The most important part of skiing is one’s gear. Whether it is your gloves, skis, jacket or pants, they need to be a high-quality piece. Like most sports, good equipment is what will keep you safe, no matter the activity. For some reason, a good pair of gloves do not receive as much attention as they should. By keeping your fingers warm, you can prevent your hands from getting frozen with a pair of good ski gloves.
While it often seems like a glove is just a glove, there are actually a lot of things that need to be considered when deciding what you’re going to wrap your hands with. Skiing gloves are important because they will provide you the warmth necessary for the slopes. A good pair of ski gloves will not only make you feel comfortable, but it will also improve your grip and dexterity. Read out our buying guide to find the best ski gloves for you:
How To Choose Ski Gloves – Buying Guide
Good ski gloves are an essential part of your gear. In fact, they’re so crucial that they can either make or break your ski trip. The previously mentioned gloves are not just ordinary gloves. They’re all specifically designed to retain heat, increase comfort and prevent frostbite.
Nevertheless, choosing the right ski gloves is not at all easy. There are so many choices available and plenty of factors that you should consider. If you’re looking for your first pair of ski gloves, our buying guide will simplify a lot of stuff for you. So, just read everything and detail and you will choose the right gloves guaranteed.
Gloves vs. Mittens
Most people have a dilemma between choosing gloves or mittens. This depends on a lot of factors, mostly on the activity you’re engaging in.
Gloves provide more dexterity, making them appropriate for activities where you handle your gear frequently, such as opening and closing zippers or adjusting buckles. They provide more convenience and practicality than their counterparts.
Mittens provide more warmth than gloves since they keep all of your fingers together. Of course, they don’t provide nearly the same level of convenience and dexterity as gloves. Despite that, many people choose mittens over gloves, but it all comes down to personal preference in the end.
Lobster gloves are a crossover between the glove and the mitten. They are 3-finger hybrid that pairs the ring and pinky together, and the index and middle finger together in another slot. They are a good compromise of dexterity and warmth.
3 in 1 gloves have the best of both worlds for most users. This type of ski glove features a mitten on the outside with a removable glove. They allow you to enjoy great dexterity and warmth. Take note that they should be lightweight and breathable, since wearing 2 layered gloves can make your hands sweaty and constricted.
In the end, it all comes down to personal preference. All of the previously mentioned gloves provide different levels of warmth. The level of warmth you need is dependent on you. If you’re the time to get cold hands easy, get some warmer gloves. If you are skiing in warm conditions, you need something that’s not too warm.
Most of the medium-priced or above gloves will do a good job at keeping your hands warm, especially the ones in the list above. If you want to have the ultimate comfort and warmth, you need to look for gloves with good quality insulation, as well as gloves with a removable fleece liner. The amount of warmth a glove provides depends on a couple of factors.
The main factors when considering a gloves’ level of warmth should be the material of the shell, the level and quality of insulation, the provided breathability, and levels of water resistance.
If you don’t live or ski in an extremely cold climate, you have a lot of options for warmth and budget. Realistically, you can’t be 100% sure of the warmth until you try the gloves on the slopes. It is often recommended to buy an extra pair of glove lines to ensure maximum warmth.
Also, the level of warmth depends on the rest of your gear as well. You need a proper ski jacket as well as a tight cuff to ensure that body heat isn’t escaping through there. The gloves are useless if your torso is freezing.
Insulation is a factor of critical importance. It’s what keeps the warmth in and the cold out. You should consider the insulating fabric depending on the climate you plan to ski in. If you’re planning to ski in a moderately warm climate, highly insulated gloves are unnecessary. Insulation also should be breathable and able to wick moisture away with ease. There are two basic types of insulation – down and synthetic insulation.
Down insulation is slightly more expensive but it has huge benefits. It’s a great insulator, while also being light and breathable. The insulation is long lasting and easy to compress. However, down insulations often lack quality waterproofing. That being said, down insulation is an excellent choice when planning to ski or snowboard in cold and dry climates.
