Best ski gloves 2021: keep your mitts warm on the slopes this winter

We test the best ski gloves around; perfect whether you’re a piste cruiser or a backcountry explorer

best ski gloves: Skiier on a jump
(Image credit: Matthieu Pétiard on Unsplash)

Having the best ski gloves can save you from a ruined day on the slopes. There's nothing worse than icy cold fingers when you’re skiing, and if you have the wrong ski gloves your digits will be like icicles when the sun goes in and the snow comes down.

The options vary enormously, from effective but budget-priced gloves that are ideal for weekend warriors, to bombproof 'armoured' gloves for tougher trips... whilst if you really feel the cold the Steiner Radiator gloves with their battery-powered heating system are a life-saver – well, a finger-saver at least. If your hands (and feet) are warm then the rest of you generally is too, so it’s worth taking time out to get the best ski gloves for the type of riding you do. You could also pop one of the best hand warmers in your pocket for a reliable blast of warmth, après ski. 

Read on for some buying advice, followed by our pick of the best ski gloves for a range of budgets and use cases. And while you're upgrading your kit bag, you might also want to check out our roundup of the best ski jackets and the best ski pants, to keep you comfy and cosy on the slopes.

How to choose the best ski gloves for you

A common mistake when buying ski gloves is to go for so much insulation that your hands are tightly packed into the gloves, which totally defeats the point of the insulation – if your hands are constricted, your fingers in particular, blood can’t readily flow to these extremities and you’ll soon find they’re as cold as ice. So, make sure your gloves are snug but not too tight (too loose of course and the insulation can’t do its job either).

You should also look for waterproof and breathable materials – the latter may not seem that important, but if your hands become so warm that they sweat the dampness in the gloves will eventually make them feel cold (as well as creating a hideous pong).

Also decide whether you want a large gauntlet cuff that goes over the cuffs of your ski jacket (and is easier to take on and off) or a more slim-cut under the cuff fit; the former tend to be more popular with the backcountry crowd, the latter with piste skiers. Another small but really useful feature is a built-in wrist loop – this allows you to take your gloves on and off whilst, say, reading a piste map on a chair lift without the risk of losing them.

The best ski gloves you can buy right now

Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski gloves ski glovesT3 Best Buy badge

(Image credit: Hestra)

1. Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski gloves

The best ski gloves for most people

Specifications

Insulation: G-Loft polyester
Outers: leather and synthetic
Wrist loops: yes

Reasons to buy

+
Top quality construction
+
Great looks

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Large gauntlets won’t suit everyone

Topping our best ski gloves list are the Hestra's Army Leather Heli Ski gloves. These are classics – and you don’t need to be heli-skiing to get the most out of them. They also come in three-finger and mitt format, but this five-finger glove offers the best dexterity. High quality leather and fabric outers keep the elements at bay, as does the top-quality G-Loft insulation, whilst a large bellows cuff makes them easy to get on and off as well as providing additional protection from the elements, and the easy-to-use elasticated wrist loops make sure you don’t lose them. They also come with a small carabiner for attaching them to your belt/rucksack etc. The build quality is excellent and they should provide several seasons of use, which makes the premium price easier to live with.

Montane Supercell ski glovesT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Montane)

2. Montane Supercell ski gloves

The best mid-priced ski gloves

Specifications

Insulation: Dryactiv 2000 deep pile
Outers: Nylon, softshell and goat leather
Wrist loops: yes

Reasons to buy

+
Lovely snug lining
+
Grippy leather palm

Reasons to avoid

-
Only available in black
-
Lining rather bulky

The Montane Supercell are our pick for the best mid-priced ski gloves around. A carefully crafted mix of 'Granite' softshell and nylon reinforcement outer panels along with a waterproof inner membrane and pre-curved digits make these gloves weatherproof, dexterous and tough. Lined throughout with Dryactiv 2000 deep pile which is quick drying and warm, the Montane Supercell’s durable outers are reinforced with goat leather on the palm, underside of the fingers, knuckles and overlays, which as well as adding further protection against the weather also provides good grip, whilst elasticated wrists protect against snow ingress and wrist loops helps to prevent you from losing them whilst using your phone on the chair lift.

