Best winter cycling gloves 2024, and how to keep hands warm in the coldest months

If you want to keep riding in the colder months a pair of the best winter cycling gloves is an essential part of your wardrobe

Male cyclist pulling on a pair of winter cycling gloves
Winter cycling gloves
(Image credit: Future)
Best winter cycling gloves 2024: Jump Menu

Cold hands are the bane of any all-weather cyclist. Stuck out at the end of your arms away from your core and hitting the cold wind first, keeping them warm can be very difficult. Big, thick super warm gloves don't work on a bike either, as there is a requirement for a certain level of dexterity to operate the brakes and gears safely, so manufacturers can't just bung a load of insulation in either, so they have to be clever about it.

The first requirement is to block out that biting wind - even on a windless day your forward movement will generate significant windchill that can quickly suck away any heat from your hands. Thus the outer layer of a winter glove will usually be windproof and/or waterproof. Beneath this needs to be a layer of insulation that will trap the warm air that you generate next to your skin. This can either be some form of fleece or synthetic insulation like Primaloft. 

However, the best winter cycling gloves also need some additional attributes that help them perform on the bike. As you will still sweat, even in cold weather, the gloves need to breathe well and allow the moisture vapor to escape without letting wind or rain penetrate the outer fabric so that you don't get damp and chilled from the inside. Just as with the best winter cycling jackets, it is this which marks out the more performance-orientated pieces, and usually contributes significantly to the cost too. 

Secondly, you still need to be able to grip the handlebar, select the right gear and pull the brakes, so the palm and underside of the fingers usually won't have as much insulation as the backsides to allow for better dexterity. And finally, long cuffs are always a welcome sight on a pair of winter gloves as the stretched-out, forward-leaning position can often leave the wrists exposed if the jacket's sleeves aren't quite long enough.

Feet can suffer just as much if not more than the hands when riding in cold weather, so its also well worth beefing up your winter wardrobe with a pair of the best overshoes or a pair of the best winter cycling shoes if you intend to keep riding through the winter.

Feet can suffer just as much if not more than the hands when riding in cold weather, so it's also well worth beefing up your winter wardrobe with a pair of the best overshoes or a pair of the best winter cycling shoes if you intend to keep riding through the winter.

Not all winter weather is created equal - there is a big difference between riding in -5° and +5°, although both will require good handwear. Therefore we've split this test into 'deep winter' and 'all-rounders'. The all-round gloves can be worn in a wide range of temperatures, offer good dexterity (at the expense of outright warmth) and are more likely to offer some wind and water resistance rather than being totally waterproof. Deep winter gloves sacrifice dexterity in order to be as warm as possible and may well be a bit too warm and sweaty unless the mercury has really plummeted. 

The quick list

Here's a quick look at the best choices for winter cycling gloves, including deep winter gloves and the best waterproof gloves.

Deep-winter gloves

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

All-rounder gloves

Our pick of the best winter cycling gloves 

DEEP-WINTER GLOVES

Best overall

Castelli Estremo Winter gloves

The Estermo is equipped for low temperatures thanks to windproof material and long cuffs

(Image credit: Luke Friend)
Best deep winter gloves for performance

Specifications

Temperature range: >23ºF/ >-5ºC
Material: Gore-Tex Infinium windproof fabric
Colors: Black
Sizes: XS-XXL

Reasons to buy

+
Super warm in freezing temps
+
Lightweight - 63g actual for M
+
Long adjustable cuff seals in heat
+
Generous nose wipe on thumb
+
Very grippy palm

Reasons to avoid

-
Lack of reflective detailing

Castelli Estremo gloves are billed as the Italian's brand 'warmest cold weather glove'. After testing we found this to be accurate. The Estremos kept our hands warm in below-freezing temperatures, while still allowing us to maintain plenty of bar feel. 

The blend of fabrics is spot on. The Gore-Tex Windstopper material on the top of the glove and the cuff keeps out the worst of the weather, while that long, adjustable cuff does a stellar job of sealing the heat in. Inside the fleece material feels luxurious, as do the gloves as a whole. Detailing is high, with regards to the silicone palm grippers and the padding, although a tad more reflectivity would be appreciated.

The Estremo gloves may be expensive but it's hard to put a price on keeping your hands truly warm. If you intend on cycling through the winter then you could do far worse than invest in a pair of these gloves.

Read more: Castelli Estremo winter gloves full review

Best for absolute warmth

Giro Proof winter gloves

Giro's Proof winter gloves are certainly warm if not a little bulky

(Image credit: Luke Friend)
Best deep winter gloves for absolute warmth

Specifications

Temperature range: >21ºF/ >-6ºC
Material: Polartec 100g insulation
Colors: Black
Sizes: XS-XXL

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive blend of technical fabrics
+
Good movement despite bulk
+
High build quality
+
Uses some recycled materials

Reasons to avoid

-
Narrow nose wipe

The Giro Proof is the five-fingered sibling of the previous Giro Proof 100 lobster mitts. Here you get the same level of impressive warmth but with increased dexterity thanks to the traditional glove shape. 

