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Ski Gloves buying guide

Want to protect your hands from the icy-cold weather while skiing? Ski gloves present a simple and efficient solution.

With the right fit, you can enjoy the comfort and warmth of these gloves. Some even have additional features like water and weatherproofing. So to find the best product you need proper knowledge about every element.

A buying guide comes handy while doing so. You get all the necessary facts and details about different characteristics under one roof. With this, you can quickly strike down the best pair of gloves for your expedition.

So, without any further ado, let us go through a brief introduction and then dive into this comprehensive guide.

What are ski gloves, and why should you opt for them?

When you are skiing on a snowy trail for a more extended period, you should take care of your hands properly. Your hands will become cold quickly, so you need to keep them warm and dry.

Freezing fingers can be miserable and create discomfort while skiing. You must find a good pair of gloves for skiing so that you can protect your hand from cold effectively.

Having standard quality gloves will provide extra warmth to your hands. Besides, they will support you with great dexterity and comfort for effortless skiing.

Ski Gloves Vs. Mittens

Gloves are essential for dexterity, where mittens are preferred for their warmth. So, you must decide in the first place whether you need gloves or mittens for skiing.

Gloves are designed with separate fingers providing better dexterity.

It allows you to comfortably move your fingers to help you do different activities, including handling essential gear, zipping up the zippers, or adjusting your boots. For cross-country skiing, you can choose lightweight gloves.

Mittens do not have individual fingers, which helps them create more heat to keep their hands warmer. As fabrics do not separate the fingers, mittens come up with less dexterity than the gloves.

However, you can hold a ski pole or go hiking in the coldest temperatures.

It will be a little difficult to access your mobile phone with mittens and pick up something from the pockets.

Therefore, you can look for the 3-fingers gloves, commonly known as lobster gloves, which are something between the mittens and gloves that will give you better protection from the cold without limiting the mobility of your fingers.

Factors to deem while selecting a pair of ski gloves


When you are choosing ski gloves, you must consider the right size to get a proper balance. So, you must follow the sizing chart carefully given by the manufacturers to get the perfect size for your hands.

You should choose the gloves that will allow your fingers to move without any restrictions. However, choosing bigger gloves means you cannot have a tight grip.

When wearing gloves, you need to take care of the size so that they do not fit loosely around the wrist. Otherwise, your hands will become cold very quickly, which can create problems while skiing. But the gloves should provide room for your hands to breathe freely.

Usually, gloves made explicitly for skiing are available with three sizes: small, medium, and large. You should remember that the glove sizes are not the same for men and women.


You should buy ski gloves with a snug fit that offers the right amount of warmth and comfort. Otherwise, it will be difficult to spend all day long on the snow.

You should not go for a too great design because it will be challenging to get a good grip. Also, you will need to generate more body heat to warm up the free space inside your gloves.

By contrast, if you go for a too-small size, it will not adequately cover up your wrists. Thus, it will reduce your comfort.

You can follow some tips to get the right fit so that you can grip the ski pole tightly and keep your hands warm:

  • You should make sure that when you wear gloves, your fingers should not touch the gloves' edges. It will be better to have a one-inch gap between the gloves and your fingers.
  • You may need to wear your gloves for the whole day. So, if you choose tighter gloves, it will cause discomfort to your hands. The gloves should have a snug fit, but choosing a material that can expand slightly will be very useful for the skiers.
  • With a proper fit, you will get a firm grip, which is very useful to adjust the buckles of your boots, access your phone, map, etc. without any hassles.
  • The right fit of the gloves also depends on the right choice of the materials. Gloves that are made from leather will take a more extended period to break-in. You should abide by the manufacturer's guidelines to use and maintain the gloves efficiently.
  • If you think that you need to hold the ski pole, you should look for the gloves designed with pre-curved fingers. It will come handy on your trail.


  1. Glove Shell Material

Typically, glove shells are composed of either synthetic or leather, and both of them have some positive and negative facets.

  1. Synthetic

There are two prevalent synthetic materials in designing the shell of ski gloves, including nylon and polyester.

Though nylon can protect your hands from the water, they do not have much dexterity. Polyester is not as robust as nylon, so it tends to wear out in less time. Also, it is less resistant to water but provides more flexibility to the skiers.

However, synthetic gloves have higher breathability than leather gloves. Synthetic materials make the gloves more cumbersome.

It will be better to choose the gloves designed with a combination of leather and synthetic materials.

  1. Leather

The skiers prefer leather gloves for their excellent comfort and attractive look.They are also flexible. However, they need proper care for long-lasting use. Without regular maintenance, leather gloves can reduce their water resistance capacity.

Gloves made of leather have a natural feel, and they are very soft to wear.

Lining Material

Besides the shell of the gloves, you must consider the inner lining. Materials used in designing the lining also have a high impact on the comfort of the gloves.

