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Best Ski Gloves for Women

The Burton Gore-Tex Mitt offers excellent dexterity for a mitten with ...
Photo: amber king
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor
Thursday December 3, 2020
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Our snow sport experts have tested over 30 of the best ski gloves for women over the last 11 years. This update features 13 of the most popular and best options on the market. Each has seen snowy conditions, icy cold chair lifts, and explorations into the backcountry. We've tested across the continent, from Alaska to Ontario in warm Spring conditions and icy cold snowstorms. Not only does our team ski, but we snowboard, dig pits, climb mountains, hack into ice waterfalls, and go sledding. After years of testing, we offer our insights to help you find the best women's ski glove or mitten for your needs this upcoming season.

Top 13 Product Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 13
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Awards Editors' Choice Award   Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award 
Price $200 List
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$93.47 at Backcountry
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$110 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
85
77
76
74
69
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Pros Warm, lightweight and packable, breathable, waterproof, single construction, dextrousSuper warm, removable liner, durable construction, weather resistant linerSuper warm, water-resistant liner, insulated shell, weather-proofVery warm, dexterous for a mitt, durable shell, waterproof, removable and water resistant linerWarm, versatile, dexterous for a mitt, touchscreen-compatible liners, excellent value
Cons Expensive, won't fit super small handsBulky, difficult to get liner back into glove, expensiveExpensive, too warm and bulky (overkill?) for the average skier, large fitLiner packs out after a season, split finger design leaves index finger cold, no leashes includedNot a lot of extra insulation
Bottom Line This unisex glove is off the charts for almost any adult, noticeably feeling different and excelling above other gloves on the market we have testedA classic workhorse glove designed to keep hands warm and comfortable all day longBuilt to wear on the tallest mountains and coldest placesOur favorite all-around mitten for backcountry and resort skiingA mitten that is weather-resistant and dexterous at a reasonable price
Rating Categories Arc'teryx Fission S... Black Diamond Guide... Alti Mitt Black Diamond Mercu... Gore-Tex Mitten
Warmth (25%)
8.0
7.0
10.0
9.0
8.0
Water Resistance (25%)
8.0
9.0
10.0
9.0
8.0
Dexterity (25%)
10.0
8.0
2.0
5.0
5.0
Durability (15%)
9.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
Features (10%)
6.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
Specs Arc'teryx Fission S... Black Diamond Guide... Alti Mitt Black Diamond Mercu... Gore-Tex Mitten
Waterproof Material 84% nylon/16% elastane, Gore-Tex GORE-TEX waterproof insert GORE-TEX 2.5 Layer/Leather palm Pertex Shield Dry-Ride Two Layer & Gore-Tex Insert
Insulation Type 200g PrimaLoft Silver and 133g Gold synthetic fibers 170 g PrimaLoft® Gold insulation PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation 170g in shell, 340g in liner 340-grams Primaloft Gold w/ high loft synthetic insulation ThermaCore Synthetic Insulation
Palm Material Goat leather Goat leather Pittards® Armortan® leather Goat leather Leather, Sticky Icy Grip Palm
Inner Glove Material (if applicable) Octa Loft Boiled wool and 200 g fleece palm lining Moonlite Pile™ fleece High-loft fleece Fleece
Double or Single Construction? Single Single Double Double Double
Gauntlet or Cuff Length? Medium Cuff Medium cuff Long cuff (shell) Guantlet (liner) Gauntlet Gauntlet
Special features Unisex fit, kevlar stitching, removable wrist leash, carabiner loop Nose wipe, knuckle padding, no leash, kevlar stitching Kevlar stitching, carabiner loop, removable wrist leash Nose wipe, trigger-finger liner, carabiner loop, no wrist leash, foam padding on knuckles, kevlar stitching Nose wipe, leashes, warmer pockets, wrist cinch
Sizes (Women's) XS, S, M, L, XL XS,S,M,L S,M,L XS, S, M, L XS, S, M, L
Fit Fits large (unisex sizing) Fits small Fits large True to size True to size
Treatment Required? Yes No No No No
Warranty Lifetime 1 year Lifetime 1 year Lifetime


Best Overall Women's Ski Glove


Arc'teryx Fission SV Glove


85
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth 8
  • Water Resistance 8
  • Dexterity 10
  • Durability 9
  • Features 6
Insulation: PrimaLoft Gold (200-g) & Silver (160-g) | Shell: Nylon, leather, Gore-Tex
Very breathable
Incredible dexterity
Super warm construction
Pricey
Unisex sizing is large

The Arc'teryx Fission SV Glove is our favorite glove for its versatility, warmth, and dexterity. In both the backcountry and the resort, the single-glove construction offers excellent breathability and warmth, filled with PrimaLoft Gold and Silver insulation. When slipping your hand inside, it feels silky smooth, and warm resembling the feel of the warmest down. The shell is completely waterproof and durable with surprising dexterity. You can easily perform fine motor tasks without feeling like your fingers are wrapped up in pillows. We love it for its balance of warmth, dexterity, and breathability, which we use for both the backcountry and at the resort.

