Like a rain jacket for your hands, the best waterproof gloves are essential accessories for those working—or playing—outdoors in cold or inclement weather. For outdoor sports enthusiasts, waterproof gloves simply protect the wearer from frostbite and wetness from the elements. For those who work outdoors, however, waterproof gloves are as essential as a great pair of work boots because they offer protection from grease, mud, and other wet messes. If you’re on the hunt for the best waterproof gloves, this guide will help.
- BEST OVERALL FOR MEN: Carhartt Men’s W.P. Waterproof Insulated Glove
- BEST OVERALL FOR WOMEN: MCTi Ski Gloves, Winter Waterproof Snowboard Snow 3M
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Wells Lamont Waterproof Work Gloves with Latex
- BEST LIGHTWEIGHT: OZERO Mens Winter Thermal Gloves
- BEST LEATHER: Wells Lamont Men’s HydraHyde Leather Work Gloves
- BEST EXTRA-WARM: Carhartt Men’s Cold Snap Insulated Work Glove
- BEST TOUCH SCREEN: RIVMOUNT Winter Gloves Men Women
- BEST FOR HIKING: LERWAY Winter Warm Gloves
- BEST FOR SKIING: Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski Glove
- BEST FOR WORK: Carhartt Men’s Wb Suede Leather Waterproof Work Glove
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Waterproof Gloves
Before you begin shopping for the best waterproof gloves, there are a few important decisions to be made about what the gloves will be used for, and the kind of materials and construction you desire. This section will review some key considerations to keep in mind while shopping for the best waterproof gloves, including points like materials, use, fit, and more.
Choosing the best waterproof gloves for your needs depends on how you intend to use them. Gloves made for work are completely different than those intended for running or casual wear.
- Work gloves: Work gloves are made of heavy-duty, wear-resistant materials that can stand up to the rigors of manual labor. They’re often heavy and a bit clumsy, but they’re very tough and many are waterproof.
- Lightweight gloves: For activities like hiking or running, a lightweight pair of gloves that can breathe well is important. These gloves typically wick moisture away from the skin and have a shell that protects the skin from water and weather.
- Cold-weather gloves: When the temperatures drop, keeping hands warm, dry and frostbite-free is incredibly important. Cold-weather gloves have insulation that traps body heat, and a waterproof shell keeps the insulation dry. Those who want to keep their hands toasty at all times might also want to investigate heated gloves.
On garments labeled as waterproof, the outer shell is usually where the magic happens. Materials like tightly woven nylon, polyester, softshell technical materials, treated leather, and others are excellent at shedding water before it can seep through to the lining. (Keep in mind that it’s very rare for leather gloves to actually be waterproof—more likely, they are simply water resistant.)
Aside from their shell material, there are other elements to waterproof gloves’ exteriors that make them useful in wet or messy situations. Some of the best waterproof gloves, for example, have textured grips that make it easier for the wearer to grab on to slippery, wet surfaces. These gloves are excellent for skiing, cycling, and other active pursuits. Those who are looking for waterproof gloves for work should seek out pairs with reinforced palms and thumbs, which should last longer and stand up to more wear than those without these additions.
Another terrific option to look for in the best waterproof gloves are those that have outer shells with conductors that transfer the electrical charge from a finger to a touch screen, allowing users to manipulate their phones without removing their gloves. These touch screen-friendly gloves are indispensable when the weather is truly fierce.
Warmth and Insulation
Some of the best waterproof gloves have insulation that captures body heat. The insulation forms air pockets that warm with the heat from your hand, preventing cold air from sneaking in. Most insulation is a manmade poly-fill material like Thinsulate or 3M. While insulated gloves are a bit thicker and more cumbersome to wear, they do a good job of keeping hands warm and dry.
Another thing glove shoppers can do to ensure their chosen pair will keep warm air inside (and cold air from seeping out) is to look for waterproof gloves that have long, elastic cuffs that hug tight to the wrist and arm, closing off any pathway for air to enter. If you require a stil-warmer pair of gloves, seek out removable liners that you can slip inside a waterproof glove to add another layer of insulation.
Comfort and Fit
When selecting the best waterproof gloves, fit and comfort are essential. A “good fit” is relative, though. A pair of running gloves will fit quite differently than a pair of winter work gloves or ski gloves.
Waterproof running or hiking gloves will often feel like a stretchy, flexible second skin. Because they’re also lightweight and wick moisture away, you’ll likely forget you’re even wearing them.
Waterproof work gloves are bulkier and a bit stiff out of necessity. They’re generally made from thick nylon or leather that resists ripping, tearing, and friction; extra padding or reinforcement on the thumbs or palms can add to their bulk. Though work gloves fit loosely, you don’t want them too loose. If they are, it will be hard to pick up small items while wearing them.
