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The Best Ski Gloves and Mittens of 2019

The Hestra Army Leather GTX is one of our favorite all-around gloves for its above-average warmth and superb durability all while keeping respectable dexterity. While it barely missed an award  it's still a fantastic glove.
Sunday May 5, 2019
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Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more

We raked through 100 of the best ski gloves and tested the top 15 side-by-side. Our testers have been assessing gloves at the resort, nordic skiing, backcountry skiing, snowmobiling, and high altitude ski mountaineering for several years, logging over 200 hours in these gloves. Through a variety of in lab and real-world testing, we use metrics to decide which has the highest finger dexterity, warmth on bitter days, the most features, and more. Dozens of testers provided valuable analysis for this review and helped identify a range of award winners for specific purposes. Passing our findings on to you, we'll help you figure out which pair will best suit your needs.

Related: The Best Ski Gloves and Mittens for Women


Top 15 Product Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 15
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Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $109.95 at REI
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$375.00 at Backcountry
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$199.00 at REI
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$169.95 at REI
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$110.93 at REI
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Overall Score
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84
Star Rating
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Pros Warmest mitt in our review, bomber shell, nice extra features, nice loop to facilitate drying, good thumb ergonomicsVery protective, 6hr battery life on low, durable, super warm when poweredVersatility, durable palm, lightweight and packable, dexterous, ergonomic shape, freedom of movementSuper warm, extremely tough, great weather resistance, removable liners help them dry quicker, our go-to expedition gloveWARM, lifetime warranty, basically two gloves in one, super water resistant
Cons Poor dexterity, liner packs out a little quicker than other optionsPricey, heavyLong gauntlet tricky to get under jacket, gauntlet can slowly open, expensiveNot very dexterous, take time to break in, if in between sizes you should consider sizing upNot super dexterous, inner glove not as durable
Bottom Line This contender offers the highest level of warmth, yet still allows you to reasonably perform basic tasks required of resort skiing.The warmest glove in the test when the batteries are charged, a great protective and warm glove.Easily the most versatile model for conditions, climates, and activities with top-tier performance across the board make this glove our favorite overall.For really cold activities, where giving up some dexterity for some serious warmth is a must, these gloves are hard to beat.You'll love this glove if you do multi day tours and spend a lot of time in the backcountry.
Rating Categories Black Diamond Mercury Mitt Capstone Heated Arc'teryx Fission Black Diamond Guide Outdoor Research Alti
Warmth (25%)
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
Dexterity (25%)
10
0
4
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
6
10
0
6
Water Resistance (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
10
Durability (15%)
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
8
Features (10%)  
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
Specs Black Diamond... Capstone Heated Arc'teryx Fission Black Diamond Guide Outdoor Research...
Waterproof Material Shell: Pertex Shield, Liner: BDry Gor-Tex insert Gore-Tex Gore-Tex insert Gor-Tex insert
Palm Material Goatskin Leather Goat leather Leather Goat leather Alpengrip
Gaunlet or Cuff? Gauntlet Gauntlet Gauntlet Gauntlet Gauntlet
Insulation Type Primaloft Gold and high-loft fleece PrimaLoft® HiLoft Silver 100% polyester Primaloft Gold Insulation Eco and primaloft silver eco PrimaLoft Gold and boiled wool PrimaLoft® HiLoft Silver 100% polyester
Double or Single Glove double single single double double
Nose Wipe? Yes Yes Yes Yes (thumb) Yes (thumb)

Best Overall Ski Gloves


Arc'teryx Fission


89
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth - 25% 8
  • Dexterity - 25% 10
  • Water Resistance - 25% 9
  • Durability - 15% 8
  • Features - 10% 9
Waterproof material: Gore-Tex | Gauntlet or cuff: Gauntlet
Extremely Versatile
Fantastic weather resistance
Very Warm
Cozy internal fabric
Excellent freedom of movement
Lightweight and very compressible
Not the warmest
On the more expensive side

The Arc'teryx Fission was the all-around highest performing glove in our review. Other gloves are better at specific tasks, but nothing performs as highly across the board. The bottom line is if we could have only one glove for skiing and snowboarding then this model would be it. Time and time again the Fission would be my go-to glove no matter what the day entailed. Whether we were spending a warm early season day at the resort or expecting to be above treeline all day while ski mountaineering, this glove answered the call admirably. The big benefits of this glove are the packability and dexterity in such a tough package.

