Kay Rodriguez - Chief Adventurer
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Kay Rodriguez

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Kay Rodriguez is the Chicago-based travel writer and photographer behind Jetfarer and Skyline Adventurer. When she's not blogging furiously on her laptop or editing photos, you can find Kay running, hiking, or paddling in a new city.

Let’s face it – one of the most important purchases every skier or snowboarder has to make is a perfect jacket for the slopes. After all, this item of clothing is one of the most critical pieces of clothing protecting you from the snow, the cold, and the elements. Of course, you’ll need to pair it with a good set of base layers, gloves or mittens, and boots, but it’s absolutely critical to have one of the best women’s ski jackets for your adventures on the slopes to keep yourself safe and warm. Determining which products are the best women’s ski jackets can feel overwhelming because of the sheer number of options, but don’t worry: we’re here to help.

The perfect ski jacket will feel like an old companion – warm, protective, and comfortable – and will likely cost a bit more than you may be used to paying for an item of clothing. Despite being a big investment, the best women’s ski jackets will last several years, as many seasoned skiers and snowboarders still have some of their decades-old gear on hand when they hit the slopes each year.

This guide is meant to help you narrow down the vast number of ski and snowboard jackets out there to a handful of really fantastic option. To do this, we sifted through dozens of products and reviews, tested out several models ourselves, and settled on a handful of women’s ski jackets that will provide the warmth and comfort you need on the slopes at any price point.

Click here to jump down to our full reviews of the women’s ski jackets

What to Look for In A Women’s Ski or Snowboard Jacket

Weatherproofing

Weatherproofing, along with warmth (see below), is one of the most important features to look for in a ski jacket. A weatherproof jacket will protect your body from all of the usual suspects on the slopes – wind, snow, cold air, and moisture. The materials used in the jacket’s outer shell, as well as the jacket’s construction and weatherproofing features, are what will keep you warm and toasty inside.

Material is key when it comes to weatherproofing. The outer shell of any ski jacket should be waterproof and windproof, using a synthetic or waxed material to keep cold air out and warm air in. Some of the most popular outer shell materials include:

  • Gore-Tex
  • Polyurethane
  • Nylon

The ski jacket’s construction is also a huge contributor to its weatherproofing capabilities. Many jackets come with cinches for your wrists and waist that are designed to keep cold air out by adjusting the fit of the jacket to your own body. Additionally, a powder skirt is something you may want to look for in a jacket, which is an additional piece of fabric in the waist area that is designed to keep snow out if you’re sitting on the ground (as snowboarders often do) or if you fall in the snow. Lastly, a spacious hood that fits over your helmet and has a cinch or tightening mechanism is an important feature to look for when you’re sifting through the best women’s ski jackets.

Warmth

Another one of the most important (if not the most important) features in the best women’s ski jackets is warmth. Wind and frigid air are par for the course when it comes to skiing and snowboarding, and it’s critical to have a jacket that will keep your arms and torso warm and comfortable in sub-freezing temperatures. Some of the most common insulation types you’ll see include:

  • Primaloft (& variations)
  • Thinsulate
  • Wool or Merino wool
  • Fleece

Depending on where you live and ski/ride, different jackets may make sense. For example, the alpine temperatures of the Rockies differ from the extreme lows of the Midwest and the Northeast, which will differ from the warmer temperatures of California and Mid-Atlantic resorts. Additionally, if you’ll be resort skiing, you may need a different level of warmth and insulation than backcountry skiing, which provides less access to the indoors for warmth.

Note that some ski jackets are non-insulated – these are for skiing in warmer temperatures or for using on top of separate mid-layers and base layers. If you prefer to layer rather than having one thick, bulkier jacket, a non-insulated ski jacket may be a good choice for you.

Best women's ski jackets: woman skiing in red jacket with chairlift in the background

Breathability

While it may seem counter-intuitive, breathability is an essential feature of a good ski jacket. Why? Because non-breathable jackets will hold in sweat and moisture, and will make you feel like you’re swimming in a swamp the whole time you’re wearing them. (If you’ve ever spent hours sweating in a cotton t-shirt in 80+ degree weather, you’ll know what this feels like.)

Materials and construction also play a huge role in the breathability of a jacket. Breathable fabrics like Merino wool and certain synthetics wick sweat and provide air to flow freely through. Adjustable cinches and zippers provide fresh air in places that need it throughout the day. In our review of each jacket, we’ve tried to gauge breathability from the specific features built for moisture wicking and distribution of air.

Comfort, Fit, & Style

Although it’s highly individualized, the comfort, fit, and style of a ski jacket should absolutely factor into your decision. You’ll want one that fits your specific body well without being too tight or too baggy. If you’re planning on wearing lots of layers underneath your jacket, you’ll want to factor that into your buying decision by looking for a jacket that provides space inside to wear whatever you’d like. Here are some of the comfort elements people look for:

  • Internal lining material softness
  • Fit of the jacket on your body
  • Number of pockets and storage areas
  • Style and color

While it might seem silly, color and style should be a part of your purchasing decision, too. Some people prefer muted tones and dark colors, while others enjoy wearing bright colors or patterns. If you’re going to spend hundreds of dollars on a ski jacket, you’ll definitely want to make sure it matches the aesthetic you’re looking for! Just make sure that you’ve considered the other functional aspects – weatherproofing, warmth, and breathability – first.

Price

While we aim to keep price out of the equation when we’re evaluating each of the individual women’s ski jackets, it’s absolutely an important factor to consider when you’re choosing a jacket for yourself.

There’s no sugar coating it: ski jackets are expensive. Typically, you’ll find that high-quality ski jackets range from $150 to over $700, with premium materials and features stacked in the higher end of that range. However, just because a jacket costs less does not mean that it is less warm!

For the purposes of this review, we’ve grouped these ski jackets into four price tiers:

  • $ = Under $200
  • $$ = $200 to 350
  • $$$ = $350 to $500
  • $$$$ = $500+

Best Women’s Ski Jackets for Every Budget

To narrow down our list of the best women’s ski jackets, we performed our research just like any customer would before making a buying decision to bring you the most practical, down-to-earth, and realistic information about each jacket. We know research can be time-consuming and overwhelming, so we sifted through hundreds of reviews and tested several products in-store, at home, and on the slopes to bring you this list of fantastic jackets.

Our main goal with this guide is to help you make an informed decision on the best women’s ski jackets for your own activities, budget, and style.

Helly Hansen Powchaser Lifaloft Jacket
Overall Best Women’s Ski Jacket

  • Price: $$
  • Materials: HELLY TECH® Performance fabric (nylon and polyurethane), LIFALOFT™ Insulation
  • Notable Features: Pit zippers, several external & internal pockets, removable powder skirt
  • Pros: Very warm and waterproof, great pocket and zipper functionality for convenience and breathability
  • Cons: Some reviewers say this jacket fits larger than normal for the size

Helly Hansen is one of the premier ski brands out there, and their jackets provide top-of-the-line warmth, weatherproofing, and breathability for resort and backcountry activities. They’ve made some of the best women’s ski jackets for years, and their Powchaser Lifaloft Jacket is no exception.

With a tough outer shell featuring high-quality synthetic HELLY TECH materials and Durable Water Repellency (DWR) treatment, it’s designed specifically to keep the elements out. Eighty grams of LIFALOFT Insulation keep you warm in this dual-layered jacket, and reviewers have nothing but glowing recommendations about how warm and lightweight the Powchaser Lifaloft Jacket is on the slopes.

We’ve chosen this as our best overall ski jacket for women because of its exceptional weatherproofing and warmth, with tons of great functional features like several pockets, a removable powder skirt, and pit zippers for breathability. We had trouble finding any cons about this jacket – it’s actually that good.

This jacket truly has the best of all of the ski jackets on our list, and it’s right in the middle of the pack in terms of price. If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, we have no reservations recommending the Helly Hansen Powchaser Lifaloft Jacket as your companion for skiing or snowboarding.

