Best winter gloves for 2024: farewell freezing fingers

Winter gloves vary a lot from mountaineering gloves to fluffy fleece gloves for cold, dry days. Here's our roundup of the best tested winter gloves.

Pulling on winter gloves

by Ben Weeks |
Updated on

Cold hands can be misery making, so when the chill comes to the mountains a pair of reliable, functional and warm winter gloves are essential. Here are our current favourite gloves for hiking, scrambling and mountaineering when the chill of winter descends.

We have put all our recommended pairs to test out in the real world, trying out their toughness, features, comfort, dexterity, insulation, waterproofing, and breathability. For each of the gloves below, we have included reviews and ratings to help you compare each and to work out which are best for your needs. If it's purely waterproof gloves that you seek, make sure to read our guide on the topic too.

The best winter gloves

Best in Test

Black Diamond Glissade GloveLFTO
Alternative retailers
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Black Diamond’s Glissade Glove is part of its Ascent series – filling the gap as an ‘entry level’ winter glove. Entry level is subjective because the Glissade Glove is a brilliantly versatile, durable, and quite highly featured glove that we found suits a swathe of winter activities.

The Glissade Glove is constructed by employing a snug fleece liner, wrapped in Thinsulate insulation, protected by a BD.dry waterproof insert, shrouded with a Pertex Shield outer and goat leather palm. Comfortable, warm, dry, durable – the Glissade Glove fast became our favourite winter glove this season.

There are plenty of rivals to the Glissade Glove but a number of key features sealed the deal for us. One is the innovative DWR on the outer fabric. It’s called Empel, and unlike industry standard DWR treatments, it’s permanent and doesn’t use any PFCs.

Another is the longer gauntlet-style cuff. It cinches with a drawcord and makes a big difference to keeping weather and snow out. Black Diamond has allowed the Glissade Glove to keep reasonably dexterity too, achieved through not overloading it with insulation and giving the Pertex fabric four-way stretch. Use glove liners to boost warmth if you need to.

While the sizes are unisex, there are five sizes available, so you should find it easy enough to find the right one for you.

Check out the Glissade Mitt here

Pros

  • Excellent weatherproofing
  • Durable construction
  • PFC-free, permanent DWR
  • Suitable for any mountain outing
  • Very comfortable
  • Available as a mitt

Cons

  • No wrist leash
  • Use with a glove liner necessary in very cold conditions
  • Features
    4.0
  • Construction
    4.5
  • Comfort
    5.0
  • Performance
    4.5
  • Value
    4.0
Weight161g
FabricsPertex Shield outer w/ goatskin leather palm, Thinsulate insulation, and BD.dry waterproof insert
Men's sizesXS - XL
Women's sizesN/A, unisex

Best Value winter glove

Regatta Transition III Waterproof Glove
Price: £19.94 (RRP £35)

www.hartsofstur.com

We’re always very wary of cheap winter gloves. There are so many on offer, with the overwhelming majority of those we’ve tested usually failing because of poor build quality. But throw enough at the wall and surely a few will stick.

The Regatta Transition III Waterproof Glove sticks. We liked this affordable, yet well-designed winter glove for its ability to offer the features that matter, and nothing else.

For example, the fingers are a little bit pre-curved, which immediately boosts dexterity. Happily, it has touchscreen compatibility too. The cuff is also just long enough to fit over a jacket sleeve, and has a simple drawcord.

We found this glove’s waterproof insert works well, and while its synthetic insulation isn’t amazing, it kept our hands reasonably warm in wintery weather. A textured PVC layer is added to the palm and fingertips, increasing durability compared to other price-conscious rivals.

Make no mistake, if you want tough, technical gloves for demanding winter hikes, save your pennies for a bit longer and get the Black Diamond Glissade Gloves. But for hillwalkers keen on a bargain, the Regatta Transition III Waterproof Glove will serve you well.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Decent waterproofing
  • Pre-curved fingers
  • Touchscreen compatible

Cons

  • Only two sizes
  • Others are warmer
  • No wrist leash
  • Features
    3.0
  • Construction
    3.0
  • Comfort
    3.5
  • Performance
    3.5
  • Value
    5.0
Weight144g
FabricsHydrafort polyester outer w/ PVC palm and fingertips and recycled Thermoguard insulation
Men's sizesS/M, L/XL
Women's sizesN/A, unisex

Best lightweight winter glove

Montane Fury Fleece GlovesLFTO
Price: £30.00

montane.com

With so many stretchy, lightweight, fleecy gloves around, it’s a tough gig to come out on top, but Montane’ Fury Fleece Gloves have managed it and became our go-to for gloves of this type.

We found them very versatile, suitable for use on their own during chilly hikes, and as very warm liner gloves for bitterly cold mountain trips.

Many lightweight gloves suffer from durability issues, but we found the Montane Fury Fleece Gloves to be better than most. The material itself wears well (as long as you’re not a brute) and details like rolled fingertips are nice touches.

