Snowboarding belongs in the “awesome sports” hall of fame. Right along with all the other adventure mountain sports.
If you’re like me, you live and breathe adventure sports and getting on your board every winter is like a breath of fresh air. It’s good for the soul! But you need the best snowboarding gloves to enjoy your time on the mountain.
I’ve spent over 2,500 hours teaching alpine snow sports in some seriously harsh weather. Today I’m going to help you make the best possible choice when choosing your gloves.
I’ll walk you through the most important factors when choosing snowboard gloves.
Ladies: If there is a Women’s model available I provided a link to it.
Quick Answer: The 7 Best Snowboard Gloves For 2018
- Hestra Army Leather Heli 3 Finger Glove
- Outdoor Research Men’s Alti Gloves
- Burton Gore-Tex Gloves
- Arc’teryx Fission Gloves
- Gordini Men’s Promo Gauntlet Gore-Tex Gloves
- Black Diamond Men’s Guide Gloves
- Dakine Men’s Titan Gloves
What features are really worth paying for and what features can be left on the shelf? Let’s find out! First we’ll suggest three pairs of gloves that we like best.
Best Snowboarding Gloves
|Hestra Army Leather Heli||Outdoor Research Alti Gloves||Burton Gore-Tex Gloves|
|Shell:||Nylon / Goat leather||Nylon/Spandex||Nylon / Leather|
Snowboard Gloves Reviews
I’m going to give you a few more options to get your search for the top snowboarding gloves a jump-start. Using the criteria below in our guide, evaluate our recommended gloves to decide which one is the best for you!
Hestra is one of the most reputable makes of gloves and mits in the industry. I love Hestra gear and switched to a pair of their gloves last season myself.
These lobster style mits keep three fingers in a single mitten style gauntlet. The index finger and thumb have their own pockets. This is to help strike a balance between warmth and dexterity.
I also love removable inner liner / insulation. I’ve used this before to exchange different gloves inside the shell. The goat skin leather palms are very soft and flexible making it easy to grip most anything or just zip your jacket.
You will need to treat the leather on occasion to keep it soft and flexible. A word of warning – they are not waterproof but you can use something like SnoSeal to help keep water out.
Best for dry conditions and demanding users who want one of the warmest gloves on the market. A solid contender for the best snowboard mittens/gloves. If you would rather go with traditional 5 finger: Hestra Army Leather Heli Gloves
For some reason Amazon does not have the hand sizing chart, here is a link to it.
Women’s Model: Hestra Women’s Heli 3-Finger Gloves
Outdoor Research is one of my all-time favorite glove makers. I’ve spent a ton of time on the mountain wearing Outdoor Research gear and I’ve never been let down.
These gloves have a pretty standard double defense against unwanted snow. There’s an elastic cuff that helps the glove fit securely while keeping in warmth and keeping out snow.
I like the grip on the palm, the non slip grip make it easy to hold your phone, trail map etc. There’s also a long bell cuff with a drawstring that can be cinched over the jacket to keep out that pesky pow.
The articulated fingers are a nice feature, probably more important for skiers but I still like having them. In my opinion the waterproof, breathable gloves from Outdoor Research are the best snowboarding gloves for all-winter use.
Women’s Model: Outdoor Research Women’s Alti Mitts
Burton is the name of the game in the snowboarding world. It’s no surprise to see their brand on good snowboarding gloves.
I love that they included a removable liner in these gloves. If you spend more than a few hours snowboarding, or if you’re on a multi-day trip you’ll want this feature.
It allows you to pull out the inner insulation and let it air dry or hang it in front of a fire. The last thing you want is cold, wet gloves on day two of a trip! If you use your smart phone on the slopes, you will appreciate the touch screen sensitive fingers.
Overall, I wish these gloves had a longer cuff, but they’re best for mid-winter cold weather snowboarding. Their handwarmer pocket and thick insulation may make them the warmest snowboarding gloves.
Women’s Model: Burton Women’s Gore-Tex Under Gloves
Arc’teryx is like the Cadillac of the outdoor world. They’re known for great quality with high price tags. These leather and Gore-Tex gloves are waterproof and breathable.
I would have liked to see a larger cuff on these for helping to keep out unwanted snow, but it’s a minor negative.
I do love their choice of Polartec Wind Pro insulation in the liners and are removeable. This is an insulation I’ve had in several pieces of gear before and I’ve come to swear by it.
The fingers are articulated and feature touch screen sensitivity so you can use your smart phone with them on. Definitely appreciated while trying to use your phone when its freezing out!
These gloves are for those looking for a high-end product with tons of all-winter warmth and the best waterproof snowboard gloves.
Women’s Model: Arcteryx Zenta Women’s AR Mitt
Gordini is a common name on the slopes and I seem to see Gordini gloves all the time. These Promo Gauntlets are rocking Gore-Tex membrane for a waterproof breathable finish. Again, shorter cuff length but fully adjustable wrists and powder skirt.
Overall these gloves are simple, effective, and to the point. Nothing fancy going on here. Even at a bargain price you get leather palms and 100% waterproof gloves.
Best for boarders looking for a glove to reliably get the job done at a price that’s easy on the pocketbook. I would say they are the best snowboarding gloves under $50.
Women’s Model: GORDINI Women`s Gore-Tex Stretch Gauntlet Glove
Black Diamond is a brand that focuses on climbing, backcountry skiing, and winter mountain sports. That’s why their gloves stand apart.
These leather gloves are waterproof and breathable with 170g removable insulation. These are the workhorse gloves of anyone’s gear closet.
I’ve owned similar gloves from Black Diamond and can attest to their sturdiness. I had about two full seasons of skiing on mine (180+ days) before they started to go.
Similar to the Hestra gloves they feature goat skin leather palms with the addition of some padding in the knuckles for protection from impacts.
Best for multi-sport athletes demanding a high-performance piece of gear.
Women’s Model: Black Diamond Women’s Ankhiale Gloves Goretex Gloves
Dakine has given us a DWR treated polyester shell with a Gore-Tex waterproof breathable inner liner. What does that mean for you?
A comfortable, waterproof pair of gloves that will not let you down!
I would have liked to see them use nylon for its improved durability and abrasion resistance over polyester. However, for most uses the glove will hold just as well as any other.
Other positives are the long powder cuff which I’ve been looking for on other gloves. I also love the inclusion of the hand warmer pocket. Why every glove doesn’t have one of these handwarmer pockets is beyond me.
Best for a reliable glove at a moderate price with most of the nice features of a high-end product. Probably the best snowboard gloves under $100.
Women’s Model: Dakine Women’s Sequoia Glove
Snowboard Glove Comparison Table
|Outdoor Research Alti||Nylon/Spandex||Primaloft||Yes||Gauntlet||3.9 / 5.0|
|Hestra Army Heli||Nylon / Goat leather||Fiberfill||Yes||Gauntlet, 3 Finger||4.6 / 5.0|
|Burton Gore-Tex||Nylon / Leather||Thermacore||Yes||Gauntlet||3.9 / 5.0|
|Arc'teryx Fission Gloves||Nylon / Leather||Primaloft||Yes||Gauntlet||4.4 / 5.0|
|Gordini Promo Gauntlet||Polyester / Leather||Fiberfill||No||Gauntlet||4.4 / 5.0|
|Black Diamond Guide Gloves||Nylon / Goat leather||Fleece||Yes||Gauntlet||3.8 / 5.0|
|Dakine Men's Titan||Nylon / Polyester||Fiberfill||Yes||Gauntlet||4.2 / 5.0|
How to Choose the Best Snowboard Gloves for You
Let me help guide you through the process of picking out the best gloves for snowboarding to add to your kit!
- What Weather Do You Board In?
- What’s Your Activity Level?
- Powder Gaiters and Straps
- Removable Liners
- Handwarmer Pockets
- Best Snowboard Glove Brands
- FAQ For Snowboard Gloves
Insulation on winter gear is usually measured in grams (g) of insulation. Often, gloves don’t even have an insulation rating or weight listed. Occasionally you might find gloves rated for certain temperatures.
Regardless of what type of rating you might find I suggest that you don’t trust it implicitly. Temperature ratings are not regulated between manufacturers and insulation weight ratings can be subjective based on how the glove is made. Both ratings give you a baseline to start with, but may not be perfect indicators of warmth.
What Weather Do You Board In?
Not all gloves are made the same. On top of that, it doesn’t always pay off to just buy the warmest, thickest glove possible. It’s important to understand what temperature and weather you’ll be using the gloves in.
Spring skiing demands thinner and more breathable gloves. The occasional wet cloud burst may require a waterproof shell. For mid-winter, it’s unlikely you’ll encounter warm wet temperatures. You’d be better off with a thick, warm glove that skimps on waterproofness.
What’s Your Activity Level?
If you board hard and fast and push your limits every time, it’s likely you’ll want a thinner glove. Snowboarding generates tons of body heat when you’re really getting after it and the last thing you want is sweaty gloves.
If you’re out for a casual day, sticking with beginner friends or family you may want a heavier glove. Boarding at a lower intensity level means less body heat to help keep you warm so your gloves will have to step up!
Powder Gaiters and Straps
Gloves seem to become more complicated every year. There are always more straps and elastic cords to be added, it seems. Some of these features are useless, and some are critical.
I love gloves with long cuffs and powder skirts. Particularly if you do much snowboarding off-trail you’ll want a glove that keeps out snow. Look for gloves with extra-long cuffs that can go up over your jacket and cinch down.
I also love gloves that have retainer straps. These little strings clip to your jacket or secure around your wrist to keep the glove attached when you take it off. Grab a Kleenex, take out your pass, or fiddle with your helmet and the gloves just dangle from your wrists.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention waterproofness as a consideration. Waterproof breathable technology has come a long way and now most manufacturers have cheaper alternatives to big names like Gore-Tex. Most of the time buying a glove with an “off brand” waterproof membrane will save you money.
eVent is my favorite waterproofing material used in outdoor clothing today. If you can find it, it’s a great fabric to use.
Many gloves feature removable inner insulation. This helps the glove dry overnight. It can also be used so that you can wear one or the other parts of the glove. Many gloves allow you to wear just the shell or just the liner. This greatly improves the versatility of the glove overall and is a great feature!
These are especially helpful for those with colder body temperatures. Kids benefit immensely from handwarmer pockets as well! This is a must-have for children’s gloves or those who often get cold fingers.
FAQs For Snowboarding Gloves
Q: How do I take care of my leather mitts?
A: Some of the gloves and mitts on our list are made with real leather. I can tell you from lots of firsthand experience that these leather gloves and mitts are amazing for daily use on the mountain. I’ve skied thousands of hours in several pairs of them.
However, they invariably get destroyed after a season or two. Why? Because they’re usually made from relatively thin, supple leather. Thicker leather would be too stiff to move and bend freely which could affect dexterity.
So, how can you keep those expensive nice leather mitts in top shape for as long as possible?
Use leather care once a season at least. Neat’s Foot Oil or Sno Seal are great products to help extend the life of your leather gloves.
Dry the gloves after each use. Keeping the liners and the leather dry as often as possible will prevent the growth of bacteria and slow the deterioration of the leather. If you’ve oiled or treated your gloves they should resist water, but dry them again ASAP.
Replace your liners. Most leather mitts have removable inner liners. These liners can be replaced after a season or two of hard riding once they’ve packed out. Doing so will restore the warmth of the gloves and extend their life.
Sew on repair patches. Using Barge Cement along with a small patch of replacement leather will often do the job. Let the patch dry overnight under pressure. Press the patch and the glove together using wax paper and some heavy books.
Q: How can I keep my hands warmer?
A: You’ve got a few options here and I’ll go over them all quickly.
Nitrile gloves can be worn inside your gloves or mitts. These prevent moisture from your hands from getting on the gloves which will dramatically increase their warmth. I’ve seen people do this when temperatures drop and they can stay on the mountain all day while others head inside to warm up.
Hand warmers are cheap and very effective at keeping your fingers warm when the temps drop. Look for gloves or mitts with a handwarmer pocket so you don’t have to keep the packet next to your skin.
Electric gloves have little batteries and heater wires that electronically warm up the glove. If battery life becomes a problem, try turning them on only when you need them.
Q: Why are there so many cinch cords on my gloves?!
A: Usually, there are two cinch straps on a glove or mitt.
The cinch strap nearest your fingers is usually at or near the wrist. This helps keep the fingers of the glove in place if it doesn’t fit perfectly. I usually leave this one as wide open as possible because cinching it down tends to restrict circulation and lead to cold fingers in my experience.
There’s usually another strap near the cuff of the glove which should be about 4-6” up your forearm. This is meant to cinch down over the cuff of your jacket and keep the snow out.
I usually wear my gloves under the jacket though and find that this strap is only sometimes useful for my preference. Instead, I usually use the cuff strap on my jacket to hold the gloves in place.
Some combination of these different options should produce a snug, warm, and snow-free fit for you!
Q: Do I need padded/armored gloves?
A: Probably not unless you’re racing.
Ski racers of some disciplines use padded clothing to help with slapping the gates. Snowboarders, of course, aren’t usually ripping up the gates. So, unless you plan on punching trees or Yetis padded and armored gloves aren’t likely to come in handy.
That’s really all there is to it. However, sometimes they do look cool… so there’s always that.
Q: Do you use waterproof or regular gloves?
A: Depends on the time of year and weather.
90% of the time I use regular ol’ leather palm mitts with no particular waterproofing. In fact, they have several holes in them and I just haven’t bought new ones.
When the weather is cold, mid-season winter conditions, gloves just don’t get wet. Assuming you’re not falling into or spending a lot of time with your hands in the snow, that is.
During spring conditions when the warm weather hits and the runs turn to slush gloves can get wet fast! Even if it’s 40 degrees out and you’re on the mountain, wet gloves can turn into cold fingers quickly.
In these conditions, I’ll sometimes wear waterproof gloves especially if I’m expecting rain. Of course, my days of falling down a lot are long past so I rarely get my hands in the snow unless I’m planning to.
Best Snowboard Glove Brands
As you can imagine choosing the “best” snowboard glove brands is very subjective. Ask 10 snowboarders and you will get 6-7 different answers. However certain brands always come to the top like Black Diamond and Burton.
- Burton – Its no surprise that Burton is one the list as they are the originator of snowboarding, they produce some of the best winter gear available.
- Black Diamond – Based in Utah they make some of the best outdoor gear from climbing to skiing and snowboarding. You can trust anything they make to perform well.
- Arc’teryx – Based Vancouver Canada they make a full lineup of outdoor equipment. There clothing is not cheap but its second to none.
- Outdoor Research – Founded by Ron Gregg in 1981 and based in Seattle, they have a full lineup of outdoor clothing including some of the best gloves you can buy at any price.
- Hestra – Founded in the 1930’s in Sweden originally made clothing for the army. Now they make outdoor clothing for civilian use and are well known to make some of the best outdoor clothing available.
Choosing the right glove boils down to deciding which seasons you’ll be riding in and finding the features you need. Large powder cuffs, handwarmer pockets, removable liners and other features can make the difference between a mediocre glove and a pro level glove.
Even for those on a moderate budget there’s a snowboarding glove on our list that can help you get after it. You don’t have to drop top dollar to get all the features we expect on a great snowboarding glove today.
I hope this guide was helpful in picking the best snowboard gloves to fit your needs. If you want to comment or recommend a pair of gloves I didn’t include, please use my contact form to get in touch.
New to snowboarding? See my beginners guide to snowboarding for tips and advice.
Have fun and be safe out there!