Have you ever tried to tie a small hook onto a really thin line with freezing cold fingers?
It is an exercise in endurance and patience. But what if I was to tell you that you can easily avoid one of the most unpleasant sensations in the world?
This article is going to show you how to avoid numb fingers, stinging knuckles and frostbite, as I look at some of the best ice fishing gloves for 2023.
Table of Contents
- The 10 Best Gloves for Ice Fishing & Cold Weather in 2023
- Striker Ice Men's Combat Ice Fishing Gloves
- Palmyth Flexible Fishing Gloves
- Glacier Glove Perfect Curve Gloves
- Stormr Strykr Neoprene Gloves
- Palmyth Ice Fishing Convertible Mittens
- Palmyth Ice Fishing Winter Gloves
- Palmyth Magnetic Leather Ice Fishing Gloves
- Stretch Neoprene Fishing Gloves
- Rapala Marine Fisherman Gloves
- Glacier Glove Aleutian Neoprene Gloves
- How to Choose the Right Gloves for Ice Fishing
- Final Thoughts
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The 10 Best Gloves for Ice Fishing & Cold Weather in 2023
Striker Ice Men's Combat Ice Fishing Gloves
These heavy-duty fishing gloves from Striker have been called “Combat” for a reason.
Sometimes when you’re out there in plunging temperatures, with a blistering wind, and a fish that won’t play ball – you feel like you’re in a real fight.
Thankfully, these gloves have your back – or, your hands, at least.
Made using Hipora waterproof technology, they’re designed to keep you warm and dry while remaining breathable, with an immersion-proof design that allows you to comfortably reach into icy water if you need to.
The gauntlet-style glove features an adjustable wrist closure, and curved fingers for a natural resting hand position. And with 200g of 3M Thinsulate insulation, you’re going to be warm and toasty all day long.
- Full leather palm and back.
- Highly durable.
- Seamless fingertips.
- Heavy-duty protection in low temperatures.
- Drawstring gauntlet for a snug fit.
- On the pricey side.
Designed for fishing in ice-cold temps, the Striker Combat gloves are aptly named for fighting hostile environments and hostile critters. For those frigid midwestern winters – accept no substitute.
Palmyth Flexible Fishing Gloves
For a flexible and dynamic approach these gloves fit the bill quite nicely. They offer the best of both worlds. With a relatively good level of insulation, and the ability to free up your fingertips for that detailed and delicate work, they are a great solution.
There are 3 ‘cut’ fingers on each of these gloves. To gain some extra dexterity you simply flip off the fingertip section.
Will it get in the way when I am tying knots?
Actually, no. Palmyth seem to have thought of everything. Located in the back of each fingertip is a small magnet. When you flick the tip of the finger section backwards it is securely held out of the way. Once you are done, simply detach it and pull it back over your finger.
Whilst the gloves aren’t the thickest material they compensate with a breathable and windproof outer shell, which cuts down on the need for thick padding.
But it’s not just about the cold right?
Right… You want to function as well as warmth, and for that reason any area of the glove that will be ‘working’ is lined with tough and grippy leather. Adjustable Velcro wrist straps make sure the gloves remain firmly attached.
- Windproof and breathable fabric prevent windchill.
- I really liked the magnetic fingertips. It’s a clever solution.
- Neoprene is incorporated into the glove, giving quick drying properties.
- The gloves are water-resistant, but if they get soaked, your hands will get wet.
- They aren’t the thickest, so for more extreme weather you might want to consider an alternative.
For a day that is just the wrong side of ‘mild’ they offer good quality performance. The magnetic fingertips are certainly convenient and foolproof.
There’s a lot to like about these gloves and provided you aren’t fishing in really extreme conditions, they offer excellent value. If you want to see them in more detail, check out this video.
Glacier Glove Perfect Curve Gloves
Constructed from 2 mm Techline neoprene, the Perfect Curve glove is 100% waterproof, with a warm fleece lining to keep your hands and fingers protected on ice-cold days.
Highly rated, this particular glove features on many gear advice websites – and for good reason.
It’s durable, sturdy, with high dexterity – ensuring you can be free to use your fingers for finer applications.
The pre-curved design helps reduce hand fatigue for day-long ice fishing sessions, and the gloves are blind stitched and glued to ensure strength and longevity.
Aside from this, they offer a versatile use, and are also popular with cyclists and kayakers when the cold weather hits. In fact, they’d be a great choice for winter kayak fishing.