If we had to give this glove a few disadvantages, we would mention that the cuff could be larger and the sizing chart tends to be on the larger side, so sizing down would be our recommendation unless you plan to wear a thin liner inside the glove as well. This glove is ideal for the skier who values the ability to pack gloves away in their pack, as well as have a dexterous enough glove to use in multi-sports, such as ice climbing or mountaineering.

Read review: Arc'teryx Fission

Best Overall Ski Mittens


Black Diamond Mercury Mitt


79
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth - 25% 10
  • Dexterity - 25% 4
  • Water Resistance - 25% 8
  • Durability - 15% 9
  • Features - 10% 10
Waterproof material: Shell: Pertex Shield, Liner: BDry | Gauntlet or cuff: Gauntlet
Extremely warm
Bomber shell
Extra features
Poor dexterity
The liner can pack out quickly

The Black Diamond Mercury Mitt wins our OutdoorGearLab Editors' Choice award for the best overall mitten because it proved to be the most weather resistant mitten, coupled with respectable dexterity and it was the straight-up warmest product we tested. The Mercury performed very well for its weather resistance both in real-world use and in our side-by-side testings, offered bomber construction, and some additional features, like its optional internal index finger slot for improved dexterity and a hanging loop for quicker drying or to hang from a harness while climbing.

The Mercury's elaborate liner is built with 340g of PrimaLoft, a fleece lining, is covered with BDry waterproof fabric, and is WARM. Its only downside is that we do feel like the Mercury Mitt packed out a little quicker after a few seasons of heavy use. The Mercury performs well in warmer closer-to-freezing temperatures but isn't as water resistant as The North Face Montana Mitt.

Read review: Black Diamond Mercury Mitt

Best Bang for your Buck


Outdoor Research Revolution


Outdoor Research Revolution Gloves
Best Buy Award

$68.96
at Amazon
See It

75
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth - 25% 6
  • Dexterity - 25% 8
  • Water Resistance - 25% 8
  • Durability - 15% 7
  • Features - 10% 9
Waterproof material: Ventia insert - 100% nylon | Gauntlet or cuff: Gauntlet
One of the best options for the price
Very water resistant
Functional features
Dexterous
Goat-skin leather palm
Average warmth
Not most durable

The winner of our OutdoorGearLab Best Buy Award is the Outdoor Research Revolution. This glove is a rad price for a storm worthy and dexterous glove. It features a respectable amount of insulation and above-average weather resistance but still scored well in dexterity, a combination many priced pointed gloves lack. It's not a bulky mess; it has finesse. We're also glad the OR supplied this glove with just the right amount of useful, easy-to-operate features.

Two areas where this model doesn't excel are warmth and durability. If you'd be happy to trade slightly better performance in those areas for the positives that the Revolution provides, check out the Gordini GTX Storm Trooper II. For most folks hitting the resorts, though, we think the Revolution hits the sweet spot of performance and price.

Read review: Outdoor Research Revolution

Top Pick for Warmth


Black Diamond Guide


84
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth - 25% 9
  • Dexterity - 25% 6
  • Water Resistance - 25% 9
  • Durability - 15% 10
  • Features - 10% 9
Waterproof material: Gore-Tex Insert | Gauntlet or cuff: Gauntlet
Extremely warm
Mega Tough
Above average weather resistance
Removable liners help to dry quicker
Our go-to expedition glove
Not overly dexterous
Stiff and take some time to break in
Consider sizing up if you're in between sizes

The Black Diamond Guide was the warmest non-mitt tested, making it a perfect option for cold weather skiing, snowboarding, and mountaineering. Tester Ian Nicholson wore them to the summit of Denali on a day with a daytime high of -38F, and he summited in -42F and has since used this glove on ten Denali Trips. We think the glove is warmer than several price-pointed mittens on the market.

