Nothing can kill a great ski day like cold fingers, so make sure to choose a quality glove that fits the type of skiing you do most. The options range from gauntlet-style synthetic nylon gloves to undercuff leather designs from powerhouses like Swedish manufacturer Hestra. You also want to keep a close eye on insulation and features like removable liners, which offer more flexibility should the weather change. Below are our picks for the best ski gloves and mittens for the 2017-2018 season, with price points from over $200 down to $15 or less for old-school Kincos. All gloves on this list are either unisex or include a link to the women’s-specific version. For more background information, see our glove comparison table and buying advice below the picks. To complete your kit, check out our articles on the best ski goggles and ski helmets.

1. Hestra Heli Glove ($140)

Hestra Heli ski glovesStyle: Gauntlet
Shell: Polyamide/goat leather
Insulation: Polyester fill
What we like: Beautifully made, warm, and durable.
What we don’t: Requires some maintenance to stay waterproof.

Ski professionals the world over have trusted Swedish manufacturer Hestra for decades, and the Heli is our top pick. This comfortable and highly functional ski glove has been around for years, but its hybrid leather and synthetic construction remains best in class. The Heli’s premium build quality, warmth, and comfort all stand out and at a price that easily undercuts other high-end ski gloves. For these reasons, we think the Heli is the perfect partner for keeping you warm on the mountain.

As with nearly all Hestra products, the Heli has liberal amounts of leather in its construction. The benefit is that the glove flexes easily and is very durable, but you will occasionally need to reapply a leather conditioner to keep moisture at bay. Some prefer a glove with a nylon shell for better waterproofing, but we find the simple maintenance to be well worth the effort—even for skiing in the wet snow of the Pacific Northwest. This popular glove has spawned a couple variations, including a mitten for maximum warmth and 3-finger glove that splits the difference. For a truly waterproof version without removable inserts, check out the Hestra Army Leather Gore-Tex glove.
See the Hestra Heli  See the Women's Hestra Heli


2. Black Diamond Guide Glove ($170)

Black Diamond Guide GloveStyle: Gauntlet
Shell: Nylon/leather
Insulation: PrimaLoft One synthetic, wool
What we like: Very warm, long-lasting build, and comfortable.
What we don’t: Takes some time to break in; below average dexterity.

Black Diamond’s Guide glove is legendary among hardcore skiers for its impressive warmth and durability. It’s near the top in terms warmth on this list, and unlike the Hestra Heli’s above, the design is completely waterproof with a Gore-Tex insert. Black Diamond uses both PrimaLoft synthetic insulation and thick boiled wool in the removable liner. For skiing in cold conditions, the Guide is hard to beat.

The downside of all this material is that the glove can take some time to break in. We’ve had ours through two ski seasons and it still lacks the flexibility that you get right out of the box with the Hestra Heli’s above that are nearly as warm. It’s a compromise many are willing to make, however, and the Guide’s are among the most popular ski gloves on the market. If you’re not prone to cold fingers or ski in mild conditions, you can save money by opting for a glove with lighter insulation and better dexterity, like the Outdoor Research Arete or Marmot Randonnee below.
See the Black Diamond Guide Glove


3. Gordini GTX Storm Trooper II ($65)

Gordini GTX Storm Trooper II ski gloveStyle: Gauntlet
Shell: Synthetic/leather
Insulation: Megaloft synthetic
What we like: Great comfort and warmth for the price.
What we don’t: Liner isn’t removable.

If you only get out a handful of times each year or don’t want to blow your ski gear budget on gloves, the Gordini GTX Storm Trooper II is a winner. You don’t get the supple liners or premium shell fabrics of our top two picks above, but this glove is durable, waterproof, and just plain works. In addition, warmth is surprising good considering its $65 price—it’s a step down from the Hestra Heli, but the difference isn’t substantial and should be plenty for most days on the hill.

