Believe it or not, keeping your fingers warm on the slopes is no sleight of hand — all it takes is an amazing pair of ski gloves!
Look no further than the Black Diamond Guide. With removable liners, a Gore-Tex insert, and a tough exterior, these gloves are sure to keep your hands and wrists warm year after year.
In a typical road trip game of Would You Rather, questions typically range from lovely (Would you rather create world peace or end world hunger?) to funny (Would you rather have feet for hands or hands for feet?) to downright inappropriate (I’ll let your imagination fill in the blank).
In most games, an astute player will eventually pose an interesting dilemma: Would you rather have perpetually cold fingers or no hands at all. While frigid fingers seem like a manageable condition — a minor annoyance, perhaps — imagine yourself trying to enjoy just about anything with stiff, numb digits.
So, whether you’re hitting the slopes or just trying to outlast winter, a good pair of ski gloves can be the difference between having a nice time outdoors and seriously considering going without hands all together. Finding the best ski gloves should not be taken lightly, and lucky for you, you’ve come to the right place.
The Ski Gloves We RAVE About
The Best Ski Gloves
There’s so much variation in ski gloves (and ski gear in general), you can find the pair that’s perfect for you if you focus on how you’ll use them. To start narrowing things down, first consider the type of materials that will work best for your needs.
There are two main types of materials used in a high-quality pair of gloves. One of those materials is person-made. The jury’s still out on who made the other one, but that’s a topic for another article. That’s right — I’m talking about synthetic and leather!
Leather vs. Synthetic
To start, consider what nature has to offer. Leather has been used to keep humans warm for thousands of years. And though it may have been the material of choice for cavemen, it’s far from archaic. Leather (generally speaking) is the most durable material on the market. Plus, its flexibility allows the gloves to mold to your hand, giving you that second skin feeling.
The biggest downside to leather is its susceptibility to water. Although water treatment goes a long way in keeping your hands dry, it can only do so much to prevent water from soaking through.
If you live in a particularly wet climate or staying dry is your top priority, consider opting for fully synthetic gloves, or at least gloves that offer good synthetic coverage.
“Synthetic” is an overarching term for gloves that are made using either nylon or polyester. Synthetics are much more commonly used, and provide the best protection against wet conditions. They’re also less user-friendly, and generally bulkier and less comfortable than their leather counterparts.
That said, a combination of these materials goes a long way towards high-functioning, comfortable gloves. For the majority of you, gloves that utilize leather for grip and comfort and synthetic materials to keep dry are ideal.
Speaking of Keeping Things Dry…
Consider the insert. If your glove was an Oreo, the shell and insulation would be the outer cookies while the insert would be the creamy filling. In other words, it’s pretty darn important.
Gore-Tex is the Rolls Royce of liners, and it comes with a high price tag. From there, lower-priced gloves generally come with another cost: sweaty palms. And I’m not talking about sweaty palms caused by the excitement of staring down a line that feels a little risky. Cheaper liners have less breathability, which leads to a clammy pair of paws.
You can save some money with a cheaper liner if you’re not exercising in them all day. And, if you’re looking for a pair of gloves that will keep you warm in a dry climate, you can ignore liners all together. But, if you’re looking for a pair of gloves to keep you dry from the outside and the inside, keep an eye out for Gore-Tex.
Some gloves offer removable liners, which has an added benefit of not only added warmth but also versatility. You can wear just the liner or just the shell, depending on your activity. Since the two pieces are separate, they also dry faster. The only drawback to removable liners is that they tend to be bulky, so they’re not ideal if you want lightweight gloves.
Types of Insulation
Next, consider how much protection you need from the cold. Different types of insulation vary in terms of how warm they keep your precious fingers — and how much they cost your precious wallet.
If warmth is your highest priority, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Look for gloves lined with PrimaLoft, the Gore-Tex of hand insulation (which is the Rolls Royce of liners — for the slow learners out there). Even better, look for PrimaLoft liners that weigh 160 grams or more.
To Text or Not to Text
Next, consider whether you need your gloves to be smartphone compatible. If you’re looking for a pair of gloves you can wear around town, I don’t need to tell you that texting is a high priority.
