January 23, 2020 | The Lab |

The Lab: How Cold Weather & Winter Work Gloves Are Tested

Can’t see the video? Read the transcript below!

Welcome back to Superior Glove’s Innovation Lab; I’m your host Robyn and this is The Lab!

Today we’re going to show you exactly how Superior Glove tests our winter gloves to make sure they keep your hands as warm as we say they will.

You may think we send some poor soul out into freezing conditions to test our winter gloves but actually, all of our testing is done right here at The Lab.


In fact, it’s done with this very machine – our convective cold tester.

This is the environmental chamber, which can mimic actually environmental conditions ranging from -45°C to 155°C (-49°F to 311°F). For a convective cold test, we set the internal conditions to 15°C and 50% relative humidity.

Inside is where the magic happens!

Meet Andy.

Andy is our thermal hand and he works much like your own. His joints are somewhat articulated in that his thumb can move. Each finger is independently heated to replicate real skin temperature.

Let’s take a look at how the convective cold test works.

How the Convective Cold Test Works

Andy is heated until he is the temperature of a real human hand. When you’re active or working, your heart is pumping blood to keep your hands warm. The same thing happens with Andy, only instead of a heart, a computer warms him up.

To test the insulative strength of our gloves, we put a glove on Andy and start to decrease the temperature. The computer monitors how much energy is needed to keep Andy at 35°C (95°F), regular skin temperature. When this energy expenditure is more than a human heart could provide, the computer determines that this is the lowest temperature at which the glove can keep your hands warm.


Now that you know how we test our winter work gloves, I bet you’re wondering exactly how winter work gloves keep your hands warm.

Let’s take a look at how winter work gloves are constructed so that they can keep your hands warm and toasty even in freezing cold temperatures.

Winter work gloves keep your hands warm because they are built in layers.

The Base Layer for Winter Work Gloves

The first layer, the one touching your skin when you wear gloves, is called the base layer. This layer is essential as it wicks away sweat from your hands. Wet hands lose heat much faster than dry ones, so keeping your hands dry is imperative for maintaining warmth.

Want to learn more about insulation and how it keeps you warm?

Read our great blog on insulation complete with expert interviews!

The base layer has an additional function, which is to add protective properties to the glove such as cut resistance, fire resistance, or arc flash protection.

The Middle Layer for Winter Work Gloves

The next layer is the middle layer, which provides the bulk of your insulation.

How thick or thin this layer is depends on the type of material used.

For instance, a material such as BOA acrylic provides extreme cold protection but it’s quite bulky and you may lose dexterity.

Thinsulate™ is a great option for winter warmth as it provides insulation from the elements in a slim fabric that doesn’t impede dexterity.

The Outer Layer for Winter Work Gloves

The next layer is the outer layer. This will typically be made from leather, PVC, or a material such as TenActiv™.

This layer can offer protection against abrasions and is often treated so that it can resist water. A high-end waterproof material such as GORE-TEX will be breathable enough to allow water vapor, like your sweat, to escape but tight enough to keep water molecules out, like rain or snow.

Additional Membrane for Exceptional Waterproofing

Even with the best waterproofing materials, winter work gloves can still be made better.

This is why some manufacturers, including Superior Glove, incorporate a membrane between the outer and middle layers to act as a shield against water and wind.

And that’s the anatomy of a winter work glove!


Let’s take a closer look at some of Superior Glove’s top winter work gloves.

Dexterity® Red Winter-Lined Nylon Gloves with Full PVC Coating | SNTAPVCFB

For basic warmth and excellent dexterity, choose gloves such as our SNTAPVCFB.

These quick-drying, lightweight gloves can be worn comfortably all day while the extended back-of-hand micropore PVC coating allows for excellent flexibility, grip, and abrasion resistance in wet and sub-zero conditions.

A picture of Superior Glove's SNTAPVCFB winter work gloves
Learn More button

Endura® Winter Goat-Grain Driver Gloves with Kevlar®-Blended Liner | 378GKGTL

For a great all-round winter work glove, look for a winter work glove such as our 378GKGTL.

This glove has a Kevlar® base layer to provide cut protection at ANSI Cut Level A4. The outer goat-grain material provides great tactility and durability as well as very high abrasion resistance.

A picture of Superior Glove's 378GKGTL winter work gloves
Learn More button

SnowForce™ Deluxe Calfskin Extreme Cold Weather Mitt with Removeable Fleece Liner | SNOWD200L

For the ultimate in extreme cold protection, you’ll want to be wearing something like our SNOWD200L gloves.

Whether you’re in the artic or shoveling a driveway in New Jersey, your hands will stay toasty warm; however, the bulkiness and mitt-style of these gloves will limit your dexterity.

If you have dexterous tasks to complete, it’s best to wear glove liners so you can remove your winter work mitts safely.

A picture of Superior Glove's SNOWD200L winter work gloves in a mitt style
Learn More button


That’s it for our winter work gloves testing video. Now that you know exactly how winter gloves keep you warm you can find your perfect pair!

Click here to view our full line-up of winter work gloves.

Not sure what protection you need? Let our Glove Selector tell you!

Want more great explainer videos like this? Sign up for our monthly eNewsletter and get the best safety resources delivered right to your inbox!

Sign Up Now button
About The Lab
The Lab brings you behind-the-scenes insight into how Superior Glove's great line-up of innovative work gloves are tested to ensure our customers receive the high quality they're promised.