This guide will take you through the best winter photography gloves on the market.
We’ve all been there, trying to take photos in the winter, hands and fingers freezing up, blowing on them to warm them up, and eventually going home.
Even milder winters can make your hands suffer, and make it almost impossible to operate your camera properly.
Normal gloves, though, don’t cut it.
They’re often not made of the right kinds of materials to deal with winter elements, so not only do your hands get cold, but they often get wet too.
Ordinary gloves aren’t designed with cameras in mind either. It’s not easy to grip your camera with them, and difficult to manage the controls.
Also, forget about using your touch screen camera. Those gloves will have to come off if you want to use that.
Luckily, there are some gloves out there that are made specifically for you, the photographer.
They’ll help you hold your camera with confidence and shoot in all kinds of conditions.
Let’s take a look at the best photography gloves.
What Are the Best Photography Gloves in 2023?
The Heat Company Heat 2 Softshell (Best Overall)
- Good value
- Thoughtful design
- High-quality materials
- Long cuffs
- Long sleeves can get in the way of magnetic attachment
- Not good for snow
Thanks to their affordable price and solid performance, these gloves are our choice as the best overall photography gloves.
They are versatile gloves, which are ideal for a wide range of temperatures.
They function as both a mitt and fingerless gloves. The hood can flip back towards the wrist and you can attach it there, out of the way, with a magnet.
That frees up your fingers to operate your camera. The thumb works in the same way; you can flip back the tip and attach it to the glove.
They’re well-made and well-designed.
They are wind and water-repellent, and the palms are made of goat leather, which is soft, durable, and gives a good grip.
There’s also a strap on the palm to help you remove the gloves easily. No more pulling at the fingers or fiddling with the cuffs to get your gloves off.
These photography gloves also have a handy pocket inside the hood that you can use for hand warmers.
RucPac Extreme Tech Gloves (Best Dry Weather Photography Gloves)
- Good quality
- Grippy palm
The RucPac Extreme Tech Gloves are the most comfortable photography gloves to wear on a cold, dry day.
They don’t work well in wet weather or heavy snow, but they’re good down to -18 degrees centigrade.
Like the Heat 2 Softshell, they are a mitt-style outer shell, with a hood that flips back and sets your fingers free.
And, once you do that, magnets keep everything out of the way.
They’re well-designed. The rubber material on the palm is extremely grippy and, even though the gloves are thick, it’s still easy to manipulate your camera dials.
The gloves are designed to be used with the Rugpac Professional Tech gloves, which are warm inner gloves that have finger pads that allow you to use touchscreens.
The Heat Company Heat 3 Shell (Best Premium Glove System)
- Work well in Arctic conditions
- Premium materials
- Liner feels fragile
- Liner not removable
These are some of the most expensive photography gloves out there. But the design and quality of materials is second to none.
They have all the high-end features of a backcountry ski glove, but they are made specifically for photography.
They are windproof yet breathable, and incredibly warm and comfortable.
They have a soft, goat leather palm, and excellent functionality with the removable (or movable) finger hood and thumb flap that frees up the fingers.
Once your fingers are free, they’re not bare but covered in the gloves’ warm inner lining. And those fingers have metal threaded pads on them that allow you to use touchscreens.
Like other gloves on the market, the back of the hood has a compartment for a hand warmer, and the zipper for that compartment is waterproof.
The Heat Company Heat 3 Shell has long cuffs with use in the snow in mind. There’s a draw pull at the wrist to keep snow out, plus another cinch further down along the forearm to make doubly sure.
RucPac Professional Tech Gloves (Best Lightweight Photography Gloves)
- Good grip on palm
- Suitable as a base layer
- Can only be used in mild weather
These touchscreen-compatible photography gloves are comfortably stretchy and provide excellent grip on your gear thanks to a rubberized pattern across the palm.
They’re not going to be a good companion in extremely cold weather conditions, but they’ll be enough for temperatures down to zero degrees Celsius (32F).
They’re durable, and the stitching feels super tough.
Although they can be used on their own in mild weather, they are also ideal for use as a base layer under heavier gloves, for example, the RucPac Extreme Tech Gloves.
- Cuffs are a little short
- Can’t free all of your fingers
The Valleret Markhof Pro 2.0 are a stylish, comfortable glove option that was created by photographers for photographers.
They are ideal for use in the snow when the weather is cold, but not freezing.