- Tough, durable construction.
- Embossed pull tab.
- Seamless palm.
- Excellent grip for handling fish.
- Wrap-around strap.
- Very comfortable to wear.
- There are reports that they can develop an odor – so perhaps use a glove liner or other suitable insert.
A hugely popular cold weather sport glove that offers many applications – including ice fishing. The grip is ideal for holding onto fish, and the fleece lining is going to keep your mitts warm while the neoprene keeps them dry.
There’s even a hybrid version that allows you to expose your fingers, so check it out at Bass Pro Shops if that’s what you’d prefer.
Stormr Strykr Neoprene Gloves
The Stormr Strykr gloves are pretty substantial, with a 2mm thickness and lined entirely with a microfleece they will keep your fingers nice and toasty. The fingers are fully stitched with no gaps, so once you have the gloves on, your fingers will remain covered until you take them off.
But are they waterproof?
Indeed, they are waterproof, however, whilst they are designed to keep the rain and snow out, they aren’t meant to be fully submerged. The good news is that the majority of the glove is constructed from neoprene which is warm and dries quickly.
There is more…
A nice feature is the fleece section on the back of the glove. When you are sat with the rod in your hands it is normally the backs of your hands that are exposed to the elements, so this extra protection is actually pretty effective.
- Durable and grippy duratex grip.
- Good water resistance.
- Designed for harsher weather.
- You may struggle to tie knots with the gloves on.
- These gloves will let water in if you submerge your hands.
These gloves offer a reasonable compromise. They aren’t bulky so will be suitable to perform any task that doesn’t require your fingertips. As long as you don’t push them too far, they should keep your hands warm and dry in all but the worst conditions.
Palmyth Ice Fishing Convertible Mittens
Now we’re talking…
Palmyth seem to be masters of innovation, in these combo gloves they seem to have thought of everything. If you invest in a pair of convertible mittens, you’ll have plenty of dexterity as each individual digit is cut away to allow you the full use of all of your fingertips.
You needn’t worry about them being cold either, as when they are not in use, your fingers will be safely stowed under a mitten cover that is lined with a microfibre fleece.
There’s a lot more packed into these gloves too. As you’ll know, when the wind blows it can feel much colder than it really is, Palmyth would appear to know this too as they have been kind enough to line the gloves with a windproof membrane.
They have even gone so far as to include a pocket to stow a heat pouch in each glove, so when the temperature really drops, you’ll be able to customize your level of warmth.
But what about the downsides…
Again, the gloves aren’t 100% waterproof, so whilst they’ll keep you warm you don’t want to give them a dunk in water for any prolonged amount of time.
- Full finger dexterity with mitten section removed.
- Finger loops allow quick removal and donning of the mitten section.
- The gloves have excellent grip.
- When the mittens are on you have very limited dexterity.
A pair of these shouldn’t disappoint, you have the best of fingerless gloves and mittens all rolled into one. They are easy to use, and feature magnets to keep the mitten section out of the way. These would be a great choice as a good allrounder.
Palmyth Ice Fishing Winter Gloves
So, you want something that is warm and waterproof and allows you to wriggle your fingers? If this is your criteria then this pair of gloves should tick all of the boxes.
With a dual lining, these gloves are filled with 3M Thinsulate and then topped up with a plush and thick fleece, giving the ultimate in keeping your extremities warm.
When using them when actually fishing you’ll be able to keep a good grip, regardless of the conditions, as the palm surface is coated with anti-slip silicone.
It would have been nice to see the entire palm coated instead of just the ‘pressure points’, but any area lacking in silicone still has a thick layer of grippy synthetic leather.
Any other features?
The one I really want to talk about is the water resistance. Unlike our previous suggestions, with these gloves you could hold your hand in water all day and still stay dry. They are 100% waterproof and offer a really solid choice if the conditions require something that will absolutely keep your hands as dry as possible.
The devil is in the detail…
The gloves also feature loops to pull the gloves on, and a feature that I really liked was the ‘wiper’ available on the thumb. It will allow you to defrost a phone screen or get rid of the occasional drip from your nose too. (don’t worry we all do it).
- Super thick insulation, guaranteed warmth.
- Integral heat pad.
- A clever ‘wiper’ feature.
- 100% waterproof, even if fully submerged.
- Not suitable for work requiring fine motor skills.
- The palm grip is only partially lined.
