UPDATED 01/11/18: This post has been diligently updated to reflect the best advice around cold weather gloves to help you fight off frost bite this Winter Season
Cold Weather Gloves
Are you going to be in -18F Weather or lower?
Our Recommendation for Best Gloves for Freezing Temperatures is the Black Diamond Absolute Mitts Cold Weather Gloves (We provide our reasoning/review below)
After rigorous field testing and analyzing options for this pain-in-the-rear product search, we ultimately decided on our recommendation. The Extreme Cold Weather Glove of our choice are the Black Diamond Absolute Mitts Cold Weather Gloves (also from our research, we found these gloves were great for skiing/snowboarding)
Read below as we answer critical questions for when considering how to shop for extreme cold weather gloves.
Why are Larger Gloves Better for Colder Temperatures?
These mittens run a bit larger but that is by design. If you are headed to Arctic-like weather where it is -45, trust me, you do not want tight fitting gloves on.
The reason why is because your hands need proper circulation to maximize heat retention.
Additionally, the extra space allows for a glove liner without making a tight fit with the mitten on. That means, if you want to buy a secondary thin gloves, you can wear them prior to the mitten for maximum protection and heat retention. See now, in the event you need dexterity, you have the option to temporarily take the mitten off to perform detailed work, then slip them back on to heat your hands back up!
Listen, if you are getting into seriously cold temperature you are going to need to shell out a few extra dollars to protect your fingers. It makes much more sense to me to just get the right gloves THAT CAN ACTUALLY protect against the elements the first time then be having to waste both time and money experimenting with cheap/mediocre gloves that you know deep down won't get the job done.
I love the Black Diamond Absolute Mitts Cold Weather Gloves because you can tell they are made with great details (made of Removable liner with a 100% waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex insert with XCR Product Technology) to keep your hands warm. You lose a bit of dexterity but containment of heat against the elements is our primary concern, and these gloves do a great job of keeping heat in. Since the gloves are spacious, if you need to add heat packs for additional warmth there is the added room to do it.
- Removable liner with a 100% waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex insert with XCR Product Technology
- Reinforced thumb for working with fixed lines
- Woven nylon, abrasion-resistant shell with 4-way stretch
Our Breakdown of Your Options in the Market for Cold Weather Gloves
Whether you use gloves for ski mountaineering or trudging to the train in New York during the dead of winter, finding the best extreme cold weather gloves may not be as hard as you think. If you’re heading out towards the extreme cold weather climates, it’s vital that you take time to make sure you are wearing the proper extreme cold-weather clothing. Countless people make the mistake of underestimating their layers of clothing to keep them warm, and suffer because of it. Take time to research some of the best gloves and mittens to keep you safe from extreme cold weather. While some may not be exactly trendy, they will stop your fingers from freezing and keep them warm during harsh weather.
Here is a list of the Best Extreme Cold Weather Gloves
The following is a review of the best gloves and mittens rated by customers just like you, with different needs and uses. But what exactly are you supposed to look for in a glove? Purchasing gloves to fit your needs comes down to a few basic factors.
What to Look For
Gloves or Mittens
There’s a big debate about which is better to face to cold weather. Many prefer Mittens as they are the warmest option that keeps your fingers together to promote extra body heat. But the problem with mittens is that it can be pretty useless when it comes to using your hands for basic activities like tying your shoes or driving.
If you will be using your hands in the extreme cold weather, gloves provide better flexibility while still keeping your fingers warm.
When looking for a great pair of gloves, it should have a sufficient amount of insulation for weather conditions and intended use. Look for materials such as Primaloft, Thermoloft, and wool are great indicators of an insulated glove.
Since gloves are used in snowy wet conditions, it should be waterproof. To ensure the top quality water protection, purchase gloves with a Gore-Tex shell.
Some gloves come with removable liners which is great for adjusting the level of insulation and warmth control when needed. Additional waterproof liners are great for protecting your hands. They can be purchased separately so this doesn’t really “make-or-break’ the deal when shopping for gloves.
Look for a glove with a durable, tacky leather or synthetic palm for better grip.
Gloves should fit your hands very snugly. There shouldn’t be much room left between the fingers and glove tips. This increase warmth, flexibility, and manoeuvrability.
Consider the design of the jacket you will use as well, and purchase the gloves that function best.
