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
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.
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 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.
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:
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 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
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
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
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
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. 🙂