The Best Hiking Gloves for Your Next Outdoor Adventure
If you’re going on a hike, it’s important to have the right gear. It means that your hands need to be warm, especially your fingers. You can do this by wearing gloves or mittens. We’ve reviewed some of the best gloves and mittens for hiking so you can choose the ideal pair. We’ve also compiled some advice for selecting the perfect combination.
Outdoor Research Men’s Alti Gloves
These gloves are an excellent option for keeping your hands warm during cold weather. The gloves have two parts: an inner lining and a water-resistant shell. The Gore-Tex insert uses PrimaLoft insulation to keep your hands warm and dry.
The gauntlets are wide and long enough to cover a jacket sleeve. You may operate the drawstring closure while wearing gloves. Note that they run small, so be cautious when selecting your size. The inner lining contains a compartment for a hand warmer, preventing it from shifting or falling out when you raise your arms.
These gloves balance warmth and dexterity well. If you need more warmth and are willing to sacrifice some skill, try the Alti mittens we reviewed earlier.
These gloves are perfect for high-intensity activities in cool weather. They are designed to be worn when running and provide a snug fit while blocking wind. These gloves will be ideal if you are hiking in cool but not cold weather because they can be taken on and off as needed.
These gloves work well to keep moisture out and the heat in. They are good for hiking in the spring or fall but are not warm enough for winter. The cuffs are short, so make sure your sleeves are long enough to compensate.
Outdoor Research Men’s Versaliner
The Versaliner gloves are perfect for hiking in the spring and fall. They are lightweight and have a fleece lining that will keep your hands warm. The gloves also have a waterproof and breathable outer shell, so your hands will stay dry.
The fleece-lined inner can be worn by itself or with the insulated shell. The zippered pocket on the inner rear can be used to store the outer shell or keep your pocket warmer.
The outer shell is good for wet weather, while the inner part helps you to stay dry and cool. If your hands get sweaty, they will dry quickly. These gloves are versatile for use in moderately chilly and wet conditions. However, they are not meant for very cold winter weather. They can be used as liners in a winter glove with better insulation for very cold days.
Columbia Fast Trek Glove
These gloves are made of soft microfleece and are very comfortable. They are surprisingly warm, even in temperatures as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit. They are well-made, and the fabric is high quality. However, they are not water resistant and will not work well in windy conditions.
These are a good choice if you are looking for gloves for hiking on a budget. They run a bit small and are designed to fit snugly, so keep this in mind if you want gloves that fit more loosely.
Outdoor Research Alti Mitts
Cotton or wool was used to make gloves in the past. The only bad thing about it is that it can be hard to move your fingers in.
These are some excellent mittens. They have a back heat pack pocket, zips, cinch cords, clips, and pull loops. The only problem is that the price tag is a bit high. If it is very cold outside, these are the mittens you will want to wear.
Black Diamond Soloist Finger Cold Weather Gloves
If you enjoy technical alpine climbing in cold conditions, you will be happy with these gloves. They have a split-finger design and high-loft insulation, which will keep your hands warm while still allowing you to have good skills. The waterproof shell also protects your hands from rain, snow, and wind and can be worn on its own in warmer weather.
The removable liner in this glove has PrimaLoft Gold insulation. That means it will keep your hands warm even if they get wet. The goatskin palm is strong and durable. It also has a good grip. The gauntlets fit over a jacket cuff nicely, and you can adjust them easily with one pull of the cord.
SmartWool Liner Gloves
If you have sensitive skin, you’ll want gloves that fit comfortably, don’t bother your skin, and protect you from bumps and scratches. Look for gloves with a Merino wool blend lining. This lining is less likely to irritate your skin than other natural fibers.
These gloves can be used on their own in temperatures between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit or as an inner layer when it is colder. The Smartwool fabric comprises Merino wool and soft synthetic elements on the skin.
These socks are breathable, and the Smartwool fabric wicks moisture and resists odors. We appreciate the snug fit that prevents chafing. However, they lack a waterproof membrane, making them unsuitable for winter hiking in wet weather. Keep these away from Velcro, as the fabric is quickly pilled.
Outdoor Research Activeice Spectrum Sun Gloves
You do not want to discover the importance of sun protection for your hands the hard way. These gloves offer 50+ UV protection and keep your hands cool. The fabric is breathable and uses xylitol crystals to cool your hands while wicking away moisture from your skin.
They are light, and the fingerless design lets you move your hands quickly. The anti-slip palm print gives them a good grip but is not very durable, so be careful with them. These are perfect for long summer hikes if you tend to get sunburned quickly.