The build quality is high, with fabrics that provide plenty of protection against the elements as well as being durable. As with the Proof 100s, we found that one of the only drawbacks is the gloves' nose wipe. It's made from a lovely soft fleece material but is far too narrow to do its job well. Otherwise, this is a sturdy glove that kept us nicely warm through the coldest winter days. 

Read our full Giro Proof winter gloves full review here.

Best value

Endura Strike gloves are shown on hands held up against a brick wall and are a great winter cycling glove for affordability

Endura Strike gloves are both wind and waterproof

(Image credit: Hannah Bussey)
Best value deep-winter gloves

Specifications

Temperature range: >32ºF/ >0ºC
Material : Stretch outer fabrics with eco-friendly PFC free DWR finish
Colors : Black, yellow, red/brown
Sizes : S - XXL

Reasons to buy

+
Water and wind proofing
+
Surprising levels of dexterity and radial grip
+
Reflective details
+
Good size nose wipe
+
Great price point

Reasons to avoid

-
Short cuffs can create gaps to jacket or jersey sleeve 
-
Lack of effective touch screen compatibility. 

We couldn't help but highly rate these brilliant winter cycling gloves from Endura. They aren't quite as finessed as the higher-end brands, but with both impressive wind and water proof characteristics, they could easily fit into both categories.  

The Endura Strike gloves have a gel palm as well as silicone details, making them great at gripping the bars and controls in all weather.  They do have quite a short cuff though, which longer-armed riders might find creates a glove-to-jacket / jersey gap. 

The stretchy windproof panel across the back of the gloves managed the tightrope balance of providing bitter wind protection without losing breathability. While they wouldn't keep your hands dry indefinitely in a downpour, the waterproofing also punched well above the price bracket assumption, and we found that as long as you didn't remove your gloves, even when they are wet, they will keep your hands warm, again thanks to their impressive wind blocking qualities. 

Read our full Endura Strike gloves full review here.

Best for fit

Sportful Sottozero winter gloves

The Sottozero is designed to provide protection in freezing conditions

(Image credit: Future)
Great fit and very warm

Specifications

Temperature range: >23+ºF/ >-5ºC
Materials: 60g PrimaLoft insulation, Shoftshell, fleece lining
Colors: Black, Blue Sea, Red
Sizes: XS-XXL

Reasons to buy

+
Very warm without the bulk
+
Grippy palms
+
Well proportioned cuff
+
Good reflective detailing

Reasons to avoid

-
Not waterproof
-
Ineffective touchscreen finger

Sportful’s Sottozero gloves offer plenty of warmth in an impressively low bulk package -  they weigh in at just over 50 grams per glove yet still kept our hands warm on test in low single digits.

The palms are grippy and not too padded, while the back of the hands features a large reflective logo for better visibility when signaling at night. 

With a generous nose-wipe and a well-proportioned cuff, the only things holding these gloves back from receiving a full five stars are the lack of full waterproofing (they are only water resistant) and the touchscreen finger being a little cumbersome in use.

The Sottozero gloves aren't cheap but we feel they do represent good value, considering the quality of materials, the level of detail, and, vitally, their solid performance in cold temperatures.

Read our full Sportful Sottozero winter gloves full review here.

ALL-ROUNDER GLOVES

Best warmth vs bulk

Rapha Pro Team Winter Gloves

Rapha Pro Team Winter offering are a sleek, high performing winter glove 

(Image credit: Simon Smythe)
Best winter cycling glove for low bulk fit

Specifications

Temperature range : >32ºF/ >0ºC
Material : Windproof, DWR-coated. synthetic suede
Colors : Black only
Sizes : XS - XL

Reasons to buy

+
A really comfortable fit
+
Low bulk and low profile design
+
Grippy, unpadded palm
+
Good dexterity/lever feel

Reasons to avoid

-
High price
-
Suede palm lets water in
-
Shortish cuffs require long jacket sleeves

The Rapha Pro Team Winter Gloves stand-out feature is their lack of bulk. On test we were impressed at how this low profile package was capable of keeping hands warm, performing exceptionally well at really low temperatures.

We loved the minimal padding on these and found them the perfect winter cycling glove for its excellent grip in all weather with zero dexterity compromises, including both navigating a touch screen and unwrapping a mid-ride energy bar. They're certainly a high-performance choice and we found them to be the best winter cycling gloves to pull on for winter league racing. 

The windproof back of the gloves does a very good at blocking the cold, but it's worth noting that these are water resistant, not water proof. So in the rain, the backs of the gloves do keep out the water thanks to a DWR coating (which will need reapplying at some point) that makes raindrops bead off, but we did find that the synthetic suede palms absorb it.

