SKI GLOVES: PLANETSKI PUTS THE BEST TO THE TEST
19th October 2017 | Alf Alderson, Gear & Equipment Editor
Last modified on December 31st, 2019
There’s nothing worse than cold fingers when you’re skiing – avoid that becoming an issue with a good pair of gloves. Here are Six of the Best…
Norrona Lofoten Dri1 Primaloft 170 £109 www.norrona.com
Here’s proof that looks can be deceiving – when we first saw these gloves their low volume and overall ‘smallness’ had us thinking they were designed for spring skiing/ski touring.
You could of course use them for both spring skiing and touring, but as Norrona’s warmest waterproof gloves you’ll also be able to wear them in the depths of winter.
A mix of PrimaLoft Gold (170 gr/m2) insulation on the outside and PrimaLoft Gold ECO (133gr/m2) insulation in the palm is what provides the warmth and general snugness, and a ‘dri1’ insert adds waterproofing and breathability.
The gloves also come with a ‘stretchy flex’ outer fabric, which provides a great fit and flexibility along with good durability, while the palm is made of hard-wearing goat skin to ensure a good grip.
Additional features include a minimalist wrist loop and Velcro wrist tab, whilst the cuffs are narrow so need to be worn under your jacket, which is the only thing I didn’t really go for as I prefer to wear mine over the top, but that’s just a personal thing.
Add to all this great looks and good packability and the Norrona Lofoten is a really top piece of kit; just one thing to watch out for – our tester normally wears ‘large’ ski gloves but found the ‘medium’ to be fine, so you may need to drop down a size.
VERDICT Great ski gloves that perform as well as they look.
POC Palm Comp VPD 2.0 mittens £125 www.pocsports.com
These mittens are designed for racing, but don’t let that stop you checking them out.
They offer various strategically placed pads (thumb, backhand, knuckles), which provide excellent protection when smashing through gates since they use a combination of POC’s shock-absorbing VPD 2.0 material and EVA padding, whilst the cuffs can be integrated with POC’s forearm guard for comfortable, seamless protection for one of the most vulnerable areas when you’re racing gates.
The seams are also strategically placed for greater comfort, and the super-soft Pittards goatskin leather feels great, whilst separate internal pockets for each finger help to ensure your digits don’t get cold.
You’ll also find the Polygiene odour control technology that’s used in the Palm Comp useful, since it stops them smelling however much you wear them; and being leather they’re not a pair of mittens that you can easily wash.
The fit is pretty snug as these are race mittens, and the combination of large Velcro wrist strap and stretchy neoprene cuffs means that once your hands are in them everything is well locked into place.
VERDICT Bomb proof mittens that will keep your hands warm and protected if smashing through gates is your thing.
Black Diamond Legend £120.00 www.blackdiamondequipment.com
The Legend is a well-designed, tough glove with a bunch of features that will appeal to anyone who gets a lot of wear from their ski gloves.
The all-leather outers feature supple sheep leather, which combined with 3D articulated patterning gives the Legend a particularly tactile feel in use.
The palm patch has Kevlar stitching for added durability, and there’s also EVA padding on the back of the hand along with a generously-sized suede nose wipe on each thumb.
A Gore-Tex insert ensures the gloves are both waterproof and breathable, and warmth is guaranteed thanks to a mix of 170g Primaloft Gold combined with 133g Primaloft Gold Insulation Eco on the palm, and soft fleece inners.
The Legend has neoprene cuffs with a Velcro strap, both of which help to keep cold drafts at bay, and the fit is under your jacket cuffs rather than over – about the only thing which may not appeal to everyone.
It’s also worth noting that the Legend comes in both men’s and women’s sizes.
VERDICT Very well-made gloves that are ideal for anyone who gives their gear a lot of stick.
O’Neill Freeride £79.99 www.oneill.com
O’Neill’s Freeride glove provide instant warmth thanks to the microfleece lining and Thinsulate insulation.
They’re pretty heavy-duty items which means they’re quite bulky, but even so they still provide enough feel to be able to do all the important stuff like gripping your ski pole firmly and gripping that cold beer at the end of the day even more firmly.
They’re also ‘touch capable’ so you can use your phone whilst wearing them, and although the Freeride has a gauntlet fit you can wear them under or over your jacket cuffs as the gauntlet is not very bulky.
A waterproof insert keeps things dry as well as warm and the mix of a synthetic leather palm and nylon outer will take a fair bit of stick; useful additional features include a nose wipe thumb panel, wrist cinch, one-hand pull cord for the cuffs and wrist leash – the latter was our only minor gripe with the Freeride in that it could do with being a bit bigger to make it easier to get on and off.
VERDICT Sturdily-built ski gloves that keep your hands warm – what more do you want?!
Picture Lofter £65 www.skiplusonline.co.uk
As ever Picture focus on the environment with the Lofter, with the gloves’ polyester outer being 50 per cent recycled and their waterproof and breathable ‘Dryplay’ membrane utilising an eco-friendly DWR treatment to keep the water off/out.
They’re quite low volume, which means they offer a more tactile feel, and they come in a variety of colourful designs (ours were camouflage).
Wrist loops ensure you won’t lose them easily, and the snug, soft microfleece lining ensures you won’t want to take them off.
The insulation is 40g Thinsulate, which is not the warmest out there, so we’d look upon the Lofter as a glove for warmer conditions.
Features include a nose wipe on the thumb, articulated fingers, Velcro wrist closure and low volume cuffs that you’ll probably end up wearing under your jacket cuffs.
VERDICT Colourful low volume ski gloves ideal for warmer, late season skiing.
Arc’teryx Rush SV £210 www.arteryx.com
OK, a tenner over 200 nicker is a lot to pay for a pair of ski gloves, but the Rush SV has a bombproof build and will keep your fingers warm and cosy for several seasons – at least one member of the Planetski team is now onto season three in a pair of these gloves, and he gets in over a hundred days a year of skiing.
The ‘SV’ stands for ‘severe weather’, with the Rush being designed for harsh backcountry tours – not that this precludes you from wearing them in resort, of course.
Waterproof, breathable N70p Gore-Tex seals out the elements, removable Polartec Thermal Pro high loft fleece liners provide warmth, and the wide gauntlet layers easily over jacket cuffs for a secure seal.
The cut of the Rush mimics the shape of the hand for exceptional dexterity, and rugged full leather palms and fingers add to the durability and improve grip – they feel sensational once you have your hands snugged up inside them.
Additional features include wrist cinch, wrist loops and easy, one-handed draw cord closure of the cuffs on a pair of gloves that anyone who is seriously into backcountry adventures should check out.
VERDICT Pricey, but definitely one of the best ski gloves on the market.
More Gear reviews:
See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.
For the Spirit of the Mountains – PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news