February 7, 2018 | Joe Geng |

What Thinsulate™ Level Should I Use?

Let’s set the scene: It’s the middle of winter, but it’s sunny and the sky is blue, maybe it even looks something like this…

sunny skies mountains and sunshine

You step outside, ready to greet the day. And that’s when the cold hits you. Your cheeks start to tingle and you feel frost on your nose when you breathe. Whether it’s for work or for play, leaving the house in extreme cold conditions requires buying the right outdoor clothing and accessories.

That’s where insulation materials like Thinsulate™ come in handy. This post looks at what Thinsulate™ is and how you can choose the right level of Thinsulate™ protection.


What is Thinsulate™?

Thinsulate™ is a fabric made from synthetic fibers, woven together in various thicknesses—or levels—to keep you warm at a range of temperatures.

Thickness involves both weave and weight, which are expressed as grams per square meter or “gsm.”

Thinsulate™ ranges from 40 gsm to 800 gsm. 


Thinsulate™ Levels Determined by GSM

The lower the gsm, the less protection the glove will give you in extreme cold conditions. A higher gsm means that the gloves will keep your hands warm in sub-zero conditions, but you will lose hand movement because the fabric is thicker.

For example, gloves with a 40 gsm Thinsulate™ rating are great for working in mild temperatures. Choosing a glove with a higher gsm will give you more thermal insulation but could also lead you to perspire more.


Thinsulate™ Keeps You Warm & Dry

When you work outside in the snow, ice and rain, the fingertips of your gloves often get wet, making your hands feel even colder because the gloves never dry out.

Cold or wet fingertips make for dangerous working conditions and put you at risk for frostbite or an on-the-job equipment accident. Thankfully, Thinsulate™ retains its warmth even when it gets wet or you sweat.

Your level of activity will also affect the Thinsulate™ level you’ll need for the temperature range. If you’re doing a lot of exercises or heavy work, a lower level may be sufficient in a cooler environment.


Thinsulate™ Comes in Various Weights

To determine what weight of Thinsulate™ you need, you’ll have to take a few things into consideration:

  • The temperature outside,
  • The amount of fine or large motor skill activity,
  • The manufacturer of the glove, and
  • The insulation in the fingertips.

But generally, use the following guidelines and adjust as needed:

  • The best insulation for mild days: 80 to 100 grams of Thinsulate™ is perfect for the average winter day above 20°F (-6°C)
  • The best insulation for cold days: 100 to 200 grams will be best on cold days below 20°F.
  • The best insulation for extreme cold: In Arctic conditions, wear a glove with between 200 and 400 grams like our SNOWD200L. This glove keeps workers in Antarctica warm.


Don’t Risk Your Winter Work or Play by Compromising on Quality

When comparing manufacturers, be sure to ask whether the manufacturer compresses the Thinsulate™ to reduce thickness or bulk.

It’s not designed to be used this way and doing so will negate the insulation benefits it provides in the first place. Reducing the bulk reduces the thermal efficiency.

We make all our gloves according to Thinsulate™ specifications so that you can work or play outdoors in extremely cold weather, with confidence.


Want more tips to stay warm in the winter? Click below!


how to choose winter work gloves like a Canadian


Joe Geng
About Joe Geng
Vice President of Superior Glove