The Guide features removable liners, which makes drying them a breeze, while the molded EVA foam padding on the knuckles and fingers adds protection and warmth. They are also super sturdy, easily among the most durable gloves reviewed. With all that said Black Diamond didn't lose track of that fact that the Guides are Gloves and recognized if people didn't care about dexterity they'd buy mittens and that folks buying the Guide would want some reasonable level of dexterity. The Guide fully meets this expectation, while hardy offering standout dexterity, they can accomplish a pretty fair amount of detail-oriented tasks especially after they've been broken in and soften up.

Read review: Black Diamond Guide

Top Pick for Backcountry Riding


Outdoor Research Alti


Top Pick Award

$110.93
(30% off)
at REI
See It

84
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth - 25% 9
  • Dexterity - 25% 6
  • Water Resistance - 25% 10
  • Durability - 15% 8
  • Features - 10% 9
Waterproof material: Gore-Tex Pro | Gauntlet or cuff: Gauntlet
Excellent weather resistance
Extremely Durable Synthetic Palm
Versatile
Dries Quickly
Excellent execution of features
Can be used as two separate gloves
Lacking in dexterity for some tasks

The Outdoor Research Alti Glove wins our Top Pick Award for touring in the backcountry, either with skis or a splitboard. We found that this double glove excelled in a wide variety of temperatures and was warm enough for when the weather deteriorates. The interior liner proved to be a usable standalone glove and when combined with the outer it creates an impenetrable fortress of digit protection in any weather. We also found that when doing avalanche assessments and building different snow structures, the outer alone could be worn and provide a nice Goretex barrier between yourself and the elements. This also allows the glove to dry very quickly, doubling the surface area of the glove when separating the inner and outer.

The main drawback of these gloves is dexterity. While many of our testers had no problem using these gloves during a full day of touring, we would be hesitant to bring this glove alone if there was a lot of rope work involved, which would easily shred the inner. If you tour more than you ride the gondola, these gloves will suit you best.

Read review: Outdoor Research Alti Glove

Top Pick For Heated Gloves


Outdoor Research Capstone Heated


Top Pick Award

$375.00
(25% off)
at Backcountry
See It

86
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth - 25% 10
  • Dexterity - 25% 7
  • Water Resistance - 25% 9
  • Durability - 15% 7
  • Features - 10% 10
Waterproof Material: Gore-Tex Pro | Gauntlet or cuff: Gauntlet
Extremely Protective
Warm when batteries are dead
Six-hour battery life
Weather resistance
Not Dexterous
Not as slim fitting as Black Diamond Salono

The Outdoor Research Capstone Heated Glove is our choice for a battery powered hand layer. We found that the glove heats up quickly and evenly when turned on to high from a cold start, and also will last most of a resort day on the low setting. Testers most often found themselves "spot heating" with the glove only turning it on high for a few minutes when one of their hands got cold after taking the glove off for an extended period of time. This is all with easily swappable batteries that allow for even more hand heating. We chose this glove over the Black Diamond Solano because it is warmer when the battery dies and offers a bit more protection for alpine skiing.

The Capstone is one large and heavy glove, so it is really not suited for any sort of skiing where you wont be wearing the glove the entire time. The glove is also quite stiff when you first pull it out of the box. This glove is ideal for people who spend most of their time at the resort or on a snowmobile, and need the advantage of heat produced by electronics rather than just their own circulation.