These gloves are for seriously cold weather. If you want to fish in extreme conditions and get a pair of high-quality gloves these are definitely worth consideration.
Your hands will be warm and dry all of the time, and these could be real contender for the best waterproof ice fishing gloves. The only downside is that you may have to take them off if you are handling anything small.
Palmyth Magnetic Leather Ice Fishing Gloves
These gloves are possibly the warmest I’ve seen. Utilizing a whole manner of fabrics and technologies to guarantee warmth. They have gone for a hybrid approach with gloves that are neither truly mittens or gloves.
Let me explain…
Think ‘lobster claw’ and you will be in the ballpark. The thumb and the first finger feature a detachable tip, and your remaining digits will be wrapped up in a fixed mitten. What the glove lacks in mobility it more than makes up for in warmth. They are absolutely packed with thick dual-material insulation.
Unlike our other gloves, the outer material is in fact entirely natural, and is constructed from durable and rather eye-catching goat leather. This is good as it is soft, grippy and hard wearing.
Hold on a minute…
This is has a real downside, because, it absolutely is not waterproof. They might tolerate the odd splash or snow shower, but anything more than that and they are going to soak that water up.
That’s a big downside in my book. If you have ever got leather wet you will know that when it dries it tends to turn from soft and supple to hard and brittle.
- The warmest gloves I have found, with super-thick insulation.
- Magnetic detachable thumb and fingertips.
- Windproof lining.
- Poor water resistance.
- Only having a finger and thumb free can be quite limiting.
If I fished only on very cold, but very clear days, they would be a top investment. The lack of flexibility with the mitten section is down to personal preference as I like to have more than a finger and thumb free, but overall, they offer real warmth.
Stretch Neoprene Fishing Gloves
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. There isn’t anything particularly advanced about these gloves, but if you are anything like me, you’ll just want something that works.
They are constructed from durable neoprene and the palm section is covered with a layer of super grippy textured artificial leather. They are ever so slightly padded and for weather which is slightly cooler, should do a reasonable job of keeping your hands warm.
The thumb and index finger section are split to allow you to stick your naked digit out into the fresh air. There is no way of securing the empty thumb and finger section so it just rests behind your bare-naked digit.
That’s not bad, is it?
Well, it would be nicer if you could keep the empty sections out of the way, but that said I have found that a Velcro fastening tends to give up and become worn pretty quickly so the fact that they haven’t included it isn’t a big deal for me.
The gloves are not waterproof, but due to the material they are made from grip shouldn’t be an issue, if they did happen to get wet.
- The gloves are lightweight and durable.
- They are thin enough to allow you to use your fingers even with them covered.
- They have a really good grip.
- The padding could be a little thicker.
- There is no way to secure the loose finger and thumb section.
These gloves might not be quite substantial enough for a whole day on the ice, but for occasional use or taken as a backup they would be ideal.
Rapala Marine Fisherman Gloves
It might be an idea to combine a couple of solutions to give you everything you need in a glove. If you aren’t looking to take your gloves off at all, or are comfortable with manipulating things with your gloves on, then this pair is great.
The reason we chose these gloves is because they are basic and no-nonsense. Tough rubber handling areas ensure that you will have the firmest grip and they really protect your hands. They are machine washable too. If you’ve had a good day and handled a lot of fish then this is something you are really going to want in a pair of gloves.
Want to know what makes them so great?
The key feature that drew my eye was that they float. It only takes one careless minute and you’ll have one warm hand and one cold hand if your glove disappears into the deep. For a simple, affordable and durable glove, these are not a bad choice.
- Machine washable ensuring freshness.
- The glove is really durable and grippy.
- Buoyant in water.
- Not a great deal of insulation.
- Fairly thin on extra features.
They aren’t the thickest we have suggested, and it might be worth adding thinner pair below, but if you want to add layers to your hands they could work well.
Glacier Glove Aleutian Neoprene Gloves
The Glacier Glove will keep your hands warm and dry, they also look pretty neat too. If you are fishing for a species that is easily spooked, the camo pattern should ensure that your hands blend in.
The gloves are a blend of technologies mixing the stretch of neoprene with the warmth of fleece material to give a good all-round experience.
So, what’s not to like?
Not much really. The cuff of the glove isn’t elasticated or securable, but that said I’ve found that’ sometimes adding an extra step to remove a glove can be more trouble than it is worth. With these gloves you will be able to pull them off and put them on really easily.