Synthetic insulation is a lot less expensive than down. It’s an excellent choice if you’re planning to ski in a damp climate because they insulate even when wet. They also dry a lot faster than down insulated gloves. Keep in mind that synthetic insulation is bulkier and does not provide the same level of warmth as down. Also, it loses insulating power when compressed.
Choose the type of insulation depending on your conditions. If you’re skiing in cold & dry temperatures, go for down insulation. If you’re skiing in moist conditions, go for synthetic.
No matter how thick they are, your gloves will not keep you warm if they are wet & soaked. They need to be waterproof, not just water resistant, so your hands will stay dry and warm even in the wettest conditions. You will feel miserable if your hands are wet.
Most manufacturers make gloves waterproof by using a thin membrane between the liner and the shell. The most common one is Gore-Tex. Also, some manufacturers avoid using synthetic materials for waterproofing, so they use leather, since it’s naturally more resistant to moisture than synthetic materials. If you end up with poor waterproofing, you might as well have gone without any gloves at all.
Effective waterproofing materials protect your hands from the elements, including the snow, wind, and rain. Waterproofing and insulation should work together – having brilliant insulation is useless if the material is susceptible to water. Also, waterproofing allows sweat from your hands to escape. In conclusion, look for quality waterproofed gloves, you will be glad you did.
Breathability in ski gloves determines the gloves’ versatility in regards to temperature and general weather conditions. There needs to be a fine balance between breathable and waterproof material. It is nearly impossible to find a glove with perfect waterproofness and breathability.
A proper breathable barrier prevents moisture from seeping into the glove from either snow or rain. Even if some moisture is inside of the glove, maybe sweat, a breathable glove will allow it to escape and evaporate in the air freely.
With a highly breathable glove, your hands will be dry and comfortable all day long. Even if they sweat profusely, the temperature will balance out and you will feel just as comfortable as when you started skiing on the slopes.
The lining is an extra layer of material used by manufacturers to provide both comfort and warmth. The lining can be built into the gloves or separately. A separate glove liner allows you to remove them on warmer days, and add them on colder days to get additional warmth. The ski glove lining can be made out of fleece or wool. It can be a polyester or synthetic material, probably one that has water-resisting properties to keep your hands dry at all times.
It is recommended to get a ski glove with a double layer, meaning that the lining will be removable. These liners tend to give greater warm than classic ski gloves. It means that you can easily to all sorts of different conditions, such as chilly days or spring skiing, when you can wear just the liner. Separate layers mean that your gloves will also dry faster. The only downside is that they may add more bulk than an all-in-one ski glove.
A factor that’s often times unnoticed, but it is of crucial importance just as the other ones, is the gloves’ size. If the glove is too big, the air inside of the glove will require to expend more body energy to heat your extremities. If it’s too small, your wrists may be exposed to the cold. In addition to all of this, a too small/big glove can negatively affect performance. Too big and you might have a problem gripping your poles. Too small and your fingers might be difficult to move
Just as size, fit is of crucial importance as well. To find the proper fit, you must try out some gloves. When wearing them, you should be able to make a fit without feeling that the gloves are too tight or restrictive. There should be about half a centimeter, or ¼ inch of fabric at the end of the outstretched fingers. Your palms should be completely inside the cuff with your wrists covered as well.
Most manufacturers follow a universal sizing chart. For those who do not, make sure to try them out on your own. If you’re scared of buying online, buying gloves is just as easy as buying shoes. Depending on your level of experience, it can be incredibly easy or a very confusing process.
To get the right fit you should measure your hand precisely and purchase the fit that’s suited for you. Make sure to look at user reviews as well, since there have been instances when users have had incredibly irritated wrists when wearing their gloves.
The gloves’ material is highly important, because the quality of the material can either make or break a ski glove. The material should be top-tier, durable and comfortable. It is often difficult to find a compromise between all of that and price, but we’ll go over materials just to simplify things for you more.
Most ski gloves are made out of leather and synthetic materials. With varying amounts of them both, the uses of these materials affect the gloves’ factors, including durability, dexterity, general use, convenience, and of course – price.
