Falling down when snowboarding is relatively common, especially if you’re a beginner. Even more advanced snowboarders will reach down to adjust their bindings from time to time. All that involves putting your hands against the cold surface of the slope. Having proper weather-insulation in these types of situations is essential to your comfort. That is where the best snowboard gloves come into play. In the current sea of models, it might be hard to distinguish between what’s good and what isn’t quite there. For that reason, I created this guide where we will go through everything that’s important.
Below, we will take a look at some of the top models for this year with all of their advantages and disadvantages. Then, we will move on to the guide section in which we will discuss all the various features that make up a good pair of snowboard gloves…
Carhartt Men’s W.P. Waterproof Insulated Gloves
Carhartt is one of the premium brands when it comes to winter sports gear. Their WP Waterproof insulated gloves are one of their most well-rounded models and are an excellent choice both for beginner and advanced snowboarders. They are comfortable, nicely fitting, fairly flexible, and above all – they are very competitively priced.
The shell here is a semi-hard one, meaning there is proper weatherproofing with decent flex to it. It is made out of a durable Polytex material with a softshell trim on the inside. Also on the inside is a lining made out of Carhartt’s patented FastDry technology which has decent breathability to it with great thermal performance. Between the outer and inner shells, you have an additional waterproof insert that lets the vaporized moisture from the inside to go out (in the form of sweat) but doesn’t allow molecular water to go in. On the palm, you have a digital grip material (reinforced polyurethane) that is porous and grips tightly onto a variety of surfaces. That material extends to the inner surface of the thumb and also works on mobile device displays. On the opposite side of the thumb, there is a goggle wiping material that does a great job at removing any water and snow from your goggle’s lenses.
Lastly, the cuffs here are made out of fleece and are quite stretchable, allowing them to easily tuck under your jacket’s cuffs. Compared to the rest of Carhartt’s line of gloves, these A511 WPs provide one of the warmest experiences, meaning they are excellent for very cold days on the slopes but might be uncomfortably warm on sunny days.
- Great price to value ratio
- Very warm
- Fairly breathable
- Fully waterproof
- Comfortable fleece cuffs
- Excellent amount of grip on the inside
- Not ideal for warmer days
- The index finger isn’t touch-screen compatible
Burton Men’s Gore-Tex Gloves
Moving on to something slightly more premium both in terms of build-quality and in terms of pricing – the Burton Men’s Gore-Tex Gloves are among the top choices for peope that want the maximum amount of durability and weatherproofing out of their snowboard gloves.
This pair of gloves are made out of a variety of patented and special materials, which is one of the main reasons for its price. From the outer shell to the inner lining, it uses Burton’s Dryride 2 Layer fabric, Gore-tex (gore-warm technology), and Thermacore insulation. If it gets wet, it dries up extremely fast even without taking it out of the gloves. On the palm side of the glove, you have synthetic leather which is all touch-sensitive, meaning you will be able to use your mobile phone with any of the fingers. The inner liner is actually removable and quite stretchable adding to the overall comfort and breathability of the gloves.
The two-in-one structure of these gloves is actually the centerpiece of their market appeal. If the weather isn’t too bad, you can go out with the inner fleece liner only. It is four-way stretchable and has a decent thermal performance. If it is warm but quite wet, you can only take the waterproof outer shell with you. Deep winter days with sub-zero temperatures will require having both gloves which will substantially limit your hand flexibility but will provide the most amount of comfort and warmth without making your hands sweat too much. If it gets too hot, you can always undo the zippered closed on top which is used to quickly release some of the heat from the inside.
In terms of maintenance, these are a bit picky, and you can’t machine-wash or dry them. They have to be hand washed and hang-dried which is typically all you can do when you’re out on a vacation. Still, when washed, they don’t dry as quickly as you’d want them to, so make sure you don’t wash them the morning before going out. Another disadvantage, as I already pointed out, is the high price tag. For a pair of gloves, these are among the most expensive ones on this list.
