You don’t need to live in the Arctic circle to appreciate the importance of a good pair of warm and insulated gloves. Even if your preferred mode of transport to work isn’t a husky sled, chances are that you will encounter more than a touch of frost from time to time and your extremities are always the first to feel it. Never underestimate the value and benefit of a pair of warm gloves, a good hat and a pair of thick socks!
Not all gloves are created equal though, and you don’t want to find that out to your detriment when you don those new supposedly thermal gloves only to find out 15 minutes into your daily walk to work that they are neither waterproof nor windproof.
So today we’re taking a look at the warmest gloves to invest in and providing our definitive guide to winter gloves and what features you need to be on the lookout for.
For a glove to be warm, especially for it to be suitable for those colder winter weather conditions, ideally it should have multiple and not a single layer. The number of layers depends upon the nature of the glove itself and the principal circumstances for which you intend to wear gloves – general day-to-day wear, work-specific requirements or winter sporting activities for example. For a glove to really deliver an adequate level of warmth and protection, we recommend that it have two layers.
That said, a really warm winter glove, and especially one that has been uniquely designed for use in outdoor working conditions could have up to four layers with an additional layer of insulation as well as a waterproof membrane.
Before you head out and buy the thickest and what you think are going to be the warmest gloves you can lay your hands on, there are a couple of things to consider, namely your age, gender, what kind of physical activity you regularly undertake, as well as your metabolic rate. This might seem a bit much when we’re just talking about a pair of gloves but depending upon when, where, why and how you intend wearing them, it pays to consider these elements first.
Generally speaking, men generate more heat than women and people aged between 20 and 40 also create more heat. You can easily ascertain your basal metabolic rate based on how easily you break out into a sweat when exercising. Think about all of these factors before you invest in a new pair of gloves. Buy a pair that are too thick, and you will overheat which can be just as dangerous as purchasing a pair that don’t deliver sufficient insulation. If you keep taking off your gloves because you’re overheating, conversely you could be more susceptible to injuries such as hypothermia, directly linked to cold weather conditions.
Not all gloves are created equal, nor are all weather conditions. It pays to check out the overall average monthly temperatures and moisture levels to help you determine the level of heat protection you require as well as the elevation at which you live or will be traveling to.
You also don’t want a pair of gloves that are so thick and cumbersome that you have next to no dexterity and can’t physically handle anything with your gloves on. So you do need to have that combination between warmth but also practicality. You probably already know, but air is a good insulator so there should be room within your gloves to trap and create a layer of thermal energy that will additionally help to keep your hands warm.
Let’s take a look at some of the best materials used in the warmest gloves.
This is the most basic and the least desirable option when it comes to winter gloves because, while it may provide a moderate level of insulation, it does absorb up to 27 times its own weight which means that it wicks heat away from the body which will cause complications in extremely cold weather.
This a warm option but it can be a bit on the bulky side and so if you do still require a good level of dexterity while wearing your gloves, might not be the most suitable option either. On the plus side, it is warm, reliable and cost-effective.
A trademarked synthetic fiber, it’s commonly found in all kinds of work and activity gloves designed for colder weather conditions. This material offers the right balance between warmth but without providing excess bulk. It’s typically more expensive than the other options we’ve so far discussed, but it does provide a good amount of dexterity so it is a practical choice in warm gloves required for working conditions. It can also be found in a number of thickness levels, so the thicker the Thinsulate filling, the warmer the gloves will be.
Speaking of which, just how warm and insulated should your gloves be?
It’s not just about how insulated your gloves are that’s important to consider but also how they fit, which can make all the difference. The right pair of gloves should have just a little bit of room between the end of the glove and your fingers so that a thermal heat layer of air can be trapped.
Also, consider how far up the wrist your glove fits. What you don’t want to find is that between the end of a short glove and the sleeve of your jacket you have exposed skin that is subjected to the elements.
It pays to ensure that the glove you choose is the right size and provides sufficient coverage so that all gaps are avoided. If you have all these considerations in mind next time you need to buy a pair of warm winter gloves, you should be able to find the perfect pair for you.