Are you preparing for a hunting trip in chilly weather and wondering how to pick the perfect gloves or mittens to keep your hands warm and dry? Cold weather hunting gear is your first line of defense again harsh winter weather and the risk of frostbite (just check out this chart to see how serious frostbite can be when you're facing high winds).
However, not just any old pair of gloves or mittens will do. There are plenty of other essential factors to consider when making your selection. It’s also crucial to consider the importance of insulation, waterproofing, and breathability, as well as additional features that can make a world of difference in the great outdoors.
Follow along as we explore the ins and outs of cold weather hunting gear, so you'll be well-equipped with the knowledge to find the ideal gloves or mittens for your cold weather hunting adventures.
Winter Hunting Gloves vs. Hunting Mittens: Which is Best?
When it comes to hunting in the winter, gloves and mittens are both essential items to have in your gear collection. While they both serve the same purpose of keeping your hands warm, they each have distinct differences that make one more suitable than the other for certain hunting or outdoor activities.
Gloves are the go-to choice for those who need a higher level of dexterity. They allow for better control of a firearm, bow, or fishing rod. Gloves also provide individual coverage for each finger, allowing you to stay warm without sacrificing movement or grip.
Conversely, mittens are the warmer option for those who engage in lower-dexterity activities, such as ice fishing, trapping, or sitting in a deer stand. Mittens offer superior warmth by keeping your fingers together, allowing them to share body heat. In extremely cold conditions, mittens can provide higher levels of warmth than gloves.
Of course, there are also situations where one might be better than the other, depending on the hunting you plan on doing. For example, gloves might be a better choice if you're hunting small game and need to be able to shoot with precision. However, if you're more concerned with staying warm and waiting for your prey to come to you, mittens could be the way to go.
Now that we've briefly covered the differences between gloves and mittens let's explore the pros and cons of each in greater detail.
Pros & Cons of Gloves
When hunting in cold weather, gloves are essential to keep you warm. However, just like any other equipment, cold weather gloves come with pros and cons that any hunter should be aware of.
The pros of using hunting gloves include the following:
- Warmth, which is crucial when hunting in cold temperatures for extended periods
- Dexterity allows you to load and aim your firearm or bow without removing them
- Protection from cuts, scrapes, and other injuries that may occur while handling firearms or trekking through the woods
The cons of using warm hunting gloves include the following:
- Noise when they rub against each other or brush against your clothing, potentially alerting animals to your presence
- Sensitivity, making it difficult to feel the trigger or properly manipulate other equipment
- Fit can be challenging, as many hunters need to purchase larger sizes to accommodate hand warmers or additional layers
While gloves are vital equipment for hunting in cold weather, consider the pros and cons of each type of glove to find the right pair that meets your needs.
Pros & Cons of Mittens
Let’s start with the pros. Mittens are better for extremely cold temperatures as they keep your fingers together and create natural warmth. This means less heat loss and more efficiency when handling firearms and gear. Mittens are also safer for hunters than gloves since they reduce the possibility of catching onto triggers or other small objects.
However, mittens do come with a few disadvantages. With less dexterity, they may not be the best option for tasks that require delicate movements, such as tying a knot or handling small items. Additionally, some mittens can get wet quickly (not ours!), resulting in cold, damp hands — not ideal for any hunter out in the wild.
Overall, when choosing the right mittens, it's crucial to consider the unique demands of your hunt. Weighing up the pros and cons can help ensure you stay warm, protected, and ready to take on whatever the elements may throw your way.
Types of Cold Weather Hunting Gloves
Now that you know a bit about the difference between hunting mittens and gloves, let's focus on the best hunting gloves for harsh winter weather. As mentioned, choosing any old pair of gloves isn't the best thing to do. Choosing the right pair of gloves can make all the difference in your comfort and ability to shoot accurately.
With so many materials, brands, and styles to choose from, it can be overwhelming to find the perfect pair. That's why we're going to break it down for you, starting with the basic types of cold weather hunting gloves you'll find from most hunting stores.
These gloves are typically made of lightweight materials like wool or synthetic fabrics. They're meant to be worn under a larger pair of gloves or mittens (learn more about layering gear here). They provide an added insulation layer and can wick away moisture to keep your hands dry.
Who They're Best For: Liner gloves are a great option for hunters needing the dexterity to use their fingers, like tapping on a touchscreen device or adjusting equipment.
These gloves are a game-changer for hunters who need to stay out in the cold for extended periods. They have battery-powered heating elements that provide warmth to the fingers and palms of the hand. Some models even have adjustable settings to customize the temperature to your liking.
Who They're Best For: Heated gloves are perfect for hunters who need extra warmth but still require the use of their fingers.