- Very warm
- 2-in-1 design with removable fleece liner
- Fully waterproof
- The outer shell has a zippered closure for better thermal control
- All fingers are touch-screen compatible thanks to the synthetic leather
- Comfortable cuffs
- Quite expensive
- Can’t be machine-washed
- Breathability will struggle on warmer days
MCTi Waterproof Men’s Snowboard Gloves
The MCTi Waterproof Men’s Snowboard gloves are a decent alternative to the premium brands’ models at a bargain price. The whole theme of these gloves is using budget materials that are also capable of weatherproofing your gloves and providing the needed comfort to not have your hands cold while you snowboard.
The outer soft shell of these gloves is made out of polyester which keeps the price down and is also fairly waterproof even without the added coating. There are three layers in the outer shell which work to protect you both from water and from the wind. On the inside, there is a 3M Thinsulate insulation layer and a lining that is made out of a fleece-imitation material. What those two extra layers do, is that they additionally waterproof the glove from the outside while maintaining a decent amount of breathability. While the glove itself is excellent for cold weather, there is a zippered vent at the top which can be partially or fully opened in case things get too warm on the inside. That vent also doubles as a pocket where you can hold small items such as keys or a lift card.
One particular downside from all those synthetic material layers is that the glove itself becomes a bit rigid, even despite its soft-shell structure. This will limit your performance and flexibility, so if you need something that will keep your hand’s dexterity, this isn’t really it.
On the inside of the palm, the polyester shell gets a polyurethane reinforcement to prevent it from long-term wear and tear. The polyurethane transitions into soft rubber at the tips of the fingers which further enhances grip. Still, none of those materials is conductive enough to work well on a smartphone screen, which is a downside for most people nowadays. Lastly, there is a drawstring at the cuffs which will further seal the gloves from getting any cold air in.
- Fairly budget
- Good thermal performance
- Zippered pocket/vent at the top
- Inner Thinsulate lining
- Polyurethane cover for the palm
- Breathability is mediocre
- Not enough flexibility at the fingers
Tough Outdoors Snow Gloves
Continuing the trend of fairly budget gloves, the Tough Outdoors Snow Gloves are a great choice for any beginner out there that is simply looking for a normal level of protection for his hands. They are waterproof, touch-screen compatible, and come in a large variety of sizes.
The gloves are using a tri-layer system to keep water out while maintaining breathability and comfort. The outermost layer is a synthetic nylon soft shell which is the first level of protection against water. Below that, there is a TPU breathable membrane and a tough-tech fill lining which is both comfortable and has decent moisture-wicking capabilities. On the palm, the nylon shell is covered with synthetic leather. While synthetic leather isn’t as long-lasting as the real one, it still gives you some of the real leather advantages without reaching too deep into your pocket. For instance, the whole inner surface of these gloves is touch-screen compatible thanks to that synthetic leather cover. It also gives you a good amount of grip.
There are a few additional key points here. One of those is that there are 6 sizes to pick from unlike with some of Burton’s and Carhartt’s gloves, where you can only pick from Small, Medium, and Large. Furthermore, you have wrist straps here which is a first for this list.
- Very cheap
- Come with wrist straps
- Touch-screen compatible palm material
- Very grippy
- Breathability and warmth aren’t properly regulated
- Durability is questionable
- Not enough flexibility
Burton Men’s Gore-Tex Mittens
If you’re surprised that there is a second entry from the same brand on this list, don’t be. Burton is at the top of the food chain for a good reason. Yes, their products might be a bit too expensive but they are top-shelf ones and are typically worth every penny. Just as the previous traditional Gore-Tex gloves on this list, the Burton Men’s Gore-Tex Mittens are tri-layered specifically geared towards the harshest climates.
