Best cycling gloves for winter 2018: protect your hands from the biting cold

Don’t lose your grip, or the feeling in your fingers; our best winter gloves for cyclists keep wind and rain at bay

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There’s very little that can turn a joyous cycle ride into one of abject misery quite so fast as freezing fingers. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up the best cycling winter gloves to keep warmth in and wind out on your next cold-weather excursion.

While the temptation might simply be to bung on the first pair of mittens you find in the drawer before you head out, there’s more than one way to keep hands warm and dry in unfavourable weather conditions, so it makes sense to keep two things in mind when looking for the best cycling gloves for winter: a waterproof and windproof construction that’ll keep the elements out, and a shape that sits close to the wrist to stop heat escaping.

It would also do to be careful about the fit: too loose, and you’ll be flapping around all over the place, unwieldy as one of those arm-waving inflatable tube men; too tight, and you’ll end up with numb fingers, which sort of defeats the purpose of wearing gloves in the first place.

The best way to find your dream pair of winter cycling gloves is to consider them on an individual basis. We’ve rounded up the cream of the crop from across the big brands, highly rated and reviewed by cycling fanatics for their weather-beating abilities – but each one has a particular set of charms that makes it better for certain conditions.

The best winter cycling gloves, in order

Castelli Estremo Winter Cycling Gloves

1. Castelli Estremo Winter Cycling Gloves

THE best winter gloves for cyclists

Specifications
Best for: Deep winter training
Sizes: Large
Material: Polyester, nylon, Olefin, polyurethane
Waterproof?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Superior wind-proofing+Silicone texture palms for grip
Reasons to avoid
-Not touch-screen compatible

Castelli’s Estremo cycling gloves offer up a multi-pronged attack against winter weather and discomfort, giving them our top spot. First off, the hand features Windstopper X-Fast material for maximum breathability met with wind-stopping functionality, and is treated with a water-repellent finish to shuck rain and spray in wet conditions. 

Then there’s the palm, finished inside with brushed fleece for a plush, snuggly feel, and covered outside with textured silicone for grip. Awesome all round.
 

Giro Proof Freezing Weather Cycling Gloves

2. Giro Proof Freezing Weather Cycling Gloves

Best cycling gloves for really extreme cold

Specifications
Best for: Staying warm and dry
Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
Material: Fleece, PrimaLoft, Clarino
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Great insulation+Touchscreen compatible
Reasons to avoid
-Not especially grippy

These are truly multi-talented winter gloves, warming and wind-resistant for a comfortable ride. The breathable waterproof liner keeps chilly rain at bay, the tried-and-tested Thinsulate and Primaloft innards keep the warmth of your hands where it should be, and there’s even an internal zipper pocket for slipping in hand warmers. 

Oh, and don’t worry about losing a finger to frostbite while texting: these touchscreen gloves keep you connected and cosy. Win-win.

Endura Deluge II Waterproof Gloves

3. Endura Deluge II Waterproof Gloves

Best waterproof and cushioned cycling gloves

Specifications
Best for: Comfort and grip
Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
Material: Nylon, polyester, PU, elastane
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Breathable insulating interior+Comfortable and grippy hold
Reasons to avoid
-Not the most waterproof (despite the name)

If you’re worried about bulky winter gloves cutting down on dexterity or responsiveness out on the road, these waterproof cycling gloves might give you some peace of mind. 

As well as packing in Thinsulate insulation, breathable waterproofing and wicking tricot inside, these gloves feature a lightly padded gel palm for comfort while holding tight to the handlebars. Most importantly, silicone print palm and fingertips at the exterior stay grippy in wet conditions. The adjustable elasticated wrist ensures no heat escapes, too.

Gore Universal Windstopper Gloves

4. Gore Universal Windstopper Gloves

Best lightweight cycling gloves for beating cold winds

Specifications
Best for: Windy conditions
Sizes: L, XL, XXL, XXXL
Material: Polyester, elastane
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+DWR waterproofing+Elasticated wrist to keep in warmth
Reasons to avoid
-No extra insulating

If you had your eye on the wind-stopping capabilities of our first choice Castelli gloves but weren’t totally sold, these Gore gloves offer a slight break on the price with the same branded windproofing. If a fleeced interior sounds a little clammy to you, or you’re not planning to ride in sub-freezing conditions, these lighter gloves may be ample. 

Finished with DWR waterproofing to see off showers, they keep warmth up and clamminess down with an elasticated wrist and breathable construction, and ensure proper grip with a reinforced patch between thumb and forefinger.

Sportful Essential Windstopper Gloves

5. Sportful Essential Windstopper Gloves

Best cheap cycling winter gloves

Specifications
Best for: Budget breathability
Sizes: S, L, XL, XXL
Material: Polyester, PU, nylon
Waterproof: No
Reasons to buy
+Windstopper windproofing+High-vis panels
Reasons to avoid
- Not waterproof 

Coming in at just under £30, these budget cycling gloves are a great bet if you’re just starting out, don’t experience enough very cold weather to make more expensive gloves worth it, or otherwise just don’t want to drop a lot of dosh on hand coverings. 

They do all the essentials admirably: Windstopper back to cut out biting breezes, fleeced inner palm for added warmth with no clamminess, and what Sportful call ‘a dialed-in fit’, resulting in a non-bulky, more responsive experience. The only downside is that they’re not waterproof, so they’re perhaps best kept for those clear but chilly days.

dhb Extreme Winter Gloves

6. dhb Extreme Winter Gloves

When really bad weather sets in, you want these gloves on your side

Specifications
Best for: Extreme conditions
Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
Material: Polyester, nylon, rubber, elastane, lycra
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Great insulation+Silicone grip
Reasons to avoid
-Don’t offer the best dexterity

If our previous pick was Singin’ in the Rain then these cold-weather gloves are more along the lines of The Day After Tomorrow. While they’re naturally a little bulkier than most of our other offerings, this looks to be a small price to pay for the superior protection in really horrid weather. 

Silicone finger grippers mean you can still change gears when things get slippy, fleece lining forms a soft but breathable layer next to the skin, and best of all, there’s hollow fill insulation, giving your hands their very own tailored down jackets to keep our the cold.