If you’re a cyclist, or running enthusiasts, few items in your wardrobe gets as much use a good pair of arm warmers.
A humble pair of arm warmers acts as a protective shield against the elements, while at the same time promoting user comfort.
Depending on the type of arm warmers, some have compression ability, which might help your arm muscles to fire more rapidly.
In some instances, also, compression arm warmers can accelerate recovery.
In my personal experience, however, arm warmers help when I have a sore elbow, especially after too much bench pressing.
The arm warmers normally give me the confidence in shooting three-pointers without screwing up my technique.
Well, maybe, it might be a placebo effect, but I don't care provided it works.
That said, in the best arm warmers review below, we shall share with you a list of the top 5 arm warmers in the market.
We’ve also included a handy buying guide that will let you make a more informed decision in your next purchase.
Quick Comparison Table & Our Pick!
This as you would expect from us is an EPIC post so grab a coffee before you start and see how we cut through every product and review it with precision. IF YOU ARE SHORT ON TIME and need to know the results of our reviews , CHECK THE RESULTS TABLE BELOW!
Nylon, Polyester & Lycra
Other Great Recommendations
Top 5 Arm Warmers in The Market for The Money
Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal Arm Warmer
Pearl Izumi is a household name, especially in the cycling apparel space, where they’ve been manufacturing quality gear for decades.
So, yes, it's not a surprise that we've included one of their offerings as our top choice.
The Pearl Izumi Elite Arm Warmer lives up to the legacy of the Izumi brand, and it comes with plenty of components that you’re going to love.
These arm warmers offer a decent level of warmth for their low weight, and as a result, they're ideal for the cool to mild conditions.
Features and Benefits
BioViz Reflective Element
The first thing you’ll notice with these warmers is their insanely bright color.
The screaming yellow color is quite literally blinding, but it's a bonus, especially for the cyclists.
The reflective color will obviously make you more visible to vehicular traffic and let you stand out against your background environment.
However, if you're like me who thinks the Screaming Yellow draws too much attention, you have the option to choose other subtle colors such as green, black, or white.
The core fabrics (Nylon, Polyester, and Lyrca) on the Izumi aren’t the most warmth-promoting elements.
However, these gloves are integrated with an Elite Thermal Fleece, which is good enough to keep you warm even during the cold temperatures.
The good thing with the fleece is that it promotes warmth well down to every part of your arm, and when on, you won't get chilly on the early morning rides.
Izumi Arm Warmer will make the dewy morning a little more tolerable, thanks to the proprietary PI Dry Technology.
When in use, the hydrophobic treatment repels water, without compromising on the breathability or feel of the fabric.
While it won't protect you against a heavy downpour, it will allow you to splash through a puddle, and the water sprays will simply runoff.
The waterproof resistance on this warmer reminds me of how water rolls off or beads on a car that has just been waxed.
If the fit were the only component we were looking on the Izumi gloves, then they would easily win hands-down.
The key to a great fit on the Izumi is the paneled construction, alongside the anatomical cut.
Here, each of the arm warmers is differently cut for the left and right arms.
The anatomical cut prevents the loose material around the elbows, and you’ll be saved from the inconvenience of hauling your warmers up your shoulder to prevent them from falling off.
When in use, the elbow area fits snug without being overly tight.
Better yet, they're slightly longer at the top of the arm and provide the extra coverage over your deltoid.
For a user like me, 5’11” with moderately long arms, the length with perfectly long, yet still plenty of stretch around the arms.
For additional fit, Izumi glove feature silicone grippers that keep your warmer in place.
Uniquely, however, the grippers are positioned outside the warmer.
At first, it might seem to be counter-intuitive, but I found it to be pretty clever because it saved me from the inconvenience of pulling my skin for the warmers to stay up.
When adjusting the warmer, however, it’s easy to pull the hairs on your upper arms, but you won’t notice once you get rolling. Furthermore, stretching out this area helps to relieve this.
- Adequate warmth
- No fully water-resistant
Castelli Nano Flex+ arm warmers - Best for Wet Conditions
For a long time, the lack of flex was always a bane for the Castelli Nano Flex Arm warmers.
However, with the new and updated Castelli Nano Flex+, issues with flex is a thing of the past.
With the addition of a lighter fabric on the elbow, the Castelli Nano Flex+ now has greater flexibility and easily bends around the joint.
The good thing with this new model is that it retains the protection and warmth of the original Castelli Nano Flex, only that now this new model offers a more comfortable fit.
Features and Benefits
Nano Light Fabric-Increase Flexibility
The newest update on the Castelli Nano Flex+ is the integration of a Nano Light Fabric Insert at the back of the arm
The Nano Light fabric is by far stretchier than the standard Nanoflex, and it provides greater flexibility and comfort, without losing on the performance elements of the original model.
