Anyone experienced in bushcraft will tell you that the art is as much about the product you are producing or the skills you are perfecting as it is about staying safe and comfortable while doing so.
If you aren’t taking care of yourself, your craft will be compromised.
In more extreme situations, when survival skills are being put to the test, your health and safety are of the utmost importance.
Because bushcraft requires so much technical handy work, taking care of your hands is a top priority. When shopping for a new pair of bushcraft gloves, you will quickly notice that different gloves are better for different situations.
Ultimately you need to decide what you will be using your gloves for most, and what traits are most important to you.
From handling fire to prolonged exposure in cold or wet conditions to protective gloves for woodwork – there is a glove for everyone.
If you’re unsure or want a bit more variability, consider having a thin pair of insulating gloves that you can wear underneath the more protection-oriented bushcraft glove.
That said, read on to find out more about some of the best bushcraft gloves on the market.
The Best Gloves for Bushcraft
Below, we’ve put together a list of our favourite bushcraft gloves. Enjoy.
The Hestra Ergo Grip Active
Hestra has undoubtedly emerged as one of the best glove makers on the market. They have a product for just about every situation.
The Hestra Ergo Grip Active glove is an excellent choice for those who like to be very active in the colder months.
While this glove boasts windproof and water-resistant fabric, it also has great ventilation to prevent your hands from sweating and eventually getting cold because of built-up moisture.
Plus, the added reinforcement on the index finger adds extra strength to an already durable glove.
Hestra Fält Guide
As one of the more expensive gloves on our list, you certainly get what you pay for with the Hestra Fält Guide glove. The Hestra Fält Guide is incredibly warm, offering near mitten comfort, while still boasting excellent dexterity.
The outer glove is made entirely of cowhide and Army Leather goatskin, promoting both weather resistance and durability. The wool liner has incredible warmth with the bonus of being able to remove it to wash or dry after a hard day out in the field.
If you already have a favorite glove liner, have no fear. The Hestra Fält Guide glove can be combined with other liners for even more warmth and comfort – making it one of the best bushcraft gloves for cold weather.
Hestra Highland Gloves
Another high-end option from Hestra, the Highland Gloves are a great lightweight option that provides excellent durability and dexterity.
Similar to the Fält Guide glove, the Highlands have a removable merino wool liner that wicks away moisture while adding comfort to an already comfortable fit.
The leather palm is strong and durable enough for all uses, but the synthetic backing requires you to be a little more cautious around open flames.
While these gloves are generally warm, they are not the best choice for extended winter use or overly wet climates.
Helicon-Tex Bushcraft Leather Gloves
The Helicon-Yex Bushcraft leather gloves are an excellent mid-range glove and the first true bushcraft glove on our list.
While similar, customers have three styles to choose from: Lumber, Ranger Winter, and Woodcrafter. This selection allows you to pick a glove that is slightly more tailored to the task or environment at hand. No matter the style, all are made from cowhide leather and are excellent for handling axes, saws, and other bushcraft tools.
The Helicon-Yex construction also allows for a comfortable break-in period and a comfortable fit for years to come
Wells Larmont Hi-Dexterity Gloves
The Wells Larmont Hi-Dexterity Gloves are the most affordable on our list. However, they do not seem to compromise quality for the price.
The leather palm construction is abrasion and puncture resistant. Still, if you are working in an environment where heavy abrasion is a concern, then you may want to choose a more heavy-duty option.
The spandex backing of these gloves increases dexterity and movement. The knuckle pads add a little extra protection on an often injured part of the hand.
The Wells Larmont Hi-Dexterity gloves are specifically designed for work. As such, they are not an excellent option for cold or wet environments but rather for the project-oriented user who will be working carpentry, construction, gardening, and all sides of bushcraft
Carhartt System Work Glove
The System Work Glove from Carhartt is another work-specific glove that comes in at an affordable price point and is one of the best budget bushcraft gloves out there.
While not explicitly designed for warmth, this glove is well built for any project you throw at it.
The outer construction is a synthetic leather palm with suede cowhide knuckle and palm patches. The exterior offers excellent protection, and the polyester lining proves comfortable even after hours of hard work.
The safety features of the System Work Glove make it an excellent choice for all types of bushcraft activities, and their overall construction is built to last.
Ironclad Heavy Utility Gloves
The budget-friendly Ironclad Heavy Utility Gloves may not be the best bushcraft gloves on the market but, for what you pay, they are a reliable option.
Similar to others on our list, these gloves are more task-focused and less conducive to working in the elements. The reinforced construction in the palm, saddle, and thumb provide extra protection when woodworking and the design are built for comfort.
Customers who focus on splitting and stacking wood have found these gloves to be a reliable, affordable option.
Yet, their longevity has been called into question. Still, if you are looking for an affordable no-frills option, Ironclad Heavy Utility Gloves may be the right choice for you
Kinco Premium Wrist Glove
If you have spent any time on the ski slopes in the past decade, you have likely been exposed to Kinco gloves.
In a world dominated by brand names and expensive gear, Kinco gloves have found their niche as an affordable and serviceable glove for the elements.
