Best Hiking Gloves 2018: With so many of us outdoors people focusing large on expensive gear for our hiking and backpacking ventures, one crucial bit of gear that is often overlooked is a good pair of hiking gloves. However, they are some of the most important clothing that you can have on your person when you are out in the midst of nowhere in adverse conditions.
But let’s face it: the thrills of hiking would pale once you understand when times are at their absolute worst that you are under prepared. And believe me, you don’t want to get caught in bad weather without a pair of hiking gloves. So we dedicate this post to the humble accessories that are much more important for survival in the wilderness than they are actually given credit for. Our quest for the best hiking gloves begins here.
Best Hiking Gloves 2018
We have covered most of the basics that you need to take care of while going to buy your first (or umpteenth) pair of hiking gloves. So take your pick from the array of fleece liners, mittens, or waterproof hiking gloves to protect yourself from the elements. If you are a regular hiker, we recommend buying two different pairs- one for autumn to winter use, and the other for spring or summer use. Investing in a year-round performer alongside these is a good idea too.
Take a look at the list below to see our selection of the best hiking gloves available on the market. You can buy these directly by following the link provided. However, if you are not sure about the size or fit, then we recommend going to a store to check your favorite pair out in person. But as we all know, the internet is the best place to get untimely and significant discounts.
#1. Black Diamond Soloist Gloves [Best hiking gloves for mobility]
When you’re out in the cold, the first thing that you need to think of is undoubtedly insulation. But for the folks among us who do not want to compromise on dexterity, the Black Diamond Soloist Hiking Gloves are a pure gem. Many of the other gloves that come as listed after this one may provide you with better insulation, but why we love the Soloist the most is because of the unconstrained feeling it gives our hands while scaling the highest trails. This is owed to the thin construction of the outer shell (92% Nylon, 8% Spandex) along with the breathable, dry fit liner on the inside.
- Thin construction materials make for great mobility
- Detachable dry fit inner lining may be worn as a standalone pair in warmer weathers
- Versatile and easy to fit them according to the shape of your hands
- Waterproof, lightweight, and durable
- Not great in terms of insulation, but these are a great pair for layering
It is durable not only at the top, but the goat leather palm grip (at the bottom of the palm as well as the fingertips) makes sure that your gloves are well protected where it needs the most amount of protection. We also love the way there is the option to buckle these in according to the build of your hands. This is especially useful in very cold climates, such as on skiing trips and the likes. In that case, you will need to layer up with a warmer inner glove. But overall, we love the Black Diamond Soloist Gloves for their breathability, dexterity, and the fact that they will last you through several trips.
For a reasonably good pair of hiking gloves that you can use for moderate to cold climates, the SealSkinz Scafell Gloves are a decent bet. And we aren’t just saying that because of the friendly pricing. Despite costing under $70, they are good performers and a great choice if you need something for all-year use.
It doesn’t have a lot of fancy features, but we especially like the touchscreen abilities on the thumb and index finger. So if you use a smartphone or a smartwatch for navigation purpose, then these are great. Other than that, another big plus is the insulation that helps to retain heat.
- Budget friendly price
- Touchscreen feature
- Good construction materials
- Tends to get wet on the inside
The gloves are waterproof on the outside, thanks to the one hundred percent polyester construction, but if, like many, your palms tend to get sweaty in the cold, the inner lining may feel considerably wet. In that case you would probably be better off with another pair. The shape, which is oriented to feel akin to the natural shape of the hands, is also very nice. The fingers and the palm area are reinforced with a tougher and more durable synthetic material, helping them to survive many outings in the wild.
#3. Gordini Promo Gauntlet Gore-tex Gloves [Best Budget Hiking Gloves]
Honestly, not all of us deem it fit to splurge hundreds of dollars on a pair of gloves that will be used only a handful of times. If you are among them and want a nice pair of toasty feeling hiking gloves that double as work gloves in thick snows as well, you might give these a try. The Gordini Promo Gauntlet Gore-Tex Gloves are hardy for the price, and you will feel that the moment you touch them first. Keep in mind that the budget pricing keeps these relatively simply compared to others available on the market, but do they make the cut for bringing warm and protective? Definitely.
- Keeps hands dry and warm
- May need layering
The Gordini pair that we have here will last you through a season of hiking, although they are advertised to be better for the cold. However, we found a couple of things about it worth noting. Firstly, the fit aspect is a bit misleading, and if you order the size you normally tend to wear, they will feel bigger. Also, if you are a winter hiker, we suggest layering them with a suitable pair of inner linings for a more comfortable feel. But otherwise, these are pretty great. The Gordini Promo Gauntlet Gore-Tex Gloves are tough on the outside and inside, courtesy of their fully polyester build. That same thing also makes it very lightweight, despite being a little bulky for popular taste. They are also very dry, and you will find that the inner Gore-Tex insert has remarkable wicking abilities.