When in use, Nano Light fabric offers you full freedom of motion and comfort, regardless of how many miles are on the schedule.
Castelli Nano Flex+ is treated to water repellency, thanks to the addition of a Thermoflex fabric, which consist of millions of tiny nanofilaments on the surface.
When water droplets come into contact with this finish, they simply bounce off the fabric without leaving any trace.
Better yet, the nanofilaments normally trap a layer of air in between them, and this offers excellent insulation while preventing water from soaking through the fabric underneath.
With the warmer so good at keeping out elements, it’s easy to think they’re not breathable.
We, too, thought so, but to our surprise, the Nano Flex Technology is pretty breathable and incredible at dispersing heat from your arms effectively.
Occasionally, however, temperatures on your arm can get a tad uncomfortable, but this often happens after a rigorous exercise.
The good thing is, this should not be too much of an issue since you simply need to slide the off and neatly fold them to fit in your jersey.
Castelli Nano Flex+ doesn’t feature a gripper like the one we saw on the Izumi Glove.
Instead, it sports a double-sided silicone band that keeps them securely in place.
- They sometimes run small
Gore Bike Universal Wind stopper - Best for Cycling
It's apparent from their name that the main appeal of the Gore Bike arm warmer is the ability to shield your arms from wind and wetness.
A humble pair of cyclist gear, the Gore Bike is lightweight and packable.
Versatility at its best, the Gore Text performance will keep your warm during the cooler temperatures and protect you from the sun and UV rays in the summer.
Features and Benefits
Wind Stopper Heat Effect
A Windstopper membrane helps to block the effects of wind completely, and won’t let your temperatures to drop.
An ideal feature for runners and cyclists, the windproof membrane doesn’t result in the "wind chill" effect and will help to keep your arms warm.
Flat Lock Seams
The polyester construction on the Gore Bike is solid, but I can never imagine purchasing a polyester base layer without flatlock seams.
See, polyester is a rougher fabric, and their seam is likely to chafe your skin.
However, that is not the case with the Gore Bike because it features flatlock seams that eliminate chafing of the skin.
Better yet, the seaming helps to bolster the overall durability of the arm warmer, and it's less likely that the Gore Bike will wear out soon.
The feedback on the breathability was widely positive.
The pores on the polyester fabric promote the free flow of air and breathability well, meaning this arm warmer feels comfy in the warm temperatures.
Equally, the polyester has excellent insulation properties, and makes an incredible option when it gets cold.
Generally, for individuals who are in-between weather conditions- not too cold, but not warm enough, the Gore Bike would be an awesome option.
The water repellency on the Gore Bike is fine, but as I found out, sustained wet weather normally quickly wets them, and they easily become saturated.
The water leakage is further compounded by the fact that Gore Bike features wide cuffs and arm grippers, which, unfortunately, don't possess any water repellency.
However, for the short showers, the Gore Bike does fine.
Comfort on the Gore Bike is optimized by the integration of pre-shaped elbows.
The elbow section is separated from the arms, and this makes you feel most natural while in a riding position.
Fit in quite decent, and this is made better by the asymmetrical design.
Unfortunately, Gore Bike features an elasticized section at the cuff and on the bicep, which in my opinion, aren't as effective as the silicone grips we had seen on the Izumi.
The sections don’t feel tight enough and have a section of slipping down a little, which can be vexing at times.
- Water repellant
- No Proper grip
Louis Garneau - Best for Comfort
The designers of Louis Garneau seem to have given this simple product a bit more than what you would see with a normal arm warmer.
It’s not a premium option, though, but it does an excellent job of keeping your arms warm on the cooler environment with a minimum fuss.
Better yet, I'm pleased how they pass the crucial "skinny upper arm' test
Features and Benefits
Louis Garneau is built for warmth.
Boasting of Heatmaxx fabric, these arm warmers are warm, comfortable, and stay put, to say the very least.
The Heatmaxx fabric has a fleece lining on the interior surface, which I find super flush and soft.
More importantly, however, the inner lining offers sufficient warmth for the cool spring as well as autumn weather.
Even better, the Heatmaxx fabric has SFP-Rated 50, and so, it will shield your arms against the devastating UV Rays.
Similar to the Gore Bike, Louis Garneau also comes with flat lock seams, which enhances the overall comfort by reducing chafing.
While Heatmaxx is not as abrasive as polyester, I appreciate the fact that the design of the Louis Garneau is built with comfort in mind.
Away from comfort, the seaming also helps to improve on the overall durability of this warmer.
Comfort on the Louis Garneau is quite decent, and if the reviews are anything to go by, most of the users didn’t have a problem with this warmer.
