The cold can be debilitating for the hands of skiers, snowboarders, winter cyclists, mountaineers, truck drivers, handymen and après-ski beer drinkers. Situated far from the heart, the hands are among the first to go when body temps drop, so they need next-level protection. But depending what kind of winter activity you embrace, that protection can take a variety of forms.
Nordic skiers need more wicking and breathability than warmth; cyclists need shielding from wind and rain; and people with Raynaud’s disease just need extra insulation — or possibly heated gloves. Thankfully, no matter what your cold-weather passion is, we’ve got you covered. What follows are the best winter gloves for, well, just about everything.
Best Skiing Gloves
Not only are the Guide Gloves Black Diamond’s warmest winter offering, but they also sport heavy-duty nylon cuffs which cinch over your jacket sleeve and minimize the chance of snow sneaking into your liners. A waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex insert guards against precipitation and perspiration alike, while the removable liners are insulated with 170g of Primaloft Gold and lined with fluffy wool. If you are seriously concerned about frosty fingers, upgrade to the trigger-mitt-style Finger Glove, which sports the same goatskin leather palm, nylon shell and liner configuration as the Guide Glove but groups the pinky, ring, and middle finger together for increased warmth.
Best Snowboarding Gloves
With a low-profile style (assuming you skip the bloodred colorway), zippered cuff and unparalleled dexterity, the Gore-Tex-equipped Oakley Silverado is our go-to glove for snowboarding. Whether you’re tightening your bindings at the top of your line or cranking a method off a cat track, these nimble-fingered gloves deliver the articulation that snowboarders require. Warmth often comes at the price of agility, but Oakley combined a leather shell and 3M Thinsulate insulation for a glove that has top-notch range of motion and can still handle all but the coldest of conditions.
Best Trigger Mitts
Designed by skiing sensei Pep Fujas and crafted by Hokkaido-based brand Oyuki, the Pep Trigger Mitt is hands down (pun intended) our all-time favorite trigger mitt. And whether you’re a diehard resort ripper or a backcountry bum, chances are you’ll love the Pep, too. It’s primed for powder days thanks to a supple goatskin shell, Gore-Tex membrane, and 200g of PrimaLoft Gold Insulation. The innovative, embroidered neoprene cuff and mountains stitched into the back of the glove solidify the Pep as one of the most stylish gloves in the game.
Best Mountaineering Gloves
If a skier drops a pole, it’s no big deal. If a mountaineer drops a rope or an ice ax, the consequences can be dire. Hestra, storied Swedish defender of digits, has long since been a brand of choice for mountaineers due to the brand’s warm, reliable insulation and grippy leather palms. While Hestra offers even burlier mountaineering mitts like the Expedition, the Cordura stretch and leather Ascent Gloves sport a robust, secure grip that alpinists will appreciate.
Best Winter Camping Mitts
Whether you’re embarking on an arctic expedition or a winter camping trip in your backyard, relying on Baffin’s Polar Mitts is a smart decision. But don’t take our word for it: Eric Larsen, a polar explorer who is understandably fastidious about his gear, relies on these Polar Mitts in the chilliest, most uninviting corners of the world. Primarily known as a cold-weather bootmaker, Baffin borrowed insulation from their warmest winter boots when manufacturing these mitts. And should you overheat (the Polar Mitts are toasty beyond belief), the fleecy liners are easily removable.
Best Cycling Gloves
If you’re fat-biking in a blizzard, the Cascade won’t cut it, but for balmy winter rides on trail and tarmac, this Giro glove gets the job done. Aptly named Polartec Windbloc fabric on the backhand of the glove mellows Zephyr’s incessant blustering, and Giro DWR-treated the Cascade so you’re all set should rain invade the forecast. Pedalers will approve of the synthetic-leather palms, warm Power Wool lining, Velcro-free elastic cuffs and touchscreen-friendly finger pads.
Best Ski Touring/ Driving Gloves
The touchscreen-compatible Maluchi is a tech-heavy take on a traditional liner. Crafted from Gore-Tex Infinium with Windstopper, a water-resistant and mind-blowingly breathable fabric, these lightweight gloves are ideal for intense activities like trail running, ski touring and even spring park shredding. Gray goatskin leather padding in the palm tastefully offsets the black Infinium fabric and grippy silicone dots adorn the fingers, cementing the Maluchi as a top choice for winter driving, too.
Best Utility Gloves
For chopping firewood, shoveling driveways, general cabin maintenance and everyday use, the Vermonter is our trustworthy utility glove of choice. Vermont Glove — a relaunched, environment-friendly offshoot of longstanding Green Mountain Glove Co. — hand-stitches high-quality goatskin leather gloves out of an old creamery in Randolph, Vermont. For winter use, make sure to pair the Vermonter with one of Vermont Glove’s removable wool liners.
Best Heated Gloves
Each Lucent Heated Glove has a built-in battery-powered heating system, ALTIHeat. that evenly distributes heat across the entire hand. The battery promises to last eight hours on low, five hours on medium and two-and-a-half hours on high. The gloves also have Gore-Tex inserts, making them both waterproof and windproof. These heated gloves are ideal for people who naturally have bad circulation. Just remember to charge the battery the night before.