Best gloves for hiking and keeping warm in winter
Fingerless Thinny Glove, Extremities
If you want to keep your fingers free to fiddle with your phone or GPS, these stretchy knitted close-fitting Thermolite gloves made from polyester give you some welcome protection from Jack Frost. When it’s really freezing, wear as a base layer beneath more substantial gloves.
They are lightweight and fast-drying, and provide excellent warmth for their weight. Useful for exercise in cold weather, such as running. The gloves come in one size fits all.
Best for: Fiddly tasks and/or an extra thermal boost to line your outer gloves with.
Waterproof Liners, Outdoor Research
Buy from Amazon UK for £45.00.
If you have a great pair of outer gloves that are warm but not waterproof, these could be the ideal solution: waterproof and fleecy liner gloves. The first ever, according to Outdoor Research. They are windproof whilst still being lightweight and breathable, with a pull-on loop and tapered wrist.
The fabric is touchscreen compatible, allowing you to use your phone without shedding a layer, and silicon is embossed on the palm and some of the fingers to improve your grip.
Best for: Versatile – wear on their own in cool weather, or beneath bulkier outer gloves when the sleet comes in.
Vortex GTX Glove, Extremities
Buy from Terra Nova for £60.00.
If you suffer from cold fingers, the rain is often a worse foe than snow. Once your gloves are soaked, the wind chill really kicks in.
These neat gloves are made from a waterproof Gore-Tex outer, lined with soft microfleece and filled with a layer of synthetic insulation. They are less bulky than many other similar gloves, so you’re much more likely to reach for them repeatedly through winter.
They have touchscreen on the forefinger and thumb, to save you having to take the gloves off if you need to use any devices whilst out and about.
Best for: Smart gloves that look and feel the part on the hill, at the market or walking the dog.
Transcendant mitts, Outdoor Research
Buy from Amazon UK for £64.99.
There’s no messing around with these super-cosy mitts, stuffed with responsibly sourced goose down. These are the kind of thing you’ll want to wear when winter really bites – whether walking in the snow, shopping in a Christmas market, or watching wildlife in a frosty wetland. A slightly sticky silicon coating on the underside helps you grip hiking poles of binoculars.
Bear in mind that once wet, down stops insulating. So wear on cold dry days, or add a mitt cover like the Minimus mitt, below, to keep moisture out.
Best for: Arctic days when you are hanging around in the cold.
Insulated Waterproof Sticky Power Liner Glove, Extremities
Buy from Terra Nova for £35.00.
With a warm insulating layer, and a waterproof membrane to keeps your hands dry, these gloves offer some effective weather protection. They also boast a grid of slightly sticky silicone on the palm and the inside of the fingers. This improves your grip – until it gets wet, when it loses its adhesive quality.
The size came up a little large for me, and the extra bulk made them less easy for fiddly tasks than I expected. The outer fabric on the palm is not attached to the inner layers and tends to slide around on them as you grip things. This might not bother you, but I would recommend you try for size before you buy if you can as a close fit might resolve the problem.
Best for: Driving and other light manual tasks in freezing conditions.
Minimus Waterproof Mitt, Montane
These waterproof mitts or glove covers (made of a fabric called Pertex Shield) fit into a tiny stuff sack and weigh just 44g, so you can pop them in your pack in case of a downpour. The elasticated wrist provides a close fit, and there’s an adjustable hem. Yes – it’s a pretty stiff price tag, but if you take your winter hikes seriously, these are an excellent idea to keep your gloves dry and your hands warm. In rugged uplands, they would be a good addition to your pack all year round.
Best for: Hillwalking or long hikes in harsh weather.
Meteor Mitts, Outdoor Research
Buy from Amazon UK, from £59.03.
The waterproof mittens protects your hands from really harsh winter weather. The outer layer is made of a tough, water-resistant nylon fabric. Inside there are removable fleece mitten liners, the thumb and tip of which can be folded back and fastened with a pair of sewn-in magnets, to quickly expose your fingers when needed. A wrist strap on each outer mitt can be tightened with your teeth to keep drafts out.
Note that we haven’t had a chance to try the mitts out in heavy rain, but Outdoor Research’s Infinite Warranty guarantees that the Pertex Shield membrane is 100% water-proof.
Best for: Upland hikes in cold, windy or wet weather.