Synthetic gloves have a sturdier and more durable outer shell that makes them waterproof as well as insulated. These gloves fight off difficult weather conditions, such as cold air and moisture incredibly well, although the cheaper synthetic options don’t always hold up against moisture perfectly well. There are synthetic gloves on the market that have leather components that improve grip and dexterity, giving you the best of both worlds
Leather gloves are extremely comfortable and give maximum dexterity to their users. That being said, they are also more durable than synthetic gloves and often times cheaper. They fall across the spectrum from the high end all the way down to budget. The number one downside of leather gloves is the lack of moisture protection. Leather gloves will protect you from light moisture, but if you expose them to significant water over an extended period of time they will be soaked.
To get the best of both worlds find a pair of gloves that are perfectly balanced with synthetic and leather materials. That way you will get yourself a pair that’s sturdy and durable, yet at the same time extremely comfortable and convenient.
Cuffs are some of the key features that every potential skier should look out for. Your ski gloves should have adjustable cuffs that will enable you to secure the gloves on your hands. This way, nature’s elements, such as snow, will be prevented from entering the gloves through the cuff. As long as they’re easy to adjust, it doesn’t make a big difference whether the cuffs are short or long.
If you are not sure if you should buy short or long cuffs, it’s a matter of personal preference. Short cuffs are better for wearing under your sleeve. They are functional irrespective of weather. Long cuffs (gauntlet style) offer ease of putting them on or removing them. Long cuffs are excellent when the snow is deep and the weather is foul.
For increased mobility, you should get yourself a shorter cuff. Since shorter cuffs end at the base of your wrist you can easily tuck them inside to prevent any snow from entering the gloves. Long cuffs, however, extend your jacket’s sleeve and provide a lot more protection against snow creeping into your glove.
Take note that you will need to consider the cuffs of your jacket before considering the cuffs of your gloves. A short cuff will require your jacket to also have adjustable cuffs.
Textured Palm and Fingerprints
If you are prepared to pay a little extra, definitely look out for ski gloves that feature textured palms and fingertips. Having gloves with reinforced palms has a lot of benefits, since these are the areas of the gloves that you will use the most. Not only does this add a lot of durability, but it also enables you to have a firmer and better grip on your poles. It adds convenience even for the slightest things, such as holding on to ski lifts.
Leather and vinyl are the most often used materials for creating texture and improving grip. They are an excellent choice for materials due to their durability. Also, there are many gloves on the market that feature removable liners with other materials in the grip palm, such as silicone.
Wrist Cinches or straps ensure that the gloves or mittens are secure on your hands. Most often they are adjustable straps that come with Velcro closure or a simple zipper.
These clinches or straps are a common feature among resort models, and they are an excellent way to keep you and your gloves together in case you take a serious fall. Their design is incredibly simple – you slide your wrists through the cuffs, and connect the straps to the gloves. The main advantage is that if you take a tumble you have the added security.
The feature is not at all necessary, and if you like to avoid the bulk, you can choose gloves without them. However, most skiers find the tradeoff worth for the added peace of mind on the slopes. If you plan on doing a little bit of ice climbing or mountaineering, then definitely consider straps.
In addition to the added security, wrist straps often ensure a snug fit that makes the glove fit perfectly. They even provide weather protection by not allowing warmth to exit the glove.
This is a feature that you can find on the outer surface of the thumb. Often made out of a soft, absorbent material such as Ultrasuede, the nose wipe is specifically made for wiping your nose when it starts to drip. Another form of wiping is the “goggle wipe” where rubberized plastic inserts wipe off any snow or anything on the lens of your goggles that could potentially obstruct your view.
The nose wipe often wears down as time passes but it can come incredibly handy when your nose is runny, or maybe during an emergency. It can stop any nose irritations.
With your gloves on, it’s not at all easy to grab a tissue. If you try wiping your nose with the tough shell fabric of most gloves, your nose will probably get irritated. Nose wipes are a nice touch nevertheless.
