Gloves can be tough to choose between. But don't worry, because we've done all the hard work for you. Below you'll find our top choices for ski gloves this year, complete with pros and cons.
We know how hard it can be to navigate the snow gear market. With every brand saying their stuff is the best, it’s hard to know which way to turn. And even when you have an ‘industry standard’, the industry goes and turns that on its head! And ski gloves can be the most challenging of all.
With everything from fully-sealed synthetic gloves packed with insulation, to all-natural leather gloves, to lightweight park gloves — and that’s not even mentioning mitts, triggers, and gloves — things are more murky than ever. But fear not because we’ve gone through the list, checked it twice, found out which gloves are overpriced, and which are just nice… And then we laid out our top choices for you below.
It’ll be best to start off with the different types of ski gloves and get you up to speed on what’s waiting for you out there on the world wide web, and of course in your local ski shops.
Knowing the different types will help you to better understand which gloves will suit your needs and style, as well as which glove religion you’re going to pledge your allegiance to. The finger-glove lovers, or the mitten admirers.
First of all, we have the classic finger gloves. In a finger glove, as the name suggests, all the fingers are separated.
The finger glove is the most common choice amongst skiers. This is probably down to the higher flexibility, dexterity of these type of ski gloves in comparison to mitten gloves.
With finger gloves, it’s much easier to hold ski poles, grab hold of straps, and make adjustments to your ski gear like your goggles or your helmet.
On the downside, finger gloves don’t store heat as efficiently as mittens. Because the fingers are separated, they can’t share heat. And the added surface area of the gloves, as well as the addition of more seams, also allows more heat to be lost from each finger, as well as more surface area for water to seep in.
The next type of ski glove we want to talk about is the mitten glove. In a mitten glove, the thumb is separated, but all four of the fingers are kept together in a single compartment.
The mitten is generally more popular amongst snowboarders, who do not have to handle poles. As such they are less dependent on the dexterity offered by a classic finger glove. It’s also easy to tighten and undo bindings, even in mittens.
Though as well as being more popular among snowboarders, mittens have one big advantage against the good old finger gloves. Mittens have a better capacity for storing heat. As the fingers are not separated in a mitten, they can share heat inside an enclosed space, making them far warmer than a pair of gloves. They also have fewer seams and less surface area, making them more resistant to heat loss and moisture ingress.
The major downside of a mitten is the lack of dexterity. It can be very hard to do things with your hands while wearing a mitten like grab a zipper, adjust a strap, or anything that requires fine motor skills.
The last type of ski glove is still fairly new to the market, but more and more brands are beginning to join the movement. The trigger mitten — or lobster claw mitten — combines the best attributes of both gloves. The thumb and the index finger are kept separate from each other and the rest of the fingers, while the other three fingers are held together in a single compartment.
This allows for much better heat retention and added moisture resistance, while providing a much-needed dexterity boost, making things like grabbing zippers and clasps a lot easier.
The best of both world, in theory, the trigger mitten should be the ideal glove for everyone. But in reality, you will have to make compromises regarding both dexterity and warmth, as well as have less choice, and pay a little extra for them as they’re still the ‘new thing’.
The Dope Ace glove is this year’s deserving winner, and tops the list of our best ski gloves. The Ace Glove provides the optimal combination of dexterity, waterproofness, and breathability, and as such, is the ideal companion for resort conditions and sunny powder days.
The Dope Ace glove is manufactured from the same fabric as Dope Snow jackets and pants, which means that it has great waterproofing and breathability due to the eco-friendly DWR-Coating. Instead of designing a completely waterproof glove with an internal membrane, Dope believes in giving your hands the chance to breathe and let sweat escape.
The Ace Glove is also super dexterous as the polyester-filling is highly compressed and, meaning the glove feels light and slim, but also stays really warm. These qualities, in our opinion, make it the perfect glove to keep a tight grip on your ski poles, or to hold a beer in the fresh winter sun.
The North Face brand pretty much guarantees quality. If you see their name you know you’re not going to get some cheap piece of gear. And with the addition of FUTURELIGHT, their own in-house GoreTex equivalent, there’s no doubt about on-mountain protection.