Gloves tend to go through a lot of abuse, so purchase gloves with a year or lifetime warranty to ensure they last beyond just one season.
Where to Buy
You can purchase high quality performance gloves on Amazon for competitive prices. The selection is really wide, delivery is quick, and their return policy/quality assurance policies are always top notch.
This is where I buy most of my survival gear.
Local ski shops or sporting goods stores are also good places to buy.
A good high quality pair costs anywhere from $30-$200 retail price. If you don’t need waterproof or heavy insulation, regular gloves can be found for as low as $25. Try to lookout for seasonal sales. The best time to purchase gloves is during the off-season.
When it’s too cold to use gloves – generally around 10 degrees and below, a good pair of mittens is crucial to enjoy or in many cases, withstand any extreme cold weather activity. If you can sacrifice dexterity for extra warmth, you will find the right pair of mittens to help you survive the winter. With that said, here are 4 of the best extreme cold weather gloves on the market.
Let’s start off with the best mittens…
Carhartt Men's Cold Snap Insulated Work Glove
• The shell and Lining is 100% polyester, Palm is 100% polyurethane
• The gauntlet construction comes with all-purpose polytext protection
• Ultra soft insulation and microfiber lining
• Has a barrel lock closure and wrist strap
• Reinforced polyurethane palm and nose wipe
These gloves are perfect for any outdoor work in the winter. These gloves are also great for most outdoor activities including chain sawing, collecting firewood and even wood chopping. If you need to find a warm, winter work glove that doesn’t interfere with your fine motor control, Carhatts men’s cold snap insulated work gloves are perfect for outdoor work in the winter. They are strong, toasty, and extremely durable. The gloves are pretty swift on the fingertips and the cuffs can go over any size jacket sleeve and cinch tight, keeping your body insulated.
They are excellent gloves especially if you have big hands, you can add another liner if you need extra warmth. The shell and lining is 100% polyester, and the palm is 100% polyurethane. Overall, this glove is a pretty solid glove that you should considering look at. If you are looking for gloves that keep your fingers warm while doing something sedentary like snow blowing, you might be really happy with these.
Carhartt Men's Insulated Bison Leather Glove
• The shell is 100% Genuine leather
• Inner lining is 100% Polyester
• C100 3m Thinsulate insulation
• Brushed ploy lining
• Easy to use safety cuff
• Bison knuckle protection
If you are hoping to find a great quality leather glove to use in extreme cold weather conditions, the Carhartts’s insulated Bison Leather glove is one of the best choices. It’s warm, durable, and waterproof. The gloves are soft on the outside and don’t scratch easily. It provides a great balance of a good grip and warmth. The shell is high quality as it is 100% leather, with 100% polyester lining, which ensures that you will have good grip and dexterity while facing the extreme cold weather.
The leather is durable, waterproof and abrasion resistant. On the whole package, these are some of the best extreme cold weather gloves you’ll find, and great for recreational activities too. We have found that a lot of our readers were interested in a deeper dive post about the best carhatt gloves, so we put one together. Feel free to check it out here.
• Waterproof, breathable PU laminate – to maximize durability.
• Has Primaloft One insulation that features ultra-fine synthetic fibbers to trap in warmth
• DriClime Bi-component lining to provide water resistance and moisture from your skin
• Gauntlet draw cord and wrist strap to keep out snow and warmth in
• Extra safety leash included for security
These mitts are incredibly warm and basically made more Mount Everest climbers or even South Pole Scientists. Marmot Expedition Mitts are puffy, PrimaLoft-stuffed waterproof mitts that will keep your hands warm and toasty even during extreme temps as long as minus -30 F. The sufficient insulation creates high quality mitts that are perfect for mountaineering. With MemBrain waterproof and breathable fabric, this mitt gives you uncompromising warmth for any expeditions to extremely high, cold areas.
Now, if you need to manoeuvre your fingers around and mitts don’t work for you, let’s move on to the best extreme cold weather gloves you can find out on the market today…
Premium Leather Snowmobile Mittens Gauntlet Snow Ski Cold Weather
• Constructed in Genuine Full Leather, with high gauntlet cuff
• Thinsulate insulated that traps and isolates body heat
• Comes with removable interior liner
• Long, wide cuffs to keep snow and wind out
• Velcro closure and elasticized panel at wrist for a snug fit
If you are looking for mittens just to keep your hands warm through harsh weather, these are an excellent choice – especially for motorcycle riding. The mittens are made of nice premium leather that has ‘thinsulate’ insulation sewn inside. There’s also a nice removable, felt-like liner that is attached by Velcro. These mittens are proven to be windproof, water resistant and extremely warm.