Kinco’s Premium Wrist glove follows suit and is a budget-friendly option for the active outdoors person and bushcraft enthusiast alike. The pigskin palm provides durability and flex, and the cotton blend canvas backing allows for flex and breathability.
While some would argue that Kinco Premium Wrist Gloves are not the best in below-freezing temperatures, their emergence as the go-to glove for ski bums would argue otherwise
The StoneBreaker Gloves, made of North American deerskin combined with split cowhide, boast a strong and durable construction. Shock-absorbing padding adds comfort when tackling the most demanding bushcraft jobs.
Combined with double sewn seams and stronger thread, the design surely impresses on paper. When put to the test, however, the real-time durability and longevity of the StoneBreaker Gloves are called into question.
They seem to hold up well for a time but show wear and tear a bit quicker than some of the others on our list.
Still, at the price, these are an excellent entry-level option for those that don’t chop firewood or do bushcraft and woodwork for a living
How to Choose the Right Gloves for Bushcraft
As you shop for bushcraft gloves, you will quickly discover that there is more to it than simply buying something to throw on your hands.
Bushcraft itself has a ton of different disciplines, each of which could justify its own pair of gloves. Since not everyone wants to buy ten different pairs of gloves, it is up to you to decide when you will be using them the most.
Are they survivalist gloves required for the most frigid environments?
Will you be tackling intricate woodworking projects that require maximum dexterity?
Are you chopping wood, felling trees, or otherwise putting your hands at risk and need a glove that provides the most protection?
Like tools, each glove has a specialized design and use, and some do more things better than others. As you shop for the right pair of gloves for you, consider the following things.
Type of Glove
In general, bushcraft gloves are an excellent example of function over fashion. When shopping for bushcraft gloves, you should not be looking for a pair that will impress as you stroll 5th Avenue in Manhattan. If they would impress passersby in New York, they probably won’t handle the demanding tasks of bushcraft.
Instead, gravitate towards the gloves that mechanics, gardeners, arborists, and other outdoor professionals would wear. Their design should promote safety and protection first, with the best gloves also boasting a good balance between durability and dexterity. The perfect glove doesn’t exist; everyone will have their own needs and preferences.
Buying bushcraft gloves for warmth is a highly subjective task and largely depends on where and when you plan to be working. Insulation and waterproofing are likely going to be more important for someone living in the temperate rainforest of the Pacific Northwest than in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona.
If warmth is an important factor for you, consider choosing a glove with a wool interior or, better yet, a removable wool liner. Many bushcraft gloves are also built in a way that allows users to insert liners, making them more suited to varying climates.
Additionally, gloves with extended or cinch-able cuffs can help keep heat in and snow and water out, adding to the overall warmth and comfort of your glove.
Dexterity is a fundamental characteristic to consider when buying gloves for bushcraft but it also varies from one job to the next. If your main tasks are chopping and stacking firewood, maybe dexterity is not very essential. However, if you plan on sculpting wood, building fires, handling small items, or tackling more intricate jobs in the outdoors, you may consider prioritizing gloves that have greater dexterity. Generally, the more dexterous a glove, the less bulky and warm it will be.
Arguably the most important characteristic of any bushcraft glove is that it has proper protection. What is considered adequate protection will vary according to activity, but if protection wasn’t imperative at all, you would just be working in those same gloves you wear on 5th Avenue.
Many gloves boast added protection on the palm and knuckles – both areas of the hand that are most at risk of a bushcraft accident. Try finding a bushcraft glove that offers a level of protection that matches the intensity of your projects.
Size and Fit
The best gloves for bushcraft are the ones that fit you well.
If you are trying to work with ill-fitting gloves, you are putting yourself at risk for blisters, cuts, or much larger accidents. Comfortable bushcraft gloves are critical, especially when working in them for hours or days on end.
Like shoes, sizing gloves can be tricky as each company will have a slightly different fit. Trying on different pairs can be helpful, and it is also worth noting that for true work gloves, you can expect at least a little bit of a break-in period.
Perhaps the most easily identified difference between bushcraft gloves is their price. Like any other piece of outdoor gear, the price reflects the quality.
There are expensive options that seem to do it all, hyper affordable options that you will need to replace more frequently, and gloves that fall somewhere in between.
The key is to identify what you plan on using your gloves for and what you are willing to compromise when buying them. Some people just need a pair of work gloves for a few small projects around the house.
In that case, the more affordable options will suffice. Others work outside for a living and will put their gloves through the wringer. In that case, maybe a more expensive, more durable choice makes more sense.
When buying bushcraft gloves, we suggest to not dwell too much on the price. Instead, prioritize looking at the specific characteristics you need in a glove.
It can be easy to get overwhelmed when first buying gloves for bushcraft. There are a lot of options on the market, each with its own set of pros and cons.
However, the best bushcraft gloves are the pair that keeps you safe and comfortable while honing your craft. Whether you are chopping and stacking firewood, tackling projects in the wind, snow, and rain, or doing intricate woodworking, there is a glove that will fit you well and provide all you need for the job at hand.
Now, it’s up to you to find it!