The 12 Best Ski GlovesPublished on 05/22/2023 · 12 min readKeep your hands warm and happy this season with a good pair of ski gloves! Check out the guide below for some recommended glove options.
Photo by Nomad Soul
tl;dr You're standing atop a snowy mountain, the crisp air filling your lungs as you prepare for an exhilarating ski adventure. You've got your skis or snowboard ready, your helmet securely fastened, and your goggles protecting your eyes from the blinding white landscape. But wait, there's one crucial piece of gear you might be overlooking, the unsung hero of winter sports—ski gloves. Yes, those seemingly ordinary hand coverings can make all the difference between a day of frozen fingers and a day of cozy comfort on the slopes. In this guide, we'll take you on a journey through the world of ski gloves, uncovering the factors you need to consider to find the absolute best pair for your days on the mountain.
Key Considerations When Choosing Ski Gloves
Warmth and Insulation
One of the primary purposes of ski gloves is to keep your hands warm in freezing temperatures. So, look for gloves that offer adequate insulation to trap and retain heat effectively. Common insulation materials used include synthetic fibers like Thinsulate or PrimaLoft, as well as natural materials like down. Synthetic insulation is known for its ability to provide warmth even when wet, while down insulation offers an exceptional warmth-to-weight ratio but may lose its insulation properties when damp.
Consider the temperature range in which you'll be skiing and choose gloves with appropriate insulation levels. Thicker gloves with higher insulation values are ideal for extremely cold weather, while thinner gloves may be suitable for milder climates or high-intensity activities such as backcountry skiing where overheating is a concern.
Waterproofing and Breathability
Skiing involves exposure to snow and wet conditions, so it's crucial to choose gloves with excellent waterproofing capabilities. Look for gloves made from materials with waterproof membranes or coatings like GORE-TEX or similar technologies. These materials provide a reliable barrier against water and snow, keeping your hands dry and comfortable.
On the other hand, breathability also is essential to prevent excess moisture buildup inside the gloves. Some gloves have breathability features such as vents or moisture-wicking liners. Proper breathability allows sweat and moisture to escape, reducing the chances of your hands becoming clammy and uncomfortable during intense physical activity.
Dexterity and Grip
And lastly, while warmth and waterproofing are important, ski gloves should also provide good dexterity and grip. You need to be able to handle ski poles, adjust equipment, and perform tasks that require precision without removing your gloves.
Some gloves have more articulated fingers or pre-curved designs, allowing natural hand movement. This feature enhances dexterity and ensures a better fit. Grip-enhancing materials or silicone patterns on the palm and fingers provide added traction and improve your ability to hold onto ski poles and other objects securely.
Remember that balance is key—while you want gloves that offer insulation and protection, they should not be so bulky that they hinder your ability to perform necessary tasks comfortably.
Expert-Recommended Ski Gloves
1. Arc'teryx Fission SV Ski Gloves
For those seeking the ultimate warmth in the harshest winter conditions, the Arc'teryx Fission SV Ski Gloves are a top choice. These gloves feature a unique combination of PrimaLoft insulation and a GORE-TEX membrane, ensuring exceptional insulation and waterproofing. The durable leather palm provides an excellent grip, while the articulated design enhances dexterity for precise pole control. With a long gauntlet and adjustable wrist cinch, they provide maximum protection against snow intrusion. Designed for cold resort days or deep powder backcountry adventures, these gloves are engineered to keep you warm and comfortable in any winter wonderland.
For the adventurous skiers who tackle extreme backcountry terrain, the Black Diamond Guide Ski Gloves are a game-changer. Designed to withstand the rigors of alpine environments, these high-quality gloves feature a robust combination of PrimaLoft insulation and a waterproof BDry insert. With reinforced leather palms, they provide an excellent grip on ice axes and ski poles. The removable liner—made from fleece and PrimaLoft—adds extra warmth during frigid days in the mountains. If you're a backcountry enthusiast who demands uncompromising performance and durability, these gloves are your ideal companions.
3. Black Diamond Legend Ski Gloves
The Black Diamond Legend Ski Gloves combine a durable nylon shell with a waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX insert, providing unparalleled protection against snow and moisture. The high-loft fleece lining offers exceptional warmth, while the 3D-patterned construction ensures a comfortable and precise fit. With a goat-leather palm for enhanced grip and durability, and a neoprene cuff to seal out the cold, these gloves deliver solid performance on the mountain.
