If you plan on spending any time outdoors in cold weather, you need to be prepared. That means wearing extra clothing and accessories that help stave off cold temperatures or any freezing condition you might encounter. That goes double if you’re a skier. No matter how experienced you are or how much time you spend on the slopes, being cold can quickly ruin your time on the mountain.
Gloves are a critical piece of equipment you’ll need to stay warm and active while skiing. There are nearly an endless amount of glove styles and varieties out there, and different types match different conditions. The items keep your fingers and hands warm, and that is absolutely essential for spending long periods of time outside in winter weather.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the best ski gloves for a variety of different weather conditions and skiing situations. It may seem easy to go out and pick up a pair, but that may not be the best way to get clothing that matches your needs. Rather, understand how you ski and get gloves that support that style.
- If you’re looking for durable gloves that can stand up to all environments, check out the Black Diamond Guide Glove. Another great all-around option that sits on the top of this list is the Hestra Heli Gloves.
- Some of the best ski gloves out there can be pretty expensive. If you want a nice warm and reliable glove but are on a budget, both the DaKine Titan Gloves and Gordini Storm Trooper II are awesome options.
- Spring skiing, while fun, requires much different gear than winter runs. You might not need as warm of a glove if you ski in the spring. That is where lighter gloves like the Ridge Glove or Tough Guy Glove come in handy.
- The Hestra Fall Line is one of the best leather ski gloves around. You might not think that a leather glove would be able to withstand all of the moisture and cold that comes with the slopes, but these gloves are as warm and durable as any other premium model.
- The Northface Women’s Montana Gore-Tex Glove is a great choice if you’re looking for a women-specific model. The MCTi Cold Weather Women’s Glove is a good budget option as well.
- If you like mittens over gloves and want to add a little throwback flair to your ski style, check out the Astis Mittens.
Who Should Get This
Every skier needs to be well-equipped for winter weather. Ski gloves are a critical element that every skier, regardless of ability or preference, needs to have. When your body gets cold, blood leaves your extremities to prevent your internal organs and brain from shutting down. As such, when you’re out in the snow your fingers and toes are the first parts of your body to get cold. Weak clothing doesn’t help that process.
Good ski gloves are the number one line of defense in keeping your fingers warm which, in turn, helps to keep the rest of your body warm. If you’re a serious skier who loves to stay out all day long, you need gloves that can keep your hands both warm and dry. Even if the temperature plunges far below freezing, or if you can barely see your hands in front of your face because it’s snowing so hard, your gloves need to keep you warm.
Each glove listed here is an excellent choice for any skier at any level. Not only do they have the quality construction needed to stand up to the harshest elements, they also have a range of other handy features perfect for any mountain.
Best Ski Gloves: What to Consider in 2020
The main purpose of your ski gloves is to provide warmth for your fingers and hands. That insulation comes from several different factors, such as glove thickness. How thick your gloves are depends on the materials used in their construction, a topic we will explore further on in this guide. An easy way to check how warm a glove will be without testing it in the snow is analyzing how it both appears and feels.
A thinner glove will provide less warmth and thicker glove will provide more warmth. Similar to a jacket or any other garment, the more material it has, the warmer it will be. Some gloves have zippered pockets or compartments where you can insert a hand warmer. This is a nice feature to have if you’re prone to cold fingers because it provides another level of warmth. Liners are another key factor that adds warmth and protection against the cold.
The fit of a ski glove should match your hand size. Some gloves are available in various sizes to properly fit different sized hands. These available sizes are standard in that they come in small, medium, large, and extra-large. If you don’t know the size of your hand, you might want to try and figure this out before you purchase a pair of gloves.
There is no exact recommendation for how a ski glove should fit. It is not like a ski boot where the fit can have a big impact on performance. To an extent, the fit of your gloves come down to personal preference. As a general rule, however, you don’t want your gloves to be too tight or too loose. Gloves that are too tight could potentially restrict blood flow and reduce warmth. In contrast, ones that are too loose could fall off while skiing or allow snow and cold in.
