Hiking is a great way to emerge yourself in the wonders of nature, whether you are experienced or using a hiking guide for beginners. While hiking can deliver magnificent views that take your breath away, what shouldn’t be on your mind is frozen hands if you are winter hiking. Hikers often forget that hands are left exposed and cold fingers can lead to a miserable hiker. And in order to save yourself from such a thing, you should pick the best winter hiking gloves.
A pair of the best hiking gloves would keep your hands protected from the elements and keep them warm. However, with so many styles, it can be hard to decide exactly what you need from a pair of gloves.
Our list of the 10 best backpacking gloves in 2021 gives you a range of high-quality choices. We also help you determine what to look out for in hiking glove designs before you buy. Investing in gloves for hiking is a great way to preserve your hands, so you can adventure for longer!
Having a good pair of gloves or mittens is really important in cold weather. But lightweight gloves can offer valuable hand protection in hot weather, too, if you're scrambling on rough rock or hiking near thorny plants.
Warmest isn't always best. If you wear gloves that are so thick and heavy they keep you from doing simply tasks like working a zipper, you might have to take them off for those tasks — which leaves your hands exposed to the weather. Consider a midweight glove that keeps you warm but still preserves dexterity, or use a liner glove / overglove combination.
If you're out in wet conditions, or in cold conditions where ice/snow may melt, having waterproof or water-resistant gloves is a must. Wearing soggy gloves can end up feeling worse than wearing no gloves at all.
How To Choose A Pair Of Hiking Gloves — Buying Guide
Most important is the size of your hand and the size of the glove. Gloves are important to have correctly sized because a pair too small will never fit your hand and a pair too large will slide off. You also don’t want a pair of gloves that are slightly too small, because it can be uncomfortable and restricting for your fingers and hands. It would be dangerous to risk cutting off the circulation to your hands, so be sure they aren’t too tight in the wrist.
Most gloves come in the sizes of small, medium, large, and extra-large. If you are unsure of your hand size, you can look at the measurements of your hands with the measurements of the gloves or you can go in-store to have a store representative assist you. It can be difficult to purchase gloves online because not all gloves follow the same sizing guidelines and are measured differently. If you are unsure, it’s best to seek help in-store.
Gloves that are meant to be used during the winter need to be made of durable and insulating materials. Generally, synthetic materials are better at retaining heat when wet. Synthetic materials can also repel water better than the natural material. Wool, which is natural, would get wet easily and take a long time to dry.
Some glove designs may have various materials in one design because they have multiple layers. Often, the outer layer will be made of a water-resistant, or better, waterproof material. The inner layer should be made of a soft liner that will keep your hands warm, but still, manage any moisture.
The higher quality the materials are, the longer they will last. You should look for gloves that are premium made with quality materials because they will deliver the best performance and be the longest lasting.
If you need insulation, a synthetic fill would serve you best. Insulation creates spaces for warm air to dwell, which helps keep your hands warmer for longer. Generally, polyester fiber and polyester material make for very warm gloves.
However, keep in mind that natural fibers can be lighter in weight than synthetic ones. If you don’t need the insulation, wool or fleece gloves could serve you well.
The gloves that will have the best insulation will feature multiple layers. The more layers mentioned in the reviews, the higher the insulation will be. You should look into gloves that have a weatherproof outer layer and a soft inner layer. Some gloves may not have removable layers, but feature an insulating fill between the two.
If you aren’t going for very long or to extremely cold locations, a double layer glove should do well in protecting your hands. If you will be in harsher climates or in the cold for longer, you should look into the most insulation for the best protection.
It is always a good idea to invest in waterproofing. While trekking gloves will never be 100% waterproof, a pair that has some water resistance will be better in wet winter conditions. Many gloves have different levels of waterproofing, but even a little can go a long way. You may need to know water-resistant vs. waterproof and what’s the difference to make the best decision.
Be aware that some gloves are only liners, as mentioned in our reviews. Lining gloves often do not have any waterproofing in their design but are meant to be paired with a waterproof outer shell. Lining gloves can be great on their own if it is warmer or you won’t be outside for very long, but they should be able to be easily paired with a waterproof outer shell.
Other gloves will feature one layer and be fully waterproof. Gloves that are fully waterproof will most likely be made of strong synthetic material. One common material that is 100% waterproof, but still offer insulation is Neoprene.
Even in winter you can work up a sweat hiking but removing too many layers in a cold climate is dangerous. Your backpacking gloves should have some wicking capability to help manage the sweat and interior moisture. The gloves should also be breathable so that heat doesn’t build-up to the point of discomfort. You’ll want a little air circulation to reach your hands.
Often, synthetic materials will be less breathable than natural materials. If you invest in a pair of gloves that have two layers, it may be best because the lining will most likely be a part of lightweight fleece gloves or wool. When paired with a waterproof outer shell, the lightweight waterproof gloves lining can still be breathable enough to keep your hands comfortable and sweat-free.
Gone are the days of just gloves. Many glove designs today offer special features to entice hikers to make a purchase. Features that are common are a single-pull adjustable system, removable layers, nose wipes, and carabiner loops.