The price tag is quite high, but if you can afford it, we think it's worth it. The single glove construction is excellent for resort skiing, but unfortunately, the liner can not be removed. Probably the most significant caveat for the ladies is the unisex sizing, which runs very large. Our main tester regularly wears a size Medium in most ski gloves but needed to size down to a Small for the Fission to fit properly. The fit is a little wider than a normal women's glove, and if you have extra small hands, even the extra small unisex size might not fit. If you're seeking excellent breathability, warmth, and dexterity, this is our top recommendation.

Read review: Arc'teryx Fission SV Glove

Best Overall Women's Ski Mitt


Black Diamond Mercury Mitt - Women's


74
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth 9
  • Water Resistance 9
  • Dexterity 5
  • Durability 7
  • Features 6
Insulation: Primaloft Gold (340-grams)| Shell: Leather & Pertex nylon fabric
Exceptionally warm
Double mitt construction
Split-finger liner is versatile and water-resistant
Most dexterous mitt tested
Split-finger construction can leave the index finger cold
No removable leashes

If you prefer a well-insulated mitt, consider the Black Diamond Mercury Mitt. Built for both the recreational skier or professional in the field, it offers amazing durability and warmth all season long. In addition to the split-finger liner, the thinner construction at the palm allows you to grasp items, perform transitions, dig snow pits, and zip up your jacket better than any other mitt tested. The liner is also water-resistant and useable on its own for warmer days or uphill travel.

While we appreciate the liner's split-finger design, a few of our testers complained that the index finger could get chilly on super cold days. Luckily you can slip that finger into the general area of the mitt body. It also does not come with leashes. Overall, this is one of the most high-quality mittens we've tested, at a great price, making it a good option for any winter excursion.

Read Review: Black Diamond Mercury Mitt - Women's

Best Bang for Your Buck


Burton Gore-Tex Mitten - Women's


69
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth 8
  • Water Resistance 8
  • Dexterity 5
  • Durability 6
  • Features 7
Insulation: Polyester | Shell: Dry-Ride Two Layer & Gore-Tex Insert
Weather-resistant
Quality palm material
Cute style
Touchscreen compatible, removable glove liners
Nimble for a mitt
Least warm of all mitts tested
The material will eventually saturate in wet weather

We are quite impressed with the performance and warmth of the Burton Gore-Tex Mitten for women. Cute style and versatile enough for both the backcountry and resort, it seems to have it all— durable palm materials, lots of features, and touchscreen compatible liners, all wrapped in a warm and surprisingly dexterous package. The thinner construction and gloved liners allow you to perform tasks both small and large while keeping your hands protected. Plus, the price is right, coming with a lifetime warranty.

We haven't found any major drawbacks to this more affordable mitt. It's not as warm as heavier or more insulated options, partially due to the separation of the fingers with the five-fingered liner and thinner insulation overall. We think the outer shell is solid, but it likely can't match the durability of some higher-end mittens. Still, it's pretty ideal for most women that are looking for a winter companion. Enjoy its positives while skiing, snowboarding, or playing in the snow at a price that quickly helps one overlook its minor drawbacks.

Read review: Burton Gore-Tex Mitten - Women's

Best Bargain Glove


Dakine Camino


59
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth 5
  • Water Resistance 4
  • Dexterity 8
  • Durability 5
  • Features 9
Insulation: 350-g/150-g high loft polyester | Shell: Nylon/leather
Relatively warm
Great dexterity
Great price
Smart-phone compatible liner
Breathable construction
Water-resistance is subpar

The Dakine Camino ski glove offers an excellent value. Constructed with a nylon shell and leather palm, it provides dexterity with the insulation packed strategically towards the back of the hand. It also comes with a thin synthetic liner to enhance warmth on super cold days. The thinner construction at the palm provides breathability, making it functional for backcountry touring and resort use. When choosing a glove for warmer winter weather, this is one that we commonly went for. You also can't go wrong with the price.

With a lower price comes some tradeoffs. It is not wholly protective in super wet conditions, and it's not very warm. The fit with the included liner is a bit tight, so if you're on the fence, size up. If you seek a low-priced glove option and run warm, look no further, it also has great features.

