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Over the past three winters, we’ve tested more than 20 pairs of touchscreen gloves while moving half a ton of stumps, climbing on ice, and just walking and biking around town. For the third year running and despite some stiff competition, the Winter Style Touchscreen Gloves by Glider Gloves have been chosen as the best, offering up the right combination of warmth, dexterity, and grip for about $30 (also available direct). They’re not the absolute warmest gloves you can buy, but they’re warmer than anything that’s better at handling touchscreens, and better at handling touchscreens than anything that’s warmer.
How we decided
Over the past three winters, we’ve spent many hours texting, gaming, and emailing while wearing gloves made of everything from cashmere-lined leather to mechanics work gloves. Few other publications do comparative reviews of touchscreen gloves so much of what we test is dictated by what our readers request or what’s popular on Amazon, but there are a few good reviews out there such as this guide from Inc Magazine and this one from Tech Hive.
The Glider Gloves Winter was the best all-around touchscreen glove in our testing and quickly became the go-to during the cold days outside. Their fleece-lined, knit construction gives them an exceptionally snug fit compared to other gloves that are either just knit (can be floppy), or just fleece (usually too loose). They also have an extra sticky honeycomb-patterned grip pattern that helps you maintain a secure grip on your slick smartphone—you can even use them one-handed.
Kannon Yamada writing at MakeUseOf was particularly impressed with the grippy finish on the palms and fingers compared with other gloves he’d used in the past: “Functionality is where Glider Gloves comes out far ahead. The hexagonal rubber grip on its palms and fingers allow for more active use. While bicycling, I often reach for a metal sports bottle—the Agloves [another popular glove] did not provide much of a grip… Glider Gloves, on the other hand, make you feel like Spiderman.”
Over at TechHive, Amber Bouman was impressed with the Gliders’ dexterity. She gave them four out of five stars writing: “I was pleased with how few characters I missed, and often I was able to compose messages without a single character mistake—something I wouldn’t have expected given the bulk of the gloves.”
Wrist coverage could be better. On windy days, depending on your jacket, it could leave you a bit exposed. In this respect, it’s more like a gardener’s or mechanic’s glove than a typical winter glove in terms of fit. Their knit design also isn’t that durable. I wouldn’t expect them to last more than a full winter because the conductive threads are fragile and wear out over time. However, hand-washing with mild detergent will restore fading touchscreen performance in many cases.
The (Extra Warm) Runner Up
If our main pick sells out, or if you live in a colder climate and need a warmer glove and are using your touchscreen for only simple tasks, The North Face ThermoBall (about $50 for men’s and women’s versions) is the warmest touchscreen glove that allows for decent dexterity. Unlike previous North Face gloves that used inaccurate sewn-on panels, the Thermoballs feature responsive touchscreen control all the fingers. They also fit a lot tighter than their other offerings due to the added insulation.
Thinner for warmer climates
The Glider Gloves Urban were our original pick for best touchscreen glove, and we still stand by the quality. The conductivity is great, and because they are thin, they’re also very precise and accurate if you get a good fit (we recommend sizing down if your fingers are shorter than average).
A leather step up
U|R Powered’s leather gloves offer a great compromise between the classic look of a leather glove and the snug fit that’s required to have an easy touchscreen interaction by combining a sheepskin leather back with a stretchier spandex palm and fingers. They’re available for about $60 in men’s (Aiden) and women’s (Sasha) styles. The advantage of this design is that you get the classy look of leather, but maintain the warmth and tactility of a sportier glove.
However, if you must have all leather and value looks over function, we are once again recommending Glove.ly’s Leather Touch Screen Gloves for $90. They’re all leather with a cashmere lined interior, but the cashmere sheds a lot and not everyone will be able to get a tight fit needed for precise touchscreen manipulation with non-stretchy leather gloves.
The Glider Gloves Winter offer simply the best mix of the most important features in a touchscreen glove without any major drawbacks. They’re also likely to fit you, unlikely to let your device slip out of your hand, and they don’t draw a lot of attention to themselves or look cheap.
This guide may have been updated. To see the current recommendation, please go to The Wirecutter.com.