Ski gloves are flexible but hard wearing, and they’re typically made from materials like nylon. Properly fitting ski gloves will fit snugly around the wrist, but they’ll be roomy enough to allow the skier to manipulate straps on ski poles and boot bindings.
Finally, unlike the differences between men’s and women’s work boots, most work gloves are unisex.
There are a few other points to consider when choosing the best waterproof gloves, and an important one is breathability. If your hands sweat and moisture collects inside the glove, it won’t matter how waterproof the shell is—your hands will be wet. Breathable gloves help some of the heat and moisture escape without letting cold outer air and moisture in.
Though this isn’t necessarily a feature to seek out while shopping, the bottom line is that you should choose a pair of gloves that you feel looks nice. However utilitarian your new waterproof gloves might be, you won’t wear them if you don’t like how they look—which defeats the purpose of buying them in the first place! Whether you enjoy flashy accessories or subtle gear, there are plenty of work, athletic, and ski gloves to suit a wide variety of tastes.
Our Top Picks
Now that you know what to look for when shopping for the best waterproof gloves, finding the right pair should not be difficult. Our top picks are among the best waterproof gloves on the market and were chosen based on the quality of their construction, their durability, and other features outlined above. Whether you’re looking for cold-weather work gloves or gloves to protect your hands from moisture while engaging in outdoor sports, this list is sure to have some contenders that will suit your needs.
Shoppers looking for a long-lasting pair of gloves to keep their hands dry and warm—but don’t want a pair in a wild color or bold patterns—may find what they’re looking for in Carhartt’s W.P. waterproof insulated gloves. From the shell to the liner to the palm pad, these Carhartts are made from 100 percent polyester. They provide a durable and waterproof barrier between the skin and the elements.
Liners made using Carhartt’s FastDry moisture-wicking technology prevents sweat from collecting inside the gloves, and a waterproof insert provides an extra layer of protection from the elements. Adjustable hook-and-loop closures and elastic cuffs keeps hands snug while keeping cold air and elements out.
Women on the hunt for warm, waterproof gloves should give MCTi’s ski gloves a good look. The gloves’ outer shell is polyurethane with a faux leather palm and thumb grip area for holding ski poles or other slippery surfaces. The fabric along the top of the thumb is suitable for wiping cold, runny noses. On the gloves’ interior, there’s a waterproof liner to keep moisture from getting to the wearer’s skin.
MCTi’s gloves have some other desirable features as well, including 120 grams of quality Thinsulate insulation that keeps hands warm in temperatures as cold as -10 degrees Fahrenheit without adding a lot of bulk. Handy elastic wrist leashes make hanging and storing gloves after use a snap, and sensitive touch screen pads on three fingers allow the wearer to answer a phone or send a text without having to take off the gloves.
For simple, affordable waterproof gloves, Wells Lamont’s Waterproof Work Gloves are worth some consideration. These flexible gloves are constructed of a polyester shell dipped in a double layer of nitrile latex coating—one coating for the whole hand, and the other across the palm and fingers—for maximum grip and durability. This method of waterproofing makes them highly resistant to punctures and tears, too.
Although the gloves’ cuffs are not coated in latex and are therefore not waterproof, the cuffs are incredibly stretchy and make a snug, close seal around the wrist. The gloves’ main disadvantages are that they’re not insulated, so they’re not well suited for winter applications. The latex coating means the gloves don’t breathe particularly well either, but their competitive price may make up for these drawbacks.
Shoppers looking for lightweight protection from the weather should consider Ozero’s men’s thermal gloves, which provide warmth and weather resistance without a lot of bulk. These gloves feature a water-resistant and windproof polyester construction that keeps the wearer’s hands dry and warm in inclement weather (most of the shell fabric is indeed waterproof, but the seams and touch screen pads on two fingers are not, hence the “water resistant” designation). This pair is a good choice for cycling, running, walking, or other outdoor pursuits.
These gloves may not be well suited to subzero temperatures, but they’re suitable for regular winter wear and they have some nice features. The gloves’ thumbs and index fingers have sensors that are touch screen compatible and the palms are covered in grippy silica gel pods, which help users maintain a good grip on phones and other belongings. Elastic cuffs keep the elements out. These gloves fit snugly; the manufacturer suggests sizing up if you prefer a more relaxed fit.
Wells Lamont is no stranger to making quality work gloves—the brand’s been at it since 1907. The HydraHyde leather work gloves don’t just offer comfort and protection on the job site; the special tanning process they undergo also makes them water resistant and breathable.