Gloves have always been a tricky beast. Waterproof gloves are not breathable, and breathable gloves aren’t waterproof. But now, you can have both. Along with warmth. And touch screen compatibility. Enter the IL SOLO FUTURELIGHT. It’s a mouthful to say and all those caps make it seem a little shouty, but the bottom line is a glove that’ll work all day, all season, in all weathers.
With a 100% goat skin outer, these gloves are soft as well as extremely durable. Inside you’re treated to sherpa fleece, and at the back there’s a fully synthetic panel to make sure these gloves stay supple and breathable. Inside, there’s a full FUTURELIGHT membrane to keep water out, and then the whole thing is topped off Etip to make sure you never need to lose your gloves again. Text your buds, choose your tunes, and then drop in. The IL SOLO has your back. Or at least your hands.
The Burton Baker made it to number three on our list because it’s an amazing 2-in-1 glove that’s suitable for use in lots of different conditions! On cold days, you can wear the shell with the liner, and on warmer days you can just wear the shell. And for après ski or in the gondola you can pull the shell off and just wear the liners.
The liners, back of the glove, and insulation are made from 100% polyester, while the palm and DRYRIDE waterproof membrane are made from 100% polyurethane for extra grip, water tightness, and durability.
For all the smartphone lovers out there, this glove is also touch-screen compatible, meaning you don’t need to pull it off to catch a snap or answer a call ever again.
Another great all-rounder is the Montec Kilo Mitt, and that’s why it slides in at number four. We wanted to be sure to include a mitten in this lineup for all the mitten fans out there, and we couldn’t think of a better one than the Kilo!
Even though the Montec Kilo is a mitten, it offers amazing dexterity due to its compact size and short cuffs — styled like a park mitt, but with the performance of an all-mount glove. And when combined with a pair of liners, this is a highly versatile glove that can do it all.
The Montec Kilo is made from 100% nylon and has an eco-friendly DWR coating on its outer shell that keeps water from seeping in, but allows moisture to be let out at the same time.
For only 50 Euros, you get a high-quality glove that offers all you need from a resort glove. And remember, if you like it extra warm and cosy, get a pair of liners to go with them!
A new member to the Montec family is the Montec Roast Snow Mitten and it completes the lines of Montec gloves with a mitten for colder weather conditions. The insulated mitten glove with long cuffs will keep you toasty, no matter how cold it gets on the mountain.
Due to its extra tough built out of nylon and polyester, you will enjoy this glove for a very long time. The PU membrane and the long cuffs add strength to the waterproofing of the Montec Roast. Like this, water will stay out of the glove, while letting fresh air in.
A must-have for the cold days on the slopes or for your next backcountry adventure! And you can purchase this miracle glove at a very fair price of 80 Euros. A real no-brainer if you’re asking us!
Topping our list in the best ski gloves ranking in the women’s category goes to the Dope Ace Mitt.
It’s proven that women’s hands get colder faster when they go skiing. This is why the Dope Ace Mitt is the perfect choice for everyone who wants to keep their hands nice and toasty and still be able to grab their ski poles or close their helmet strap. With short cuffs and an extra light filling, this mitten is surprisingly dexterous.
Thiss 100% nylon glove is manufactured from the same fabrics as Dope’s snow jackets and pants. As such, it is waterproof and breathable at the same time, while keeping your hands super warm.
For colder temperatures or for everyone who struggles to keep their hands warm, we recommend adding a pair of glove liners under your mittens. The Dope Power Liner is a great choice as they’re smartphone-compatible and the perfect companion for the Dope Ace Mitt.
For all women who would rather want to stick to a classic glove, we’ve included the finger-separated sibling of the Dope Ace Mitt, and the winner in our category best ski gloves for men — the Dope Ace Glove.
The Dope Ace Glove has the same characteristics as the Dope Ace Mitt, with once difference: it comes in the form of a classic 5 finger glove. Due to the glove design and the short cuffs, the Dope Ace is a perfect companion for any normal day at the resort.
The Dope Ace Gloves are made from 100% Nylon and are treated with an eco-friendly DWR-Coating to make sure that they keep you warm and dry at all times.