Fingerless hunting gloves expose the fingertips, allowing hunters to easily manipulate triggers or tie knots. Some models even have an added fold-over mitten cover for extra warmth when needed. However, they're ultimately not great for extremely cold temperatures, as they expose your fingers to the elements and lead to heat loss.
Who They're Best For: This type of glove is perfect for hunters who need the dexterity to handle small equipment or weapons while insulating their hands.
We recommend the Deadfall Gloves as a well-rounded option for all hunters. They're the perfect solution for anyone looking for warmth and dexterity during rugged outdoor activities. They can be used as a liner glove or by themselves, depending on the severity of the weather
Designed to provide you with ultimate protection from the harshest elements, the 100% windproof barrier and microgrid fleece lining work seamlessly together to ensure your hands stay warm and comfortable. They're also designed with optimal dexterity in mind, which is why the stretch-woven shell allows for a full range of motion without sacrificing warmth.
The Best Material for Hunting in the Winter
While our Deadfall Gloves are made of stretch-woven polyester and leather features, that's not the only material you'll find when searching for winter hunting gloves. Here's a quick overview of the various materials used for cold weather hunting gloves and the benefits of each.
Synthetic hunting gloves are made of materials like polyester, spandex, and acrylic instead of natural fibers like wool or leather. The advantages of choosing synthetic materials for your gloves are numerous. First, they are generally more affordable than natural materials meaning that replacing them is cheaper. They're also:
- Fast drying
This is important in cold weather when they get wet because, unlike natural materials, synthetic materials retain their insulating qualities when wet. However, the downside to synthetic materials is that they may not last as long as natural materials. In some cases, they also don't provide as much warmth as natural materials.
This typically isn't the case for our Deadfall Gloves. In fact, we recommend those gloves for cold and wet hunts. However, consider the pros and cons of synthetic material and the type of weather you'll be in when hunting.
Leather hunting gloves are popular for cold weather because they offer durability and warmth. They're made from tough animal hides like deer, elk, or buffalo. They provide excellent insulation against the cold. Leather gloves are also breathable, allowing for air and blood circulation to prevent sweaty or clammy hands.
However, they can be expensive and heavy compared to synthetic materials. Additionally, they may not be as water-resistant as other glove materials, which could be problematic in wet conditions. Overall, leather gloves are a solid option for those seeking a balance between warmth, durability, and breathability.
Features of Cold Weather Gloves & Mittens
Ready to start looking for the best winter weather gloves and mittens for your next hunt? Choosing the perfect pair of gloves or mittens for cold weather can be tricky, but with the right features in mind, your hands will be protected and comfortable, no matter how low the mercury drops.
The primary function of cold weather gloves and mittens is to keep your hands warm. However, they should also allow you to easily perform tasks and activities. Look for gloves and mittens with reinforced palms and fingers for grip and durability and adjustable cuffs to prevent heat loss. If you opt for mittens, consider ones with removable liners, fold-back flaps, or a combo glove-mitten like our Bridger Glassing Mitt.
Consistent hand warmth is crucial. But it's also important that your gloves/mittens feel comfortable. Features to look for include soft lining materials, adjustable closures, and a snug fit. Gloves or mittens that are too loose will let in cold air and cause heat loss, while ones that are too tight can restrict circulation and decrease warmth.
The insulation in your mittens and gloves is the key to warmth. Different materials are used for insulation, including synthetic fibers, down, or wool. Synthetic insulation is usually best for moist conditions, while down is the most effective at trapping heat. Wool is also a great insulator but can be bulkier and less durable.
When choosing gloves or mittens for cold weather, they must be resistant to harsh weather conditions. The outer shell of your gear should be windproof and waterproof. Look for materials such as DWR or Teflon Shield, which are breathable and help regulate temperature. This will ensure that you stay dry and warm, no matter the conditions outside.
Finally, your gear should be made from breathable materials that allow air to circulate. This will prevent your hands from getting too hot and sweaty and eliminate that clammy feeling. Look for gloves or mittens with breathable insulation or features such as vents or perforated materials.
Additional Features to Consider
When searching for the perfect cold weather hunting gear, such as gloves and mittens, the above features are important to consider. However, you want to ensure you're as comfortable as possible. That's why it's important to consider additional features that enhance comfort and functionality.
For example, you can opt for gloves with leather palms, as they provide a superior grip and are more durable than synthetic materials. Worried about frostbite on your fingers? Long gauntlet cuffs that extend over your jacket sleeves can be cinched closed to keep snow and cold air at bay.
Wrist cinches ensure a comfortable, secure fit, while zippered pockets offer a convenient place to store disposable hand warmers or act as vents on warmer days. Additionally, many winter gloves feature soft material on the thumbs, specifically designed for wiping away drips from your nose. While that might seem simple (or gross), it's incredibly helpful when you're out in the wild.
