Best Winter Gloves Reviewed 2022/23 - Outdoors Magic

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Best Winter Gloves Reviewed 2022/23

A must-have for safe hiking and scrambling in the chilly months - here's a round-up of our favourite gloves to keep you warm this winter, including options from Montane, Sealskinz, Haglöfs and many more...

Winter gloves are a crucial part of any kit list as the weather gets colder. Never mind if you’re hiking, running, mountaineering or something in between, it’s important to keep your hands warm and dry.

You can quickly lose the use of your fingers to cold or – in an extreme worst case scenario – lose pieces of them to frost bite. Hopefully you’ll never get anywhere near that, but it’s the least we can do to make sure we’re still able to look after ourselves in the mountains. That means having functioning hands. It’s always nice to avoid hot aches where possible too.

What To Look For When Buying Winter Gloves

There are a few things to consider when buying winter gloves. The first is simple: what are you going to use them for? If you’re going to be stationary for a long time in a cold environment, you’ll want thicker gloves. If you’re going to be moving fast, you will be producing more body heat and can generally get away with a thinner glove. There are all sorts of weights (warmth levels) of glove here: from thin softshell liners to bracing the weather at 8000m.

For hands-on activities, like winter mountaineering with one or tow ice axes, you’ll want very different gloves to, say, a winter trail runner. Winter gloves need to have good grip and durability if you’re going to be holding technical kit. No one wants to have an ice axe slip out of their hands at a crucial moment. Nor do you want to worry about making holes in your gloves due to abrasion from rocks or ropes. 

Related: Winter Hiking Advice | How To Be Well Prepared and Safe in Cold Conditions

Another consideration is just how much precipitation you’re expecting. As much as we’d like to imagine winter as pristine snow conditions and blue skies, the reality is often much more brutal (Scotland we’re looking at you). There could be horizontal hail, damp snow or even torrential downpour. So consider if you need your gloves to be waterproof. If you’re most likely to be in very damp places, maybe even without snow, in the colder months of the year, you might find it essential. 

SHOP WINTER GLOVES ON  

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A Winter Gloves Fitting Guide

In terms of fit, the biggest consideration is dexterity, including whether or not to choose a women’s specific fit. We’d encourage you not to think about that as a boy/girl blue/pink kind of decision. If you have slimmer hands, regardless of gender, it’s worth considering a women’s fit glove. The main difference is width of hand relative to finger length. Unisex gloves could leave you with extra folds of fabric between thumb and forefinger, which frankly get in the way. Or maybe mean you have an extra half a fingernail of space at the end of each finger. This can be fine until you’re trying to put on a pair of crampons in a snowstorm. Basically, women’s fit is definitely worth considering for people with long and narrow hands.

Related: What Is Ice Climbing? Everything You Need To Know

On dexterity, if you just want a pair of gloves to keep your hands from falling off in the cold, that’s fine. But if you want to be able to use your hands – do up zips, unscrew carabiners or even take photos, then fit becomes all the more important. Definitely measure your hands (usually circumference of knuckles and length finger to wrist) and compare to the size guide before purchasing. It can be a pain to keep taking gloves on and off, even if you are wearing liner gloves underneath.

Finally, consider whether you want your gloves to fit over or under the sleeves of your waterproof jacket. This may sound silly, but some gloves have huge, sturdy cuffs that won’t fit under a slimline sleeve. That means if you’re walking in the rain, for example, then all that water will run down your coat sleeve and pool inside your gloves. Big cuffs are great in drier situations, or where all precipitation is frozen – and when you can expect to have your hands above waist height. For instance climbing up a gully with ice axes. 

The Best Winter Gloves | Our Favourites

  • Montane Prism Women’s Glove
  • Sealskinz Extreme Cold Weather Insulated Glove with Fusion Control™
  • Extremities Capitol Peak
  • Mountain Equipment Women’s Guide Glove
  • Berghaus Hillmaster Infinium
  • The North Face Montana Utility ETIP™
  • Rab Ridge
  • Haglöfs Bow
  • Norrøna lofoten Gore-Tex thermo100 Short
  • Black Diamond Mercury Mitt

Montane Prism Glove

Price: £50
Weight: 55g
Best for: Ultralight
Key attributes: Warmth, packable
Sizing: Men’s and Women’s versions 

The Montane Prism Gloves are like an insulated jacket for your hands. Made with PrimaLoft Gold insulation, they are ideal for runners or anyone moving fast and light – unsurprisingly for Montane. Given the outer fabric is Pertex, so the gloves are mostly composed of insulation, they pack down into an impressively tiny stuff sack, provided. The gloves have a thin mircofleece lining and touch screen patches on forefinger and thumb. There is elastication at the wrists and at the end of the medium length cuff. These are a snug fit (in women’s), which is great for dexterity, but made it a little difficult to get them on with cold, damp hands.