Always consider your gloves’ material. All of the options on this list are made of warm, durable, and waterproof materials. This is essential for a ski glove. Some types of gloves are not intended for use in the cold or in wet conditions, such as work gloves and driving gloves. It’s pretty safe to say that you wouldn’t try to ski in gloves that aren’t intended for the snow. Always double check before you venture into the cold.
Ski gloves can be made of different materials and still be highly effective. Many gloves have a Gore-Tex outer shell that provides excellent water-proofing and wind-proofing capabilities. Some are made with nylon, spandex, or other synthetic materials. Others are made of leather. Oftentimes, a glove design will utilize several of these materials to offer benefits of each. Just make sure that the glove you choose is fully water and wind-proof.
Insulation is another key glove element. Basic glove construction consists of the inner layer that makes direct contact with your hands and an outer shell that keeps weather and moisture away. As we touched on above, the thicker the insulation, the warmer the glove. Regardless of what material a glove uses for insulation, the more of it, the more warmth it will provide.
Common insulation materials include fleece, polyester, and even fur. Synthetic materials are much more common these days, as they provide both warmth and durability. Many gloves will label the insulation as a measurement. For example, a 100-gram fleece lining is a leaner type of insulation that will still keep you warm. The type you choose is up to you. Just make sure the gloves you choose have enough of it.
Ski gloves come in a variety of different styles. Such options can match any preferences you have in both warmth or the type of skiing you like to do. A solid ski glove style will cover your hands comfortably and also have an extended wrist cuff designed to help keep snow and cold out. Many models also have straps and bands to help secure them to your wrists for added protection against the elements.
Spring skiing gloves will look more like a simple work glove without the added straps and wrist cuffs. These are nice in warmer weather conditions. Mittens are another option that many skiers enjoy. I like to wear mittens on really cold days because I find them to be warmer than the more traditional finger glove.
Best Ski Gloves: Our Picks for 2020
1. Black Diamond Guide Glove – Best Overall Ski Glove
The Black Diamond Guide Glove is one of the best on the market. These gloves have a great design and come constructed with warm, durable materials. Any skier who wants to spend long days on the mountain will love this option. In addition to the certain warmth these gloves provide, they are also extremely comfortable to wear even with your ski poles strapped tight around your wrists.
The Guide Gloves have a nylon and spandex shell combined with a water-proof goat leather palm that provides excellent warmth. That combination makes these gloves both tough and durable. They come with a removable liner made of synthetic and boiled wool fibers that offers excellent comfort, feel, and insulation. These gloves are at the top of the list for the warmth, comfort, and durability they offer to any skier.
- Awesome all-around glove
- Excellent construction
- Can take a while to break-in
Another top performer and one of the best ski gloves you can choose, the Hestra Heli Gloves keep your hands warm under all conditions. Hestra is a quality company that has made many different types of high-performance ski gloves over the years. These gloves make the top of the list due to their construction and attractive look.They are built with quality in mind, are very durable, and will last for many ski seasons.
The Heli Gloves are a style that Hestra has been putting out for many years. They feature a synthetic and leather outer shell that easily keeps water and wind at bay and come with a warm, comfortable liner for added insulation. If you are looking for a glove that is practical, warm, and comfortable, these are an excellent choice.
- Goat leather and synthetic shell feels/looks great
- Extremely warm
- Proven brand
- Attractive design
- Leather palm might need to be re-waterproofed after heavy use
- Wrist adjustment can interfere with ski straps
3. DaKine Titan Gloves – Best Budget Ski Gloves
If you want a solid ski glove but don’t want to spend as much money as some of the other gloves listed here, take a look at the Dakine Titan Gloves. These have a similar design to the Hestra gloves listed above, but cost less than half the price. This is a solid choice that will keep your hands warm for long periods of time and provide a lot of extra comfort. The Titan Glove is a great all-season glove for resort skiing.
These gloves are made with a synthetic shell that keeps out moisture and makes for a comfortable fit. The insulation and removable inner liner are also constructed out of a synthetic fill fiber for consistent and reliable warmth. They have a zippered pocket on the back of the hand to insert hand warmers or other small items, and the removable liners are touchscreen compatible if you need to use your phone out in the snow.