Gloves with nose wipes are slightly more expensive than the ones without it, but are definitely worth it. The patch of fabric on the thumb will come in incredibly handy in dire times, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Wrist cords are also called “idiot straps”. When you’re out on the slopes, having the time of your life on the slopes with your skis, it’s definitely not a good idea to lose your gloves. These cords secure the gloves or mittens you’re wearing to your wrist just in case you drop one accidentally.
They are almost always removable just in case you don’t want to feel the added bulk. When the wind picks up, they can be tightened since they are easily adjustable.
Pockets / Vents
Some of the gloves on the list above have pockets either on top of the hand or on the inside. They can be very handy and convenient, allowing to have storage space for your lift pass, bring spare change, or just a hand warmer if you need more warmth. You can bring your personal belongings, such as your smartphone, with you.
Some gloves offer zip-up pockets that are designed to hold disposable hand warmers that you can bring with you if your hands feel cold.
On the other side of the spectrum, pockets can also function as a vent, allowing air to circulate inside the gloves during the warmer days. All in all, having gloves with a pocket is definitely not a bad choice and you will not regret buying ones that do have pockets.
Articulated or Pre-curved Fingers
Articulated (or pre-curved) fingers are a type of ergonomic design that is specifically designed to improve performance. They are gloves that have been specifically shaped and designed to look like a hand in its natural, un-flexed and relaxed position. Due to this specific design, the fit and dexterity of the gloves are greatly improved. Not only that, but the articulated design improves the blood flow to the hands which can greatly increase the warmth of your hands.
The fingers on these gloves are designed with a slight curve. This is especially useful for skiers who have to grip poles all day. Overall, it’s a highly recommended feature that you should definitely consider.
Some of the modern high-tech gloves are also touchscreen compatible. If you want to take photos on your ski trip, these gloves will allow you to use your phone without having to take your gloves off.
Without touchscreen capability, you have two choices. Either you will have to go offline all day on the slopes, or you will have to take off your gloves just to use your phone – which is not something you want to do, especially on extremely cold days.
With more modern ski gloves you can link your phone’s controls with buttons on the gloves. If you expose your phone to the elements, your battery might get damaged. All electronics don’t do well in extreme temperatures.
In conclusion, if you want to use your phone on the slopes, definitely opt for touchscreen compatible gloves.
Q: Are Gloves Or Mittens Better For Skiing?
A: The answer to this question is not at all easy or simple. Several questions need to be narrowed down before getting your choice.
Firstly, how easily do your hands get cold?
If your hands get cold easily you’ll either need to go with thicker gloves or even better – mittens. The most important variable in whether your hands stay warm is whether they stay dry. Gloves should be moisture free both outside and inside. Most cold hands come from clammy hands – inside moisture. Dry mittens will keep your hands warm with less insulation. Mittens with thick insulation might just make your hands colder because they sweat your hands a lot.
Secondly, it depends on the conditions you will be using your gloves/mittens in.
If you are choosing to wear a glove or mitten based on current weather, then mittens should be the choice for very cold weather, and gloves will be the choice for warmer conditions. If you’re trying to decide between choosing just one pair of gloves or mittens, then mittens might just be the better option, since they tend to have a wider temperature versatility on the cold end of the spectrum. Gloves have a wider temperature versatility on the warmer end, but it’s better to have hands that are too warm, than hands that are too cold.
Thirdly, what activity will you be doing?
If you’re doing activities that require a high level of dexterity and grip, then gloves are probably your best option. If dexterity is not that important, then mittens offer more temperature versatility.
Q: Are Leather Gloves Better Than Other Ski Gloves?
A: When choosing ski gloves, leather is the toughest and most cost-effective material for the palms. Of course, not all leather palms are created equal. The gloves’ durability, warmth, and comfort depend on the type of leather. Generally speaking, most skiers choose between deerskin – popular for dexterity, goatskin – a balance between toughness and dexterity, pigskin – fairly tough, but thin and rigid.
Also, while looking for leather ski gloves, make sure to look out for the gloves’ thickness. Too thick and it will not be dexterous, too thin and it will not be durable. The key is finding fairly thick leather that is very soft. Also, look for leather gloves that have reinforced patches. This protects the glove where it takes the most damage, such as the inside seams, the thumb, the index finger and the center of the palm.