Read Review: Outdoor Research Capstone Heated Glove

Notable for All-Around Value in a Double Glove


Outdoor Research Highcamp



$94.95
at Amazon
See It

75
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth - 25% 8
  • Dexterity - 25% 7
  • Water Resistance - 25% 7
  • Durability - 15% 7
  • Features - 10% 9
Waterproof material: Ventia insert - 100% nylon outer | Gauntlet or cuff: Gauntlet
Removable liner
Solid warmth
Great feature set
Average dexterity and durability
Gauntlet is a touch small

Outdoor Research makes a ton of excellent gloves at more price-points than many high-end manufacturers, and the Highcamp is another example of that. It's really rare to find a double layered glove, consisting of a removable liner and a waterproof, insulated shell, that comes in under a hundred bucks, but this glove is just that. This is a great glove for many folks who want a relatively inexpensive quiver of one that nails performance in multiple areas. It's warm enough for the vast majority of resort skiers, and the removable liner satisfies backcountry skiers on the ups, then switching to the shell for the downs.

The Highcamp doesn't have any major flaws, although it's only average in dexterity, water resistance, and durability. We love this glove for the versatility it presents for a value we rarely see on the market.

Read review: Outdoor Research Highcamp


Cold morning laps and the BD Mercury Mitts go hand in hand.
Cold morning laps and the BD Mercury Mitts go hand in hand.

Why You Should Trust Us


OutdoorGearLab Review Editors Ian Nicholson and Jeff Rogers combined their extensive collective experience in skiing, mountaineering, and cold weather travel to bring you a solid study of the best ski gloves and mittens out there. Ian works primarily as a mountain guide and was the youngest person on record to pass his American Mountain Guides Association rock and alpine guide exams. He also holds AIARE Level 3 certification and Level 1 avalanche instructor certification. Ski mountaineer Jeff Rogers brings added ski-specific experience to the team. He's got several 6000-meter ski descents on his resume, including Denali and peaks in Bolivia. In progress is his effort to tag the high points of all 50 states.

Finding the best ski gloves and mitts available started with digging deep into the market - we looked at over 100 different models before deciding to purchase and test the selection that is discussed here. It all came down to a handful of factors that we decided before doing any testing were the most important things gloves and mitts need to do. Of course, we tested warmth, riding chairlifts and skiing in the Cascades, Alps, Wasatch range, and Northeast US, as well as working in the field with the Northwest Avalanche Center. We tested water resistance, dunking the gloves in a bucket of water for two minutes and comparing the results. We also tested dexterity, peeling and sticking lift tickets to our jackets and pants with the gloves on, as well as writing, buckling boots, and unlocking car doors. Finally, we kept a close eye on the durability of each model over the seasons of use we put them through.

Related: How We Tested Ski Gloves

Wetting out in the Legend gloves after relatively few days of employment.
The Guide Glove is the perfect cold weather ski glove or high altitude mountaineering glove. Tester Ian Nicholson has summitted both Denali and Aconcagua in this Glove in temps as cold as -40F (with hand-warmers). Photo: Ian Nicholson and Zach Keskinen both wearing BD Guide Gloves on the Summit of Denali.
Spraying while wearing the Mercury Mitts.

Analysis and Test Results


Gloves and mittens create a haven for our hands, protecting them from the harsh winter bite. We expect a whole lot from them too; whether we are spending a day skiing glades at the resort or touring above treeline, we rely on them to provide that barrier to the elements. We do not want them to be too bulky or cumbersome, yet we do not want to sacrifice the weather resistance or warmth. We expect them to disappear under normal tasks yet still be totally bomber in any condition we face.

Related: Buying Advice for Ski Gloves

There are several good ski gloves which are dependent on how cold it is  where you ski  or snowboard  how wet it is  or your possible needs as far as dexterity  durability  and ease of use.
There are several good ski gloves which are dependent on how cold it is, where you ski, or snowboard, how wet it is, or your possible needs as far as dexterity, durability, and ease of use.

To find out which ones truly perform a cut above the rest, we have been buying and testing a lot of ski gloves. Over the course of several winters, we compare each competitor side by side and tested them in the field, from resorts to backcountry mountaintops. We broke the testing down into five categories to determine what product is the best choice during specific applications as well as overall while testing in the Cascades, the Wasatch Range, Alaska, New England, and the European Alps. Below, we describe the specific criteria by which we evaluated each contender. We rated each model in this review based on their dexterity, warmth, water resistance, durability, and features.

