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Gloves may not be the first thing you think about as the temperatures start to drop, but they make a huge difference between staying comfortably warm and freezing. Without a decent pair of winter gloves, you can kiss your fingers goodbye. And, let’s be honest, you need unfrozen hands to do a lot of things, like setting up camp, writing, driving, and handling tools.
You may already be frowning at the idea of donning thick winter gloves just to survive winter’s wrath. Don’t worry. If you hate bulky gloves, there is an option for you: lightweight winter gloves. Thin gloves are typically designed to provide adequate warmth without hindering your mobility. This means you can do whatever you need to do outside with ease—even texting.
We’ve taken the liberty of reviewing some of the best lightweight winter gloves for you. In addition to the reviews, we also included a guide with some thoughtful advice, so you know what to look for when perusing online inventory.
Let’s get started.
Best Lightweight Winter Gloves Reviewed
Convertible and Fingerless Gloves
Best Waterproof Thin Winter Gloves
Most Versatile Winter Gloves
Best Budget Winter Gloves
What is The Warmest Material For Gloves?
Thin and warm don’t typically go hand-in-hand when it comes to gloves, but you can get both if you choose the right materials. Usually, winter gloves are fabricated with various materials, including polyester, cotton, cashmere, wool, and so on. The problem is that many materials add a significant amount of bulk, the very thing you are trying to avoid.
On the outside, you should look for materials that buffer your skin against the cold. Leather, synthetics (polyester, acrylic, and so on), and wool are perfect for this. The inner, though, is more important. Some of the thinnest materials include Gore-Tex (and similar waterproof membranes), 3M Thinsulate, and wool blends. Such materials can trap heat, are breathable, and extremely lightweight.
You will find many of the thin gloves we review are made blended with synthetics and wool since that checks off two very important qualities: insulation and breathability.
Best Lightweight and Warm Winter Gloves Reviewed
Searching for the best lightweight winter gloves can be an overwhelming task. Though plenty of options exist, you might find yourself faced with products that are not durable or made with materials not suitable for wintertime, like cotton. That is why we gathered up five excellent examples. The gloves listed below have to be chosen based on the construction quality, materials and insulation, weather/water resistance, and features. Plus, most of them are reasonably priced.
Without further ado, here are the best thin gloves for winter
Top Pick: TRENDOUX Winter Gloves for Men and Women
Once you see the low price of TRENDOUX’s winter gloves, you might think that there is no chance these gloves could be warm. Luckily, that’s not the truth. These gloves use a blend of spandex and acrylic, and they feel a bit like wool. The material is also very stretchable, breathable, and soft. They even have a snug wristband to keep wind and snow away from your skin.
You also get touchscreen-compatible fingertips, allowing you to use electronic devices while wearing these thin winter gloves. Overall, they are an equal balance of quality and affordability. Use them for outdoor walks, cycling, or driving your car in the morning.
The only downside is that you won’t be picking up snowballs anytime soon. These gloves are not waterproof or even water-resistant.
- Warm, thin synthetic materials (95% acrylic, 5% spandex) that lock in the heat
- Available in multiple sizes and neutral colors
- Features triangle silicone grips on the palms
- Touchscreen friendly on six fingers
- Snug yet comfortable fit
- Not water-resistant
- Must be hand-washed to keep the gloves in good condition
Convertible and Fingerless Gloves: ViGrace’s Winter Knitted Convertible Fingerless Gloves
Looking for a pair of gloves that you can wear both indoors and outdoors without issue? ViGrace’s Winter Knitted Convertible Gloves may not be as thin as some other options on this list, but they do offer maximum warmth and comfort. Available in white, black, gray, and dark gray, these gloves are a stylish option for both men and women.
Another reason to buy? These convertible gloves use an assortment of warm, insulating materials: wool, acrylic, leather, and 3M Thinsulate. The combination makes for a truly soft and cozy glove that is multi-functional. The wool and acrylic keep the cold out while the 3M Thinsulate locks in your body heat. And that split pigskin leather patch on the palm ensures a great grip.
Although convertible gloves do leave your fingers exposed to the elements briefly, those do offer something regular gloves do not. You can type, write, text, and drive with ease. Furthermore, wearing them as mittens generates a lot of warmth. Mittens may not be as dexterous as gloves, but the warmth is spread evenly across the fingertips, protecting you from the harsh wintry chill.
