Riding with cold hands is miserable, but staying comfortable isn’t as simple as just wearing the heaviest gloves possible. You need to make sure you can grip the bars, use your gears and brakes properly and control your bike safely.
There’s no single choice that will work everywhere for everyone. So we’ve tested gloves from the big names that are designed for a range of winter conditions, from wet and mild through to dry and bitter.
Read on for a summary of our top glove picks for winter training, cold commutes and muddy mountain biking. There are links to the full reviews, too.
Otherwise, if you’re in search of fingerless gloves, check out our guide to the best summer cycling gloves.
You can skip to road or mountain bike gloves by hitting the links below.
The best winter gloves for road cycling in 2023
Castelli Spettacolo RoS gloves
- £85 / $89.99 / AU$167 as tested
- High breathability and good warmth without bulk
- Easy-on with a long zipper
Castelli’s Spettacolo RoS gloves (RoS meaning Rain or Shine) are designed for variable conditions, featuring a windproof, breathable membrane.
The premium insulation is thin but still keeps your hands warm. There’s a very grippy palm and the long zip makes it easy to get the gloves on and off.
Dissent 133 Glove Layering System
- £95 / $123 / AU$181 as tested
- Lots of glove combinations allow tailoring to different weather conditions
- Versatility means you’ll get more use than from a single pair of gloves
This four-glove set from Dissent 133 gives you options for a huge range of weather conditions, from cold and dry through to wet summer rides.
The set includes two pairs of outer gloves, a thermal inner (that can also be worn on its own), and a silk baselayer. While the price for the whole kit looks hefty, it’s still less than some brands charge for a single pair of gloves, and the Dissent system offers far more versatility.
Endura Deluge gloves
- £49.99 / $64.99 / €59.99 as tested
- Comfortable and grippy
- Lots of reflectives
Endura’s Deluge gloves have good rain and wind resistance, along with a grippy palm, gel padding in the heel of the palm and lots of reflectives.
They’re well enough insulated to keep your hands warm, without sacrificing bar and lever feel.
The Endura Deluge has been updated since our review, but we’d expect the latest version to perform well too.
GripGrab Windster 2 Winter Gloves
- £65 / $80 / €70 as tested
- Lots of grippy surfaces
- Good insulation without too much bulk
GripGrab majors on grip and the Windster 2 gloves have plenty of silicone spread across the palms and the fingers. There’s also a large vibration-absorbing pad at the base of the palm.
GripGrab says the Windster 2 gloves are mid-weight and they’ll handle temperatures down towards zero.
There’s good wind-proofing and plenty of insulation, without it getting in the way or being too bulky. Visibility is taken care of well, with long reflective darts on the outside edges of the gloves and more reflectives on the backs and index fingers.
Pearl Izumi Amfib Lite gloves
- £54.99 as tested
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Great all-rounder
The Pearl Izumi Amfib Lites have all the usual winter glove features – thermal padded insulation, a water-resistant outer and a long, adjustable cuff – but Pearl has pared them back as much as possible, while still maintaining their cold-combatting qualities.
The 60g PrimaLoft Gold insulation has little bulk, the soft and supple synthetic leather palm is unlined so you have a good connection to the handlebar, and the thumb and index fingertips are touchscreen-friendly.
These are great gloves for cold and damp morning rides, keeping your hands warm but not sweaty.
They do wet out after a couple of hours in full-on rain, but our tester hasn’t tried many gloves of this weight that last longer in adverse conditions.
Prologo Energrip long finger glove
- £80 / €77.70 as tested
- Class-leading grip
- Superb fit
Prologo has incorporated its patented CPC grip (usually found on it’s saddles) in the palm of the Energrip, creating a glove with impressive levels of grip and shock absorption.
The glove is well-shaped, and the laser-cut cuff keeps it in place. A suede-like palm material conforms well and adds a reassuring layer of protection, while the back of the hand features a breathable material that limits this glove on the coldest of winter days.
The thumb features a soft wipe, and the forefinger and thumb pads are touchscreen-sensitive.
Shimano Infinium PrimaLoft Gloves
- £60 / $77 / €60 / AU$98 as tested
- Quality materials make for insulation without bulk
- Effective touchscreen fingers
The Shimano Infinium PrimaLoft gloves use two name-brand materials for insulation without bulk.
The insulation is restricted to the backs of the gloves, so it works well without compromising the ability to use the controls. It sits below a Gore-Tex Infinium Windstopper outer layer that’s very windproof and also resists lighter rain, while the palms are made of synthetic suede, providing a good level of grip.
Shimano’s touchscreen fingertips are very effective. The ability to use a touchscreen in gloves can be limited, but the Shimano Infinium PrimaLoft gloves enable you to carry out more intricate operations effectively on your cycling computer or phone.
