, so many people choose to go up a size when buying them. While the Amazon seller we've selected only offers these gloves in size large, other sellers offer them in medium, extra-large, and extra-extra-large sizes.

  • Inexpensive
  • Waterproof

  • Not touchscreen compatible
  • Limited size range
6
Best for Serious Adventurers
Punisher Gloves
Black Diamond rei.com
$119.95

Key Specs

  • Weight Per Pair: 145 g
  • Material: Nylon/Goatskin/Spandex/Polyester/TPU
  • Touchscreen-Compatible: No
  • Insulation: PrimaLoft Gold
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Windproof: Yes
  • Sizes: XS-XXL

These breathable ice-climbing-specific gloves are great for long days on the falls in freezing conditions. With fingers pre-curved for hanging on ice tools and a no-seam construction on the pinky, these gloves are surprisingly dexterous, considering their warmth. The articulated fingers also make them great for downhill skiing on cold days and epic alpine climbs in the winter, as well. 

A TPU patch over the knuckles protects the fabric from falling or chipping ice. The slim cuff secures with a hook-and-loop strap and fits under the cuff of jackets easily. Loops on the glove fingers are designed to clip easily to a carabiner when not worn.

  • Waterproof
  • Windproof

  • Not touchscreen-compatible
  • Expensive
7
Best for Sub-Zero Conditions
BitterBlaze Gloves
Outdoor Research amazon.com
$139.95

    Key Specs

    • Weight Per Pair: 159 g
    • Material: Nylon/Spandex/Goat Leather/Polyester
    • Touchscreen-Compatible: No
    • Insulation: Aerogel/Primaloft
    • Waterproof: Yes
    • Windproof: Yes
    • Sizes: Women: S-L, Men: S-XL  

    When Outdoor Research developed the BitterBlaze glove, they turned to aerogel, a material that NASA used to insulate the space shuttle and astronauts’ space suits from extreme heat and cold, as well as using it to collect space dust

    In the BitterBlaze, Outdoor Research places this wonder material in the palm and finger pads of the glove, adding insulation without much thickness. That creates a dexterous ice-climbing glove for sub-freezing conditions. 

    To minimize sweating, Primaloft insulation is included on the back of the glove. The slightly articulated fingers make it easy to grasp ice tools and other alpine equipment. Carabiner loops on the fingers make clipping the gloves when not wearing them simple. The hook-and-loop cuff closure ensures they are easily secured under jacket cuffs. While these are comfortable gloves, some have found the fingers a bit long, which can impact dexterity.

    • Waterproof
    • Windproof

    • Not touchscreen-compatible
    • Expensive
    8
    Hard to Lose
    RadiantX Gloves
    Outdoor Research rei.com
    $115.00

    Key Specs

    • Weight Per Pair: 206 g
    • Material: Nylon/Spandex/Polyester/Goat Leather/Polyurathane 
    • Insulation: 2X 40G Heiq XReflex
    • Touchscreen-Compatible: Yes
    • Insulation: HeiQ XReflex/Recycled polyester
    • Waterproof: Yes
    • Windproof: Yes
    • Sizes: XS-XL

    New for winter 2021/22, Outdoor Research’s RadiantX gloves are insulated with HeiQ Reflex, which uses an aluminum coating on the insides of the fabric to reflect more heat while remaining breathable. It results in a lighter, thinner glove that’s still fit for tough winter alpine adventures in below freezing temperatures while remaining dexterous enough to thread that double figure eight on your harness. 

    The gauntlet-style gloves have an elastic cinch at the wrist for securing over jacket cuffs and dual straps to secure the glove on the wrist. The gloves also have removable elasticized leashes and a carabiner loop on the finger, both of which help ensure you don’t lose them when you take them off. Also available as a mitt.

    • Waterproof
    • Windproof
    • Touchscreen-compatible
    • Multiple loss-prevention features

    • Limited size range
    • Expensive
    9
    Best for Skiiers
    GTX Storm Trooper II Gloves
    Gordini amazon.com
    $69.99
    $62.99 (10% off)

    Key Specs

    • Weight Per Pair: 255 g
    • Material: Nylon/Spandex/Goat Leather
    • Touchscreen-Compatible: No
    • Insulation: Megaloft synthetic insulation
    • Waterproof: Yes
    • Windproof: Yes
    • Sizes: Men: S-XXL

    These warm gloves perform as well as many more expensive options on the market. They’re durable enough for alpine adventures and kept wearers warm as temperatures dipped into the teens, even without putting a heat pack in the zippered pouches on the back of the glove. 

    Primarily a ski glove, they are slightly less dexterous than other gloves, but the textured, grippy palms still work well for mountaineering and ice-climbing. They are full-featured with a gauntlet cuff and removable leash. The gloves also feature a wrist cinch to help keep them in place. Also available as mittens.

    • Waterproof
    • Windproof

    • Limited size range
    • Not touchscreen-compatible
    10
    Most Durable
    Fission SV Gloves
    Arc'teryx rei.com
    $199.00

    Key Specs

    • Weight Per Pair: 220 g
    • Material: Nylon/Elastane/Goat leather
    • Touchscreen-Compatible: Yes
    • Insulation: PrimaLoft Silver and Gold
    • Waterproof: Yes
    • Windproof: Yes
    • Sizes: XS-XL

    Arc'teryx Fission SV gloves (the SV stands for severe weather versatility) certainly live up to their name. They're extremely versatile cold-weather gloves fit for any alpine adventure: skiing, snowshoeing, ice-climbing, mountaineering, snowmobiling, or any other winter fun you might get up to. 

    Generous amounts of stretchy fabric help these gloves breathe well, and they're among the warmest gloves out there without a heating element. Their stretchiness also means these gloves are also very dexterous, and wearers and reviewers alike praise their durability. The gauntlets on the gloves have a cinch on the cuff to keep snow out and can be worn over a jacket’s cuffs. 

    The Fission gloves also have a leash and a carabiner loop on the finger to keep you from losing them if you have to take them off.

    • Touchscreen-compatible
    • Waterproof
    • Windproof

    • Expensive
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