What Is Thinsulate?

Thursday, 12 November 2020  |  Olivia

The word 'Thinsulate' is a portmanteau of the words "thin," and "insulate," as coined by 3M. Thinsulate is designed to offer an impressive level of protection against the cold while remaining both sensitive and dextrous, making it an ideal material for cold weather work gloves.

What Makes Thinsulate Such An Efficient Insulator?

Synthetic Thinsulate fibres are both far denser and far smaller than those of other insulating materials. This allows for thin and sensitive material to retain warmth, and 3M claim that Thinsulate is twice as warm as the equivalent amount of any natural material. The fact that Thinsulate also retains its insulating properties when wet ensures its enormous popularity for use in winter apparel.

Looking For Something In Particular?

We'll be looking at some of the best Thinsulate gloves on the market. If you're looking for a pair with a particular feature, or designed for a particular use, then please see the list below for further information of what we'll be covering.

Best All Round Thinsulate Gloves

Ejendals Tegera 295 Waterproof Thermal Work Gloves

Ejendals Tegera 295 Waterproof Thermal Work Gloves

Why We Love Them...

  • Offer warmth and protection in temperatures as low as  -30°C
  • Fully waterproof even when fully submerging your hands 
  • Ultra-thin Thinsulate lining allows for maximum dexterity and grip during handling tasks
  • Full grain goatskin construction easily withstands knocks, scrapes and friction

Best For... 

  • General handling tasks in cold and wet weather

Not the best for... 

Editor's Verdict: The Ejendals Tegera 295 Waterproof Thermal Work Gloves are a perfect example of what Thinsulate has to offer, combining protection from the cold with a high level of dexterity and waterproofing.

Best Thinsulate Gardening Gloves 

Briers Advanced All Weather Gardening Gloves

Briers Advanced All Weather Gardening Gloves

Why We Love Them...

  • Thinsulate protection from both the cold, wind and rain 
  • Anti-vibration patch allows wearer to work with power tools
  • Elasticated wrist keeps out dirt and debris while you garden
  • Low-level cut resistance for gentle pruning

Best For... 

  • Winter gardening work

Not the Best For... 

Editor's Verdict: Intricate outdoor gardening and landscaping work can be a nightmare in the cold winter months, but the Briers Advanced All Weather Gardening Gloves will shield your hands from the cold and wind without making you clumsy.

Best Simple Thinsulate Gloves 

Flexitog Warm Thinsulate Thermal Grey Gloves FG11SG

Flexitog Warm Thinsulate Thermal Grey Gloves FG11SG

Why We Love Them...

  • Warm and cosy Thinsulate construction for outdoor use
  • Flexibility and dexterity for general handling tasks and ease of wear
  • Knitwrist, soft material, and warm lining for maximum cosiness

Best For... 

  • Low-risk outdoor handling work

Not the Best For... 

Editor's Verdict: The Flexitog Warm Thinsulate Thermal Grey Gloves FG11SG are flexible not only in their construction, but also in their applications! The gloves are ideal for general handling work in chilly outdoor settings.

Best Gauntlet Design Thinsulate Gloves 

Polyco Freezemaster Ultra Insulated Gauntlets MFU

Polyco Freezemaster Ultra Insulated Gauntlets MFU

Why We Love Them...

  • Maximum possible resistance to contact cold temperatures
  • Full forearm protection with 35cm gauntlet for hands-on tasks
  • Tough neoprene and leather construction for durability
  • Waterproof Hipora membrane

Best For... 

  • Hands-on work in freezers, labs or cryogenics

Not the Best For... 

Editor's Verdict: The gauntlet design of the Polyco Freezemaster Ultra Insulated Gauntlets MFU offers full protection of the forearm, as well as the hand. This allows the wearer to get involved in hands-on freezer work and other similar work.

Best Heavyweight Thinsulate Gloves 

HexArmor GGT5 Arctic Gator 4031 Machinery Gloves

HexArmor GGT5 Arctic Gator 4031 Machinery Gloves

Why We Love Them...

  • Featuring both H2X and C40 Thinsulate interior liners, the gloves will keep your hands both warm and bone dry
  • Level 5 cut-resistant for hazardous environments and tasks
  • IR-X Impact Exoskeleton on the back of the hand will deflect collisions and reduce shock
  • Hi-vis colour scheme ideal for use in dark environments or with heavy machinery

Best For... 

  • Industrial machinery work in cold conditions

Not the Best For... 

Editor's Verdict: The HexArmor GGT5 Arctic Gator 4031 Machinery Gloves offer an impressive degree of protection from a wide range of industrial hazards. Their Thinsulate lining and high-flex design allow for full dexterity despite their heavy duty construction.

Best Touchscreen Capable Thinsulate Gloves 

Ergodyne ProFlex 819WP Extreme Thermal Waterproof Winter Work Gloves

Ergodyne ProFlex 819WP Extreme Thermal Waterproof Winter Work Gloves

Why We Love Them...

  • Dual-zone insulated with Thinsulate for protection in cold conditions
  • Touchscreen sensitive for work in warehouses and similar settings 
  • Rugged Ax suede palm and fingertip reinforcements for handling tasks
  • Reflective strips allow for handling tasks

Best For... 

  • Industrial work requiring use of smartphones or tablets

Not the Best For... 

Editor's Verdict: Cold storage workplaces often require the frequent use of tablets or smartphones while on the job. The Ergodyne ProFlex 819WP Extreme Thermal Waterproof Winter Work Gloves allow you to use your devices without exposing your hands to the cold.

What Is Thinsulate Made From?

The precise makeup of Thinsulate differs between alternate varieties, however most Thinsulate materials are primarily polyethylene terephthalate or a mixture of terephthalate and polypropylene. Thinsulate fibres are thinner in diameter than polyester fibres, so the material makes a great waterproof and synthetic alternative to down.

Who Are 3M?

3M are an international industry safety and workwear company. Their name was originally Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, which was then shortened to 3M. They first began to manufacture and sell Thinsulate in 1979, marketing it as a high-value alternative to down.

If you're looking for more cold-resistant gloves, why not check out our Cold Hazard Gloves category? For more expert opinions, check out our Top 5 Lists, only at SafetyGloves.co.uk.

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