Ski gloves have recently gotten techier, have improved quality, warmth, comfort, durability and dexterity. Our goal when selecting our favorite pair was to find gloves that would not only satisfy a hardcore skier, but last a beginner or casual rider many years into the future. That being said, we weren’t looking for a glove that maximized one attribute better than others, but rather maximized all of the following attributes as much as possible:
Warmth primarily comes from a few things: the type of insulation, the amount of insulation, the number of layers, and breathable membranes (these are pores that are small enough to not let water enter, but large enough to let your sweat escape and your hand breath).
The optimal glove should be easy to play with your jacket, goggles, text your mom, grip your poles, feel no resistance when grabbing, etc. without completely sacrificing warmth.
-Cuff: Under the Cuff vs. Over the Cuff, more of a personal preference although the advantages of under the cuff are easy wrist movements, while over the cuff is a less chance of snow coming in.
-Materials: Leather vs. Synthetic, leather is traditionally a “better” choice, although new high end synthetic materials are giving it a run for it’s money.
-Seamlessness: Who likes a bunch of crap flying everywhere and a glove that just plain looks bad?
-Strap: hopefully not annoying.
This is obvious, and has to do with the materials and construction.
They should last you for a couple years without too much tear and wear.
Wipers, looks, tech (but we didn’t really focus on this, as they are now making smart gloves which we consider to be in a different category), etc.
As in anything, price is a factor. Our goal was to stick under the $200 price point, although there are some awesome gloves above that.
It was really hard to narrow down a selection of best ski glove out of the hundreds if not thousands of contenders. First, since this is an “overall” best pick, we pretty much ruled out pipe gloves, mittens, $200+ gloves, and incredibly bulky gloves. After initially screening user reviews on retailers as well as other credible review websites such as Outdoor Research Lab, we came up with a list of ten contenders from brands including Outdoor Research, Burton, Dakine, Haestra, Arc’teryx, and Black Diamond. Upon doing so we analyzed all of the attributes above, weighing the costs and benefits of each, which eventually led us to our overall pick:
Our Pick: Outdoor Research Magnate Gloves
These gloves have the perfect blend of everything you need and do so in a seamless and great looking moto-style inspired fashion. They are a single layer glove that usually sacrifices warmth to an extent, but in the case of the Magnate Gloves, there really isn’t too much of a sacrifice. The PrimaLoft insulation combined with the full Gore-tex membrane insert that goes beyond what many other gloves do, maintains weatherproof warmth and gives your hands all the breathability they need. The interior has an awesome grip with reinforced and tactical leather, and the dexterity of the gloves are good enough to feel in complete control of your hands. Getting them on and off is super easy with the pull loop, and the velcro cuff around the under-the-cuff base holds tight blocking out the snow. In terms of price, we would consider these right in the middle of the upper quality gloves at about $130 retail value, and they definitely hold their own even when compared to the two hundred plus range. If you’re a skier looking that isn’t planning on going to the arctic, but rather in ‘normal’ cold mountain conditions, and don’t want to sacrifice warmth or durability or comfort or looks or dexterity, look no further.