#4. Eddie Bauer Claim Touchscreen Gloves [BEST HIKING GLOVES FOR SKIING]
If you want a great pair of hiking gloves that perform as great as they look, then the Eddie Bauer Claim gloves are an option to check out. Judging from their appearance, they have clearly been made for the fashion forward, but they achieve that without compromising on quality. The Eddie Bauer Men’s Claim Gloves come with a bunch of cool features, including additional fastening clasps to keep them together, and of course, the tips of the thumb and forefinger are great for working touchscreen devices.
- Look and feel great
- Good performance in the cold
- No need to layer
- The touchscreen abilities are very accurate
- These tend to make the hands feel too stuffy for all-weather use
There is even a mini stylus built into the tip of the index. Moving on to the construction materials, the inner face of the gloves is made of durable leather for added strength, and the insulation is great for keeping you warm in the coldest of climes. However, this makes them suitable only for very cold climes, as they tend to feel very hot in moderate climates. Breathability seems to be an issue as well, despite the Gore-Tex membrane. But they are our top pick for keeping warm during those stylish skiing holidays in the mountains.
#5. Mammut Guide Work Glove [BEST HIKING GLOVES FOR WARMTH]
There is even a mini stylus built into the tip of the index. Moving on to the construction materials, the inner face of the gloves is made of durable leather for added strength, and the insulation is great for keeping you warm in the coldest of climes.
However, this makes them suitable only for very cold climes, as they tend to feel very hot in moderate climates. Breathability seems to be an issue as well, despite the Gore-Tex membrane. But they are our top pick for keeping warm during those stylish skiing holidays in the mountains.
- Well designed gloves for convenience of use
- Good insulation keeps your hands warm even in the cold
- Soft construction makes them easily bendable and adjust to the hands
- Might need layering for some
Added layering is of help in case your hands are prone to being cold, but the Guide pair traps enough heat to keep your digits feeling toasty even when the rest of you is freezing. The materials are an added bonus, with a full nylon construction and a soft cowhide reinforcement on the palms for added durability where it is needed the most. They are great performers overall, and we have found that they work great around the year.
#6. Moutain Hardware Hydra Pro Gloves [BEST LIGHTWEIGHT HIKING GLOVES]
Seasoned hikers love the Mountain Hardwear Hydra Pro Gloves not only for the incredibly lightweight feel and great comfortable feel, but this pair is loaded with some of the best features used by glove manufacturers that keep you feeling warm and dry. To focus on the construction, the outer shell of the Mountain Hardwear Hydra Pro Gloves are made with a 4-way stretch soft shell nylon fabric for increased mobility and comfortable fit which is also completely waterproof.
- Very good weight to warmth ratio
- Fully wind and water resistant outer shell
- Adjusts well to the shape of the hands
- Suede patch on the thumb for keeping the nose dry
- No removable inner liner
The Thermal Q Elite insulation is adequately competent while being lightweight, and the fact that these gloves are meant for Alpine climates means that they leave your hands feeling warm and dry in the harshest weathers. No seepage or wind cutting through your hands feels while donning them either. But even if you try them on when your hands are wet, you will be amazed at how quickly they dry, thanks to the great heat retention. The palms are made of supple goatskin on the outside, so they feel both tough and malleable at the same time.
#7. Outdoor Research Alti Mitts [BEST HIKING MITTS FOR WARMTH]
While not ideal for climbing owing to the limited movement they allow, they can actually afford more dexterity than a number of other mitts out there on the market if you take off the outer shell. The Alti line is constructed specially for Alpine climbers with stellar build and fortification to see you through the brutal conditions many times over.
In addition, the PrimaLoft insulation is lightweight, easily compressible and keeps the gloves from feeling bulky on the hands. The Outdoor Research Women’s Alti Mitts are also fully water repellent, promising to keep your hands dry even in the raging snows. If you want dexterity, you can take a look at the Outdoor Research Alti Gloves too.
- Definitely one of the best mitts out there
- Keeps hands completely dry and warm
- Boasts of some great features
- Durable, can be used through years
- Tend to run large, so get your fit right
- Not for those who need to prioritize dexterity
While not ideal for climbing owing to the limited movement they allow, they can actually afford more dexterity than a number of other mitts out there on the market if you take off the outer shell. The Alti line is constructed specially for Alpine climbers with stellar build and fortification to see you through the brutal conditions many times over. In addition, the PrimaLoft insulation is lightweight, easily compressible and keeps the gloves from feeling bulky on the hands. The Outdoor Research Women’s Alti Mitts are also fully water repellent, promising to keep your hands dry even in the raging snows. If you want dexterity, you can take a look at the Outdoor Research Alti Gloves too.