And if you’re the sort of person to get cold fast, you can also use glove liners. Doing so means you can wear the Dope Ace even when the temperatures drop well below, and still stay completely comfortable.
The Backtrack Gloves from Burton are a perfect low maintenance choice for the rider who doesn't need or want anything fancy, but requires solid performance and reliability all day long.
Featuring Burton’s DRYRIDE 2L shell, you get waterproofing and breathability. And with Synthetic Thermacore insulation, you’re sure to stay warm as well as dry this season. It can be a tough sell sometimes, when it comes to gloves like this. They don’t have the frills of some other gloves, so they’re easy to overlook. But when it comes to value for money and sheer simplicity, we can’t help but breath a sigh of relief.
And with touchscreen compatibility, a wrist leash, ergonomic design, and a brushed back microfibre liner to keep you toasty and comfy all day long, it’s hard to deny the credentials here. So if you don’t need GoreTex or FUTURELIGHT, you just want a glove that works out on the mountain, then the Backtrack might just be the one for you. Warm, versatile, and not likely to break the bank, there’s really not a bad word to say about them — just a whole bunch of good ones!
The Free Range gloves from Burton, as the name suggests, come into their own outside the bounds of the resort. With a super durable Gnar Guard Leather Shell, Burton’s DRYRIDE 2L waterproof and breathable membrane, and a layer of Thermacore Insulation, the Free Range gloves are real bruisers built for the backcountry and the rider who wants to tear it apart.
To keep your hands cosy and comfy, Burton have paired the Thermacore insulation with a brushed back microfleece liner and fabric cuff. With a lower profile design and shorter cuffs than some gloves, the Free Range are totally compatible with lycra wrist guards, which means more comfort on those long days.
To top all that off, Burton have stocked the Free Range with their Screengrab tech which means you can use your phone with ease anywhere on the mountain without having to pull them off. Which we think puts the Free Range over the top and makes it one of our top choices for a premium leather glove this winter season. If you want to ride in comfort and style with a glove that just won’t quit, then buy with confidence when it comes to this number.
Now that you know all about the different types of gloves, we want to show you how we rate them to the best ski gloves. In total, we chose six categories that we consider most important when buying a ski glove.
The gloves’ performance in those categories determined our ranking of the top 5 ski gloves for men and top 5 ski gloves for women for the 2020 snow season.
One of the most important categories for us was the pricing. It’s always a question of cost versus quality when it comes to finding great products. Ski gear can be very expensive, so we were looking out for gloves that we felt offer excellent value for money.
The first thing we looked out for, though, was how waterproof they were. When ranking the best ski gloves, this attribute was the most important thing, as even the warmest glove will not keep your hands dry unless it’s properly waterproof.
Generally, ski gloves use similar methods of waterproofing, all of which have their own pros and cons.
Some brands will use a membrane between the shell of the glove and the liner in order to keep your hands dry. One of the most common membranes is manufactured by GoreTex, but like all products that use GoreTex fabrics, these gloves tend to come with a hefty price tag. Some other brands may use plastic-based membranes, which also offer great waterproofing at a reduced cost, but with the drawback of zero breathability, which can lead to sweaty hands.
Other brands opt for a DWR-Coating on the outer layer of the glove, combined with an outer shell that has waterproof properties itself, similar to the coating on ski jackets. The great thing about gloves with a coating on the shell of the glove is great waterproofing and breathability at far lower prices than Gore-Tex products. However with these products, wear can be an issue. Over time, the DWR-Coating can degrade, and the material can become damaged or worn, which will reduce the waterproofing over time.
Next up is the breathability. The breathability of a ski glove is super important and can often be forgotten when buying a ski glove.
A big misconception about gloves is that warm hands equal dry hands. This is simply wrong. If your hand starts getting too warm in your glove, you will start sweating. In a glove made with non-breathable materials (like the plastic membrane mentioned above), the heat and moisture released through the skin in your hands will condense on the cold non-breathable membrane inside the glove, and will make your hands wet.