Read review: Dakine Camino

Best for Backcountry Travel


Outdoor Research Arete - Women's


57
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth 2
  • Water Resistance 6
  • Dexterity 9
  • Durability 5
  • Features 7
Insulation: Radiant Fleece | Shell: Gore-Tex & AlpenGrip Synthetic
Exceptional breathability
Good price
Great set of features
Very breathable
Not warm
Small fit

The Outdoor Research Arete double-glove is water-resistant with excellent breathability. It features a breathable yet protective Gore-Tex shell and a lightweight (100-g) fleece liner. With its thinner construct, it offers a fantastic level of dexterity, allowing you to rip off skins and fiddle with your skis without having to take them off. It's best for hiking in the backcountry but not a good option for resort skiing or sitting on a cold chair lift.

Why is it not great for the resort? It's not warm. You'll find yourself freezing in cold weather as this glove is built for breathability and those that move and sweat. Also, it runs small, so be sure to size up. This alpine glove is best for those who like to hike uphill or work up a sweat in the winter.

Read review: Outdoor Research Arete - Women's

Notable for Cold Expedition Travel


Outdoor Research Alti Mitt - Women's


76
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth 10
  • Water Resistance 10
  • Dexterity 2
  • Durability 9
  • Features 7
Insulation: PrimaLoft Gold | Shell: Gore-Tex/Leather
Very warm
Waterproof design
Well featured
Extra-long gauntlet
Expensive
Too warm in many cases
Bulky

Built to take on the coldest weather in the world, the Outdoor Research Alti Mitt is the best choice for absolutely frigid conditions. Loaded with loads of PrimaLoft Gold insulation, this is the warmest mitt tested. Its extra-long gauntlet keeps out snow while the shell offers a breathable design to transfer moisture away from the hands. We love that you can remove the shell on warmer days and just use the liner, or take the liners out to only use the shell. If you live in a place where temperatures hover in the negative double digits all season, this is the mitten we'd recommend.

Given its ample warmth, we've found it useful only on the coldest days of the year. While the mitts are quite versatile in function, we'd prefer a mitt like the Black Diamond Mercury for everyday resort skiing as it's not as large or bulky feeling. Given its huge fit, it lacks dexterity and should be sized down. If a super warm mitten is what you seek, this one delivers.

Read Review: Outdoor Research Alti Mitt - Women's

Notable for a Tight Budget


Kinco Pigskin Leather


42
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth 3
  • Water Resistance 3
  • Dexterity 7
  • Durability 4
  • Features 3
Insulation: HeatKeep Thermal Polyester Liner | Shell Material: Pigskin leather
Crazy cheap
Solid leather construction
Simple
Surprisingly dexterous
Chilly fingers on very cold days
Absorbent
Sloppy Fit
Requires maintenance

The Kinco Pigskin is a marked staple for guides and budget savvy skiers. This is an inexpensive ski glove alternative and a long-lived favorite for its stellar value. The leather breathes well enough while offering sufficient warmth for aerobic days on the mountain. Because of its bigger fit, you can add a small liner to enhance this warmth.

In comparison to the rest, it's not as warmth and the leather (and cloth exterior) is susceptible to water absorption. Even though it doesn't perform as highly as other contenders in this review, it gets the job done. If you're looking to spend the absolute minimum on a pair of gloves, check out the all-leather pigskin Kinco brand gloves, best for any penny pincher looking for a great deal.

Read review: Kinco Pigskin Leather - Women's

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price Our Take
85
$200
Editors' Choice Award
The best all-around unisex ski glove that you'll find on the market
77
$170
A durable, warm, and comfortable glove
76
$200
Warm and water resistant, it'll keep you protected on all cold-weather adventures
74
$110
Editors' Choice Award
A versatile mitten with dexterity that's perfect for all types of winter activities
69
$70
Best Buy Award
A high quality and fairly priced double-construction mitt that'll perform at any of your favorite winter locales
67
$145
One of our favorite mitts boasting a female-specific fit and ample warmth
66
$85
High value and ready for any kind of weather
63
$95
A down insulated ski glove ready for the coldest days on the chair lift
61
$125
Mega warm and waterproof, these mitts will keep hands warm when its cold days on the slopes
59
$50
Best Buy Award
A versatile and high value glove for use on and off the ski hill
57
$98
Top Pick Award
Built for the alpine, these gloves breathe and protect, but they're not for the resort
53
$70
This pair offers great dexterity and average performance at a low price
42
$20
If you're pinching pennies this winter, this pair will get you through the season for minimal cash

Breaking trail is always a great way to test the breathability and...
Breaking trail is always a great way to test the breathability and warmth of a glove, especially when it's super cold outside. Here we test gloves in the backcountry of the San Juans in Colorado.
Photo: Amber King

Why You Should Trust Us


This review is brought to you by Senior Review Editor Amber King. Originally hailing from the cold north of Canada, Amber moved to the states in 2011 and landed in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado. She has a healthy appreciation for warm hands in cold conditions, and you can bet she's packing a good pair of ski gloves on her backcountry splitboard missions. She gets out for at least 100 days in the winter, playing at the Telluride Ski Resort and backcountry splitboarding locally on Red Mountain Pass, just South of Ouray, CO. Other pursuits of hers include ultramarathons, rock climbing, and pack-rafting.

