Warm and dry hands are essential when skiing or snowboarding, and we’ve got the best gloves and mittens for men, women, and kids
No matter your age, cold fingers can ruin your day, so picking the perfect pair of gloves is important as it will mean longer days on the snow and more fun for the whole family. But there are literally hundreds of skiing gloves and mittens to choose from, and not all designs are made equal. Do you want gloves with added dexterity, or mittens for maximum warmth? Will you only be skiing on market pistes, or will you be heading off into the backcountry to look for powder adventures?
We’ve tested countless pairs of ski gloves and mittens and have distilled this experience to bring you the best options for your budget. And with prices from just £25, you’ll be impressed by how far your money will stretch.
Best ski gloves and mittens: At a glance
How to choose the best ski gloves for you
Can I use any gloves for skiing?
No. Trust us, you’ll find out the hard way if you don’t wear dedicated ski gloves. It’s not just about keeping your hands extra-insulated as one inevitable aspect of skiing is that you’ll get snow on your gloves, whether that’s from picking up your skis or falling over. Most normal gloves simply aren’t waterproof enough to stop all that melted ice and snow from soaking in and turning your fingers blue.
Gloves vs mittens
As a general rule, mittens are warmer than gloves as all of your fingers share one space, which generates more heat than individual fingers. But the obvious drawback to mittens is the lack of dexterity compared to five finger gloves – even basic activities in mittens can be virtually impossible. And while you won’t exactly be performing surgery in a pair of ski gloves, you may at least be able to answer your phone, or adjust your goggles, without taking them off.
If you want a little more dexterity but still suffer from cold hands, you could try a lobster mitt. Lobster mitts keep some fingers together to share warmth, but are split, allowing you to make adjustments to bag buckles and zips more easily than with a full mitten.
How much warmth you need from your gloves depends on your body and the temperature outside. Many people can enjoy spring skiing in thin waterproof gloves, but then need something much more insulated in February. Quality gloves will come with a number indicating the amount of insulation used – for example: 180g palm, 400g total – and, as a general rule, the larger the number the warmer the glove.
But remember: one rider’s sweaty palms is another skier’s frozen digits. We always recommend going for a warmer glove, or choosing a glove liner for an added layer of insulation.
The majority of ski gloves and mittens are made using polyester treated with a waterproof DWR coating. Many also come with a membrane – Gore-Tex sets the gold standard here – which is extremely waterproof but also quite breathable. Breathability can make all the difference if you’re working really hard in the mountains.
Alternatively, calf, cowhide or goatskin leather might be used. These are soft, durable and naturally water resistant, although you will need to treat them every season to ensure they remain in prime condition. Many premium gloves will use a combination of synthetic stretch material and soft leather in key areas, such as the palm, for the best of both worlds.
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Extras to consider
Adjustable gauntlet cuff: These long gloves cover the cuff of your jacket and cinch in snugly to add warmth but also reduce the risk of getting snow where you shouldn’t. If you’re a fan of finding deep powder, or you’re buying for kids, this is an essential.
Leash: We’ve all seen lost gloves on the snow underneath a chairlift, but a simple leash and elasticated wrist strap can avoid expensive (and chilly) accidents and give you the confidence to take gloves off quickly, without the risk of losing them.
Nose wipe: Trust us, gloves with a super soft material on the top of the thumb can be a godsend on icy days where your nose is guaranteed to run. They can also be used to clear goggles, but we wouldn’t recommend doing one after the other.
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The best ski gloves you can buy in 2023
The best ski gloves for men
1. Black Diamond Mission MX: Best ski mittens for most people
Price: £95 | Buy now from AlpinetrekThese are exceptional quality mittens, stuffed full of Primaloft Gold insulation (340g on the back of the hand, 170g on palm), that ensure your hands will stay toasty warm down to around -12ºC.
