Gloves With Thinsulate™ Insulation

December 9, 2013, by Ken Jorgustin


The other day I was reminded of how important it is to wear insulated gloves during the winter, and how Thinsulate™ is something to look for when choosing winter gloves.

Not only from a comfort standpoint, but from a preparedness point of view – insulated winter gloves of varying weights and purpose could be a winter lifesaver.

Here’s why, and here’s some information about Thinsulate™ insulation…

First, my brief story… Given the date of this article, it’s not full-on winter yet, but it has been cold enough… Having said that, I decided to take a drive over to where I’m storing my travel trailer in order to remove something ‘electronic’ that I decided not to leave in there all winter. In any event, I thought no big deal, the little project should only take about 20 minutes. After about 10 minutes in the cold (around freezing) while using my exposed fingers to manage a few hand-tools, I began to experience the partial numbness that begins to occur whereby it becomes more and more difficult to turn bolts and unscrew things with your fingers. It’s actually quite amazing how debilitating the cold can be with regards to using your hands and fingers to perform tasks… I could’ve gone back to the truck and retrieved a pair of gloves, but I pushed through the numbness and finished the job.

This reminded me of the importance to have a variety of winter gloves for the various winter tasks that you may encounter.

As you know, there are lots of glove styles and compositions available to us. With regards to insulation from the cold, 3M™ Thinsulate™ may be considered the best for things like gloves, hats, boots, etc.

I have a number of various winter gloves with this insulation in it, but I wondered exactly what it was and I also knew there were different ‘weight’ ratings. Here’s what I found out…


What is Thinsulate™?

The unique microfibers or fine fibers that make up Thinsulate insulation work by trapping air molecules between you and the outside. The more air a material traps in a given space‚ the better it insulates you from the cold outside air. Because the fibers in Thinsulate insulation are finer than the fibers used in most other synthetic or natural insulation‚ they trap more air in less space‚ which naturally makes Thinsulate insulation a better insulator. It is breathable, moisture-resistant, and washable.

The fibers used to create Thinsulate™ gloves are approximately 0.00059 inches (15 micrometers) thick, which is five times thinner than traditional polyester fibers.


Recommended grams of 3M™ Thinsulate™ hats and gloves

Grams per square meter of insulation

40 gram for high activity levels or cool conditions
70 gram for moderate activity levels or cold conditions
100 gram for light activity levels or very cold conditions
150 gram for very light activity levels or extremely cold conditions

In summary, you might want to consider a variety of gloves with insulation so that you can perform tasks without numbing your fingers. Because insulation like Thinsulate™ is so thin, they can make gloves (40-gram) which are useful for doing finer work with your fingers. I have found that 100-gram Thinsulate™ gloves are enough for the worst-case here in the region where I currently live – although also having a pair of 150-gram might be good insurance…

ALWAYS keep a pair of insulated winter gloves and an insulated hat in your vehicle specifically for emergency use or if you forgot to bring along a pair from home (what if you become stranded, etc.).