Whether buckling your boots  zipping your jacket  signing the receipt for your lift ticket  or climbing ladders up a cliff over the Pas de Chevre (as Jussi Tahtinen demonstrates here in a pair of Hestra Army Leather Gore-Tex)  dexterity is an important consideration when purchasing gloves or mittens.
Whether buckling your boots, zipping your jacket, signing the receipt for your lift ticket, or climbing ladders up a cliff over the Pas de Chevre (as Jussi Tahtinen demonstrates here in a pair of Hestra Army Leather Gore-Tex), dexterity is an important consideration when purchasing gloves or mittens.

Value


There are many functional and solid performing gloves that fall in the $100 and under price category. Five years ago, this simply wasn't the case, and choosing our Best Bang for the Buck was very challenging. Even when selecting models for this review, there were nearly 100 models that we carefully considered. We chose the Outdoor Research Revolution for our Best Buy because we felt it offered the best balance of features, water resistance, dexterity, and warmth. The Gordini GTX Storm Trooper II was in a similar price range and came in an extremely close second and we continually debate which of these two very solid gloves should win our award. We also liked the Dakine Titan for its feature set (like a removable liner!) at a similar price.


One important trade-off in the lower-priced gloves is their durability. A full leather glove's materials cost is higher than synthetic models, but with 1-2 treatments of leather balm a year, you should expect natural leather models to last longer. In this sense, some of the higher-priced gloves are investments that will pay dividends in the future, along with having a superior glove from the get-go. Use our assessments to find the best ski gloves or mittens within your price range.

Warmth


Testing overall warmth is not as easy as it might seem. Many outside factors can contribute to the comparison, including your body's core temperature, how much you've eaten, and how long ago you last snacked. There is also the element of person to person differences, and our testers ranged from women who have cold hands while sitting inside to skiers who hardly wear more than liners on cold ski days.


Possibly the most challenging aspect is that a tester might have already been standing around in the cold. We did our best to present you the most accurate data in the warmth category and did so by having a group of skiers stand around in a ski parking lot while trading pairs for five minutes at a time. We also spent over 100 days skiing and snowboarding, always with a backpack full of contenders, changing them all day long. While skiing testers also wore different gloves on each hand to do a true side by side test comparison in regards to warmth, giving the gloves an identical test human who produces the same heat through both hands helped us narrow down which gloves were retaining more heat and which gloves weren't. We also tested palm insulation through holding ice axes and cold cans apres ski.

Ian Nicholson freezing and side-by-side testing relative ski glove warmth in Mt Rainier National park.
Ian Nicholson freezing and side-by-side testing relative ski glove warmth in Mt Rainier National park.

Excluding the heated gloves when they are powered on (more on that below), the warmest glove we tested was the Black Diamond Guide. Tester Ian Nicholson used them to summit Denali, never changing into his mittens on a day with a high of -38F, while summiting in -42F. He also summited Aconcagua in them in -25F. The next warmest contender was the Outdoor Research Alti Glove while only slightly less warm, they have been worn by Tester Jeff Rogers on Mt. Washington in New Hampshire with an ambient temperature of -38F and 70mph winds resulting in a -80F windchill.

These are the two best options for New England or Upper Mountain West skiers and snowboarders or for people who wish to have the dexterity of a glove with as much warmth as they can possibly get before going to a mitten design. These are also good options for people with Raynaud's syndrome. We think the average person could use them for resort skiing down to around 0F but not much colder. For those on a budget, the Gordini GTX Storm Trooper II retails for an astounding low price and is a good option for above-average warmth. While they are not quite as warm as the Black Diamond Guide or the Outdoor Research Alti Glove, it isn't terribly far behind.