The gloves have no reinforcements and aren’t designed for heavy abrasion – the insulated jacket analogy is a good one. They’re perfect for the moment you stop moving and want to retain your body heat as quickly as possible. We found them perfect for throwing on at camp to keep your hands toasty but are probably too warm for many to wear when working hard. 

Full Specifications

Sizes XS – L Women’s, S – XL Men’s / Incredibly lightweight and packable / 60g/m2 Primaloft Gold 55% recycled insulation / Touch screen compatible / Pre-curved digits / Elasticated wrist / Pertex Quantum Eco 100% recycled outer with DWR.

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Sealskinz Extreme Cold Weather Insulated Glove with Fusion Control

Price: £95
Weight: 149g
Best for: Wet weather
Key attributes: Waterproofness
Sizing: Unisex

Sealskinz have made their name as the go to brand for waterproofing. These Sealskinz Extreme Cold Weather insulated gloves are no exception – and it’s safe to say their key feature is their waterproofing. Pretty much everything else comes across as secondary. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, because if you need to deal with wet winter weather, these could be the gloves for you.

The gloves are constructed with a polyester outer, upper insulation and leather palm. Sealskinz’s trademarked Fusion Control technology basically means that both the outer and liner are bonded to the waterproof membrane and feel completely connected. So there is zero chance of you pulling out the inner lining as you take the glove off (which used to be a feature of waterproof gloves way back when). The fabrics are tough yet still flexible enough for good dexterity and a fairly snug fit. However, the lining is not particularly soft to touch. The wrist can be adjusted using a velcro cuff strap and a mini clip allows the gloves to be paired when not in use. It’s also worth noting that, according to the label, these gloves cannot be washed – so keep that in mind before you trip face first into a bog.

In all, these are the ideal gloves for when keeping your hands dry is the priority. 

Full Specifications

Sizes S – XXL / 100% waterproof fabric / Primaloft Gold Bio Insulation / Pre-curved fingers / Leather palm / Inner layer 84% Merino wool / Fusion Control bonding between inner and outer layers.

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Extremities Capitol Peak Glove

Price: £70
Weight: 228g
Best for: Extreme weather
Key attributes: Warmth, durability
Sizing: Unisex

The Extremites Capitol Peak Glove is another big winter glove, designed for the coldest of weather. But we can’t go any further without talking about the lining – the most luxurious our testers had ever come across. If this lining was a blanket, you’d be constantly stroking in or spending a dismal Sunday afternoon wrapped inside it: putting your hands inside this glove feels a million dollars. On the flip side, this fluffy polyester fabric may be simply too warm for some.

Photos: Terra Nova

The palms have PU fabric reinforcement that extends up and over the tips of the fingers. It is also doubly reinforced between the index finger and thumb where a rope might pass through and rub. There is an elasticated wrist with a big compression strap and a long cuff. These cuffs can be cinched in at the bottom too, using the elasticated cord and toggle. A connecting clip means you don’t accidentally lose one glove when storing.

Overall, a very comfortable, very warm glove that is still completely practical for hands-on outdoor use.

Full Specifications

Sizes S – XL / Primaloft Gold Eco insulation / PU palm / 100% polyester outer and inner fabric / Extremities X-Dry fabric gives waterproof and breathable protection.

BUY NOW: TERRA-NOVA.CO.UK

 

Mountain Equipment Women’s Guide Glove

Price: £65
Weight: 150g
Best for: Mountaineering
Key attributes: Hard-wearing, dexterity
Sizing: Men’s and Women’s versions

The Mountain Equipment Guide Glove, pictured in women’s, are what you might call your Big Gloves. The ones that come out when the weather’s grim and you need to work with your hands on ropes and ice axes or rock. The gloves are made with a polyamide shell which feels tough and durable. Goatskin leather palms, that continues to round over the ends of the fingers, provide durable reinforcement. The lining is soft and warm with a thin fleece to palm and a fluffier fleece on top.

The large cuffs are elasticated at the wrist for a snug fit and have an elasticated draw cord at the bottom. We particularly appreciated the single-hand operation toggles. The cuffs also have a small hidden loop each to help you pull the gloves on with cold or damp hands. You could use them to attach the gloves together to a carabiner but there is also a finger carry loop, allowing the gloves to be hooked cuff-down onto a harness so snow doesn’t accumulating inside. It’s details like this, and the suede patch on the back of each thumb for nose wiping, that show the Mountain Equipment Guide Gloves have been developed with a true understanding of the end user.

