Black Diamond Guide Glove
Price: £155 / €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.
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
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.
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.
Outdoor Research Alti Glove
Price: £113 / $159
When the gear experts at Outdoor Research, of all the outdoor brands, are confidently telling you their finest expedition glove has been improved you’d be a fool not to sit up and at least give it a look. Outdoor Research have stated that the Alti Glove has been given a considerable boost in terms of ergonomics and dexterity. This, they claim, is down to the game-changing 3DFit Technology. After getting hands on with the gloves ourselves, and trying out the 3DFit Technology, we’re inclined to agree with them.
The warmth of this clever glove has been upgraded through the adding of more PrimaLoft HiLoft to the shell, while the liner has been taken to the next level thanks to the magnificent moisture management offered up by PrimaLoft Active.
If your ski trips are all about mountain exploration, you’ll be wanting a high-level of dexterity and warmth from your gloves. With that in mind, this outstanding offering from the always reliable Outdoor Research is well worth considering. Be sure to have it on your glove-buying shortlist.
Arc’teryx Fission SV Glove
Price: £170 / €190 / $199
If you’re a casual skier who likes to stay within the boundaries of the resort, this product is too expensive for what you need. You could, of course, apply this sentence to almost every Arc’teryx item ever made but it’s worth pointing it out anyway. We don’t mean this as a criticism of the iconic brand founded by Dave Lane and formerly known as Rock Solid, you understand, it’s just us reiterating the widely-held perception that the logo sits at the pricier end of the outdoor gear spectrum.
Skiers who are serious about buying premium gear, and who have the disposable income to justify such wallet-busting expenditures, might want to treat themselves to a pair of the Arc’teryx Fission SV Gloves. The gloves are packing a PrimaLoft fill, and have an Octa Loft lining. This insulation is, it’s worth pointing out, the same insulation you’ll find on the Proton FL jacket. It’s really very good.
We like the dexterity offered by these gloves. Unlike some expensive ski gloves, which can sometimes feel like they’re compensating you for their pricey nature by overburdening your hands, Arc’teryx have favoured a more minimalist yet still effective approach here. That’s not to say these gloves don’t have bulk, it’s just they don’t ‘feel’ overly bulky like some premium gloves.
Some skiers will understandably be disappointed by this glove’s fixed liner as it does make them harder to dry out. If you’re able to put that issue to one side though, you’re bound to appreciate the numerous positives that the Fission SV brings to the table. It’s not the cheapest glove on this list by any stretch, but it is right up there in terms of build quality, dexterity, durability and warmth. You get what you pay for.
Burton Gore-Tex Glove
Price: £75 / €85 / $75
Priced with resort shredders in mind, the Burton Gore-Tex Glove is a great option for the snowboarders and skiers who want a decent glove without the hefty price tag. Naturally, they don’t match some of this list’s top-end options for performance but they’ve got more than enough credentials to hold their own as you scoot about on the blue and red runs (and occasionally try to ‘send it’ in the park).
These gloves will keep your hands warm and dry in the majority of scenarios. They come with a tidy zippered pocket. Those of you who like to heighten your comfort levels with a hand warmer when out on the snow, or have somewhere to store your chewing gum, will like this. The gloves also have a really solid build, can be easily adjusted in terms of fit, and include thin liners that can be removed and which can act independently as gloves for running in.
Now, of course, there are some downsides to spending less on your ski gloves. The Burton Gore-Tex won’t keep your hands as warm as the most premium options on this list, and they are outdone fairly easily in the dexterity department. The liner glove is a nice touch, but it doesn’t fit into the shell in quite the same way that the best liner / shell glove combos do. Unlike the best liner gloves which can make the shell of a glove feel whole, this liner glove feels just like a separate glove going inside a bigger glove. It works, of course, but there’s a disconnect between the two which may bother some hardcore skiers.
Elsewhere, the glove’s gauntlet closure is alright but nothing special. The palm material of the glove meanwhile reflects the cheaper price, and won’t hold your ski poles as well as leather. Slight negatives like these aside though, we still think the Burton Gore-Tex is one of the best gloves you can buy; especially when you consider the relative affordability of its price point.