If you frequent cold climates  or your hands just plain get cold easily  mittens are pretty tough to beat in terms of warmth. Not only are mittens warmer but they also help your hands stay warmer for a longer period of time. Their natural heat efficient design lets your hands warm-up quickly.
If you frequent cold climates, or your hands just plain get cold easily, mittens are pretty tough to beat in terms of warmth. Not only are mittens warmer but they also help your hands stay warmer for a longer period of time. Their natural heat efficient design lets your hands warm-up quickly.

Mitten Warmth

It was a tough decision to determine the warmest mitt in our review. In the end, we found the Black Diamond Mercury Mitt to be the top dog. The Montana Mitt from the North Face is warm, but not as toasty as the Mercury Mitty.

Heated Glove Warmth

The two gloves in the test that are capable of producing heat, instead of just retaining it from your hands, were the Outdoor Research Capstone and the Black Diamond Solano. These two gloves were able to take testers hands from numb to warm in a matter of minutes, all at the press of a button. The gloves were also scored on when their batteries are dead, and how they insulated with a heating element along your hands. It was quite fascinating to see how the gloves were designed to conduct heat to your hands via a heating element, but also insulate them away from the element when it no longer can heat their fingers when the battery dies.

Part of any glove or mitten's warmth comes from keeping your hands dry in a wide range of conditions; this includes protection from the elements as well as allowing moisture to escape via the glove or mittens overall breathability. Skiing below the infamous Matterhorn  Switzerland.
Part of any glove or mitten's warmth comes from keeping your hands dry in a wide range of conditions; this includes protection from the elements as well as allowing moisture to escape via the glove or mittens overall breathability. Skiing below the infamous Matterhorn, Switzerland.

Our testers agreed that the Capstone was the warmest of the heated models without battery power, having more insulation. The Solano is thinner and less warm without the electricity turned on, but this also made them less bulky and more dexterous.

The Capstone has a large gauntlet and allows us to easily activate the on/off button
The Capstone has a large gauntlet and allows us to easily activate the on/off button

Dexterity


In the dexterity category, we performed a series of side-by-side tasks, mostly attempting to replicate real-world activities that people may likely need to accomplish without removing their gloves.


These tasks include buckling ski boots, unlocking a car door with an average sized pair of car keys: both with a clicker/fab and manually, tying running shoes, attaching a lift ticket to a zippered pocket, zipping a jacket, taking a photo with a point-and-shoot camera and writing our name. If we encountered a tie, gloves that allowed us to write more legibly did receive a higher score.

Our analyses come after extensive testing while resort riding and ski guiding  and while working in the field for the Northwest Avalanche Center. The Arc'teryx Fission Gloves are shown here while skiing in France.
Our analyses come after extensive testing while resort riding and ski guiding, and while working in the field for the Northwest Avalanche Center. The Arc'teryx Fission Gloves are shown here while skiing in France.

We also compared each contender during real-world use, often changing them multiple times a day. In the end, the Hestra Fall Line Glove was the most dexterous glove we tested along with Arc'teryx Fission essentially performing the same. Each contender was strong and allowed the wearer to be nimble.

Dexterity is an obviosuly important attribute of any glove  not only because it is annoying to remove your gloves to complete a given task  but it also likely results in colder hands as you are forced to expose your bare-skin to the elements but also your gloves likely cool off.  Side-by-Side ski glove testing while negotiating a difficult section on the Haute route.
Dexterity is an obviosuly important attribute of any glove, not only because it is annoying to remove your gloves to complete a given task, but it also likely results in colder hands as you are forced to expose your bare-skin to the elements but also your gloves likely cool off. Side-by-Side ski glove testing while negotiating a difficult section on the Haute route.

The Black Diamond Legend wasn't too far behind and are the last options that are deemed dexterous enough for easy-to-moderate ice climbing, mountaineering or other applications where a relatively high level of dexterity is required.

Tester Ian Nicholson tests ski glove dexterity and palm material durability on the Haute route while lowering a skier down the Col Du Chardonnet  Chamonix France.
Tester Ian Nicholson tests ski glove dexterity and palm material durability on the Haute route while lowering a skier down the Col Du Chardonnet, Chamonix France.