CHECK REVIEWS & PRICES FOR POWCHASER LIFALOFT JACKET:


Columbia Whirlibird IV Interchange Jacket
Best Women’s Ski Jacket on A Budget

  • Price: $
  • Materials: Omni-Tech™ waterproofing, Omni-Heat™ thermal material, Thermarator™ insulation
  • Notable Features: 3-in-1 construction, pit zippers, lots of internal & external pockets
  • Pros: Affordable, breathable, very functional with pockets and zippers, lots of colors
  • Cons: Less warm and weatherproof than higher-end options, inconsistent zipper quality

Columbia is well-known for making affordable, functional outerwear, and their Whirlibird IV Jacket is the best of the best when it comes to buying a ski jacket on a budget. It’s got all of the requirements of a great ski jacket: waterproofing, warm insulation, lots of pockets, and breathability elements like pit zippers. By far the most affordable option on our list, the Whirlibird IV is a 3-in-1 jacket that comes with an insulated liner, a durable outer shell, and connector zippers to create a great insulated ski jacket.

While this is an excellent jacket for resort sports, you won’t find the premium materials and construction that the higher-end jackets possess. This means it’s generally less waterproof/warm than some of the other options on our list, and it’s probably not great for backcountry activities. Some reviewers also complain of the zippers breaking or being difficult to put together, which can be a pain when you’re trying to maneuver around on the slopes.

However, if you’re mostly planning on skiing in warmer places or don’t feel you need the warmest jacket on the market, the Whirlibird IV is a fantastic option for the price.

CHECK REVIEWS & PRICES FOR THE WHIRLIBIRD IV JACKET:


Arc’teryx Sentinel AR Jacket
Best High-End Women’s Ski Jacket

  • Price: $$$$
  • Materials: GORE-TEX outer shell
  • Notable Features: Pit zippers, longer jacket length, “StormHood™,” powder skirt
  • Pros: Lightweight, breathable, very weatherproof and windproof, high-end GORE-TEX construction
  • Cons: Expensive, requires thermal mid-layer in colder temperatures

Arc’teryx makes some of the best and most high-end outerwear in existence, and their Sentinel AR Jacket is one of the best women’s ski jackets for avid skiers and riders. While it’s not as insulated as some others on our list, it’s great for layering or using in warmer temperatures, and is a very versatile and weatherproof option (possibly the best weatherproofing of all of the options on our list).

These jackets are made with advanced skiers and snowboarders in mind, and come with all of the bells and whistles that make being on the slopes smoother and easier. Pit zips, lots of pockets, and the adjustable, helmet-compatible StormHood™ add to the durable build and weatherproofing of this jacket. WaterTight™ zippers are water resistant and prevent pesky moisture and ice from entering when they’re zipped tight.

The biggest drawback of the Sentinel AR? It’s very expensive – one of the priciest on our list. For most resort skiers who only go a couple of times a year, this jacket may be overkill for the price, especially since you’ll need a midlayer to stay warm enough in it throughout the season.

CHECK REVIEWS & PRICES FOR THE SENTINEL AR JACKET:


Outdoor Research Hemispheres
Best Women’s Ski Jacket for Backcountry

  • Price: $$$ to $$$$
  • Materials: GORE-TEX
  • Notable Features: Stretch panels, TorsoFlo™ ventilation zippers along the sides
  • Pros: Very warm, solid weatherproofing, great flexibility and mobility, breathable for touring
  • Cons: Expensive

Outdoor Research is another well-known cold weather outerwear brand, and their Hemispheres Jacket (in addition to their gloves and mittens) is an excellent jacket for all-mountain and backcountry skiing and riding. It’s beloved among skiers and riders for its superior construction, excellent weatherproofing, and breathability, which is best-in-class.

Experts largely agree that this is one of the best women’s ski jackets out there, and it even won POWDER Magazine’s “Apparel of the Year” Award. Made of GORE-TEX with special stretch capabilities, this jacket provides the warmth, weatherproofing, and flexibility necessary for long days of touring or resort skiing. It was a very strong contender for our “Best Overall” jacket, but its higher price and hit-or-miss construction left it slightly behind the Helly Hansen Powchaser.

Despite being a fantastic jacket for all types of terrain, there are some nuances that make this product a little different from others on the market. First of all, there are no pit zippers – instead, there’s a large torso zipper that you can open or close as much as you want. Some people love this, some hate it. Reviewers also say this jacket runs a little small, especially if you want to use a puffer or thicker mid-layer underneath.

Despite these minor drawbacks, this is hands-down one of the best women’s ski jackets on the market, and we’d recommend it to anyone wanting a fantastic, weatherproof outer shell for the winter.

CHECK REVIEWS & PRICES FOR THE HEMISPHERES JACKET:


Patagonia Primo Puff
Warmest Insulated Ski Jacket for Women

  • Price: $$$$
  • Materials: GORE-TEX, Plumafill insulation
  • Notable Features: 65g of Plumaloft insulation for extra warmth, pit zippers
  • Pros: Extremely warm, slim and stylish fit
  • Cons: Very expensive, zipper construction can be challenging to open and close
Best women's ski jackets - black Patagonia Primo Puff jacket

Eco-friendly and conscious, Patagonia is a leader in the outdoor gear world for thermal layers and outerwear. Their products are highly functional and comfortable, and are well worth the often premium price tags. One of their warmest offerings is the Primo Puff jacket, which was designed with snowboarders and skiers in mind, and it is arguably the warmest jacket on the market.

With 65 grams of heavy-duty insulation and a GORE-TEX outer shell, you’ll get top-of-the-line materials and construction with this jacket. Sub-freezing temperatures and inclement weather are no match for the Primo Puff. The weatherproofing on this thing is incredible, protecting your body from wind and moisture. For those looking for an eco-friendly option, the GORE-TEX on this jacket is made of recycled polyester.

While the Primo Puff is an outstanding jacket, it is the most expensive option on our list, with a price tag that’s more than double that of some of the other fantastic, high-end options. Despite the fact that this is possibly the warmest ski jacket we’d recommend, there are others that are comparable in warmth and weatherproofing that are available for a much lower price. It’s also a bit less breathable than other offerings. If budget isn’t a concern and you want to invest in the absolute warmest ski jacket on our list, the Patagonia Primo Puff is second to none.

CHECK REVIEWS & PRICES FOR THE PRIMO PUFF JACKET:


Burton Women’s Prowess
Best Women’s Snowboarding Jacket

  • Price: $$
  • Materials: Dryride Durashell, Sherpa fleece collar
  • Notable Features: Sherpa fleece lined collar, pit zippers, powder skirt
  • Pros: Affordable, lightweight, longer torso great for snowboarding, lots of colors to choose from
  • Cons: Thinner construction, less warm, looser fit on torso than other jackets

Burton is one of the world’s leading snowboarding brands, making gear that’s great for spending a lot of time on (and in) the snow. Their Prowess Jacket is a fantastic option for snowboarders or skiers looking for a looser, longer fit in a comfy and warm shell. It’s waterproof, weatherproof, and functional, perfect for a day of riding or wearing around during aprés-ski activities.

One of the best things about this jacket is its length, making it great for sitting in the snow (or wiping out), like snowboarders often have to do. There are several giant pockets for storing electronics and necessities, and the powder skirt helps prevent pesky snowflakes from getting into the inside of the jacket. Additionally, it comes in a lot of fun colors (possibly the widest range of all of the jackets listed here), and it’s more reasonably priced than most of the other options here.

Despite being a fantastic jacket, it’s a little thinner and less insulated than most of the options on our list, so you’ll need to pair it with a fleece or down mid-layer in colder temperatures. It runs a little large, which some people like and others dislike. However, if you like to wear layers or ski in milder temperatures, the Prowess Jacket is an excellent companion that we’d recommend wholeheartedly.