Just remember that leather is a highly durable material that can withstand wear, tear and weather, a pair of leather gloves or mittens will almost always last longer than a pair of gloves or mittens made out of synthetic materials. So remember that you will not regret choosing a pair of leather ski gloves.
Q: What Are Liner Gloves And Should I Use Them?
A: Speaking generally, glove liners are a thin glove that you wear underneath another pair of ski gloves. Typically they are made out of cotton, and are helpful to add an extra layer of protection while wearing other gloves. While many people wear them in the winter months for a layer of extra insulation, they can also be worn throughout the year to help with the absorbance of moisture.
One of the main benefits of liner gloves is that they protect your hands against irritation from the inside of your glove. When using disposable gloves, many people use cotton liners underneath to help minimize skin irritation. Some glove liners are also thermal – for extra warmth, while others are constructed with cut resistant materials for some jobs that require cut and puncture resistance.
You will be able to find a pair of gloves that are made with or without removable liners above all price ranges. So, price is not really a factor that you should consider when buying liner gloves. In general, gloves with removable liners will be slightly warmer than others, but are a little bulkier and less dexterous.
The most compelling reason to choose a glove with a liner is that it’s more adaptable to different temperatures. You can wear the shell on a warm spring day, and use both for the rest of the season. Another benefit is that it’s easier to dry out the gloves if they happen to get wet by separating the two pieces. As a bonus, if you get a glove with thin liners you can use them for activities like cold weather, running or even driving.
Q: What Is A Hand Warmer Pocket?
A: Hand warmers are small pockets that are held in the hand to produce heat during cold days on the slopes. They often last a couple of hours depending on the type and the source of the heat.
Hand warmers are a simple and easy way to keep your hands and fingers nice and toasty. They are comfortable enough to not inhibit your outdoor exploration. They come in two varieties – disposable and reusable.
Reusable hand warmers produce less waste, and over time, they are a lot more cost effective than disposable options. Many electronic hand warmer models are also multifunctional – they can act as a flashlight in an emergency. The downside to reusable hand warmers is that they are bulkier and much larger than the disposable ones.
Disposable hand warmers create more waste. Depending on the length of your hike, you may need multiple pairs. If you use hand warmers regularly when it’s cold out, disposable varieties are less cost-effective and effectual than reusable options. However, most disposable devices are a lot more flexible and can comfortably tuck into your gloves. If you’re in a need of constant warmth against your hands as you hike, then a disposable hand warmer may be the best for you.
A hand warmer pocket is exactly what it sounds like – a pocket used for your hand warmer. Most often these hand warmer pockets come with a zipper that you can choose to open or close at any time during your ride. The pockets are highly convenient and dexterous. Some skiers even use them as air vents, just to improve the air circulation and reduce sweating.
Globo Surf Overview
The market is saturated with tons of different options to choose from when searching for the best gloves for skiing. Whether they are gloves or mittens, your pair of choice has to be warm, waterproof, and all but disappear on our hands while doing complex stuff.
Just as we said in the beginning, having warm, weatherproof, touchscreen gloves ensures that you will have nothing to worry about cold hands when you’re trying to enjoy your ski or snowboard trip. We hope that this buying guide will help you find your next pair of gloves, and helped you learn all of the pros and cons that a winter glove might have.
All in all, ski gloves can get incredibly technical. As you’ve seen, there’s actually a lot to be considered when it comes to deciding what you’re going to wrap your hands in to protect them from the elements on the hill.
Nothing can kill your day on the slopes like cold fingers can, so make sure to choose a quality glove that fits the type of skiing you do the most. Look for all of the factors we spoke about above, including insulation, warmth, breathability, etc.
High-quality ski gloves will provide a lot of dexterity, warmth, and comfort. Knowing what qualities to look for when searching the best ski gloves for you will save you a lot of effort, time and money.
Globo Surf Ski Gloves Reviews