This is why we have not only focussed on the waterproofing of the ski gloves in our lists, we also had a closer look into the materials of the gloves and how they affect the breathability.
One of the most important ranking factors for every ski glove owner is the warmth of the glove. Snow is cold, after all. A lot of people would say the warmer the better, but we would have to disagree with that!
The warmth of your future ski glove should highly depend on the conditions in which you want to use them, as well as your own riding style.
Of course, you would want different gloves for a ski tour in Alaska than you want for summer skiing in the glacier sun – right?
If you don’t want to own two or three pairs of different gloves, there are plenty of gloves out there that can be used in various kinds of conditions. Just to name some examples: 2-in-1 gloves, liners, gloves with a heat-pocket. But more on those later!
A pair of gloves can be expensive. And you want them to last, right? As such, we added durability to the list of qualities that make the best ski gloves — because a ski glove that doesn’t last longer than one season isn’t much good, no matter how much of a deal it was.
The durability of a glove is strongly connected to the material of the glove. The material choices you have when buying a glove basically boil down to two options: leather, and synthetic.
Leather gloves are more durable but are harder to maintain (and often more expensive). Synthetic gloves are often less durable but the simpler choice when you don’t have the spare cash to spend on a leather glove. Of course, there’ll be leather gloves that aren’t super durable, and expensive synthetic gloves that’ll last a lifetime! You just have to do your research before buying.
In our ranking, we included both leather and synthetic gloves, as both have pros and cons depending on the conditions in which you want to wear them, the way they’re made, and the budget you have for your new glove.
Especially for skiers, the dexterity of a glove often is one of the deciding factors. For the ranking of picks for the best ski gloves, we mainly included gloves which offer excellent dexterity.
The dexterity of a glove describes, how easy it will be for you to perform tasks like holding your poles, opening your ski boots or adjusting your goggles while wearing a glove.
Generally speaking, the dexterity of a glove decreases with the warmth of a glove as the warmth generally relates to the thickness. This is why we also listed some options for skiers who want a warm glove, but one that still allows you to be as dextrous as possible.
For us, one of the key ranking factors when creating this list was value for money. Not everyone has a mountain of cash they can just pull from their bank account at the drop of a hat. Which is why it’s always a great idea to look out for the best deals when buying snow gear. But for us, it’s not about what items you can get the cheapest! Value definitely comes down to what you’re actually getting for the money, rather than how little you can spend.
The average price range for a standard ski glove is around 30 and 100 Euros depending on the brand and construction. Generic brand items might cost less, while premium gloves made from leather can cost up to 300 Euros!
It’s up to you how much money you want to spend on your future ski glove, but we want to show you some great options here that will deliver solid performance, and won’t break the bank.
Before choosing a ski glove, you should think about what your needs are and what kind of conditions you are going to be using them in.
Make sure to consider the different features of a ski glove before buying and think about what suits your needs. This will help to guarantee that you have a great time on the slopes or in the backcountry and that your hands will stay dry and warm when you need it the most.
In the following section, we will explain the features of a ski glove for you and which type of ski glove suits which conditions.
Let’s go back to the main question when it comes to buying a ski glove: finger glove or mitten?
There is no right answer to this question. It depends on your personal preferences. Some skiers prefer gloves, other skiers prefer mittens. But we will try to break down the pros and cons for you!
The big plus of gloves is that it is a lot easier to do things with your hands while wearing them. With gloves it is easier to buckle your ski boot, to hold our poles or to adjust your goggles or helmet when needed. This is why the classic glove is the choice for most skiers.
Nevertheless, mittens can be quite versatile as well – especially if combined with a pair of liners. Some mittens come with a pair of liner gloves that provide the dexterity that is missing from a mitten. Just remove the mitten itself and make your adjustments, and then put them back on. In most conditions, this doesn’t make your hands too wet or cold!
The big plus of mittens is the additional warmth that is generated from the contact of your fingers in the main compartment of the glove. The warmth through body heat is hard to beat with the insulation of a finger glove.
But let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?
First up, let’s look more into the dexterity of a ski glove. What makes a ski glove dexterous and why is it useful that a ski glove is dexterous?
