Winter recreation brings many challenges; chief among them is staying warm. In the skiing realm, frostbite is a real concern. Not having the best ski gloves can lead to cold hands, discomfort, and, in extreme cases, urgent medical attention.
In this guide, I’ve included the absolute best options available. From freezing winter temperatures to balmy spring days, your favorite pair of ski gloves is only a few clicks away.
My Review Process
No one likes cold fingers. I’ve been skiing for over 25 years and know how important the right ski gloves can be in cold conditions. From recreational skiing to backcountry endeavors, the right pair of gloves can keep your hands warm and pain-free.
My goal is to help you avoid sweaty hands in the spring and frostbite in the winter. To do that, I’ve compiled ski glove options that excel in heat retention, dexterity, durability, comfort, and breathability. With one of the selections below, you can say goodbye to discomfort and hello to skiing bliss.
The Hestra Fall Lines are my favorite ski gloves and easily the best overall. There are fancier options, but these gloves offer reliable protection and extra warmth from bluebird to deep powder days.
The gloves are waterproof for wet conditions, warm in cold conditions, feature a removable liner, and have good dexterity. They also have an adjustable cuff, which fits snugly beneath your jacket cuff.
The only downside is the lack of touchscreen compatibility. However, with a proven track record of keeping fingers warm and comfortable, it’s hard to argue against getting the Hestra Fall Line.
The stellar Arc’Teryx Fission SV gloves are my pick for the best ski gloves for women. These high-quality ski gloves are waterproof, with pieces of goatskin leather thrown in for added durability. They’re also warm, lightweight, and boast a fantastic amount of dexterity.
While these gloves are well-loved, they are expensive. Skiers and riders with small hands should double-check sizes as well since the gloves run a little large. Still, given the many benefits, including an easily adjustable cuff, the Fission SV gloves are here to get you through the entire winter.
Check out our companion article for more women’s ski gloves.
Mittens are the toasty, maximum-warmth heroes of the ski glove world and the warmest mittens will keep hands comfortable for longer than five-finger gloves. Simply put, Black Diamond’s Mercury Mitts are some of the warmest mittens I've ever used. They're also weather resistant, versatile, durable and available at a decent price.
The big drawback with a pair of mittens (and bulky gloves in general) is a lack of dexterity. However, if all you're doing is holding poles, it's not an issue. Boasting comfort, warmth, and a removable liner, the Black Diamond Mercury Mitts are ready to rock for the entire ski season.
The Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski Gloves are the best leather options in the ski glove market today. Constructed with supple leather, they keep hands warm and offer good weather resistance and incredible durability. The gloves also come with a fantastic gauntlet cuff, which keeps heat in and snow out.
The Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski gloves are expensive, which limits their appeal. Additionally, while leather ski gloves are fantastic, you do have to recondition the leather 1-2 times a year for the best weather resistance. Those two points aside, these leather ski gloves will last for years and guide you through the cold conditions of winter.
Already a favorite in our heated ski gloves article, the Outdoor Research Lucent Mittens continue to provide excellent warmth in cold conditions, snagging our award for best-heated ski gloves. The Outdoor Research Lucent has three heat settings, gets warm quickly, and keeps hands toasty. The mitten design also features a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane.
Unfortunately, the price is a little high with this model, and the gloves aren't the most dexterous. Still, if you have poor circulation, keeping your hands warm is paramount, and this pair supplies top-notch warmth. The battery also charges in roughly 2 hours and gives you 8 hours of battery life on the low setting.
Since you’ll be using your hands with every pole movement in cross-country skiing, it helps to have low-profile, lightweight ski gloves. Boasting a Gore-tex Infinium weather-resistant layer, the Hestra Windstopper Tour Glove absolutely shuts out the wind.
Because of the focus on windproofing, the gloves aren’t 100% waterproof. If it’s a big, snowy day, consider the bulkier Outdoor Research Arete to avoid wet hands. However, for the lion's share of cross-country conditions, the warmth, breathability, and windproofing set the Windstopper Tour Glove apart from the competition.
These burly gloves are my go-to for backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering in the coldest conditions. The Black Diamond Guide Gloves are durable, comfortable, warmer gloves that sport a massive cuff, which helps retain heat and keep snow out. When the temp drops, the Black Diamond Guide gloves are a brilliant choice.
