Keep Your Hands Warm with the Best Winter Gloves

OUTDOORS

   10.05.21

Keep Your Hands Warm with the Best Winter Gloves

As we transition from the fall to winter season, things are going to start getting bitterly cold in certain parts of the country. Now, if you live in California, Southern Texas, or Florida then I don’t think you have too much to be worried about but I’d still pay attention in case you want to make a Christmas trip out to the Tetons. By far the first thing to get cold on your body is going to be your extremities and that is why it is critical that you keep them warm during cold weather. Let’s take a look at what I think are the best winter gloves available to you for a variety of situations so that you can prepare in advance.

1. IceArmor by Clam Featherlight Waterproof Gloves

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IceArmor by Clam Featherlight Waterproof Gloves

Clam’s Featherlight Waterproof IceArmor gloves feature a 100% polyester outer softshell design but still remain durable and flexible. The Gloves feature a polyurethane palm insert for improved grip control. This means that if you’re handling ski poles, a rifle,  shotgun, or even just trying to keep a hold of your dog’s leash you’ll be good to go. These gloves are very affordable at just under $30 making them one of the most affordable options on this list. The gloves keep your fingers warm by making use of lightweight foam insulation in tandem with snug neoprene cuffs to keep moisture and cold air out.

Pros/Affordable

Cons/Dubious durability (I find that polyester wears quickly)

Bottom Line/Great affordable option for almost any outdoor activity

2. Hot Shot Defender Insulated Gloves

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Hot Shot Defender Insulated Gloves

The Hot Shot Defender insulated gloves are some seriously heavy-duty gloves that can take on some of the coldest and wet conditions your hunting adventures have to offer. Squarely aimed at hunters, the Hot Shot Defenders feature a 40-gram 3M Thinsulate Insulation and a waterproof insert to prevent moisture soak from reaching your hands. Finally, as an added bonus, ProTex touch technology lets you use your smartphone or tablet so you can snap pictures, answer phone calls or read the news while you’re waiting in your deer stand.

Pros/Great insulation, touch screen compatible, waterproof interior

Cons/None

Bottom Line/Great for hunters!

3. The North Face Apex Plus Etip Gloves

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The North Face Apex Plus Etip Gloves

The North Face is one of the biggest names in the game when it comes to outdoor clothing and I’ve personally owned two pairs of the Apex Plus Etip gloves in the past. They are great gloves and offer a decent amount of protection from the elements without being too cumbersome. The gloves are very slim so they don’t offer the best cold weather protection but they do make it much easier to operate touchscreens and the like and they are comfortable and don’t make your hands sweat.

Pros/Lightweight, touch screen compatible, and comfortable

Cons/Not the best cold weather protection, expensive like all other North Face products

Bottom Line/Great for use around the garage or when you anticipate operating touch screens often.

4. Mechanix ColdWork Original Gloves

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Mechanix ColdWork Original Gloves

Mechanix gloves are some of my favorite gloves that I have in my collection and I probably have at least 5 different pairs of them. Mechanix gloves are the go-to glove for people who want to get work done and the ColdWork gloves combine the legendary durability of the Mechanix brand and combine them with 3M Thinsulate synthetic down insulation to bring you an affordable, comfortable, and durable winter work glove that won’t let you down.

Pros/Durable, Affordable and uses Good insulation

Cons/None

Bottom Line/Great for working out in cold conditions

5. ActionHeat AA Featherweight Gloves

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ActionHeat AA Featherweight Gloves

Action heat makes a whole lineup of battery-operated winter apparel but the Featherweight gloves seem to be the most desired out of their entire lineup. The AA battery-powered gloves give you a maximum temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit on the palms which means you can stay outside for longer and keep your hands toasty. The gloves are also weather-resistant meaning that water or snow won’t make your hands damp or ruin the gloves. 3 AAA batteries in each glove will give you enough power to heat your hands for up to 4 hours and the adjustable gauntlet straps will keep the cold air out.

Pros/Produces heat rather than just reatining it

Cons/Uses batteries

Bottom Line/Great if you really want to keep your hand warm in the coldest of temperatures

6. KUIU Expedition Glove – Editor’s Pick

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KUIU Expedition Glove - Editor's Pick

It’s winter about half the year where I live.  I take my glove selection seriously, and KUIU has never let me down with theirs.  A warm, durable, breathable, and totally waterproof glove made with premium materials, KUIU always puts out heavy duty snivel gear and the Expedition is no exception.  The wool blend lining and Primaloft insulation keeps the warmth in, a seamless waterproof HDry membrane and neoprene cuff keeps the water and snow out, and Pittards Oiltac material helps you get a grip on all your gear.  Even the shell material has been designed around not getting wet, as Toray’s Primeflex material doesn’t take up water.  If your hands happen to get hot during intense activity, the HDry membrane is breathable as well.  In short, these gloves are built for serious comfort and performance.

Pros/Waterproof and durable. Premium materials, made for serious outdoor use.

Cons/Premium materials and construction comes at a premium price

Bottom Line/A buy once, cry once piece of gear that you won’t regret having on hand if you need bomb-proof winter gloves

Be aware of frostbite

Frostbite is a condition caused by freezing the skin and tissue, most often affecting the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes. You can avoid it by covering up and protecting your extremities when exposed to sub-freezing temperatures. According to the Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms of frostbite include:

  • At first, cold skin and a prickling feeling
  • Numbness
  • Red, white, bluish-white or grayish-yellow skin
  • Hard or waxy-looking skin
  • Clumsiness due to joint and muscle stiffness
  • Blistering after rewarming, in severe cases

It can lead to tissue death when the blood flow to that tissue ceases for a long enough time. This dead tissue, if not properly and quickly treated can cause death due to gangrene.

Sound scary? It should. Frostbite is very common for outdoor enthusiasts in winter, although mild cases are the norm. This is why winter gloves are so important, along with hats, boots, jackets and more. Cover up and protect yourself.

What type of gloves are best for winter?

While most of you will be wearing leather gloves for work most of the year, leather is a very poor insulator and thus makes for a poor winter glove. Any glove that features insulation of any type will be great and wool gloves do a great job of this. Personally, anything that is running 3M’s Thinsulate insulation will be good down to freezing temperatures.

I have winter gloves but they don’t work. What’s wrong?

A lot of people overlook one of the most important aspects of keeping your hands warm – good fitting gloves. Gloves that are too large will easily let cold air inside and defeat any insulating the gloves are doing. As a general rule, winter gloves should be snug but still allow you to freely move your digits or your hands.

Do Fingerless gloves work well for winter?

Fingerless gloves are great in our modern age for using touch screen-equipped devices or for tasks that require more dexterity. I personally am not fond of having anything on my fingers when I’m shooting or hunting but in the same beat, your fingers are also the first thing to be susceptible to frostbite. If you’re going to run a pair of fingerless gloves, it’s probably best to grab a pair where the fingers can be at least covered when you’re not actively engaged in using them for more dextrous tasks.

About the Author

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Luke is currently a full-time writer for TheFirearmBlog.com, OvertDefense.com, AllOutdoor.com, and of course, OutdoorHub.com. Luke is a competitive shooter, firearms enthusiast, reloader, outdoorsman, and generally takes an interest in anything that has to do with the great outdoors.
Luke is also a private certified pilot and is currently pursuing his commercial pilot’s license in the hopes of becoming a professional pilot. Some of Luke’s other interests include anything to do with aviation, aerospace and military technology, and American Conservancy efforts.
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