mittens cold weatherWinter Gloves and Mittens
Protecting the Extremities

Keeping your hands warm in cold temperatures. There's no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes.

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Thin soft sensor gloves - men's  women's
Heavy weight gloves - men's  women's
Heavy mittens - men's  women's

Your hands have a large surface area compared to their volume, this means that they lose heat rapidly in cold conditions. In addition to this, the muscles that operate your hands are mainly located in your forearm, you can feel this by holding one forearm with the other hand then and alternately making and relaxing a fist, the muscles can be felt tensing and relaxing. So even when your hands are used extensively, the heat generated does little to help warm up the hand.

This means that gloves or mittens are essential in cold conditions and indispensable unless you walk around all of the time with your hands in your pockets. Mittens will always be warmer than gloves if made out the same materials, but of course reduce dexterity. It is possible to get better gloves though the expense rises, and they will never be as warm as the same materials made into mittens.

Lightweight Gloves

As temperatures start to cool, the first call is to gloves that are thin and soft without a wind or waterproof outer layer. These will give you good dexterity, sensor gloves will even enable the operation of an electronic devices such as a phone or camera. If you can put your hands in your pockets when not needed, these thin gloves will be sufficient for quite a while. If your hands need to be out in the open, thin mittens will keep them warmer for longer and be smaller and lighter to stow away.

glove liners

Heavyweight Gloves

As the temperature continues to fall, then there is the option of heavier weight gloves with an outer layer that is wind proof and water resistant, ski gloves or similar are good, if you need some manual dexterity, then these will be ideal. If you need a greater degree of warmth then you need mittens, less expensive mittens will suffice if you don't need the dexterity.

men's ski glove

Over Mittens

In the very coldest temperatures a pair of insulated glove liners with substantial over mittens are needed. If you need to, you can slip off the mittens for finer handling using the gloves alone for a short time, with just mittens you would be bare handed without the mittens which could be uncomfortable, painful or even dangerous.


Good sized cuffs for all gloves and mittens make them more effective as they cover the wrist and prevent a bare or thinly insulated region between the glove and coat sleeve, it all becomes one toasty insulated continuum. With thin gloves the cuff goes under the sleeve, with substantial gloves and mittens, the wide long cuff goes over the sleeve and has a draw cord or velcro closure to close it down, the most effective and warmest gloves and mittens have significant cuffs reaching part way up the forearm.

Some gloves and mittens have a patch of fur on the back (often synthetic) that can be placed against cheeks or nose if they start to turn pasty white with frostnip.

For extra dexterity, fingerless gloves are available unless you know you like them, I can't recommend them, they lack insulation at precisely the place where it is most important. Some mittens come with a flip-top that exposes gloved fingers underneath if you need dexterity and there are even some that have a pouch where you can insert a chemical heat pack.

Recommended Winter Gloves

Note - giving gloves and mittens the name "Extreme" or labeling them "-20!" or similar does not make them extreme or guarantee that they will keep you warm down at that temperature, so take it with a pinch of salt, it doesn't mean that they are not good though when used within their (lesser) limitations.

OZERO Thinsulate leather palms for men and women

Ski Gloves, Leather Winter Motorbike Mittens or Gloves

Traditional heavy weight wool mittens
| gloves
effective and satisfyingly comforting

cold weather glove liners
Fleece Lined Leather Work Gloves

Hardwearing -  Gardening, HGV, Builders use

heated gloves
Vgo Waterproof Winter Work Gloves

Touchscreen, hardwearing for any cold environment

glove liners
Jasmine Silk Pure Silk Gloves

Close fitting liner gloves or for mild cold on their own

heated mittens
Heated gloves

Rechargeable Gloves & Mittens

gore-tex mittens
Burton Gore-Tex Mitts

Waterproof breathable mittens for serious conditions

extreme winter mitten
Hestra Heli Mittens and Gloves

Wear the removable liner or waterproof outer alone or together in more extreme conditions

Rab Storm Mitts
| Gloves
Waterproof, synthetic insulation

smartphone gloves
Smartphone / touchscreen gloves

Operate a touchscreen without needing to take them off

Outdoor Research Men's Stormtracker Gloves
Convertible Mittens

Fingerless gloves with a mitten flip-top for dexterity and warmth