In order to get their warmth retention, the Guide Gloves sacrifice dexterity. Additionally, their bulk and warmth are less ideal in the spring, when rising temps can create seriously sweaty hands. For winter mountaineers and backcountry go-getters, the Black Diamond Guide Gloves do everything you need them to.
This is a very specific category. In spring skiing conditions, you deal with a ton of weather elements colliding and combining. The Burton Formula stands up to this wide variety of conditions with its lightweight design, quick drying ability, warmth, and breathability.
If you’re considering these dexterous gloves, understand that wet conditions aren't your friend. These modern ski gloves are best for bluebird spring days, where they'll keep your hands dry as you accelerate downhill. The convenient design, low price, and touchscreen compatibility are all big positives.
The Eddie Bauer Powder Search gloves help you stay connected without exposing bare skin to the elements. Along with touch screen convenience, the gloves are weatherproof, comfortable, and come with a soft liner.
While these touchscreen-capable gloves are warm, the Thinsulate synthetic insulation is thinner than other models. If you have cold hands, I would consider something warmer. Also, if you have sweaty hands, note that the gloves aren’t as breathable as others. However, for the low price and better-than-average protection, the Powder Search gloves are worth a look.
The Burton Kids’ Gore-Tex Gloves are the best options for young ones. The gloves offer touchscreen compatibility, a waterproof membrane, and gauntlet cuffs that slip over ski jackets.
They aren’t the warmest gloves in the world for cold fingers, so on frigid days, a hand warmer inside the gloves is nice to have. However, for the breathability and low price, this is a hard option to pass up.
The Gordini Gore-Tex (GTX) Storm Gloves are my pick for the best budget ski gloves. This is an affordable option that supplies enough warmth, weather resistance, and durability to last for multiple seasons. They also have a nice gauntlet cuff that goes over your ski jacket for added protection.
Like other cheaper gloves, the low cost means sacrificing some qualities. In this case, those qualities revolve around a noticeable lack of dexterity. The fit is a bit awkward, leading to a more restrictive feel around the knuckles. However, for the price and protection, it's a relatively small gripe to overlook.
Ski Gloves vs. Mittens
Ski Gloves come in multiple forms. You have your traditional five-finger gloves, which generally give better grip and dexterity. These features help you hold onto ski poles, grip phones, etc.
Mittens are far and away the warmest pairs of gloves. However, you could end up with very smelly, wet hands in warmer temperatures, and dexterity takes a hit. You can still hold onto ski poles, but texting or adjusting equipment in a pair of mittens takes more effort.
There is an in-between design called a three-finger glove that aims to borrow from both. Three-finger gloves provide a bit more dexterity than mittens and a bit more warmth than traditional five-finger gloves. Some people don’t like the funky design, and it does take a bit of getting used to if you’ve never owned a pair before.
Best Ski Glove Brands
While many brands make quality ski gloves, a few tend to jump out. First is Hestra, which has a stellar lineup of some of the warmest ski gloves available. Black Diamond's lineup is right on Hestra’s heels with a solid set of options that offer consistent protection and durability. They both offer multiple styles of ski gloves as well.
Outdoor Research (OR) is also among the best, along with Arc’Teryx. Arc’Teryx doesn’t make a ton of models, and their products are generally seen as expensive. But, if you invest in a well-reviewed Arc’Teryx product, it will last for many, many years.
Ski Glove Buying Guide
This is a large category. Cheaper gloves often fall under $100, but the quality drops the lower you go. Reasonable prices for well-reviewed pairs of gloves will fall into a range between $100-$200. Ski gloves that cost more usually include advanced features like a battery-powered heating element or enough insulation to get you through the coldest conditions.
Choosing between the three styles of modern ski gloves takes more than just personal preference. A traditional five-finger glove offers the most grip and dexterity, a mitten offers the most warmth in extreme cold, and a three-finger glove falls somewhere in between. For warmer temperatures, lightweight gloves are often preferable for their breathability.
Materials And Protection
Ski glove protection comes from either a synthetic or leather shell. Pairs of leather gloves need to be treated occasionally with waterproofing wax. Even if you get synthetic gloves, there may be goat leather palms or other areas of the glove reinforced with leather.