Mittens, in general, are far more comfortable and warm than traditional 5-finger glove designs. That is mainly due to the fact that you have all your fingers in one closed space and the heat is better distributed inside the glove. These gloves use the exact same layer structure as all the other Burton gloves from this generation. They have Burton’s Dryride 2 Layer fabric in their outer shell combined with Thermacore insulation on the inside which is made out of brushed microfiber. In the middle between these two layers, there is a dry Gore-Tex membrane that adds to the waterproofing and improves breathability.
At the top side of the glove, there is a vented pocket. On the palm, Burton decided to go with synthetic layer to keep the cost down as much as they can. The result is a grippy and fairly durable surface which is also touch-screen compatible. There is also a wrist leash which can be removed if you aren’t going t use it.
As with all other Burton gloves from the Gore-tex line, there is a fleece lining here which is removable and can be used as its own separate glove. That makes these gloves really convenient for a variety of weather conditions. As you might already have guessed, the biggest disadvantage here is the price tag. Still, you get 6 size options and 9 color patterns to choose from.
- Very warm
- Excellent for a variety of conditions thanks to the 2-in-1 design
- Great breathability
- Fully weatherproof
- Vent pocket
- Removable wrist leashes
- Very expensive
- Finger dexterity is limited
Dakine Men’s Titan Mitts
The Dakine Men’s Titan Mitts are a great alternative to the Burton Gore-tex ones mainly due to the similar level of comfort and durability at a cheaper price. While they are a bit less practical, they do offer people a choice when it comes to mittens, which are in general harder to find and much less common.
The outer shell of these gloves is made out of synthetic materials only. It is a polyester/PVC/PU mix which is a very famous combination for Dakine’s products and does wonders for waterproofing. It isn’t very breathable, however, which might be an issue if you’re riding in warmer weather. The inner lining is again polyester (100%) and it is paired with a 100% polyester fiber insulation. Polyester is a good choice for anything that has to be both waterproof and fairly breathable but that much of it in separate layers will create some issues with breathability, as I already pointed out.
Unlike the Burton mittens, these only come in 5 size options and 4 available color patterns. They also don’t feature a 2-in-1 design, making them more suitable for colder weather only, instead of being able to tackle warmer days like the Burton’s. There is, however, a similarly placed pocket vent at the top of the glove. As a whole, for this price, they are one of the best snowboard mittens out there.
- Bargain price for quality mittens
- Very durable
- Waterproof and windproof
- Pocket vent
- Large over-the-cuff design
- Don’t have removable lining
- No leash straps
- Limited dexterity
Velazzio Snowboard Gloves
One of the very last models that I wanted to include on this list features a very budget-oriented model from a brand called Velazzio. These waterproof snowboard gloves have been making splashes for quite some time now due to a couple of features. Let’s talk about those now…
The outer shell is a synthetic polyester one. It is DWR-treated meaning it will repel water upon contact. The downside of that treatment is that you cannot machine-wash these gloves and you will eventually have to re-apply a waterproof treatment yourself. The palms are covered in a grippy PU which creates a porous surface that helps you grip various wet objects such as your snowboard bindings, for example. Also, the fingers here are pre-curved which helps even further with holding and grabbing objects as well as moving your fingers.
On the inside, there is a 3M Thinsulate insulation layer which is much more commonly found on more expensive models, so its presence here is surely a welcome addition. This insulation is great at thermal retention and is perfectly suitable for sub-zero temperatures. It is also very breathable allowing you to get active with these gloves. Between the outer shell and the insulation, there is a Fan-Tex membrane which helps with the dry performance.
In terms of additional features, there isn’t much to talk about apart from the zippered pocket which is fairly large and is located at the base of the glove. It can fit your keys and perhaps a ski-lift pass. There are 4 size options here ranging from Small to Xl, as well as two color options.
- Very cheap
- Fairly durable
- Grippy palm material
- Warm and breathable
- Excellent for mid-winter snowboarding
- Have a zippered pocket
- Pre-curved fingers
- DWR treatmnent will fade with the years
- Not machine-washable
Alpine Swiss Men’s Waterproof Snowboarding Gloves
Last on our list ar ethe Alpine Swiss Men’s Waterproof Snowboarding Gloves. They are one of the cheapest gloves here and are geared more towards beginners and people that won’t push them to the extreme.