North Face Etip
If you have smaller, more feminine hands and have difficulty finding gloves that fit, try these on for size. The four-way stretch fabric and women-specific cut provide superior comfort in a form-fitting style. These gloves are attractive and compatible with most touchscreens, so you do not have to remove them to use your smartphone.
The gloves are not as warm as we hoped and are only suitable for cool spring or fall weather, not winter. They will work well as liners in some gloves that are well-insulated. It makes them better suited to be used as part of a layering strategy instead of as standalone gloves.
How to Choose Gloves for Hiking
Gloves for hiking should keep your hands warm and protected. They must do so in a harsher environment and under more difficult circumstances.
There is a trade-off between how warm they are and how much skill they allow. The following criteria will determine your choice:
If you are going to be walking or at night around the camp, it is a good idea to wear gloves. If you are picking up the pace, you will need a lighter, breathable material. You will also need to decide how much warmth or skill you need. It will determine whether you choose finger gloves, lobster gloves, or mitten gloves.
You are unlikely to find a pair of gloves that work well all year. If you hike regularly throughout the year, getting a good pair of winter gloves and another for Spring through Summer is better.
You should buy a good pair of best winter gloves and a pair of breathable fleece gloves. The winter gloves will keep your hands warm in cold weather, and the fleece gloves can be used in spring and fall or when it’s not too cold. You must keep your fingers from getting frostbite when hiking in freezing weather. So it is a good idea to buy the best winter hiking gloves that you can find. But if it rains on your hike, you will stay dry if you have waterproof gloves.
Besides the fabric and design of the gloves, you should also think about other features you might need. For example, do you need to be able to use your touchscreen device without taking them off? Or do you need a pocket to store a hand warmer? You might also want gloves with a single pull cuff cinching or a nose-wipe area on the back.
When will you use your hiking gloves?
Do you need gloves that you can wear all day or just something to wear when it gets cold at night? If you wear them all day, you must ensure they are breathable. They will allow your hands to sweat and not get too cold.
Choosing a well-insulated pair is good if you wear gloves at night. Thus, you will be less inclined to require advanced abilities and more likely to appreciate their warmth.
What Level of Protection do you Need?
Your gloves must protect your hands from all the things that can happen while hiking. It includes cold, wind, rain, and getting hurt. You’ll need more protection for hiking in the winter than in the spring.
You need to figure out how cold it will be and choose your clothes wisely. The colder it is, the more clothes you will need to wear. Make sure your clothes are waterproof if it might rain.
The palms of your gloves will be subject to the most wear. Because they will be gripping a walking pole or scrambling up some rocks, you’ll need a reinforced palm area to handle that. If you’re walking with them, you’ve got the luxury of going for a lighter pair.
Glove Sizing: How can I get a good fit?
You should consider how well a pair of gloves fit when buying them. They will not keep you warm or seal in the cold air if they are too loose. And if they are too tight, you will be unable to move your fingers easily.
Most people know their shoe size, but determining their hand size may require trial and error. Online purchases save you money, but you cannot try them on beforehand. Try on a few pairs of hiking boots at a nearby store to choose the size that fits best. The sizes listed by the manufacturer are a reference. Still, reviews must be read to see if the item runs smaller or larger than typical.
Cuffs and Gauntlets
Longer cuffs can limit your ability to move around, but they are great for keeping your wrists warm. Keeping the blood close to the surface of the wrist warm will have a significant impact on the warmth of your hands. Additionally, you can tuck your sleeves inside the cuffs to prevent drafts. Larger winter gloves will sometimes have flared cuffs, which are easy to slip over sleeves and cinch down with a pull cord for a good seal.
You want your gloves to keep the rain and snow out, but you don’t want them to be 100% waterproof because then you won’t be able to breathe. If you are mainly worried about water resistance, then be prepared for your hands to get sweaty.
But if you’re going to be outside in winter weather, it’s best to choose a waterproof pair of gloves. If you’re moving quickly or doing a lot of activity, select gloves that allow your hands to breathe, and take a shell or mitten with you in case it rains or snows.
Layering is essential for your hiking clothes, just like everything else. In cold weather, it is best to wear a pair of lightweight gloves lined with fleece and an outer pair of gloves with a lot of insulation. It will help keep you warm and also allow your hands to breathe. Additionally, the inner layer will help keep you dry, while the outer layer will protect you from rain or snow.
Warmth: How do gloves keep your hands warm?
Your gloves primarily keep your hands warm by accomplishing the following:
If you want to keep the heat from your hands, choose the right size and good seals at the cuffs.
Insulation is a material you put in gloves to keep the heat from escaping. The insulation type, loft, and quantity affect how well they work.