#8. The North Face Etip Gloves [BEST FLEECE HIKING GLOVES FOR WOMEN]
While there are a number of women’s gloves featured on this list, The North Face Etip Gloves have to be the best in terms of the actual fit. But be warned, just because they promise the best fit does not essentially means that they are great performers in terms of other aspects.
To begin with the most distinguishing feature, the North Face Etip Gloves are built with a four way stretch material with a five dimensional women-specific fit for consistency and a snug feel. In addition to that, there is the trusty touchscreen compatibility (which is really competent) that has become a staple with gloves these days. There is a silicone lining on the palm to aid better grip as well.
- Women-specific fit makes them super snug and comfortable
- Competent touchscreen compatibility makes them great for using smart devices on the go
- Silicone construction on palm aids better grip
- Not fully washable
However, as is the matter with fleece gloves in general, these cannot be expected to perform well in colder or wetter conditions. So despite the thoughtful construction, many newbies buy these only to be disappointed by the fact that they fall short in extreme cold. And what’s the point of having an Etip if they end up being used as an inner lining anyway? The bottom line is, the North Face Etip Gloves can be a great pair of hiking gloves in the right conditions. So if you are planning a hike between summer and fall somewhere unlikely to be hit by an unexpected bout of snow, you can safely buy these and be impressed with the quality, dexterity and snugness they allow for.
Verdict: It is nice to have someone really thinking about the specific build of the female hand and strive to make a pair of gloves to suit them. The North Face Etip Gloves can be the best hiking gloves for you if fit and comfort are important, but keep in mind that they will not keep you warm in the raging snows.
#9. Dexshell Thermit Waterproof Gloves With Merino Wool Inner [BEST BUDGET 3-SEASON HIKING GLOVES FOR MODERATE WEATHERS]
Every hiker should have at least one pair of three season issues that can move from summer to winter effortlessly with a couple of layers on or off. Three season pairs are great because of their versatility and optimized protection against natural elements like strong winds and heavy rains.
The best of these will provide these protections alongside being breathable enough to be comfortable. The Dexshell Thermfit Waterproof Gloves are a great pair that fit these necessities rather well.
- Great three-season option that does not burn a hole in your wallet
- Good wind and water protection
- Can be layered on the inside, so a good option for those who like to personalize their protection for optimum results
- Fit chart is deceptive, the gloves can run too large
The inner is a Merino wool lining, so insulation is decent. However, on the outside, they are completely waterproof and windproof, so your hands will be doing okay even if you are a cyclist slicing through the cold winds. The fit is a little on the dubious side, as they are definitely not meant for those among us with petite hands. On the flipside, however, those with larger hands who find it hard to get a good fit can take a try. In addition to that, the inside of the gloves come with a dotted pattern to make for better grip. What’s more is that besides being hiking gloves, they also double as great work gloves for snowy conditions. So if you’re looking for a great budget pair you can count on throughout the year (with or without a few extra layers), then you may opt for the Dexshell Thermfit Waterproof Gloves.
#10. Serius Innovation 1425 All-Weather [BEST COLD WEATHER GLOVES WITHIN BUDGET]
Another great pair of three season hiking gloves, the Seirus Innovation 1425 boast of some great features at a friendly price. While these will, like the Dexshell Thermfits listed above, will not provide ample protection for alpine climates, they can be the best three season gloves to accompany you in the colder months, you could consider going for the Seirus Innovation 1425. However, unlike the Dexshells, the fit is fantastic and we found these to be great for women hikers as well.
- Lightweight, budget gloves
- Sturdy and durable
- Fit is good
- Need an additional outer layer for better waterproofing
In terms of features, these come with an impressive and able fleece and polyester combination, which go into making them great at weather protection as well as moisture wicking. The construction, which consists of a three-layer WeatherShield Tri-Laminate mechanism, is serious about keeping the hands both warm and dry. Besides being amply warm, they are also lightweight. Plus we also like the UltraGrip palm that is sturdy as well as provides a good grip. Overall, not a bad deal for the price.
Verdict: If you are looking for a pair of three season hiking gloves that will see you through the winters (they do need layering in colder climes), then you may give the Seirus Innovation 1425 a chance.