In terms of weatherproofing and comfort, they are very similar to other highly-rated budget gloves with a polyester outer shell and Thinsulate insulation. The outer shell is actually a 150D polyester which is a bit more waterproof and also almost fully windproof compared to regular polyester. The insulation is 30 grams of 3M Thinsulate that will keep the heat around your hands and also provide a good amount of breathability. The fleece lining is a good touch and will add to the comfort and warmth too. However, between the two layers, there is no membrane that will surely impact the moisture-wicking capabilities of these gloves.
The palms have TPU coating which enhances the grip and also helps with flexibility. The fingers of these gloves are pre-curved and are quite flexible thanks to the softer outer shell. Just like the Velazzio model, there are drawstrings and wrist straps around the cuffs which will ensure that no wind gets inside the glove as well as that you’ll never lose them if you fall. In a typical budget fashion, these gloves come in only 4 size options and 3 color ones.
- Good value
- Stylish design
- Synthetic outer and inner shells
- Comfortable fleece lining
- Very warm
- Windproof and waterproof
- Breathability isn’t good enough
- No zippered pocket
- Not enough size options
Snowboard Gloves Buyer’s Guide
As with every other part of your snowboard gear, you should always do a little cross-shopping between some of the products that have caught your eye. However, you need to know exactly what you’re looking for in order to be able to tell the good models apart. Before you get into the nitty-gritty, there is one important question that you have to ask yourself…
Gloves Or Mittens?
One of the very first questions people ask when browsing for snowboard gloves is what type of glove should they get. While there are three common types of gloves – traditional, mittens, and 3-finger ones, the majority of models are either traditional (5-finger) or mittens. That’s why the most common struggle is choosing between those two. The whole choice can be easily boiled down to dexterity vs warmth but for those who are more interested in the details, let’s quickly sum up the different advantages and disadvantages of both types of gloves:
Traditional Gloves Pros & Cons
- More suitable for a variety of weather conditions
- Give you far more dexterity
- Typically better at moisture control
- Wider variety of models to choose from
- You can use your mobile device with some models
- Less warm than mittens and 3-finger gloves
- Good models are very expensive
- Some bigger models still lack a good amount of dexterity
As a whole, traditional gloves are a universally-good choice for snowboarders since they will combine affordability, weatherproofing, and decent comfort. Mittens, on the other hand, have a few tricks up their sleeve…
Mittens Pros & Cons
- Far more warmth than other gloves
- Cheaper on average
- More durable with fewer elements to tear
- Easier to size up and fit
- Less stitching provides better waterproofing
- Limit your mobility
- Not ideal for smartphone usage
- You have to take them off on certain occasions
The lobster-mits, otherwise known as 3-finger gloves are a good compromise between those two types and are usually the favorite of skiers and snowboarders since they provide more dexterity than the mitten and are almost as warm.
Features To Look For
With every snowboarding product, there are some obvious features that you need to look for, such as insulation, warmth, shell types and materials, and others. With snowboard gloves, there are a few more aspects that you should be aware of. Let’s go through everything that makes a snowboard glove good now:
- Sizes and Fit
- Shell Material
- Additional features and accessories
Sizes and Fit
Fit is one of the most important things that you need to look for in a glove. Unfortunately, it is also one of the few things that you can’t properly test over the internet. Badly fitting gloves can make your hands feel cold and won’t be able to provide the necessary comfort. As a whole, it is better to err on the side of loose if you aren’t sure about whether a certain pair will fit nicely. Tight gloves will not only limit thermal performance but will also severely limit your finger maneuverability. Mittens, even when a bit tight, are typically easier to wear and the fit there is generally easier to match to your hands. In terms of sizing, most companies typically provide a size chart with wrist and palm circumference as well as finger length. If there is none, go with the size of your body (S, M, L, etc).
