Capacitive touchscreen gloves that let you use your smartphone while protecting your hands from the icy cold are sure to be big sellers this winter. But which touchscreen gloves are best for you?
No-one likes cold hands, but no one likes not being able to use their touchscreen device either. And most touchscreens need your actual warm finger skin to operate properly. Wrap those digits in a lovely glove and the digital devices won’t register your touch.
That usually means removing your glove, sticking it in a pocket or hanging it out of your mouth, while you tap away on your smartphone or tablet in the freezing cold with numb fingers. This means wet or lost gloves plus a good chance of frostbite.
Unless you wear fingerless gloves or cut out holes for your skin to show through, you need a special pair of touchscreen gloves that will work with capacitive touchscreens. Luckily there are a few around and we look at the best touchscreen gloves here - of course, these still won't let you use a fingerprint to unlock your device, so you'll have to get used to either face unlock or going back to a PIN.
Mujjo Touchscreen Gloves with 3M Thinsulate
Dutch design company Mujjo was one of the first makers of touchscreen gloves, and has a wide range from standard to double-layered and leather. They also look like something from a James Bond movie.
Many touchscreen gloves are restricted to a couple of fingers for their operation. The Mujjo gloves work on all parts of the hand: fingers, knuckles, palm or heel.
The latest generation has had a major redesign, with a slimmer, stretchier construction that makes for a much more comfortable fit. Internal fleece is topped with 3M Thinsulate for a glove that's warm despite being lightweight, with a grippy silicone pattern to help save your phone from unfortunate falls.
The only real downsides are the price - at £45/$50 these are Mujjo's most expensive gloves, though still cheaper than plenty others out there - and the fact that the finish feels a little cheap. These look functional rather than fashionable even setting aside the serial killer vibes of wearing skintight black gloves.
Mujjo Double-Layered Touchscreen Gloves
If you'd rather spend a little less, you might want to look at one of Mujjo's older designs that's still on sale, the double-layered touchscreen gloves, which include a woolen lining.
These are thicker than the later version, but the charcoal grey finish and leather-lined clasp mean they look a bit more attractive, and don't give off quite as strong an impression that you're on your way home from strangling someone in a dark alley.
Just as with the other Mujjo gloves, these are conductive all over, so you can use any part of your hands on your phone's screen, and they also feature a grippy finish - here in the form of small dots all over the palm and fingers.
Moshi Digits Touchscreen Gloves
Another pair we've tested are the Digits gloves from Moshi, which come in a bit cheaper than Mujjo's at £24.95/$29.95.
You get a choice of colours, but they're locked into specific sizes for some reason: so the light grey gloves (pictured) are in S/M, while there's a darker grey pair only available for L/XL. I tested the latter and actually found them slightly small (and I don't think my hands are totally massive) so it might be worth considering sizing up.
They're dual-layered (with a seriously soft microfleece lining) though we found the layers pulled apart a little when taking the gloves off, so you might find the need to straighten them out again each time.
These have a conductive layer on all ten fingertips, so you can use any finger at all for your phone, and there's a grippy pattern across the palm. This does leave the inside of the gloves with an almost sparkly finish though, so bear that in mind depending on your taste.
North Face Revelstoke Etip Gloves
These gloves from North Face are a bit different, as they're designed specifically for winter sports like skiing or snowboarding - or just more serious winters than we tend to face here in the UK.
Waterproof, breathable, and insulated, these should keep you warm even in fairly intense cold, though won't compete with the absolute best skiing gloves.
Still they have the benefit of that Etip technology, which means you'll be able to check your phone without taking your gloves off on the slopes. Just note that it's only the tips of the thumb and forefinger that are covered, not the whole palm or any other fingers.
North Face Denali Etip Gloves
Also from cold-weather specialist North Face, the Men's Denali Etip Gloves are fleece based with nylon Taslan over the knuckles and fingers for added durability, and a silicone gripper palm to provide a superior grip.
North Face rates them as suitable for "Cold" but not "Very Cold" conditions. They come in Small, Medium and Large sizes.
They work well with a touchscreen, and we were able to type reasonably fast while outside in the cold.
North Face Montana Gore-Tex gloves
If you need gloves that will keep your hands really warm in very cold conditions the North Face Montana Gore-Tex gloves should do the trick, and you don't need to take them off to operate your smartphone as they are touchscreen friendly.
As you'd expect from extreme-weather ski gloves they are not as flexible as some of the others tested here, but they will swipe fine, and you can even clumsily type in them.
They are waterproof, and feature warm Heatseeker insulation, a Sherpa fleece lining. The long cuff keeps snow outside your sleeves. There's also a removable Wrist Oven leash with strap pocket for handwarmer.
Muji Touch Panel Gloves
Here's a much cheaper option - if you're in the UK at least. These wool mix gloves from Japanese retailer Muji (not to be confused with Mujjo) cost just £12.95, but should keep your fingers phone-friendly while it's frigid.
Available in either black or grey, these are made out of a blend of wool and synthetics, and are touch-friendly on the tips of the thumbs and two fingers on each hand - conveniently marked by a different colour fabric to help you remember.
They're not going to be the warmest gloves in the world, but they're simple, attractive, and cheap, which should be plenty appealing to lots of people.