These gloves are highly breathable and we like that there are four sizes in the men’s and women’s versions. They’re good value too, and better yet, there’s an XT version with a silicone hand grip for grasping ice axes and walking poles.

Check out the women’s version here

Pros

  • Very comfortable
  • Warm for such lightweight gloves
  • Can be use on their own or as a liner
  • Touchscreen compatible

Cons

  • No water resistance
  • Features
    3.0
  • Construction
    4.0
  • Comfort
    4.5
  • Performance
    4.0
  • Value
    4.0
Weight40g
FabricsThermo Stretch fleece (51% polyester, 39% nylon, 10% elastane)
Men's sizesS - XL
Women's sizesXS - L

Best for breathability and running

Adidas Terrex GTX Infinium Glove LFTO

All too often on high intensity hikes or trail runs, even when you’ve followed the ‘be bold, start cold’ rule, you can start to overheat. This is particularly true of gloves, which for some of our team, are one of the first things to become surplus to requirements in such a case.

But we’ve found the Adidas Terrex GTX Infinium Glove is impressively breathable and goes a long way to addressing the need to peel off outer layers of clothing.

This is thanks to the use of Gore-Tex Infinium. Most of us know Gore-Tex as a high-grade waterproof membrane but its Infinium fabric gives more weight to breathability. So, instead of waterproof it’s water and highly wind resistant. But trade-off is a big boost in breathability.

The Adidas Terrex GTX Infinium Glove fits tight, but has ample stretch for comfort. They have simple but functional palm and index finger grip, and touchscreen compatibility. Thus, it’s such an easy glove to use with a smartphone.

Pros

  • Wind and water resistant
  • Excellent breathability
  • Touchscreen compatible

Cons

  • Tighter fit won't suit everyone
  • Features
    3.5
  • Construction
    3.5
  • Comfort
    4.5
  • Performance
    4.0
  • Value
    3.5
Weight50g
FabricsGore-Tex Infinium (100% polyester) w/ nylon insert
Men's sizesS - XL
Women's sizesN/A, unisex

Best everyday winter glove

Sealskinz Acle GloveLFTO

We always keep a lightweight pair of gloves in our pockets throughout winter, preferably ones that can also be worn underneath heavy-duty gloves on big mountain trips.

It's important to note that, while Sealskinz is known for its waterproof gloves, socks, and hats, the Acle isn’t waterproof, but the glove’s nano technology is designed to bead water, so the fabric won’t get saturated at the first sign of a shower.

The ‘S’ print you can see on the palm and fingers (right) gives good grip, and the index finger has a patch at the tip which is touchscreen compatible, so you can still use your phone without taking them off.

Overall, an excellent package. Don’t wear them in a downpour, but they’re great for hillwalking on cool winter days.

Check out the women's version here

Pros

  • Wind and water resistant
  • Good value
  • Can be used alone or as a liner
  • Touchscreen compatible

Cons

  • Not especially warm
  • Features
    3.5
  • Construction
    3.5
  • Comfort
    5.0
  • Performance
    4.0
  • Value
    4.5
Weight50g
FabricsOuter 96.5% nylon, 3.5% elastane; Inner 84% merino, 14% nylon, 2% elastane
Men's sizesS - XL
Women's sizesS - XL

Best technical winter gloves

Rab Pivot Gore-Tex Glove
Price: £140.00

www.tiso.com

Tough, dexterous, waterproof, and warm - these are very impressive mountain gloves but the cost reflects the impressive design.

Considered design meets top-end materials in this dependable pair of gloves for tough, technical use. The waterproofing is Gore-Tex, the insulation is PrimaLoft Gold, and the reinforcement on the palm and fingers is Pittards leather.

Different levels of insulation are used on the back and palm of the glove, ensuring that warmth doesn’t negatively affect dexterity, and the knuckle protection adds confidence when swinging an ice axe. Pre-curved for grip and with removable leashes, a soft nose wipe and single-handed cuff cinching, the Pivots have it all. 

Check out the women's version here

Pros

  • Tough
  • Dextrous
  • Brilliant PrimaLoft Gold insulation
  • Dependable Gore-Tex waterproof liner

Cons

  • Overkill for most
  • Features
    5.0
  • Construction
    4.0
  • Comfort
    5.0
  • Performance
    5.0
  • Value
    3.0
Weight198g
FabricsFabric shell with Gore-Tex liner; PrimaLoft Gold insulation; Pittards leather palm
Men's sizesS - 2XL
Women'sS - L

Other tested winter gloves we highly recommend

Highly recommended

Mountain Equipment Guide Glove Women'sLFTO

These have been a staple of Mountain Equipment’s range for many years and remain winners for us. The Guide Glove features a Drilite waterproof lining to keep your hands dry, and a microfleece and fibre pile lining to keep them warm.

A one-handed drawcord closure traps warmth inside the gloves, and a removable wrist tether ensures you don’t lose them. Add in the leather palm and articulated fingers for dexterity, plus nice-to-have-features like the soft nose wipe pouch, and these gloves start to look like quite the bargain.