This review started with plenty of research into the ski glove and mitten market to decide which ones to include. After an initial cut of over 80 models was identified, we selected 12 of the best pairs to test in the field and lab. We used them for several months skiing and snowboarding in wet climates, dry ones, skinning, riding lifts, and playing in the backcountry. We employed lab tests for warmth retention and water resistance, which involved putting the gloves in a freezer with a temperature sensor and complete submersion in water, respectively.

Related: How We Tested Ski Gloves for Women

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Analysis and Test Results


A good pair of ski gloves or mitts will help keep your hands warm while you carve your way down powder runs at the resort or while descending sweet couloirs in far off-lands. We've tested each glove and mitt across the areas of warmth, water resistance, dexterity, durability, and features to help you find the one that's the best fit for your needs.

Related: Buying Advice for Ski Gloves for Women

Whether you&#039;re a snowboarder or a skier, a good glove like the Black...
Whether you're a snowboarder or a skier, a good glove like the Black Diamond Guide will keep you happy at the ski resort.
Photo: Amber King

Value


A glove that'll keep your pockets padded is a huge consideration. The Dakine Camino stands out as one of the lowest-priced, with the performance that'll work for most resort days that don't get too cold or wet. Its breathable design extends use to backcountry touring as well. While it has great overall performance, it's not that warm, and its water resistance is sub-par. The Burton Gore-Tex Mitten is another favorite that's a little more expensive than the Dakine Camino, but a noticeably higher quality product. We think it's one of the more versatile mitts out there with superb value.


One of the warmest ski gloves tested is the Gordini Down III, which is loaded with down insulation. It's about the same price as the Burton Deluxe Gore-Tex Glove, another high-value glove, but not as dexterous. Check out any of these models if you're trying to keep costs low without sacrificing too much performance.

Warmth


Exploring at the ski resort or skiing couloirs in the backcountry requires a glove or mitt that will keep your hands warm, whether you're working up a sweat or hanging out on a chairlift. A solid option will not only provide ample amounts of high-quality insulation that stays warm when wet and breathes well to wick away moisture when you sweat. Both these metrics work together to keep you warm when the temperatures plummet.


We took each pair of mitts and gloves to several resorts in our testing regime and hiked uphill for hours. Conditions ranged from warm and sunny to cold and blustery. When assessing warmth and breathability, we first looked at the glove's anatomy, noting insulative features and points of ventilation. We also looked at how well the liners wicked away sweat to keep the skin dry, for warmth all day long. We also performed objective tests that involved sticking each pair into the freezer and measuring the temperature change. These tests helped us assess which ski gloves and mitts were the warmest and which simply didn't perform.

During a cold winter, when the temperatures drop and you're left sitting on a cold (and slow…) ski lift, warm mittens should be considered. Mitts are far warmer than gloves because you keep your fingers together, generating and capturing warmth. That said, finding a mitt that can breathe and retains basic dexterity is the key.

Cold days on the chairlifts requires a warm glove for all-day...
Cold days on the chairlifts requires a warm glove for all-day comfort in the dead of winter. Here, we ride up Telluride Resort on a cold day.
Photo: Amber King

Mittens

If your hands run cold and need something that'll keep them toasty all day long, a mitten is by far a better option than a glove. The big tradeoff is dexterity, but if you're simply sitting on a chairlift and just need to be able to hold your ski poles, a mitten will work just fine. Those built with two gloves offer more dexterity than those with a single glove construction, and all options are warmer than any of the ski gloves tested.

The Outdoor Research Alti Mitt is the warmest mitt tested, loaded...
The Outdoor Research Alti Mitt is the warmest mitt tested, loaded with ample amounts of breathable insulation and suited for expedition-style trips to cold climates.
Photo: Amber King

When looking at warmth, the clear winner is the Outdoor Research Alti Mitt. It features thick PrimaLoft Gold insulation (340-gram in liner, 170-gram in a shell) built to take on big, cold peaks. The Dakine Tundra Mitt is filled with down insulation and synthetic PrimaLoft, with a single glove construction that also offers ample amounts of warmth. It's about as warm as the Black Diamond Mercury Mitt, filled with 340-grams of PrimaLoft Gold. The Burton Gore-Tex Mitten is a lighter option that still provides enough warmth in its double-glove construction for most winter conditions in the lower 48. Of all the mitts, the Burton Gore-Tex is the most breathable followed by the Outdoor Research Alti Mitt, Black Diamond Mercury Mitt, then the Tundra Mitt.