4. Burton GORE-TEX Ski Gloves
The Burton GORE-TEX Ski Gloves are a favorite among resort skiers who crave both style and function. Engineered with a rugged yet flexible DRYRIDE 2-layer fabric and a GORE-TEX membrane, these gloves offer exceptional waterproofing and breathability. Their Thermacore insulation provides warmth without adding bulk, making them versatile for various weather conditions. Additionally, the touchscreen-compatible fingertips allow you to stay connected without exposing your hands to the biting cold. With their sleek design and reliable performance, these gloves are a must-have for stylish shredders on the slopes.
When it comes to all-day comfort and versatility, the Dakine Titan Ski Gloves take the spotlight. Constructed with a durable nylon shell and a waterproof DK Dry insert, they keep your hands dry and protected from the elements. These gloves feature a generous amount of high-loft synthetic insulation to keep you warm on the coldest resort days. The removable liner, made with touch-screen compatible material, allows you to snap those epic mountain shots without exposing your hands. With their adjustable wrist straps and nose-wipe thumb panels, these gloves are the perfect combination of performance and convenience.
6. Gordini GTX Storm Trooper II Ski Gloves
Conquer the slopes with confidence while wearing the Gordini GTX Storm Trooper II Ski Gloves. They feature a durable nylon shell with a waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX insert, ensuring your hands stay dry in any weather condition. The Megaloft insulation provides exceptional warmth, while the Hydrowick lining wicks away moisture for added comfort. The pre-curved construction and digital grip palm offer excellent dexterity and control. The wrist leash ensures they stay securely on your wrist if you happen to take them on and off, and their gauntlet cuff keeps them comfortably over the cuff of your ski jacket, to ensure no snow or wind can get inside. Designed for skiers who demand both performance and style, the Gordini GTX Storm Trooper II Ski Gloves are ready to take on any mountain adventure.
The Hestra Army Leather Gloves are the epitome of durability and performance. Crafted with a combination of supple yet rugged army leather and a waterproof GORE-TEX membrane, these gloves offer exceptional protection against the elements. With their outstanding breathability and dexterity, they excel in both resort skiing and backcountry adventures. The gloves feature a removable liner for added warmth on extra chilly days—making them a reliable choice for those who seek adventure in the harshest winter conditions.
8. Hestra Fall Line Ski Gloves
Another long-time favorite among skiers are the Hestra Fall Line Ski Gloves. Crafted from premium cowhide leather, these gloves provide exceptional durability and a luxurious feel. The waterproof and breathable CZone insert keeps your hands dry and comfortable in various weather conditions. With their neoprene cuff and Velcro closure, they offer a secure and adjustable fit. The supple leather construction provides excellent grip and flexibility, making them ideal for precise pole handling. Whether you're carving down the groomers or tackling challenging off-piste terrain, the Hestra Fall Line Ski Gloves offer the perfect blend of style and performance.
The Marmot Men's Randonnee Ski Gloves are built to withstand the most demanding conditions on the mountain. These gloves feature a waterproof and breathable MemBrain insert, effectively keeping your hands dry and comfortable. The Thermal R insulation provides optimal warmth without sacrificing dexterity, allowing for confident maneuverability on the slopes. The reinforced leather palm enhances grip and durability, while the gauntlet drawcord seals out snow and cold air. Whether you're carving down groomed runs or venturing into the backcountry, the Marmot Men's Randonnee Ski Gloves are designed to be your trusted companion in all winter adventures.
10. Pow Gloves Stealth GTX Ski Gloves
Unleash your potential on the mountain with the Pow Gloves Stealth GTX Ski Gloves. These gloves combine rugged nylon durability with a waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX insert, offering outstanding protection against the elements. The PrimaLoft Gold insulation provides reliable warmth without sacrificing dexterity, while the removable liner adds versatility for varying weather conditions. With touchscreen-compatible thumb and index finger, stay connected on the go. The Pow Gloves Stealth GTX Ski Gloves are the perfect blend of performance, convenience, and style, empowering you to conquer the slopes with confidence.
11. Swany X-Cell II Ski Gloves
The Swany X-Cell II Ski Gloves are another great blend of style and performance. These gloves feature a unique Triplex insulation system that ensures exceptional warmth in the coldest conditions. The waterproof and breathable Dry Finger II insert keeps moisture at bay, while the leather palm offers a reliable grip on ski poles. What sets these gloves apart is their touch screen compatibility, allowing you to operate your smartphone without exposing your hands to the cold. They also have pockets on the top of the glove which is meant to fit a hand warmer on chilly days. With their sleek design and cutting-edge features, the Swany X-Cell II Ski Gloves keep you looking good on the mountain while also providing the functionality you need.