Polyester fleece is a widespread liner material that offers maximum softness. However, thicker fleece does not come with high breathability, which is a minus for this material.

As an alternative, you can look for wool that works effectively to wick away sweat and moisture.


Most ski gloves are designed with waterproof materials to prevent moisture and help wick sweat away.

So, if you are planning to ski on the snowy trail or a rainy area, you must consider the waterproof, breathable gloves. It will keep your hands and fingers dry and warm even in the coldest and wettest weather conditions.

You will see a membrane working as a barrier between the glove shell and liner. Gore-Tex® technology is commonly used in these gloves, and it helps water vapors to escape that are produced by sweat.

Also, some manufactures are using Marmot MemBrain®, The North Face HyVent®, etc. instead of Gore-Tex®.

Gloves designed with the Gore-Tex® technology are a little expensive. But it is better to know that all the waterproof gloves come entirely waterproof.

Moreover, you can choose a glove shell designed with DWR finish, but it is not long-lasting. Some skiers are also likely to have leather gloves come along with the synthetic outer shell.

You must check the waterproofness of the gloves before making your purchase to make sure you can enjoy skiing in any difficult weather conditions.


When you are going to buy your gloves for skiing, you should check the durability in advance. But there are some significant factors that determine the durability of the gloves.

Durability is not about how the gloves look or feel. It depends on the construction materials. For example, leather gloves are incredibly durable, but you have to take proper care to maintain durability.

Synthetic materials are also very durable and easy to maintain. So, it has become a popular choice for gloves.

If you think that you are not able to take care of your gloves regularly, you should avoid leather gloves. Instead, choosing the synthetic shell can serve your purpose effectively.

You can store them anywhere without worrying about regular care. Even you can store them in dry and hot conditions without having any negative impact on the durability. They are meant to last long.


What type of insulation you need for your ski gloves is closely related to the style of skiing. But you should pay more attention to the insulation while buying your gloves.

You can go for thicker insulation when you are skiing in a colder situation. Nevertheless, you should remember that thicker insulation does not always mean warmer gloves.

Having proper insulation means it will help the vapor escape and keep your fingers dry and warm.

There are different types of gloves available in the market that are designed with several types of insulation such as:

  1. Down

It can be an ideal choice for dry weather. Down insulation works the best in the colder situation for moderate activity. It combines feathers and down plumules together that can trap air effectively. It is how down can protect your hand from getting cold.

Down with a higher rating have a better insulating capacity, so they are perfect for cold and dry conditions. But if the weather is wet down it will lose the insulating ability quickly.

  1. Primaloft®

The main ingredient of the Primaloft® is a synthetic microfiber, which is very useful for holding up the body heat and maintaining energy. You can consider this insulation when you are planning to ski in a wet condition.

In terms of weight, down is warmer than Primaloft®, but the best thing about this insulation is that it is breathable and incredibly resistant to water.

It also has better compressibility. Thus, you can use it for sound insulation, even in a wet weather condition.

  1. Thinsulate™

Thinsulate™ is made up of ultrathin microfibers that are lightweight and ensure high insulating properties. You can select this insulation if you are looking for the gloves designed with high dexterity.


When it comes to checking the layering of the ski gloves, you will see two types of layers such as single layer and dual-layer.

It is recommended to pick up the dual-layer instead of the single-layer gloves.

Dual-layer gloves are available with removable liners, which are made out of fleece. Therefore, one pair of dual-layer gloves act like three pairs of these gloves.

The primary purpose of using this extra layer is to add more warmth to the gloves. Also, they help the glove shells to become resistant to wind and water.

When you are up to spring skiing, you will not need any extra warmth. Therefore, you can use the glove shell to protect your hands from water. You can remove the layer and use the liners according to your convenience.

However, if you are likely to ski in freezing weather, you should look for single-layer gloves. Make sure the gloves are thicker enough to keep your hands warm efficiently.

Cuff length and style

You can choose the cuff length of the ski gloves according to your personal preference. Your main target is to prevent the snow from getting inside your jacket and gloves.

Therefore, you should consider the style of your jacket before selecting the cuff length. Two common styles are found in the market for these gloves, including a shorter cuff and longer cuff.

The shorter cuff covers your wrist, where the longer cuffs can be extended up to the sleeve of the jacket. Both of them have some advantages and disadvantages.

The longer length cuffs are appropriate for better protection. Oppositely, the shorter cuffs provide greater mobility for your wrist.

  1. Under the cuff

These are the short cuffs that barely touch your wrist. Your jacket's cuffs can overlap these cuffs, but they are suitable for your wrist's mobility. If your jacket sleeve is equipped with adjustable velcro tabs, you can consider this cuff style for your gloves.