Wind can be blocked by using different materials and tightness of the weave.
Staying dry and comfortable in bad weather largely depends on the shell material or coating type.
Breathable fabrics help to keep your hands from sweating by wicking away moisture. It is improved by layering different materials, like GoreTex, or by including venting panels.
Breathability and Moisture Management
The best hiking gloves will have a reasonable degree of breathability. It will help to eliminate the moisture vapor that builds up around your hands and help them not feel sweaty. In addition, the best hiking gloves will use fabrics that wick away moisture from the surface of your skin to the outer layer.
Winter gloves usually have a synthetic fill made from fluffy polyester fibers. When a manufacturer claims to utilize high-loft insulation, it indicates that the insulation traps a great deal of air and retains heat.
The more insulation a mitten has, the warmer it will be. The insulation will also make the mitten heavier and bulkier. Typically, fleece provides insulation for spring and autumn gloves. These are less insulating but lighter and more compact.
How long your gloves will endure depends on the materials’ quality, thickness, and stitching. The palm will experience the most wear, so ensure the material is tough enough for your work. Choose a leather or silicon palm for improved grip and durability when rock climbing or traversing thick vegetation.
You desire warm hands, but they must also be functional. You need to be able to open and close your hand, as well as rotate or flex around your wrist. The amount of skill you need depends on what you’ll be doing. If you need to grip a walking pole, for example, or work a clip or undo a knot, you’ll need less skill than if you need to do more complicated tasks. With increasing insulation, a glove’s ability to do a job declines.
Cotton or wool was used to make gloves in the past. They kept your hands warm but were terrible at keeping water out or getting rid of sweat. Modern hiking gloves are made from synthetic materials like nylon, spandex, and polyester.
They are better at keeping water out and getting rid of sweat. Some brands will incorporate Merino wool for extra warmth and comfort or special fabrics like GoreTex for better moisture management performance.
Style: What’s the difference between mittens and gloves?
Hiking gloves are available in three primary styles:
Gloves, or finger gloves: will have a single compartment for each finger.
Mittens: have a compartment for your thumb with another single compartment for the rest of your fingers.
Lobster: Has individual compartments for your thumb and index finger with your other three fingers in a single compartment.
When might you use mittens?
Mittens might look a bit strange, but they help your hands stay warmer because there is less exposed material. It happens because your fingers are up against each other.
The problem with lobster design gloves is that they improve your warmth. Still, you lose dexterity because you can’t grip things as easily between your thumb and index finger.
What Else Should I Search for in a Hiking Glove?
Besides the key performance areas, some other nice-to-haves are worth considering:
Nose wipe patch– You must wipe your nose in cold weather. You can do this without reaching into your pockets for a tissue. Some gloves have a nose wipe on the back of the glove or thumb area. It is still better than using your sleeve!
Attachment points – Loop, carabiner clip, or hook can be attached to the outside of your backpack. It will help you carry your pack easily. You can also use it to hang your gloves when you take them off for a second.
Zippers are good for getting on and off quickly, but they also let air in so your hand can breathe.
Grip pattern on palm – Consider this if you intend to use an ax or walking poles.
Single-pull straps or cinching cords simplify the process of securing the cuffs.
Storage of pocket warmers – Pocket warmers frequently shift or fall out of gloves. Some models have a pouch to hold the pocket warmer in place.
Touch Screen Compatibility
Not all touchscreen devices are compatible with each other. Touchscreen sensitivity varies between phone displays and handheld GPS systems. Even if the glove supports touch screens, it will not be as precise as using your bare finger. If you require precision when operating your tablet, some brands include a small stylus built into the index finger. Alternatively, leave the thing home and stay off Facebook and Instagram in the backcountry!
Hiking Glove Tips
Even if you’ve purchased a fantastic pair of hiking gloves, there are a few things to bear in mind to ensure that they perform well:
If your hands start to sweat, change to a lighter pair of gloves.
If your inner linings get wet, remove them and put them between your base layer and your skin when you sleep. They will be a lot drier in the morning.
It is best to carry a couple of pairs of light fleece liners for activities in cold weather. As soon as they start to become damp, switch between them.
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Hiking gloves are an essential piece of gear for hikers. You can use them in all seasons, no matter the weather. Even if it’s hot outside, it’s a good idea to have a pair of gloves with you in case the weather changes. Having comfortable hands can make or break your hiking experience.
Hiking gloves come in a variety of styles. For mild weather, a lightweight liner can be used. You can also use a waterproof insulated glove for winter hikes. If you are going on a technical hike, you will need a durable glove with a leather palm or synthetic fabric. Using a layering approach is also a brilliant idea.