- Solid construction
- Touchscreen compatible liners
- Zippered pocket for hand warmers
- Multiple colors available
- Not the most durable
- Palm seams can rip under heavy use
Another solid budget option in a ski glove is the Gordini Storm Trooper II. The obvious advantage of these gloves is their affordable price, but they are also warm and quite durable. They feature a simple-but-effective design on top of the water and wind-proof capabilities you need to keep your hands warm and dry. While they are definitely not the warmest gloves on this list, they stand up to most conditions.
The Storm Trooper II’s outer shell comes with a nylon and spandex blend that provides decent water-proofing. They also feature Megaloft insulation and a Gore-Tex liner for increased comfort. The gloves are one piece and don’t have a removable liner. Even so, the included wrist strap and outer pocket are nice additions.
- Quality build for the price
- Wrist strap and outer pocket
- One-piece design
- Not as durable as more expensive options
- Wrist strap can tear
5. Flylow Ridge Glove – Best Spring Ski Glove
If you like to ski in the spring, you’ll want a ski glove specific to the season. Heavy-duty ski gloves can become far too warm and a bit burdensome when the temperature increases during the later months of the season. Flylow makes some great spring skiing gloves and the Ridge Glove model is one of my personal favorites. These gloves are extremely comfortable and functional. I always have a pair around.
The gloves are made from a durable and flexible pigskin leather that’s fully water-proofed during the manufacturing process so it can handle the warm and wet conditions that occur during spring skiing. The leather is water-proofed by using Sno-Seal (a well-known water-proofing material) and are triple baked at the company’s factory before going out to stores.
- Great spring skiing option
- Fully waterproof
- Low profile
- Not for cold weather skiing
- Can wear down under heavy use
- Might need to be water-proofed again after steady wear
Another great spring skiing glove that can also be used for a variety of other winter-related activities is the Flylow Tough Guy Glove. These gloves are extremely comfortable and have a low profile that makes them excel in spring skiing conditions. However, they are also great for shoveling the driveway or taking the dog out for a walk. They are extremely versatile, functional, and affordable. That combination makes them one of my favorite all-around winter gloves.
The Tough Guy Glove gets its name from its work-glove-like look, but don’t let appearances fool you. These gloves are made of water-proofed pigskin leather and have a fabric backside that’s designed to handle serious snow. I love the fit and feel of these gloves. They are my go-to option under warmer weather ski conditions.
- Great for spring skiing
- Extremely comfortable
- Fully water-proof leather glove
- Not great in extreme cold
- Fabric back can rip or snag
7. Hestra Fall Line Gloves – Best Leather Ski Glove
If you like the look or feel of a leather glove but still want all of the warmth and durability you would expect out of a high-end ski glove, check out the Hestra Fall Line Gloves. The first aspect that stands out with these gloves is there look. They appear like a classic brown leather glove and are sure to attract some attention on the slopes. This visual appeal alongside the extremely comfortable feel makes them a popular choice for leather glove enthusiasts.
The other shell of the Fall Line Gloves is made from an Aniline cowhide leather that is both water-proof and breathable, and offers a comfortable fit. They also have a layer of polyester foam insulation for warmth alongside a neoprene wrist cuff that’s secured by a sturdy velcro strap. These gloves have a classic look and are fully functional under most winter conditions. They are not the warmest option, but if you want a great leather glove, these are the way to go.
- Classic leather look
- Fully water-proof leather
- Wrist cuffs are quite effective
- Not the warmest option
- Leather can fade in the sun
8. Northface Women’s Montana Gore-Tex Glove – Best Women’s Ski Glove
If you are looking for the best women’s ski glove, you’ll want to try the Northface Montana. These gloves are a well-made, reliable option that will keep your hands warm and dry under just about any condition. Northface makes some serious cold-weather gear, and these gloves hold up to the reputation the brand has become known for over the years. They are both lightweight and warm and are perfect for a long day on the slopes.