Skiers love dexterity! The main reason why skiers love flexible ski gloves is that they have to do quite a lot of things with their hands while skiing. For snowboarders, dexterity is rather secondary as they don’t have poles and their bindings are a lot easier to handle. But what makes a ski glove dexterous?
Like we mentioned before, finger gloves are the clear winner when it comes to dexterity. A long cuff that fights the sleeve generally takes away a bit of dexterity compared to a glove with a short, or compact cuff as it can cause excess bulk around the hand make the gloves slip down a bit. But it’s not only the type of ski glove that has an impact on how precise your movements will be.
The material plays an important role too. Leather gloves are more dexterous than synthetic gloves generally. And also, the less insulation a glove has, the more dexterous it is as a general rule, too.
One of the most important factors that comes into play when choosing the perfect ski glove is the warmth of the glove. And how warm your ski glove needs to be should depend on where you want to use it.
If you want to use your new ski gloves in the deep Canadian winter, you will need more insulation than if you want to use it for spring skiing in the Dolomites!
Gloves are usually insulated with a fleece or synthetic fill that determines how warm your glove will be. Generally speaking, the more filling, the warmer the glove. With some gloves, you will find information about how much filling (in grams) was used for the insulation. This can be a good indicator for the warmth of a glove.
If you get cold easily, the good old mitten is hard to beat. The warmth of a mitten is provided by natural body heat, without a crazy amount of insulation needed.
Other than by the filling, the warmth of a ski glove can also vary depending on the cuff length, the shell material, the waterproofing, and the type of glove.
Another thing that might influence your choice is the material choice of a glove. Some skiers prefer leather and some prefer synthetics. Both have benefits and drawbacks.
Leather gloves are more dexterous than synthetic gloves and they have good waterproofing qualities if they are taken care of. But here’s the downside: you will have to take care of them! If you buy a pair of leather gloves, be aware that you need to maintain the waterproofing of the leather shell by applying wax or a waterproofing treatment from time to time.
Synthetic gloves are the better choice for easy handling and when it comes to waterproofing and require no maintenance. The outer shell is made from either nylon or polyester. For added protection from water, synthetic gloves can have a waterproof layer between the outer layer and the insulation usually called a ‘membrane’. This way, your hands will be protected from water coming in. But this can also affect the breathability — which we’re covering next.
Let’s talk about it in a little more detail. The waterproofing pertains to how effectively water is prevented from entering your glove. Without waterproofing, your hands won’t stay dry.
For the waterproofing of a glove, most brands use a waterproof layer between the shell and the insulation of the ski glove. The most commonly known membrane is the GoreTex membrane, which offers excellent waterproofing and breathability. There are also general manufacturers of membranes which offer waterproofing at a much lower price. As it is with many things, you pay an additional charge for the GoreTex brand name.
But let’s not forget about the breathability of a glove. To keep your hands dry, it is very important that your glove is breathable. This allows the moisture from your hands to be released through the shell of the glove before condensing into water.
This is why it is important that you not only look out for a waterproof glove, but also for one that has excellent breathability. Synthetic gloves usually are more breathable than leather gloves, because modern fabrics can be used to maximise the waterproofing and breathability characteristics of the ski glove.
Another important thing to think about when buying a ski glove is the sizing. But how do you find out which size you’ll need in ski gloves?
When walking into a store, it is quite easy to try on different gloves and figure out which size is right for you. The glove should not be too loose and not be too tight around your wrist and there should be some space to move your fingers a little bit.
When buying a glove online, the story is a different one. But don’t worry! Online retailers developed different ways of determining their sizing. Some use only the hand’s width as a guideline, while some additionally use the fingers’ length to find out which size is suitable for you.
If you want to wear a liner under your glove for additional warmth, we recommend you to go for one size larger in the glove or mitten.
Last but not least, we want to talk about all the small features a ski glove can have. They are not necessarily ‘needed’, but they can often impact the experience of wearing the glove, and may help you make a decision when it comes to buying.
Single Layer vs Dual Layer (2 in 1) Gloves – Some gloves come as a dual-layer, which means that you get two gloves for the price of one – the main gloves plus liners.
