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The Best Ski Gloves for Winter 2021

There’s nothing quite like being in the middle of a downhill run and realizing your hands are way too cold or that you can’t grip your poles any longer. The wrong gloves can cut a day on the slopes short, whereas the right ones can provide comfort and safety from the elements. There’s a ton of ski gloves to choose from. Here’s what you need to know to find the right pair, followed by my top nine recommendations.

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Choosing the Right Type

The right glove for you depends on how cold it will be outside and what activity you’re using them for. There are three main types of gloves to consider.

Mittens

Mittens allow four of your fingers to share heat within the main pocket. Although the heat-trapping capability is a plus, it can be trickier to pick up items or unzip layers mid-adventure while wearing mittens. This style will do the trick for you if you’re a snowboarder (it’s still easy to strap on bindings) or are doing other activities that take less dexterity.

Finger Gloves

Standard gloves separate your fingers and are known for increased flexibility and dexterity. This type of glove is great for skiers who need to hold on to their poles or for doing other activities where you need to use your fingers. If you get cold easily, be aware that this type of glove does not retain heat as efficiently as mittens.

Trigger Mittens

Also known as lobster claw mittens, these hybrid gloves combine the warmth of a mitten with the dexterity of a finger glove. This glove is well suited to a variety of activities, but can be less common and sometimes more expensive since they are currently experiencing a resurgence in popularity.

How We Selected

I’ve been adventuring outside in the cold Rocky Mountains for nearly 15 years now. My main activities have been snowboarding and cross-country skiing, so I’ve had the opportunity to test and purchase an array of gloves. I’ve also worked at a local ski hill in Alberta, Canada, and deeply understand the importance of gloves that keep you warm from sunrise to sunset. I considered the type, materials and insulation, waterproofing, cuff style, and cost of many options. On top of that, I’ve surveyed thousands of reviews on websites like Amazon and Walmart to help create this guide.

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Best for All-Day Use

Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski Mitt

Hestra
amazon.com

$154.95

Key Specs
Shell Material: Hestra Triton Nylon and leather
Insulation: Synthetic Fiberfill
Cuff Style: Over the cuff

These Hestra mittens are a favorite among skiers. They provide a good balance of keeping your hands warm and providing enough dexterity to manage your bindings, ski poles, and zippers. The outer layer is waterproof, windproof, and breathable, making it a great option for all-day activities.

  • You might need to re-waterproof the leather palms if they get drenched often

Key Specs
Shell Material: Leather
Insulation: 3M Thinsulate synthetic
Cuff Style: Under the cuff

Sleek and minimalistic, the POW Chase Gloves are of excellent quality for the price. The waterproof insert ensures you’re dry even when it gets slushy out, and you won’t need to worry about pilling since the lining is made from an anti-pill polyester micro-fleece. 

  • Cuff could be longer to protect more of your wrist and forearm

Best Glove System

Dakine Titan Gore-Tex Gloves

Key Specs
Shell Material: Recycled polyester and polyester melange
Insulation: High-loft synthetic
Cuff Style: Over the cuff

Play around in the slush in these waterproof gloves from Dakine. They are weather-resistant and have a set of liner gloves that you can use with your touchscreen device. Other bonus features include a pocket for a heat pack, nose-wipe thumb panels, and a removable elastic wrist leash. 

  • Great features for the price
  • Bulky, limiting dexterity

Best Mitten

Burton AK Oven Mitten

Burton
amazon.com

$149.95

Key Specs
Shell Material: Gore Windstopper and leather
Insulation: PrimaLoft Gold synthetic and goose down
Cuff Style: Under cuff

The windproof, waterproof shell on these Burton gloves shields you from the elements, while the goose down insulation keeps you warm. The under-the-cuff style, designed to tuck into your jacket sleeve, is low-key and stylish. 

  • Durable leather palms
  • Thumbs are touch screen compatible
  • Easier for snow to get into sleeves

Best Liner Gloves

REI Co-op Merino Wool Liner Gloves 2.0

Key Specs
Material: Merino wool and recycled polyester
Insulation: N/A
Cuff Style: Under the cuff

Throw these glove liners under a waterproof shell or another pair of gloves to boost heat retention. Because they’re made from Merino wool, they’re naturally odor-resistant and moisture-wicking so you won’t immediately catch a chill from sweaty palms. 

  • Fabric pills easily after wear or washing

Best for Cross-Country Skiing

Black Diamond Guide Finger Glove

Black Diamond
amazon.com

$169.95

Key Specs
Shell Material: Woven nylon and goat leather
Insulation: PrimaLoft Gold synthetic, wool, and fleece
• Cuff Style: Over the cuff

You’ll stay warm in the Black Diamond Guide Finger Gloves. They have a fleece palm lining, a removable PrimaLoft Gold and boiled-wool liner, and a waterproof Gore-Tex membrane. On top of that, the nylon shell is abrasion-resistant to extend this mitt’s lifespan. 

  • Six sizes to choose from
  • Foam padding on knuckles for impact protection

Best Heated Mittens

Outdoor Research Lucent Heated Sensor Mitts

Outdoor Research
amazon.com

$325.38

Key Specs
Shell Material: Nylon and goat leather
Insulation: Synthetic Enduraloft
Cuff Style: Over the cuff

In 2019, these heated mitts were updated for the first time since they first came out in 2014. They now have touch screen–compatible leather fingertips on the thumb so you can avoid taking off your mitts to take a picture. And depending on which of the three heat settings you use, they will keep your fingers toasty for 2.5 to 8 hours—a game changer if cold hands are always an issue for you. 

  • Electrically heated gloves interfere with the performance of avalanche beacons, impairing your ability to conduct a search or be located
  • Expensive

Durable Construction

Smartwool Ridgeway

Key Specs
Shell Material: Leather, Merino wool, and nylon
Insulation: Merino wool and nylon
Cuff Style: Under the cuff

These gloves are made with snow sports in mind. Although they don’t have a ton of flashy features, they have a hardy leather exterior and double-layered thumbs and index fingers so you can worry less about wear and tear over time. Plus, the terry loop knit interior lining is warm and soft.

  • Four sizes to choose from
  • Good price for leather gloves
  • Cuff could be longer to protect more of your wrist and forearm

Best for Bluebird Days

Eddie Bauer Sun Valley Down Mittens

Eddie Bauer
walmart.com

$34.99

Key Specs
Shell Material: Polyester and nylon
Insulation: Down
Cuff Style: Under the cuff

If you’re looking for a trendy glove that will take you through a mild winter adventure, the Sun Valley Down Mittens are a fit. They are water-repellent and have down insulation and a faux fur trim for added warmth. They don’t do well in slush, so save these for drier days.

  • Need to be dry cleaned
  • Not fully waterproof

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