They may only be a small component of your ski equipment, but they are not to be underestimated: ski gloves keep our hands warm even in the coldest of conditions – at least they should. SnowTrex has put together information about what winter sports fans should look out for when choosing gloves for skiing or snowboarding in order to keep their fingers warm as well as what else ski gloves can do.
The Hook-and-Loop Fastening
The hook-and-loop fastener on a glove is essential for skiing and especially for snowboarding. This type of elastic band not only prevents the hands’ own heat from escaping, but also prevents snow from getting into the gloves in the event of a fall, for example. Nothing is more unpleasant than a cold, wet inner glove lining.
The Cuff Length
The length of the gloves’ cuffs can be chosen between short and long. Short cuffs can be worn very well under the jacket sleeve, so that no cold air gets to the wrists. Long cuffs are worn over the jacket sleeve. They can usually be fastened extra tight. To ensure that the glove and jacket fit together perfectly, the jacket sleeves should ideally have thumb loops.
The insulation of the gloves is crucial for continuous production and maintenance of hand warmth. At the same time, the gloves should be waterproof and breathable so that the hands do not sweat, leading to the production of moisture and ultimate freezing of the hands. Ideally, the insulation consists of natural down, but synthetic material is usually implemented. This is where manufacturers such as Hestra, Ziener, Reusch, Leki & Co. often have their very special “secret recipes” and have this composition protected by name. In order to produce warm, yet not-too-bulky gloves, the manufacturers also often rely on a stronger insulation of the back of the gloves than of the surfaces. If you know that you will freeze quickly, you should go for the latest trend: battery-powered heated gloves – talk about getting your money’s worth!
The Inner Lining
The inside of gloves is usually fluffy and moisture-absorbing. Sweaty hands do not cool down like this. When trying on gloves, you should pay attention to the thickness of the lining: the hand must still be able to grip a ski pole. Some gloves also have removable linings. This is practical in two ways: they can be washed out quickly, and you can vary the thickness of the gloves depending on the weather and temperature.
In a gondola, winter sports fans repeatedly take their skis or snowboard into their hands. Without gloves, you can get hurt or even injured due to the sharp edges. Gloves should be strengthened by some extra material that is more tear/cut-resistant than the usual material, especially on the palms of the hands as well as on the fingertips.
Only accurately pre-formed fingers, which close well (but not too tightly) around your own fingers, give the glove, or the hand in it, the necessary sensitivity required. Therefore, you should pay attention to a perfect fit and choose appropriate gloves for your hands. Gloves that are too tight not only decrease dexterity, but also blood flow – in other words, a decreased ability to produce heat.
The Goggles/Nose Wiper
Many gloves have a suede insert on the thumb or index finger. This allows snow to be wiped off the ski goggles, or to assist in wiping a runny nose. For the latter, however, a tissue would be most suitable.
If you really suffer from cold hands, you should get mittens for skiing or snowboarding. They are not quite as flexible as gloves, but they have the benefit of allowing the fingers to warm each other.
Pipe gloves are thin gloves without insulation. They are especially suitable for freestylers who practice their tricks in the snow park and need as much freedom of movement and dexterity in their hands as possible. For skiers and snowboarders, they are especially recommended when it is very warm on the mountain, but you should still protect your hands a little!
Some gloves have small pockets on the upper side. These are handy for carrying your lift pass or a small hand warmer. If you don’t put anything in them, you can still leave them open – this promotes air circulation inside the gloves.
The Clip Fastening
Small clips on both gloves make it possible to clip the gloves together after a day of skiing. This prevents you from having to wear just one glove on the piste at some point. This way, you always have two with you – or none.
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