Winter Layering for Your Hands
Published on 01/02/2013
By Katie Levy
The perfect layering system for your hands is mandatory regardless of what you’re getting into this winter. With a mind-boggling array of gloves for skiing, snowboarding, mountaineering, hanging around town and more, it’s important to think hard about what to bring for your next adventure.
Uncomplicated Single Layer Gloves
Whether you’re on your way out for a long day of skiing or just shoveling snow after a storm, a pair of gloves that can do it all are a great standby option. If your idea of a layering system involves one perfect layer, look for gloves like the North Face Montana Glove (left). They’re waterproof, breathable, and don’t need any additional liners or shells to do the job. The Burton Approach Glove (right) is another great choice, combining breathability with midweight warmth that’s great all ski season long. If you’re a skier looking for gloves in this category, steer clear of snowboard-specific gloves. They tend to be less flexible and more fabric on the palm, which makes gripping poles harder.
If you know your digits get chilly when you’re out on the slopes all day, start with a good pair of liner gloves under your outer layer. They’ll fit well under waterproof mittens or shell gloves, and they’ll give you a little extra warmth when you need it. Liner gloves are also great to have when you’re out in the cold and need to adjust your boots or reach into your pack; your hands won’t be completely exposed when you take the shell layer off. The Black Diamond Midweight Glove Liner (left) and Burton Power Stretch Liner (right) are both great options.
Heavy Duty Expedition Gloves
Gloves like the Mountain Hardwear Medusa (left) model are designed to keep your hands warm under extreme conditions without compromising dexterity. They’re ideal for mountaineers and alpine climbers, but great for other winter pursuits too. If heady duty expedition gloves sound like your cup of tea, look for a pair lined with fleece or another warm, soft material, and are waterproof. Many also come with removable liners, like the Outdoor Research High Camp gloves (right), which is great feature if you had a pair of liners you prefer.
Heavy Duty Mittens
Liner gloves will help keep your hands warmer than traditional gloves, but there’s no substitute for a good mitten when it comes to keeping the heat in. By trapping all of the heat your hands create in one larger space rather than trusting each finger to heat itself, you’ll stay warmer overall. Options like the Burton Gore Tex Leather Mitten (left) or the Marmot Expedition Mitt (right) with gauntlets will help keep your wrists warmer too, and keep snow out.
Can’t choose between gloves and mittens? Now you don’t have to. Companies like Marmot add an articulated index finger to classic mitten designs to give wearers the warmth of a mitten with a little more dexterity. You’ll be able to grab poles, buckles, and anything else you might need without taking them off, but your hands will stay warmer than with traditional gloves. Look for a waterproof pair like the Marmot Lobster Mitt (left) or the Black Diamond Guide Lobster Mitten (right).