CHECK REVIEWS & PRICES FOR THE PROWESS JACKET:


Norrøna Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro
Best Non-Insulated Ski Jacket

  • Price: $$$$
  • Materials: GORE-TEX® Pro
  • Notable Features: Non-insulated, made of 50% recycled fibers, zip-off powder skirt, ventilation & pit zippers
  • Pros: Lightweight, versatile for milder or more extreme conditions, weatherproofing is top-tier
  • Cons: Expensive, not very warm
Best women's ski jackets: light blue Norrøna Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro

While many people aren’t as familiar with Norrøna, this family-owned Norwegian brand creates high-quality outerwear for the extreme weather found within the country’s northern borders. The Lofoten Jacket – named after a super picturesque region in the northern part of Norway – is one of the best non-insulated ski jackets available, and comes highly recommended by avid skiers and riders.

Outside of warmth, the Lofoten has it all – the best weatherproofing, smart zippers, a removable powder skirt, and lots of internal and external pockets to protect your things. There’s also a great mesh-lined ventilation system along the front to get as much (or as little) air as you want. What’s better? Over 50% of the synthetic materials found in the Lofoten are from recycled fibers, meaning your purchase is more eco-friendly than non-recycled options.

The Lofoten is somewhat of a niche jacket – it’s best for those who are specifically looking for a non-insulated outer shell that’s completely weatherproof and blocks out the elements well. If that’s what you’re looking for, this is the clear winner. However, if you’re seeking a warm, thick winter coat, this jacket is probably not your cup of tea. This is not a cheap jacket (actually, it’s one of the more expensive ones we recommend), but it’s got premium materials and construction that provide best-in-class weatherproofing and protection from extreme conditions.

CHECK REVIEWS & PRICES FOR THE LOFOTEN GORE-TEX PRO JACKET:


The North Face Thermoball Eco Snow Triclimate 3-in-1
Best Multi-Layer Women’s Ski Jacket

  • Price: $$
  • Materials: DryVent 100% recycled polyester shell, PrimaLoft® Silver Insulation inner puffer
  • Notable Features: 3-in-1 construction
  • Pros: Affordable, very versatile, with two jackets that can be worn separately or together
  • Cons: No wrist gaiters, not suitable for extreme temperatures

The North Face makes excellent winter outerwear, and their Thermoball Eco Snow Triclimate 3-in-1 jacket is a fantastic, versatile option for skiers and snowboarders who want some variety. Its high-quality construction and durable materials make it a great contender for both snow sports and casual use, since it can be worn in 3 different ways.

As most 3-in-1 options go, there are two separate layers (an outer shell and an inner insulated jacket) that can also be worn attached to each other. Perfect for skiing in mild temperatures or on sunny days, this jacket has a lot of versatility without too much bulkiness. The outer shell is very weatherproof and windproof, and it works seamlessly to keep the elements out.

Some customers note that the zippers can be faulty in this jacket, and the pockets are an awkward angle to use frequently. Others mention that the velcro lining that goes all the way up the zipper is a pain to use and can cause damage to the fabric of the jacket. The most common issue, however, is that the jacket simply isn’t warm enough for extreme weather, which may or may not be an issue for you. Either way, we’d recommend this jacket for milder temperatures, and it’s a pretty good deal for the price.

CHECK REVIEWS & PRICES FOR THE THERMOBALL ECO SNOW JACKET:


Patagonia Snowbelle 3-in-1
Honorable Mention

  • Price: $$$
  • Materials: H2No® Performance Standard outer shell, Thermogreen® insulation
  • Notable Features: 3-in-1 construction, pit zippers, removable hood, Fair Trade Certified™
  • Pros: Very versatile design, lots of pockets, well-insulated
  • Cons: Tight fit, inconsistent zippers, small pocket sizes
Best women's ski jackets: green Patagonia Snowbelle 3-in-1

Patagonia makes a second appearance on our list with its Snowbelle 3-in-1 Jacket, a fantastic alternative to The North Face’s Thermoball 3-in-1 we mentioned above. Made with premium materials and lots of insulation, this two-jacket combo offers versatility and weatherproofing for long days on the slopes.

We felt that the Patagonia Snowbelle 3-in-1 was worth a mention on our list because it’s a bit warmer than the Thermoball Eco Snow 3-in-1 (The North Face). However, too many reviewers complained of poor zipper quality, lack of pockets, and a tight fit (especially around the hips) for us to feel good recommending it for everyone.

CHECK REVIEWS & PRICES FOR THE SNOWBELLE 3-IN-1 JACKET:


Outdoor Research Skyward II Jacket
Honorable Mention

  • Price: $$
  • Materials: AscentShell waterproof outer layer
  • Notable Features: Designed for backcountry, AscentShell 3-layer technology, pit zippers
  • Pros: Great jacket for backcountry touring, spacious pockets, very weatherproof
  • Cons: Poor fit for some body types

Outdoor Research creates fantastic winter gear, and we couldn’t help but mention it twice, this time with its Skyward II touring jacket. This non-insulated outer shell is a great piece for those who prefer to layer and for those who focus much of their time and energy on the backcountry. Its minimalist, functional design and lightweight construction make it a great skiing or snowboarding companion as a weatherproof outer shell.

We felt the Skyward II was well worth a mention on our list because it is a fantastic non-insulated shell option. Customers especially love this jacket for touring in the backcountry and many have praised its breathability and weatherproofing for that exact purpose. However, it’s not as versatile for resort skiing and riding in extreme weather because it does not provide insulation, and the Norrøna Lofoten won out for the best non-insulated jacket with its superior weatherproofing and durability.

CHECK REVIEWS & PRICES FOR THE SKYWARD II JACKET:


Flylow Billie Coat
Honorable Mention

  • Price: $$$
  • Materials: OmniBloq DWR outer shell, 3L Poly Intuitive insulation/lining
  • Notable Features: Slim fit, removable powder skirt
  • Pros: Stylish with a slim fit, good ventilation and breathability, lightweight
  • Cons: Lesser-known brand, rough outer shell material

Flylow makes quality gear for touring and resort activities, and their Billie Coat is an excellent shell to consider. This jacket is a non-insulated outer shell, meaning that it doesn’t come with any insulation. The Flylow Billie Coat excels in many areas, including fantastic weatherproofing, but it is most beloved for its beautiful aesthetics and style. Customers love the way this coat fits them and many opt to purchase it primarily because it looks good.

However, complaints included rough or stiff outer shell material and strained mobility, which were huge detractors for us. If you’re looking for a stylish, fitted women’s ski jacket and don’t mind a stiffer fabric feel, this could be a great coat for you.

CHECK REVIEWS & PRICES FOR THE FLYLOW BILLIE COAT:


Best Women’s Ski Jackets: Side-By-Side Comparison

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*Scores are rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest possible

Choosing the Best Women’s Ski Jacket For You

If there’s anything you should take away from this guide, it’s that there is no “one size fits all” option for everyone. While we’ve listed our recommendations some of the best women’s ski jackets on the market here, some will work better for you than others depending on your circumstances, activities, personal preferences, and body type.

With that said, it’s important to order from reputable websites that enable returns, so you can try on your pick(s) before fully committing to them. For making any big gear purchases, we love REI and Backcountry – both have generous return policies and offer great seasonal sales where you can get many of these items at a discount.

Only you can decide which one of these is the best ski jacket for you, so make sure the one you go with fits you well, is comfortable and stylish, and keeps you toasty warm and dry.

Additional Resources

While Baltimore may be best known for its Inner Harbor, there are actually several beautiful places to get outdoors in and around the city. Within just a few miles of the city, outdoor lovers can find forests, lakes, canyons, and more! Hiking near Baltimore is a wonderful way to experience nature and get your blood flowing without going too far from the city. We created this guide with some of the best hikes near Baltimore to help you plan your next outdoor adventure!

