We’ll probably never face an apocalyptically chilly absolute Zero temperature on Earth. But should it occur, I bet my Shimano Stella there’ll be plenty of clowns like me prepared to fish it...and we’ll need a fine pair of gloves else risk frostbite, dysfunctional fingers, and general frozen fishing misery.
I’ve created a guide to the 10 best cold-weather fishing gloves for warmth, dexterity & comfort. I’ve reviewed the best and added a handy cold-weather fishing gloves checklist so you know exactly what to look for.
My Review Process
I’ve fished over 40 icy winters, with and without suitable gloves. I’ve worn everything from mom-made mittens to ski gloves and rubber dishwashing gloves. I can say with some authority that anglers should choose only cold-weather gloves designed especially for anglers.
Fishing glove essentials are warmth, dexterity, water resistance, and comfort. I’m also partial to gloves that are easy to put on and remove. If you’re paying top dollar, durability, backed by a decent warranty, is wise shopping. I’ll go into more detail about these features in the buyer’s guide following the reviews.
NOTE: The 10 gloves listed below have been rated as best in a particular category. However, there’s a lot of application crossover. For example, the best winter surf gloves are likely to be perfect for your winter kayaking adventures.
The Simms Prodry is my winner for the best overall cold-weather fishing gloves. Firstly, they’re very warm, and a pleasure to wear. Secondly, the Prodry gloves are suitable for nearly all fishing applications. Importantly, given the top-shelf price point, the high-quality wool and Gore-Tex are stitched to handle cold hostile environments.
But the winning factor is the design. With cold-weather fishing gloves, there’s nearly always a performance trade-off between warmth and dexterity. With the Prodry gloves, Simms achieved both extra warmth and extra dexterity by adding an inner pair of fishing gloves - two pairs of gloves worn at the same time. While it might sound a little cumbersome, it’s not - one the contrary, it’s very effective and user friendly.
When it’s time for rigging, remove the outer glove. A warm inner glove remains on your hands offering total dexterity with 3-fingerless (3 fingers) inner gloves. Prodry ticks all of the boxes, and then some.
Simms Challenger insulated gloves was my wife Nittaya’s choice for the best women's winter fishing gloves. While not designed specifically for women, the fit for her small hands was a winning feature relative to competitors. The adjustable wrist protection was also handy for her small delicate wrists.
Lugging heavy fishing and camping gear long distances on cold days is very tough on cold hands. These are thick padded gloves, well suited for hand protection when carting volumes of kit hither and thither. There’s a compromise, however. You’re not rigging lines in these gloves.
If you’re happy to remove your gloves for fine motor work, the Simms Challenger Insulated Gloves offer awesome warmth and hand protection.
Yeti Premium attracts a premium price, but they’re a high-end pair of ice fishing gloves with outstanding features including pre-curved fingers. They’re 100% waterproof, ergonomically shaped, and supremely warm. You’ll be surprised how lightweight they are considering their robust build.
They’re ideally suited for all aspects of ice fishing from hut construction, to piloting snowmobiles and handling heavy augers. You can fish comfortably in these gloves, as they support a functional level of finger dexterity. The only downside is they aren’t available in small sizes, which some might find disappointing. However for average-sized hands and above, the Yeti Premium are brilliant gloves for the most extreme winter conditions.
When it comes to fly fishing, dexterity is critical. The Simms Wool Half Finger glove design allows for easy knot tying, fly tunning, casting, and fly reel management during trout fights. Made with Merino wool, they provide excellent warmth and natural water resistance.
Featuring reinforced palms and fingers for a more secure grip, these are old-school winter fly fishing gloves with the addition of modern synthetic palm grips. While they may not be suitable for extremely cold conditions, they offer comfort and functionality for milder winter fishing.
The Palmyth Flexible Fishing Gloves are as popular as bass fishing itself. They’re incredibly comfortable for long sessions, and one of the better winter glove designs for handling fish safely. While not designed for extremes such as ice fishing, they’re more than suitable when temps hover in the mid-30s.
The gloves are particularly flexible and utilize a 3 cut-finger arrangement. When the cut fingertips are flipped back, they are retained by magnets. This is ideal for all the dexterity required for bass fishing. The flipped fingers take some getting used to. I caught line in them when rigging - refined my technique and was fine. Water-repellent and durable, they’re all a winter bass angler needs.
I know I said anglers should only buy winter gloves that are designed for anglers. This is my exception to the rule, and it's for my specialty, surf fishing. O'Neill Psycho Tech 1.5mm Gloves are neoprene wetsuit gloves designed for surfers. But I love them for surf fishing and handling a fishing rod.
If I’m fishing in the surf, I’m always wet, especially my hands. O'Neill Psycho Tech 1.5mm Gloves keep my hands very warm. Given the thin flexible fabric, dexterity is excellent. Psycho Tech keeps the cold wind off wet hands - a common source of winter surf fishing discomfort. They also offer outstanding grip and support. These gloves are probably my favorites.
The Pelagic End Game Pro gloves are year-round fishing gloves designed for extreme offshore game work. Sure, they’ll keep your hands warm in winter, but it’s the Kevlar-reinforced protection they offer that makes the difference.
The synthetic leather palm provides an enhanced grip for gaffing monsters, grabbing marlin bills, and handling heavy mono, spectra, and wire leaders under dangerous tensions. Built tough from quick-drying fabric, the thumb and index fingers are touch-screen capable, allowing you to operate fishfinders without removing your gloves.
They’re brilliant for pro deckhands and game anglers whatever the weather. They’re not waterproof, but if you’re wearing End Game Pro, you’re too busy to care.