  1. Over the cuff

Usually, longer cuffs can be extended over the jacket sleeves. So, it will be an excellent choice to protect your hands from the snow. Your cuff style may or may not overlap the jacket cuffs. But you must check the adjustability of the jacket cuffs beforehand.

Glove liners

Glove liners are placed inside of the gloves for increasing the warmth. They work as extra layers to protect your hands from snow and cold.

These liners are removable so you can use them depending on your comfort and convenience. Some people buy an outer shell glove separately and then, choose the liners according to the weather.

You can go for a thinner liner made of silk, wool, or synthetic materials that offer extra insulation.

However, a thicker liner made of polyester is suitable for insulation, but it cannot wick away the moisture properly.

After your skiing, you can remove the bulkier gloves and wear the liners only to give your hands some warmth.

You should bear one thing in mind that most of the high-quality gloves used for skiing do not require the liners because they are capable enough to retain the heat in any weather conditions effectively.

Touchscreen Compatibility

Even though you are going skiing, you will need to access your mobile phone for different purposes. With a view to that, many manufacturers have designed ski gloves that are extremely compatible with the touchscreen.

The palm and fingers are built in such a way that they allow you to operate your smartphones when wearing the gloves.

You do not need to remove the gloves to control the phone or tablet to protect your skin from the cold.

In general, lightweight and mid-weight gloves have the maximum compatibility with the touchscreen. It is possible because of their higher dexterity.

So, if you need to use your smartphones when you are skiing outside you should look for those gloves having touchscreen compatible palms and fingers.


Though gloves cannot provide warmth as much as mittens, you should check this factor in advance to make sure that your hand will not feel cold while skiing on the snow.

You should select only those ski gloves that meet all your requirements aptly.

When skiing in warmer weather, you will need a pair of gloves that do not offer more warmth yet have waterproofing features.

On the contrary, it will be wise to choose warmer gloves. Not all people need the same amount of warmth, so you should select the gloves as per your needs.

There are some critical factors like shell material, insulation, waterproofness, and breathability, that determine the warmth of the gloves.

It means you should check all these factors to get the right warmth from your gloves in the coldest weather condition.

Additional Features

  1. Adjustable cuffs

You should look for the toggle fastenings for your ski gloves to adjust the cuffs conveniently. It will be beneficial to remove debris and snow from the cuff. Also, you can keep your hands clean, warm, and dry.

  1. Textured palms

Some high-end gloves are protected by synthetic rubbers like polyurethane, which ensures the gloves' non-slip features.

  1. Fleece lining

Inner linings can be made from polyester or any other synthetic fabric. It will be better to select fleece lining because it provides maximum warmth to the skiers.

  1. Heat vent

It is needless to mention that having the gloves with the heat vent will improve the gloves' breathability. Thus, the hot air will pass through easily without making your hands sweaty.

  1. Goggle wipe

Some gloves come with built-in goggle wipes that help remove water, debris, and snow from the lenses of your goggles. Goggle wipes are essential for having a clear vision in poor weather conditions.

  1. Nose wipe

Besides goggle wipe, nose wipes are also a vital addition to your gloves. You will see built-in soft patches to wipe off your runny nose effortlessly.

  1. Padding

Padding can improve the insulation level for better warmth so that you can get some extra protection from chilly weather.

  1. Wrist cinches

It will be crucial to search for the wrist cinches as they are beneficial to get a snug fit. It will not allow chilly air to get inside your gloves.

Having the wrist straps with buckles helps you to protect your hand from wind and snow. It also ensures that the gloves will not come out of your hand even if you fall accidentally.

  1. Wrist cord

You can also look for the wrist cords if you have a habit of removing the gloves frequently. With the wrist cord, you can be sure that your gloves will not fall on the mountain slopes, and thus you can keep them secured with you.

  1. Articulated fingers

If you have thicker gloves, you can consider this feature to get a better grip. The pre-curved fingers make sure that you can hold the ski pole firmly without any discomfort.


  1. What is the best material for ski gloves?

Leather is considered the most loved material owing to its ultra-comfortable fit. Also, they impart more finger movement than other materials.

  1. What are hand-warmer pockets used for?

These hand-warmer pockets are located behind the hand's back. They have a function of being used for adding extra-warmth imparting items.

  1. What is a lobster claw mitten?

This mitten is formed by dividing a glove with 3 fingers. They are one with the thumb, 2 with the first two fingers, and 2 with the last 2 fingers. It is used to offer more dexterity to the hand.

  1. Are all ski gloves waterproof?

No, all gloves are not waterproof. You need to check with the manufacturer or the provided label to get the waterproof mark on the gloves you purchase.

Summing Up

Selecting the right pair of ski gloves for the activity makes the difference between a fun-filled experience and a miserable one. Here in this guide, we present all the essential information in an organized way.

Just go through them quickly and make an informed decision while making a purchase. Arm your hands with optimal protection and have a comfortable skiing experience. / - © Copyright 2020