- £29.99 / $49.99 / €39.99 as tested
- All-round performance
- Great value with clever touches
Endura’s Windchill gloves combine ventilation with wind resistance to make them a versatile budget option. They also fit snugly.
Handy features include a patch over the back of the hand and fingers to guard against gusts. Padding on the palms adds comfort when riding on the drops.
In addition, there are reflective strips on the outside of the gloves.
Castelli Perfetto Max Glove
- £85 / $80 / €80 / AU$135 as tested
- Warm, light and close-fitting
- Plenty of grippy surfaces on palms and fingers
The Castelli Perfetto Max gloves belong to the brand’s pro-level clothing range and are the warmest option in the Perfetto glove line-up. Despite this, they’re light at 64g a pair and quite thin, but the dense fleecy lining provides plenty of insulation.
Castelli gives you a large grippy area on the palms, more grippers on the fingers and a pad to protect your median nerve. The gloves are close-fitting, so you have a firm grip on bars and controls. They’re comfortable once you’ve cut out the care and name tag labels, which tend to rub on the outer sides of the palms.
Chrome Midweight Cycle Gloves
- £47 as tested
- Very toasty
- Fit well
The Chrome Midweight Cycle Gloves are the most traditionally styled gloves here, with a shorter cuff, double-skin construction and a warm thermal lining.
It’s a design more suited to leisure and commuter cycling, when you’re likely to be wearing a non-riding winter coat.
The fit is excellent, the fingers are long, and Chrome’s comprehensive online sizing guide ensures you can find the right fit.
Their 70D ripstop nylon backs keep water at bay, with rain beading on the surface, enabling you to shake them dry.
They have minimal padding, thumb and fingertips that are touchscreen-compatible and subtle reflective details.
Among the warmest gloves around, the Chromes would be a strong choice for commuting with a heavier winter jacket.
Gore C5 Gore-Tex Thermo Gloves
- £64.99 / $79.99 / AU$110 as tested
- Great insulation and breathability
- Comfortable, padded, grippy palms
DWR-treated fabric and a breathable waterproof membrane give Gore’s C5 Gore-Tex Thermo Gloves a high level of wet-weather protection, while there’s plenty of insulation to retain body warmth.
The synthetic leather palms retain grip well in the damp and include extra foam padding at pressure points.
Madison Zenith 4-Season DWR
- £25 as tested
- Suitable for wet, chilly rides
Madison’s Zenith 4-Season gloves are water-resistant and windproof thanks to a DWR treatment. When soggy, they managed to remain warm.
A great-value choice for foul weather, they also feel comfy anywhere you hold the handlebars.
Rapha Brevet Reflective
- £80 as tested
- Insulated, but not for near-zero temperatures
- Dainty and comfortable on the bars
Rapha’s Brevet gloves are warm, light and reflective, and would be hard to beat, if not for their high price.
Given their weight, the Brevets cope well in the cold, easily withstanding temperatures as chilly as 5°C.
Shimano Windstopper Thermal Reflective gloves
- £54.99 as tested
- Curved cut avoids rucking of fabric
- Well-designed palm for bar comfort
The sophisticated cut and shaping of Shimano’s Windstopper Thermal Reflective gloves’ palms makes for a comfortable hold on the bars and levers, with well-positioned pads helping to keep your hands comfortable on longer training rides.
A metallic finish to the padding helps retain hand heat, without adding bulk.
The best winter gloves for mountain biking in 2023
- £29 / US$35 / €35 / AU$ 47 as tested
- Superb in the wet
- Less good in dry cold
The 100% Briskers fit snugly and keep your hands toasty in the rain, while remaining grippy. They are also hardwearing and touchscreen-friendly.
A great choice for overall winter performance, but your fingers might tingle on the chilliest of days.
Endura Singletrack Windproof
- £30 / US$45 / €40 / AU$60 as tested
- Top of the class for on-the-bike comfort
- Live up to their claim to be windproof
These flexible gloves fitted our tester so well, they could’ve forgotten they were wearing them.
They withstand the most Baltic of breezes, but don’t ward off water as well as the Briskers and don’t work with touchscreens.
Giro Proof Gloves
- £80 as tested
- Protection from all but the worst winter weather
- Retain a tactile feel
These extremely warm and waterproof gloves are ideal for the depths of winter when diminished dexterity is preferable to frostbitten fingers.
Their fantastic insulation brings bulk, which may cause overheating when riding hard and on milder winter days.
Nukeproof Blackline Winter Glove
- £32 as tested
- Great all-rounders for winter riding
- Retain good handlebar feel
Considering the reasonable price, we were impressed by the performance here. The backs of these gloves are made from a fleece-lined waterproof softshell fabric that does a grand job of keeping water and windchill out. Importantly, though, this material isn’t particularly bulky.