Looking for the perfect gift for your favorite hiker? Here’s a comprehensive list of our
35 favorite (practical) gifts for hikers, updated for 2020!

Photo Credit: Mike (Flickr CC)

Easy Hikes Near Baltimore

Merryman’s Mill Trail

  • Trail Length: 3.8 miles
  • Location: Loch Raven Reservoir

Boasting beautiful, tranquil trails that run along the Loch Raven Reservoir, the Merryman’s Mill Trail is a quiet, peaceful hike accessible to all levels of hikers. Best done in the early morning hours when the fog hangs over the reservoir waters, this trail combines woodland trails, whispering streams, and varied terrain for a fun hiking experience. You can also find crumbling ruins of historic stone structures along the way! For hikers who enjoy solitude and nature, it’s one of the most peaceful places to go hiking near Baltimore!

Photo Credit: Mark S (Flickr CC)

Kilgore Falls

  • Trail Length: 1.3 miles
  • Location: Rocks State Park

Perfect for families and adventurous hikers of all levels, the Kilgore Falls trail is a short, fun hike to a gorgeous waterfall in Rocks State Park. While it’s one of the more popular (read: crowded) hikes near Baltimore, it’s a fantastic option for those who don’t mind getting a little muddy! The trail is easy and flat and is accessible for children and first-time hikers. Note that the trail also loops above and around the falls – don’t miss out on this part if you want to experience a new perspective!

Stony Run Trail

  • Trail Length: 5.6 miles
  • Location: Wyman Park

For a more urban trail just north of the city, the Stony Run Trail is one of the most convenient hikes near Baltimore for all levels. Waterfalls, tunnels, bridges, and forests are all highlights of this diverse and accessible trail. To make things even better, there have been some recent improvements to the trails, and they’re very well-marked and maintained to ensure hikers’ safety and enjoyment.

The trail does run through neighborhoods and residential areas, so if you’re looking for a complete nature experience, this isn’t it. But if the outdoors is calling you and you don’t want to stray too far, the Stony Run Trail is the perfect option.

Photo Credit: Paul Waldo (Flickr CC)

Swallow Falls Canyon Trail

  • Trail Length: 1.1 miles
  • Location: Swallow Falls State Park

The Swallow Falls Canyon Trail might seem like a short hike, but it really is one of the most beautiful easy hikes near Baltimore. Located in Swallow Falls State Park, the trail brings hikers of all levels to a picturesque waterfall, rocky canyon-like terrain, and peaceful forests. For a quieter hike through some of the most scenic nature in the Baltimore area, the Swallow Falls Canyon Trail is a fantastic, family-friendly option.

Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program (Flickr CC)

Moderate Hikes Near Baltimore

Grist Mill Trail

  • Trail Length: 5.2 miles
  • Location: Patapsco Valley State Park

The Grist Mill Trail in Patapsco Valley State Park is the perfect blend of history and nature. With historic tunnels, beautiful suspension bridges, and miles of old trees and forests, this trail is certainly one of the most diverse places to go hiking near Baltimore. On this journey, you’ll wander past train tracks and stone ruins, along streams and large bridges, and through tranquil nature areas with a shady tree canopy.

Photo Credit: Patrick Gillespie (Flickr CC)

Annapolis Rock via The Appalachian Trail

  • Trail Length: 5.1 miles
  • Location: South Mountain State Park

Have you ever wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail without spending several months on it? The Annapolis Rock Trail is a fantastic place where you can do just that! This absolutely jaw-dropping hike is a 2.5 mile ascent to a very beautiful viewpoint – a rocky outcropping overlooking the surrounding Appalachian Mountains. While the incline can be quite steep, the rewards at the top are well worth the trek.

Pro tip: This is one of the most popular hikes near Baltimore, so go early or on weekdays to avoid the crowds that flock here during peak hours.

Photo Credit: Kay Rodriguez

Maryland Heights Loop

  • Trail Length: 6 miles
  • Location: Harpers Ferry National Historic Park

History enthusiasts will really enjoy the Maryland Heights Loop at Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, an important landmark of the Civil War. Here, the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers converge, as do the borders of three states – Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. However, don’t let this forested, rural area fool you: Harpers Ferry is less than two hours from the city. It’s a perfect place to go hiking near Baltimore on a day trip or weekend getaway.

There are two trails available that stem from the Maryland Heights trailhead – the overlook and the full trail. If you’re strapped for time or want to spend the afternoon exploring the town of Harpers Ferry, we recommend opting for the shorter trail, which brings you to the most stunning viewpoint in the entire park. The viewpoint is full of boulders and captures a bird’s eye glimpse of the convergence of the rivers, as well as the town of Harpers Ferry and the historic iron bridges that lead into it.

CLICK HERE TO READ OUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE MARYLAND HEIGHTS LOOP

Photo Credit: Nicolas Raymond (Flickr CC)

Paw Paw Tunnel Trail

  • Trail Length: 4.9 miles
  • Location: C&O National Historic Park (West Virginia)

Another one of the historic hikes near Baltimore is the Paw Paw Tunnel Trail, a former railroad tunnel that was converted into a hiking path. The unique thing about this tunnel is that it’s surrounded by waterfalls, making for an incredibly unique and picturesque setting for hiking near Baltimore. If you’re looking for something different than the forest hikes on this list, the Paw Paw Trail is one you can’t miss.

Photo Credit: Bart

Cascade Falls Trail

  • Trail Length: 3 miles
  • Location: Patapsco Valley State Park

Locals love the Cascade Falls Trail at Patapsco Valley State Park because it’s a fun, moderate trail through some muddy and varied terrain. It’s a great place to get your hands (and feet) dirty in a totally spectacular environment. A trail through the woods leads you past rocks and trees to a small but scenic waterfall – the Cascade Falls. Though crowded, the Cascade Falls Trail is a lovely place to escape the city and get outdoors!

Photo Credit: Geoff Livingston (Flickr CC)

Billy Goat Trail

  • Trail Length: 3.6 miles
  • Location: C&O National Historic Park

One of the best hikes near Baltimore, the Billy Goat Trail is a fun and adrenaline-inducing rock trail that runs alongside the Potomac River, right near Great Falls. The entrance/trailhead starts at the parking lot of the C&O National Historic Park – you’ll need to walk a bit along the canal before the official entrance to the Billy Goat Trail itself. Once you are on the trail, you can choose from a few different sections and trails, each ranging from 1.5-2 miles in length.

After you’ve started on the trail, it’s a bit of climbing and hopping over the rocky cliffside of the river before getting to the large, “famous” scramble up the side of a cliff. Leave your trekking poles at home – you’ll need your hands AND feet for this hike!

Photo Credit: Rick Schwartz (Flickr CC)

Difficult Hikes Near Baltimore

Catoctin Trail

  • Trail Length: 10.7 miles
  • Location: Cunningham Falls State Park

The Catoctin Trail is a beautiful point-to-point hiking trail located in Cunningham Falls State Park. Featuring lots of bridges, varied terrain, and plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities, this challenging trail is definitely worth the effort. While we wouldn’t recommend this trail for beginners, intermediate and advanced hikers can enjoy the difficult, technical terrain here. Worst case, you can always shorten the journey or turn it into an out-and-back trail by turning back when you’re ready to wrap up.

Raven Rocks Trail

  • Trail Length: 5.3 miles
  • Location: Bluemont, VA

For hikers who want a short but challenging hike to a spectacular viewpoint of the Appalachian Mountains, the Raven Rocks Trail is a fantastic option for hiking near Baltimore. Dirt trails wind through the forests on a challenging but even uphill, bringing you to outstanding views and cool rock formations along the way. There are 4 different viewpoints along the trail, but the final one is by far the most breathtaking, especially in the fall with shades of red, orange, and yellow. You’ll also cross the Virginia/West Virginia border during this hike!

Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program (Flickr CC)

Pinnacle Overlook via Conestoga Trail

  • Trail Length: 10.3 miles
  • Location: Conestoga, PA

Another very special hike within driving distance of Baltimore is the Pinnacle Overlook Trail, located near Lancaster, PA. As part of the Conestoga Trail, the Pinnacle Overlook hike brings you to some very unique and beautiful views over the Susquehanna River. The terrain here is quite rocky and challenging, not suitable for beginners but fantastic for experienced hikers who want a blend of beautiful views and difficult terrain. If you’re a hiker who is itching for a challenge, there are few better hikes near Baltimore than to Pinnacle Overlook.

Additional Resources on Hiking Near Baltimore

What to Pack

  • Hiking boots – You can’t hike without appropriate footwear, period. For most trails, we recommend an all-purpose waterproof boot with ankle support. We recommend Salomon hiking boots or Keen hiking boots for a comfortable hike.
  • Breathable hiking clothes – For warmer hikes, you’ll want to stay cool in a sweat-wicking shirt/tank top and breathable pants, like these PrAna hiking pants for men and women. For cold-weather hikes, we recommend dressing in layers, including merino wool baselayers, an insulated puffer jacket, and a waterproof outer shell. And don’t forget a pair of the best hiking socks in the world!
  • Trekking poles – You won’t need these for every single hike, but we recommend throwing them in your car anyway just in case. We recommend the Black Diamond foldable trekking poles, which are lightweight and easy to transport.
  • Water bottle – Having water available at all times is a huge must. To spare disposable plastic, we recommend bringing your own refillable water bottle. We’re obsessed with Hydro Flask bottles because they keep water cold for hours, but a good old Nalgene works very well too.
  • Sunscreen and bug spray – This should be self-explanatory, but sweatproof sunscreen and DEET bug spray can help you avoid sunburn and bug bites, two of hiking’s most annoying after-effects.
  • A brimmed hat or cap – The sun can be brutal in open hikes, so always pack a brimmed hat or cap for day hikes in the sunshine.
  • Emergency blanket and first aid kit – We’d strongly recommend bringing a first aid kit and a lightweight emergency blanket on every hike. Why? Because the unfathomable can happen, and it’s always best to play it safe.
  • Durable day pack – A durable day pack is the perfect spot to stash all your hiking gear. While any backpack will do, we recommend Osprey day packs because they’re comfortable and breathable for long hikes.

Wondering what exactly you should pack for your next hike? Visit our Complete Day Hiking Packing List for our full list and our top gear recommendations.

Related Links

There are few things that are less fun than frozen fingers, and this is even worse when you’re skiing or snowboarding. If you find yourself constantly battling with cold hands and fingers while out on the slopes, and a normal pair of ski gloves or mittens doesn’t seem to keep you warm, you may want to consider purchasing a pair of heated gloves (or mittens). These rechargeable, insulated gloves will keep your hands warm using external heat, meaning that they’ll keep your hands warm on the slopes much better than a non-heated pair. We’ve created this review of the best heated ski gloves and mittens to help you choose a pair that fits your budget and needs.

What to Look For When Buying Heated Ski Gloves & Heated Ski Mittens

Warmth

The #1 most important characteristic of any pair of gloves or mittens is their ability to keep your hands warm. With heated gloves, you’ll want to look for two things: the intensity of the heat settings and the insulation of the glove itself.

Heat settings range from glove to glove and different people require different levels of heat to feel warm and comfortable. Most heated gloves have a few different heat settings you can choose from and adjust as needed depending on the temperature outside. Even so, the lowest and highest heat settings can range drastically from product to product, so it’s important to try out a few pairs before you choose one to take with you on the slopes.

There’s also an issue with some gloves and mittens of too much heat – because they’re electrically powered, some gloves can get extra toasty and make your hands sweaty or chapped. Remember: you’ll also be generating some heat from your hands, especially when you’re moving around, so using the gloves while stationary will be different than using them while skiing or snowboarding.

Lastly, you’ll want to make sure the gloves feel warm without being turned on. There’s a chance your batteries will die or you’ll forget to charge them, and the last thing you want is a pair of gloves that doesn’t keep you warm when that happens. When you try out a pair of gloves, be sure to test the heat settings and the general insulation of the glove without the heated elements turned on.

Weatherproofing

This should be self-explanatory, but you’ll also want your gloves to be completely weatherproof. Good weatherproofing will prevent moisture from getting into your gloves and cooling down your fingers and hands. It will also ensure internal heat stays inside the glove instead of escaping out into the air. The best heated ski gloves will be waterproof and windproof to ensure your hands get as much heat as possible.

Battery Life

One extra characteristic to research before you buy is the battery life of the heating system. If you’re the kind of person (like us) who tends to spend hours on the slopes each day, a longer battery life is critical for comfort and warmth throughout the day. The last thing you want is for the gloves to work when it’s warmer out, and then die when you’re night skiing in colder temperatures.

There’s also a difference between the battery life on lower heat settings vs. higher settings. Typically, batteries will burn much more quickly on higher settings, so if you’re craving more warmth, we’d suggest making sure the lower settings are warm enough for you for most conditions so you’re not constantly burning your batteries in a few hours.

Dexterity

With gloves especially, dexterity is something you may want to consider when purchasing a heated pair. You’ll want to make sure you can use your hands well enough in your gloves, and that they’re not too bulky or inflexible to do things like adjusting your helmet/goggles or using your zippers. Mittens, unfortunately, will never have great dexterity, but again, you should try out every pair to test for the ability to use your zippers and move your hands as needed.

Comfort & Fit

One of the most important characteristics to consider when choosing a pair of heated ski mittens or gloves is fit. You’ll want them to fit snugly on your hands, but they shouldn’t be too tight that they’re uncomfortable or prevent movement. This will vary from person to person, which is why we strongly recommend ordering a couple of pairs and returning the ones that don’t work out so you can try them on and choose the pair that feels the best on your own hands.

Price

Because heated ski gloves are premium products that require a battery and charging set, they’re much more expensive than normal gloves and mittens. With that said, there’s a huge range in pricing of the best heated ski gloves, typically between $70 and $400 for a pair that includes the batteries and charger. Depending on your budget and your desire for more bells and whistles, you can definitely find a solid pair within that range that will work well and keep your hands warm.

Best Heated Ski Gloves & Mittens – Our Review

We did the research on over a dozen of the most popular and best heated ski gloves, and narrowed our recommendations down to 5 options:

Outdoor Research Lucent Gloves & Mittens

Outdoor Research makes tons of great cold weather gear, and their Lucent Heated Gloves (and heated mittens) are some of the most popular options out there. There are several products in Outdoor Research’s heated handwear lines, but the Lucent is one of the least expensive and most mass market-friendly. (Some of the more expensive options are around $500+…ouch!) Hailed by skiers and snowboarders as a great glove for winter sports, you’ll find a high quality build with a mixture of leather and synthetic materials on the outer shell and soft fleece on the inner lining.

Some customers complain that the heating of the glove is weaker than expected, although this varied from person to person. They’re also quite expensive, which turns many people off to these gloves as well. If you do opt to purchase a pair, be sure to order them from a place like REI or Backcountry where there’s a good return policy.

  • Pros: Durable, solid construction, decent dexterity in gloves
  • Cons: Expensive, inconsistent heating quality

Savior Heated Gloves

Savior makes a more affordable heated glove that’s great for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter outdoor activities. With a mid-level price point and a strong, durable build, these heated gloves offer a really nice balance between the high-end, premium (read: expensive) heated gloves and the more affordable ones. They’ve got a blend of lambskin and synthetic materials on the outer shell and a soft inner lining, which provides plenty of comfort and insulation whether the glove is on or off.