Best Hiking Gloves Buying Guide
WHAT ARE HIKING GLOVES
For the rookies out there who are wondering why there is such a thing as hiking gloves when you can just do with normal gloves, let me ask you a question. Have you ever been caught in the rain wearing a pair of fleece or woolen gloves? If you have, you already know the problem. If you haven’t, it is really a matter of common sense that a pair of non-waterproof gloves will end up retaining a bunch of water leaving your hands moist or outright dripping wet. And of course, that can give rise to a number of problems. Being cold is just the beginning. This is where hiking gloves come in. To put it simply, these things constitute an essential piece of clothing that is as protective of your hands as your weatherproof jacket is for the rest of you. We all know how important it is to keep your digits warm and cozy when venturing outdoors during a span where anything could go wrong, and that’s why you should not look at a pair of hiking gloves as an add on or an accessory, but an essential piece of gear.
WHY DO WE NEED HIKING GLOVES
The name is pretty self-explanatory, so we don’t think it needs any further clarification. But still, to clear it up, think about hiking gloves as normal gloves, but ones that you use to rely upon when you might have to go against the elements to survive for a while. You should look at them as an extension of your normal clothing, and not as something that requires added consideration. But keep in mind that Hiking Gloves have some key points of differentiation from other gloves. The functionality of these are not limited to keeping your hands warm when you are high and dry, but help in your coping when things go wrong when you’re in the middle of a trail. The best hiking gloves will provide you with protection not just from the cold, but also from moisture, abrasions, and of course, bugs. So not only do you need to carry your trusty hiking gloves during winters and snowy climes but also during the summer. And that is exactly why there are so many different types of these things from the most reputable brands.
There will be more on that later, but for now, you need to know that a good pair of hiking gloves will not only provide you with protection but enhance your trial performance by many times. That is because your hands are the part of your body that is most prone to getting frostbite, bug bites, and several injuries on a trail.
WHO SHOULD USE HIKING GLOVES
Anyone who is a seasoned hiker or mountaineer is already acquainted with the importance of hiking gloves. But if you’re new to the thrills of hiking, there are a couple of things that you need to know. First off, hiking gloves can be layered for perfect wearability and comfort. There are several different kinds of hiking gloves available on the market, but there is no reason why you should only layer with these. You can opt to wear a fleece pair underneath your winter hiking gloves for three seasons or higher protection. Or you could just make do with one pair in the summers. But keep in mind that they are more important than you think, and overlooking this essential part of your hiking gear will might not only cause you to be slowed down, but also bring you sufficient misery.
The bottom line is that anyone and everyone who see hiking as an activity in the future should invest in a pair of suitable hiking gloves. If you are someone who only goes out on hikes during the summer, then you might want to give them a miss. However, seasoned hikers will know that there is nothing called predictable climate, so being prepared is the mantra we should all follow. In this case, perhaps a pair of rainproof mitts will suffice, but mountaineers and keener hikers will never go without them.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING HIKING GLOVES
Now that we have told you why exactly you need specific kinds of gloves suited to the purpose of hiking, let us delve a little deeper. The unhappy truth is, buying that perfect pair of hiking gloves as much of a myth as anything else. If you look around you for these nifty little essentials, you will see that the markets are flooded with several different kinds of hiking gloves that have some kind of an advantage over all the others, but still have a few things lacking. However, if you educate yourself enough about how you can mix and match, your chances of attaining a near perfect protection and insulation are significantly higher than the clueless. So here is a breakdown of all the things that you need to look out for when you go to buy the best hiking gloves suited for yourself.
- Fit: This might seem like an odd thing to start off the list with, but as with all pieces of clothing (and gloves are just that), you want to get the perfect fit for yourself. This is because, not only is an ill-fitting pair a nuisance in terms of the discomfort provided, but they can also be potentially harmful. You don’t want rainwater seeping inside your gloves when you are unexpectedly caught in the rain. We are using the term “Fit” as a stock word for a number of things, including hand size, comfort, and of course, how they will perform with layering.
- Durability: Hiking Gloves are not just about protecting us from the weather. They offer good grip when you’re trying to grab onto something to aid your hike or that tricky climb. But it cannot possibly do that if it is easily prone to damage. Durability in a pair of hiking gloves does not just mean the external material, but also what lies inside. Considering that they are significantly more expensive than a pair of, say, normal gloves, you definitely want them to be long lasting. Look for durable materials both on the exterior and the interior to get the most out of your gloves.