As a rule of thumb, the perfectly fitting glove should have around a quarter of an inch after the tip of your fingers when they’re outstretched.
Each glove consists of two main parts – an outer shell and an inner insulation layer. The shell material in gloves can be either leather or synthetic. Synthetic gloves are, in general, cheaper and are also quite durable. They range from nylon (in cheaper models) to expanded polytetrafluoroethylene otherwise known as Teflon or ePTFE. Some other expensive models include Gore-tex outer layer with a middle insert of ePTFE or an outer layer of Polyurethane. Depending on the composition of these materials, the outer shell can be either soft or hard. Only the more expensive materials such as Gore-Tex provide a mix of waterproofing and breathability while maintaining a good amount of flexibility.
Real leather gloves, on the other hand, have a few major advantages. It is naturally water-resistant, meaning it doesn’t have to be specially treated for that. It also is more pliable and durable than most synthetic materials like nylon and polyurethane. Still, for high-contact areas like the fingers and the palms of the glove, leather is typically treated with wax, grease, or resin. That furthers its strength and adds to its insulation capabilities. That is why some top-shelf gloves use a combination of Gore-Tex or Teflon and treated leather. The most common types of leather used in gloves are goatskin or cowhide. There are some vegan alternatives but they aren’t as long-lasting as real leather. One last good thing about leather is that it can easily outlast the synthetic materials if treated properly. The downside to all that is that leather typically bumps the price into the premium range.
Apart from the outer shell, there are three aspects of the glove that will be essential to its comfort and warmth provided. They are the membrane, the insulation, and the lining. Let’s start with the membrane…
Membranes are positioned between the insulation and the outer layer of your glove and serve a crucial purpose in breathability and waterproofing. These membranes are typically porous with pores small enough to let air vapor out of the glove in the form of sweat but to not let liquid water in. In other words, the breathability and waterproofing of the glove mainly depend on the existence and quality of the membrane. There are a few different materials used in glove membranes such as Gore-Tex, Hipora, Windstopper, and Polyurethane.
Gore-Tex is a proprietary developed material which has some of the best waterproofing and thermal-control properties. It is followed by Hipora which is a type of polyurethane membrane which not only works well for the breathability and waterproofing of the glove but is also very stretchable and windproof. Normal polyurethane membranes are a good compromise if you’re on a tight budget. They have decent performance in all areas but aren’t excellent for extremely cold or wet conditions. Lastly, Windstopper is a patented membrane fabric primarily made out of ePTFE. It is excellent at windproofing and breathability but, unlike the rest of the membranes here, isn’t waterproof. It is thinner than the other membranes, however, and offers a slim design with great thermal-control properties.
While the membrane is the main part that is responsible for the breathability, the insulation also takes a major role in that regard. It is also crucial for the warmth of the glove. The level of insulation on your gloves will be primarily determined by the conditions in which you ride. The major insulation types commonly found in gloves are:
Primaloft is a microfiber insulation layer that is made of synthetic materials. It is great at keeping your hands warm and performs great under extremely wet conditions. While it isn’t as warm as Down, it is more compact and offers good enough breathability.
While Primaloft is ideal for wet conditions, Down isn’t. However, it is perfect for dry cold environments. The material isn’t great at breathability which means that it will always keep your hands warm but if you’re too active, you will deal with excess moisture on the inside of your gloves. It is also fairly slow to dry compared to other insulation layers.
Thinsulate is similar to Primaloft since it is also made out of microfibers but the microfibers here are much, much thinner. It is the least bulky insulation material and adds excellent breathability, thermal performance, comfort, and flexibility to your gloves. Its major downside is that it is really expensive and not quite common yet.