Once on, they feel similar to regular riding gloves, the tips of the index finger and thumb get touchscreen-friendly patches, and there’s a neoprene cuff with Velcro closure that sits on the back of the hand and keeps them secure.
We’ve worn these in everything from sub-zero temperatures to heavy downpours and have always been impressed. They aren’t as toasty as 100%’s Briskers, but that slimmer feel broadens their appeal and we’d still wear these on milder windy days.
Troy Lee Designs Swelter
- £50 as tested
- Slim-fitting and comfy
- Keep fingers warm and agile
Providing insulation and windproofing without the heft associated with some winter gloves, the Swelters would suit warm-blooded riders or high-intensity riding.
The gloves don’t compromise on ride feel or grip, but they’re not cut out for days when the temperature tumbles. They are not waterproof either.
- £29.99 as tested
- Svelte design and impressive in cold, dry weather
- Not the most waterproof but retain warmth
These well-priced gloves from 7iDP do a decent job of keeping your hands warm in cold weather. The thin palm allows plenty of feedback through from the grips, and the relatively svelte design means they don’t feel bulky or make it tricky to operate your gears or brakes.
While you can feel the seams that run along the fingers when you first slip them on, get riding and you’ll soon forget about them.
The micro-fleece neoprene back does a good job of blocking out cold air. While the Chills won’t keep your hands totally dry on really wet days, they’ll still manage to do a good job of keeping them warm.
Altura Polartec Waterproof Gloves
- £50 as tested
- Good value
- Waterproof and comfortable
The feel of these gloves is good for their level of warmth and waterproofing. They are also windproof, but their insulation doesn’t impede dexterity.
The fit on the fingers is a bit tight and they don’t work particularly well with touchscreens. Despite their name, the Polartecs will be out of their depth in near-zero temperatures.
Fox Defend Fire Gloves
- £50 / €55 / AU$85 as tested
- Padded to protect knuckles
- Could be warmer and grippier
Pleasant to wear on and off the bike despite the padding, the Defend Fires fit well and can be used with screens.
Compared to the best gloves, such as the 100% Brisker and Endura Singletrack, they’re slippier and less warm.
Sealskinz Waterproof All Weather MTB
- £45 / $70 / €55 as tested
- High level of waterproofing
- May need to size up for a comfortable fit
As well as being waterproof, even when submerged, the Sealskinz have a tactile feel on the bike. They are adequately warm for frosty conditions, as long as you’re maintaining the effort.
Our tester found them a close fit on the back of the hand, so size up or try on before you buy.
How to choose the best winter gloves for your riding
Match your gloves to your typical riding conditions
A super-thick pair of gloves is not necessarily the best bet, particularly if you live somewhere where winter temperatures typically hover in the mid-single digits and the climbs and descents are quite short, such as the southern UK.
However, if you ride somewhere where it gets properly cold, or are tackling long winter descents, in the Alps or Rockies for instance, you’ll likely need more insulation to keep your hands comfortable. A good overlap with the cuffs of your jacket will also help keep the chill at bay.
Your needs will also depend on how hot you run. If you’re putting in larger efforts, your hands will probably warm up after half an hour’s riding or so, even if they start out a bit too cold, and a thickly padded glove might start to feel sweaty.
Wet conditions will also leave you colder, so most gloves will have a waterproof membrane and/or DWR surface coating to help keep your hands drier.
The palms of most gloves will be made of synthetic leather, although some are real leather and there are other options too. Synthetic leather typically gives good bar feel, although it may wet-out in the rain. On the plus side, it should dry quicker than the real thing.
The glove’s back will usually be windproof and most winter gloves will include a water-resistant liner to help keep your hands dry. Beware, though, because some liners are more breathable than others.
The best will let sweat out readily, but a cheaper liner may leave your hands uncomfortably sweaty, and they can get sore if you’re out on a long ride.
Some cuffs are designed to fit over jackets, others under them. There needs to be enough length to ensure a decent overlap, so your wrists don’t get cold. A more chunky cuff worn over a jacket may offer more warmth, but only if it’s adequately closed; a velcro tab is the preferred option.
Grip, padding and other features
In wet conditions, you’ll want to make sure that you have a firm hold on the bars, so palm grip is important. Most gloves will have silicone printing on the palms and fingers for a firm hold on the bars and controls. Plus, it’s nice to have some padded areas in the palms to absorb road vibration if you’re planning longer rides, so look out for gel inserts.
A touchscreen-sensitive fingertip will mean that you can operate your bike computer as you ride, or use your phone without taking your gloves off. An absorbent area will enable you to wipe rain from your glasses, while reflective elements or bright colours will up your road presence and help highlight your hand signals.