Gauntlet vs Under Cuff Gloves – Gauntlet gloves reach far over the wrist and offer more protection against snow than under-cuff gloves (which fit under the cuffs of your jacket). On the downside, they are a lot bulkier than short cuffed gloves.
Pocket for Hand Warmers – Some gloves have a separate pocket that you can place hand warmers into. This is a great feature for who get cold hands during skiing, or who are travelling to much colder places to ski!
Wrist Band – The wrist band is a very common feature on ski gloves. It can be attached around your wrist so you don’t lose your gloves during heavy falls or when cooling off on the chairlift.
Wrist cinch – The wrist cinch is an adjustable cord at the bottom end of the glove. It can be mostly found with gauntlet-style gloves with long cuffs.
Touch Screen Compatibility – Some of the newer glove models are touchscreen-compatible which allows you to take photos or send a quick message while wearing your gloves. An alternative to bulky touch screen gloves are liners with touch screen compatibility.
Dope Snow – This is a company that is taking the snowboard apparel industry by storm. It has fresh and functional products at great prices.
Burton – They are one of the oldest snowboard brands in the business. Real snow sports experts for over 50 years and a great producer of functional ski and snowboard gloves.
Montec – A new brand in the industry that stands for high-quality, technical snow gear at affordable prices.
The North Face – Their gloves feature innovative waterproofing and insulating technologies to keep you dry and warm at all times.
For skiers, we would recommend going for leather gloves or synthetic gloves with good waterproofing and breathability. Gloves are the better choice for skiers, as they offer better dexterity, which is needed for grabbing a ski pole. For mitten fans, we recommend getting gloves with liners or to buy extra liner gloves to be as flexible as possible. Or, to make the jump to Trigger Mittens!
Ski gloves should definitely have good waterproofing characteristics to keep your hands dry and warm. At the same time, they should be breathable so that moisture can leave the glove at the right time before condensing. You should make sure that your new glove has both good waterproofing and breathability if you want it to be really useful on the mountain.
Leather gloves are a great choice for skiing as they are more dexterous than synthetic materials and are really waterproof. They give a very natural feeling to your hands and they are super comfortable as well. Make sure to take proper care of your leather gloves, though, to maintain their waterproofing, or you might end up with soaking wet hands!
A handwarmer pocket on a ski glove is a pocket which has the perfect size for one-time hand warmers that you can buy in little bags. They can look like tea-bags, and can be activated by oxygen when you open them, or by rubbing them sometimes! They emit a gentle heat for up to 12-hours, that when placed in the handwarmer pocket, can keep your gloves toasty all day.
On cold days, we recommend wearing liner gloves under your glove or mitten. Liner gloves are thin gloves, that are the perfect companion for cold days or for doing things with your hands while skiing. Simply take off your outer glove and you will have all the flexibility thanks to the liners underneath, without suffering windchill on your bare skin. Some liner gloves are touch-screen compatible so you can snap a selfie while enjoying a rest in the chairlift.
If you decide to put ski gloves in the washing machine, you should follow the washing instructions on the label of the glove. Though be careful, because sometimes it can affect the performance of a glove anyway, even if you follow the instructions. A DWR coating can be washed off, which can really reduce the waterproofing. As such, we generally recommend to not put gloves in a washing machine. Even if the DWR coating doesn't wash off completely, any wash, cold or not, will cause it to degrade. If your gloves are dirty or smell, then leaving them in a warm, dry place to air out can be a good idea, or you can use a fabric freshener spray applied directly into the glove itself in order to help neutralise odours and bacteria. If you are going to wash them, get specialist detergent that won't affect waterproofing, and then reapply the DWR coating afterwards. There are lots of products on the market that are designed just for this!
That was it guys! Our ultimate buyer’s guide for ski gloves for the 2020 snow season. We hope that we made the decision a bit easier for you and that you (with a little help from our end) found the glove of your dreams.
If you already have a glove and are interested in buying a new ski jacket, a new pair of ski pants, or a new pair of goggles, have a look at our related reading section and get inspired!
See you on the slopes, and stay stoked!