With gloves, it is often a case of dexterity versus warmth; as you add more insulation (i.e., bulk), you lose sensitivity and, in turn, dexterity. For example, the Hestra Fall Line is extremely dexterous but only offers average warmth. The Arc'teryx Fission provides above-average warmth with top-notch dexterity. And if you're venturing into an extremely cold region, the Black Diamond Guide Glove allows you to have the dexterity of a glove with the warmth that surpasses most mittens.

Ian Nicholson tested ski glove dexterity in freezing cold temperatures in the low teens while recording snow pit data while working as part of the snow safety team for Talkgate Alaska (Thompson Pass  AK).
Ian Nicholson tested ski glove dexterity in freezing cold temperatures in the low teens while recording snow pit data while working as part of the snow safety team for Talkgate Alaska (Thompson Pass, AK).

The Black Diamond Mercury Mitt wasn't very dexterous at all, despite featuring an "optional" internal trigger finger on its liner. The trigger finger is optional, as the inner mitten is sewn wide enough to keep all four fingers together, should you opt to do so. While this design was nice in theory, it did add a fair amount of bulk to the mitten.

We used a two minute submersion in a bucket of water as one factor when comparing ski gloves and mittens while measuring levels of water resistance side-by-side. We used our ratings in conjunction with real world wet and sometimes rainy skiing in Washington's Snoqualmie Pass.
We used a two minute submersion in a bucket of water as one factor when comparing ski gloves and mittens while measuring levels of water resistance side-by-side. We used our ratings in conjunction with real world wet and sometimes rainy skiing in Washington's Snoqualmie Pass.

Water Resistance


In addition to extensive use during a wet winter in the Pacific Northwest and an extremely snowy early ski season in New England, we also performed a series of side-by-side tests.


We held each of the gloves in a bucket of water for two minutes; the gloves were submerged, with the fingers pointing down, and with one inch to spare toward the top of the cuff, never fully immersed.

While all the models we tested are typically waterproof  they didn't all perform equally in real-world testing nor in our side-by-side bucket of water tests. We found the models that used an extremely water resistant outer like the Arc'teryx Fission performed best.
While all the models we tested are typically waterproof, they didn't all perform equally in real-world testing nor in our side-by-side bucket of water tests. We found the models that used an extremely water resistant outer like the Arc'teryx Fission performed best.

The models that kept us the driest the longest where the Arc'teryx Fission and the Outdoor Research Alti. All used slightly different materials and designs although the Fission and Alti both use a Gore-Tex insert.

Nothing like skinning uphill in dumping snow to test the breathability and weather resistance of each ski glove. We took into account both real world comparisons as well as our "bucket of water" test when reviewing each gloves water resistance. Wasatch UT.
Nothing like skinning uphill in dumping snow to test the breathability and weather resistance of each ski glove. We took into account both real world comparisons as well as our "bucket of water" test when reviewing each gloves water resistance. Wasatch UT.

The Alti achieves its remarkable weather resistance by using a combination of synthetic materials throughout and a Gore-tex insert. The lack of any leather on the glove results in an extremely water resistant glove that does not need any leather treatment over its life. There is also an absence of seams on the palm. While the Fission uses a stretchy almost softshell-like material that surprisingly proved to be among the most water resistant outer-layers we tested.

Here we are testing the different models during our two minute "bucket of water" test.
Here we are testing the different models during our two minute "bucket of water" test.

Not far behind those three contenders was the Black Diamond Guide and the Hestra Army Leather Gore-Tex along with the equally performing but much less expensive Gordini GTX Storm Trooper II and Outdoor Research Revolution. These are best for wetter, stormier climates like the Pacific Northwest, Western Canada, Japan, Alaska, etc.