Both the Storm Trooper II and Burton Gore-Tex below are excellent options at around $70 (and both often are on sale for less). The Gordini is a little warmer overall, although the removable lining gives the Burton more flexibility for warmer ski days. But the Storm Trooper is much softer on the interior and the best budget ski glove we’ve used to date. Its combination of comfort, good dexterity, and protection make it a standout in the sub-$100 price range. 
See the Gordini GTX Storm Trooper II


4. Black Diamond Mercury Mitten ($110)

Black Diamond Mercury MittsStyle: Gauntlet
Shell: Nylon/leather
Insulation: PrimaLoft synthetic
What we like: Warm and reasonably affordable mitten.
What we don’t: Harder to grip a ski pole.

For keeping your hands as warm as possible, you just can’t beat a mitten design. It may compromise dexterity for skiers trying to grip a ski pole, but by keeping your fingers together, you get extremely efficient warmth (your fingers warm each other). The Black Diamond Mercury is our favorite mitten option for offering the expected bump in warmth without a huge leap in price. It’s also made with 4-way stretch in the shell and includes removable split-finger liners to make it very user friendly.

As with other BD ski gloves we’ve worn, it has a bomber construction that should hold up to plenty of wear and tear. Really, the only downside is whether or not you’re comfortable wearing a mitten. We still find a glove to be more convenient and effective for skiing, but smart designs like the Mercury are a convincing reason for those prone to really cold hands to give mittens a shot.
See the Black Diamond Mercury Mitten  See the Women's BD Mercury Mitten


5. Hestra Morrison Pro ($200)

Hestra Morrison Pro ski glovesStyle: Undercuff
Shell: Leather
Insulation: Thermolite synthetic
What we like: The best all-leather ski glove on the market.
What we don’t: Expensive and still more prone to absorbing moisture than nylon.

Named after the legendary freeride skier, the Seth Morrison Pro is a high-end, all-leather ski glove that is waterproof and breathable. Constructed with supple goat leather on the front and tough cowhide on the back, the Morrison Pro has the best freedom of movement and dexterity among our highly insulated picks. It’s capable of anything from big mountain descents to carving laps on a cold day.

Price is the biggest impediment here, which is driven up by all of that high quality leather. The Hestra Helis above, for example, deliver almost as much performance at a significant $60 savings. But if you value the improved dexterity of a fully-leather glove, the Morrison Pro may be worth it. And as with the Heli gloves, the leather is treated and you’ll want to periodically refresh it with a wax-based sealant such as Hestra’s Leather Balm or Sno-Seal.
See the Hestra Morrison Pro


6. Marmot Randonnee Glove ($100)

Marmot Randonnee ski glovesStyle: Gauntlet
Shell: Nylon/leather
Insulation: Thermal R synthetic
What we like: Dexterity and comfort at a great price.
What we don’t: Not as warm as the options above.

It’s the little things that make a ski glove great. The Marmot Randonnee is case in point and our favorite glove at the $100 price point. Grippy leather covers the palm and bottom side of the fingers and dexterity is excellent, falling just short of the far more expensive Morrison Pro above and Arc’teryx Rush SV below. The nylon shell covering the back of the hand isn’t as durable as our top-rated Heli, but its thin construction breathes well and gives you excellent mobility.

For the price, you get the expected levels of warmth, which translates to a step down from the four picks above. Active and backcountry skiers will appreciate a little less insulation—hence the Randonnee name—but we’d prefer if the liner were removable to make it more adaptable to a range of temperatures. But back to those little things—details like a plush interior, easy to use gauntlet closure, and comfy nose wipe make it a standout in a crowded field.
See the Marmot Randonnee Glove


7. Burton Gore-Tex Glove ($70) 

Burton Gore-Tex ski glovesStyle: Gauntlet
Shell: Nylon/leather
Insulation: Thermacore synthetic
What we like: A great value choice for resort skiers.
What we don’t: Not as warm and not as precise a fit.

