A good pair of winter gloves can make a world of difference when out in the mountains on a winter adventure – but not all hand-warmers are created equally…
Our top picks – Best winter walking gloves
There are countless options when it comes to navigating the world of the best winter gloves with plenty of options to choose from in each category.
There’s walking/hiking gloves, mountaineering gloves, ski and snowboarding gloves and the list goes on. Then you’ve got the choice of five-finger gloves or mittens and before long, you’ve exhausted yourself with countless options.
It can be a figurative minefield when looking to purchase a good pair of gloves that’ll look after your hands in the winter weather. Thankfully, we’re here to help with exactly what you should be looking for and our top picks of the best winter gloves available today.
What to look for in a pair of winter gloves
Despite their assumed simplicity, there are so many different features that buyers should look for when searching for the best winter gloves.
The fit is without a doubt the most important aspect of a pair of gloves with most good-quality items offering S-XL sizing.
Some gloves will offer women’s sizing as well as men’s, although cheaper options tend to be unisex.
Dexterity is all about how much hand functionality you’ll have when wearing the gloves.
If you’re looking for something super warm, dexterity will likely be sacrificed, but for a general winter glove that doesn’t focus on sub-zero temperatures – dexterity shouldn’t be an issue.
If you’re going to be in and out of backpacks with fiddly zips and grabbing water bottles, high dexterity is the best option. If you’re looking to summit Everest in the winter, low dexterity should be fine.
A cinch strap, located around the wrist and a drawcord at the hem give the majority of the adjustability from a typical winter glove.
Adjustability features such as these are great for keeping your hands nice and toasty, securing each finger in their own little sauna. Not all gloves come with both, but if you’re looking for a heavy-duty handwarmer, it pays to look for adjustability.
There’s not much worse than cold hands in the wind and if your gloves aren’t waterproof, you can expect a world of misery.
Winter weather is typically wet, windy and snowy and ensuring that your gloves have some form of waterproofing element, whether that be material or the membrane.
Gore-Tex is the most popular option, but some manufacturers have created their own materials that are just as good at keeping the wet stuff out.
Insulation is the stuff that keeps your digits warm and can come in several forms (down, fleece or synthetic).
The more insulation packed into a glove, the warmer it will be, but this tends to impact dexterity. Depending on what the buyer is aiming to use the glove for, less insulation may be the best option.
Gloves can come packed with a surprising number of features with, by most accounts, the more the merrier.
Wrist leashes, pre-curved palms and nose wipes (yep, that soft thumb patch for giving your nose a wipe) are all worth tracking down if you can get hold of them.
Warm hands are good, but sweaty hands? Not so much. To prevent that, some gloves offer breathability to add ventilation.
The best gloves keep your hands warm and waterproof when it’s wet, but airy and breathable when it’s dry. Great to prevent the gloves-on, gloves-off dance.
Durability is exactly what it says on the tin and your hand-warmers can really take a beating.
If your winter gloves are used for climbing, clambering or gripping walking poles, durability is going to be a focus to get your money’s worth. Look for tough outer fabrics such as leather and pleather, reinforced palms and rolled fingertips for the top durability.
If you’re constantly checking your phone for updates on Rangefinder, to change your playlist and check the weather forecast, tech-enabled gloves may be for you.
These allow buyers to use their touchscreen devices without degloving and freezing those fingers.
Our top picks winter gloves
Looking for inspiration? Check out our top picks of winter gloves available on the market today!
Extremities – Torres Peak
The Extremities Torres Peak are some of the warmest and most comfortable gloves available on the market today.
- Super warm
- Too warm for some conditions
- Poor dexterity
- Men’s sizes: S-XL
- Women’s sizes: N/A
- Weight 235g (M)
A combination of luxurious high-loft fleece lining and Primaloft insulation makes popping your hands into the Torres Peak gloves a joy.
There’s uber thick padding and a long cuff extends over the wrist, ensuring that wearers experience a “haven of warmth” as they venture into the coldest of environments. Thanks to X Dry technology, wearers will benefit from waterproof, windproof and breathable capabilities, ready for anything that can be thrown at them.
If you’re looking for the warmest of the warm in sub-zero conditions, the Extremities Torres Peak gloves offer the best value of any available today. Do be warned that for slightly warmer trips, the gloves may be too good at their job – you may be better off considering a thinner material.
Montane – Tornado
An impressive minimalist glove built with Gore-Tex to offer top waterproofing and dexterity.
- Great dexterity
- Women’s fit available
- Could be warmer
- Small cuff
- No wrist adjustment
- Men’s sizes: S-XL
- Women’s sizes: XS-L
- Weight 115g (M)
The Montane Tornado gloves aren’t quite as padded as some of the others in our list – but offer perhaps the best dexterity.
Thanks to a lightweight Gore-Tex design, the Tornado gloves are perfect for those days with not-quite-freezing conditions. The minimal 60g of Primaloft Gold insulation proves to be warm enough for most days, but that dexterity that’s permitted with the lighter construction is a must for some wearers.
Those looking to ratch around their backpacks or clamber up rocks in the colder days will do so with ease. Durability is great thanks to a healthy serving of goat leather on the palm and the short cuff tab helps to keep some of the cold out.
The gloves may benefit from a slightly larger cuff or additional wrist tightening strap, but they may be overkill for this level of a glove. Overall, a very capable and affordable pair of winter gloves.
Sealskinz – Waterproof Gloves
The Sealskinz waterproof gloves are a great all-weather glove, reinforced for multiple activities in the cold environments.
- Wrist strap
- Waterproof and breathable
- Only men’s sizes available
- Rated to cold weather only
- Men’s sizes: S-XL
- Women’s sizes: N/A
- Weight 68g (M)
A tough wearing glove designed for adventurous activities in cold weather, the Sealskinz waterproof gloves are an excellent mid-range product.
Buyers will find minimal insulation, allowing for maximum dexterity for winter activities, whether that be cycling, climbing or any other winter activity.
Durability is great thanks to tough materials used on the palm and fingers with an additional index finger feature to allow for touchscreen usage. A wrist strap helps to keep the warm in and the cold out with a breathable, weatherproof construction for all-weather activities.
If you’re looking for something that’s great in extremely cold conditions, this isn’t the glove for you – but for a great-value all-rounder, it’s a very competitive option.
The best winter walking gloves
There you have it, our top picks for the best winter walking gloves on the market for this year.
If you think we’ve missed any off of our list or would like to suggest a super warm pair of hand warmers for us to try, please leave a comment in the section below and we’ll get back to you!
For now, though, enjoy those winter adventures!