You can keep your body warm while hiking using multiple layers of clothing. You can take off or add clothes depending on how warm you feel. It’s essential to make sure your hands are at the right temperature. If they’re too cold or too warm, your body will have to use energy to try to fix the problem, and you won’t be able to hike either.
Gloves serve as an extension of your upper body layering strategy. Like jackets, gloves can be used as a stand-alone piece or layered to improve warmth or waterproofing.
Forclaz Mountain Trek 500 Gloves
These lightweight hiking gloves can be used in the spring and autumn. They are not windproof, but they will help keep you warm. They are not waterproof, but you can still use them when cold outside.
They are thin, so your dexterity levels will be good. You can still open zips, snap photos, access pockets, and tighten pole straps without taking them off. Unlike some other gloves we’ve tested that claim to be touch sensitive but aren’t, these are. With these gloves, you can operate phones and screens, which is very useful when using navigational apps.
There are some downsides to these gloves. They are missing some soft material on the top, found on many other gloves. This material is used to wipe your nose (yeah, it’s gross, but noses run in cold weather, and you need to deal with it).
The Trek 500 gloves are comfortable and light. They can be used all year round. You can clip them together, and they have pull loops, making them easy to put on. The price is also reasonable.
Rab Flux Liner
Good liner gloves are a must-have for your outdoor gear. We have been using the same pair of Rab liner gloves for a few winters, and they are worth their weight in gold. They are light, stretchy, thin, and very comfortable. You can wear them alone on warmer days or under thicker gloves or mittens when it is cold outside, like skiing or hiking in the snow.
These liner gloves are also useful when you’re camping or working outdoors. They are suitable for doing more delicate tasks, like taking care of a stove. The gloves feel well-made, and the soft fleece lining is comfortable in cold weather. The thicker cuff prevents wind from getting in and helps the gloves stay in place under larger gloves. It’s a shame they don’t clip together for easier storage.
Sealskinz Extreme Cold Weather Gauntlet
The Sealskinz Extreme Cold Weather Gauntlets are gloves that keep your hands warm, dry, and protected from the cold weather. They are constructed of durable materials and contain a high-performance synthetic fill. They also have a microfleece lining to keep you comfortable and a waterproof insert to keep you dry.
The jacket’s insulation is PrimaLoft Gold, a continuous filament block insulation that is highly respected. Sealskinz’s PU-based membrane provides waterproofing, the same technology used in the brand’s well-known waterproof socks.
Meanwhile, goatskin is used for the thumbs, palms, and fingertips. Goatskin is also used for the double-stitched overlay at the base of the thumb. The cuff and back of the glove are made of polyester, which feels durable.
The design of these gloves allows you to have a superior feel and dexterity. The pre-curved, rollover fingertips and the fabric gussets at the knuckles and finger joints contribute to this. It improves movement while also assuring a better fit. The slender, contoured fingers are much more manageable than other winter gloves on the market.
The extended cuff on these gloves provides good wrist protection. It has an elasticated binding and a drawcord closure to keep it in place. There is also a soft suede nose wipe, a nice feature on bitterly cold days. The only downside is that there is no wrist leash, which might cause the gloves to fly off if you need to take them off.
Mountain Equipment Couloir Glove
These hiking gloves are perfect for people who do activities like skiing or mountain climbing. They are tough and warm, but they are not too bulky. The gloves also have a waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex insert. It means that they will keep your hands dry and comfortable.
These gloves are tough. They have nylon shells and goatskin leather overlays. It makes the gloves durable and able to grip things well. The fingertips are also protected. The gloves also have extended cuffs, wrist loops, and leashes. There is a suede nose wipe on the thumb when needed.
Hestra CZone Contact Gauntlet
The CZone Contact Gauntlet is a cold-weather glove made by a Swedish company. It’s a unique, close-fitting glove with outstanding dexterity. The glove is constructed of tough nylon with a stretchy and luminous nylon-elastane softshell fabric across the back of the hand. Duratan, a sticky patterned overlay, is applied to the fingertips, palms, and thumbs.
The index finger and thumb have conductive patches to enable touchscreen use. The wrist cuff is good at covering your hand and has an elasticated section and a drawcord lock. The gloves are lightweight because they do not have a lot of insulation, but they are still warm. They are also waterproof and breathable because of Hestra’s own CZone Contact membrane.
Montyane oPrism Gloves
These gloves are very soft and light. They will keep your hands warm on winter hikes and ski days. They are not bulky or sweaty. The windproof and water-resistant shell will keep you warm. The gloves also have a brushed fleece lining which allows for breathability. The gloves weigh only 55 grams and come with a tiny stuff sack. You can put them in your pocket or backpack without anyone noticing.