Keela Extreme ski glovesT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Keela)

3. Keela Extreme Ski Gloves

The best budget ski gloves

Specifications

Insulation: Primaloft
Outers: fabric and faux leather
Wrist loops: no

Reasons to buy

+
Good value
+
Touch screen compatible

Reasons to avoid

-
White colour option will soon look grubby
-
No wrist loops

Quite plain but very functional, the Keela Extreme are some of the best budget ski gloves around. The design includes a soft, warm Primaloft lining and a waterproof, breathable and windproof outer. Snow, wind and cold are also kept out by an elasticated wrist and easy-to-use elasticated cuff toggle, and the combination of pre-curved fingers and faux leather palms helps you maintain a secure grip on your ski poles. There are nice little extras like a soft nose wipe and touch screen compatible forefinger and thumb on both gloves, and although the bellows cuff is quite short it will cover all but the most voluminous of jacket cuffs.

Arc'Teryx Fission SV ski glovesT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Arc'Teryx )

4. Arc'Teryx Fission SV glove

The best ski gloves for all-round performance

Specifications

Insulation: PrimaLoft Silver and Gold
Outers: goat leather
Wrist loops: no

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent dexterity
+
Gore-Tex layer keeps water out
+
Warm yet lightweight

Reasons to avoid

-
No wrist loops

Arc'Teryx is known for making top quality outdoors gear, and its Fission SV gloves don't disappoint. The SV stands for severe weather, and on that front, these come with a Gore-Tex layer that does an excellent job of keeping the damp out, along with an adjustable elasticated fastening around the cuff to provide a snow barrier (and keep them securely on your hands). They're cosier than you'd expect for a relatively lightweight and packable build: Arc'Teryx has employed PrimaLoft stuffing with an additional insulation layer next to your skin, the latter being deigned to manage moisture and stop your hands getting clammy. Dexterity is also good, and they're robust enough to deal with plenty of battering about. Our only real complaint is the lack of wrist loop for when you want to take them off but keep them connected.

Steiner Radiator Heated ski GlovesT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Steiner)

5. Steiner Radiator Heated Gloves

The best hi-tech ski gloves

Specifications

Insulation: Primaloft 100g
Outers: lLeather and fabric with breathable/waterproof membrane
Wrist loops: yes

Reasons to buy

+
Guaranteed warmth
+
Top quality construction

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Unnecessarily techy for some

Steiner’s Radiator gloves pretty much guarantee warm hands no matter how cold it is thanks to a battery powered heating system with three levels of control that can provide as much as 8.5 hours of warmth. It’s easy to operate via a switch on the upper side of the gauntlet cuff, and the batteries are so unobtrusive you don’t notice them whilst wearing the gloves. The gloves are also touchscreen compatible and the snug, soft Primaloft inners are warm enough that you don’t always need to use the heating system, but when you do it’s great to be able to literally enjoy warm hands at the press of a switch.

Dainese HP Ergotek Pro ski glovesT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Dainese)

6. Dainese HP Ergotek Pro

The best ultra-tough ski gloves

Specifications

Insulation: Primaloft
Outers: ERGOTEK TM Knuckles Technology Full Leather
Wrist loops: no

Reasons to buy

+
Bombproof construction
+
Great hand protection

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Over-engineered for recreational skiers

The Dainese HP Ergotek Pro gloves have been developed through experience on the Alpine Ski World Cup combined with feedback from world-class athletes and Olympic champions. They'll especially appeal to anyone who fancies themselves as a ski racer thanks to their use of innovative Ergotek technology, which protects your knuckles with independent ergonomically shaped outer plates whilst allowing each finger to move with maximum freedom. The gauntlets zip up snugly to lie beneath your cuffs, and build quality is superb - the premium leather outers will take many seasons of abuse, whilst Primaloft padding provides the essential warmth for your hands.