In my case, however, I found them less stretchy than some of the warmers I’ve tried.
The good news is, it doesn’t affect the fit, and if anything, they feel comfortable in all positions on the bike.
Louis Garneau comes with a slice-lined gripper that helps to enhance the overall comfort and use of the warmer.
When in use, the grippers will allow the warmers to stay in place, and better yet, without digging in your skin.
Unfortunately, there's no gripper on the lower cuff; while this might seem counteractive, it's helpful as it means it's easy for you to remove the warmer, even over a pair of gloves.
Plus, I don’t see why you would need to hold your arm warmer on the lower side.
- Decent warmth
- Not Water repellent
Mcdavid 6500 Hex Padded Arm Sleeve - Best for Basketball
McDavid is not your regular arm warmer, but rather a compression sleeve, which I consider a step up to the traditional arm warmers.
A compression glove does more that provide the much-needed warmth, but it also acts as a protective gear.
McDavid is popular with a majority of the basketball players.
It’s a no-thrill, affordable yet effective arm sleeve.
Features and Benefits
As we’ve mentioned above, the design on the McDavid is quite simple yet, utilitarian.
The material construction, for instance, is quite durable and form-fitting.
Nylon, the predominant material is resistant to wear, while the spandex is breathable, and will help with wicking of the sweat.
Being a compression sleeve, Mcdavid Hex fits tight, and the materials provide great compression.
This way, the sleeve is incredible at preventing some of the common basketball injuries such as wrist pains, elbow bursitis, or sprains.
Better yet, the material construction is quite effective at storing heat, and if you happen to suffer from tendonitis or any other chronic pain in your elbow, then this glove is a great choice.
McDavid Hex offers quite a decent comfort; most of the users say it’s quite form-fitting and it snugly adapts to the contours of your arms.
The shooter glove is also sold individually, and so, it’s easy to protect both of your arms.
Finally, though not comfort-related, McDavid Hex glove is also a great outdoor option as it offers 100% UV protection.
- UV protection
- Decent comfort
- Compression ability
- Slips too easily
Best Arm Warmers Buying Guide
When choosing an arm warmer, there’re a few different concerns you need to address.
An essential element is the functionality because it'll determine the overall functionality.
You also need to consider the cleanliness of your arm warmer, because the arm sleeve is going to experience a lot of sweat.
Other factors include fit, comfort, UV protection, size, and cut.
Read on to understand more about the purchasing factors.
Factors to Consider when Purchasing the Best Arm Warmers
In most cases, the functionality of an arm warmer is determined by the material construction.
Certain fabrics, especially the synthetic one, breathe better, while the non-breathable fabrics heat your arm to keep it loose for extended periods.
Away from breathability, you also need to consider the issue of mobility.
Some of the gloves are quite restrictive, while others are a bit loose.
You need to choose a pair that sits well with you.
A major concern with arm warmers is cleanliness, especially if you participate in sports activities.
Normally, you'll sweat a lot, and it's easy to get your arm sleeve smelly.
The good news is some of the fabrics are capable of resisting the bacteria-driven smell.
Again, this feature is dependent on the material construction.
Ideally, you should pick an arm warmer with a fabric that easily wicks away your sweat to avoid soaking your arm in sweat.
Like any other sports gear, fit is key.
When your arm warmer is too loose, they might fall, and when they're too tight, at best, they'll cause discomfort.
The same case applies to length; too much material results to bunching, while too short warmers are awkward.
Ideally, your arm warmers should provide a snug fit.
Football players, marathoners, or even outdoor workers can protect their skin with a UV-resistant glove.
Not all users have biceps, but thankfully some of the arm warmers have silicone grippers around the top cuff that prevents the warmers from slipping down your arms.
Looks are not an essential element for an arm warmer, but if you care about your looks, you need to go for something chic.
Arm warmers are an essential kit in our wardrobe.
They provide us with the means to keep our hands toasty and warm, even during the cold temperatures.
This is not to mention they have a positive impact on our overall performance.
When choosing an arm warmer, always remember that performance is king.
Cleanliness and looks can always take a back seat to any performance gains you might receive.
You can get arm warmers for various situations, including cycling, basketball, wet conditions, and comfort.
If you want the best overall arm warmers, we recommend you go for the Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal arm warmers. The arm warmer makes it on our list as the best overall arm warmers due to its advanced features. It comes with a “PI Dry” hydrophobic treatment, enabling it to shed rain and road spray.
The arm warmers also feature a gripper at the top of the cuff, which prevents pulling. The reflective logos come in handy in enhancing visibility. You can also go for the fluorescent yellow arm warmers, which offer a full glow. You have no problem wearing the arm warmers as they are cut with the left, and right arm warmer labeled appropriately.