Because the ability to text requires more sensitivity, gloves that offer smartphone compatibility tend to be a little thin (and thus less warm). So, if you want a reliable pair of ski gloves, you may want to forgo this option and Instagram indoors.
Finally, Consider Style
Long gauntlet-style gloves that fit over your jacket tend to keep your wrists warmer, but they are also less flexible. Shorter undercuff gloves that fit under your jacket offer more flexibility, but are generally more difficult to get on and off, and provide less protection from the cold.
And, if keeping your fingers warm is your biggest struggle, consider opting for mittens. Although they make doing just about anything difficult, they keep your fingers touching — and there’s nothing quite like body heat to keep you warm.
So, as you look through the best ski gloves, think about what you’ve learned in terms of materials, style, features, and protection. Tailor your selection to find the perfect outfit for palms, fingertips, and everything in between!
There’s unfortunately no short and fast answer for finding the best ski gloves, as it comes down to your climate and activity level. That said, I kept the following overarching themes in mind as I selected my top choices.
- Price: Although more expensive gloves generally keep your hands happier, I selected my favorite gloves of all price points so you can keep cozy — regardless of your budget.
- Materials: I looked for gloves that use high-quality materials that will last.
- Comfort: Like with most things in life, comfort is a compromise. I favored gloves that are warm and comfortable, but not too bulky.
- Breathability: Because there’s nothing worse than being both cold and sweaty.
- Touch screen compatibility: Apologies to the generation Z-ers out there, but I looked at this as an added bonus — not a necessity.
- Versatility: If you’re looking for something specific (like a pair of gloves to wear skiing all day), feel free to ignore this factor. For everyone else, I looked for gloves that can be worn in a multitude of seasons and scenarios.
- Durability: I looked for ski gloves that will ideally outlast your hands themselves. (Too dark? Too dark. Sorry.)
The Best Ski Gloves
Black Diamond Guide
If you ski in a cold climate or struggle to keep your hands warm no matter the weather, Black Diamond’s Guide is your solution — these gloves are some of the warmest on the market.
The Guide’s removable liners feature 170 grams of PrimaLoft Gold insulation, making them supremely warm and easy to maintain. Plus, the Gore-Tex insert ensures your hands stay dry without sweating. What’s more, the combination of woven nylon and goat leather ensures they’ll last.
These gloves are what I’d consider “high profile.” In other words, you’ll sacrifice some freedom of movement for warmth, and they take some time to break in. They’re also on the expensive side. But, if you’re willing to work with a little stiffness to stay warm, I highly recommend the Black Diamond Guide.
- Removable liners
The Arc’teryx Fission comes in a close second to Black Diamond’s Guide, and would likely nab the top spot if not for how annoying they are to put on.
These gloves pull out all the stops to keep your hands warm and dry, including a Gore-Tex membrane and PrimaLoft liner. They’re also not overly bulky, and comfortable enough for all day use. And, despite keeping warm in extreme climates, they’re very lightweight, easy to pack, and dexterous.
My one concern with these gloves is the fit: The wrist strap is tight and hard to get on, and many users complain that the fit is awkward for the average hand. And, at around $200, they’re certainly not cheap. But, if the fit is right, these gloves will be your new best friend.
- Touch screen compatible
- Issues with fit
Army Leather Heli Ski
The Hestra Heli gloves are our third best ski gloves, because they’re among the more comfortable pairs of gloves on the market, without sacrificing warmth and function. Using a combination of synthetic and leather, the Helis will stay dry and last for seasons to come.
They also manage to be very warm and flexible at the same time — which is no easy feat when it comes to ski gloves. And, at under $150, these gloves are a great value for the price.
Because Hestras utilize a lot of leather in their construction, you’ll have to water treat them fairly frequently. They’re also not made using “designer” materials, such as Gore-Tex and PrimaLoft. That said, these gloves hold their weight compared to their higher-end counterparts, and do so at a more affordable price point.
- Durable and warm
- Requires upkeep
- Less reliable materials
Dakine Sequoia Gore-Tex Glove
Coming in at under $100, Dakine’s Titan/Sequoia gloves are an excellent value for a pair of gloves with a ton of features. These gloves come equipped with removable, touch screen compatible liners, and even a built-in pocket to store your hand warmer. What’s more, they utilize a breathable Gore-Tex membrane to keep your hands dry.