The outer glove shell is water-resistant, and the interior liner is 100% merino wool, which is very warm, and will keep your hands toasty down to -10 degrees Celsius.
They have a rubberized non-slip grip, for keeping your camera stable and, although the fingers aren’t touchscreen-enabled, the thumb and index finger can be released, so you can operate your controls.
There is also a pocket to add hand warmers for extra warmth.
Vallerret Urbex (Best Lightweight Leather Photography Gloves)
- High-quality materials
- Touchscreen compatible
- The magnet can be uncomfortable
The Vallerret Urbex photography gloves are a lightweight and stylish option.
They are made of high-quality materials – goat leather and 100% merino wool – and make it very easy to operate your camera gear.
They are thin, but still warm enough for mild to cold weather.
The materials are flexible, so you can feel your buttons and dials well enough to operate when the fingertips are closed. And, those fingertips are touchscreen compatible.
You can also release the tips of the thumb and index finger for more control.
If you do, those are held back by magnets. One thing to note: some users complain about how the forefinger magnet sits against the knuckle.
The Heat Company Polartec Wind Pro Liner (Best Winter Liner)
- Touchscreen compatible
These high-quality winter liners are water and wind repellent, and warm but breathable.
They offer high elasticity, as they are designed with freedom of movement in mind.
If used on their own, they are good to -10 degrees Celcius, and if paired with the Heat 3 Shell mitt, they are good down to -40 degrees Celcius.
They have a pocket on the back for hand warmers, and the fingertips are touchscreen-compatible.
Motion Heat Glove Liner Set (Best Heated Gloves)
- Extremely warm
- Easy to use
This is the kind of kit that could really save your bacon if you have to shoot in extremely cold temperatures.
The glove is well-contoured to the hand, dextrous, and allows you full functionality. Its fingers are touchscreen compatible, and particularly well thought out, as the pads are not only on the tips but also wrap around the sides.
It’s battery-powered – either with a 12-volt or a 16-volt battery – and will give you three hours of heating (up to 60 degrees Celsius) on the highest setting, and nine hours on the lowest.
Something to bear in mind when choosing which battery to use: the 16 Volt battery charges much quicker than the 12 Volt.
The battery can be stored in a zipped compartment either on the back of your hand, or the front of your wrist, depending on what’s most comfortable for you.
It also comes with cable extensions so you can run those along your sleeves and carry the battery in your jacket rather than in the glove.
The heating elements run along the backs of the hands and between the fingers, so you get full heating over your whole hand.
Do You Actually Need Photography Gloves?
If you shoot during the winter, even during mild weather, you’ll know how quickly your hands get cold and stiffen up.
It gets very difficult to operate your camera controls, and your shooting day can be done not long after it has started.
Try to shoot in freezing weather, and it’s even worse. Very unpleasant.
And this is a shame because so many interesting and dramatic shots can be found in the colder months.
Even using non-dedicated photography gloves, normal gloves, can be a bad experience.
They can be slippery, and not made to hold cameras, so you don’t feel any confidence. And they’re often not water-resistant, so any moisture gets them wet and your hands colder than ever.
They’re also not made with photography controls or touchscreens in mind, so even if your hands are warm, you can’t fully use your camera, and if you want more control, you have to take the gloves off completely.
So, photography gloves are certainly necessary if you’re serious about shooting in non-warm weather.
They are designed to help you operate your camera’s controls while keeping your hands warm and dry.
They often have flaps to release some or all of your fingers, for more control without having to remove your gloves.
Some have handwarmer pockets, and many are touchscreen compatible; especially useful as more and more of today’s modern digital cameras have touchscreens.
What To Consider When Buying Winter Photography Gloves
First of all, you need to consider how much money you have to spend on them. As with most photography gear, there’s a pretty big range of prices to choose from.
Also figure out how often you’ll use them, and the kinds of temperatures you’ll be using them in.
There’s no point getting extremely warm gloves if you’ll be shooting in mild conditions. Likewise, get gloves that are too thin and you’ll suffer.
Also, be sure to look at the finer details.
For example, The Heat Company Heat 3 Shell, our choice for premium glove system, is a great pair of gloves but, even though it’s already expensive, you might want to pay more for the layered system.
With the layered system, the liner comes separate from the shell, now sewn in like the slightly cheaper option.
Although you pay more, if you damage the liner (which is relatively thin), you can replace that cheaply, rather than needing to replace the entire glove.
Making small, but important and educated decisions such as this can go a long way to determining how durable your gloves will be.
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