For resort skiers that don’t want to spend a ton on gloves, the Burton Gore-Tex is a nice choice. This glove does just about everything you need to stay dry and comfortable: it’s reasonably warm (and includes a zippered pocket for slipping in a hand warmer), has a tough build, and a strap along the back of the hand for adjusting the fit. Burton also includes thin liners that are removable and can function independently as a shoulder season hiking or running glove.

What do you give up by choosing a more affordable glove? For one, the options above are warmer and the Burton Gore-Tex can’t compete in freedom of movement or quality of materials. And while we like the inclusion of a liner glove, it doesn’t fit as nicely into the shell as the premium choices like the Hestra Heli and Black Diamond Guide. But these are understandable compromises, and the durable construction and Gore-Tex liner make it a solid value.
See the Burton Gore-Tex  See the Women's Burton Gore-Tex


8. Outdoor Research Arete ($98)

Outdoor Research Arete ski glovesStyle: Gauntlet
Shell: Nylon
Insulation: Fleece
What we like: Super waterproof, great dexterity, and price.
What we don’t: Step down in warmth.

The snow in the Pacific Northwest can be wet and heavy, so it’s no surprise that Seattle-based Outdoor Research makes burly and waterproof ski gloves. Their popular Arete model is a great choice in the $100 price range with a durable nylon shell, Gore-Tex insert, and lightweight comfort. And the glove is a long gauntlet style that seals out moisture and provides more coverage than the Marmot Randonnee above.

For the price, the Arete is a strong competitor to the aforementioned Marmot Randonee. Both offer decent warmth, good dexterity (the Marmot gets the slight edge), and are well built. We prefer the flexible construction of the Randonnee, but its leather palm will soak up more moisture and the shell isn’t as durable overall. The deciding factor between the two may come down to the interior. The Randonnee’s lining is plusher but fixed in place, while the Arete has a thin, removable liner glove. Also, some have issues with the fit of the Arete, as it is snug around the wrist (and non-adjustable). This didn’t end up being a problem for us, but the Randonnee is a little more accommodating to a range of wrist sizes.
See the Outdoor Research Arete  See the Women's Outdoor Research Arete


9. Arc’teryx Rush SV ($275)

Arc'teryx Rush SV ski gloveStyle: Gauntlet
Shell: 3-layer Gore-Tex/leather
Insulation: Polartec fleece
What we like: Bombproof and highly dexterous.
What we don’t: Overkill for most skiers.

New for 2017-2018 is the impressive Arc’teryx Rush SV. Built like a premium hardshell jacket, this is the only glove on the list to use 3-layer Gore-Tex (others only have a waterproof insert). This provides phenomenal weather protection and keeps bulk to a minimum. Add in premium tailoring and a leather overlay on the fingers and palm, and you get best-in-class dexterity, grip, and comfort. The Rush SV isn’t the warmest glove on our list, but the removable Polartec Hi Loft fleece liner and burly construction make it ideal for serious backcountry exploration.

We love the beautiful design and functionality of Arc’teryx gear, but in the world of ski gloves, the Rush SV is overkill for most people. At $275, the glove is $100 more than the Black Diamond Guide above without enough extra to show for the average cold weather skier. But if you prioritize dexterity for using backcountry tools and or want the toughest glove around, the Rush SV may be worth the investment.
See the Arc'teryx Rush SV


10. Hestra Fall Line ($150)

Hestra Fall Line ski glovesStyle: Undercuff
Shell: Leather
Insulation: Foam
What we like: Work glove feel and fantastic look.
What we don’t: Not as warm or waterproof.

You won’t find a more beautiful ski glove than the Hestra Fall Line. This all leather, undercuff glove with exposed stitching is a work of art. It’s a great tribute to Hestra’s long history of glove making, and in addition to skiing, the Fall Line is good option for everyday wear and work in the winter. However, the Fall Line isn’t for everyone as warmth falls short of what’d we like for the price (it’s best for mild days or those working up some heat), but you won’t find a better made glove. Period.

