Polyester gloves are very inexpensive compared to other types of winter gloves, but how warm are they versus other options? Are polyester gloves warm enough for the coldest winter weather?
Polyester gloves on their own will provide a lightweight to midweight warmth, which will depend greatly on the tightness of the weave. However, many companies will add insulation to polyester gloves to make the gloves capable of withstanding more extreme temperatures. In most cases, synthetic insulation (like 3M Thinsulate) is used to insulate polyester gloves.
If you are looking for the warmest types of polyester gloves, searching for polyester gloves that use 3M Thinsulate as insulation (or some type of thermal insulation) will be your best option. If you instead buy polyester gloves that have no added insulation, do not expect those gloves to be able to handle the coldest conditions.
Polyester fleece is popular for gloves because the material is extremely soft to the touch (softer than most all other types of glove outer-shell fabrics). Another benefit of polyester gloves is that many types of polyester fabric blends are waterproof (but not all polyester gloves are waterproof).
The main takeaway is if you prefer polyester gloves, and need protection from extreme temperatures, make sure you choose a pair of polyester gloves that have added insulation for increased warmth.
In this article let’s take a closer look at the warmth of polyester gloves. We will also discuss what other types of gloves offer more warmth than polyester.
How Warm Are Polyester Gloves?
The warmth of polyester gloves is going to vary depending on many factors, but the most important things to consider are:
- How tight is the weave?
- Do the gloves have added insulation?
- Is the material waterproof?
In general, unlined polyester gloves can provide a lightweight to midweight warmth. Polyester is considered to be an effective insulator, allowing for efficient heat-trapping. Polyester’s composition of very fine plastic threads makes it great for keeping in your natural body heat while maintaining just enough breathability.
However, polyester gloves’ capacity to keep you warm also depends on how the fabric is woven. If the threads are tightly woven, there’s a greater chance of keeping cold air from entering and replacing the trapped heat inside the gloves. If it’s loose, air and moisture can easily penetrate.
And for the coldest conditions, you will need extra insulation. As we discussed earlier, 3M Thinsulate is a synthetic insulation that is very popular for gloves, including polyester gloves. 3M Thinsulate is very good at trapping heat while still being non-bulky, meaning it doesn’t affect shape and fit as much as other types of insulations.
Are Polyester Gloves Waterproof?
Polyester gloves exhibit a certain amount of water resistance due to the plastic composition present in polyester. However, on their own, polyester gloves are not completely waterproof.
To make the gloves waterproof, polyester is often combined with other types of fabric (spandex, nylon, etc.) to create a fabric blend that provides a 100% waterproof barrier. If you need something waterproof, searching for a polyester fabric blend may be best.
Despite not being waterproof, many polyester gloves do have moisture-wicking properties. Moisture-wicking makes water vapor permeation possible through the gloves, allowing sweat to evaporate instead of being absorbed into the fabric. However, this is also dependent on how the polyester gloves are made.
Are Polyester Gloves Breathable?
Polyester, in its bare form, isn’t breathable because of its plastic nature. On the other hand, polyester fibers, which are commonly used in different types of clothing, including gloves, have a good degree of breathability.
The breathability of polyester gloves also depends on how they’re made. A more loose weave construction will provide extra breathability at the expense of lesser insulation.
The answer, therefore, is complicated. In general, polyester winter gloves that are both waterproof and insulated are not very breathable. However, there can be exceptions.
According to research, coating polyester fiber with a combination of polyurethane and fluorine-based water repellent compounds makes it a breathable and waterproof fabric that’s ideal for garments such as gloves. It’s also effective in preventing the loss of body heat.
Pros & Cons of Polyester Gloves for Winter
Advantages of Polyester Gloves
The use of polyester in winter garments is fairly conventional. It’s reliable enough to withstand the cold, after all. Polyester is also a versatile material, and there are lots of ways to incorporate it into manufacturing garments.
As long as the polyester gloves you’re wearing have the right type of weaving, there should be no problem withstanding cold temperatures.
The following are examples of the advantages of using polyester gloves during winter:
- Polyester is considered good at retaining body heat.
- Polyester has sufficient breathability.
- Polyester is naturally water-repellent.
- Polyester dries quickly.
- Polyester has low moisture retention.
- Polyester doesn’t wrinkle easily.
- Polyester is a strong and durable material.
- Polyester is affordable.
Polyester, along with its various properties, is generally good not only for winter but for other weather conditions as well. Though, how they’re manufactured greatly determines what they’re best used for. Remember, for the coldest conditions, you will need polyester gloves that have added insulation.
Disadvantages of Polyester Gloves
As much as polyester is a commonly used material for manufacturing garments due to its reliable properties, there are a few disadvantages to using it for winter clothing.
While polyester gloves are good for mild winters, without added insulation, they won’t be warm enough for the coldest winter conditions.
The following are examples of the disadvantages of using polyester gloves during winter:
- Polyester gloves might not be able to withstand harsh winters.
- Polyester can retain odor.
- Polyester can be hard to clean due to its chemical and water resistance.
- Polyester is considered a heavy fiber, especially on thicker manufactured garments.
- Polyester’s hydrophobicity can generate static electricity.
- Certain types of polyester (fleece) are not very durable.
Polyester gloves are not chemical resistant, which means they won’t make sense for all jobs (usually, neoprene gloves or PVC-coated gloves are used for chemical resistance).
While there are some notable disadvantages to polyester gloves, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re a completely bad option for winter. Thanks to technological advancements, these disadvantages can easily be remedied in the manufacturing process through blending fibers.
Polyester combined with other materials or fabrics produces promising results for garments, improving and optimizing winter clothes at that.
Wool gloves are made of natural fibers obtained from the fur of animals. There are different types of wool on the market, and warmth can vary.
Some types of wool fibers are soft to touch, while others feel itchy. However, manufacturers can add other natural and synthetic fibers to improve the qualities of the wool, making wool gloves more comfortable to wear or softer.
For example, silk fibers are added to wool fibers to make them smoother and softer, while synthetic fibers can increase the waterproof properties of wool and make it more durable.
Wool itself is naturally water-resistant and very good at insulating even when damp. Wool is also good at wicking away sweat while keeping heat trapped. There are several types of wool gloves on the market today.
- Angora wool is fluffy, cozy, and highly delicate. This is why it’s often mixed with other types of natural and synthetic fibers to increase its durability.
- Merino wool is rather soft and feels comfortable to wear. In addition, it provides good dexterity and grip in extreme weather. It is also less bulky than regular wool.
- Alpaca wool is durable, lightweight, warm, and comfortable to wear. It’s one of the most widely used types of wool and is popularly used to make winter gloves.
Gore-Tex is a synthetic fabric made of polytetrafluoroethylene. It’s lightweight, waterproof, well-insulated, and comfortable to wear.
The material is quite thin compared to the warmth it provides, so Gore-Tex gloves provide amazing dexterity in all weather conditions. Also, Gore-Tex doesn’t get affected by being exposed to different temperatures or getting submerged in water.
Gore-Tex gloves won’t be as soft to the touch as polyester fleece gloves.
We discussed 3M Thinsulate a bit earlier in the article. 3M Thinsulate is not a glove shell material – it is synthetic insulation that is very good at trapping heat while also being non-bulky.
The point is, many types of glove materials can be used in combination with 3M Thinsulate. Yes, you can find warm polyester gloves that have 3M Thinsulate, but you can also find wool and leather gloves that use 3M Thinsulate.
If you are shopping for warm winter gloves, and want to explore options, searching for gloves that use 3M Thinsulate as insulation is a good idea.