I really like the grip on these gloves. The palm area is surrounded by a one piece ‘shark skin’ texture. This will stick to any item regardless of whether it is wet or dry. Speaking of wet, the gloves are also 100% waterproof.
- Super cool looking camo pattern.
- Excellent grip.
- Lightweight and waterproof.
- The fingers aren’t removable.
- No method of securing the writ end of the glove.
These gloves would have been perfect if you could remove fingertip sections, but that said they still perform reasonably well. They are custom-built for outdoor pursuits and offer warm, dry hands and excellent quality.
How to Choose the Right Gloves for Ice Fishing
There’s a lot to consider when you’re in the market for a good glove – and perhaps even more so when ice fishing is involved.
Let’s explore all the features you should be looking out for, but first, why should you wear ice fishing gloves in the first place?
Do I Really Need Ice Fishing Gloves?
I won’t insult your intelligence by explaining why you need gloves in frigid temperatures.
That’s not what this section is about.
But rather to ask the question – do you specifically need ice fishing gloves? Won’t normal winter gloves do just as well?
The answer is yes and no.
Most winter gloves will protect you from the cold, sure, but they’re not going to stand up to the rigors of ice fishing.
They might not have the right grip, durability, and dexterity needed for all the things you need to do with your hands and fingers while you’re practicing this chilly sport and pastime.
I certainly wouldn’t use my fingerless fall gloves for a day on the ice!
That’s where a dedicated set of ice fishing gloves will come in. They’ve been specifically designed to protect you against the elements, as well as aid you in your quest to catch more fish.
A product that fits ice fishing like a glove.
Type of Glove
Ice fishing gloves are generally available in three different styles:
- Finger Gloves – The most common type, finger gloves separate each of your five digits, with the tips of your fingers completely covered. Advantages include improved dexterity over mittens (but not as good as fingerless/hybrid gloves).
- Mittens – Perhaps associated more with skiing and other winter sports, mittens enclose the whole hand with a sheath that brings your fingers together. While you’ll struggle to pick up small items or use your fine motor skills, mittens are typically much warmer than any other type of glove.
- Hybrid/Fingerless Gloves – Traditional fingerless gloves aren’t often used for ice fishing, but you can purchase hybrid gloves that have a mitten-style closure attached to fold over your fingers when it gets really cold. The obvious advantage here is you have the best of both worlds, being able to use your fingertips for fishing tackle and other small tasks, while having the protection you need when you need it.
The type you choose is going to depend on a number of factors, including personal preference, comfort, and how cold it gets in the region you most commonly hit the ice in.
As with any type of glove, sizing is very important. Too large, and it’ll feel like you’re fishing with oven mitts. Too small, and you won’t enjoy the benefits of the glove’s warmth, while being uncomfortable at the same time.
Remember – different manufacturers have different sizing guides, so it’s not necessarily “one size fits all.”
Double-check the sizing guide of the glove you’re particularly interested in, and read reviews from people who have a similar hand size to you.
Some gloves run small, while others run large, and, without trying them on, the only way to prevent returns is to do a bit of research before you add to cart.
Materials and Insulation
A quality ice fishing glove stands and falls on its materials and insulation – as well as how these things are put together.
There’s nothing worse than an inferior design falling apart on you when you most need it. We’ve all been there.
So, what are perhaps the two most important factors to consider when you’re shopping for new ice fishing gloves?
What are they made from – and how are they made?
Generally speaking, you’ll find that the following list of materials are most commonly used in the construction of ice fishing gloves (or a combination thereof) – leather, neoprene, rubber, Thinsulate or other fleece material, and wool.
The latter two, in this case, should be reserved for the lining only, and are no good as part of the outer layer.
The protection and dexterity you’re afforded in a glove will depend upon the type of material used.
Rubber and PVC gloves will be the most waterproof – but at the expense of movement and control.
Leather is durable and stylish, but it can be expensive, heavier than other materials, and unethical to some.
Neoprene offers decent water-resistance while boasting a nice balance of dexterity, warmth, and excellent grip.
However, it’s not waterproof – which is a common misconception. They can take a very long time to dry once they get wet.
Waterproof vs Water-Resistant
It’s worth mentioning the difference between these two factors – as all too often consumers get confused.
And that’s when returns start flooding in.
So, what’s the difference between waterproof and water-resistant?