Securing them to your wrists, leashes, or wrist cords helps prevent accidental loss of gloves during hunting. While these might not be necessary for every type of hunter, choosing gloves with these extra features will undoubtedly make your cold weather hunting experience more enjoyable and successful.
How Should Gloves or Mittens Fit?
Ready to wear gloves or mittens and head out on an adventure? Wait a second. You want to ensure they fit properly. Ill-fitting pair of gloves or mittens will be uncomfortable, sure. But they also won't provide adequate warmth and protection against the harsh elements of winter.
To size hunting gloves and mittens correctly, you'll want to measure the circumference of your hand and compare it to the size chart provided by the manufacturer. It's also important to consider the fit of the fingers, the wrist, and the overall length of the gloves or mittens. Remember that gloves and mittens should fit snugly but allow flexibility and movement.
Apart from measuring your hand, there are other things to consider regarding the fit of your gloves or mittens. For instance, the cuff should fit snugly over your wrist to keep out cold air. At the same time, the fingers should not be too long or too short. Long fingers can cause you to feel clumsy, while short fingers do not cover your nails adequately.
Additionally, as mentioned, consider the material of your gloves or mittens, which can also affect the fit. Materials such as leather tend to stretch over time, making your gloves feel loose. If that's the case, you might want to size down.
Lastly, it's important to try on several pairs of gloves or mittens and test them out before making a purchase. Don't be afraid to move your hands around, make a fist, or grip something to ensure the gloves or mittens fit comfortably and won't hinder your outdoor activities.
Tips for Layering Mittens and Gloves
Choosing the right gloves and mittens is only half the battle. Knowing how to layer them can make all the difference in keeping your hands warm and dry. Here are some tips to help you layer like a pro.
First, start with a thin liner. This can be a lightweight glove or mitten made of materials like silk or synthetic fabrics that will wick moisture away from your skin. This will help to keep your hands dry and reduce the risk of frostbite.
Next, add a thicker insulation layer. This might be a wool or synthetic fiber mitten with insulation, such as down or Primaloft, that provides warmth without bulk.
Finally, add a waterproof and breathable outer shell. This is especially important for those who plan to spend extended periods outside in wet or snowy conditions. Look for gloves and mittens with a waterproof and breathable membrane to keep your hands dry while allowing moisture to escape.
Remember, the key to layering is to trap warm air between layers while allowing moisture to escape.
Tips When Purchasing Cold Weather Hunting Gear
Whew. We've thrown a lot at you! By now, you're probably pretty close to choosing the warmest hunting mittens or cold weather hunting gloves (they're Skre Gear gloves, aren't they?). However, before you make that final purchase, we wanted to summarize what we've learned and offer some final tips to consider.
Choosing the right material for cold weather gloves or mittens is crucial. Look for gloves made of high-quality materials such as leather, wool, or synthetic fabrics. These materials provide durability, warmth, and a good balance of flexibility and resistance to the elements.
Insulation is another key factor when choosing cold weather gloves or mittens. Insulation helps trap the heat your body generates, keeping your hands warm. Ensure the insulation is thick enough to provide warmth but not too bulky to reduce dexterity.
When hunting during cold temperatures, you should expect to encounter snow, rain, or sleet that can get the gloves and mittens wet. Therefore, choosing gloves or mittens that are water-resistant or waterproof is crucial. Look for gloves with waterproofing technologies, and ensure that the seams are taped to prevent leaks.
When hunting, you need to have full use of your fingers to handle your equipment or firearms. Therefore, the gloves or mittens you choose need to have sufficient dexterity. Look for gloves that have special designs or are designed with a pre-curved fit to reduce any restrictions on your movement.
The quality of your cold weather gloves or mittens is critical. A high-quality glove or well-made mitten can last years and provide the protection and warmth you need. Look for gloves or mittens that have reinforced stitching and good construction.
Consider the length of the glove or mitten cuff as well. Short cuffs tend to have less coverage, while long cuffs offer more protection against the elements. Choose the one that matches your preference and the conditions you'll be hunting in.
Patches can be added to gloves or mittens for extra grip and protection. Look for gloves and mittens with patches on the palms and fingers to help you keep a firm grip on your gun.
Browse Hunting Clothes & Accessories
When it comes down to it, choosing the right cold weather gloves or mittens is crucial for a comfortable and successful hunting experience. Considering insulation, waterproofing, breathability, and additional features, you'll be well-prepared to face the elements confidently. Remember, your hands are an essential tool when hunting, so investing in quality gear is well worth it.
Browse our entire collection of gloves and mittens and gear up for your next outdoor adventure.
We're confident you'll find everything to make your next cold weather hunting trip memorable. Happy hunting!