For the hikers who always go hand in hand with their phones, many gloves feature touchscreen comparability to ensure you always stay connected. Glove liners especially, tend to be specifically designed with smartphones in mind. Gloves will have silicone or leather pads that are compatible with touchscreen devices. Others even have silicone palms to ensure your device does not slip from your grasp.
You should try out the features if you can before you buy. There are many different features in hiking glove designs and one feature can sound great but be disappointing in real life. It would be silly to invest in something you don’t actually need, so try before you buy and read the reviews in detail.
Related Review: Climbing Gloves
Your pair of gloves should last you years beyond just one season of use. Durable trekking gloves are important to have because they’ll keep your hands warm on the trail, year after year.
Durable materials and construction will ensure that your gloves do their job to protect your hands. Gloves for winter should not have any issues with the seams allowing water to leak through or the material tearing.
The best you can do is check the materials used and look at the craftsmanship. Trekking gloves that are made of high-quality materials and that have well-stitched seams will last you for longer. Durable gloves will deliver a performance that helps keep your hands happy.
The shell, which is the outer layer of your gloves, should be waterproof and breathable. The shell will be taking the brunt of the weather, so it needs to be durable to deliver strong protection.
Your shell should be waterproof and if possible, wind-resistant. The shell, with a lining, offers top-notch protection to your hands and fingers. With a shell, you can feel confident that your hands are in good care.
Some gloves have a removable shell that can be placed around a lining glove. Strong materials that make a great shell are Pertex and Gore-Tex. Be sure to choose a pair of gloves that fit your requirements and match the weather at your destination.
The lining of your gloves should help wick away any moisture content and ensure that there isn’t too much heat loss. A good lining will keep your hands warm and protected, so choose wisely.
The lining should also be waterproof. As the lining manages the heat from your hands, you want it to keep any water from the outside, out. If the shell of your gloves gets wet, the lining should still keep your hands warm and dry.
Having gloves with a lining is also great because you can use the lining separately from the shell. If you happen to be hiking on a warmer day and don’t need the shell, you won’t have to invest in another pair of gloves because your glove lining should get the job done. Gloves that have a shell and lining are more of a two in one that you can use in a variety of situations.
Layering is what keeps your hands warm. Gloves that have a lining, insulation, and a shell are normally the best at protecting your hands. As well, you can use gloves with layering more frequently. On warmer days, you may only choose to wear the lining. For treks through freezing temperatures, all the layers worn together can keep you hiking for longer. There are many glove designs with a single layer, double layer, or rarely a triple layer. It’s best to have at least a double layer for protection, but most hikers wouldn’t need a triple-layer unless they go to extreme locations.
Dexterity in gloves means that you should be able to move each finger individually. You need to be able to use your hands as hands. This means keeping the ability to grab and grasp things.
Gloves that have a stretch in the material will do best in delivering a good dexterity. The stretch will allow your hands more movement and freedom.
Gloves that have good mobility should say that they have a multidirectional stretch in the fabric of their design. The most common is a 3-way and 4-way stretch, which allows the materials to move with your fingers, rather than keeping them rigid and stiff in one position.
Like dexterity, your fingers and hands need to have their full mobility. Mobility ensures that your hands are secure in their grip and aren’t rendered useless by a pair of gloves. It can be frustrating when you have to fumble when using your hands, but the waterproof hiking gloves will allow for full mobility.
There are many different styles of gloves for hiking. Common and classic styles include a 5 finger design and mittens.
5 finger gloves are better for mobility and dexterity, but mittens will keep your hands warmer. There’s even a 3 finger design that makes a hybrid between the 5 fingers and mitten design.
You should choose a style you feel comfortable using and suits your needs.
Q: How to wash and care for hiking gloves?
The best way to wash and care for hiking gloves is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Not all gloves are made of the same material and not all materials can withstand the same washing process. You may find a pair that says they can be washed in a washing machine and others would be best hand-washed.
In general, trekking gloves should be able to withstand a warm water wash with a mild soap. You should ensure that you always allow the layers of your gloves to fully dry before they are used or stored away.
Q: Why use hiking gloves?
Like the rest of your gear, hiking gloves are an important protection for your hands. If you are out in the winter taking a walk or going for a hike, cold hands can actually be dangerous. Your hands are important and getting frostbite puts your health at risk. Not to mention, cold hands are uncomfortable. An easy way to prevent any damage and protect yourself is to invest in a pair of gloves for hiking.
A pair of the top rated winter hiking gloves will keep your hands warm, even in the wet conditions. If you get waterproof hiking gloves, you can protect yourself even better from the snow. Gloves for winter hiking give your hands the protection and comfort they need on a rugged trail.
Globo Surf Overview
When it comes to choosing a pair of hiking gloves, the task can seem daunting. There are many designs and features to choose from, mentioned in the hiking gear purchase reviews. This guide helps breakdown the stress to pair you with the best hiking gloves the market has to offer.
Whether you go for a stroll or climb a mountain, hiking gloves should keep your hands warm in the cold. The top-rated ones will stay by your side for years to come.