What are some good recommendations for winter gloves under $75?
December 30, 2021 1:15 PM   Subscribe

Specifically gloves that are warm, but also that can be used with my phone, hopefully waterproof (but not necessary). I'm from a tropical country, and I'm having a hard time getting the right gloves. To be precise, I don't think it will go further than -20 C where I'm at. I've already bought two pairs of gloves. The first ones were pretty bad, though I should have figured out that the cheap price tag would lead to that, the second ones are an improvement, but they're not warm enough, I can't use my phone with them, and they are too bulky.

I'm unsure how to go about this. There seem to be several brands on Amazon, but they look cheap, counterfeit and not at all that great.

I know stuff like The North Face and Outdoor Research is quality, but even then, I'm having a hard time figuring out what is best for me.

If anyone has any advice, I'd appreciate it.
posted by Tarsonis10 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know if this appeals but I wear inexpensive touch screen gloves underneath hand-knit fair isle (so there are two layers of yarn) wool gauntlets like these ones on Etsy. You may also be able to find some convertible hand-knit wool mittens there that you like. All wool, fair isle or double knit gloves will give you lots of warmth.
posted by twelve cent archie at 1:25 PM on December 30, 2021 [4 favorites]

You won't find gloves that will keep you warm down to -20 deg C that are not bulky. Bulk is what gives warmth. And even using such gloves with touch screen stickers is hard because the fingers are so fat, you can't tell or see where you are tapping.

I'm an ice climber and regularly travel outside in extreme cold. These OR gloves are pretty popular for being warm, dexterous, but not touch screen compatible. You could try those stickers, or try a two glove system like twelve cent mentioned (big outer glove, thin liner glove that is touch screen sensitive). These Kinco gloves are much cheaper and popular for workers at ski resorts and last forever, but also not touch screen compatible and a bit stiff.
posted by mnemonic at 1:51 PM on December 30, 2021 [5 favorites]

Best answer: I just got a pair of Outdoor Research Flurry Sensor gloves to be my new driving gloves. (There's a men's version too, if that's what you need.) They're not too bulky and I can use my phone with them. They should be fine for keeping my hands reasonably warm while I wait for the heat to come on in the car or while I'm walking a short distance outside, but I wouldn't use them while downhill skiing or taking a long walk in the woods at -10 or -20 C. I don't think you can expect to find gloves that will not be bulky and will allow you to use your phone that will also keep your hands warm down to -20 C, at least not if you're going to be outside for more than fifteen minutes or so. Especially since you're from a tropical country and not used to the cold, you may need more than just thick gloves, you may need mittens. (But you'll also need gloves, for times when it's not so cold. You probably need several pairs of mittens or gloves to cover the whole range of temperatures you'll run into over the course of a northern winter.)
posted by Redstart at 1:53 PM on December 30, 2021 [3 favorites]

I got these Polar Sport gloves this year and have been pretty happy with them. It hasn't gotten below about 20 F here yet, so I haven't tried them in very cold weather, but they work much better with my phone than any others that I've tried.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 2:12 PM on December 30, 2021

Also, when I lived in Michigan, a few days a year it would get to -15 deg C in the day. That's really damn cold. Most people would just avoid being outside for more than a few minutes and would drive to places where they'd normally walk. Downtown would be quiet, everyone was like f this and stay home. You can get by with pretty normal winter clothes in such cases as long as you're not hanging around outside a lot.

Don't neglect keeping your core (torso) warm. Being very bundled up on your body, wearing thermal baselayers (Uniqlo has good cheap ones, also no-name brands on Amazon I think are fine), can go a long way toward keeping your extremities warm.

If you plan to regularly be standing around for long periods in those temps, getting very big heavy layers, insulated boots isn't out of the question. You're risking frostbite in 30 minutes on exposed skin in those temps, so I'm really curious where in the world you are exactly. Otherwise just focus on avoiding the outside when it's that cold.
posted by mnemonic at 2:13 PM on December 30, 2021

You won't find any gloves that are going to keep your hands warm at -20C and will work with a phone. The required insulation will make your fingers too large. What you can do is use a thinner pair of touch screen compatible gloves underneath a warmer pair of gloves or mitts (and you can use the thinner gloves alone in milder conditions).