One small design oversight we’ve noticed is that when we cinch the cuff, there is a lot of excess strap hanging off the end. If you don’t have small wrists this shouldn’t be an issue, but the loose strap did occasionally catch on our jacket sleeve and was a minor annoyance. But that did little to dampen our enthusiasm for the Fall Line, which more than any other glove to make our list, is useable for far more than just a day on the slopes.
See the Hestra Fall Line  See the Women's Hestra Fall Line


11. The North Face Montana Mitten ($70)

The North Face Montana Gore-Tex MittenStyle: Gauntlet
Shell: Nylon/synthetic leather
Insulation: Heatseeker synthetic
What we like: Easy to use and flexible mittens.
What we don’t: Not as warm as the Mercury Mitts.

As with the Black Diamond Mercury above, the Montana Mittens from The North Face are a great way to stay warm on a budget. These extremely popular Gore-Tex mittens are surprisingly dexterous as the shell is quite flexible and grips objects like zipper pulls or boot buckles really well (far better than the Mercury). Part of the reason they’re easier to handle is that the gloves have light 100-gram insulation along the palm, and despite using much heavier 200-gram synthetic along the back of the hand, they fall short of the Mercury in total warmth. They still should be plenty comfortable for most folks as long as the temperatures don’t dip too low, but those looking for maximum warmth should upgrade to the BD’s. The North Face also makes the Montana in a slightly less warm, but even more popular, standard glove style.
See the North Face Montana Mitten  See the Women's North Face Montana Mitten


12. Black Diamond Legend ($150)

Black Diamond Legend ski glove (2017-2018)Style: Undercuff
Shell: Leather
Insulation: PrimaLoft synthetic
What we like: Functional all-leather build, great dexterity.
What we don’t: Stiffer and slightly lower quality than the Hestras.

Following a similar formula to the Hestra Morrison Pro above, the Black Diamond Legend is an insulated, waterproof, and primarily leather glove designed to fit under the cuffs of a ski shell. The Legend gloves have high quality PrimaLoft insulation and a Pertex shell along the back of the hand for a good mix of protection and weight. The fit and finish also appears to a step up from our previous Legend gloves, which fell short of the premium Hestras above.

Where the Legend’s fall short is overall feel. In contrast to the supple and very pliable Hestra leather, the Legend comes across as a little stiff and takes some time to really break in. Part of the reason is the Gore-Tex liner, but we found ourselves preferring the Hestra models to the Legend in most instances. On the plus side, the Legend has a great closure system, which stretches and is easy to secure.
See the Black Diamond Legend  See the Women's Black Diamond Legend


13. Dakine Team Phantom ($105)

Dakine Team Phantom ski gloveStyle: Undercuff
Shell: Leather
Insulation: PrimaLoft synthetic
What we like: High quality leather and very soft interior.
What we don’t: Not ideal for frigid days.

Dakine’s new Team Phantom glove mixes classy leather looks with high levels of comfort. Our first impressions were strong with its silky-smooth fleece interior, soft touch nose wipe on the back of the thumb, and pliable leather. The glove also has a waterproof Gore-Tex insert and comes with a Nikwax leather treatment for added protection. We do prefer a Velcro closure to get a better seal around the wrist, although we found that the zippered side openings are easy to use after a little practice. All in all, the Phantom is a smart-looking glove that undercuts an all-leather option like the Hestra Fall Line above in price by a significant $50.

