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Welcome To Our Advice Center Pages

Ski Gloves & Snowboard Gloves

Ski gloves and Snowboard gloves are one of the most important items of kit you will own, as freezing fingers can really ruin a ski holiday. Considering your fingers are often the first to feel the cold, it makes sense to ensure you have some high-quality, durable gloves to keep your hands warm and dry.
There are different gloves for different disciplines, for example, pipe gloves, alpine and racing but what we’re going to concentrate on here are the type of glove used for general skiing and snowboarding.

Here are our top tips for choosing the right pair of gloves that will last but above all, keep you warm and dry.

Choose the Right Size

Well fitting gloves should be snug enough to allow for movement but loose enough to allow for a thin liner if you choose to wear them. Some gloves like the Level Butterfly glove come with a built in liner.
Gloves that are too tight will not be able to trap warm air between your hand and the glove, making your hands loose heat quickly, whereas gloves that are too big won’t allow for the dexterity needed for gripping ski poles tightly, and can get caught in the ratchet of your snowboard bindings.

A good test is to have a go at holding a ski pole with the new gloves on – can you grip it easily without the ski gloves shifting about, and are you able to bend your fingers enough to control the pole?

Like most things you pay for quality and with gloves it is worth investing in the best possible set you can afford.

Performance

It’s no use to have a good fitting glove that doesn’t perform. Gloves need to be waterproof, wind proof and breathable, so let’s look at each of these in some detail.

Water proof
As dry snow gets heated by your hands and turns to water, if you’re gloves aren’t waterproof you’ll soon end up with soggy, cold hands.
Believe it or not, there are some ski gloves out there that don’t repel water.
Waterproof fabrics that are used in ski jackets are also used in gloves and the best brands will tape up the seams to prevent any water leakage.
These days there are a multitude of waterproof fabrics, the best of which is still Gore-Tex. Gore-Tex however usually comes at a premium, but if you can afford it, go for it.
Which ever gloves you go for, make sure the label says ‘waterproof’ and if you can afford Gore-Tex, better still.

Wind resistance
Tight weave materials keep the wind out – a core element in keeping your hands warm. Look for ‘wind stopper’ fabrics by reading the tag or asking the shop assistant about this element.

Breathability
A pair of marigolds may be super water-resistant but take them skiing and your hands will be soaking in sweat!
The lining of your ski gloves needs to be capable of wicking moisture away from your hands, while the outer shell needs to be breathable to allow that moisture to escape, all without compromising warmth.

Insulation
Ski gloves should be insulated so they will keep your hands warm. Thick gloves are ideal for really cold temperatures, but slightly thinner gloves can be worn if you have good circulation or don’t really feel the cold.
Mittens can be less insulated because they are naturally warmer by design; the fact that all of your fingers are in the same compartment means they share heat, keeping them warm.

Glove liners

There are many advantages to wearing a thin pair of gloves inside your thicker pair, with the obvious one being the extra warmth they provide.
Glove liners are a thin glove made to be worn inside your main glove, and are typically made from fleece, polyester or sometimes silk.
Silk liners, do a particularly good job of adding an extra layer of warmth.
In addition to the extra warmth liners provide, they also act as an effective protective layer when you need to take off your ski gloves to do some fiddly work.
Another advantage is that you get 3 pairs of gloves in 1. On hot, dry days you can wear just the liner. On average days you can wear just the main glove and on very cold days you wear the liner and the main glove!

Mittens vs Gloves

The best way to answer this is to ask yourself do you suffer from very cold hands.
As mentioned earlier, cold hands can really ruin your holiday so you’re best of prioritising warmth over dexterity.
With this in mind, mittens offer more warmth, gloves offer better dexterity.
In mittens, your fingers are housed together in the same compartment which means they will be warm all day. The disadvantage with mittens is that they offer very little individual movement of your fingers – think ratcheting up your snowboard bindings or the grip on your ski poles here!
Gloves allow you to keep your fingers separate and this means you can do more throughout the day without having to remove them.
Gloves with a liner give you the best of both worlds – warmth when needed with dexterity, or mittens with a liner for the ultimate in warmth.

Under glove vs Over glove

An over glove (sometimes known as a gauntlet style glove) has a much longer cuff that goes past the wrist and is worn, as the name implies, over your jacket sleeve.
An over glove usually has some kind of synch cord to tighten the glove over your jacket sleeve, forming a barrier against the snow.
An under glove is simply one that, when worn with a jacket, the cuff goes underneath the jacket sleeve.
Many people find under gloves more comfortable to wear as the cuff doesn’t get in the way, but there is a high risk of snow going down the cuff and into your glove with this style.

Protection

Broken and sprained wrists are the most common injury for snowboarders. This is because of the tendency to fall onto an outstretched hand, especially for beginners.
More glove manufacturers are producing gloves with built in wrist protection, negating the need for additional wrist guards.
Gloves with built in protection like the Level Fly glove actually offer a higher level of protection that wrist guards (7.5 times less likely to sustain a wrist injury compared to 4 times offered by standard wrist guards), and have the advantage that they are less bulky so will fit under your jacket.
The protection is easily removed if you fell like riding without it.