The Perfect Ski Gloves
Warm ski gloves are one of the most important components of your snow gear before you hit the slopes, and technical gloves certainly differ from the ones your Grandma knitted for you!
Choosing the best ski gloves can be daunting when faced with the wide variety available, but we will break it down and help you make the choice that correctly suits your needs.
Firstly, YES, you do need gloves. Up on the slopes in the freezing conditions, heat is lost from exposed hands and covering up is a must to prevent frostbite.
Apart from offering warmth, gloves must fit perfectly, be flexible and comfortable and have extra features needed for skiing.
Gloves or Mittens
The first decision to make is gloves or mittens. Gloves offer the classic five-finger construction while mittens or no finger gloves have one compartment for all fingers. Mittens tend to offer more warmth as your fingers generate and retain heat in the combined single section, but also restrict your fingers.
A middle-of-the-road option is a lobster-mitt offering one compartment for three fingers and one each for the index and thumb. Gloves are more suited for skiing and holding ski poles while mittens are better suited for snowboarding where fingers are used less often.
Snow proof or Waterproof?
The next issue is to decide on is snow proof or waterproof.
Snow proof ski gloves are made from fabrics that have a waterproof coating. Synthetic materials like MILATEX®, PU and GORE-TEX® are commonly used. These materials do not make the glove fully waterproof and are best suited for skiers and intermediate snow-sport enthusiasts who will not be hands-on in the snow.
Waterproof snow gloves are also made from the snow proof material but have the added feature of a waterproof membrane inside. This layer is commonly made from PU, Hipora® or WINDSTOPPER®. Snowboarders who have far more contact with snow, fixing bindings, getting on and off ski lifts will find waterproof gloves to be a better option.
Insulation and Keeping in the Warmth
Insulation must do just that as well as allow for breathability, flexibility, movement and not compromise on fit. Insulation offers varying degrees of warmth retention and serious skiers may consider more than one pair for different conditions.
Down is a great natural insulator, but can be bulky and takes time to dry when it gets wet.Insulation lining made from microfibre is less bulky than Down and offers one and half times the warmth factor.
All snow ski gloves must have an inner lining as an extra layer of protection. Ski glove liners can be built into the gloves or purchased as a separate component. Some best ski gloves have removable liners allowing you to increase or decrease the warmth factor as required to suit different weather conditions.
Fleece is a great choice, being cosy and offering good heat retention. Silk glove liners are another option and are lightweight, breathable and retain warmth without overheating. The natural fibres regulate the temperature of your hands and continue to do so even when wet.
If you are a mobile device addict like most of us, you need a pair of touch screen liners. These are gloves you can type in, allowing you to tap away on your device, keeping your hands warm after you have removed your ski gloves.
Check the Fit
Gloves must fit perfectly! Slip on the glove and ensure that there is a small gap of about half a centimetre for you to pinch at the tips of each finger and between the fingers. The same should apply in the gap between the thumb and index finger.
Ensure that your wrists are completely covered. Then make a fist and check that the fit is not too tight or risks cutting off your blood supply! Remember that leather and faux leather gloves may be a bit stiff to start with, so keep this in mind when pinching and flexing.
Gloves for snow offer a host of additional specialised features that are worth knowing.
Adjustable Cuffs - These secure your gloves and prevent snow from entering. A cinch strap lets you pull the gloves closed with one hand. Some models offer zips or velcro closures.
Wrist Leashes - Allow the gloves to hang from your wrists when taken off, making sure they don't get lost.
Heat Vents - they improve breathability and enable you to breathe hot air into your gloves for that well-needed blast of warmth from time to time.
Textured Palm and Fingertips - reinforced pieces of fabric in the palm and fingertips offering extra grip for holding ski lifts and poles.
Goggle Wipe - A mini squeegee made from rubber or suede attached to the index finger or thumb, used to clear water, fog and snow from your goggles giving you an unobstructed view of the slope you are about to try out.
Nose Wipe - Don't look like Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer. Use this soft wipe for a runny nose.
Pre-curved fingers - gloves shaped to emulate a natural, relaxed hand position. Offers a great fit and improves blood flow, making for warmer hands. Also allows you to grip poles and chairlift bars easily.
Retaining clips - For attaching the gloves to each other when you take them off. One of a pair is useless.
Padding - some best ski gloves offer extra padding on the knuckles to protect against scratches and bashes when you, unfortunately, run into rocks and trees.
Now that you are an expert, visit our website to find the best gloves for skiing. We offer a fabulous range of ski gloves for children to technical models for professionals.