Some customers complained of a short battery life, which can be a huge deal breaker when you’re planning to be out on the slopes for several hours. One reviewer said the battery lasts just 2.5 hours, which isn’t even close to a full day of skiing. Additionally, the fingers seem to have inconsistent ability to be used with touch screens, which could be an important feature for some. Lastly, the interior is made of cotton, so in terms of keeping moisture at bay, there are other better options out there.

  • Pros: Affordable, most popular option, 40% lambskin construction is a nice balance between high-end leather and synthetics, durable
  • Cons: Short battery life, inconsistent touch screen functionality, cotton interior is not great for moisture-wicking

Volt Resistance Polar X 7V Heated Gloves

Originally made as work gloves, the Volt Resistance Polar X gloves are built to last in extreme conditions and lots of wear. Perhaps the most durable gloves on our list, these Volt Resistance Polar X gloves aren’t cheap, but they will certainly last. Hailed as a fantastic glove by people who work in conditions as harsh as rural Alaska, these gloves are a great value for the money and will keep your hands nice and toasty on the slopes. With an outer shell made of durable nylon and an outer storage pocket, these gloves scream functionality and they’re great for lots of use on the slopes.

With that said, there are definitely more premium gloves out there (and on our list) that feature leather shells, which offer a bit more flexibility and dexterity. These gloves are much bulkier and more cumbersome in comparison. Additionally, some say that the heating system doesn’t extend all the way to the very tips of the fingers, which could be a significant detractor from an otherwise great product.

  • Pros: Built for heavy use and durability, whole-hand heating system, good battery life
  • Cons: High price for a non-leather glove, bulky

VELAZZIO Thermo1 Battery Heated Gloves

VELAZZIO makes heated outerwear, and their budget heated ski gloves come at a price that’s more affordable than many non-heated options. These gloves are by far the least expensive option on our list, but still remain competitive against the other, premium products. Waterproof, insulated, and touchscreen-friendly, they’re a perfect option Plus, many customers are very pleased with the customer service and responsiveness from the company, which is a great sign in the event you need to return or exchange them for any reason.

What you won’t find is all the bells and whistles some of the more premium products offer. The battery life is a little bit shorter, and the insulation is a little bit thinner. The entire glove is made of synthetic materials rather than the high-end leather you’ll see in more expensive gloves. This is truly a no-frills heated glove, but it will keep your hands warm at a much lower price than any of the other options out there.

  • Pros: Affordable, fully waterproof, thick fleece liner
  • Cons: Fully synthetic materials, shorter battery life than some others

Seirus HeatTouch Hellfire Gloves & Mittens

Seirus makes some of the most high-quality, premium heated gloves and mittens on the market, but you’ll pay a very pretty penny for them. The HeatTouch Hellfire gloves have everything you could ever want – a long-lasting battery with a fantastic, evenly distributed heating system, plus a weatherproof leather outer shell that’s flexible for optimal dexterity. They’re lightweight but durable and will keep all of the elements out (while keeping warmth in), and will definitely last years and years if you take good care of them.

However, remember that pretty penny we mentioned? It’s by far the most expensive product we considered, and is more than we could ever imagine paying for a pair of gloves (heated or made of solid gold or otherwise). If you opt to pay the hefty price tag, know you’ll truly be getting the best option on the market.

  • Pros: Majority leather outer shell, HeatLock™ insulation, warm and comfortable inner liner, all-around a very high-quality option with good battery life (12+ hours on lowest setting)
  • Cons: Extremely expensive

Best Heated Ski Mittens & Gloves: Our Final Recommendations

If your budget isn’t constrained, we’d strongly recommend getting the Seirus HeatTouch Hellfire Heated Gloves OR Mittens. These are the best heated ski gloves on the market, and although they’re quite pricey, they offer the best glove construction combined with a top-of-the-line heating system. They’ll surely keep your hands warm and dry, and should last for years if you take good care of them.

For those who are on a tighter budget, we’d also recommend the VELAZZIO Thermo1 Gloves – they’re the least expensive option on our list, but they still work well and will provide your hands with heat and comfort on the slopes (without requiring you to spend an arm and a leg to buy them). This is the pair we ended up going with for the slopes and we’re very satisfied with the purchase.

Let us know what you end up going with (and how you like them!) in the comments below. 🙂

Additional Resources

One of the newest (and, in our opinion, best) inventions in the snow sports gear world is heated ski socks. Yup, they’re exactly what they sound like – socks that have internal, electricity-run heating systems that keep your feet nice and warm while you’re out in the snow. While these socks are more expensive than traditional wool ski socks, they’re well worth the investment for those who get cold feet while spending hours out on the slopes. Whether you’re a skier or a snowboarder, a good pair of heated socks will help you stay comfortable, warm, and dry while spending time in the snow. We created this guide to the best heated ski socks on the market to help you choose the best pair for your winter adventures!

What to Look For When Buying Heated Ski Socks

Warmth

Of all of the different attributes you could look for in heated socks, the most important is warmth. Because everyone has a different body temperature and different abilities to retain heat in their extremities, the amount of warmth needed differs from person to person. The best heated ski socks have a few different heat settings so you can adjust the temperature as needed. Remember that when you’re out on the slopes, your body will also generate more heat than when you are stationary, so don’t buy socks that are too warm or you may get sweaty!

You’ll also want to make sure that the heated ski socks stay warm even if the batteries die. Of course, they’ll cool down without a charge no matter what, but socks made of a thick, warm material will retain heat better than flimsy ones. If you’re going to make an investment in a heated pair of socks, you’ll also want to look into the material they’re made of and ensure they’ll keep you warm with or without the heaters.

Thickness

What’s the use of buying a pair of socks if they don’t fit your boots? You’ll want to make sure that the pair of heated ski socks that you buy are thick enough to retain heat and keep you warm, but thin enough to fit into your shoes comfortably and snugly. Different sock brands come in different weights and thickness, so we’d recommend investigating how thick they are and trying them on with your ski/snowboard boots before committing to a pair.

Battery Life & Battery Size

As with anything run on batteries, you’ll want to make sure that your electrical supply will last as long as you need it to! Choosing a pair of heated ski socks that has a long battery life is critical if you’re planning on spending hours out on the slopes. On the other hand, some of the socks with the longest battery lives also have the bulkiest, most uncomfortable battery packs. It’s often a fine line you’ll need to balance between having a long enough charge for your needs while also ensuring that the battery itself isn’t too large or heavy or uncomfortable. Again, you’ll want to research how reliable the battery connection is and read reviews on the comfort and size of the batteries before you buy.

Comfort

Lastly, you should always keep comfort in mind when you are choosing a pair of heated socks. Just because we deem a pair as “the best” doesn’t mean they will be the best heated ski socks for you! We always recommend trying on a few different pairs before committing, especially because finding the best pair of socks will require a time and financial investment.

Best Heated Ski Socks Review

If you’re looking for the best heated ski socks, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve investigated, tested, and sifted through hundreds of reviews for over 20 pairs of heated ski socks. After lots and lots of research, we narrowed our selection down to 7 pairs of the best heated ski socks that you should consider if you want to have toasty warm feet on the slopes this year.

You can expect to spend anywhere between $50-$400 for a pair of heated socks. The differences in pricing can be attributed to differences in materials and construction, battery life and quality, and the number of different “bells and whistles” each product offers. We’ve included a variety of products at different price ranges so you can compare each and choose the best one for you.

Here are 7 of the best heated ski socks for winter adventures (or, scroll down to the very bottom for our top recommendations):

Lenz Products Heat Socks 5.0

Lenz Products makes some of the most popular and high-end heated ski socks on the market today. With all of the bells and whistles you could want – including heat settings that you can control from a phone app – the Lenz Products Heat Sock 5.0 is the top of the line offering for heated socks. Their socks are a mixture of synthetic materials and merino wool, which will keep your feet warm and dry even when the socks are turned off.