The lining of the glove is the last of the glove’s layers that you should take into consideration. It is designed primarily for comfort rather than performance, even though some lining materials are also excellent thermal insulators. The two most common materials are fleece and wool, although we begin to see synthetic lining materials more and more often. Apart from comfort, the glove’s lining also serves a purpose to take the moisture and move it away from your hands towards the membrane of the glove and then the outer shell. If your gloves don’t have a lining, you can get separate glove liners that will fit inside your outer shell glove and make it perform far better in cold temperatures.
The level of warmth a pair of gloves provides is directly linked to the already discussed layers, lining, and insulation. If you’re an active snowboarder, this isn’t as crucial as it would be for someone out hiking, since you will be generating much more heat than usual. That is why most snowboarders primarily rely on breathability and waterproofing when it comes to their gloves. Still, if you’re regularly having cold hands, choose gloves that have down insulation, fleece lining, and a Gore-Tex membrane.
When you’re looking at any pair of gloves, check its palms. For snowboarding, you will typically need reinforced palms on your gloves or mittens. Some reinforced materials are even mixed with substances that also help with grip. Those are located on your palms, thumbs, and fingertips. These features will make it easier for you to grip your snowboard when you take it off and also to adjust your bindings without slipping your fingers off of them too much.
When it comes to cuffs, there are two main types:
- Under the cuff gloves
- Above the cuff gloves
Under the cuff gloves are short and tight. They are designed to end where your wrist base ends. Among other things, this makes it extremely easy for you to move your hand around. these gloves are a perfect fit for a jacket with long sleeves or an overlapping hand system.
On the opposite side are above the cuff gloves. They are far longer and much broader at the wrist. Their main purpose is to go on top of your jacket’s sleeves and provide a good amount of protection against snow for your wrist.
In short, if your jacket’s cuffs are adjustable, opt for under the cuff gloves. If they are fixed, look for gloves that can go above the cuff.
Additional features and accessories
There are a number of additional features that you need to look for when buying your first pair of snowboard gloves. Those are:
- Articulated finger design
- Wrist loops
- Nose wype surface
- Extra padding
- Goggles clearing tool
Pockets might seem redundant on gloves but they can also serve an essential purpose. They can either be used to have disposable hand warmers or to add to the gloves’ venting capabilities if things get too warm. Some pockets are even big enough for a lift pass.
Look for gloves that have pre-shaped finger designs which help with the articulation and movement fo your fingers. That will allow you to grip round objects easier.
Wrist loops aren’t mandatory but are greatly appreciated, especially if you’ve ever fallen and looked for your gloves for half an hour after that.
Lastly, the nose wype and goggles squeegee are great things to have for added convenience. They are both typically located on the thumb and are very useful whether you have a runny nose or snowed up goggles.
In terms of accessories, the most important ones are a travel bag and a waterproof re-applier, which can take care of your waterproof coating if it wears out or you wash your gloves too much.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are gloves or mittens better for snowboarding?
This question mainly depends on the type of snowboard bindings you have. If they are self-strapping and adjusting, then mittens will be the best option for you. 5-finger gloves, however, provide a great amount of dexterity that might be needed if your snowboard gear requires a lot of constant adjustments. Mittens just have the great advantage of comfort and warmth over traditional glove designs.
What are 3-finger gloves for?
The 3-finger gloves are the middle-ground between traditional gloves and mittens. They provide excellent comfort combined with a decent amount of dexterity. They are warmer than traditional 5-finger gloves are good enough for activities such as snowboarding, skiing, or climbing.
Are Dakine snowboard gloves any good?
Dakine is definitely one of the more premium brands for outdoor winter gear. Their gloves are also some of the best out there due to their high-tech insulation features as well as excellent fit and comfort. On top of all that, Dakine products aren’t as wildly priced as some other premium brands.
Finding the best snowboard gloves ultimately boils down to what your preferences are. If your snowboard isn’t very demanding in terms of adjusting and maintenance, mittens will always be a great budget option that will keep your hands warm. Traditional gloves with proper insulation and a well-made outer shell are a great option if weather resistance and dexterity are your key requirements.