Winter is coming, it is time for the best winter hiking gloves

Best winter gloves

Best winter gloves

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If you are like me, you might have cold fingers quickly and if you haven’t found your favorites you might be still on the hunt for the best winter gloves. 

Even in spring or early autumn I actually like to wear gloves when I am hiking or running. It is a nice thing to have to keep warm fingers.
On colder winter days I really need good gloves because my hands and wrist sometimes really hurt when I forget my gloves or if they’re not warm enough. 

So while winter is already on in some parts of the world and coming quickly now in others, I thought I am talking gloves and sharing my favorites with you today.

 

Why buy extra gloves for winter when you have a few pair of gloves already? 

We talked about other winter gear already and the same applies for gloves. 

Gloves designed for spring or fall are usually made out of one layer to keep your hands warm.
They normally lack an outer layer to protect against cold wind, and don’t resist moisture or are made to keep hands dry inside.

Good winter gloves should have three layers. The one closest to your skin should wick away the moisture. The middle layer keeps the heat. And the outer layer should be a protective shell against wind, rain and snow. 

If you like, you could also use the layering system and wear a pair of moisture wicking gloves and then a pair ow waterproof, wind protecting mittens on top.
This is actually what keeps my fingers the warmest. 
But I do know many people don’t like mittens because they need more mobility. I personally haven’t been in any situation where it was too cold to take my mittens off when getting something out of my backpack, so I had no troubles so far.

Our favorite winter hiking gloves:

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Icebreaker liner glove:
96%Merino wool, 4% Lycra.
Great to wear as liner underneath some wind and rain protective mittens or on a winter hike without snow.

Pro: very lightweight and comfortable to wear. The wool wicks away the moisture, fingers are keeping warm, and combined with mittens perfect for cold snowy winter hikes.

Con: They are not water proof and seems to be too tight for some. Fingers could be a little too long for people with shorter finger.

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Outdoor Reseach Men’s Alto Gloves
90% Nylon, 10%Spandex.
Alpen grip palm, waterproof, windproof. Liners included.

Keeps fingers very warm when it’s really cold. They stay dry when used in wet snow, and are great for skiing too.

Cons: A little pricy.

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MCTI Ski Gloves
Synthetic gloves with some leather parts.
Waterproof TPU insert, touchscreen finger tips, 3M Thinsulate Insulations, and keeper wristbands.

These ski gloves are very waterproof and keep warm in temperatures about 15F.

Con: these gloves are a bit bulky for some people with small hands. While very water resistant a few had problems with sweaty hands because they weren’t very breathable.

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Jack Wolfskin Texapore Down XT:

100% Polyester. 
Water- and windproof.
Breathable fabric.
Warm insulation.
Good wicking performance.

Pro: very comfortable and warm. Even warmer with liners.

Con: might be a bit expensive for some.

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Jack Wolfskin Texapore Winter Gloves:

Multi Purpose gloves.
1.Shell:100%Polyamide
2.Shell:100%Polyester
Lining: 100%Polyester
Filling: 100% Polyester

Robust and durable gloves.
They keep warm and are water and wind proof.

How to find the best winter gloves

So besides that winter gloves should have 3 layers (insulation, lining, shell) there are some other factors you should look for:

One of the most important parts of winter clothing is always the lining/the first layer: 

The layer that touches your skin should always be made out of a fabric that will wick away the perspiration. This will already prevent a heat loss that comes with wet clothing. That’s why cotton is not a good winter fabric because it get’s wet easily and don’t wick away the perspiration.

Another priority should be the insulation to keep your hands warm:

 The insulation of winter gloves are mostly made with wool (have a look for sustainable/organic wool), or synthetic and fleece filling. Choose the level of insulation based on the weather/climate you most likely will be hiking in. 
If you will be hiking in extreme harsh weather get a pair of gloves for extreme weather (check ski or snowboard gloves too).

Weather and Breathability:

A good pair of gloves should definitely protect against cold wind and rain or snow, but needs to be breathable as well. If you get sweaty hands easily this is something you should look out for. If you see reviews somewhere check if anybody has problems with wet hands inside. Most people who don’t get sweaty hands quickly won’t have that problem.

The outer shell is mostly made of Gore-Tex, Membrain, and similar waterproof but still breathable materials (look for eco waterproof shells to avoid toxins).

Durability:

Try and get a good quality pair of gloves. 
Yes you could save a bit money if you buy a cheap pair, but then you might just see them fall apart on your first hike already. And then you would need to buy a new pair and then, well then the cheap pair is not so cheap anymore right? 
 
Every thing we buy is also made out of a material that needs to be grown (wool, cotton) and harvested and/or highly processed (synthetics made out of petroleum). Needs a lot of water and energy to make a product out of it. So it would be the most sustainable choice too, if you buy a good, maybe even sustainable produced product that lasts for a long time!

Mobility:

This sounds like a small detail but if you are out camping in the cold this is an important detail.
If you need to put up a tent or cook outside in the snow, you should check gloves for mobility. If they are bendable enough so you could get something out of your backpack, or set up a tent…

 

Features/extras:

 You can find 5 finger, 3 finger gloves or mittens. Try what you find most comfortable and practically.
Find your right size. Unisex size could be too big or too small.
Grip factor can be an important detail if you might need to grab rough icy surfaces.

There are so many gloves on the market today. So wether you need some with the best touchscreen fingertips for your smartphone, durable gloves for work or the best winter hiking gloves for very cold weather, know what you are looking for and then go out and find your favorites.

Share your favorite gloves in the comments if you like!

Looking for hiking boots? Read our recommendations here: Hiking Boots.
Looking for hiking pants? Read our recommendations for women here: Hiking pants.

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