Best Ski Gloves
There are few things that can make you more miserable on the slopes than cold, wet hands. No matter how good the powder is, defective gear can still ruin your day. This is why gloves are so important, but not just any gloves. The right gloves are essential.
Do you know what the right gloves are? With such a huge selection of different styles, manufacturers and types of insulation, how do you know what it is you really need?
The first thing to consider is insulation. In general there are two kinds, synthetic and natural down. Both have strengths and weaknesses, and which one is best will depend on the kind of environment you ski in. Starting off with synthetic, it is the heavier of the two for a given insulation rating, but is less costly than down, so gloves with synthetic insulation can be a better value overall. It also works as an insulator even when wet. With down, once it is wet it stops insulating. Synthetic also insulation dries much faster than the natural alternative as well.
Down, by contrast, offers more insulation, and warmer hands, for less weight. Because it’s also more durable than synthetics, gloves will natural down insulation will last longer. It is more expensive to manufacture, and thus makes gloves more expensive. And, if it gets wet it stops working as an insulator. Whether you are likely to get very wet is therefore a crucial component of which type of insulation to go for. For many of us, price is also a significant factor, and that is where synthetic has the advantage.
The waterproof materials used are another thing that differentiates different gloves, with the best, such as Gore-Tex and other proprietary fabrics offering not just high degrees of water resistance, but also breathability that prevents your hands from becoming too sweaty. By allowing moisture to escape from the glove your wearing, your hand will stay warm and dry – perfect for a day on the slopes.
The cuff fastenings are also important. If snow is to get into your gloves, the main way it usually happens is through the wrist opening, so adequate and secure fastening there are essential. Material also matters when it comes to gripping the poles. Having good palm material that allows both flexibility and a secure grip builds confidence on the snow.
Finally, we have to talk about fit. Having the right sized gloves makes all the difference. In fact over or under sized gloves can actually be dangerous, impairing your grip or worse, distracting you with discomfort at a crucial moment. For safety, it is essential to have gloves in just the right fit for you. With all that in mind, below is a sample of the very best gloves on the market today.
The Best Ski Gloves
The Hestra Heli Glove. One of the most famous brands in skiing – the choice of professionals the world over – Hestra gloves cost more than most. But their performance, build quality and durability justify the cost. Available in both men’s and women’s versions, they use a hybrid goat leather and synthetic material on the outside for flexibility and good levels of grip combined with class leading water resistance. They use qualofill insulation and have removable inserts for easy of cleaning and maintenance.
Available in a range of sizes to suit all, and available in red or black for men, and black, navy or grey for women, these look great, perform great and will last longer than most.
Marmot Randonee Gloves. These good-looking gloves have a nylon outer, but use hood quality, durable leather on the palms and fingers to provide good grip in even the harshest of conditions without sacrificing any flexibility. Synthetic insulation keeps the hands warm, while the outer materials provide good breathability to prevent build-up of moisture for maximum comfort during extended times on the slopes.
Available in both men’s and women’s versions, they provide an excellent, secure and warm glove, and with a good degree of water resistance and secure wrist fastening your hands will stay dry whatever the weather.
Burton Gore-Tex Gloves. These are aimed at the more budget conscious among us, but there are no corners cut with these gloves. With a durable nylon outer shell with a Gore-Tex liner for breathability and water resistance, these gloves will keep your hands dry in even the worst conditions. The insulation keeps your hands warm ( although it sacrifices some insulation performance to keep weight down) and an inner microfiber liner for a soft, cozy fit.
With leather palm and fingertips to proved excellent grip capability, exceptional and easy to use wrist closures, and a wide choice of colors, these gloves offer great performance while keeping costs under control.