Skiing is pure fun. Whether you like alpine or cross-country skiing, or even if you prefer snowboarding you have to face one unpleasant thing. Cold. A freezing body can destroy your day on skis. Your hands and face are usually at the front line against the weather. Let us look at all the important features you have to consider when looking for ski gloves that should save your hands and fingers from freezing.
Just remember there are different requirements for ski gloves for every type of skiing. We will discuss later the best ski gloves for alpine skiing, snowboard skiing, and cross-country skiing.
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Two most important features
Warmth is what you are looking for when wearing ski gloves. In past, you just checked how rough the gloves are. Now, you have to check what kind of insulation material (e.g. Thinsulate) they have and what is its weight. More weight you see, better insulation ski gloves provide. The warmest designs provide a combination of synthetic insulation material and wool in the lining. If you want to have your hands really warm, then choose ski mittens which keep warm by pressing the fingers together.
Waterproofness & Breathability
It is important to have your hands not just warm but also dry. Therefore waterproofness and breathability are of similar importance to insulation. Your ski gloves have to let the sweat out from your fingers and at the same time prevent the snow or water from outside to go inside to your gloves. A good ski glove needs to have a synthetic membrane that is waterproof and lets the sweat go out from inside. The most known are Gore-Tex, however, there are a lot of different names on the market like BDry, DryRide, TPU having the same quality as Gore-Tex.
MCTi Mens Ski Gloves
Hestra C-Zone Unisex
Alpine Skiing & SnowboardInsulation: 3M ThinsulateWaterproof/Membrane: TPUZippered Pocket, Nose Wipe fabric#1 AMAZON BESTSELLER
Alpine SkiingInsulation: FiberfillWaterproof/Membrane: Czone TechnologySnow lock cuff adjustments
Other important features
Ski gloves are made from leather or from synthetic material or a combination of both. Both materials have their strengths and weaknesses, so the combination seems like a good choice to build on the strengths of both. Leather usually does not withstand heavy wetness, but it is usually more flexible and provides a much more natural feel. On another hand, synthetic provides the highest level of waterproofing and breathability. However, it is less flexible. Therefore the combination of both provides the strengths of both and suppresses their material weaknesses.
Nobody wants to have decreased dexterity when skiing. Therefore you have to find a good match between insulation and dexterity. Sometimes the ability to quickly and easily move is more important than absolute warmth.
This is pretty good when you are skiing often in different conditions. You will have a choice of how warm your ski gloves will be. You can use just the synthetic shell in mild conditions or you will use also the inside liners when it is freezing. Also, the drying of gloves will be much easier and quicker with removable liners.
Durability or Wear Resistance
Nobody wants to change ski gloves every season. When you find the right ones, you would like to keep them forever. Therefore you should look for ski gloves which have the most stressed parts like palms) from leather.
Fazitrip Waterproof Windproof Winter Gloves
Waterfly Fashion Women's
OutdoorMaster Unisex Ski Gloves
Nice to have features
Can you imagine going skiing and to make no photos? No post on Instagram or Facebook? Seriously? To have ski gloves with thin fabric on your thumbs and pointer fingers make any interaction with your smartphone very easy. It is not a feature your life depends on, but it is nice to have.
It is good to have a clinch to tighten the opening of the glove. You will close the last possible way for snow to enter your glove.
There is two basic cuff length. Either you will have your jacket arm over the glove cuff or under it. I prefer the first option, which gives me more flexibility. However, I can imagine that when you are snowboarding in deep snow, the second option is better.
Ski Gloves or Mittens?
As I already wrote ski mittens are the best alternative for keeping your fingers warm. However, when you ski you need some flexibility. Not just in holding the pole but also when you need to move your goggles or make changes on your ski boots. Therefore I would not recommend using mittens when skiing.
Check all available ski gloves at reasonable prices on Amazon here.
Alpine and Snowboard Ski Gloves versus Cross Country Ski Gloves
There is a difference in intensity of hand moves in different ski styles and of course, there is a difference in ski gloves for Alpine Skiing, Snowboard, and Cross Country Ski.
Alpine Skiing and Snowboard Gloves need to have better insulation as you do not move with your hand so often. You also do not sweat so much, so breathability is not as important.
Cross Country Ski Gloves need to be much more breathable to release your sweat from inside. You also keep your hand warm by moving them at a regular pace, so insulation is not so important.
MenAlpine SkiingInsulation: 3M ThinsulateZippered PocketTouch Screen thumb and fingertips
WomenAlpine SkiingInsulation: 3M ThinsulateWaterproof/Membrane: TPUEnhanced Grip
Women/MenSnowboardInsulation: ThermaCoreWaterproof/Membrane: Gore-TexHand warmer pocket
Women/MenCross CountryWaterproof/Membrane: Polartec Power Stretch fabric3 dimensional wicking for dry hands
Keep also your feet and rest of your body warm and check our best ski boot warmers guide and our guide to best ski jackets.
Is your kid more into snowboarding? How to choose the right length? Check our guide to the best kids snowboards.