Because they’re fully synthetic, Dakine’s Titan loses points for durability. And, with only 110 grams of synthetic lining, they aren’t my top choice for extremely cold weather. But, if you want a solid pair of ski gloves that don’t cost a fortune, Dakine’s Titan/Sequoia are worth considering.
- Removable liners
- Smartphone compatible
- Not as durable
- Not as waterproof
Arc’Teryx Rush SV
The Arc’teryx Rush SV gloves were made for severe weather (which I would argue is a relative weather description). If your hands are sensitive to cold, moderate conditions can feel severe and prevent you from having a good time.
That said, these gloves are pretty intense. They utilize three Gore-Tex layers to ensure the best weather protection available. And, for how weatherproof they are, they’re still flexible and easy to maneuver.
Unfortunately, the added protection comes with an extremely high price tag. And, while fleece liners are removable and easy to clean, they don’t keep quite as warm as other models. If you have the budget and staying dry and dexterous is your top priority, the Arc’teryx Rush SV may be the perfect fit.
- Highly waterproof
- Not the warmest
- Very expensive
Morrison Pro Model
If you’re looking for a pair of gloves that is sturdy and durable, look no further than the Hestra Morrison Pro — this all-leather glove is built to last. And, despite the lack of synthetic materials, these gloves still resist water better than you might expect. Even better, these gloves are both warm and supremely dexterous, and the padded fingers add some protection from other (more solid) elements.
I don’t recommend this glove if you live in a very wet climate, since leather isn’t ideal for these conditions. Plus, their undercuff design may lead to less warmth overall, and they’re some of the pricier gloves on this list. Considering their top-level durability, however, the Hestra Morrison Pro earn back their cost over time, especially if you’re looking for that second-skin feeling.
- Padded fingers
- Not fully waterproof
- Undercuff design
Seirus HeatTouch Torche
If you’re willing to charge your gloves, consider the Seirus Innovation HeatTouch Torche. With a built-in battery operated heater and touch screen compatible pads, these gloves are for the tech-minded skiers who are willing to sacrifice a little extra bulk for warm hands that can text.
Using reinforced leather, these gloves are built to last. And, as long as the battery works, your hands will feel like they’re in a dry sauna even in frigid conditions.
That said, the battery only has a two-hour lifespan on the high setting, and with only 70 grams of Thinsulate liner, I don’t trust them to keep you warm once they lose juice. What’s more, they’re expensive. But, if you’re okay with paying a little extra for technological luxury, the HeatTouch Torche are for you.
- Touch screen compatible
- Built in heating
- Short battery life
- Not as warm
If warmth is your top priority and you’re willing to sacrifice some flexibility and a lot of dexterity, consider the Mercury Mittens from Black Diamond. Made with a whopping 340-gram PrimaLoft removable liner, these mittens will keep even the coldest hands warm.
They also boast leather-reinforced palms and a durable overall design, so they’ll keep your hands warm season after season. The main downside to these gloves, however, is the design itself. Because they’re mittens, they come with some inherent drawbacks: Namely, they offer little to no dexterity, so even maneuvering something as simple as ski poles becomes difficult.
Plus, the ultra-warm lining makes them bulky and less versatile. But, if you’re a snowboarder with perpetually cold hands, consider the switch to mittens — the sacrifice just might be worth it.
- Very warm
- Removable lining
- Not dexterous
- Not the cheapest
- Not as versatile
Burton GORE-TEX Glove
With a removable liner, Gore-Tex membrane, touchscreen compatibility, and built-in goggle wipe and hand warmer pocket, these gloves come loaded with features. They also boast a low-profile design that’s comfortable for all day use. What’s more, they’re one of the more affordable pairs on my list.
With so many built-in features at an affordable price, these gloves would be higher on my list if not for a few factors: To start, the fully synthetic design doesn’t stack up to competitors in terms of durability. Their short gauntlet and less-than-plush liners also mean they’re not as warm. That said, they’re an excellent, affordable option with lots of extras.