- Insulation: You do not need stellar insulation at all times from your gloves, depending on when you are more likely to venture outdoors. But most often than not, it is likely to get cold outside during the night time. So while you might not be too worried about the warmth factor if you’re more of a daytime hiker, this becomes one of the most important points of consideration for the hiker who does not stick to a schedule. This is also the aspect where you will find the most amount of distinction. For a pair of winter hiking gloves, try to look for a water proof synthetic filling, while summer specific gloves are typically constructed with fleece to keep your hands feeling comfortable and not a mangled sweaty mess.
- Breathability: Considering the materials of a pair of hiking gloves is necessary, and for that you need to determine what kind of weather you will be using them in. The best hiking gloves come with an outer waterproof shell and a breathable inner lining. But for summers, most hikers will probably want to go for a single-lined pair for comfort that does not weigh them down. But be sure your breathable pair does not tear at its first contact with the wilderness. This is also why we don’t recommend wearing fleece gloves on their own for a challenging hike.
Outer Shell: It does not need to be pointed out that the exterior is perhaps the most important part of a pair of hiking gloves. While basic normal gloves are mostly made of the same material all around, the best hiking gloves consist of different types on the outside and on the inside to make them optimized for protection and durability. When going to buy a pair of hiking gloves, you must make sure that the exterior, or the outer shell, will be able to hold up to the kind of wear and tear you wish to subject it to. In this context, it is often difficult to find a pair that is both breathable and waterproof. So if the former is important for your comfort, you can opt to buy the kinds that come with detachable surfaces on the outside. For durability, look for gloves with synthetic uppers.
- Inner Lining: A lot on the comfort front depends on what is used on the interior of the gloves, so you should look for those that keep your hands dry. Not only do your gloves need to keep your dry from rain or snow, but also from built up sweat, which as we all know can be a major cause of discomfort. Choosing a pair with a breathable inner lining is of utmost importance.
- Layering: Like most of your winter wardrobe, gloves can be layered too. The practice of layering is great for those who like to customize the way they want to be comfortable in the cold. While the best winter hiking gloves will come with a detachable inner lining made of fleece or some other material with good wicking capability (you can also wear this liner alone during your summer hikes), layering according to your needs can be a great way to keep your hands safe and warm. You can buy a fleece pair to wear on the inside with a separate synthetic outer shell for waterproofing and added durability. But make sure you have the gloves you intend to wear inside on your person while buying the outer one. This will help you understand the fit you need better, for you certainly do not want your gloves to be too tight to restrict mobility. And this brings us to our next point.
- Design: Choosing the right design for optimum mobility is paramount. Hiking gloves come in all shapes and sizes, but the most important distinction is made in the digit section. There are gloves that come with three finger sections (like lobster gloves) which some find it convenient to wear, but for most hikers who wish to maintain their dexterity, a traditional five-digit pair will be more suited. Once again, this depends on what you expect to be doing during your hike, so if you need to perform intricate activities while wearing your gloves (such as lacing up your boots or working a compass), then the traditional kind will be an obvious choice over the other kinds.
Check other Hiking Gears
There are a couple of things we need to keep in mind to get hold of the best hiking gloves for our needs. However, with a little bit of research, they are not impossible to find. Just keep in mind that the kind of protection you need might not be achievable with a single pair. For seasoned hikers who like to venture out no matter what the time of the year, it is prudent to invest in at least three good pairs, including a good set of fleece liners, a three seasoned pair, and of course, ones suitable for Alpine conditions. The list above is inclusive of all these kinds and more, so we hope it proves advantageous to your requirements. Don’t forget to add your own recommendations in the comments below id we have failed to include them.
- Best Hiking Gloves 2018
- #1. Black Diamond Soloist Gloves [Best hiking gloves for mobility]
- #2. Sealskinz Scafell Gloves
- #3. Gordini Promo Gauntlet Gore-tex Gloves [Best Budget Hiking Gloves]
- #4. Eddie Bauer Claim Touchscreen Gloves [BEST HIKING GLOVES FOR SKIING]
- #5. Mammut Guide Work Glove [BEST HIKING GLOVES FOR WARMTH]
- #6. Moutain Hardware Hydra Pro Gloves [BEST LIGHTWEIGHT HIKING GLOVES]
- #7. Outdoor Research Alti Mitts [BEST HIKING MITTS FOR WARMTH]
- #8. The North Face Etip Gloves [BEST FLEECE HIKING GLOVES FOR WOMEN]
- #9. Dexshell Thermit Waterproof Gloves With Merino Wool Inner [BEST BUDGET 3-SEASON HIKING GLOVES FOR MODERATE WEATHERS]
- #10. Serius Innovation 1425 All-Weather [BEST COLD WEATHER GLOVES WITHIN BUDGET]
- Best Hiking Gloves Buying Guide