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 products like the Decathlon Wedze 500, ideal for weekend warriors, to bombproof 'armoured' gloves like Dainese HP Ergotek Pro, 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.
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.
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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
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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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