A water-resistant garment is only going to protect your hands so much. In heavy rainfall, and particularly when submerged, it will be compromised, and you’re going to get wet.
A waterproof garment, on the other hand, is designed to protect you even when submerged. If you’re regularly dipping your hands in ice-cold water, this is the word you need to be looking for.
However, there is a caveat you need to remember.
When it comes to clothing, nothing is ever going to truly be 100% waterproof. Given enough of a deluge, most materials will start to let water in eventually.
However, when it comes to ice fishing, you’re not planning on getting that wet, are you?!
Dexterity and Grip
When it comes to ice fishing, you might not necessarily need the same fine motor skills as you would do if you’re fly fishing in spring.
But it’s still nice to find a balance.
Unfortunately, the trade-off for having the warmest gloves on the lake is that they will likely be much thicker, and you lose control and manipulation with your fingers.
This is particularly true if you choose mittens over gloves.
If dexterity is important to you, consider opting for a hybrid product that has the option to expose your fingers when you need them – such as when you’re setting up fresh bait and/or tackle.
And when it comes to grip, most ice fishing gloves will have a palm that is designed to not let your catch slip away.
Ice fishing gloves vary in price, and you can get a cheap pair for under $10, or you can break the bank and pay over $100 – sometimes much more.
When it comes to how much you want to pay, I suggest sticking to my two main principles:
How much you can afford, and how much you actually go ice fishing.
There’s no point dropping a mountain of cash on something you’re rarely going to use.
And it works both ways.
Don’t be a cheapskate if you’re ice fishing every weekend (or even every day) during the season. You’ll need something that’s built to last, and isn’t wasteful.
Purchase the best you can afford – and it should last you for many seasons to come.
What’s the saying?
Buy once, cry once!
What are the warmest ice fishing gloves?
Gloves that are warm for me might not be warm for you – there’s no definitive answer to this question.
I would suggest you look for thick, heavy-duty ice gloves with warm, fleecy insulation. The thicker the glove and lining, the warmer it’s going to be.
You can also try something like this Zippo hand warmer for those particularly cold days.
Are fishing gloves worth it?
While not all anglers choose to wear fishing gloves, I would say they are most definitely worth it – particularly for protection against the elements. In winter, they’re a no-brainer.
As for other times of the year, why not check out this general article on the best fishing gloves on the market, and decide for yourself?
Are wool gloves good for fishing?
No. Next question.
Joking aside, while wool makes for a nice material when hiking or camping, for example, it’s notoriously horrendous when it gets wet.
As such, a good fishing glove material it does not make – unless, of course – it’s used in the lining and has a fully waterproof outer layer.
Is it okay to touch a fish with gloves?
Great question – and it depends on the glove. With the right coating, and if they’re wet, gloves can be better for handling fish than bare hands.
Having said that, if you’re planning on catch and release, many would argue that wearing gloves can damage a fish’s skin, and handling with bare hands is better, while not handling the fish at all is best.
How do I keep my feet warm when ice fishing?
That’s easy – just click this link to take you to the ultimate review of the best ice fishing boots available!
What do you wear for ice fishing?
Provided you’re dressed to protect yourself from wind, water, and freezing temperatures, you can wear pretty much whatever you want for ice fishing.
However, I would suggest taking a look at these ice fishing clothing articles, which will really get you up to speed on the latest and best gear for the season.
You can also check out the video below for a visual guide on what to wear when ice fishing.
Should I wear gloves or mittens for ice fishing?
Ahhh the eternal debate among ice anglers – mittens or gloves with separated fingers?
It comes down to personal preference, but I say – why not have both?
I use my gloves while I’m at the ice hole, and I need the extra dexterity to control my rod and land a fish.
But I’m going to use my mittens when I’m actually getting to the hole in the first place, be it walking or on a snowmobile or other vehicle where I need the additional protection of keeping my fingers together.
There’s a lot to choose from when it comes to ice fishing gloves – and many factors to consider.
Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference – and the type of winter fishing you enjoy.
Would you like an easy assessment in a nutshell? Of course, you would!
If you’re fishing from a lakeside house, heated ice shelter, or you’re close to a similarly comfortable environment, I would suggest opting for a lightweight glove that promotes dexterity over heavy-duty protection.
If, on the other hand, you’re sitting out there in the wilds, exposed to the elements, and in plunging temperatures, you should focus more on thicker gloves with additional weatherproofing.