These bright yellow cowhide gloves are durable enough for construction, farming, maintenance and other tough jobs, thanks to the tough leather and reinforced palm patch. They also feature an adjustable wrist strap for a snug fit. The only real disadvantages to the HydraHyde gloves are that they don’t have an elastic cuff nor are they insulated, though you could size up and wear a liner underneath them in colder temperatures.
Carhartt’s Cold Snap insulated work gloves offer both cold-weather protection and long-lasting construction that’s tough enough for the job site. From the warm insulation to the outer shell and reinforced palm, these gloves are made from 100 percent polyester and trimmed with leather for extra durability. They’re waterproof and have a nose wipe on the thumb, making them a good choice for work when the weather gets rough.
Cold Snap gloves feature some of Carhartt’s proprietary materials, including FastDry lining for wicking moisture and Storm Defender treatment for waterproofing. They also have a thick cuff with an adjustable drawstring for improved weather protection. A small section of goatskin around the finger and thumb area provides added grip.
Shoppers who seek waterproof gloves to keep their hands dry and warm that can also be worn when using a smartphone should give Rivmount’s winter gloves a look. These insulated gloves have touchscreen-conductive material on the index fingers, so wearers don’t have to remove the gloves in order to make a call or answer a text.
A waterproof shell made from a Dacron-spandex blend and a Thinsulate barrier that combats cold air make these gloves plenty warm. The Dacron-spandex shell is flexible, not too bulky, and resists abrasions, and the thermal fleece lining adds another layer of warmth and wicks moisture from the skin during cycling, hiking, skiing, and other active pursuits. Though the RIVMOUNT gloves don’t have an adjustable strap to seal out the cold, they do feature an elastic band across the back of the hand that provides a snug fit.
While wet socks might be a concern on the trail, wet hands aren’t any fun either. These gloves from Lerway aim to keep digits from getting damp while hiking, biking, or engaging in other outdoor pursuits. They’re lightweight and have three layers of material, including a polar fleece exterior, for containing body heat, waterproofing, and moisture wicking—all beneficial on the trail.
Not only will these gloves keep the water at bay, but their touchscreen-ready thumbs, index fingers, and middle allow wearers to check their smartphones or touch screen GPS on the trail without removing their gloves. Silicone grips on the gloves’ palms ensure a firm grasp on hiking essentials like water bottles, snacks, and other items that get slippery in the rain.
Hestra’s Army Leather Heli Ski Glove is designed for men and women who spend their time atop some of the coldest mountains—they’re great for skiers, search-and-rescue teams, and mountaineers. These three-finger gloves are constructed from Hestra’s windproof, breathable and water-resistant Triton fabric, with goat leather on the palms and fingers for improved grip in cold and slippery situations.
The insides of these Hestra gloves are made of a very thin polyester fiber with an extremely efficient insulating property, which is why they’re so warm without being overly bulky. The oversize cuffs feature a drawstring closure to keep snow and moisture out as well, and leashes ensure the gloves won’t get lost. The Army Leather Heli gloves are available in three colors, so there’s sure to be a shade to match your snow gear.
While it’s rare that a leather work glove is also waterproof, the Carhartt WB work gloves are indeed both. Their heavy-duty suede, leather, and cotton duck exterior is incredibly durable; suede cowhide-reinforced palms and a leather band across the back of the hand provide extra protection while working with tools and building materials.
On the interior of the WB gloves is Carhartt’s moisture-wicking, breathable Storm Defender insert, which makes them as windproof and waterproof as leather gloves can be. It helps keep the inside of these gloves dry no matter how hard the wearer is working. Thick knit cuffs seal the gloves off nicely and protect the wearer from coming in contact with work debris.
FAQs About Waterproof Gloves
Now that you know a bit more about the factors to consider when choosing the best waterproof gloves for your needs, you might have some questions. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about the best waterproof gloves, so be sure to check for an answer to your question below.
Q. What’s the difference between water-resistant and waterproof gloves?
Waterproof means that absolutely no water makes its way into the glove. Water resistant means that the glove will shed water to a degree before water can make its way in.
Q. What are the warmest waterproof gloves?
One of the best options for the warmest waterproof gloves is the Carhartt Men’s Cold Snap Insulated Work Glove. They’re waterproof and warm enough to protect your hands in very cold temperatures.
Q. Can you wash waterproof gloves?
You can wash some waterproof gloves, but it’s best to spot clean them and use a boot dryer with a glove attachment if they become soiled.
Q. How do you dry the inside of waterproof gloves?
The best way to dry the inside of waterproof gloves is to put them on a boot dryer with a glove attachment.