A stand-out difference between the Mercury Mitt and the rest is the liner. This liner has a split-finger design that isolates the index finger from the rest of the hand. This helps to improve dexterity, but our testers found the finger to get cold on super icy resort days. If you want an option with a full mitten liner, the Hestra Heli-Mitt is our second choice for resort skiing. However, if you like the split-finger, but don't always want to use it, then don't. Slip it in with the rest of your fingers if it gets really cold outside. As a result of the Mercury's all-around awesome performance, both in the liner and it's full construction, it wins our top honors. It's not too overkill like the Outdoor Research Alti Mitt for resort skiing, and it's also very dexterous, similar to the Burton Gore-Tex.

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A look at a few different liners. Top left is the BD Mercury Mitt...
A look at a few different liners. Top left is the BD Mercury Mitt which is plush and super warm. Top right is the Burton Gore-Tex Deluxe with medium warmth, and here we see the Arc'teryx Fission with a wicking liner and breathable interior.
Photo: Amber King

Gloves

Gloves aren't as warm as mittens simply because the fingers are not articulated together. Women that choose a glove probably do so for increased dexterity with the tradeoff of warmth. While there are warm gloves out there, don't expect them to score as high as mittens in this metric.

Nothing like an empty resort with warm, dry, and mobile fingers. The...
Nothing like an empty resort with warm, dry, and mobile fingers. The Gordini Gore-Tex Down III stands out as one of the warmest gloves you'll find, infused with down insulation.
Photo: Ross Robinson

The warmest ski gloves that we've tested so far are the Gordini Gore-Tex Down III, Arc'teryx Fission SV, and the Black Diamond Guide. Part of the warmth of a glove comes in your fingers' ability to move to generate warmth while you sit still. This Gore-Tex Down III glove is stacked with insulation, making our fingers feel more confined than thinner but warm gloves like the Fission SV. As long as you get the fit right, the Down III offers great warmth, and there is the option to insert a chemical handwarmer packet in the backhand pocket. The single-liner glove is loaded with 600-pile goose-down and tested down to zero degree weather. We love that the Fission has so much warmth for the dexterity it also provides. We couldn't believe these gloves would keep our fingers warm when we unboxed them, but we were wrong. The Fission SV does as good a job of keeping fingers warm as any gloves we've come across.

We also like the Black Diamond Guide that offers 170-grams of Primaloft Insulation. The insulation is packed around the back of the hand and the cuff, resulting in one of the warmest glove models we've had the pleasure of testing.

We ride out a super cold day in Lake Tahoe with the BD Guide glove...
We ride out a super cold day in Lake Tahoe with the BD Guide glove. Temps reached well below freezing, but we stayed warm.
Photo: Amber King

Even though these three gloves offers ample warmth, none of them have a double-glove construction. Most of the other gloves tested feature this construction, which has better versatility and the option for enhanced breathability. For example, the Burton Gore-Tex Deluxe Glove has a thin liner that helps to wick moisture away from the hands, and its nylon construction is surprisingly warm. The Dakine Camino has a removable liner but is not meant for the coldest of days. It has a thinner, more breathable construction that does well in the backcountry, but for sitting still in cold weather, you might find the need for a hand warmer or extra layer of insulation.

Make sure you get the fit of your gloves or mitts correct. If they fit too tight, circulation to the hands will be reduced, resulting in colder digits.

Water Resistance


Water-resistance goes hand-in-hand with warmth. A product that gets wet and cold after a few hours is useless. It's important to find a ski glove or mitt that protects from the elements. When testing water resistance, we performed field and home tests. We wore each in sub-zero temperatures, made snow angels, and dug snow pits. We skied at the resort and snowboarded down mountains through both wet and dry climates. To verify our subjective field tests, we weighed them, put them in a sink of water, squeezed 100 times, and observed to see which ones absorbed a lot of water and which ones leaked. While you wouldn't normally put your hand in puddles at the resort, this helps us determine each glove and mitt's wet-weather limits.


If you buy a pair of gloves or mittens featuring a leather outer, make sure to treat the leather before use and continually throughout its life.

During our tests, the gloves and mitts that do best in our tests are constructed from Gore-Tex or use a Gore-Tex insert. Leather is very waterproof but requires constant care. Even when taking full care, the leather gloves tested eventually saturated after super wet days in the field. If your hands are going to be in the snow, opt for Gore-Tex instead of leather. Nylon will eventually absorb and stretch, so be sure you know your materials and look at what each is made from.

Our tests involve both field and objective testing. Here, we put the...
Our tests involve both field and objective testing. Here, we put the BD Mercury mitt in water, squeeze 100 times, then weigh it to see how much water it absorbs. This way we can also assess performance.
Photo: Amber King

Mittens

In the face of severe and horrible weather, the construction of mittens like the Dakine Tundra and Outdoor Research Alti Mitt does the best of all our contenders. The OR Alti Mitt is made of 2.5-layer of Gore-Tex and a Leather Palm, which absorbed the least amount of water in our tests (0.4-oz), and did the best in the field. The Dakine Tundra is made from similar materials and has a similar level of performance. We've been testing this mitt for over two years, and it still offers the same amount of weather resistance it did when we got it out of the package. On super long wet days, the leather palm can saturate, but proper treatment of the leather can avoid that.