The North Face Montana Etip Ski Gloves blend advanced technology with style to keep your hands cozy and connected on the slopes. These gloves feature a waterproof and breathable DryVent shell that ensures protection from snow and moisture. With their High-Loft Heatseeker insulation, they provide exceptional warmth without compromising dexterity. The Etip functionality allows you to use your touchscreen devices without removing the gloves, making it easy to capture memories or check your trail map. Equally happy cruising down groomers and exploring the backcountry, these gloves offer the perfect balance of comfort and connectivity.
Sizing and Fit Recommendations
No matter which pair of gloves you decide to go with, fit and sizing are crucial aspects to consider when selecting ski gloves. Getting the right fit ensures optimal comfort, dexterity, and overall performance on the slopes. Ill-fitting gloves can restrict hand movements, lead to discomfort, and even hinder your ability to grip ski poles or adjust gear.
When determining the correct size, it's important to consult the manufacturer's sizing chart and guidelines. Different brands may have slight variations in sizing, so it's essential to measure your hand and compare it to the provided measurements. Typically, gloves are sized based on hand circumference and sometimes hand length.
Ideally, ski gloves should fit snugly without being too tight or too loose. A proper fit allows for natural hand movement and optimal insulation. The gloves should cover the entire hand, with the fingertips reaching the end of the glove, ensuring that there are no gaps for cold air or moisture to enter. It's also worth considering the intended use and personal preferences; some skiers may prefer a tighter fit for added precision, while others may prefer a slightly looser fit for enhanced comfort or layering options.
If possible, try on different sizes and models of gloves to find the best fit for your hand shape and size. Remember that gloves may require a short break-in period to mold to your hand's shape. Taking the time to find the right fit will pay off with increased comfort, improved dexterity, and an overall better day on the mountain.
Care and Maintenance of Ski Gloves
Proper care and maintenance of your ski gloves are essential for their longevity and performance. Here are some key tips to ensure your gloves stay in excellent condition:
- Cleaning: Regularly clean your ski gloves to remove dirt, sweat, and oils that can accumulate over time. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning, as different materials may require specific care methods. Typically, hand-washing with mild soap or using a specialized glove cleaner is recommended. Avoid using harsh detergents or bleach, as they can damage the fabric or insulation.
- Drying: After a day on the mountain, or after cleaning your gloves, allow them to dry thoroughly before storing them. Air-drying at room temperature is the best method. Avoid placing them near direct heat sources like radiators or using a hairdryer, as excessive heat can cause the materials to warp or lose their shape. Ensure that the gloves are completely dry before storing to prevent mold or mildew growth.
- Storage: Proper storage is crucial to maintain the shape and condition of your ski gloves. When not in use, store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid folding or cramming them into tight spaces, as this can lead to creasing or damage. Some gloves come with specific storage bags that help retain their shape and protect them from dust or moisture.
- Waterproofing: Over time, the waterproofing properties of ski gloves may diminish. Reapply a waterproof treatment to restore their water-repellent capabilities. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the appropriate waterproofing product and application method. Regularly treating your gloves will help them remain water resistant to moisture and keep your hands dry on the mountain.
- Avoiding Abrasion: Take care to avoid abrasive surfaces or sharp objects that can damage the outer shell or palm of your gloves. Remove jewelry or sharp accessories that could cause tears or punctures. If your gloves develop any small tears, repair them promptly with specialized repair kits or patches to prevent further damage.
By following these care tips, you can prolong the lifespan of your ski gloves and maintain their performance and functionality. Regular maintenance will ensure that your gloves continue to provide optimal warmth, protection, and comfort season after season.
Feel Like You Could Use a Hand? Connect With a Real Expert
Whether you’re tackling backcountry slopes or braving icy resort days, gloves are a key part of enjoying your time on skis and avoiding cold hands or frostbite. With a variety of materials, innovative features, and stylish designs, the options listed here are as diverse as the trails you'll conquer. If you don’t feel the pairs here match your specific needs, feel free to reach out to a Curated Skiing Expert. Our knowledgeable team would be happy to help you find an option that fits your exact specifications!