With up to 14 hours of heating, this sock will easily last for hours out on the ski slopes. Paired with a good pair of boots, you won’t need to worry about keeping your feet warm, even on the coldest days. However, note that the battery capacity does depend on which setting you have the socks on (naturally, higher heat settings burn the battery faster).

The downside? They’re very expensive. You’ll be paying a high premium for a pair of these babies, plus more if you need additional battery packs. Many people felt that these socks were too expensive for the price, and some complained of inconsistent battery quality when used on higher settings. They also only heat the toe of the foot, which may not be worth the price for some.

  • Pros: High-end option on the market, heat settings controlled via phone app, high quality merino wool blend for optimal heat retention and moisture wicking.
  • Cons: Very expensive, short battery life on high settings

Jomst Heated Socks

Jomst is a quality brand that makes wearable heat products, including a pair of electric heated socks that’s great for skiing or snowboarding. Actually, one of the items that Jomst makes is one of our readers’ favorite purchases – the rechargeable hand warmers for skiing. Their heated ski socks are a fantastic value, providing heat to the toes and ball of the foot at three different settings. Additionally, their marketing claims 8 to 25 hours of battery life, depending on the heat intensity, which is more than enough for a day out in the snow.

Like any heated sock, these aren’t a perfect pair. They’re shorter than most pairs of ski socks, meaning they may not fit comfortably into your boots. Many users say that the low setting isn’t enough to keep your feet warm, so you can expect to have these on medium or high most of the time (though this will depend on your personal preferences!). This means you’ll likely burn the battery faster than with other, warmer socks.

The socks are also 78% cotton, meaning that they won’t wick sweat nearly as well as socks using merino wool or majority synthetic materials. But, if it’s pure warmth (and not sweat-wicking) that you’re looking for, the Jomst socks are some of the best heated ski socks at a fantastic value.

  • Pros: Affordable, 3x heat settings, great battery life
  • Cons: Settings are less warm than other products, cotton construction offers limited sweat wicking capabilities

Hotronic XLP One Heated Socks

Hotronic is one of the premier brands in heated footwear, and is one of the few brands promoted by large outdoor retailers like Backcountry & REI. Their XLP One Heated Socks are, in our opinion, the best high-end heated ski socks on the market today. While many of the socks on our list are designed for general use (including snow sports), Hotronic socks were designed specifically with skiers and snowboarders in mind. This means you’ll get a durable, performance-oriented product that will keep your feet warm and dry while wicking sweat and providing comfort out on the slopes.

Made of nylon and spandex, the socks are designed for athletic wear and are great for spending hours on the slopes. Additionally, they’re double-cuffed to keep the battery pack firm and snug while you’re skiing or snowboarding.

For a premium brand like Hotronic, you can expect to pay a premium price. It’s not quite as expensive as the Lenz Products Socks, but you can expect to may much more than some of the others on our list. At REI, the socks and battery packs are sold separately, which is, well, kind of annoying and impractical. And, while the socks are designed of premium synthetic materials, they won’t wick sweat quite as well as something made out of Merino wool.

  • Pros: Made of premium synthetic materials, specific ski/snowboard construction with extra durable build, reputable brand with solid return policy
  • Cons: Expensive, battery and socks sold separately

Global Vasion Rechargeable Heated Socks

Global Vasion makes a fantastic pair of heated ski socks at a great price. The Global Vasion Rechargeable Heated Socks are some of the most popular heated socks on the market, and for good reason – they’re the most budget-friendly item on our list. With great heating systems centered around the toe area, these are a great value for the money that definitely work well for most skiers and snowboarders.

The biggest con about these heated ski socks is that they’re made of 100% cotton. Cotton is known for retaining and absorbing moisture, which means all snow and sweat that gets into the socks will stay there until they get a chance to dry. In a pair of ski or snowboard boots, this means you could have swampy conditions surrounding your feet the entire day – not great for comfort or sanitation. They’re also a shorter construction, so depending on your height and boot design, they may hit at an uncomfortable spot.

  • Pros: Inexpensive, warm heat settings even on low
  • Cons: 100% cotton material means that these socks will retain moisture, which is not ideal for being out on the slopes in wet conditions all day; shorter socks may not work with all boots and designs

AutoCastle Electric Battery Heated Socks

AutoCastle makes yet another affordable and durable option for cold weather heated socks that provide a solid warmth profile for a reasonable price. These long heated ski socks are some of the best out there for skiers and snowboarders looking for affordability and comfort while out on the slopes. They also come in a bunch of fun colors, which doesn’t affect their performance at all, but adds a nice aesthetic quality to them.

A blessing and a curse about these socks is that they don’t heat the bottom of your foot, only the top. Some people love this, some hate it, but we found that the lack of bottom-of-the-foot heating made our midsole and heel quite cold, especially since heat rises. They’re also made out of a cotton blend, so they won’t wick moisture (read: sweat and snow) as well as the synthetic and Merino wool options.

  • Pros: Affordable, come in multiple colors, top of foot heating capability
  • Cons: Cotton in socks means that sweat wicking & moisture control is limited, weaker battery life than others on our list, does not heat the bottom of the foot.

Therm-ic Sock Set V2 Multi 700B

Therm-ic is another great outdoor brand that makes high-end heated ski socks for long days in the snow. Sold by retailers like Backcountry, these socks are some of the top of the line offerings in the market today, made of premium quality synthetic materials and designed specifically for snow sports. The thin construction is perfect for wearing in boots or during apres-ski, with optimal comfort and warmth while also offering sweat-wicking capabilities.

Again, because this is a premium sock, you’ll be paying a premium price for it. Also, because there’s no Merino wool, you’ll get decent sweat-wicking capabilities but not top-of-the-line ones. And, with a battery rating of up to 8 hours, this sock may not last quite as long as some of the others if you’re using it on higher settings.

  • Pros: High-quality and durable, made of synthetic sweat-wicking materials, designed specifically for snow sports, comes with manufacturer warranty
  • Cons: Expensive, shorter battery life, no Merino wool

Best Ski Socks: Our Final Recommendations

If you’re willing to spend the money, we’d definitely recommend the Hotronic XLP One Heated Socks. These are the absolute best products on the market, providing warmth for hours in the snow without sacrificing comfort. The Hotronic Heated Socks are the top-of-the-line heated ski socks and, if you take good care of them, they will last you for years to come. (Just make sure you pick up both the socks and the separate battery/charger set if you buy from REI!)

For those on a bit more of a budget, we’d suggest going with the Jomst Heated Socks. They’re still absolutely fantastic heated ski socks, and if you’re trying to save some money, the only downside is that they’re made of cotton, and not something more breathable. In our opinion, it’s a small sacrifice to keep your toes toasty warm in sub-freezing temperatures.

Let us know what heated ski socks end up going with (and how you like them!) in the comments below. 🙂

Additional Resources

When packing for a ski trip, gloves and mittens are one of the most important items of clothing to consider. Out on the slopes, the cold weather and snow spares no mercy for hands and fingers, and a high-quality set of ski mittens or gloves is absolutely essential for staying safe and warm and warding off frostbite.

As I was researching the best ski gloves & mittens to purchase for the 2020 season, I couldn’t help but notice that a) existing buying guides were drastically catered toward men and b) there were a disproportionate number of reviews for mittens that cost upwards of $200, without explaining why it may be necessary to spend so much.

I created this guide for the vast majority of people out there who want to protect their hands from the cold at an affordable price. After intensely researching and testing several different pairs, here are 10 fantastic pairs of ski gloves that will keep your hands toasty warm on the slopes:

Ski Gloves vs Ski Mittens: Which is Better?

When you’re out on the mountain, you’ll find people of all experience levels wearing both gloves and mittens on the slopes. Whether you choose ski gloves or ski mittens to keep your hands warm is an entirely personal preference, but there are a few differences you may want to consider before committing to one or the other (especially since high-quality ski gloves and ski mittens can be very expensive!).