- A Velcro strip helps hook the mitten section in place so you don’t have to worry about it coming loose and getting in the way
- Incredible construction: the flocking lining and 3M Thinsulate seals in the heat
- Pigskin patch for an anti-slip grip
- Insanely soft on the inside
- Attractive design that is great for men and women
- Available in two sizes: medium and large
- The thumb is not convertible and may hinder your grip
- Not for extremely cold weather
- A little on the thicker side than some other gloves and may be too bulky for petite hands
Best Waterproof Thin Winter Gloves: SEALSKINZ Unisex Waterproof All Weather Ultra Grip Knitted Glove
SEALSKINZ is a brand known for its high-quality waterproofed products. From socks, hats, jackets, and gloves, SEALSKINZ is one trustworthy brand worth the splurge. The Unisex Waterproof All Weather Gloves by SEALSKINZ are rated 2 on the brand’s Climate Guide, meaning that it falls between warm weather and all-weather use.
These knitted gloves are waterproof, windproof, and moisture-wicking. The blend of nylon and Merino wool offers breathability to keep your hands dry, as well as durability. These gloves will last many years. Furthermore, the Merino wool inner provides unlimited insulation.
You get great mobility, too. The material is stretchable enough that you can work on setting up tents or working with tools outdoors. Silicone grip was added to the palms to provide enhanced control. Additionally, the index and thumb have touchscreen compatibility, so you can use your phone.
- 100% waterproof—your hands will never get wet when wearing these gloves
- Ideal for outdoor activities, like cycling, hiking, pitching tents, climbing, and kayaking
- Available in four sizes and four colors, including yellow for high visibility
- Silicone grip on palms and fingers for increased grip
- Made with a blend of waterproof nylon and insulating Merino wool
- The fingers tend to run a little long. Make sure to use the sizing chart.
- Touchscreen compatibility leaves much to be desired. Many have issues even sliding the smartphone screen.
Most Versatile Winter Gloves: Mountain Made Outdoor Gloves for Men & Women
Looking for protection from the extreme cold? Then consider Mountain Made Outdoor Gloves. These unisex gloves are a favorite for winter activities, like driving, skiing and snowboarding, hiking, and more. Made with a combination of PVC rubber, spandex, and polyester, Mountain Made Outdoor Gloves will keep your hands warm, dry, and mobile. The gloves also feature thermal heat conductors, enhancing their insulation.
You can keep your hands warm in temperatures as low as 20 to 32 degrees F (-6 to 0 degrees C).
These gloves also have plenty of features, making them a smart buy. You get touchscreen-friendly fingertips that are so thin, you won’t be making a bunch of spelling errors while typing. Since these gloves are made for outdoor sports and activity, the manufacturer even went as far as adding antibacterial properties to hinder germs, bacteria, and odor. A YKK zipper can be used to vent the gloves or offer more flexibility around the wrist when needed.
- Made with breathable, quick-drying materials for maximum comfort
- Multi-directional stretch for excellent mobility
- Honeycomb grips
- Includes a zipper to adjust the fit and amount of heat preserved by the gloves
- Unisex design that is available in several sizes
- Touchscreen compatible
- The zipper can be annoying for some people
- Sizing runs a little small. Be sure to consult the company’s size chart.
Best Budget Winter Gloves: Achiou Winter Knit Gloves for Men and Women
Despite being our top pick for budget-friendly thin winter gloves, Achiou Winter Knit Gloves are nothing but quality and comfort. Pull them on and feel the warmth of pure acrylic. Inside the gloves is the proprietary Achiou Soft Warm Thermal Lining made of wool, lending the gloves fabulous heat retention. The materials are also breathable enough to keep your hands from getting too sweaty. You can use these gloves in temperatures as low as 32 degrees F (0 degrees C).
The snug fit makes the gloves feel more like a second skin, and the triangular-shaped silicone grips provide great control on steering wheels and electronic devices. The index finger, middle finger, and thumb are also touchscreen compatible for easier use.
Achiou Winter Knit Gloves are available in three sizes (medium to X-large) and come in an array of colors for both men and women. The windproof elastic cuff is stretchable enough for any size of wrist. In short, you get a lot of features for a low price, making these a no-brainer when it comes to a satisfying purchase.
- Super soft inner that is stretchable enough for long fingers (or long fingernails)
- Features an acrylic outer that adds substantial wind-resistance
- Touchscreen compatible fingertips are responsive both indoors and outdoors
- Thin gloves are very portable; can be rolled up and tucked into your coat pocket
- An excellent choice for runners, commuters, and those working in frigid offices
- Not waterproof
- Due to being a budget-friendly purchase, these gloves will not last you very long if you wear them often
Buyer’s Guide: Things to Consider & How to Buy Winter Gloves
Throughout the reviews, you may have been wondering how to differentiate between low-quality gloves and the best. Getting the right pair of gloves is not rocket science, but you do need to do some detective work. Here are things that you need to keep in mind when shopping for the best lightweight gloves for winter:
When choosing the best thin gloves for winter, you need to consider what you want to use them for. Camping? Working? Commuting? Depending on your needs, the style of the glove is going to change—along with the materials, layers, and features.