If you are looking for great mittens to keep you warm while snow blowing through the winter, these are the ones that will get the job done.
* Here is our guide to best snowmobile gloves in cold weather.
RefrigiWear Insulator Mitt
• 160g poly fibrefill insulation with fleece tricot lining
• It is split cowhide leather
• Additional reinforced leather on palm and thumb
• Safety cuff with durable knit wrist
• Kevlar thread
Another great mitten to look into is the Refrigiwear Insulator Mitt. In terms of insulation, it has poly fibrefill insulation with a fleeced lining. These mitts are great for skiing and snowboarding, which also keeps your hands very toasty. The Mitt is split cowhide and very high quality. If you’re looking for mittens to keep your fingers from freezing when you are working outside, the Refrigiwear insulator mitt will keep your hands from getting very stiff and cold during the extreme weathers.
• Kevlar is built into glove for hard knuckle protection
• Clarino synthetic leather palm to provide supple, breathable durability
• 2-way stretch spandex with 3% carbon conductive anti-static fibber
• Abrasion-resistant palm pad
• Thermal Plasticized Rubber finger guards
• EVA foam padded index finger protection
With a hard knuckle protection built into the glove, the Magnum force gloves can turn your fists into destruction as they are designed to meet the specific needs of combat troops and tactical law enforcement personnel. This love offers the maximum hand and finger dexterity without the sacrifice of protection against the harsh weather. They appear to be very well-made as the tag on the inside reads “FOR MILITARY USE ONLY” – which gives you a good idea of how high quality this glove really is. You might not be able to pick up small objects of the ground while wearing these, but you are still able to use your smart phone.
These gloves are great for a lot of activities including motorcycling. The fit of the glove is quite snug, so make sure to try on the sizes before any purchase. If you are looking for comfort, quality and protection from the harsh winter weather, these gloves are highly recommended.
• Lightweight, fully articulated Gore-Tex Pro Shell out glove
• Removable Polartec Wind Pro fleece Liner
• Leather insulation
• Gore Tex guaranteed close with gauntlet drawstring
• Durable Water Repellent finish to help bead water from fabric surface
The Arctery Alpha SV glove is hands down one of the best extreme altitude gloves. Even the Nepalese Sherpa that climb the summit of Everest every year to set the 5000+ ft. fixed rope lines use this glove. It is extremely warm yet dexterous and streamlined. The glove is actually 2 gloves in one, as one being the outer shell – fully seamed taped and waterproof, and the other is the fleece inner glove.
What’s great about this feature is that when you are active in extreme cold environments for a long period of time, your hands will sweat considerably and moisture will be absorbed into the fleece. When the moisture begins to freeze, all you need to do is to release the 2 small Velcro tabs and simply pull out the shell of the glove. These gloves are great for winter survival training, mountaineering, cross country backpacking, and snowboarding. When any elements wear the gloves down in some way, you can send them back to Arcteryx for a minimal fee and have them repaired or replaced.
Dakine Men's Scout Glove
• The shell is made up of 96% POLYAMIDE, 3% POLYURETHANE & 1% SPANDEX
• The palm is 65% PVC and 35% COTTON and Rubbertec
• INNER LINING is 100% POLYESTER
• Waterproof insert & Windproof Polyurethane inserts
• 280g High loft synthetic insulation
These two layer gloves work very well and convenient as the inner liner can be easily removed for warmer days, or left in during the extremely cold winter days. Great for a snowboarder or motorcyclist as you can easily use a firm grip without any problems. The size is long enough to keep the snow out from entering, and waterproof. The inner liners are very practical and give a good tactile feel. The left thumb also has a squeegee, while the right thumb provides a nose wipe feature.
Finally, to complete your extreme cold weather ensemble, you need to find the right gloves for your hands. Though you will not lose heat as quickly as you would through your head, chances are your outdoor experience will get unpleasant very quickly. Recommended use for skiing, snowboarding, and touring. Hopefully this review has been helpful in finding which gloves will work great, and your fingers will survive another cold day.