Now that it is starting to get cold it is more difficult to use touchscreens while outdoors. I use both an iPhone and a Garmin GPS to geocache and both have touchscreens that require me to take my gloves off to use.

I used to have and pair of gloves with the tops cut off that might work. Do they have gloves with just the fingertips missing? I think there are also gloves that are supposed to work with touchscreens. Do they actually work?

  • Doesn't the screen itself die when it's cold? The screen the odometer on my bicycle becomes blank when it's very cold outside.
    – gerrit
    Commented Dec 13, 2012 at 9:57
  • 3
    yes - the touchscreen gloves work very well.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Dec 13, 2012 at 10:21
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    @Brad Patton: what cold temperatures are you talking about ?
    – Amine
    Commented Dec 13, 2012 at 14:55
  • @gerrit I have the devices in my pocket when not in use so they don't get as cold as something on the front of a bicycle. Commented Dec 13, 2012 at 15:46
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    I have tested touchscreen gloves down to -20C and had no problems. Actually my phone started having some problems - the screen isn't happy at that temp.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Jan 20, 2014 at 13:28

8 Answers 8


I think capacitive gloves are your best bet. Basically, they are gloves with something that allows the screen to close a circuit with your body (your hands) and that makes the screen work. I've provided some links to reviews, but the bottom line is this: at the temperature you're describing (around 0 degrees Celsius) they will probably do the job reasonably well.

Both "Capacitive Gloves That Don’t Suck" and "Best touchscreen winter gloves" are fairly critical (which makes them trustworthy in my eyes).

This link to an early Engadget article is a little old, but it seems to capture the impression that such gloves made when they first arrived on the market.

And if you want to go the do-it-yourself way, here's a link to a video/description of how to modify existing gloves to work with a touch screen.

  • 1
    +1 my other half has tech gloves from karrimor and they work great, he wears them indoors and outdoors.
    – Aravona
    Commented Dec 18, 2014 at 15:05

At my local army shop they sell neoprene gloves with detachable finger ends for the index and middle finger ends. Something like the picture below, but without the thumb, and the ends are not cut out but foldable.

I have ones without this feature. They are not too warm (good maybe down to -5C), but are very comfortable - I cant type and call on the phone with them on.

enter image description here

I live in Bulgaria. The shop's website is arstar.bg. They claim to import directly from Germany.


Two suggestions. You can get fingerless gloves that also are mittens. Here's a child version so you can see how they work:

mittens and fingerless gloves

Second, you can try to get a touchscreen that works with gloves. For example the Nokia Lumia made quite a big deal out of this at their launch.

lumia 920 with gloves

It makes sense that people in Finland would consider cold weather use for their phones...


I know it might sound crazy, but (if you don't have those capacitive gloves) you can always touch screen with your nose ;)

worked for me just fine this winter.

  • Unless you own one of the iphones that requires your fingerprint to unlock. Reminds me, I need to check if I can add my noseprint instead of a fingerprint on iphone! ;) Commented Dec 26, 2014 at 8:51
  • I have used this to take pictures because it's quicker than getting gloves on and off. I don't have the precision to do anything more than "click somewhere on the screen" which for my phone, is enough to take the picture. Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 14:25

I would probably combine a pair of glove with a pair of mitt:

  • A pair of glove allowing me to use a touch screen equipment. Unfortunately, those are not than warm (Could be fine for some people)
  • A pair of mitt with a fingerless feature like this one providing you with the extra warmth

Given the temperature provided in your comment, you could start with the pair of glove and buy the mitt if you are too cold.


Several people have already mentioned getting special gloves that have "flippable" finger tips, but no one has specifically mentioned sensory gloves which can be a little bit different than gloves that just flip their tips. In addition to flip-tips they also have a little hole that you can touch through, so you don't actually have to take your finger tip all the way out of the glove. They're for Photography and give you the use of your fingertips when you need them. In extra cold weather you could layer them with a thinner pair of gloves that can still operate a touch screen, like a pair of those capacity gloves everyone else here is talking about.

enter image description here enter image description here

  • How are these any different from any other gloves with exposable finger tips? They're just another brand, right?
    – nhinkle
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 0:23
  • 1
    They're a little different in their design, see the little holes in the tips? You don't actually have to flip the tips of the gloves over your finger tips. You can leave them in the glove and touch through that hole.
    – ShemSeger
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 1:24

You need a capacitive stylus. See this Wikipedia article for a description of the technology.

  • 1
    From the wikipedia article: "capacitive sensing is a technology based on capacitive coupling which takes human body capacitance as input". Sounds like it just conducts the charge from your body. Will that work thru gloves? Commented Dec 13, 2012 at 3:14
  • @BradPatton Capacitive sensing technology depends on a capacitant material present in the gap between points of charge on the sensing surface. So, the surface provides the charge and your body or the capacitant stylus just provides a contact material which can conduct the charge between different points on the surface. So, no, it doesn't depend on being connected to a human body with or without a stylus. The stylus performs the same role as a human finger.
    – Beanluc
    Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 21:21

A few phones have a setting that adjusts the capacitive screen sensitivity for use with gloves. An example is the 'Touch Sensitivity' setting on Galaxy S5s: http://www.androidcentral.com/how-increase-touch-sensitivity-galaxy-s5-use-it-gloves

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