Decathlon Wedze 500 ski glovesT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Decathlon)

7. Decathlon Wedze 500

The best cheap ski gloves

Specifications

Insulation: 150g/sq metre wadding
Outers: goatskin and softshell fabric
Wrist loops: yes

Reasons to buy

+
Great value
+
All the essential features

Reasons to avoid

-
Plain looks
-
Not as rugged as more expensive options

The Wedze 500 has all the essential features you need in a ski glove and will undoubtedly appeal to anyone working on a tight budget. A combination of 150g/sq. m insulation, a soft brushed knit lining and a waterproof outer keep the elements at bay, although you may want to go up a size as the fit is quite snug. The cuffs have a decent-sized Velcro fastening and fit under the cuffs of your jacket, and a small wrist tab helps with pulling them on, whilst an adjustable wrist loop ensures you don’t lose them. Whilst they’re not really designed for extremely cold temperatures, they’ll keep your hands warm in most conditions without breaking the bank.

Reusch Jérémie Heitz Pro Model ski glovesT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Reusch)

8. Reusch Jérémie Heitz Pro Model

The best ergonomic fit ski gloves

Specifications

Insulation: Polartec Alpha
Outers: goatskin and four-way stretch softshell
Wrist loops: yes

Reasons to buy

+
Ergonomic fit
+
High tech insulation

Reasons to avoid

-
Slim fit won’t suit everyone
-
White leather option soon looks grubby

Endorsed by top freerider Jérémie Heitz, these gloves feature Polartec Alpha insulation, which was originally created for the US Special Forces who needed a superior insulation system that was effective in extreme temperature variations and the start-stop conditions of combat – in use Polartec Alpha provides consistent warmth while allowing greater breathability during activity. The gloves also feature a supple goat skin outer teamed with four-way stretch soft shell fabric, a low-cut Velcro fastening cuff and wrist loops in what is a stylish as well as very effective pair of ski gloves whether you’re hucking cliffs like Mr. Heitz or simply cruising down a nice blue run.

Picture Madson ski glovesT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Picture)

9. Picture Madson

The best eco-warrior ski gloves

Specifications

Insulation: 170g/sq metre wadding
Outers: Teflon Ecoelite PFC free DWR treated fabric with rubber palms
Wrist loops: yes

Reasons to buy

+
Eco-friendly
+
Well-insulated

Reasons to avoid

-
Short cuffs
-
Quite plain

Picture’s Madson focuses on being as green as possible, featuring recycled polyester and PFC-free water repellent in their construction, whilst at the same time providing a snug brushed fleece lining which has plenty of insulation for those really cold days. The fit is quite low profile and the rubber palms are nice and ‘sticky’ when holding ski poles, whilst a breathable and waterproof membrane further keeps the elements at bay. The short, Velcro-adjustable cuff fits under your jacket and also comes with a wrist loop. There’s also a small zippered pocket on the back of each glove for stuff like lift pass and credit card and it can also be used a vent on warmer days.

Dope Ace ski or snowboard glovesT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Dope)

10. Dope Ace ski or snowboard gloves

The best colourful ski gloves

Specifications

Insulation: fleece lining
Outers: neoprene cuff, polyurethane palm
Wrist loops: yes

Reasons to buy

+
Cool colour range
+
Effective protection
+
Touchscreen fingertips

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite unweildy
-
Fits wide

Dope specialises in cool and colourful ski and snowboard gear, and its Ace gloves are  no exception. They come in a wide range of shades to match the rest of your ski getup. A budget-friendly option, the Ace gloves are made with 'Dope HI-TEX fabric, which has a 15k/15k waterproofing and breathability rating, to keep your hands comfortably dry. They're impressively robust, with a neoprene cuff and polyurethane reinforcements. Touchscreen-compatible fingertips, alongside a grippy palm, mean you'll be able to use your phone without taking these off. Our tester found the fit a little unweildy – perhaps better for those with wide hands – but overall was impressed with the level of protection these delivered. Cool fluoro wrist loops round out this good-value, statement offering.

Alf Alderson is an adventure travel writer and outdoor gear reviewer who splits his time between the Pembrokeshire coast and the French Alps, where he is an 'ambassador' for the ski resort of Les Arcs.

With contributions from