Gear-obsessed editors choose every product we review. We may earn commission if you buy from a link. How we test gear.

The Best Winter Gloves for Any Activity

Whether you’re on the ski slope or walking around town, these gloves and mittens will keep your hands from freezing.

best winter gloves
Staff, Courtesy of The Heat Company
About the Expert: Déjà Leonard is a gear tester and journalist based in Alberta, Canada, who has first-hand experience in what apparel can hold up in Canadian winters. She spent nearly 15 years living outside the Rocky Mountains where temperatures can dip as low as −35°F. Over the years, she’s worn and tested a variety of gloves while snowboarding, splitboarding, cross-country skiing, winter hiking, ice skating, and wearing them in everyday settings.

Winter brings cold weather, yes, but also plenty of seasonal fun, whether it’s hitting the slopes, going hiking among the snow-covered trees, skating at an outdoor rink (maybe one you’ve built yourself), or simply getting some fresh, crisp air in between running errands. Whatever your chosen activity, there’s a glove out there for it that will keep you warm. Here’s what you need to know to pick the best winter glove, along with 10 recommended pairs, so you can spend less time researching and more time outside enjoying yourself.

Choosing the Right Type of Glove

Between gloves, mittens, and three-finger gloves, there are a lot of models available. Deciding on your preferred style is a good way to narrow down your search. Here’s what you need to know about each:

  • Mittens: If you don’t need a ton of dexterity, mittens are great for keeping your hands warm because all four of your fingers can share heat in one confined space. The downside is that mittens make it harder to do things like hold ski poles or remove layers.
  • Gloves: Although not as warm as mittens, gloves provide the best dexterity. They’re great for shoveling the front walk, backcountry skiing, and using your phone or other devices while outdoors.
  • Three-finger gloves: Combined in an attempt to provide the best of both worlds, these mittens (also known as trigger mittens or lobster claw gloves) keep you warmer than a traditional glove and provide more freedom of movement than a classic mitten.

You should also consider what extra features you need. Extra-long cuffs help keep out snow if you’re carving lines or otherwise playing in powder, and touchscreen–compatible fingertips let you stay connected and use fitness trackers and other devices.

Heating Up: Why Mittens are Warmer Than Gloves | The Best Ski Gloves | 8 Winter-Ready Work Gloves

Material Concerns

You should also pay attention to insulation, fabric construction, and waterproofing, because these factors affect how warm, durable, and dry a glove will be.

Down insulation is very compressible, durable, and has a higher warmth-to-weight ratio than synthetic alternatives. On the flip side, it can lose effectiveness when wet, and it’s typically more expensive. Synthetic insulation, such as PrimaLoft or 3M’s Thinsulate, is water-resistant and hypoallergenic, but it’s bulkier than down, which can limit range of motion. There are also uninsulated gloves. Because they usually consist of just one layer, they offer excellent dexterity, for activities like lacing up skates. They are also good for layering or wearing during high-intensity activities, like winter running.

Another important factor is shell material, or the fabric on the outside of a glove. Our recommendations include models with leather, polyester, fleece, and nylon exteriors. Here’s a quick look at the pros and cons:

  • Leather is great for its durability and heat-trapping abilities. Because of this, it can be less breathable, making full-leather gloves better for low-intensity activities when you aren’t working up a sweat. Note that gloves that use leather in the palm or fingertips as reinforcement are still quite breathable.
  • Polyester is durable, water-resistant, and slightly stretchy. However, it doesn’t offer much warmth, so the gloves need to be stuffed with a lot of insulation. This material is ideal for a variety of outdoor activities.
  • Fleece, which is a type of polyester, is soft and warm next to skin, especially in the absence of rain or wind. It’s not very water-resistant, so fleece gloves are best for activities where you’ll stay dry or can add another shell over them.
  • Nylon is similar to polyester but typically boasts more durability and water-resistance. Nylon gloves also need a lot of added insulation and are ideal for a variety of winter activities.

Finally, you should examine a glove’s ability to withstand water. Some models have waterproof membranes, such as Gore-Tex, that work by blocking water from entering your gloves while allowing water vapor to pass through small pores in the fabric to boost breathability. Other gloves are treated with a durable water repellent (DWR) coating that creates a water-resistant exterior. Similarly, leather is naturally water-resistant and has a barrier that temporarily prevents water from seeping through.

How We Evaluated

When recommending the best winter gloves, I compared the style, construction, insulation, features, performance, and cost of many models. I’ve been testing gear, including gloves, from different brands for about four years. Along with my own experiences, I considered thousands of reviews from websites like Amazon to help create this guide. No matter how you enjoy (or survive) the cold, there’s a pair or two below that’s right for you.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Carhartt Waterproof Insulated Glove

Key Specs

  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Insulation: Synthetic
  • Shell Material: Polyester and leather

This glove by Carhartt is excellent for casual and work use in above-freezing temperatures because it only has a thin layer of insulation. Wear it for walking, hiking, or even skiing and snowboarding. The soft nose wipe discreetly manages a runny nose, and the waterproof membrane helps keep you dry.

  • Great value

  • Won’t keep you warm much past 32°F
Best for Cool Days
The North Face Denali Etip Glove
The North Face

Key Specs

  • Waterproof: No
  • Insulation: None
  • Shell Material: Fleece

If you're looking for a moderately warm, moisture-wicking glove for everyday use, the Denali Etip delivers. Made from soft fleece, the glove has a silicone gripper palm, a pull tab so it’s easy to get on and off, and Etip functionality so you can use touchscreen devices without removing them. It isn’t water or wind-resistant, so save the Denali for fair-weather days and activities.

  • Touchscreen compatible

  • Not weather-resistant
Heated Gloves
Black Diamond Solano Heated Gloves
Black Diamond

Key Specs

  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Insulation: 170g PrimaLoft Gold synthetic and battery-powered heater
  • Shell Material: Nylon and goat leather

Beat the chill on the hill or in the backcountry with these waterproof heated gloves. The PrimaLoft insulation creates a solid foundation of warmth, which you can supplement by adjusting the three levels of heat using the LED-equipped buttons. The rechargeable battery lasts for six hours on the low setting and stores in a waterproof compartment near your wrist. For convenience, the Solano comes with a carrying case.

  • Warmest option

  • Expensive
  • Heated gloves can interfere with avalanche beacon reception
Best for Mountain Sports
Marmot Unisex Expedition Mitts

Key Specs

  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Insulation: PrimaLoft Gold synthetic
  • Shell Material: Nylon

This mitten was designed with high-altitude pursuits in mind. The soft insulation traps heat yet remains lightweight. Mountain-friendly features include a gauntlet closure to seal out snow and a safety leash so you don’t lose a glove while you’re barreling down the slopes or hiking a line in the backcountry.

  • Long gauntlet to seal out snow
  • Safety leash

  • Pricey
Three-in-One Design
Dakine Diablo Gore-Tex Mitt

Key Specs

  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Insulation: 650-fill down
  • Shell Material: Nylon

The warmest mitt in Dakine’s lineup, the three-piece Diablo comes with a waterproof shell, a removable down mitt, and a touchscreen-compatible liner glove that can be used independently. The shell has a cinch gauntlet to keep out snow and drafts and an elastic wrist leash to keep your gloves on your person if you take a spill on the ski slope. The mitten design does limit movement, but it’s still possible to grip things like ski poles.

  • Versatile design
  • Warm

  • Limited dexterity
Best for Winter Running
Salomon Fast Wing Winter

Key Specs

  • Waterproof: No
  • Insulation: None
  • Shell Material: Polyester

The two-piece Fast Wing is best used for winter running, country skiing, or resort skiing on warmer days. The built-in overmitt unfurls from the wrist to help block wind and repel water thanks to a DWR treatment, while the lightweight glove offers mobility and touchscreen compatibility. A few customers report the seams can wear quickly.

  • Lightweight
  • Overmitt adds insulation on cold days

  • Reports of rips in seams
Best for Winter Cycling
Pearl iZumi AmFib Lobster Gel Glove

Key Specs

  • Waterproof: No
  • Insulation: 170g PrimaLoft Gold synthetic
  • Shell Material: Polyester

Made for deep winter cycling, this water-resistant glove repels rain and snow and blocks wind. The lobster-claw design and gel palm pads make it easy to grip the handlebar and change gears. The company recommends using them for 20 to 35°F weather. Plus, the index finger and thumbs are touchscreen-compatible.

  • Comes with a lifetime manufacturer warranty
  • Touchscreen compatible

  • Not fully waterproof
Three-Finger Glove
Oakley Factory Winter Trigger Mitt 2

Key Specs

  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Insulation: 3M Thinsulate synthetic
  • Shell Material: Leather and nylon

This touchscreen-compatible glove is good for winter cycling, cross-country skiing, or other winter activities where you need more dexterity and the ability to use a smartphone or fitness tracker. The addition of nylon to the mostly leather construction adds a measure of breathability, allowing sweat to evaporate to reduce the chance of frostbite. Plus, it has a fleece cuff with a velcro closure.

  • Affordable

  • Velcro on cuff can snag other materials
Glove-Mitten Combination
Heat 3 Smart
The Heat Company

Key Specs

  • Waterproof: No
  • Insulation: PrimaLoft Gold synthetic
  • Shell Material: Nylon and goat leather

If you like taking photos in extreme weather, need to lace up boots often, or simply don’t want to sacrifice dexterity or warmth, the Heat 3 mitten is for you. It uses a two-layer system that consists of a liner and mitten, and it’s easy to unzip and flip open the thumb and finger flaps so you can use all of your digits and then cover them back up. To keep you extra warm, the Heat 3, which is water- and wind-resistant as well as touchscreen-compatible, has an extra pocket for heat packs.

  • Combines dexterity and insulation

  • Not fully waterproof
  • Expensive
Best for Extreme Cold
Black Diamond Absolute Mitts
Black Diamond

Key Specs

  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Insulation: PrimaLoft Kodenshi synthetic (340g in outer shell and 200g in inner shell)
  • Shell Material: Nylon and goat leather

The Absolute are the warmest mittens Black Diamond makes. Microscopic ceramic pieces ingrained in the PrimaLoft insulation reflect your body heat back to boost warmth. According to the company, the mitten is suitable for temperatures from -40°F to -18°F. The goat leather palm increases durability, and the extra-long cuff with a cinch strap helps trap warmth and keep out snow and rain.

  • Very warm

  • A bit heavy at 15 oz (size medium)
  • Expensive
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below