I think insulated leather gloves and mitts are usually best as they are very windproof and wear a lot better than synthetic material gloves. If you're touching snow, you'll want to apply waterproofing. Auclair makes nice gloves and mitts, as do Black Diamond and many others.

Make sure the rest of you is well-insulated. Long underwear, down jackets, warm boots and a warm toque go a long way to making sure your fingers stay warm too. Once your toes and your head start to get cold, it's very difficult to keep your fingers from getting cold.
posted by ssg at 2:15 PM on December 30, 2021

I would suggest going to a physical store that specializes in outdoor sports, something like an REI or MEC, as they will tend to have a minimum quality threshold so you know you aren't getting crap and a fairly generous exchange policy if a particular pair of gloves doesn't work out for you.

Over the years I've had a couple of pairs of Gordini gloves that I have no complaints about. Last year I picked up a pair of North Face gloves that claimed to be significantly warmer (and were on sale) but they're about the same. For pretty much all gloves I've had that claim to work with touchscreens they're only about half-effective when new and go downhill from there.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:48 PM on December 30, 2021 [2 favorites]

Mitts are always warmer than gloves.
For working outside in very cold conditions I used rag wool inner mitt and a separate simple leather outer mitt. Worked very well, not expensive

For gloves my preferred insulation is Primaloft which is a very soft compressible synthetic.
Thinsulate is warm enough but you lose a lot of dexterity.

Visit a Marks work wearhouse. They tend to have a large selection of insulated gloves to try.
posted by yyz at 3:04 PM on December 30, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Wirecutter review, for what it's worth: https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-touchscreen-gloves/

Though I doubt any of those are great for extended sub-freezing temperatures.

I personally use a convertible pair most days (fingerless gloves with flaps that cover the fingers). On the coldest days I keep my hands in my pockets (and/or just stay in).

Phone batteries perform very poorly at low temperatures, and I've mostly given up using my phone for anything non-critical on really cold days.

There are a lot of gradations of cold on the way down to -20C, and you'll probably end up with more than one pair. They're also easy to lose. So I'd be more inclined to experiment with a lot of cheap options rather than spending a lot in pursuit of perfection.
posted by bfields at 4:42 PM on December 30, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yeah, it appears that choosing gloves/mitts is a lot harder than it seems. Now, I don't know about anyone else, but I do not want to be wearing mitts. I just don't see how that's going to work out for me. You can't really use your fingers like that.

I have thick gloves already, so I don't think I'd buy more of those. Regardless of that, it's really quite strange that out of all the parts that could have been affected, it ends up being my hands. I haven't really had trouble with anything else other than my hands. If I don't wear anything, it feels like they're in a bucket of ice. That's really uncomfortable.
posted by Tarsonis10 at 5:36 PM on December 30, 2021

I wear two sets of gloves: a thin knit layer (preferably wool) under and a loose waterproof layer to cut the wind that will go straight through a knit. They don’t need to be super spendy. And then I stuff my hands in my pockets when possible, because the surface area to volume ratio is going to freeze my hands real fast no matter what. Also I tend to have cold hands indoors, and find that extra layers to my arms/torso helps more than trying to warm something that is cold in the first place. Hot packs at pulse points help if I am planning to spend a long time outside. And moving fast helps too.

Phones die fast at those temps, but when I need to, I use a stylus. (None of this is the answer you want, but it is what I have figured out, and I don’t see people where I live using their phones much outdoors in the winter either.)
posted by tchemgrrl at 6:10 PM on December 30, 2021 [1 favorite]

The best option I have found to deal with cold / wet / wind while allowing phone use are Arc'teryx Rivet Gloves.

I have worn them often (daily in many winter periods) and they have held up for several years with a couple of very minor repairs on my part.
posted by sindark at 10:32 AM on January 2

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