Black Diamond Impulse Gloves
Reasons to buy it: Bombproof, dexterous, warm
Temperature Range: -20 / -4 °C
Weight (Pair): 266.3 g
Price: £150 / $170
When describing ski gloves, the adjective ‘bombproof’ gets thrown around quite a lot. Sometimes, the use of this word is justified. Sometimes, it isn’t. In the case of the Black Diamond Impulse Gloves, we’re happy to report that it’s the former not the latter. Considering this product has come from the team at Black Diamond, genuine experts when it comes to ski touring and the backcountry, we’re not surprised in the least bit.
Finding a pair of ski gloves you can rely on in -20°C to keep your hands warm, and which are still dexterous enough to rig up an abseil high in the alpine, isn’t the easiest task. Many gloves out there either can’t hack the stresses of constant use, or simply don’t offer adequate insulation for ‘real’ winter conditions. This is where the Impulse Glove comes in.
“Wrapped in goat leather, and set up in a way that brings together durability and dexterity”
Black Diamond has implemented a premium build quality here. The glove is wrapped in goat leather, and set up in a way that brings together durability and dexterity under the same flag. The dexterity of the glove is particularly impressive when you consider the sheer amount of insulating and waterproofing properties that’s been packed into them.
The Impulse Gloves are housing 200g PrimaLoft Gold Cross Core on the back of them. Gold Cross Core is an insulation material that combines regular PrimaLoft material with AeroGel (the same stuff they use to warm NASA spacesuits). It works brilliantly. On the palms, you’re looking at two-layers of leather to boost durability in a high wear area. Sitting under this beefed-up part of the glove, you’ve got 80 grams of PrimaLoft’s Gold Eco Insulation with ‘Grip Control’.
Factor in the EVA panelling, for additional reinforcement, and the highly waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex membrane that sits beneath the tough leather outer, and you’re left looking at something that feels ready to beat back whatever the mountains throw at them. They’re not the cheapest gloves by any stretch but if you are serious about really getting out there, and making the most of the terrain, it’s an investment worth making.
Outdoor Research Revolution Under Cuff GTX Glove
Reasons to buy it: Touchscreen compatible, warm and protective, good grip
Weight: 184 g
You don’t need us to tell you that when it comes to making great ski gloves, Outdoor Research are masters of their art. The scientific approach the brand brings to kit creation, and the levels they go to prove it works in the environments you need it to work, means that whenever you ski about while rocking their logo you’re able to do so in the knowledge that your hands are in a good place. Take the Outdoor Research Revolution Under Cuff Gore-Tex glove, for example. It’s a top bit of gear, at an extremely reasonable price point. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Let’s talk about it more.
“When it comes to making great ski gloves, Outdoor Research are masters of their art”
Bringing all the features of the new Revolution II Gloves, with an undercuff design that layers nicely beneath your jacket to trap warmth and keep snow out, we’ve got no doubts whatsoever that you’ll appreciate what this product can bring to your mountain time this winter. It’s an item with the protective qualities of Gore-Tex; an item that combines this with the insulating warmth of EnduraLoft.
We like the feel of the polyurethane diamond grip palm on this glove. The sense of reassuring grip it provides the wearer feels like a step up from many other options we’ve tried. With these on your hands, you’re far less likely to clumsily let go of your poles or tools at an inopportune moment. Their updated design delivers better dexterity and a more comfortable fit. What’s more, the gloves are touchscreen compatible; meaning you can check your maps, read your messages, and take some photos for your social media accounts all without having to take your hands out, and make them cold, in the process.
Dakine Team Phoenix GTX Glove – Kazu Kokubo
Reasons to buy it: Excellent backcountry performance, reliable Gore-Tex technology, warm Primaloft Gold insulation, bonus points for styling
Even if these Dakine gloves were absolutely useless in terms of performance (they’re not, they’re brilliant), we’d have still been tempted to include them on aesthetics alone. It seems mad to describe ski gloves as ‘works of art’ but, in this instance, you’ll have to give us a bit of rope and allow it. They really are beautiful.
In terms of their practicality out in the backcountry, you’ll be delighted to discover that the Team Phoenix offers a high level of storm protection, warmth and breathability. It’s essentially packing all the ingredients that extremely cool Japanese snowboarder Kazu Kokubo needs when he’s mucking about in the deep stuff. Everything comes together.
“The durable leather palms feel ready to beat back whatever the world throws at you”
The glove houses a Gore-Tex liner that’s both waterproof and breathable. Thanks to Gore Active technology, this is a product that’s packing all the added breathability and storm protection that you’ll need when you’re outside the boundaries of a ski resort. It’s also boasting Primaloft Gold insulation (100% recycled polyester) and a soft wool lining. This combination will keep you hands warm in all manner of conditions, even when you’re really pushing things in terms of exploration. The durable leather palms feel ready to beat back whatever the world throws at you, but not in a way that has a negative impact on dexterity. All in all, Dakine has done a wonderful job with this glove.