It’s important to note that the Phantom is not a super warm glove. Dakine ranks the insulation as a 3 out of 5, and this seems about right to us. On days where you’ll be active or the temperatures are somewhat mild, the 70-gram PrimaLoft in the Phantom will do the trick and its smooth interior provides fantastic comfort. But for season-long use in cold climates, we’d choose one of the warmer options above.
See the Dakine Team Phantom


14. Swany X-Cell II Glove ($140)

Swany X-Cell II ski glove (2017-2018)Style: Gauntlet
Shell: Leather
Insulation: Synthetic
What we like: The right mix of features for resort use.
What we don’t: Not as beautifully made or warm as the Hestra Heli.

Swany’s X-Cell II is not a new glove by any stretch, but its classic design has been lauded over the years for its resort skiing prowess. Made with tough leather covering the back of the hand and a reinforced palm, the dexterous Swany makes it easy grip a zipper pull on a jacket or keep hold of your ski poles at full tilt. The gauntlet on the X-Cell isn’t as simple to operate as the Black Diamond Guide above, but it’s functional and does a fine job sealing out snow and cold gusts of wind.

What pushes the popular Swany X-Cell down our list? For the price, we give the clear edge to the Hestra Heli’s above in warmth and material quality. The Swany will do the trick for most ski days, but it’s been around long enough that the price should be dropped to remain competitive. If you can find it on sale, however, the X-Cell is a fully featured glove for downhill fun.
See the Swany X-Cell II Glove


15. Outdoor Research Lucent Heated Mitten ($359)

Outdoor Research Lucent Heated MittensStyle: Gauntlet
Shell: Nylon/leather
Insulation: EnduraLoft synthetic and ALTIHeat system
What we like: Effective battery-powered heater for maximum warmth.
What we don’t: Very expensive.

For sub-zero conditions or skiers who can never keep their hands warm, a heated mitten may do the trick. The ALTIHeat line from Outdoor Research is the most diverse on the market, and we like their Lucent Mitten best. To start, the mitten design gives you an edge in overall warmth by keeping your fingers together, and the built-in battery and heating element give you a rush of warmth that a heat pack just can’t match. Pushing the button on the gauntlet switches between three heat settings (low, medium, and high), but it’s important to note that the higher settings drain the battery much faster.

The largest impediment to a battery-powered design like the Outdoor Research Lucent Mitten is price. We understand that there’s a lot of technology incorporated to keep the battery performing in frigid temperatures and reduce bulk, but $359 is a lot for a pair of mittens. If you need maximum warmth at all costs, however, the Lucent may be worth a try. For a similar heated option in a glove design, the OR Lucent gloves are the same price. 
See the Outdoor Research Lucent Heated Mitten


16. FlyLow Gear Ridge Glove ($45)

FlyLow Gear Ridge ski glovesStyle: Undercuff
Shell: Leather 
Insulation: Fleece 
What we like: Warmer than Kincos and are ready to go out of the box. 
What we don’t: Still need treatment after some use.  

We hate to say it, but unless you are a true DIYer, these FlyLow leather gloves make more sense than the classic Kincos below. Instead of an intense regimen of waxing treatment, FlyLow takes that pain away by doing it for you, three times, which helps make up for the added price difference of their glove. The Ridge glove also features insulation materials that are warmer and won’t pack out as fast as the Kincos. These are great resort and backcountry gloves for anyone on a budget, and they tend to be quite durable and breathable, all things considered. For all the leather work glove skeptics out there: don't knock it until you try it.  
See the FlyLow Gear Ridge Glove


17. Kinco Pigskin Leather Glove ($15) 

Kinco leather glovesStyle: Undercuff
Shell: Leather 
Insulation: None 
What we like: Trusted performance, ultra-low price.   
What we don’t: Limited warmth (think hand warmers or liner gloves)

Kinco started the leather ski glove craze in the 1980s, and it wouldn't be a proper list without including them here. To follow in a long line of ski bums and resort employees, simply plunk down the $15 or so bucks these gloves were selling for at press time, buy some Sno-Seal to condition the leather and make it more water resistant (finish the job with a hair dryer if possible), and ski to your heart's content. You won't find a more economical glove option, and this system works surprisingly well if the conditions aren't too cold or wet. Don't forget to grab a PBR at the lodge to complete your get-up, and per tradition, retire them at the end of the season and repeat.
See the Kinco Pigskin Leather Glove