These gloves have good dexterity, as well as being durable and waterproof, making them an excellent choice for winter mountaineering.

Full Specifications

Sizes S – XXL in both Men’s and Women’s / DRYLITE waterproof lining is waterproof and breathable / Polyamide shell and leather palm / Karabiner carry loops / Removable wrist tethers / Reversed suede nose wipe / Pre-curved fingers / Single handed drawcord closure.

BUY NOW: MOUNTAIN-EQUIPMENT.CO.UK

 

Berghaus Hillmaster Infinium Glove

Price: £40
Weight: 65g
Best for: Breathability
Key attributes: Windproof
Sizing: Unisex

The Berghaus Hillmaster Infinium Gloves are durable softshell gloves with a thin microfleece lining.  It’s a bit more advanced than just a one-piece softshell glove. The fabric is cut and shaped into multiple panels to get a good unisex fit, although it is quite a loose fit compared to others in test. We put this down to the small range of sizing options. The GoreTex Infinium softshell fabric had some stretch in it and the reinforced strip across the palm is a nice addition.

The fore finger and thumb are touch screen compatible, while other finger tips have the same stiffer reinforced polyester material as across the palm. A mini clip at the wrist keeps the gloves in a pair.

Overall these are a solid choice for a thinner weight glove. They aren’t trying to be something they’re not, but they’ll pack in as many useful features as they can.

Full Specifications

Sizes S-M or L-XL / Gore-Tex Infinium softshell outer fabric / Touch-screen compatible / Reinforced palm / Free repairs for life at Berghaus’ Repairhaus.

BUY NOW: BERGHAUS.COM

The North Face Montana Utility Etip Glove

Price: £50
Weight: 170g
Best for: Hiking Poles / Alpine ski
Key attributes: Warmth
Sizing: Men’s and Women’s versions

The North Face Montana Utility Etip are really chunky gloves. Designed perhaps with more of the skiing and snowsports market in mind, some finer dexterity has been lost in exchange for more warmth. You’ll have no trouble holding hiking poles – in fact the glove shape is perfect for them –  but would find putting on crampons more cumbersome. The gloves are made of DWR treated polyester with reinforced faux leather palms that have a central slit, allowing the glove to bend more easily. There is a thick layer of upper insulation over the back of the hand particularly over the knuckles. This does give it something of a resemblance to a boxing glove if you make a fist. The inner lining is made from recycled polyester fleece.

There is an elasticated wrist and snug, fully elasticated cuff with a handy loop to help pull the gloves on or act as an attachment point. Each comes with a simple wrist leash: a red toggled cord that can be easily removed if you don’t want to use it. The soft patch on the back of the thumb is prime nose-wiping territory. You can also use a touch screen with the Etip technology on forefinger finger and thumb. A small clip at the wrists allows the gloves to be easily paired together when not in use. 

These are warm and waterproof winter gloves for people who’d prefer more insulation and warmth to finer dexterity.

Full Specifications

Sizes XS – L in Women’s, S – XXL in Men’s / DryVent waterproof insert / HeatseekerEco 180g insulation / 100% recycled polysester non-PFC DWR finish outer / Faux leather palm / Touch screen compatible / Progressive pre-curvature shape.

BUY NOW: THENORTHFACE.CO.UK

 

Rab Ridge Glove

Price: £38
Weight: 110g
Best for: All-rounder
Key attributes:
Sizing: Men’s and Women’s versions

The Rab Ridge Gloves are a mid-weight, sturdy glove for multiple outdoor activities. The outer is a knitted construction, made of a polyester-wool mix, with a fleece lining and reinforced leather palm. Although they are not waterproof, they make a good all-round winter glove that can be used for hiking through to single axe winter routes on drier days. The stretchy ribbing gives a flexible fit – and you could probably err on the side of smaller if you are near the boundary of two sizes. Knitted cuffs also enable a snug and warm fit around the wrist. 

Little extras, like the tiny popper to keep the gloves together as a pair when storing and the touch screen finger points, are a nice touch. Overall, the Rab Ridge Gloves are a practical and functional glove that looks good and could suit a wide range of winter activities.

Full Specifications

Sizes S – XL in Men’s and Women’s / 432g/m2 63% polyester, 23% wool outer fabric / wind and water resistant outer / fleece lined inner / leather quilted palm / touch screen compatible / boxwall finger construction / stretch insulated low bulk cuff.