Mittens are considerably warmer than gloves, but they (obviously) provide limited dexterity. For someone like me, who has poor circulation and gets cold fingers easily, ski mittens are much more comfortable for staying warm when it’s cold out. Mittens can be an especially good choice for snowboarders, as you don’t need to fiddle around with poles when you’re on the hills. Click here to read our guide to the best ski mittens!

Gloves are more useful for people who value dexterity over warmth. While you can definitely find great pairs of ski gloves that do both, gloves generally are less warm than mittens because they separate your fingers and therefore retain less heat. On the plus side, gloves give you access to all of your fingers, which is especially useful when doing things like writing, taking off boots or other gear, and handling zippers.

Like we said, it’s a personal preference, but one you shouldn’t take lightly as a good pair of gloves or mittens can be a costly investment.

What to Look For When Buying Ski Gloves

Warmth

In our opinion, the #1 most important characteristic the best ski gloves will all have is the ability to keep your hands warm. Why wear them if they don’t do that? Many pairs of ski gloves have an inner thermal lining with an outer shell, which will keep your hands toasty warm. Some also have a zippered pocket for hand warmers, which is a huge plus. You’ll also want to look for a pair that has a strap for tightening or loosening to fit snugly around the wrist area, keeping warm air in and cold air out.

Heated ski gloves are an option, too, but they’re quite a bit more expensive than normal gloves. For the purposes of this review, we left all electrically-heated options off, but you can read our guide to the best heated ski gloves and mittens here.

Weatherproofing

Another very important feature to look for is weatherproofing. The best ski gloves will be waterproof and windproof, providing a barrier between your hands and the elements. A good pair of waterproof mittens or gloves is especially important for beginners, as you’ll likely spent a bit of time in the snow when you fall or need to get your bearings. It’s also incredibly important for skiing in very cold or icy conditions, or at night when the temperatures drop even further.

Dexterity

Dexterity is obviously a challenge when you’re dealing with thick gloves, because they’re clunky and insulated. However, certain fabrics and models enable more dexterity than others – something to consider if you’ll want to be able to use your hands at all without taking off your gloves or mittens.

Comfort

Lastly, you should always keep comfort in mind when you are choosing a pair of gloves. Just because we deem a pair of mittens as “the best” doesn’t mean they will be the best ski gloves for you! We always recommend trying on a few different pairs before committing, especially because finding the best pair of ski gloves will require an investment.

Best Gloves for Skiing & Snowboarding

Generally, with snow sports, you get what you pay for in terms of quality and durability, and ski gloves are no different. There are ski gloves out there in the market for less than $10 and for over $500. For the average recreational skier or snowboarder, you can expect to spend up to $200 on a high-quality, reputable pair of ski gloves. Any more than $200, and you’re getting into the highly specialized expedition products that most people do not need.

If that number has you reeling, don’t worry, we’ve included some options on here that are much less expensive than that! Once you buy a pair of mittens, they will last you for many years, so you shouldn’t have to make a purchase like this often.

With all that said, we tested and researched several pairs of ski mittens to find the best pair for this upcoming ski season. To protect the integrity of our recommendations, we did not include any options in our search that were made by unknown brands that do not specialize in outdoor gear. Here are the products we found to be the best for skiers and snowboarders:

Arc’teryx Fission SV Gloves

Just like their mitten counterparts, the Arc’teryx Fission SV gloves are some of the best on the market, but they come at a hefty price. Made with a combination of leather and synthetic materials on the outer shell and Primaloft insulation, these gloves are built for keeping warmth in and keeping moisture out. The liner is soft and moisture-wicking to prevent sweaty hands and odors from developing. The gloves’ construction is also great for dexterity, and many customers say it’s pretty easy to use your hands without having to take the gloves off.

With all that said, the Fission SV Glove is the most expensive pair of gloves on our list, and you can almost definitely find a pair at a lower price that offers the level of warmth and weatherproofing that you need. If price isn’t a huge consideration and you want the top-of-the-line consumer-level ski gloves, these are a great choice.

  • Pros: High-end materials, durable construction, warm and weatherproof, provide ample dexterity
  • Cons: Very expensive, some customers complain that they aren’t warm enough for the price

Hestra Army Leather Gore-Tex Gloves

Hestra makes the best of the best ski gloves and mittens, with Army Leather designs that are durable, weatherproof, and flexible. With thick leather outer shells and Fiberfill insulation on the inside, you won’t have to worry about snowy or wet weather while wearing these gloves. Even better, they come with removable fleece liners for the best comfort and warmth. It doesn’t stop there – Hestra is one of the only options on our list that offers gloves in several colors (in case that matters to you).

Some customers commented that the fit can be wonky, so be sure to try on your gloves before committing (purchasing from a place like REI is great for this because they have a generous return/exchange policy).

  • Pros: High quality, warm and weatherproof, made of durable leather and thick insulation
  • Cons: Very expensive, fit can be inconsistent

Women’s Version

Men’s Version


Gordini GTX Storm Trooper

Gordini makes the ultimate budget-friendly cold gear, and their ski gloves and mittens are some of the best value for your buck. While these aren’t as high-end or as slim fitting as some of the other gloves on our list, they’re the least expensive of all of them, costing less than half of the price tag of others on our list. They’re incredibly warm and keep out moisture with a Gore-Tex construction and Megaloft insulation. Plus, they’ve got an e-tip so you can use your devices with them!

Some customers have complained of a tight fit, so we’d recommend sizing up when you buy, and ensuring that wherever you buy them offers a flexible return policy.

  • Pros: Inexpensive, e-tip compatible, warm and waterproof with Gore-Tex layers to keep out the elements
  • Cons: Run small, fit can be inconsistent

Women’s Version

Men’s Version


Burton Gore-Tex Gloves

Burton is one of the brands at the forefront of snow sports, and their gloves and mittens are a popular choice among skiers and snowboarders. Made of fantastic synthetic materials, these gloves are well-constructed, and are the only gloves on our list that come with a specific pocket for a hand warmer. There’s also a removable fleece liner that’s super comfortable and provides an extra layer of warmth inside the shell. They’re also on the affordable end of our list price-wise.

We didn’t have this problem, but some customers complained of ripping fabric on the palm side, so be sure to pick the right size and ensure you are able to return faulty products if necessary.

  • Pros: Inexpensive, warm and weatherproof, hand warmer pockets provide extra comfort and warmth, come in several colors
  • Cons: Not the warmest gloves on our list, customers complain of durability issues

Women’s Version

Men’s Version


Black Diamond Guide

Black Diamond makes some of the best outdoor gear on the market, and their Guide Gloves come highly recommended by snow sports aficionados. The Black Diamond Guide is perhaps one of the most weatherproof and thick options on our list, and many skiers and riders use this glove exclusively on the slopes.

Some customers complain that this glove doesn’t retain heat as well as others, but there are zero complaints on the weatherproofing. If you’re interested in this glove, we’d recommend trying it on alongside another pair so you can compare the fit and warmth before committing.

  • Pros: Weatherproof and well-insulated, removable liners
  • Cons: Less warm than others on our list, inconsistent fit, somewhat expensive

Women’s Version

Men’s Version

Best Ski Gloves: Our Final Recommendations

If price isn’t a huge concern, we would hands down (haha, get it?!) recommend the Hestra Army Leather Gore-Tex Gloves. They’re everything you could ever need in a glove – warm, weatherproof, flexible, and comfortable – and they last forever. You might only have to purchase this one pair for life, which ends up being a pretty good deal, all things considered.

For those who aren’t ready to spend that much on a pair of gloves, we’d recommend the Gordini GTX Storm Trooper Gloves. They’re also warm and weatherproof, and while they’re a little less fitted, they’re a great product for the money and will last you a long while as well.

Let us know what you end up going with (and how you like them!) in the comments below. 🙂

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