Ski Glove Comparison Table

Glove Price Style Shell Insulation Liner
Hestra Heli Glove $140 Gauntlet Polyamide/leather Polyester fill Yes
Black Diamond Guide Glove $170 Gauntlet Nylon/leather PrimaLoft synthetic/wool Yes
Gordini GTX Storm Trooper II $65 Gauntlet Synthetic/leather Megaloft synthetic No
Black Diamond Mercury Mitten $110 Gauntlet Nylon/leather PrimaLoft synthetic Yes
Hestra Morrison Pro $200 Undercuff Leather Thermolite synthetic No
Marmot Randonnee Glove $100 Gauntlet Nylon/leather Thermal R synthetic No
Burton Gore-Tex $70 Gauntlet Nylon/leather Thermacore synthetic Yes
Outdoor Research Arete $98 Gauntlet Nylon Fleece Yes
Arc'teryx Rush SV $275 Gauntlet Nylon/leather Polartec fleece Yes
Hestra Fall Line $150 Undercuff Leather Foam No
The North Face Montana Mitten $70 Gauntlet Nylon Heatseeker synthetic Yes
Black Diamond Legend $150 Undercuff Nylon/Leather PrimaLoft synthetic No
Dakine Team Phantom $105 Undercuff Leather PrimaLoft synthetic No
Swany X-Cell II $140 Gauntlet Leather Synthetic No
Outdoor Research Lucent Mitten $359 Gauntlet Nylon/leather Synthetic/ALTIheat system No
FlyLow Gear Ridge $45 Undercuff Leather Fleece No
Kinco Pigskin Glove $15 Undercuff Canvas/leather None No


Ski Glove Buying Advice 

Glove Materials: Leather vs. Synthetic

Ski gloves are constructed with two general material types: synthetic and leather. From a glance at the table above, you’ll notice that many gloves utilize both materials, playing to their respective strengths, so this isn’t always a question of exclusivity. But knowing what each material is best for goes a long way in finding the ideal glove.

Ski gloves (group photo)
Our top picks are a mixture of synthetic and leather designs

Leather ski gloves are durable, extremely comfortable, and on occasion cheaper than synthetics. From premium Hestras to budget options like the FlyLow Gear Ridge, they have a much more natural feel and are usually more flexible and dexterous than a comparable synthetic. The biggest downside is moisture protection. Leather—and particularly treated leather—is water resistant and can withstand light to moderate wetness. But eventually they will soak through in wet conditions. To stay dry and extend the lifespan of your leather ski gloves, try Sno-Seal or another wax waterproofing treatment.

Synthetic (Nylon and Polyester)
Leather has had a resurgence, but the majority of ski gloves still use a synthetic shell. At the high end, including the Arc'teryx Rush SV, you’ll find tough but pliant nylon shells that fend off snow, wind, and cold conditions. Cheaper synthetic gloves often use a less flexible polyester shell that doesn’t hold up as well to moisture and can feel bulky. With either type of shell, a waterproof insert often is incorporated between the shell and insulation. Leather has its advantages, but synthetic gloves offer the highest levels of waterproofing and breathability. To get the best of both worlds, many synthetic gloves add leather or synthetic leather on the palm and fingers for grip and dexterity.

Ski gloves (Gordini and Burton)
Gordini's Storm Trooper and Burton's Gore-Tex gloves both use liberal amounts of synthetic materials


If you’re prone to cold fingers like myself, or live in an area with frigid temperatures like the Northeast, you’ve probably found ski glove shopping to be a bit challenging. Most ski gloves under $100 just aren’t warm enough to be comfortable on the chairlift when the temperature dips below about 15°F. In the end, I’ve found that more expensive gloves like the Black Diamond Guide and Hestra Heli offer the warmth I need. Conversely, if you run warm or ski in mild bluebird conditions, you can save some money with a less insulated glove like the Marmot Randonnee or Burton Gore-Tex.