There is no denying the high price tag that the Rapha Pro Team Winter Gloves command, more than both the other 'elite' brands winter offerings, such as the Castelli Perfetto RoS gloves. However, if you want the perfect winter cycling glove for racing, then these are spot on.  

Read our full Rapha Pro Team Winter Gloves full review here 

Best for mixed conditions

Castelli Perfetto RoS gloves

Castelli Perfetto RoS gloves offer warmth without the bulk

(Image credit: Future)
Best for mixed conditions

Specifications

Temperature range : 42 - 50ºF/ 6-10ºC
Material: Gore Windstopper
Colors : Black only
Sizes : XS - XXL

Reasons to buy

+
Great close fit
+
Lack of bulk allows good levels of dexterity
+
Wind and water protection
+
Breathability prevents sweaty hands

Reasons to avoid

-
Will eventually let in water

On test we absolutely loved the Castelli Perfetto RoS gloves, finding them so close to being the best winter cycling gloves that we gave them a coveted Cycling Weekly Editor's Choice award.  

Using the latest Gore Infinium Windstopper fabric, the Castelli Perfetto RoS gloves manage that difficult balance between adequate insulation, water repellence and windproofing on the one hand (pun intended) and bar feel, ride comfort and dexterity on the other. 

With a light fleece lining, there's enough warmth to keep the hands warm and even after hours of light rain, they stay dry. Once the water does make it in, your hands still stay warm and there's enough dexterity to work the controls and keep yourself fed as you ride.

 Read our full Castelli Perfetto RoS Glove full review here.

Best value mid-weight glove

dhb waterproof gloves

Dhb's waterproof gloves offer decent protection alongside an attractive price point

(Image credit: Luke Friend)
Best value mid-weight glove

Specifications

Temperature range: "mild to cold"
Material: Breathable waterproof membrane with fleece lining
Colors: Black
Sizes: XS-XXL

Reasons to buy

+
Great value for money
+
Decent level of water resistance
+
Lightweight - just 48g per glove
+
Warm in single digits
+
Good reflective detailing 

Reasons to avoid

-
Cuff is a little short with no adjustability

The dhb Waterproof gloves blend a comfortable fleece lining with a durable water and windproof outer that on test kept our hands warm and dry in heavy drizzle and temperatures down in the low single digits. On slightly milder days we found that the glove's lack of bulk also made them a good choice and highlighted their versatility.

The major gripe was the glove's short cuff, with no adjustment possible. However, at this price point, it's hard to grumble too much and the dhb gloves do have plenty of details that work well, including the thumb nose wipe, the palm pad and the reflective details. In general, a solid winter glove for those on something of a budget.

Read our full dhb Waterproof gloves full review here.

Best for breathability

Giro Xnetic H20 gloves

Warm, lightweight, breathable and waterproof, the Xnetic gloves are adaptable across a range of winter riding conditions

(Image credit: Luke Friend)
Comfortable 'knit' construction

Specifications

Temperature range: >40ºF/ 5ºC
Materials: One-piece Xnetic knit shell with waterproof membrane and hypoallergenic lining
Colors: Black, Highlighter Yellow
Sizes: S-XL

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight and minimal - just over 60g a pair
+
Great breathability without compromising waterproof element
+
High level of stretch and comfort

Reasons to avoid

-
Reflective details are somewhat minimal

Giro's Xnetic H20 gloves are billed as waterproof, and they are. But they are also more than just something to reach for when the skies threaten rain. Thanks to their lightweight, minimalist design they work well as a go-to-glove for cool conditions, whether you're heading out on a long road ride or popping to the shops on your bike. At just 62g for the pair, they store away easily too.

The Xnetic's low weight also means that once on you barely notice that you're wearing them. This can also be attributed to the high level of stretch, which sees the glove conforming to your hand shape with ease. It also creates a good seal at the wrist, stopping any unwanted drafts from entering.

Unlike traditional neoprene gloves, the Xnetic gloves offer far greater breathability. On test, our hands never got overly sweaty. Surprisingly for a glove that allows this degree of moisture management, they also did a stellar job of keeping our hands warm, working well in temperatures in the low single digits celsius, and keeping them dry through persistent showers and the occasional heavier downpour.

The technology at work here is well disguised. This is a simple-looking glove that will be appreciated by any minimalist. However, the three-layered fabric, which almost has the look and feel of a knit glove, blends a durable outer with a waterproof membrane and a hypoallergenic lining. And it works very well indeed. 

Read our full Giro Xnetic H20 gloves full review here 

Best for mild weather

Specialized Prime Series Thermal gloves

Specialized Prime Series Thermal Gloves use a Polartec fabric for increased warmth

(Image credit: Simon Smythe)
Best winter cycling glove for milder weather