At this low price, the Drasry neoprene cut finger gloves are excellent for all but the coldest ice fishing environments. Adjustable, and touch screen friendly, these neoprene, waterproof gloves, have a fleecy lining for warmth and comfort.
Silicone anti-slip points enhance grip and safety, with velcro retainers holding back the fingers when flipped for dexterity mode. Just be aware that their waterproof credentials are limited to splashing, light rain, and handling wet fish and fishing gear.
Even for the tightest budgets, this is winter fishing comfort for your hands, where warmth is met with equal parts dexterity. This is a glove that will suit the majority of winter anglers when the mercury takes a tumble.
The IceRiver Fishing Gloves from KastKing are not only warm and waterproof, they’re also excellent for ice anglers seeking more dexterity and less bulk.
While they don’t have the plush internal comfort of the Yeti Premium, their 1mm polar fleecy inner lining ensures they’re rated for the coldest of ice-fishing adventures.
The 2.2mm neoprene is 100% waterproof with all seams bound, stitched, and glued. Highly flexible, and non-slip, the IceRiver gloves offer great value for ice anglers who push the limits of their winter tolerance.
These are fantastic-looking unisex fishing gloves, ideal for the bulk of winter fishing conditions in temperate climates. They’re exceptionally comfortable neoprene gloves - warm, and water-resistant. Don’t dunk them though, or the comfy internal lining will get wet.
The stylish zip enhances an already snug and flexible fit for great dexterity. The anti-slip palm delivers an excellent grip in wet conditions, whether holding your slippery catch, your rod, or steering the boat. The touch screen-compatible fingers are ideal for today's digital necessities.
The TEMEI Winter Thermal gloves can be worn all day, fishing, camping, and boating. What’s more, they’re available at a great price.
Winter Fishing Gloves Buyers Guide
One angler’s perfect winter gloves for fishing may not suit another. This guide is designed to help you determine what’s best for you.
$20 to $30 will get you a great pair of warm, water-resistant gloves suitable for average winter days. Beyond $30 up to $50, it’s possible to get well-constructed, fully waterproof gloves suitable for harsh ice fishing conditions. Expect neoprene, and a variety of fingerless, cut-finger, full-fingered, and mitten-style fully enclosed gloves.
From $50 to $135, you’re looking for the ultimate in warmth, comfort, durability, and multitasking. Construction and materials are also premium, with the inclusion of Merino wool inners and fabrics such as Gor-Tex on the outside. Always take note of warranties in this price bracket.
Neoprene and neoprene blends dominate the market. With its warmth, flexibility, and various levels of waterproof/resistance it’s ideal for wet cold conditions. Add flexibility and durability, and you have the makings of a great cold-climate fishing glove fabric.
Leather, natural and synthetic materials are also common. These materials, with Gortex and other high-end synthetics, are found in premium gloves. They can all provide fantastic protection, durability, and warmth, but will often detract from dexterity.
Glove inners are often synthetic fleecy or microfiber linings. They offer great warmth. Some premium gloves have Merino wool. Fabrics are joined by welding, stitching, and gluing. Gloves with all three offer great durability and protection. Look for silicon palms for grip, and Kevlar or leather for serious hand protection.
Comfort is subjective and a personal choice. I love a snug fit. I also like a plush fleece lining or woolen inner - beautiful. However, if comfort impedes dexterity, I’ll tend to avoid them. I’m comfortable in pure neoprene. As it’s snug, flexible, and warm, I’m comfortable.
Glove comfort is also impacted by the type of fishing. For example, Ice fishing is cold, and very tough on your hands. Thicker gloves are more comfortable in these environments. However, wearing thick, heavily insulated gloves while trout fishing impairs function. Trout fishing requires more dexterity - impaired dexterity often translates to impaired comfort.
Closure relates to the fit around the wrist and finger design. For wrists, it can be a snug elastic fit or loose fit with adjustable straps. The tighter the fit, the better the warmth. Adjustability with straps, Velcro, etc, can be an advantage as our wrists and hands are all shaped differently.
Secondly, closure refers to cut fingers, be they all cut, 2-cut finger gloves with flip-over finger holes, or 3-cut. Of course, there are standard, fully enclosed fingers. Bottom line - The more exposed skin, the colder your hands. The more free your fingers the better your dexterity.
Some gloves with 10-cut fingers have a removable mitten-style cover. This gives you the best of warmth and dexterity.
I’ve found that even the most affordable pair of neoprene full-fingered or fingerless gloves have great endurance. Good brands use durable glues, welding and stitching. Cheapies might only see out a season or two, but that’s still great value.
Complicated gloves with many seams, fabrics, and moving parts have more that can go wrong or wear. By and large, high-end gloves are very well constructed using quality materials. But like any consumer product, construction quality varies. Ultimately, longevity will depend on the application, frequency of use, and the user.
Dexterity is often a trade-off for greater warmth, protection, and overall glove strength. The bulkier and stiffer the glove the less manual dexterity you have. The thinner, more flexible, and snug the fabric, such as 2 and 3mm neoprene, the better the dexterity.
Selection is based on requirements to perform intricate tasks relative to your fishing application. Are you rigging frequently? Look for gloves with high dexterity or convertible gloves for warmth and dexterity.
While the Simms Prodry Gloves are very expensive, they are standout winners. They tick all the critical cold weather boxes with the addition of design innovation, quality high-end materials, and versatility.
I expect cashed-up ice anglers will be sure to seek out a pair of Fish Monkeys, and they’ll be well rewarded. Those looking for budget-driven cold-weather utility should wait no longer and order a pair of TEMEI Winter Thermal Gloves. Great value, and style to boot.
*The information on this site is based on research and first-hand experience but should not be treated as medical advice. Before beginning any new activity, we recommend consulting with a physician, nutritionist or other relevant professional healthcare provider.