BUY NOW: RAB.EQUIPMENT

 

Haglöfs Bow Glove

Price: £70
Weight: 50g
Best for: Running or all-round liner
Key attributes: Snug fit
Sizing: Unisex

The Haglöfs Bow Gloves are a lightweight pair of gloves, providing less warmth than thicker counterparts that have appeared in this round up. The simplest and most minimal gloves in this guide, they are made of a GoreTex Infinium brushed-fleece fabric. The palm has been printed with a silicone ridge patter for extra grip. These are lines are surprisingly sticky and add a lot of gripping power to the glove. The bonded inner and outer feels like a single skin glove, with good windproofing capability – the fabric is robust although not particularly soft.

The forefinger and thumb have conductive tips giving touch screen capability. Although the material here is very slippery and makes a crinkling noise when moved, so there is some compromise for being able to your gadgets. Despite being unisex, the gloves have a very snug fit – you really do need the cuff loops to help pull them on. But once they are on, you have great dexterity – its designed to be like a second skin and that really does deliver. You won’t risk pulling these off under another glove or let any cold air get in while you’re wearing them.

These gloves would be great for people moving fast in the winter mountains or as a liner glove under some thicker gloves or mitts.

Full Specifications

Sizes 6 – 11 / GORE-TEX Infinium 100% Polyester, two thin warming Micro-Fleece layers laminated to a Windstopper ePTFE membrane 319 g/m2 / anatomical fit / touch screen compatible /  grip enhancing silicone print.

BUY NOW: HAGLOFS.COM

Norrøna Lofoten Gore-Tex Thermo100 short Gloves

Price: £169
Weight: 156g
Best for: Mountaineering
Key attributes: Durability
Sizing: Unisex

Norrøna’s Lofoten Gore-Tex Thermo 100 gloves are medium weight gloves that are designed to take a lot of abrasion. The entire hand and most of the back hand are made of leather, treated with a waterproof DWR coating. They are your winter equivalent of rope gloves and definitely have a work glove look about them. That’s not to say they aren’t insulated too: the inner lining is a soft and warm polyester fabric.

The cuffs are a fairly thin and flexible lined softshell material, adjusted at the wrist with a velcro strap. There are useful leashes – that can be removed when not in use – made of a single elastic tape and loop that goes around your wrist. We found this to a comfortable solution. There is a small pairing clip at the wrists and a leather loop on a finger for carrying, plus a generous suede nose wiping pad on the back of each thumb.

Full Specifications

Sizes XS – XL / DWR treated Pittard goat leather and softshell outer with GoreTex lining / suede nose wipe / seamless palm / velcro cuffs / removable leashes.

BUY NOW: NORRONA.COM

 

Black Diamond Mercury Mitt

Price: £110
Weight: 268g
Best for: Mountaineering
Key attributes: Flexibility of use, durability
Sizing: Men’s and Women’s

The Black Diamond Mercury Mitts are gloves that can take the worst that the weather has to offer. And yes – they are mittens, so you don’t have the dexterity of independent fingers, but they are still surprisingly dextrous for that. Better still, you almost get two pairs of gloves for one. The thick inner liner can be entirely removed from the rugged outer shell, via a circle of velcro in the cuff. Once removed, this Primaloft and fleece lining is a mitten in its own right, leaving a separate waterproof shell mitten. This shell could be used as an extra weather barrier over another pair of mountaineering gloves, for example, not just with the liner as sold. It’s easy to get the liner back in place too.

Related: Best Mountaineering Gloves

Together, the liner doesn’t move or wrinkle and is both very warm and comfortable. The entire front of hand and over the fingertips is reinforced with leather – with extra reinforcement on top of that in the arch between thumb and index finger for ropework. The cuffs are extra long too, going out beyond the end of the liner with a single-hand toggle closure at the end. This again gives more flexibility – allowing the cuffs to potentially seal under a jacket sleeve, not just over it.  

These are the perfect mitts to pull on when the weather is throwing it all at you, but you still need to use your hands for basic functions and stay warm. They’re also high up the list on our all-rounder rating for this review. Having the fully detachable lining makes them very versatile and adaptable to many uses. 

Full Specifications

Sizes XS – XL / BD.dry waterproof insert and GTT Empel DWR treated shell (PWC free) / 100% recycled shell fabrics / up to 170 g PrimaLoft Gold insulation / removable inner liner / attachment loop / suede nose wipe on thumbs.

BUY NOW: BLACKDIAMONDEQUIPMENT.COM

 

 

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