- Smartphone compatible
- Not as durable
- Not as warm
- Low wrist protection
Kent Wang Deerskin Gloves Black Touchscreen
I love these gloves for skiers who don’t really ski. If you ski in a warm-ish climate, ride a few easy slopes, and call it a day to go drink “hot chocolate” in the lodge, the Kent Wang Deerskin gloves are perfect for you.
They’re lined with cashmere, so they feel not only warm, but also luxurious. They’re also good at texting, which is an added bonus when you’re not really that into the outdoors (ski lift selfie? Check). The all-leather design makes them dexterous and durable, though they’re certainly not made for extreme cold.
These gloves are not designed to wear all day or survive harsh conditions. And, for lightweight gloves, they’re not the cheapest. But, if you’re looking for something low profile and cute that you can still type with, consider Kent Wang’s Deerskin Gloves.
- Touch screen compatible
- Not versatile
- Not cheap
- Not the warmest
Am I a gloves guy/gal or mittens guy/gal?
The short answer: It depends. Gloves provide freedom, while mittens provide warmth. If you don’t mind taking off your gloves to unzip a pocket, send a text, pick something up, or generally do just about anything with your hands, opt for mittens. They’re also the best choice if your top priority is keeping warm.
That said, if you want dexterity, mittens will likely drive you crazy. In the end, it should come down to what your priorities are. If you want your hands to be the warmest they can possibly be, opt for mittens. If you want to be able to use your fingers like the biped you are, opt for gloves.
How should I care for my leather or combination gloves?
Caring for your gloves is an important part of ensuring they not only last longer but also keep you warm. This is especially true for leather, because although most winter gloves come treated, the treatment eventually wears out.
If your gloves haven’t been treated yet, treat them. Be sure to air dry them after each use, and never dry them using heat. Keep an eye out for gloves that start to soak up moisture. This means they need to be retreated, which is recommended two to three times per ski season if you use them frequently. Lastly, try to only wash them when absolutely necessary.
How should I treat my gloves?
Most gloves come treated, but if yours didn’t or the treatment is beginning to wear out, use a waterproofing wax to ensure your hands stay dry and your gloves stay good as new.
Speaking of “as new,” the only downside to treating your gloves (besides a slight hassle) is that it turns them a darker color. But, I’d take a darker leather over wet leather any day.
First, make sure your gloves are clean. Apply about a tablespoon of wax onto the palm of the glove and rub it into the leather, making sure to get a solid amount on the vulnerable seams. Set aside. After 10 minutes, use a damp cloth to remove any excess wax.
Allow the treatment to air dry completely. Be sure to repeat whenever necessary.
How should I wash my gloves?
If your gloves are especially stinky or visibly dirty, it’s time to wash them. First, use a dry rag to spot clean any dried-on dirt if necessary. Use room-temperature water to spot clean any other dirty spots that don’t flake off with a dry rag.
If smell is an issue, hand wash them in lukewarm water using a mild soap, making sure to clean out the inside liner. Spray them with a mild deodorizer if they’re extra smelly, and rinse thoroughly to remove all the soap.
Gently wring out the gloves and allow them to air dry. If you can remove your glove’s liner from its shell, make sure to wash and dry them separately. And remember, never dry your gloves in the dryer.
Why is it called a “pair” of gloves?
Because there are two of them. You’re thinking of pants.
Now that you’ve properly covered your fingers, consider the following products to take coziness to the next level.
- Nikwax waterproofing wax for leather: This gentle wax will keep your gloves dry without breaking down the seams.
- HotHands hand warmers: They say the best things in life don’t last forever. These hand warmers last up to ten hours, so they’re basically the next best thing.
- Wool arm warmers: Wear these arm warmers so comfort doesn’t stop at your wrist.
- Glove holder strap: Gloves are like Romeo and Juliet: stronger in pairs and they can’t really survive on their own. This strap will help prevent a Romeo and Juliet-esque fate for your new mittens.
- Dryguy DX forced air dryer: Most skiers use this dryer to dry their (synthetic) gloves and boots and prevent odor. I like to use it after and before using my gloves — like a towel fresh out of the dryer after a shower. Perfection.