Finding the right pair of winter cycling gloves is a bit like being Goldilocks… if the three bears had gloves, that is. While you want something to keep your hands warm and covered when it’s wet, windy and cold, the best gloves also keep things breathable and leave you with functioning fingers – you’ve got to be able to work your bike’s brakes, after all.
Experienced cyclists who have tackled their fair share of winter riding will often have two sets – and for good reasons. Milder days simply require a thin pair that will take the edge off, and a thicker, waterproof pair will be kept in reserve for those days when the temperature plummets. Both can be worn, one over the other, when it’s truly arctic.
The key thing to look out for is some level of waterproofing – damp hands quickly become cold hands. Other notable additions include reflective detailing, touchscreen compatibility and additional grips on the palms to make holding the handlebars easier.
Here are our picks of the best cycling gloves that will leave numb fingers a distant memory.
DHB Merino Liner Glove
DHB Merino Liner Glove
Merino wool is a miraculous material. This natural fabric is soft, breathable and warm when you need it but moisture wicking when things get a bit too toasty. It’s also naturally odor resistant, meaning you can extend the number of wears between washes. These liner gloves from Wiggle’s in-house brand DHB are 100% Merino wool and are a great way of adding some warmth to another pair on the coldest winter days. While they are great in their own right on clement days, it’s worth noting that they aren’t waterproof.
Buy from Wiggle | £20
Sportful No Rain Gloves
If the DHB set above are a great liner, then these from Italian brand Sportful are the ideal outer. Their No Rain fabric keeps the elements out in all but the worst conditions – and ultimately, if it’s raining that hard, it’s likely you won’t be out on your bike. They do include some light insulation, meaning that they can be worn on their own. Silicone prints on the palm ensure a strong grip, even in wet weather.
Buy from Wiggle | £38.50-£50
Proviz Reflect360 Waterproof Cycling Gloves
We’re big fans of Proviz at Coach. The brand’s hi-vis jacket is one of the stand-out picks in our round-up of the best cycling jackets, and its Reflect360 gloves offer up more of the same. The backs are constructed from the same highly reflective material, increasing your visibility when riding and making hand signals. A waterproof outer and a micro-fleece lining keep things warm and dry, and a padded palm ensures your hands stay comfortable. Finishing flourishes include a touchscreen-compatible section on the index fingers and a range of sizes from small to XXL.
Buy from Proviz | £44.99
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- The Best Bike Helmets For Commuters
Chrome Industries Midweight Cycle Gloves
Cycling commuting kit needs to be durable and be able to handle the odd scrape that comes with daily use. The midweight gloves from Chrome Industries are a reliable set that can withstand any abuse you throw their way. Made from a 70D Nylon Ripstop outer, they provide protection from showers and the resulting post-rain road spray, and the polyester lining is comfortable and warm against the skin. Constructed with the commuter in mind, they feature a touchscreen-friendly fingertip. Smart synthetic leather detailing and a discreet colourway makes them ideal for use when not cycling too.
Sealskinz Waterproof Cold Weather Glove With Fusion Control
When it’s blowing a gale, freezing cold and tipping it down with rain, you need to reach for the big guns to stop your fingers going numb. Look no further than these Sealskinz gloves. Constructed from premium materials – goatskin leather, Merino wool and a 100% hydrophilic membrane – the gloves are designed to offer the ultimate protection from the elements. Although they might seem expensive, they are a worthwhile investment and, thanks to their breathability, can be worn long into the spring. What’s more, they will definitely last you more than one winter.
Buy from Sealskinz | £75
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Charlie Allenby is a journalist with a passion for pedalling. He contributes features and buying advice about cycling, and is Coach’s dedicated turbo trainer reviewer. He is also Coach’s chief whey and casein protein powder tester, trying as many brands as possible.