Outdoor Research Arete (warmth)
The relatively thin Outdoor Research Arete falls mid-pack in terms of warmth

Gloves are insulated in a wide range of ways, from fleece to synthetic fill, so it’s hard to establish exactly how warm a glove will be without trying it on first. Some indications include the weight of the synthetic (listed in grams) as well as the quality. PrimaLoft is the leader for lofty warmth and is popular on many high-end gloves. Some of the warmest designs use a mix of insulation: the Black Diamond Guide has 170-gram PrimaLoft fill as well as plush boiled wool in the lining. For absolute warmth, we turn to mittens, which heat more efficiently by pressing your fingers against one another. Some skiers may miss the control that you get with each finger gripping the ski pole, but it may be worth the tradeoff. 


Aside from warmth, waterproofness is the second major factor that can make or break your days on the slopes. And not only does your glove need to keep snow from entering, it needs to let perspiration out from the inside.

Ski Gloves (powder skiing)
Quality waterproofing is a top priority in just about all conditions

Located between the shell material and insulation is a waterproof membrane or insert. Gore-Tex offers the best combination of waterproofing and breathability on the market. Cheaper gloves often use a non-Gore-Tex insert of varying names (BDry, C-Zone, Dryride, MemBrain, etc.) and degrees of efficiency. Keep in mind that if you choose a cheaper ski glove in the $50 range, you can expect decent waterproofing but breathability is where you'll really notice the difference. When your hand gets sweaty, moisture gets trapped and doesn't have a good way to exit the glove. Entry-level gloves can be fine for those who ski occasional sessions at the resort, but serious skiers will want a serious glove to stay comfortable throughout the day.

Some leather gloves forego the Gore-Tex insert and are merely water resistant, which can work in dry climates like Colorado and Utah. Usually the leather has a DWR finish and is treated with a wax like Sno-Seal. For experienced skiers who are staying in-bounds, leather can work just fine on clear days, and a well-maintained leather glove can definitely do the trick all season long. But a synthetic or fully waterproof leather glove is the safer bet.

Ski Gloves Hestra leather balm
Occasional maintenance is required to keep the leather Hestras from absorbing moisture


In general, warmth and dexterity go hand in hand. A heavily insulated glove like the Black Diamond Guide is bulkier and harder to use for tasks like unbuckling a ski boot or grabbing your phone. Gloves that put together warmth and dexterity, like the Hestra Morrison Pro, are pretty rare and almost always come with a high price tag. Another element is the level of R&D—high-end gloves are better tailored to fit a hand and have a pre-curved shape for a natural feel.

Ski glove (articulated hand)
Premium gloves feature a natural, articulated shape

Individual needs will vary, but dexterity shouldn’t be the top consideration for most resort skiers. Even a very thick glove or mitten is serviceable for gripping a ski pole for downhill use. We look for a good mix of freedom of movement without compromising in warmth and protection, which is why we find a glove like the Hestra Heli just about perfect. It’s when you ski big mountains or venture off trail that’s it becomes worth it to upgrade to the Morrison Pro or Arc’teryx Rush SV.

Ski Gloves (backcountry)
Backcountry skiers often prefer a more dexterous and lightweight glove

Cuff Length

Gauntlet Style
Different skiers prefer different cuff lengths, but there are some concrete concepts that can help make your decision easier. Longer gauntlet-style gloves extend well beyond your wrist covering the cuff of your ski jacket. Generally, they are warmer because they have more insulation and seal out the cold very effectively with a draw cord. They also offer slightly less range of movement in your wrist with more material in the way. Shorter gauntlet-style gloves that barely cover the cuffs on a jacket leave a pathway for moisture to enter in really wet conditions (more on wrist cinches in our features section), but this style is also the easiest to get on and off.