Although not a budget buy, we think these are excellent value for money. You definitely get what you pay for here, with a 100% waterproof Gore-Tex plus warm membrane, soft pliable leather, and durable rip-stop polyester. They’re also available in a smaller women-specific fit and a choice of colours.
Despite the amount of insulation, they’re not oversized mittens and, though you’ll not be doing anything intricate in them, they do look slimmer than some of the competition while also keeping you warm.
Key specs – Material: Goat leather, nylon, polyester; Waterproofing: Gore-Tex; Sizes: XS- XL
2. The North Face Montana: Best ski gloves for most people
Price: £60 | Buy now from The North Face
These great all-round performers from The North Face could also be a contender for the Best Value category, offering big brand reliability, warmth, style, and protection for very little cash. They’re also made with recycled fabrics, which is a nice eco touch.
Not as waterproof as a Gore-Tex glove, but still suitable for most ski holidays, the PFC-free water-repellent coating will keep your hands perfectly dry. Insulation comes in the form of more post-consumer recycled polyester, with Heatseeker Eco insulation in the back of the hand (250g), fingers and cuff (160g) – and plenty of sherpa fleece in the lining.
The long gauntlet-style cuff helps to keep snow out and add more warmth, while the wrist leash means you’ll not drop them. And, as we’d hope from a quality pair of gloves, they’re touchscreen compatible and have somewhere soft to wipe your nose!
Key specs – Material: Polyester; Waterproofing: DWR; Sizes: S-XXL
3. Rab Khroma Freeride GTX: Best premium ski gloves
Price: £130 | Buy now from Three Zero
These are professional grade gloves designed for the most extreme conditions in the mountains, perfect if you like your adventures off-piste. Stuffed to the gunnels with Primaloft Gold insulation and featuring a 100% waterproof Gore-Tex lining, they’re beautifully comfortable and will keep your fingers warm in the coldest, wettest conditions.
Insulation is cleverly mapped across the whole glove and made from 90% recycled fibres. And while you may struggle to tie your shoelaces wearing them, they are still quite dexterous.
Lined with plush fleece, the glove has a pre-curved shape to mirror your hand’s natural position, which really ups the comfort levels. Add in bags of leather and versatile stretch fabric, quality fastenings, toggles, and a wrist gauntlet, and it’s easy to appreciate where your money goes.
Key specs – Material: Leather, polyester; Waterproofing: Gore-Tex; Sizes: XS-XL
4. Hestra Army Leather GTX: Best premium ski mittens
Price: £146 | Buy now from Alpinetrek
If you can cope with the steep price tag, you simply won’t be disappointed by these class-leading mittens from Hestra – they’re also available as five-finger gloves or hybrid three-finger ‘lobster’ style gloves, which are equally easy to recommend. They feature high-grip leather palms, hard wearing polyester, generous gauntlet cuff, and a Gore-Tex lining ensuring you will never get wet hands.
As well as the snuggly Bemberg lining and Fiberfill insulation, the oversized mitten shape traps warm air around your fingers, but, being Gore-Tex, they’re also impressively breathable, which can be a huge benefit if you’re skiing uphill and working hard off-piste.
With a snug protective leash, a long snowproof cuff, an adjustable velcro wrist strap, a metal carabiner, hook and loop fastenings, and a pre-curved finger shape, the list of must-have accessories is complete.
Key specs – Material: Leather, polyester; Waterproofing: Gore-Tex; Sizes: XS-XL
5. Decathlon Wedze 900 Freeride Ski Gloves: Best budget ski gloves for men
Price: £50 | Buy now from Decathlon
As the world’s largest outdoors brand, Decathlon have unrivalled buying power and can produce quality products for a fraction of the price of many alternatives. Yes, their too-good-to-be-true bargain basement offerings should generally be avoided, but these gloves come highly recommended.