Eric Dalzell on an evening ski of the Odessey on a surprisingly cold afternoon; it was around 8F  and we compared the warmth of each ski glove  Valdez  AK.
Eric Dalzell on an evening ski of the Odessey on a surprisingly cold afternoon; it was around 8F, and we compared the warmth of each ski glove, Valdez, AK.


Durability


We measured durability not only during our own use, punishing these products over hundreds of days during the past two seasons but also from valuable input from dozens of other users and OutdoorGearLab friends.


We think the toughest contestants are continually from Hestra. The craftmanship and high-quality materials and design continue to impress us, model after model. Other impressive models include the Black Diamond Guide and Marmot Ultimate Ski Glove. Both have a beefy leather exterior and stood up to whatever our testing team threw at them. Among the more price-pointed options, we were quite impressed with the longevity of the Gordini GTX Storm Trooper II.

We did our very best to compare the longevity and durability of each of the models presented here. We observed how the shell and exterior of each model resisted wear but also how well the insulation and water resistance held up.
We did our very best to compare the longevity and durability of each of the models presented here. We observed how the shell and exterior of each model resisted wear but also how well the insulation and water resistance held up.

Almost as durable were the Arc'teryx Fission. The Fission was in solid shape even after 40+ days of use, though its very lofty insulation packed down slightly quicker than other options (a quality that was shared by the Black Diamond Guide Glove and Outdoor Research Alti Glove).

Chris Marshall airs it out while skiing in the Duffy near Pemberton BC  while providing valuable feedback to the OutdoorGearLab team.
Chris Marshall airs it out while skiing in the Duffy near Pemberton BC, while providing valuable feedback to the OutdoorGearLab team.

One key factor to consider here is the manufacturer's warranty. Outdoor Research has a lifetime warranty on all their gloves. Essentially, you're getting two pairs for every one you order from them.

Features


The features and ease of use categories include interesting and additional features that will help you make the most of your gloves.


We compared features such as how well they kept snow out and how easy they were to tighten and loosen. We also gave higher marks for wrist leashes or keeper leashes. We also made a note when a glove manufacturer allowed operation of various features to be easy with a gloved hand. For instance the one-handed cinch and release on the Outdoor Research Alti gauntlet.

A good nose wipe is always a welcome feature  and these mitts have it.
A good nose wipe is always a welcome feature, and these mitts have it.

The importance of wrist leashes is huge. The capability of taking off your gloves and mittens while on the chair to do a more dexterous task is quite valuable, and we find these to be quite convenient in backcountry settings as well. We also compared features like nose wipes and the ease at which we were able to take the contenders on and off.

The inner glove of the Alti proved to be a great glove on its own. Having a double glove design is a feature we love  especially in the backcountry.
The inner glove of the Alti proved to be a great glove on its own. Having a double glove design is a feature we love, especially in the backcountry.

And of course, today's phones require touchscreen-capable gloves if you intend to keep your hand in them. The Outdoor Research Capstone Heated Glove and the inner glove of the Outdoor Research Highcamp and Dakine Titan are all touchscreen compatible. All of these models have a touchscreen sensitive thumb and index finger that worked even better than a normal finger (especially when it is cold out). This means you don't have to take your gloves off to answer your smartphone, take a photo, push play to hear your favorite playlist, update your Facebook status, or check the latest reviews on OutdoorGearLab.com.

Not only did we present the best overall models for skiing  but we also looked at all the more budget-friendly options currently on the market. Photo: Walking down the Arete du Pain on L'Aiguille du Midi.
Not only did we present the best overall models for skiing, but we also looked at all the more budget-friendly options currently on the market. Photo: Walking down the Arete du Pain on L'Aiguille du Midi.

Conclusion


The market is saturated with a variety of different options to choose from when searching for gloves or mittens. They must be warm, weatherproof, and all but disappear on our hands while doing complex tasks. We feel that this review captures the best gloves on the market and does not discount the vast majority of cheaper options while also focusing on higher-end offerings.

Related: Buying Advice for Ski Gloves

Ready...Set...Ride!
Ready...Set...Ride!


Ian Nicholson and Jeff Rogers