Reliable Work Gloves: Winter

As I explained in the previous post, Work Gloves: Summer, winter (i.e. cold weather) gloves are more expensive and harder to come by.

woman in deep snow

Michelle goes deep in the winter of 2016. I believe she’s wearing a pair of the “weatherproof” gloves described below (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Consider the wide range of conditions our homestead demands of a pair of cold weather gloves: not only must they be tough enough to endure the wear and tear of our jobs, they must keep our hands comfortable over a wide range of conditions. Cold weather in our part of the world can mean anything from 45°F down to 10s of degrees below freezing, dry or wet conditions, wind, snow, and rain, sometimes all on the same day. A good work glove should endure all this, and still not break our budget. That’s a lot to ask.

Wear and tear is bad enough. I wear through work gloves at an alarming rate. I seem to burn through the thumbs first, followed by other finger tips. The palms hang on forever, comparably, which is why I seem to keep “ruined” pairs of gloves for far too long. As long as I can eke out one more use from a pair of wrecked gloves, they remain in the glove tote, waiting for their ultimate retirement—should that day eventually arrive.

I have yet to find the best cold weather glove for these conditions. I’ve gotten close a couple of times. Sometimes, I’ve received expensive gloves as gifts that are “guaranteed” to work well in the above conditions, but they fail. It’s frustrating, and, all too often, numbingly cold.

Right now, I have a pair of Boss Arctik (sic) Blast. I got them for Christmas, and they saw me through the cold season to this month, when I’ve begun to consider switching to warm weather gloves. The yard crew of one of our local hardware/lumber stores recommended them to Michelle. They wear them in the yard in winter. I’ve found them a bit too light for extended outdoor work on the homestead, but they are satisfactory, and they held together enough that they should see me through to at least next Christmas.

work gloves

My current cold weather gloves, Boss Arctik Blast (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

I even have an expensive pair of gloves from Duluth Trading Company. They’ve fallen far short of the company’s claims that they’re warm and tough enough to endure boat work on the Great Lakes. I’d always assumed that conditions on the lakes exceed my work conditions here, but using those gloves one winter put them in the “too beat up to use much, but still hanging on for emergency use” limbo of my glove box. I notice they no longer carry that style of glove, which indicates I’m not the only one to find them wanting. I may send them back to the company, which offers a “no-excuses” guarantee, since they didn’t match my requirements.

Ironically, my best all around work gloves aren’t really work gloves at all. We get a “weatherproof” glove from Costco when we can, that apparently is based on NASA’s “just the right temperature” technology. They keep your hands warm, but not too warm. That, and a fairly durable leather(?) palm keeps them from falling apart fairly well. These are my “good” gloves. Older, dirtier, beat up pairs graduate to work gloves.

So, here’s where you, the reader, come in! Please let me know through the comments section if you’ve found a good brand/make of work gloves for cold, wet, sloppy conditions at a price that allows for experimentation. I’d love to get a hold of some and try them out! And, if you’re a manufacturer, and think your gloves are tough enough for my homestead, feel free to send us some and we’ll put them to the test!


This entry was posted in Clothing & Gear and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Reliable Work Gloves: Winter

  1. Angie says:

    My gloves of choice have always been plain leather work gloves for rough work, like stacking wood, and the nitrile-covered ones for where I need a little more grip or control, like snow shoveling or wood splitting. In my case, it’s the middle fingers of the right hand that go first. (If my hands weren’t so much smaller than yours I’d suggest we trade used gloves; my thumbs are intact.)

    Mark, do you use liners in your gloves in the winter? Since I have yet to find a glove warm enough for daily outdoor winter use, my work-around solution has been woolen glove liners. They make enough of a difference and they’re comfortable.

  2. Mark Zeiger says:

    Hi Angie, we have those “space” liners, with the metal flecks, which keep the hand fairly warm, but get to be a hassle when working. I also use the cotton liners that they make for the Atlas vinyl “fishing” gloves we use so much here in Southeast. I have a few wool liners, but if you know a source, I could use more.

    I didn’t mention liners in the post, largely because here, that means searching for two pairs of gloves rather than one, before getting out the door and to work. I appreciate the procrastination too much some days . . . .

    I’d use leather gloves more often if they repelled water better. As kids, my brother and I favored a leather mitten that used to be common in Sitka. We’d soak them till the leather stained our hands, and hurt our fingers from the cold, but they made good snowballs!

    I think my thumbs wear through first because they’re so broad? Odd that you wear the middle finger rather than the index. A glove exchange is a good idea, though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *