Best Hiking Gloves for Winter Wanders

Whether you're hiking in winter or just want a backup in case temps turn chilly, having reliable protection for your paws is a must on any hike. Find just that kinda protection in this straight-talking buyer's guide to the best hiking gloves in 2021.

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Editors Choice

SEALSKINZ Unisex Waterproof All Weather

SEALSKINZ Unisex Waterproof Extreme Cold Weather Glove, Black, Small

Offering impressive dexterity and protection while still being lightweight enough to feel like a second skin, the SEALSKINZ Unisex Waterproof All Weather Insulated winter gloves live up to their name & our choice as the best hiking gloves

In addition, they also have a pull strap to seal out the harsh climate and dangerous bugs, as well as many other features that are ideal for hikers and climbers. Although they’re not engineered to be smartphone use compatible, the thin but protective layering allows you to use your smartphone.

The bottom line on the SEALSKINZ is that you get the durability of leather, the protection of double layers, the dexterity of a lightweight glove, and the versatility of a glove made for both men and women.

The Best Hiking Gloves and Mittens [2021 Update]

Looking For The Best Winter Hiking Gloves?

You’re in the right place! In this guide, we will be covering the following:

    • What are the important considerations in a hiking glove.
    • Reviews of the top cold weather winter hiking gloves
    • Our unbiased opinion on the #1 pair of warm gloves for hiking

In this article, My Open Country offers a detailed buying guide that will help you decide which type of hiking gloves will be best for you and reviews of some of the best models on the market. Whether you’re a climber and hiker, a novice or a veteran, or somewhere in between, there are numerous options on our list.

Our detailed buyer’s guide discusses things like durability, layering, dexterity, and much more. Meanwhile, we review seven of the best hiking gloves on the market, some of which have special features, others are best for warmer areas, and some are good for prolonged exposure to wind, snow, rain, and other elements.

The Best Hiking Gloves Reviewed

SEALSKINZ Unisex Waterproof All Weather Insulated

Editors Choice

SEALSKINZ Unisex Waterproof Extreme Cold Weather Glove, Black, Small

The SEALSKINZ Insulated hiking gloves are our favorite pair of winter hiking gloves. They offer the most protection, comfort, dexterity, and more. Plus, they’re made for men and women in multiple sizes. A combination of polyester, spandex, and goatskin leather protects your hands and fingers from the cold and water.

One of our favorite things about them is that they are designed to fit snuggly similar to a second skin giving you excellent function of your hands. The SEALSKINZ gloves also have leather on the fingers, allowing you to grip poles, rocks, ropes, and anything else you need while hiking or climbing.

They come with a pull strap around the wrist that seals out cold air, rain, and bugs. Not to mention, you can use your smartphone without taking them off. Furthermore, you may appreciate that they are easy to pull on and off, offer several layers of protection despite their lightweight design, and even have a suede wiper thumb that hikers find especially beneficial.

Moreover, SEALSKINS has engineered them with outdoorsmen and women in mind as they are constructed with a uniquely designed membrane that allows the fabric to breathe, so you never have to worry about sweat getting in the way of your trek or climb. These hiking gloves will also not slip and slide on the inside because they have a slip-resistant inner liner.

Another remarkable feature about this product is that you can use your smartphone or touchscreen device while wearing them. The two downfalls of the SEALSKINS gloves are that the lightweight design likely won’t protect you from freezing climates, and they stop at the wrist instead of the forearms. However, the advantages of the outweigh these disadvantages by far.

  • PROs

    • Water & windproof
    • Will keep you warm
    • Lightweight & flexible
    • Touch screen compatible
  • CONs

    • May not be the best for extreme cold

Bottom-Line: The Sealskinz are an excellent choice for new and experienced hikers alike.

Black Diamond Men’s Soloist

Best Mountaineering Gloves

Black Diamond Equipment - Soloist Gloves - Black - X-Large

Next on our list are the Black Diamond Men’s Soloist, which are heavy-duty, waterproof hiking gloves that offer numerous features. They’re manufactured out of nylon, spandex, and goatskin and are available in several sizes. Furthermore, these gloves are a great pair if you hike in several different types of climates. The inner shell of these hiking gloves can be removed and worn alone on warmer, dryer days.

On the other hand, you can leave the insulation on in chilly or wet climates to keep your hands warm. You’ll also like that they have abrasive fingers and palms to grip your equipment, trees, rocks, and anything else you need a sturdy handle on.

We particularly like that the Black Diamond Men’s Soloist has a pull strap that tightens around your wrist. The pull strap seals out the harsh elements, but it also protects you from spiders, mosquitos, flies, and many other types of bugs that could harm you.

Although they look bulky, they provide fantastic dexterity, whether you’re using the inner shell or the entire glove. The outer shell may allow water to leak into your gloves, but you can always remove the insulation and allow them to dry during the day. You could also purchase more insulation inserts to change out during your hike if you need the protection while they dry.

Some of the disadvantages of the Black Diamond Men’s Soloist are that you cannot use your touchscreen while you have them on, which may be necessary as you hike or during emergencies. Furthermore, water occasionally leaks through the shell. That said, they are one of the gloves on our list that can take some abuse as well as keep your hands warm.

  • PROs

    • Abrasion-resistant
    • Excellent dexterity
    • Durable
  • CONs

    • Water may seep into the glove
    • Not touch screen compatible

Bottom-Line: The Black Diamond Soloist hiking gloves are an excellent option for anyone who will be mountaineering in cold climates.

Gordini Gore-Tex Gauntlet

Best Waterproof Gloves

Gordini Men's Standard Gore Gauntlet Glove, Black, X-Large

If you’re looking for a glove that will give you excellent grip and protection while you trek through ice, snow, and rain, the Gordini Gore-Tex Gauntlet for men might be the best option for you.

They’re engineered with hikers and climbers in mind. Polyurethane fingertips and palms give you maximum grip, keeping you safer while you scale mountains, hills, or adjusting your equipment during your hike.

In addition, they’re waterproof and well-insulated to keep your hands warm during some of the coldest and wet conditions. The Gordini Gore-Tex Gauntlet also features a specialized pull strap around the wrist and another drawstring around the forearm. This is one of the gloves’ best features because you get two-stage protection from ice, rain, wind, water, and bugs.

Furthermore, they’re designed to withstand some abuse without compromising the mobility of your hands and fingers. Our biggest complaint about this product is that you cannot use your smartphone, and none of the materials are removable, so you can’t modify them according to changes in the conditions.

However, they are some of the most durable, flexible, well-insulated, and slip-resistant hiking gloves. They are available in sizes XS-XXL.

  • PROs

    • Waterproof & windproof gloves
    • Insulated for warmth
    • Exceptional dexterity
  • CONs

    • No parts are removable
    • Not touchscreen capable

Bottom-Line: The Gordini Gore-Tex Gauntlet are an excellent choice for someone who wants the best waterproof gloves for hiking in cold, wet weather.

Eddie Bauer Men’s Claim

Eddie Bauer Mens Claim Touchscreen Gloves, Black Regular XL

It’s no secret that Eddi Bauer is a brand with a reputation for producing quality products, so it’s no wonder the Eddie Bauer Men’s Claim feature. However, we didn’t put these hiking gloves on our list just because of their name; they come with numerous features that protect hikers while making their trek more comfortable.

The Eddie Bauer Men’s Claim are intricately constructed. They have leather on the palms and fingers to ensure you have a sturdy grip during your hike and climb, and there’s a combination of polyurethane and nylon on the back of the fingers for protection. Finally, the wrist and gauntlet are made of nylon to keep your hands warm and dry.

Unlike some of the other gloves on our list, the Eddie Bauer edition has a highpoint on the thumb and index finger, so you can use your touchscreen device without losing multiple layers of protection.

The inner insulation does not come out to make them suitable for warmer conditions. However, they have two hook and loop pull straps similar to a few other models on our list, which offers added protection from the environment.

You also get a wind and waterproof shell, alongside being some of the most durable products on the market. In addition, they are available in several sizes.

  • PROs

    • Anti-slip grip palm
    • Touchscreen capable
    • Waterproof & windproof
  • CONs

    • Insulation cannot be removed

Bottom-Line: The Eddie Bauer Men’s Claim are a great choice if you plan to be in icy conditions.

Mammut Guide Work Gloves

Mammut Guide Work Glove

The Mammut Guide Work Gloves are among the best on our list because they double as a work glove, making them ideal for workers who don’t want to keep track of multiple gloves.

The Mammut Guides are engineered to block wind and water and have leather finger design for maximum grip. They are also constructed to withstand the heavy abuse working, and outdoorsmen often put their clothes through. Don’t be afraid to use them when you’re hiking, chopping wood, working on your car engine, rock climbing, or any other activity you enjoy.

Another great feature is that the Mammut Guides are constructed with polyester, leather, and polyamide, giving you protection and excellent dexterity. Mammut has also included an elastic insert that makes them more flexible, allowing you to move your fingers more freely, which is a neat feature if your work requires small, detailed movements. Moreover, the Mammut Guides are water and windproof.

Unfortunately, they’re only available in one size and are not compatible with touchscreen devices.

  • PROs

    • Optimal dexterity
    • Waterproof & breathable gloves
    • Durable
    • Slip-resistant
  • CONs

    • Only one glove size available
    • Gloves not touchscreen compatible

Bottom-Line: If you would like a glove that you can use for a multitude of tasks, such as climbing, hiking, and working outdoors, then the Mammut Guides will likely fit your needs.

Outdoor Research Alti Mittens

Best Waterproof Mitten Shell

Outdoor Research Men's Alti Mitts

If you’re looking for a pair of gloves that will keep your hands exceptionally warm while you’re hiking, the Outdoor Research Alti Mittens are an excellent choice. They are insulated with a blend of materials, including fleece, to protect your hands from the wind and cold weather. They feature an outer lining to block wind and water and have leather palms to make gripping easier.

Moreover, they’re engineered with a removable water and wind-resistant outer shell if you want a lighter glove on hotter days. This model also includes their special Gore-Tex inserts designed to protect your hands and fingers from ice, water, and wind. We especially like this model because they offer excellent protection without being too bulky.

Since these are mittens, they are not the best for gripping rocks, notches, or any other activities that may involve full use of your digits. However, the under part of the mitt where the thumb, palms, and fingers are, is made of leather, so they do offer slip resistance.

This model is available in numerous sizes. Also, they are one of the most robust products on our list. We also like that they come with two pull straps, which, as we’ve pointed out with similar models, gives you double protection from the environment.

  • PROs

    • Great warmth – Ideal for sub-zero weather
    • Removable layering system – waterproof and breathable
    • Durable shell material
  • CONs

    • Gloves not touchscreen compatible
    • Limited dexterity with thumb and index finger

Bottom-Line: The Outdoor Research Alti hiking gloves are an excellent choice for those who will be hiking or working in colder climates.

Black Diamond Windweight Fleece Mittens

Best Backpacking Gloves

BLACK DIAMOND Men's Windweight Mitts S

Black Diamond is one of the top brands among avid hikers and climbers. As a result, the brand made our list twice, and the Black Diamond Windweight Fleece Mittens are the second pair we’re featuring from this manufacturer.

These gloves are engineered with a warm fleece lining on the outside and inside, making them an excellent choice for those who will be hiking in icy areas. Another great feature is that the top flips back, freeing your fingers completely to use your equipment, climb, grip poles, access to your touchscreen device, or whatever else you need. It also has a magnet at the top of the mitt, so it attaches to the back and keeps it out of your way while you use your fingers.

There’s a goat leather palm too for added slip resistance. Since they are not waterproof, melted snow will soak through them, exposing you to the elements. Furthermore, they do not come with any pull straps to seal out bugs, wind, or water.

They are wonderful for keeping your hands warm because fleece is known to hold in heat while remaining highly breathable. It is our opinion that these are best suited for shorter hikes in cold drier conditions or for hikers with several pairs they can use interchangeably. That way, you can allow the Black Diamond Windweight Fleece Mittens to dry during your hike if you need to.

  • PROs

    • Superb level of protection against cold
    • Great dexterity with these gloves
    • Touch screen compatible
  • CONs

    • Gloves are not waterproof
    • No pull straps

Bottom-Line: The Black Diamond Windweight Fleece Mittens are an excellent pair for cooler drier conditions and our top pick as the best gloves for backpacking.

How To Choose The Best Winter Gloves For Hiking

Before you run out and buy a pair, you should consider a few factors that will help you choose a pair of hiking gloves that will fit the activities you perform and your distinct style. Some of the things you should think about include:

Weather Protection

Topping the list for important features you should consider is unsurprising, weather protection and specifically two things; (1) warmth and (2) water-resistance.

To keep you warm in cold weather, many winter hiking gloves have substantial insulation to protect your hands. This type of winter glove will mostly consist of a water-resistant shell (more on this in a minute) and a removable liner. These are often the warmest type of hiking gloves, but a word of caution that overheating will cause your hands to sweat (which is also the reason they have a removable liner glove).

Further Reading: If you’re heading out onto the trails or the slopes in cold weather then don’t forget to check out our 10 great tips on how to keep your hands warm in winter weather.

Alternatively, thinner hiking gloves made of leather, synthetic materials or fleece can provide your hands with warmth. Albeit, their protection from extreme cold is limited in comparison to the shell/removable liner variety. Their ability to resist water will also depend on the material they are made from, with those made from fleece being the least water-resistant.

All but fleece gloves will typically have some form of water-resistant coating (known as DWR) applied to the surface to prevent moisture seeping in and freezing your hands.

Fit & Flexibility

Depending on how you spend your hikes, the fit and flexibility of your chosen pair of winter gloves is an important consideration. Hikers scrambling over rocky terrain or engaging in activities that need dexterity of their fingers may want to opt for a pair of thinner flexible gloves like the Sealskinz which allow almost full use of your hands as though you weren’t wearing anything.

Thicker hiking gloves, and particularly mittens that only allow the use of your thumb and index finger tend to provide more protection from the cold weather. However, they do so at a cost – these types of hiking gloves (such as the Black Diamond Soloist) are much bulkier and restrictive.

Fabric & Materials

The most common fabric and materials hiking gloves are made from are cotton, nylon, fleece, leather, goatskin, and a blend of fabrics. It’s important to consider which fabric will suit you best if you have allergies to certain materials or have a preference for specific fabric types. You may also want goatskin or leather palms if you often climb because they can offer the best grip.

Style

The way your hiking gloves are designed is important for several reasons. You may want lightweight ones for optimal dexterity or thicker winter gloves for protection and warmth. On the other hand, you might want to consider a model that is smartphone compatible or those with abrasive fingers and palms to aid you in climbing. There isn’t a best style of hiking gloves for one person, but there are a pair of gloves best suited for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the most common questions asked by consumers are:

Are the hiking gloves available in more than one size?

Most of the gloves on our list are available in sizes small to extra-large but be sure to check the manufacturer’s sizing guide before you make your purchase.

Do they support touchscreen or smartphone use?

If you’re dead set on a pair of hiking gloves that are touchscreen capable, consider the SEALSKINZ, Eddie Bauer,and Black Diamond Windweight Fleece Mitts that are on our list.

How warm do the hiking gloves keep your hands?

The hiking gloves below all offer some level of warmth since those who enjoy the outdoors are often in the cold whether they’re in the desert at night or in Alaska during winter.

Can the hiking gloves be used for multiple activities?

You can use your hiking gloves for many things, but the Mammut Guide Work Glove is specially designed to be used for hiking and other outdoor tasks.

Are they wind and waterproof?

The majority of the gloves on our list are wind and waterproof. However, some offer better protection than others.

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Last update on 2021-06-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Brian has been an avid hiker and backpacker since he was a small kid, often being taken out into the wilderness on trips with his father. His dad knew everything about nature and the wilderness (or at least that's how it seemed to a ten year old Brian).

After high school, he went to university to read for both a BS and MS in Geology (primarily so he could spend his time outside rather than in a classroom). He's now hiked, camped, skied, backpacked or mapped on five continents (still need to bag Antartica) & 30 of the US states.

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