The Montane Prism has a wrist loop that makes it easy to pull on in cold weather. They also include an elasticized wrist to keep the heat in a while keeping the cold and snow out. The index finger and thumb have a precise, touch screen compatible pad and a snug fit that allows you to execute technical chores without taking them off. The wrist is snug enough to fit within most winter jacket sleeves.
These boots are made from recycled materials. They won’t work well in freezing weather or on rough surfaces, but they will be warm for skiing, winter hiking, and trail running on chilly days. They are also a fair price.
Keela Extreme Gloves
These ski gloves are well-insulated and keep your hands warm in all types of winter weather. They have a classic design and are made to be windproof and waterproof. These gloves are also lightweight but offer much protection from the cold. These gloves are fantastic because they allow good finger dexterity, which is essential when holding ski poles.
These gloves have a drawstring wrist to keep the draft out, a durable palm to hold up against your poles, and a soft wipe on the thumb good for runny noses on cold days. They also have touch screen compatibility on the index fingers that work independently. Still, we found the fingers were a bit too cumbersome to be able to use our phones without removing them first.
These make for a nice pair of ski gloves to get you through the winter at a reasonable price.
Patagonia Nano Puff
Patagonia’s Nano Puff insulated jackets are trendy because they are warm and lightweight. The same concept is used in these mitts. They provide instant warmth and never feel heavy or restrictive.
The Nano Puff gloves are suitable for keeping your hands warm. They are resistant to the elements, specifically wind and water. The wrists have been elasticized to help retain the body heat. These gloves are insulated with PrimaLoft Gold Eco Insulation that has been recycled. This insulation can be rolled into a small space and stored in any pocket.
The gloves include a soft-brushed fleece interior that feels excellent against the skin. The gloves’ tops are made of thin cloth, yet they are strong. You don’t want to rip them, but be careful. The palms have tough abrasion-resistant pads that are good for working or setting camp.
The North Face Montana Futurelight Etip
This glove is perfect for people who ski and snowboard. It is also good for people who walk in cold weather. The glove has special insulation that helps keep your hands warm.
The membrane insert in these gloves prevents moisture from getting in or building up. The outer layer is also water-repellent. The full-length gauntlet fits snugly under jacket cuffs, and the elasticated fastening closes the glove’s mouth tightly, keeping out snow and frigid air.
The ladder lock wrist-cinch on the top of the hand keeps body-heated air in, and your fingers stay warm right to the tips. It is due to the glove’s fourchette-box structure. The synthetic leather palms are long-lasting and pair beautifully with poles. The glove’s shape also keeps hands naturally neutral and comfortable.
The gloves have a strap that keeps them attached to your wrists. It is helpful because the material on the gloves is not very good at letting you use touchscreen devices.
This ski glove is of high quality. The palm and fingers are made from chrome-free goat leather. The back of the hand is made from polyester stretch fabric. The gloves close well and have Velcro fasteners to prevent snow from getting in. They also have a removable liner for added warmth, which can be replaced if it wears out.
These gloves are comfortable because of the external seams. They also come with an accessory binder, which lets you link them together for storage. The gloves performed well in most conditions, except the most extreme ones. They have an excellent grip and reinforced coverage in high-stress areas. It will help make them last longer.
Read more: Outdoor Apparel and Clothing
Frequently Asked Questions About Best Hiking Gloves
Trekking gloves are an integral component of hiking equipment. They protect your hands from the weather and other conditions that can be dangerous or uncomfortable.
Hiking sandals and sneakers are suitable for most terrain, but if you’re going on a longer hike, you might need hiking boots. It’s essential to wear clothes that keep sweat off your skin. It will help you stay cool on hot days. Choose lighter colors if possible.
You don’t need gloves to give a good, safe belay. They’re excellent if your partner works a route, falls/hangs/boinks a lot. They’re perfect when lowering.
You don’t need gloves to give a good, safe belay. They’re excellent if your partner works a route, falls/hangs/boinks a lot. They’re perfect when lowering.
Other gloves that are good for rock climbing are fingerless or half-finger gloves. They have the advantage of being easy to use, and they can also be used for belaying, rappelling, and aid climbing.
Some people wear gloves when they rock climb, although most people don’t because it makes it harder to grip the rock. Gloves have some advantages, like protecting your hands from the rock. However, they also have downsides, making it harder to grip the rock.
GORE-TEX is a good material for keeping you warm. It is lightweight and can be easily combined with other materials. Down is a good material for keeping you warm, and when it is combined with GORE-TEX, the down stays in good condition.