The beefy OR Alti Mitt offers the best in water-resistant, providing...
The beefy OR Alti Mitt offers the best in water-resistant, providing great warmth throughout the day.
Photo: Amber King

The Black Diamond Mercury Mitt provides complete water protection on both the ski hill and in our tests, only absorbing 2.5-oz of water. The Pertex shield and Goretex are quite waterproof, offering all the water resistance you'd need on the hill. It's much more water-resistant than the Hestra Heli-Mitt but not as good as the Outdoor Research Alti Mitt.

The Hestra Heli-Mitt also offers provides great water resistance out of the package, but it breaks down after a few seasons of use. It is constructed of a Triton three-layer fabric that does saturate eventually, and during our squeeze tests, it leaked water through the seams. In the field, though, it managed to stay relatively dry and offered great protection at the resort during both wet and dry days. It just needs upkeep.

In order to enjoy a day like this in the mountains, you need to make...
In order to enjoy a day like this in the mountains, you need to make sure you have the best gloves on your hands to keep you warm and dry. Here we test the Arc'teryx Fission SV gloves on Mt. Shuksan.
Photo: Stephanie Bennett

Gloves

The Arc'teryx Fission SV and Black Diamond Guide both offer awesome weather protection. The Guide is constructed mostly of leather and woven nylon, while the Fission is lighter, made with Arc'teryx's proprietary material Fortius 1.0 (nylon and elastane), infused with Gore-tex insert and a leather palm. When digging snow pits with both the Guide and Fission SV, both provide sufficient protection. Both eventually had nylon materials saturate in the snow after a few months of use, but neither had the moisture penetrate to the interior. Both are great options for wet weather, with the Fission holding a little less water in its fabric than the Guide.

The shell of the Fission is quite water-resistant doing very well in...
The shell of the Fission is quite water-resistant doing very well in our tests. It repels snow and water without issue.
Photo: Amber King

The Outdoor Research Arete is a full-nylon glove that did well in our water tests but not so good in our field tests. Nylon absorbs water and stretches out, thus absorbing more water over time. While it only absorbed 1.55 oz of water in this test, using it all day in wet weather, this liner begins to saturate, resulting in cold hands. The Gore-Tex insert it uses provides additional protection, but it is far from waterproof.

The Burton Deluxe Gore-Tex and Gordini Down III also do well in wet weather. Both are constructed with a Nylon shell and Gore-Tex insert, and both offer decent protection. In our water tests, the Burton Deluxe didn't leak at all. The Gordini Down III has a little more water penetration at the fingertips by the end of the test. This observation was further showcased when we saw the Down III saturate much more quickly than the Deluxe when digging pits and playing in the snow. Of the high-value option out there, the Burton Deluxe offers the best protection for a low price.

While the Dakine Camino gloves didn&#039;t do so well in our water tests...
While the Dakine Camino gloves didn't do so well in our water tests, they provide enough warmth and protection, even on days like these.
Photo: Amber King

Dexterity


Having dexterity in a ski glove or mitt simply means that you can perform simple tasks like zipping up zippers or transitioning without having to take off your gloves. If you're a professional in the field, this is important, and for all, it means better overall warmth. You don't risk losing your glove on a chair lift, and you stay warmer by simply keeping your glove on. To test this metric, we slipped each on, evaluated its materials and construction, and tried to perform simple tasks. Those with a gloved construction and thinner in design offers better mobility and do best.


The fit of a glove or mitten is imperative to its dexterity. If it's too big, you're going to have extra space at the tips of the fingers, which results in less dexterity. Alternatively, a tight fit will lead to less mobility, which also affects dexterity. Make sure you order the right size or even try them on to ensure they work for your hands.

You may not prefer dexterity over warmth, but it certainly helps...
You may not prefer dexterity over warmth, but it certainly helps when traveling in the backcountry. The BD Mercury Mitt proves to offer the best when it comes to dexterity.
Photo: Amber King

Gloves

If you care about dexterity, buy a ski glove. The best performers in this category are gloves with a thinner design and flexible materials. The best performer is the Arc'teryx Fission SV as the most dexterous of the bunch. Even though it's warm, the insulation in the fingers and on the palm is not very bulky, and you can feel what you're doing. The materials are soft, supple, and flexible, which adds to the mobility of this glove. No other glove comes close to its fluid motion. It's important to note this glove has a unisex fit, so be sure to size down and consult the fit chart.

