Picture the day. You’re out skiing, bluebird sunshine with fluffy snow twinkling in the cold air. The perfect skiing conditions, right?
It would be perfect, except you’re freezing cold. Too cold to enjoy yourself, all you’re thinking about is finding a warm hot chocolate to warm up your, by now, frostbitten fingers.
Darn, your new gloves just don’t cut the mustard. They look great but somehow they’re already wet through and turning each finger into little icicles.
Your hands provide some of the most crucial functions during your day on the mountain, which is why ensuring the warmth of both hands during your ski trip is such a crucial component.
There are so many types and styles of gloves on the market today, which makes it almost impossible to know which pair you should buy.
Pick the wrong gloves and you’ll be miserable. Trust me, I’ve been there.
In this post, we’ll explore important factors for you to keep in mind when shopping for your next pair of ski gloves.
Types of Ski Gloves
The first factor to take into account when it comes to ski gloves is the type that you prefer. The choice is between gloves, mittens or even a hybrid trigger mitt.
Mittens have grown in popularity in recent years, especially with snowboarders who don’t have any pesky ski poles to hold on to. Mittens are generally warmer than gloves, although you lose a lot of dexterity without being able to move fingers independently.
You might consider the conditions you will be skiing in, if it is super cold then mittens will keep you snug but in the spring gloves will offer more freedom.
You should pay extra attention to the material used in the manufacturing of the outer shells. The exterior shell of ski gloves is your first line of defense against the elements, the material needs to be hardy enough to protect you against the weather and against water.
Different types of synthetic and natural materials are often used to waterproof ski gear, this varies massively between cheap options and a top of the line ski glove. Polyurethane is often used in low-end gloves which provides less warmth and waterproofing abilities.
Leather is a more preferred option, particularly in the best quality gloves and mittens. Both goatskin leather and cowhide are naturally resistant to water, and when paired with quality insulation, offer you an awesome level of protection against the harshest weather. Goatskin in particular provides incredible warmth, breathability and comfort while remaining highly durable, ideal for long harsh winters.
The membrane of the gloves is also an important factor that you should take note of. The membrane accounts for the breathability of your ski gloves. Not only should the membrane be able to keep water from seeping into your gloves, but it should also be able to help keep your hands free of sweat.
Extra chemicals and solutions are usually added to textiles to improve durability and waterproofing. Many products use DWR (Durable Water Repellent) as the protective membrane while leathers require wax to keep the water at bay.
The insulation is key to keeping your hands warm and dry at the same time. It also needs to add breathability to the gloves in order to keep you warm on the slopes. Thinsulate is a relatively popular material offering outstanding insulation without bulking up your gloves. Other materials may include Primaloft or down.
The lining can either be built into the glove, or you may choose to buy a system that comes with a separate lining. The lining often sits tight on your hands, almost like forming a second skin. When you buy a separate lining, it means you can remove your glove or mitten to adjust your goggle strap, work on your smartphone, or perform another task that requires fine motor skills, without exposing your hands directly to the cold weather conditions. Two popular material options include wool and fleece.
Take the Time to Find the Right Gloves
Due to the massive variety of ski gloves for you to choose from, it is easy to end up with a pair that doesn’t provide you with the correct level of warmth, comfort and functionality. I certainly have chosen the wrong pair of gloves on more than one occasion. It’s important to pay attention to the type of gloves you are buying, not just the style.
If you are planning a ski trip and want to buy a new pair of gloves, be sure to take a close look at the tips we share here. Take each of them into consideration to help you find a pair that will be perfect for your next trip.