If you are serious about regularly getting away from the lift lines and out into fresh powder this winter, look no further than this item discussed above. It’s undoubtedly one of the more pricey options listed here but it will deliver a return on your investment, and then some, in terms of performance.
Quiksilver Cross Glove Snow Gloves
Reasons to buy it: Affordable, good budget option, comfortable, recycled polyester
In these uncertain economic times, it’s understandable that not everyone likes the idea of forking out £150 for a pair of ski gloves. Aimed at the skiers and snowboarders who spend a week cruising about the blue and red runs of a ski resort every winter, there’s this perfectly decent option from the team at Quiksilver. It’s available for £32 from Surfdome, and will serve you well if you’re not that fussed about going out of bounds. This ski glove is also ideal for beginners looking to buy their own kit for the first time.
“Built with the more casual skier in mind, this product feels like something of a steal”
You’ve got faux leather on the palms, recycled polyester on the back of the hands, and WarFlight insulation (fill weight: 170g) keeping things cosy on the inside. The cosy, comfort-first, feeling is enhanced further by the micro fleece lining. There’s not a bunch else to discuss with this particular ski glove but we like the fit of these, and appreciate the smart implementation of adjustable wrist straps and nose/goggle wipe thumb panel.
Probably not a ski glove that’s going to win any trade show awards this one, but that’s OK. For just over £30, and built with the more casual skier in mind, this product feels like something of a steal. Nice bit of work from Quiksilver, we think.
BUY FROM SURFDOME
Black Diamond Guide Glove
Reasons to buy it: Tough, warm, protective, built to last
Price: £160 / €160 / $180
The hardcore skiers who really know their ski gear will already be familiar with Black Diamond’s excellent glove work. For those not up to speed on the brand however, just know that Black Diamond is one of the best around when it comes to delivering durability and warmth in ski gloves. The Black Diamond Guide Glove perfectly underlines this sentiment.
Within its confidence-enhancing tough exterior, the Black Diamond Guide Glove contains a combination of PrimaLoft synthetic and thick boiled wool in the removable liner. As a double act to keep your hands cosy on cold days spent skiing in the mountains, it’s an absolutely outstanding one. When you consider the extent to which this items positions itself in off-piste terrain, you’ll also be glad to know the Guide Glove design is fully waterproof with a Gore-Tex insert.
“Hardcore skiers who really know their ski gear will already be familiar with Black Diamond’s excellent glove work”
The shell of the glove is a mixture of goat leather, suede leather, and nylon. As soon as you place your hands in these abrasion-resistant gloves, you get an overwhelming sense from them that they’ve been designed to feel like you’re wearing indestructible bunkers. The benefit of this is that you can head out into extreme terrain in extreme weather conditions, safe in the knowledge that your hands are being taken care of. The downside of the glove’s design, for some at least, will be reduced finger dexterity – something that’s especially noticeable when you’re first breaking them in.
The Black Diamond Guide is one of the most popular ski gloves on the market and, quite frankly, it’s easy to see why. The glove is comfortable, built to cope with multiple years of usage, and will keep your hands warm when the temperature drops in the mountains.
Hestra Heli Ski Glove
Reasons to buy it: Classic ski glove, trusted by professionals, comfortable, durable
Price: £120 / €135 / $155
The Hestra Heli Glove is thought of so highly in the world of skiing that you probably wouldn’t have to look too far before you found someone willing to look you in the eye, and tell you it’s the greatest ski glove ever made. Skiing professionals have been trusting Swedish brand Hestra to deliver the goods for decades now, and the Heli Glove has played a huge part in securing that trust. It’s an elite bit of kit.
Not a new kid on the block by any stretch, the fact the Heli is still considered one of the best ski gloves around is testament to just how good it is. Comfortable and functional in equal measure, the hybrid leather and synthetic construction here remains virtually unmatched by any of Hestra’s rivals.
“Not a new kid on the block… the fact the Heli is still considered one of the best ski gloves around is testament to just how good it is”
By ticking all of the important boxes in terms of build quality and warmth, at a price point that’s lower than some other notable high-end gloves, Hestra have shown that acquiring the most brilliant gear doesn’t always come down to simply buying the most expensive item there is.
Just like with nearly every other single Hestra product, the Heli utilises quite a bit of leather in its build. Naturally, because of this, it’s an extremely durable product that can more than hold its own in the big outdoors. The flip side of this, however, is that you will need to reapply a leather conditioner to the glove’s palm and fingers ever so often. For some of you, that will sound like too much of a hassle and that’s fair enough. Those of you though who don’t mind doing a bit of kit maintenance now and then, especially when the result is ongoing usage of a superb ski glove, should step right this way.