Finding the right pair of gloves for the winter can be a daunting enough task to make you want to hibernate and wake up in March. However, a little bit of information can make it a much easier task and put the wonder back into your winter wonder land. The first step in picking out ski gloves is determining what the climate is where you ski. You'll have to decide how much water protection you'll need, how much warmth you'll need and how much wind resistance will be necessary. You'll also need to know what kind of skier you are; you'll need to know if you need good grip, dexterity or the other options, such as a nose wipe, that more demanding skiers need.
Ski gloves versus ski mittens
The difference between gloves and mittens appears to be obvious, but there are more factors than style and dexterity to consider. The warmth offered by mittens is superior to the warmth offered by gloves of the same thickness. Gloves are often more breathable because of the increased surface area, so your hands will not become moist from your own sweat.
There are many levels of waterproofing, from none at all to so much that your hand would stay dry in a lake.
If you're looking for the best waterproofing available, make sure that the gloves you're buying are fully seam taped. Fabrics such as Cordura® Ventia™, Ventia™, treated leather and Deluge® DWR-treated polyester will all keep you plenty dry.
Other gloves, with critically taped seams and leather, nylon, polyester and Ventia™ shells can still provide excellent waterproofing and will not be as expensive.
If you need warmth without waterproofing, fleece and neoprene are fast drying fabrics that offer great dexterity. Some fleeces will even be waterproof and, of course, fleece offers great warmth.
There a few different materials used in ski gloves to keep your hand warm. Fleece is one of the most popular fabrics due to its low weight, its quick drying, and its excellent warmth. There are many kinds of fleece, including Polar fleece and Primaloft.
Wool is another material that is sometimes used in gloves and traps in heat while allowing breathability.
For some activities, such as spring skiing, you may not want too much insulation. Instead, you may just want a glove to act as a waterproof shell, in which case fleece or wool would cause you to overheat.
If you think you're going to need ski gloves with insulation and ski gloves without, keep in mind that there are gloves with removable liners that can multitask.
It is hard to find a pair of gloves that will allow your fingers the complete range of motion and dexterity that you're used to. Mittens will limit your ability to do some things and thick gloves are not too much better. That is one advantage of gloves or mittens with liners; if you need to work with your fingers, you can remove the snow gloves or snow mitts briefly to complete a task.
Thinner fleece and neoprene gloves offer great dexterity as they are. If you're going to be doing a lot of work with your hands and you can afford to have less insulation, these gloves will be perfect for you.To enhance grip, many ski gloves and mitts have specially treated palms or have a layer of fabric. Some gloves use rough leather and others use synthetic treatments; either way, you can be sure that the treatment will help you get a grip.