Ski gloves (cuff length)
Gauntlet vs. undercuff gloves

Shorter undercuff gloves tuck into your ski jacket, which requires more work than simply sliding on a gauntlet glove, and they don’t offer quite as much warmth. Also, if your sleeves ride up when you’re reaching forward, say to plant a ski pole, you can expose some skin. On the other hand, they offer more agility with less bulk getting in your way of wrist movement and are easier to ventilate. Many of Hestra's freeride gloves are undercuff, and some backcountry skiers prefer the freedom you get with this style. Gauntlets are popular for maximum protection in deep powder and cold weather (or wet) resort days.

FlyLow ski gloves
FlyLow's simple undercuff design doesn't offer fantastic protection, but it gets the job done

Should I Get Gloves with Removable Liners?

Across all price ranges, you’ll have the choice between gloves that are made with or without removable liners. In general, gloves with removable liners will be slightly warmer but are a little bulkier and less dexterous. For us, the most compelling reason to choose a glove with a liner is that it’s more adaptable to different temperatures. You can wear the shell on a warm spring day and use both (or swap out other liners you may own) for the rest of the season. Another benefit is that it’s easier to dry out the gloves if they happen to get wet by separating the two pieces. And as a bonus, if you get a glove with thin liners (like the Burton Gore-Tex), you can use them for activities like cold weather running or driving. 

Ski Gloves (removable liner)
Removable liners make it easier to adapt to a range of conditions

Ski Glove Features

Wrist Cinches
Gauntlet-style gloves in particular often have a cinch or draw cord to tighten the opening where snow can enter (this differs from a wrist strap, which tightens the glove over the hand and wrist). By pulling the cinch or draw cord, you can effectively prevent moisture from entering your glove in all but the wettest of conditions. Much like a powder skirt on a ski jacket, this can be very effective at tightening down your gear before skiing through the deep stuff.

Nose Wipes
It's not easy to grab a tissue with your gloves on, so many models feature a soft patch of fabric on the thumb or pointer finger to help with your runny nose. Nose wipes are good in a pinch and the fabric helps to avoid irritation that you might get from doing the same thing with tough shell fabric. Of course, they lose their effectiveness when overused or when the temperature really drops, but they are a nice touch nevertheless.

Touch-Screen Compatibility
It's 2017, so why wouldn't you want touch-screen sensitivity on your ski gloves? A number of manufacturers now offer exactly that (including the Burton Gore-Tex and The North Face Montana), so that you can snap photos or videos without taking your gloves off. You'll most often find the technology, however, on thin gloves and liners where it's easier to incorporate (the fabric has to retain some energy and warmth for it to work). On some models, only pointer fingers and thumbs are touch-screen compatible. Again, this is a nice feature if a glove you like has it, but not one that we would alter our purchase for.

Touch-screen capability
The Burton Gore-Tex glove is compatible with smartphone screens

Gloves vs. Mittens

Ski gloves are the classic choice for resort and backcountry skiing and remain the most popular, but mittens can be a viable alternative. In comparing the two, gloves win by a wide margin in dexterity. If you need to grab a lift pass out of your zippered pocket, good luck pulling that off without removing your mittens. It’s also easier and feels far more natural to retain a good grip on a ski pole or adjust your boots or bindings with gloves. But as we touched on in the “warmth” section above, there’s simply no replacement for a heavily insulated mitten. They offer unbeatable levels of warmth.

A final alternative is the 3-finger glove, which attempts to bring together the attributes of glove and mitten designs. In these gloves, the pointer finger and thumb have their own slots while your remaining fingers huddle together for warmth. We don’t often recommend this style because freeing up your pointer finger isn’t a huge difference maker for dexterity, and that finger ends up just as cold as it would be in a standard glove. In this case, it doesn’t amount to the best of both worlds.
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