“What are the warmest gloves?”
It’s a question that’s plagued Canadians for centuries. Back in the day, people asked “should I choose gloves made from beaver or moose pelt?” Today they ask “should I choose gloves made with Thinsulate™ or Thermolite™?”
Some things don’t change.
The good news is with advanced textile technology, it’s easy to find warm and affordable gloves this winter.
Real photo of a Canadian surviving winter.
In this post, we’ll explain the decisions you need to make to buy the best winter gloves. We’ll also recommend a few of our favourite products that you can buy through our e-commerce site.
1. Finding the right insulation
It’s not the insulation directly that keeps your hands warm. Insulation traps air and the air keeps your hands warm.
The most common types of glove insulation are:
- cotton flannel
- boa acrylic
- Thermolite, and
Insulation has two major drawbacks for workers.
- It limits your hand’s freedom of movement
- It can trap moisture as well as the air
The best option we’ve found to tackle both of those problems is Thinsulate by 3M.
Thinsulate is a woven synthetic material that traps your body heat without trapping moisture. It’s also thinner than an option like wool. Thinsulate will keep you warm and comfortable for a full workday.
One of our best winter gloves that feature Thinsulate is the Clutch Gear® Winter Mechanics Glove with Impact Resistance.
Clutch Gear Winter Mechanics Glove with Impact Resistance
What makes this Clutch Gear glove the best for winter work?
- Back-of-hand protection to resist moderate impact hazards
- Goat-grain palms provide great abrasion resistance
- C100 Thinsulate lining traps air for warmth and removes moisture
- Kevlar® lined for ANSI level A5 cut protection
- High visibility backing increases worker visibility on the job
- An ID label to personalize your gloves and prevent loss
- Protection rating: ANSI level A5 cut, level 4 puncture, level 2 impact resistance, -15°C/5°F cold protection
2. Get a glove that fits
Avid readers of our blog (or Levitteers as they prefer to be called) already know about the importance of finding a good fitting glove from our post 5 mistakes you’re making when choosing work gloves.
We’ll expand on it here for those less familiar.
The ability to trap air is key to staying warm. If your glove doesn’t fit right, you’re going to be cold.
Here’s the fit you need to find in winter work gloves:
- Fingertips: There should be a bit of room between your fingers and the end of the glove.
- Base of the fingers: Look for room between the glove and the webbing at the base of your fingers.
- Wrist: Consider the jobs you’re do. If you’re extending your arm a lot and your coat will ride up, you’ll want a glove with longer cuffs to keep the snow out.
It’s not just the cold you have to worry about, it’s also wet and slushy weather.
In these scenarios, you need a coated glove.
Two of our favourite winter work gloves for wet weather are
- SnowForce™ Extreme Cold Winter Gloves for everyday use
- ActivArmr® 97-681 Full-Dip Gloves for extreme wet weather
SnowForce Extreme Cold Winter Gloves
- Three layers of insulation provides maximum warmth with minimum bulk
- Porelle Ski-Dri2™ waterproof, breathable inserts lock out water and wind
- Kevlar® and stainless-steel covered, foam-padded knuckle strap protect against knocks and bumps
- Clarino® palms increase lifespan and flexibility
- Anti-slip PVC patches on palm and fingertips provide excellent grip in wet and wintry conditions
- Gauntlet cuffs with Velcro® tabs and elastic at the wrist ensures a snug fit
- Protection rating: Level 3 puncture, -31°C/-22°F cold protection
ActivArmr 97-681 Full-Dip Gloves
- PVC foam coating stays flexible down to -25°C/-15°F
- RIPEL Technology keeps liquids out helping your hands stay dry and warm longer
- Tough vinyl coating remains soft when cold
- PVC-coated nylon exterior protects against liquids
- Soft and insulative acrylic interior for comfort and warmth
- Protection rating: Level 3 abrasion, level A2 cut protection
4. When to choose mitts over gloves
Gloves are the go-to choice for a lot of industries because they allow for more freedom of movement.
But, mitts should not be overlooked.
Mitts are amazing in extreme cold conditions or when you’ll be outside for a long time.
Since mitts keep your finger together, rather than separated by material, they trap more warm air and can keep you warmer for longer. Some, like The Claw finds the best of both worlds — fingers together for warmth, claw-like design for improved range of motion.
5. Increase your grip
Waterproofing may not be your main concern when working outside in the winter. On snowy days, your main desire might be for a better grip.
Look for coated gloves, like the Dexterity® Red Winter Gloves with Full PVC Coating. The PVC has micropores that act like suction cups to give you a better grip in wet conditions.
There’s also a version that only has a coating on the palm. What’s great about this version is it gives more liquid protection from water to the back of the hand in case you need it.
Dexterity Red Winter-Lined Gloves with Full PVC Coating
- Micropore PVC coating has great flexibility in sub-zero temperatures
- Palm coating provides excellent wet and dry grip
- Fleece lining is soft and warm
- Quick-drying and lightweight for all-day comfort
- Protection rating: Level 3 abrasion, level A2 cut and level 2 puncture, -5°C/23°F cold protection
Remember: Don’t overdo it
So far in this post, we’re focused on how to stay warm, but this is called ‘the art’ of buying the best winter work gloves, so there is some finessing involved. You cannot go out and buy a glove with the most amount of insulation.
If you do that, your team will be taking their gloves off because their hands are too hot. Then you have a compliance issue — a topic we cover more in our post “5 winter work problems (and the products that solve them)”
You can buy any of the gloves mentioned in this list through our e-commerce site by clicking “Shop now.”
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