While finding the best ski gloves might be a matter of preference, the simple fact is they’re no optional extra. Keeping your hands warm on the hill in sub-zero conditions is no laughing matter, especially at altitude, making a good pair of ski or snowboard gloves a practical essential.
There are plenty of variations out there, from standard gloves and mitts to all manner of designs in between, the main factor separating them all being warmth. Buying super-warm expedition mitts for low-level resort piste bashing will result in sweaty hands, while taking cheap lightweight gloves to altitude in Chamonix will result - at best - in an expensive lesson in resort gear pricing when you can’t stand the cold anymore.
Of course, when heading off on longer days up high or a spot of touring it’s wise to pick a more robust and waterproof glove, but as usual there are cost implications to bear in mind here, so don’t over-spec if you don’t need to. Although the best ski gloves will last for many years, the insulation will compress over time and gradually offer less warmth, so upgrading can become a regular - and enjoyable - process.
The North Face Montana Luxe Fl Men's Ski Gloves
If there was an all-rounder award, the Montana Luxe gloves would probably swing it. They’re immediately and obviously burly and built to last, strong on insulation, but still tactile enough to manage most hill-based operations without fumbling.
TNF’s flagship Futurelight waterproof membrane stars here, offering breathable weatherproofing without fuss, and both palm and back of the hand are protected by durable goat leather. A key extra here is the ‘etip’, which simply means you can operate a touchscreen while wearing them, which is a considerable plus in chilly temperatures.
There’s also a veritable kitchen sink of strong eco points to the Montana Luxe too, from the recycled polyester shell and Heatseeker Eco insulation (70% post-consumer recycled), to the non-PFC DWR finish, boxes are ticked with aplomb. A final gesture is the wrist leash and generous thumb loop for ease of use and difficulty of loss. The only negative is the price, which is definitely in the upper-midrange at £90. However, for a top-quality set of gloves that look and act the part, it’s a small price to pay.
Buy North Face Montana Luxe Gloves: £89.99 at Ellis Brigham
Best ski gloves for premium skiers/tourers
Dakine Phoenix Ski Gloves
Dakine has never been a cheap brand, but the quality is usually excellent, which results in very long life items indeed. These Phoenix gloves live up to that precisely, and are flexible in every sense too. A removable liner allows you to tune the warmth to suit the season or altitude, while the robust build will shrug off weather and cold stuff in all its myriad forms. A waterproof Gore Active insert delivers waterproof but breathable soundproofing, while the goat leather palm and back of hand will take a beating without a blink.
In particular, the long gauntlet cut screams ‘warmth’, as do the easily-adjustable drawcords to really trap the heat and the wrist strap for a secure fit in the most dynamic of situations.
Buy Dakine Team Pheonix Glove: £154.92 at Amazon
Best ski gloves on a budget
Decathlon Wedze Adult Downhill Skiing Mittens
Decathlon has some very good outdoor gear at very reasonable prices, and ski gear is no exception - the spec of these Downhill Mittens in particular will take a lot of effort to beat. Insulation is provided via a down filling - mixed 85% duck down and 15% feathers as is often the case in Decathlon - and a thin polymer film creates a waterproof membrane.
The good news continues on the palm, with a goat leather layer, textured on the fingertips for extra grip. A retainer drawstring will ensure you don’t drop them off the lift, and a wrist strap and generous pull-on loop gives easy-donning and security once they’re in place. Frankly, an impressive spec for the £35 price tag. The only downside here is the obvious tradeoff between warmth and dexterity, and these down mittens are at one end of that deal - warm, but not very good for handling small items like a ski-pass or a phone.
Buy Decathlon Wedze Downhill Skiing Mittens: £34.99 at Decathlon
Best for fashionistas
Salomon QST Heritage Ski Gloves
The all-new Salomon QST Heritage is immediately eye-catching, and all in the right way. Modelled in the style of motorbike gloves, they’re assembled from premium 100% goatskin leather & lined with ThermoLite Micro insulation for durability and warmth.
The finger areas are reinforced and ribbed for maximum protection, a combination of safety and comfort that’s not to be sneezed at. The motorcycling style and all-leather construction also means that while protection is excellent, dexterity is also very good, and will improve as the natural material moulds to your fingers.
Buy Salomon QST Heritage Gloves: £110 from Salomon
Best for snowboarders/women
Hestra Fall Line 3 Finger Ski Gloves
We’re not saying that women necessarily feel cold more than male skiers, although many might agree if we did, but not only is the Fall Line 3 Finger a superbly warm glove/mitt hybrid, but it’s also available in women-specific fit.
If you decide that the three-finger might be the thing for you, then the Hestra fall line 3 finger is one of the best around. Forged from cowhide with outseams that improve grip and comfort, and with a really practical broad neoprene cuff that fits neatly into a shell jacket, the build quality and attention to detail is second to none.
The broad concept here is that the grouping of the three fingers together in a mitt keeps them warm, while the index and thumb finger are free to be as dexterous as you might need to be. There is some truth to this, although it’s equally easy to flip it around, and complain that dexterity vs gloves is compromised, and you get a cold index finger - ultimately, the choice is yours.
Buy Hestra Fall Line Mitten: £154.58 at Amazon
Best for midrange comfort
Reusch Mens Kondor R-TEX XT Ski Gloves
Reusch know a few things about gloves, and the midrange Kondor R-TEX XT’s are a study in practical function. Arguably unremarkable styling maybe, but they’re waterproof, windproof and breathable thanks to the proprietary membrane, with a softshell outer that majors in comfort and dexterity if not durability. The long cuff keeps the wrist area warm, aided in keeping snow out of the glove by the elasticated closure, and R-LOFT insulation amps up the warmth on offer overall. Meanwhile the wristband adjuster increases security and helps a snug fit, and the elasticated storm leash prevents you dropping them off the button lift. Overall, a solid choice for resort use, or where budget is a key factor.
Buy Reusch Kondor Ski Gloves: £44.11 at Amazon
Buy Reusch Kondor Ski Gloves: £56.25 at Snow & Rock