The Arc&#039;teryx Fission SV offers the best mobility of any glove...
The Arc'teryx Fission SV offers the best mobility of any glove tested. Easily transition while keeping them on. Here we rip skins off before descending off a fun shot off Red Mountain Pass.
Photo: Amber King

The ultra-thin design of both the OR Arete and REI Gauntlet gloves both offer great dexterity. Both have very thin insulation, thus making it easier to grab objects easily; they're just less warm. The Dakine Camino is a thicker glove but has less insulation in the fingers, which increases mobility, similar to the Burton Deluxe. All of these offer suitable mobility for most actions you'll perform at a resort or in the backcountry. We could easily do transitions and perform fine tasks in the backcountry with ease. The Kinco Pigskin (if you get the right fit) has thicker construction in the fingers, but the leather is pretty flexible, allowing you to easily grip your pole, open your backpack, and adjust bindings without too much trouble.

Mittens

Mittens are less dexterous and earn quite low points in this category. Simply because, in most designs, the fingers are locked together, and you can't use your index finger without a swath of material getting in the way.

Even though most mittens aren&#039;t dexterous, the Mercury Mitt, with...
Even though most mittens aren't dexterous, the Mercury Mitt, with its split-finger liner offers the best dexterity of them all.
Photo: Amber King

The Black Diamond Mercury Mitt is a dexterous option because of its split-finger design. This allows you to use your index finger independently, as you would in a glove. When using it with the shell, we learned this mitt still wasn't as dexterous as the top performers, but it was about as dexterous as the least-mobile glove, the Gordini Down III. This mitt has quite a specific and narrow fit, with all the insulation loaded at the back of the hand to make it thinner in the front. Hence, professionals and recreationists that prefer to use a mitten on the hill have more dexterity than normal.

Thinner mittens like the Burton Gore-Tex Mitten and Hestra Heli-Mitt also have a surprising amount of dexterity for a mitten. The Heli Mitt has a very thin leather shell and compressible liner that allows you to grab items. The Burton Gore-Tex Mitt has a similar design but has a gloved liner that allows you to take off the shell when you need to perform fine motor tasks without exposing bare skin to the cold air. As a result of its thinner design and versatility, it's one of the most dexterous mittens we've ever tested.

The Burton Deluxe is another dexterous glove that isn&#039;t as bulky as...
The Burton Deluxe is another dexterous glove that isn't as bulky as it might look.
Photo: Amber King

Durability


It's a bummer to go out and spend money on an expensive pair of ski gloves that disintegrate after one season. Each model we tested endured double-digit hours of intense use in warm and dry climates to ensure that our scoring was not only fair but reflected what a glove would look like after a full season. We also washed each liner to see which bounced back and which didn't — reflecting which would lose warmth after just a few big days out.


Leather needs to be treated one to two times a season. If you buy a pair of leather gloves, treat them with a leather sealant as directed before using them, and one to three times per season, depending on use. This will ensure the leather won't dry out, crack, and will maintain its waterproofing.

The models with goatskin leather outers, such as the Arc'teryx Fission SV and Black Diamond Mercury Mitt have the most durable shells as opposed to those constructed of nylon, like the Outdoor Research Arete. These gloves with a leather palm offer far more durable over time but require maintenance. Those that incorporate Gore-Tex into the external construction are also quite durable. For example, the Outdoor Research Alti Mitt offers both a leather palm and Gore-Tex construction, which leads to impressive longevity.

If you see yellow stitching, you know there&#039;s kevlar in the...
If you see yellow stitching, you know there's kevlar in the construction. Here we see gloves with bomber palms. Varying amounts of reinforcement and the type of materials changes with durability. The Arc'teryx Fission looks to be the best constructed.
Photo: Amber King

Liners are also important when considering durability. A liner that packs out and doesn't retain warmth isn't necessarily the best investment. For those with hi-pile liners, you can expect this to happen, though some wear out faster than others. Since we've been at this game for the last several years, we have the experience to comment on it. For example, the Hestra Heli-Mitt will eventually pack out, but it took about three years of hard use before we felt the need to replace it finally.

While the shell and leather of the BD Mercury mitt are bomber, the...
While the shell and leather of the BD Mercury mitt are bomber, the liners do wear down over time. Investing in gloves or mitts with replacement liners will save you money in the long run.
Photo: Amber King

The Arc'teryx Fission glove has proven to been very durable for our testers and has continued to work well even after a few years of use. Despite its high price, the light and flexible construction is surprisingly durable and continues to last us through the years. The more we use it, the more we are sold on the initial investment.

Features


We also consider features that you might be looking for: removable leashes, snot wipes, mini google wipers, and more. Below, we outline the gloves and mitts with the features that you might seek.