The Montana Gloves feature a fully water-proof outer shell constructed with long-lasting Gore-Tex material. The insert is also made of Gore-Tex to help with warmth and increase both flexibility and dexterity. The gloves are built with an E-tip functionality that allows you to operate your touchscreen devices with them still on. The 5-dimensional fit, which is specific to the form of a woman’s hand, is extremely comfortable as well.
- Lightweight and warm
- Etip functionality
- 5-dimensional fit
- Fully water-proof Gore-Tex Shell
- Can run small
- Not extremely durable under steady use
The MCTi Cold Weather Women’s Glove is a great affordable option for female skiers. These are pretty basic, but they are cheap and work well under a normal day at the resort. The obvious appeal of these gloves is their cheap price point. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t perform well in winter conditions. They have a water-proof outer shell that covers a Thinsulate layer to provide extra warmth.
The 40-gram layer of outer insulation is supported by another 120 grams of cotton on the inside of the glove. The palm of the glove is reinforced with leather to provide added durability and the fingertips are touchscreen compatible. These even come with secure wrist straps. A perfect choice for anyone looking for a well-designed and functional women’s ski glove.
- Touchscreen compatible
- Wrist straps
- Not the warmest on the list
- Fabric on back can tear
10. Astis Mittens – Best Ski Glove for Cold Conditions
When the weather gets really cold, I usually ski with a pair of Astis Mittens. They may look like they come from the 1800s, but I assure you, they are some of the warmest handwear you will ever encounter. Plus, they look really unique and are sure to attract a lot of attention from your fellow skiers. Some skiers prefer mittens when the temperature drops because they keep your hands and fingers warm on even the longest days.
These mittens are made with a water-proof, soft suede outer shell that uses real rabbit fur to further increase their warmth. They also have a Polortec Thermal Pro layer of insulation that keeps your hands warm and toasty in all different conditions. These mittens are expensive, but I love them due to their excellent insulation and unique look.
- Very warm
- Unique look
- Look won’t appeal to everyone
Useful Tips & Resources
Now that you have a good idea of some of the best ski gloves out there, you should also know how to take care of them. Some gloves don’t require any upkeep during their lifetime. However, some styles, such as leather, might require water-proofing or other conditioning after a while. If you want to learn how to take care of your Gore-Tex gloves, check out the link. If you want to learn how to take care of your leather gloves, take a look at this.
If you’re prone to cold hands, sometimes even the best gloves in the world won’t be able to keep your hands warm. If that’s the case, there are some other things you can do to encourage your hands to stay warm. A little trick I often tell people is to make sure you eat a big breakfast with plenty of carbohydrates before skiing. This will increase your body’s metabolism in a way that promotes blood flow throughout your extremities.
Another trick to staying warm on the slopes is to simply ski. The more you work, the warmer your body becomes. Some people swing their arms up and down or back and forth in an attempt to warm up their fingers. That works a bit, but the general rule is the more you move your body, the faster you’ll warm up.
You can also try massage and some other techniques to keep your hands warm in cold weather. Take a look at this video for some additional techniques. Remember that it is pretty difficult to warm your hands up once they’ve gotten cold. The more you can do to prevent them from getting cold in the first place, the longer you will have to enjoy your ski day.
Ski gloves are important. It is virtually impossible to ski without gloves, which is why it is so important to invest in a good pair. If you plan on skiing in a range of different conditions, you need good gloves. All of the options on this list provide the warmth and comfort you need to for a long day on the slopes. Nobody wants cold hands. Be sure to get some gloves that match your needs and handle different environments.
I always have a few different pairs of ski gloves on hand. I have a pair of cold weather mittens, my standard glove that works in many conditions, and a spring skiing pair. That set up allows me to ski in any and all conditions that come my way. You don’t have to get multiple pairs of ski gloves, but it might be a good idea if you are a serious skier who likes to ski as much as possible.
Do you have a favorite pair of ski gloves? Have your hands ever gotten cold while skiing? Let us know in the comments below!