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Our lady snow sport experts have tested 33+ of the best ski gloves for women over the last 11 years. This review 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 on the Continental Divide. 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 ski season.
Editor's Note: We updated our women's ski gloves article on November 8, 2022, confirming that our selection is up-to-date with the best products available on the market and including additional information on our scoring process.
The Arc'teryx Fission SV Glove is our favorite glove for its balance of versatility, warmth, and dexterity. The single-glove construction filled with PrimaLoft Gold and Silver insulation provides excellent breathability and warmth for the backcountry and the resort alike. Slipping your hand inside feels silky smooth, and the warmth resembles the feel of the toastiest 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.
The price tag is quite high, but if you can afford these gloves, we think they're 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 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, so if you have super 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.
If a well-insulated mitt is your preference, check out the Black Diamond Mercury Mitt. Built for both the recreational skier and professional in the field, it offers superb durability and warmth all season long. The fluffy Primaloft Gold insulation bundles your fingers together, keeping them toasty warm from first chair onward, and the BD.dry shell keeps your hands dry (and therefore, warm). The liner is removable, allowing for rapid drying after long days or on extended trips.
While we couldn't find cold that the insulation couldn't handle, we also found that it impeded dexterity. Fortunately, the trade-off for this level of warmth is worth it to skiers and riders who frequently ball up their fingers in the palm of their gloves on cold chair lifts. For having to remove this mitten for nimble circumstances, we think leashes would be a welcome addition to this mitt's feature set. Overall, this is one of the most functional and high-quality mittens we've ever tested, making it a good option for any winter excursion where extra warmth is desired.
Insulation: Polyester | Shell: Dry-Ride Two Layer & Gore-Tex Insert
REASONS TO BUY
Quality palm material
Touchscreen compatible, removable glove liners
Nimble for a mitt
REASONS TO AVOID
The 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. With cute style and enough versatility for both the backcountry and resort, it seems to have it all — including 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 found few causes for complaint with the affordable mitten. 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. The outer shell is solid, but it likely can't match the durability of some higher-end mittens. Still, we think it's a pretty ideal glove for most women. Enjoy its positives while skiing, snowboarding, or playing in the snow at a price that quickly helps one overlook its minor drawbacks.
Insulation: 350-g/150-g high loft polyester | Shell: Nylon/leather
REASONS TO BUY
Smart-phone compatible liner
REASONS TO AVOID
Water-resistance is subpar
The Dakine Camino ski glove offers 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, we often reached for this glove. 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.
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. We 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.
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.
This review started with plenty of research into the ski glove and mitten market to decide which models to include in our selection for hands-on testing. After an initial cut of over 80 models was identified, we selected the most convincing group of women's gloves and mittens to test in the field and lab. We use them in real-world situations for several months, skiing and snowboarding in wet climates, dry ones, skinning, riding lifts, and playing in the backcountry. We employ controlled in-house tests, too, for warmth retention and water resistance, which involved putting the gloves in a freezer with a temperature sensor and complete submersion in water, respectively.
Our testing of women's ski gloves is divided across five rating metrics:
Warmth (25% of overall score weighting)
Water Resistance (25% weighting)
Dexterity (25% weighting)
Durability (15% weighting)
Features (10% weighting)
This review is brought to you by Senior Review Editor Amber King and Review Editor Jackie Kearney. Originally hailing from the cold north of Canada, Amber moved to the US 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.
Jackie is also no stranger to the challenges of warming hands in the mountains. She has skied all over North America and works professionally as a ski patroller. Her first home in the mountain west was in the San Juan Mountains, but she left for several seasons to gain an appreciation for the wet and windy Sierra Crest, working on the Kirkwood Ski Patrol. She has since returned to her home in the San Juans to patrol at Telluride Ski Resort. Her experience has familiarized her with skiing in every kind of condition that Mother Nature has to offer.
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.
Finding a glove that doesn't blow your entire gear budget for the season is huge. With all of the wear and tear we put on these little pieces of equipment, finding a glove or mitten that doesn't feel precious may be a priority for you. The REI Guide Mitten strikes us as a lower-priced option, just a little more expensive than your standard work glove, with performance adequate for most days out. With diligent water resistance treating, this glove can keep your fingers happy. This being said, this mitten isn't warm enough for absolutely frigid days, and its water resistance is variable. Its price reflects this.
The Burton Gore-Tex Mitten is another favorite. Though slightly pricier than the REI Guide Mitten, it's a noticeably higher-quality product. We think it's one of the more versatile mitts out there with superb value. The Dakine Camino also stands out as one of the most inexpensive options with performance to match most resort days that aren't too cold or wet. We are also impressed by its breathability, which makes it versatile enough to extend to backcountry use. We think it has outstanding value.
One of the warmest ski gloves we tested is the Gordini Gore-Tex 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.
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 insulating 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 heat. That said, finding a mitt that can breathe and that retains basic dexterity is the key.
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.
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 Black Diamond Mercury Mitt is filled with 323g of PrimaLoft Gold and is also quite warm. 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 and Black Diamond Mercury Mitt.
A stand-out difference between the Mercury Mitt and the rest is the puffy full mitten liner that is also removable. The Mercury's all-around awesome performance, both in the liner and its full construction, wins it our top honors. It's not too overkill like the Outdoor Research Alti Mitt for resort skiing.
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.
The warmest ski gloves that we've tested so far are the Gordini Gore-Tex Down III, Arc'teryx Fission SV, OR Couloir Sensor, 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.
Even though these gloves offer 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 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.
Water Resistance: Mittens
In the face of severe and horrible weather, mittens like the Outdoor Research Alti Mitt take the cake for warmth. The 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. On super long wet days, the leather palm can saturate, but proper treatment of the leather can avoid that.
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.
Water Resistance: Gloves
The Arc'teryx Fission SV and OR Couloir both offer awesome weather protection. The Couloir is constructed mostly of leather and polyester, finished with a Goretex insert, while the Fission is lighter, made with Arc'teryx's proprietary material Fortius 1.0 (nylon and elastane), infused with a Gore-tex insert and a leather palm. When digging snow pits with both the Couloir 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 Couloir.
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.
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. Typically the higher scorers here were those with a gloved construction and thinner design, which both help offer better mobility.
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.
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 OR Couloir performs similarly but is not quite as streamlined as the Fission SV.
The ultra-thin design of the Outdoor Research Arete offers great dexterity. It has very thin insulation, thus making it easier to grab objects easily. The tradeoff here, of course, is that they're 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 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.
Thinner mittens like the Burton Gore-Tex Mitten and Hestra Heli-Mitt 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.
It's a bummer to go out and spend money on an expensive pair of ski gloves that disintegrates 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 are 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.
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.
The Arc'teryx Fission glove has proven to be 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.
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 make gloves versatile for different conditions. Typically skiers find this feature helpful in the backcountry or for more aerobic skiing. 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.
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 , OR Couloir, REI Guide Mitten, Gordini Gore-Tex Down III, Black 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.
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, REI Guide Mitten, 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.
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.
Cinch and Release Cuff
A cinch and release cuff with a large enough mechanism that can be used with gloves on. All products we tested have this feature except the Kinco Pigskin Gloves and REI Guide Mittens.
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, OR Couloir Sensor, and Outdoor Research Arete. These gloves are also great for ice climbing or moving in the alpine with a harness.
Touch Screen Compatibility
None of the outer gloves have touchscreen 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 Dakine Camino.
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.
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.
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