The best winter gloves reviewed (2023)

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


Verdict: Warm and fully featured gloves offering good dexterity too - certainly the best

Comfort 5/5 | Toughness 4/5 | Features 5/5 | Performance 4/5 | Value 5/5

Overall score 92%

Pros: Warm, plenty of features, protective, good value

Cons: Some pricier options are tougher

Updated for winter 2022, these have been a staple of Mountain Equipment’s range for many years. And it’s easy to see why. 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.

Women's version here.

Sizes men's S-XXL; women's XS-L | Weight 170g | Construction Polyamide shell with Drilite waterproof insert, goat leather palm, polyester pile and acrylic linings | Sustainability Mountain Equipment a Fair Wear Foundation leader

Best Value
Montane Chonos Fleece Gloves
Price: £35.00


Verdict: Affordable and warm fleece gloves - but they're only suitable for cold, dry days.

Comfort 5/5 | Toughness 3/5 | Features 3/5 | Performance 4/5 | Value 5/5

Overall score 80%

Pros: Warm, breathable, lightweight, very affordable, recycled fleece

Cons: Not waterproof, not the toughest

If the weather’s cold but not wet, these high-pile fleece gloves are just the job. Trapping warmth while allowing your skin to breathe ensures your hands stay comfortable all day, while the reinforced palm and curved fingers are perfect for gripping poles.

There’s no waterproofing, so the Chonos are best for drier days, but the recycled Thermo 300 Eco fleece is quick drying, so it’s no great disaster if they do get a little damp. The elasticated cuff doesn’t guarantee a perfect seal on your wrists, but it does keep these gloves nice and light.

Sizes unisex XS-XL | Weight Not given | Construction Recycled polyester main material, with nylon/polyurethane reinforcements, TPU faux leather reinforced palm | Sustainability Recycled polyester, Montane a Fair Wear Foundation member


Verdict: Tough, dexterous, waterproof, and warm - these are very impressive mountain gloves

Comfort 5/5 | Toughness 4/5 | Features 5/5 | Performance 5/5 | Value 3/5

Overall score 92%

Pros: Tough, dextrous, PrimaLoft Gold insulation, Gore-Tex waterproof liner

Cons: Quite pricey

Considered design meets top-end materials in this dependable pair of gloves for tough, vertical conditions. 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.

Women's version here.

Sizes men's S-XXL, women's S-L | Weight 198g | Construction: Fabric shell with Gore-Tex liner, PrimaLoft Gold insulation, Pittards leather palm | Sustainability Rab certified climate neutral and a Fair Wear Foundation leader

Tread Lightly


Verdict: Premium mitts made from recycled materials, with super-toasty insulated fleece

Comfort 5/5 | Toughness 4/5 | Features 4/5 | Performance 5/5 | Value 3/5

Overall score 84%

Pros: Very warm, eco-friendly

Cons: Fairly bulky and heavy, expensive

Mitts are almost always warmer than gloves, since they minimise skin contact with the outer shell, and enable each finger to share the warmth of all the others. These mitts are particularly cosy, thanks to their removable liners, which combine a fast-wicking thick pile inner with PrimaLoft Gold insulation. All these materials incorporate recycled content. Similarly, the unlined outer shell is made from recycled polyester, with a hard-wearing and grippy goat leather palm and thumb.

The shell fabrics have a BD.dry waterproof membrane backer, finished on the outer face with a GTT Empel durable water-repellent treatment. Heralded as one of the most eco-friendly DWRs yet developed, this tech is PFC-free and uses no water in production. As well as boosting the product’s sustainability credentials (the use of goatskin excepted), it all makes for a warm and weatherproof mitt that is ideally suited to winter hillwalking.

A long gauntlet cuff provides good coverage, while an elastic drawcord ensures a secure weatherproof seal. A soft suede patch on the back of the thumb takes care of runny noses on those bitterly cold, dry mountain days.

Women's version here.

Sizes men's XS-XL; women’s sizes XXS-L | Weight 268g | Construction Recycled polyester shell, goat leather palm and reinforcements, BD.dry waterproof insert, removable liner with PrimaLoft | Sustainability PFC-free DWR, shell fabrics 100% recycled

Best for wet weather and slushy snow


Verdict: Impressively dextrous and very weatherproof in typical Sealskinz fashion, but others

Comfort 5/5 | Toughness 3/5 | Features 4/5 | Performance 4/5 | Value 4/5

Overall score 80%

Pros: Soft and comfortable, good dexterity, touchscreen compatible

Cons: Not the toughest

The name is a mouthful, but it does tell you almost all you need to know about these gloves. Sealskinz’ waterproof and breathable membrane is paired with PrimaLoft Gold Bio insulation and Aerogel Cross Core Technology to ensure warmth is kept inside and wet outside.

A mostly merino wool lining ensures comfort, and the Fusion Control tech (which bonds the liner, membrane and outer shell together) ensures maximum dexterity and zero risk of liner pull-out. They’re touchscreen compatible too.

Sizes unisex S-XXL | Weight Not given | Construction Sheepskin and nylon outer with hydrophilic membrane, PrimaLoft Gold Bio insulation, majority (84%) Merino inner | Sustainability 100% recycled and biodegradable insulation

Best for mixed weather adaptability
Outdoor Research Arete II Gloves
Price: £100.00


Verdict: Highly weatherproof and reasonably warm winter gloves - but others allow better

Comfort 4/5 | Toughness 4/5 | Features 4/5 | Performance 4/5 | Value 4/5

Overall score 80%

Pros: Soft and comfortable, good dexterity, touchscreen compatible

Cons: Tad pricey, others allow better dexterity

In changeable weather the only thing that’s better than a good pair of gloves, is two good pairs of gloves. And that’s exactly what the Arete II Gloves are. The outer shell has a Gore-Tex waterproof lining, a lightly insulated interior, a leather palm, a nose wipe patch, a cinchable cuff, and a removable wrist leash.

There’s also the warm and wicking removable merino wool liner gloves. They have a heat pack pocket on the back and a grippy silicone palm, allowing them to be used on their own during less extreme weather.

Women's version here.

Sizes men's S-XL; women's S-L | Weight 249g | Construction 40D outer 88% Nylon, 12% Spandex with goat leather palm, polyester insulation, Gore-Tex liner with fleece, wool, acrylic, polyester blend | Sustainability N/A

Key features to look for in winter gloves

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.

Grip: Gloves with leather or synthetic PU overlays across the palm and fingers ensure a solid, non-slip grip when holding trekking 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.

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