Looking and feeling like a quality pair of leather gloves, the 900 Freeride gloves are super comfortable and, as well as treated leather, they also have a membrane liner (similar to Gore-Tex) that acts as a barrier against water. It’s not as good as Gore-Tex, but the 10,000mm rating is commendable, considering the price. If you keep the leather treated, the gloves should last for years.
As we expect from our ski gloves, they have an elastic drawstring and adjustable cuff. With a brushed knit and synthetic fur lining, plus 170g of insulation on the back and 100g in the palm, they’re warm in all but the worst conditions.
Key specs – Material: Leather, Polyester; Waterproofing: DWR; Sizes: 2XS-4XL
Best ski gloves for women
6. Dakine Lynx: Best budget ski gloves for women
Price: £34 | Buy now from Alpinetrek
A superb value design available as gloves or mittens, in classic black or a stylish Woodland Floral design, the Dakine Lynx has loads of features including recycled polyester outer and insulation, easy-tightening cinch cuff, and – our favourite – a small zip pocket on the back of the hand that’s the perfect size for a hand warmer.
There’s a surprising amount of insulation here (400g) and, combined with the super-soft lining, you’re unlikely to find a warmer, more comfortable glove for the price. Be warned though: they’re not designed for very wet conditions.
Key specs – Material: Polyester; Waterproofing: PFC DWR; Sizes: XS-L
7. Salomon Women’s Native Mitt: Best ski mittens for women
Price: £88 | Buy now from Salomon
The Salomon Native Mitt may not have many fancy features, but they deliver where it counts: with extreme warmth, comfort, durability, and style. Rather than being an oversized design, they’re quite snug, so you don’t feel like you’re wearing a couple of pillows, but the use of 200g of PrimaLoft Gold means it will have to be seriously arctic before your fingers notice.
Inside the glove, a cosy faux-fur lining adds to the comfort and luxury, while the soft liner is glove shaped, so each finger gets an added boost of warmth. The cuff is short compared to many mittens, but you shouldn’t have any issue tucking them under a jacket sleeve.
Oh, and we almost forgot to mention that the outer is made from sumptuously soft 100% goat leather and the mitt features a Gore-Tex membrane that will keep you dry for hours in all but the worst storm conditions.
Key specs – Material: Leather, Polyester; Waterproofing: DWR; Sizes: XS-XL
Best ski gloves for kids
8. Decathlon Wedze Warm & Waterproof 550: Best children’s ski gloves
Price: £25 | Buy now from Decathlon
Just like the adult version above, these Decathlon gloves have a waterproof membrane and DWR coating to keep kids’ hands dry in all but the worst conditions.
The long cuff is especially appreciated here as it tightens easily over the ski jacket, helping to trap warm air in and keep snow out when (not if!) they fall over. The elastic drawstring keeps the gloves in place, and the must-have velcro wrist straps ensures both gloves come home at the end of the day.
The fingers are relatively short, so it’s worth trying a few sizes to get a good fit as their fingertips will get cold if they’re pressed against the end of the glove. That said, there’s loads of insulation around each finger for mitten-like warmth.
Key specs – Material: Polyester, polyurethane, cotton; Waterproofing: DWR; Sizes: ages 6-14
9. Kids’ Burton Gore-Tex Mittens: Best children’s ski mittens
Price: £50 | Buy now from Burton
For the young shredders in your life that live for the snow and are now, inevitably, better than you, these high quality mittens are basically shrunken adult versions, complete with impervious, but breathable, Gore-Tex layer plus a layer of Drywall – a two-layer, super durable material – and some funky colourways.
Bags of low-bulk Thermacore insulation will keep fingers exceptionally warm, and we particularly appreciate the soft microfibre lining that wicks away sweat when they do heat up.
And to complete the design, they have an ergonomic pre-curved fit – again, something usually reserved for adult gloves – elasticated wrist leash and touchscreen compatible fingertips.
Key specs – Material: Polyester; Waterproofing: Gore-Tex; Sizes: XS-XL