The cuff isn't especially long but it can still cover a jacket sleeve. There’s no wrist leash either, so keep hold of them on a blustery mountain summit. But, like the Black Diamond Glissade Gloves, these are very high-performance winter gloves that offer impressive value too.

Check out the women's version here

Pros

  • Durable outer fabrics
  • Allows good dexterity
  • Muted women's colours
  • Mountain Equipment is a Fair Wear Foundation member

Cons

  • No wrist leash
  • Features
    4.0
  • Construction
    4.0
  • Comfort
    5.0
  • Performance
    4.5
  • Value
    4.0
Weight170g
FabricsNylon outer w/ goatskin leather palm, suede nose wipe, and Drilite waterproof lining
Men's sizesS - 2XL
Women's sizesXS - L

Highly recommended

Arc'Teryx Venta GloveLFTO

The Arc’Teryx Venta Glove is made to be a lightweight glove with wind and rain protection. Designed for sports such as hiking, running, and skiing, the Venta is a stylish glove with Gore-Tex Infinium softshell outer fabric and a thin, OctaLoft insulating fleece inner. Water beads and rolls off the glove well, keeping the hands dry and protected.

The Venta is a well-built glove with extra TPU details on the palm to aid grip and touch-compatibility on the index finger and thumb which works well on touchscreens. At the wrist is a softer jersey knit with additional flex to cinch the glove in place, though this could be tighter to better secure the glove.

In terms of sizing, we’d appreciate smaller sizing options to be available as an XS, though true to size, was still a bit too large for our female tester (hand length and width 17cm).

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Stylish
  • Reinforcement patches on palm and fingers

Cons

  • Sizing runs large
  • Not for very cold conditions
  • Adidas Terrex GTX Infinium Gloves are better value
  • Features
    4.0
  • Construction
    4.0
  • Comfort
    5.0
  • Performance
    4.5
  • Value
    3.5
Weight63g
FabricsBluesign-approved Gore-Tex Infinium; OctaLoft polyester insulation
Men's sizesXS - 2XL
Women's sizesN/A, unisex

Key features to look for in winter gloves

Members of LFTO team testing waterproof gloves
©LFTO

Dexterity: Gloves with pre-curved fingers and rollover fingertips are designed to mimic the natural shape of the hand and have no awkward seams placed at the ends of the fingers, which affects feel and durability.

Design: Your main choices here are gloves or mitts. Gloves offer more dexterity, but mitts are almost always warmer, which is worth bearing in mind if you have poor circulation and suffer from cold hands.

Materials: Gloves with a high-denier polyamide (nylon) shell are generally more durable than polyester. Also look for tough leather or synthetic reinforcements in high-wear areas like the palm, fingertips and base of the thumb. A soft ‘nose wipe’ across the back of the thumb is also useful in cold weather.

Touchscreen compatibility: Some gloves now feature conductive fingertips to enable on-the-hill touchscreen use with a smartphone or GPS without having to remove the gloves. This is only generally useful on thinner, more dextrous gloves.

Construction: Some winter gloves have a shell and integrated liner, others have a removable liner. The latter adds versatility but also increases weight, bulk and complexity. Integrated liners should be securely fixed to the shell – if they come loose, it can be very difficult to get the glove on and off easily.

Hiker using ice axes, Snowdonia
©LFTO

Grip: Gloves with leather or synthetic PU overlays across the palm and fingers ensure a solid, non-slip grip when holding walking poles or ice tools, as well as when scrambling on rock.

Waterproofing: If you want your hands to stay dry as well as warm, look for a glove or mitt with a waterproof-breathable liner or insert. This may be a membrane such as Gore-Tex or a brand’s own in-house technology.

Insulation: For maximum warmth, look for a glove with block insulation of at least 60gsm and/or a fleece or pile lining. But remember that warmer gloves are also bulkier and less dextrous.

Wrist closure: Most gloves feature an elasticated wrist section and a drawcord to ensure a weatherproof seal. For added security, some may also have an adjustable webbing and buckle closure.

Coverage: A glove usually ends at or just past the wrist, while a gauntlet covers the entire wrist and often part of the forearm too. The latter offers more coverage and protection in full winter conditions.

Wrist leash: Many mitts and gloves have an adjustable cord or webbing loop. This means that you can remove your gloves without worrying about losing them, even in windy conditions.

How we test winter gloves

Hiker scrambling wearing waterproof gloves
©LFTO

The gloves recommended here were tested by three of our experienced testing team: Ben Weeks, Chris Williams, and Kate Milsom.

We use and test gloves throughout much of the year in the mountains because of the changeable conditions up there. But in winter, we use them almost all the time.

We consider how comfortable, tough, and effective winter gloves are relative to their competition and price tag. There is a range of winter gloves, from thin liners, to breathable but weather resistant lightweight gloves, to big insulated, waterproof options.

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