What are Thinsulate&Trade; Gloves?

Carol Francois

Thinsulate™ gloves are winter gloves made using 3M's trademark Thinsulate™ insulation. This product was developed in the 1978. It is a synthetic fiber that provides insulation without the bulk of traditional polyester fibers. The development of this material lead to an increase in the sales and availability of insulated leather gloves for men and woman.

Thinsulate gloves contain insulate lining to keep hands warm.
Thinsulate gloves contain insulate lining to keep hands warm.

Using Thinsulate™, the glove designers were able to combine elegant, simple lines with warm gloves. The leather protects the hands from wet snow, and the lining traps heat. The fibers used to create Thinsulate™ gloves are approximately 0.00059 inches (15 micrometers) thick, which is five times thinner than traditional polyester fibers.

Thinsulate™ gloves can be worn under thick wool gloves for added warmth.
Thinsulate™ gloves can be worn under thick wool gloves for added warmth.

Thinsulate™ gloves are available in a wide range of weights. The weight of the insulation is measured in grams, with 40 gram weight for cool conditions and 150 grams for extremely cold conditions. The heavier the weight, the warmer the gloves will be, as the weight is an indicator of the thickness of material per square meter. Thinsulate™ gloves can be found in any major department store in locations where winter is cold.

When you are in the store, look at Thinsulate™ gloves that are leather-covered, vinyl-covered and cloth-covered. Locate leather gloves in your size and try them on. Although Thinsulate™ is significantly less bulky than other insulation materials, it does take up space. If the glove is uncomfortable, move up by half size increments until you find glove that fits comfortably.

A great test of a gloves fit is to make a closed fist. If you are unable to close your fist properly, the gloves are too small. Ill-fitting gloves affect your finger mobility as well as the efficiency of the insulation. Gloves that are too big or too small don’t retain the heat correctly and may result in cold hands.

Vinyl gloves have the same benefits as leather gloves, but are less expensive. These types of gloves are ideal to keep in the car in case of emergency. They allow enough finger mobility to open a car door, but will keep your fingers warm while waiting for a tow truck.

Cloth covered Thinsulate™ gloves are popular for ski and snowboarders. The layers of material are very effective at keeping the warmth in. It is very important that these types of gloves have a nylon or synthetic fiber layer to keep moisture out. No insulation can keep you warm if it is wet.

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Discussion Comments


I have Thinsulate gloves and my hands are always so cold in them. I've tried various styles, etc. but it's a no go for me. I have to find something though that will keep my fingers warm. It's going to be a brutal winter.


Do you know, I used to be so skeptical about those gloves, but now I can't do without them. My daughter used to keep going on and on about how much she loved her Thinsulate gloves, and how they had even replaced the suede driving gloves that she used to love so much, until I finally broke down and got a pair for myself.

I have to say, she really was right. I use my Thinsulates as gardening gloves, since I really garden quite a lot, and can't stand to have my hands cold -- my arthritis just starts hurting something terrible if I get too cold.

So although I still keep my deerskin gloves around for going out, at home in the garden I use my Thinsulates -- they're a good, basic house glove, though perhaps not the most attractive things in the world.


I use Thinsulate gloves for my ski gloves, and I have to say, they really do the job. Of course, like the article says, you can't get them all wet on the inside, but if you use them properly, they really work well.

I know a lot of people who say that wool gloves are the only way to go warmth-wise, but really, the Thinsulate gloves work just as well for me in terms of warmth, and much better in terms of mobility.

It used to drive me crazy having to sort of pad around things and not be able to pick anything up on the first try, but now I can pretty much use my hands just as if there weren't gloves on them, which is really the biggest plus for me.

I would definitely recommend them as skiing gloves.


Can anybody tell me if the Thinsulate gloves work well for motorcycle gloves? I ride my bike a lot on the weekends, and it seems like I always end up totally freezing my hands.

I've tried different kinds of waterproof gloves and work gloves, but none of them seem to work really well for me.

Could somebody else who rides give the the down low on Thinsulate gloves for riding motorcycles? I'd appreciate the info!

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