Waterproof gloves and weather-resistant gloves are two separate things. Weather-resistant gloves work for a time but will eventually become saturated if it snows/rains long enough.
Getting caught in frigid conditions with soggy gloves and cold hands will increase your risk of frostbite. If it’s cold and wet, there is no substitute for a solid waterproof membrane to keep those hands dry. Don’t forget to layer up with proper ski clothes as well!
Warm hands are very nice in frigid conditions, and a glove's insulation is what keeps your hands toasty. Many gloves use synthetic insulation, with Primaloft synthetic insulation being a popular option. There are additional forms of insulation, including fleece, down, and wool.
Added warmth comes from the different styles of ski gloves. By keeping four fingers close together, mittens circulate top-notch warmth more effectively. Remember to dry your gloves between ski days if they get wet.
Folks with poor circulation will probably enjoy adding heating elements to their gloves of choice. This can come in the form of disposable hand warmers or battery-operated heated gloves. If relying on batteries to supply heat, double-check the battery life to make sure it’ll last through the coldest conditions.
Cuffs (Gauntlet vs. Undercuff)
The cuff style refers to the part of the ski glove that covers your wrist. There are two dominant cuff styles, an under-cuff style, and gauntlet-style cuffs. An under-cuff wraps tightly around your wrist so your ski jacket can go overtop. This is useful if you have long jacket sleeves that can cinch down. Some come with wrist straps as well.
A gauntlet cuff style is my personal preference for cold temperatures, as its wide shape allows it to slip easily over the outside of a ski jacket. The gauntlet-style cuff can then be tightened (drawstring or cinch strap). Once adjusted, gauntlet-style cuffs will offer a continuous layer of protection, especially during deep powder days.
Dexterity refers to whether or not a pair of gloves allows you to use your fine motor skills. Bulky gloves and mittens are often too unwieldy. Dexterous gloves are great because they can handle fine motor skills activities while serving up adequate protection against a variety of conditions.
While warm, mittens only have your main pocket and your thumb pocket, so they are not very dexterous gloves. Five-fingered gloves generally have the best dexterity. Dexterous gloves with good grip can hold ski poles, phones, cameras, snacks, etc., with less chance of dropping them.
Durability often ends up being the difference between a one-season and multi-season glove. Look for options that tout quality materials and durability. The goal is to get a pair of ski gloves that can handle a variety of conditions over many years.
Features & Upkeep
When shopping for the perfect pair of modern ski gloves, look at the features. For example, a liner that can be removed from the outer shell increases the glove's usability when temperatures warm up. On the opposite end, heated gloves help you thrive in extreme cold.
Other useful features include wrist straps, easy cinch or velcro straps on gauntlet cuffs, and touchscreen capabilities. It's also worth looking at how to dry and wash your gloves; not all are machine-washable. With leather gloves, it's also important to get waterproofing wax and recondition the leather as directed.
Activity Of Choice
Finally, a lot of your search for the perfect pair of gloves will come down to the activity you choose and personal preference. Mitts are great for cold days on the chair lift.
If you’re a winter ski mountaineer, you want protection from brutal temperatures and wind. Cross-country skiers will likely sweat, so you want a nimble, breathable glove that can handle adverse weather. Spring skiing is also best with a lightweight soft shell glove that offers protection but won’t be uncomfortable when the temperature rises.
The best overall gloves for the ski hill are the stellar Hestra Fall Lines, although if you prefer mittens, the Black Diamond Mercury Mitts are wonderful. The best women’s ski gloves are the Arc’teryx Fission SVs, but if the price is a little too high, the Gordini Gore-Tex Storm is the best budget buy.
For those of us with poor circulation, the Outdoor Research Lucent heats up quickly with its three heat settings. Cross-country skiers will gravitate toward the Hestra Windstopper Tour Gloves, while ski mountaineers should check out the Black Diamond Guide Gloves. Finally, leather enthusiasts should give the Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski Gloves a whirl.
*The information on this site is based on research and first-hand experience but should not be treated as medical advice. Before beginning any new activity, we recommend consulting with a physician, nutritionist or other relevant professional healthcare provider.