We’re well into the 2021 ski season. If you’ve been slowly upgrading your stash of snowsports gear with new ski jackets, ski boots, and ski pants, why not round out your closet with a new pair of ski gloves to match? While many skiers and snowboarders think of gloves the way they think of goggles (i.e., any ol’ pair will do), it pays to invest in a quality set of both. Whatever your budget or ski style, we’ve rounded up the best ski gloves for every type of snowsports lover.
Arc’teryx Fission SV Gloves
If we had to recommend just one pair of premium ski gloves that does it all, it would be Arc’teryx’s Fission SV. The Fortius 1.0 shells, Gore-Tex inserts, and PrimaLoft One insulation combine for incredible warmth, breathability, and weather-resistance in even the most severe conditions. A dual layer of goat leather reinforces the construction for best-in-class grip and durability. Still, the clever design cuts the bulk of its competitors and proves to be flexible and comfortable even after a long day in the powder.
Hestra Heli Ski Gloves
Hestra has long been a favorite among skiers and snowboarders, and for us here at The Manual, too. The brand strikes a balance between quality and affordability. The Heli Glove is Hestra’s best-selling ski glove, and with good reason. It’s windproof, breathable, and water-resistant. Plus, the removable liner blends synthetic insulation with Bemberg fleece for all-day wear that’s warm and moisture-wicking.
Burton Gore-Tex Glove
Burton is, of course, among the world’s best snowboarding brands. So, it’s no surprise that the company’s line of winter apparel, including ski gloves, is top-notch as well. The simply named Gore-Tex Glove belies this pair’s world-class durability, water-resistance, and breathability. A microfiber lining with Thermacore insulation ensures your hands stay tasty warm all day. Plus, touchscreen compatibility means you can TikTok the day’s run without removing your gloves.
Dakine Titan Ski Glove
Every product in Dakine’s catalog of outdoor gear and apparel strikes a good midrange balance. The aptly named Titan ski gloves are no exception. They deliver Gore-Tex construction inside and out to keep your hands warm, dry, and flexible. A cinchable gauntlet cuff helps keep snow out while skiing or boarding. Only the glove liner — and not the glove itself — is touchscreen compatible, and they’re not quite as durable as a more premium pick like the Hestra Heli ski gloves above. But, they’re still a respectable and cheaper alternative.
Black Diamond Guide Glove
Short of a heated glove (see below), Black Diamond’s Guide Gloves are the next best thing. The gauntlet-style design blends a nylon and leather outer with a wool and PrimaLoft One synthetic inner for a ski glove that’s extremely warm in any conditions. That warmth comes at the cost of added bulk, but the extra thickness also ensures they’re more durable than most on this list. They do require a bit of breaking in to get the right fit but, if your hands never seem to warm even after a day on the slopes, these are a great solution.
Marmot Randonnee Ski Glove
Marmot’s Randonnee Ski Glove offers a lot for a mid-tier ski glove. It boasts most of the same technology as its more expensive brethren, including a weatherproof Gore-Tex membrane, a warm, moisture-wicking DriClime lining, and Thermal R insulation. The construction is a bit thinner than its competitors, which sacrifices some warmth but does allow for better hand dexterity and mobility. Plus, at around $100, it’s one of the best value ski gloves on the market.
Gordini Gore-Tex Storm Trooper II Ski Gloves
If price is your most important consideration, or you only hit the slopes a few times a year, Gordini’s Gore-Tex Storm Trooper II ski gloves are a great budget solution. The stretch-woven shell is waterproof and windproof thanks to a partial Gore-Tex construction. The synthetic insulation and moisture-wicking lining help keep your hands dry on the slopes. Plus, a zippered pocket provides a dedicated space for your handwarmers.
Outdoor Research Lucent Heated Sensor Mittens
If you value warmth above all else, Outdoor Research’s next-gen Lucent Heated Sensor Mittens are the answer. Even without the heating element, these ski gloves are worth every penny. They’re waterproof, windproof, quick-drying, and breathable. Plus, leather palms and accents ensure they’re grippy, flexible, and stylish to boot. But, the Altiheat battery-powered heating element is what makes these luxury gloves worth the more-than-$350 price tag.
Oakley Factory Winter Trigger Mitten 2
For a hand covering that splits the difference between a mitten and a traditional ski glove, we like Oakley’s Factory Winter Trigger Mittens. This three-finger “glitten” (that would be a “glove mitten”) features a separate section for your index finger for added dexterity on the slopes. That trigger finger is also compatible with touchscreen devices — meaning no more taking your mittens off every time you need to check your phone. The Factory Winter Trigger Mitten features a soft leather shell and Oakley’s FN DRY and 15K technologies to keep you dry and comfortable in the harshest conditions.
Burton Gore-Tex Mitten
If you fancy yourself more of a mitten man, Burton makes a mitten alternative to the above-mentioned Gore-Tex Glove. It boasts all the same great features, including dual-layer Dryride fabric with Gore Warm technology, a toasty microfiber lining, and a removable four-way stretch liner. That liner works as a standalone glove in milder, off-slope conditions. It’s touchscreen compatible, too. Plus, it’s roughly the same price as its traditional glove counterparts.
The North Face Montana Futurelight Mitten
For skiing and snowboarding in the fall or in milder conditions, the Montana Futurelight Mittens from The North Face are a great alternative to bulkier, extreme hand coverings. For the 2020-2021 ski season, The North Face swapped out traditional Gore-Tex for the brand’s own next-gen Futurelight liner. Although lighter in weight (thanks to 100-gram palm insulation) and slightly more flexible, it does sacrifice some warmth. Still, these are an affordable option for snowsports lovers who don’t often find themselves in brutally cold conditions.
The best ski gloves will keep your hands not only warm but — even more importantly — dry. But too many skiers and snowboarders think a cheap pair of gloves is good enough. They’re not. Most budget gloves offer minimal protection from the cold and even less protection against moisture.
That combination quickly results in cold, wet hands, which is not only uncomfortable but potentially dangerous. While ski gloves are going to be more expensive than the winter gloves you’d find at your local Target or Walmart, you will be much happier in the end. There’s more insulation in these gloves, you’ll have increased dexterity, and waterproofing keeps snow and moisture out. Unlike ordinary winter gloves, ski gloves are also typically treated to offer even more water resistance. They’re much more durable, so even though you may pay a fair bit more, you’ll get much more use out of them.
One of the most important factors in choosing the right ski gloves or mittens is sizing. Too tight, and they’ll be uncomfortable; too loose, and you’ll lose dexterity, warmth, and water-resistance. While most companies go with the generic “small-medium-large” sizing, others offer short and long versions. The best ski glove brands, like Hestra, use a proprietary sizing system. Whichever model you choose, make sure you understand how the gloves you’re buying are sized.
Your gloves will be in the snow more than anything else. Next to your head, your extremities experience the most heat loss. Here, you’ll want to find ski gloves that are insulated and waterproof, preventing your hands from getting cold and wet. A removable liner is a bonus. Some manufacturers sell separate liners for their gloves that allow you to customize warmth and comfort to your liking.
Finally, avoid bulky gloves. The minute you remove your gloves for any reason while on the slopes, you lose heat. You should be able to work and play with your gloves on. Most ski gloves are designed to maximize heat retention but are nimble enough to allow you to retain the use of your fingers.
Article originally published by Ed Oswald on October 2019.
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