For example, you may want mittens (such as the convertible gloves we mentioned) if you plan on doing outdoor activities for a longer period. If you plan on cycling or going for an early morning run when the air is the frostiest, the best thin gloves for you will be windproof and moisture-wicking.
Material & Layers
The most effective gloves are going to have a few layers, even if they are thin. These layers include a water-resistant or waterproof outer lining, the insulating inner, and then the innermost lining. The latter should have moisture-wicking properties to keep your hands both dry and warm.
When considering these layers, also remember to think about the materials used. The glove material is largely based on your preference, but keep in mind that the warmest materials for thin gloves are often a combination of a wind-breaking outer, such as leather, and an insulating inner, like wool. One downside of lightweight winter gloves is their thinness since they offer far less protection than bulkier gloves.
When considering the above-mentioned characteristics, you should understand why lining is so important. In some pairs, you will find the lining to be removable for easier cleaning. Again, this is more of a preference, but keep in mind that removable liners are going to offer less protection.
One thing you need to know: gloves that contain cotton or foam are not going to have the same level of heat retention as gloves with wool or synthetic lining.
Have sweaty palms? Consider gloves with a moisture-wicking lining. A natural option is a wool lining, which is also anti-microbial.
Having gloves that are just right in terms of fit is one thing many people overlook (and so often regret not doing). You should always size your gloves correctly. Most gloves come in four sizes: small, medium, large, and extra-large. Others depend on a number system based on the length and width of your palm. Sizes will vary depending on the brand, so consult the sizing guide.
Generally, you can figure out your size by measuring the circumference of the largest part of your palm. Exclude the thumb.
Round the measurement up by half an inch. For example, if you find that your palm measures around 9 inches, you bump that up to 9.5 inches (about 25 cm) then look at the size chart given by the manufacturer. In most cases, a palm between 9.5-10 in (25 cm) is Large.
Sometimes, you will have to measure the length from the middle finger to the wrist to determine how long of a glove you need.
There are some features on the best lightweight winter gloves that will make your life easier. One example would be touchscreen-compatible gloves. Gloves that do not work with your smartphone or tablet screen are a major inconvenience in this day in age. If you don’t want to be bothered with taking your gloves on and off just to answer a text, considering touchscreen-friendly gloves.
Other features include zippers for ventilation or for tucking away a house key; clips for easy storage; textured palms for increased grip; and adjustable wrists (ex. gauntlet design or cinching).
Hopefully, this guide on finding the best thin gloves for cold weather has helped you find the perfect match. There is a wide range of lightweight winter gloves out there for you to explore, so even if you don’t purchase something from our top picks, you can still keep the buyer’s guide in mind. Remember to check out the sizing of the gloves as well as the insulation and materials. Those are the things that will determine how toasty your hands stay!
If you have any other questions, check out the FAQ section.
FAQs on Winter Gloves
1. Are leather gloves warmer than wool?
It depends. Generally, leather can protect the skin from the wind but has little to no protection from the cold unless paired with an insulating layer. Unlined leather gloves are never going to be as warm as wool gloves. This is why you do not see pure leather gloves for wintertime.
The only time you may want to use a leather glove is when you need the flexibility of leather. Unlike other materials, leather remains flexible even at lower temperatures, making it a great material for trekkers and climbers. Leather is also water-resistant, abrasion-resistant, and breathable.
However, if you truly want thin, warm gloves, get the best of both worlds: leather gloves that are lined with ultra-soft wool.
2. Are all winter gloves waterproof?
It depends on the style and quality of the glove. Do not assume that a pair of gloves are waterproof just because it is advertised for wintertime. Some materials are naturally water-resistant or waterproof, such as wool. Polyester and nylon will add some resistance, but acrylic and other synthetics may need a coating of polyurethane to do the job.
3. Can work gloves be used as thin gloves for cold weather?
Work gloves can be either thick or thin, but they do provide plenty of dexterity for your digits. That said, while your work gloves may be warm and made of leather or another water-resistant material, they may lack the insulating layers of winter gloves. Work gloves are made for safety in mind, not protection from the elements. However, if your work gloves do have a little space, you can use lightweight winter gloves or glove liners alongside your work gloves for added warmth.