Not having the right pair of cold weather gloves for the winter can make working during those chillier months a complete misery. Not to mention, it can be hazardous for your hands. Unfortunately, even some of the best cold weather gloves for winters can make doing your job difficult.
When choosing the best cold weather industrial work gloves for your workplace or application, there are a number of factors to consider – not just whether or not the gloves keep hands warm and dry.
Why do you need the best cold weather gloves?
Anyone working outdoors in the northern hemisphere knows just how bitter the winter months can be. Trying to get the job done, whether it’s swinging a hammer, driving a truck, or doing general maintenance on a property, requires a sturdy pair of work gloves all year round. But the colder months pose a whole new set of complications, with freezing and wet conditions posing a threat to hands.
At best, the cold weather and winter rains can make hands numb and painful to use. At worst, frostbite can creep in, causing permanent damage to hands if not addressed quickly and correctly. Wearing a pair of gloves that keep hands both warm and dry in the cold weather is absolutely essential for workers of all kinds.
The hazards posed by the cold weather go well beyond numb, painful, and frostbitten hands, of course. Drizzly weather, even when not in freezing temperatures, can make it hard to grip tools and can mean dropping a hammer, a toolbox, or something even heavier (or sharper). Hands that become numb with cold have even more trouble gripping. These types of issues might seem minor, especially if you’re only outdoors in the cold and wet for short bursts of time, but can lead to a serious accident or injury if not wearing the correct protective equipment.
Finally, the cold and damp conditions encountered during the chilly months can lead to painful irritation for the hands. Soaking or even just damp hands can become itchy, red, and even cracked – making it difficult to continue working. Under the worst circumstances, they can mean days or weeks of recovery. That’s not good news for workers or the company they’re employed by.
The downtime alone puts jobs behind and can cost the business thousands in lost productivity. Keeping hands warm and dry with the best cold weather gloves will help to prevent irritation and ensure workers can get on with the job, no matter the conditions.
Who needs the best cold weather work gloves?
Anyone who is working outdoors during cold weather should be concerned with wearing the best cold weather gloves in those conditions. And as we’ve discussed, it’s more than just the hands that are at risk. Injuries caused by a lack of grip and dexterity can affect almost any part of the body, as well as pose a threat to other people on site.
The cold can also be a threat to those working indoors in environments such as cold storage, where cold weather gear is a must for the whole body. But those required to spend long hours working outdoors and in the cold are at the greatest risk from freezing temperatures, driving rain, and biting wind. The types of workers most at risk from the cold conditions include:
- General maintenance workers
- Transport workers
- Utility workers
- Construction workers
- Fishing and agriculture workers
- Emergency workers
- Cold storage workers
- Refuse collection and sorting workers
How to select the best cold weather gloves
Our winters often last more than just three months. Freezing conditions and high wind speeds are faced by certain parts of Europe for much of the year. A good pair of cold weather work gloves is essential to ensure hands are protected whilst maintaining productivity, there are a few key factors to look out for when choosing a work glove. These include:
A thermal work glove will keep hands warm and ensure against numbness and frostbite. Be sure to choose a glove that offers the appropriate level of thermal protection for your application and the conditions you’re working in. Fleece lined gloves are not only great at keeping hands warm but are comfortable to wear even for extended periods.
Although truly waterproof gloves are a myth (water can always seep in through the cuffs no matter how waterproof your glove lining is), water resistance is an important factor when choosing cold weather gloves. Keeping hands dry with water resistant coatings means being able to work even when conditions are wet and will help to avoid the irritation that can be caused by hands becoming damp.
Damp or wet conditions can make it harder to grip tools and equipment. Pair that with extreme cold and numb hands, and it’s a recipe for disaster. The best cold weather gloves should not only offer thermal protection but some form of added grip for the palms and fingertips.
One factor often overlooked when choosing cold weather gloves is dexterity. Keeping the job going means being able to grip tools and equipment, and for some workers, tackle more intricate tasks. Choosing a glove for winter that not only keeps hands warm and dry but offers the flexibility required is something to keep in mind. For some workplaces, this might mean multiple sets of cold weather gloves are required – one for the most extreme cold conditions, and one to be worn when doing more fiddly and detailed work, for example.
Are workers in your workplace handling sharp or abrasive materials when working in cold conditions? Even the warmest and most comfortable of work gloves aren’t much use if they don’t protect workers’ hands against the other threats they face in the workplace. If cuts and abrasions are a factor in the workplace, choose a cold weather glove that offers cut and abrasion resistance.
Working in cold storage or in other applications where contact with both food and the extreme cold are factors, gloves must be certified food safe. Look out for this when selecting the best cold weather gloves.
Our top picks for best cold weather gloves
Unigloves’ cold weather work gloves are designed to keep workers’ hands warm and dry in even the most extreme conditions. But our commitment to excellence doesn’t end there. Our range features gloves with added grip, heat protection for working with hot tools, cut and abrasion resistance, water resistance, and more. Here are our top picks for the best cold weather gloves, depending on your application:
Nitrex 299T – Best cold weather glove for general handling applications
- Features Unigloves Sanitized® Hygiene and Odour Control Function
- Seamless knitted fleece liner
- Crinkle latex coating
- Elasticated knitted wrist
- Tested to EN388, EN420 and EN511
Nitrex 299T is a thermal work glove best suited to general handling activities. This all-rounder features a seamless knitted fleece liner for warmth, breathability, and comfort, as well as a crinkle latex coating for excellent grip.
Nitrex 370W – Best cold weather glove for industrial workers
- Excellent dexterity for freedom of movement
- Tested to EN388, EN511, and EN407
- Thermal protection
- Contact heat protection to 100°C
- Good dry grip and excellent grip in the wet
- Ultrathin dip foam nitrile coating for lightweight protection
- High visibility for enhanced safety
- Offers a higher level of cut resistance than general handling gloves
Automotive work often means having to complete intricate tasks whilst battling the cold weather. Nitrex 370W cold weather gloves offer thermal protection, excellent grip in wet or oily conditions, and a nylon and spandex liner and acrylic terry brushed inner for added comfort and warmth. This glove also provides excellent dexterity, meaning that workers in industrial environments can continue with their more detailed tasks without having to remove cumbersome gloves.
Importantly for the automotive sector, Nitrex 370W offers maximum abrasion resistance and a higher level of cut resistance than general handling gloves – making them a perfect protection solution for the more hazardous tasks mechanics and other industrial workers face.
Nitrex 360FCT – Best cold weather gloves for food handling work
- Featuring Unigloves NitreGrip® Technology
- Double lined brushed acrylic thermal liner
- Dual nitrile coating
- Sandy nitrile palm coating
- High viz yellow design
- Excellent dry, wet, and oily grip
- Elasticated knitted wrist
- Food approved
Not all cold conditions are encountered outdoors. Workers in cold storage applications face extreme cold day in, day out, all year round. That’s why they require cold weather gloves that are durable, comfortable, and safe for use in contact with food. Nitrex 360FCT is certified food safe, provides excellent grip thanks to Unigloves’ NitreGrip Technology, and features a double lined, brushed acrylic thermal liner for excellent warmth and comfort.
No matter your application, Unigloves has designed the ideal cold weather gloves. Find out more about our range here, or contact our team for help selecting the best cold weather glove for your workplace today.