Removable Liners

Removable liners make gloves versatile for different conditions. Typically skiers find this feature helpful in the backcountry or if you plan on being more aerobic with your skis. Removable liners can be changed out for thicker or thinner options. The products featuring a removable liner in this review include the Hestra Heli Mitt, Burton Gore-Tex Deluxe, Outdoor Research Arete, and Burton Gore-Tex Mitten. The OR Alti Mitt, Black Diamond Guide Glove, and Black Diamond Mercury Mitt all feature water-resistant liners that can be used on their own as a secondary glove or mitt.

A look at the removable liner of the BD Mercury Mitt with a...
A look at the removable liner of the BD Mercury Mitt with a split-finger design, which increases dexterity.
Photo: Amber King

Nose and Goggle Wipe

This is a softer material on the thumb that some skiers might find helpful to wipe their noses or goggles. Products with a nose wipe include the Burton Gore-Tex Mitten, Burton Gore-Tex Deluxe Glove, the Outdoor Research Arete , Gordini Gore-Tex Down III, Blad Diamond Guide, Black Diamond Mercury Mitt, and Dakine Camino. The Camino has a nose wipe on one thumb and a goggle wipe on the other, which we appreciate. A nice touch.

A nose wipe (left) and goggle wipe (right) of the Dakine Camino that...
A nose wipe (left) and goggle wipe (right) of the Dakine Camino that we love. This is one of the most featured gloves that you should definitely check out.
Photo: Amber King

Leashes

Leashes attach to your wrist, which prevents that dreaded moment when you drop your ski glove off the lift. Most are removable. All gloves in this review featured this option except the Kinco Pigskin Leather Gloves, Black Diamond Mercury Mitt, and Black Diamond Guide Glove. While it takes a little effort, it isn't that hard to fashion one's own leashes.

Removable leashes are always a helpful addition to any mitt or...
Removable leashes are always a helpful addition to any mitt or glove. You don't want to be the sorry sap that drops their glove or mitt off the lift. That's why the Burton Deluxe Gore-Tex is just wonderful for resort skiing.
Photo: Amber King

Handwarmer Pocket

This is a small pouch or zippered pocket to place a handwarmer for extra cold days. Products include the Gordini Gore-Tex Down III, Burton Gore-tex Mitten, Dakine Camino, OR Arete (in the liner), and the Burton Gore-Tex Deluxe.

Beef up this pair&#039;s warmth by sticking a hand-warmer in the pocket...
Beef up this pair's warmth by sticking a hand-warmer in the pocket designed just for this purpose. The Gordini Gore-Tex Down offers a nice little pocket to incorporate a handwarmer.
Photo: Ross Robinson

Cinch and Release Cuff

A cinch and release cuff with a large enough mechanism that can be used with gloves on. All products have this feature except the Kinco Pigskin Gloves and Dakine Tundra Mitt.

Pull cords with large tabs on the Dakine Camino make it easier to...
Pull cords with large tabs on the Dakine Camino make it easier to adjust your glove or mitt on the go.
Photo: Amber King

Carabiner Loops

These are located on the finger, so climbers can attach gloves to the harness without snow or ice getting inside. Products include Arc'teryx Fission Glove, Black Diamond Guide, Black Diamond Mercury Mitt, and Outdoor Research Arete. These gloves are also great for ice climbing or moving in the alpine with a harness.

The carabiner loops of the OR Arete gloves are helpful if you need...
The carabiner loops of the OR Arete gloves are helpful if you need to clip your gloves to a harness. Many resort gloves do not have these feature, but those built for the alpine do.
Photo: Amber King

Touch Screen Compatibility

None of the outer gloves have touch screen compatibility, which is sad given how technology-driven our society is. However, some products have a touchscreen compatible liner, so you don't have to have off the entire glove. Products include the Burton Gore-Tex Deluxe, Burton Gore-Tex Mitten, and the Dakine Camino.

Liners with smartphone compatibility like those found in the Burton...
Liners with smartphone compatibility like those found in the Burton Deluxe Gloves are very helpful, especially when you need to text a friend on a chairlift.
Photo: Amber King

Of all the products tested, the Dakine Camino and Burton Deluxe gloves have the most features. Stacked with touchscreen compatibility, handwarmer pockets, a double-glove construction, and more, they are meant to keep you prepared and happy on the slopes. The Camino features most of these, with an added goggle wipe as an added plus.

Crushing fine powder lines in Alaska is just one of the many ways we...
Crushing fine powder lines in Alaska is just one of the many ways we test our gloves and mitts. Here we enjoy the Hestra Heli Mitt in these super cold environments, carving powder lines into the fresh powder.
Photo: Amber King

Conclusion


When you're out in the snow all day long, a great set of gloves or mittens is key to the outdoor outfit. We've tested the best options on the market, all in the name of helping you find exactly what you're looking for. Now, all that's left to do is just choose a pair that you think will work best for you. Happy glove hunting and enjoy the cold weather—we most definitely will be.

Amber King