The best hiking gloves 2024: keep your hands toasty on mountain hikes

Collage of the best hiking gloves
(Image credit: Future)

Whatever the time of year, it's still worth having a pair of the best hiking gloves in your backpack. Even in summer, temperatures at altitude can have a flavor of the Arctic about them, while early morning starts can be brisk to say the least.

Ask a mountain guide and they'll extoll the virtues of having at least a couple of pairs of hiking gloves stashed away. Ideally, you'd want a lightweight, thin pair for milder conditions and a nicely insulated, waterproof pair for more challenging times. The best hiking gloves are impressively featured, with loops to tether them to your hand so they don't blow away, draw cord that makes tightening them a cinch and even a patch for you to wipe your nose.

In this guide, we feature 14 pairs, with plenty of styles on offer. For mountaineering, we recommend the Rab Khroma Tour Gore-Tex Infinium Gloves, while for a more minimalist option, the Montane Prism Gloves are a good shout. Our experts have tested all these pairs in the environment they've been designed for and can fully vouch for their quality.

The quick list

Here's our Quick List, starting with our top performers when it comes to winter hiking, followed by lighter pairs. For a more detailed look at these excellent pairs, navigate further down this guide.

The best hiking gloves we recommend in 2024

You can trust Advnture Our expert reviewers spend days testing and comparing gear so you know how it will perform out in the real world. Find out more about how we test and compare products.

The best hiking gloves overall

Rab Khroma Tour Gore-Tex Infinium hiking gloves

Dextrous gloves that offer superior protection, breathability and precision (Image credit: Rab)
The best hiking gloves overall

Specifications

Gender specificity: Unisex
Sizes: XS-XL
Materials: Gore-Tex shell, fleece lining, reinforced leather palm and thumb
Colors: Black / oxblood red / army
Weight: 162g / 5.7oz
Best for: Scrambling, hillwalking, skiing

Reasons to buy

+
Great dexterity with an agile fit
+
Completely windproof
+
Highly breathable
+
Adjustable wrist strap

Reasons to avoid

-
Not fully waterproof
-
No touchscreen technology
-
Pricier than other gloves

These technical, highly dextrous gloves are designed with performance in mind, offering superior warmth and wind protection combining Gore-Tex Infinium Windstopper technology with a fleece lining and leather palm. Our expert tester found that they "boast great finger flexibility and precision when fastening boots, adjusting bindings and handling poles". On test, we found that the moisture-wicking technology kept our hands dry when powering uphill and superior wind-protection had us covered on the downhill. The snug fit keeps the wind out and is enhanced by the adjustable wrist strap. 

These are great for dry weather touring, but you wouldn't bring them for excursions in extreme wet conditions. They don't offer touchscreen technology so you'd need to remove them to check your phone or GPS device, which isn't ideal in extreme cold conditions and they do run pricier than other gloves, owing to their superior quality. These gloves will do you well for cold-weather pursuits and should last you a long time.

Read our full Rab Khroma Tour Infinium Gloves review

The best gloves for mountaineering

Advnture reviewer wearing Mountain Equipment Couloir Gloves in snow

A robust, reliable and versatile winter glove  (Image credit: Alex Foxfield)
The best gloves for mountaineering

Specifications

Gender specificity: Unisex
Sizes: XS-XXL
Weight: 224g / 7.9oz
Colors: Black
Materials: Polyamide shell with Gore-Tex waterproof insert, goat leather palm and reinforcement, polyester pile and microfleece lining
Compatibility: Winter hiking, scrambling, skiing

Reasons to buy

+
Especially warm
+
Waterproof
+
Extremely tough

Reasons to avoid

-
Cost more than most on test

These hiking gloves fit a specific brief: they’re warm enough and tough enough for hard skiing or mountaineering, but not ridiculously big or bulky either. You get a waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex insert with a lining made of two different fleece materials – lofty pile across the back of the hand as well as in the fingers and thumbs, and a microfleece lining across the palm. This is a clever approach that ensures excellent comfort and tactility, while also boosting warmth and wicking performance. 

The shell is made of tough nylon, with hardwearing goatskin leather overlays in the palm, thumbs, knuckles and all the fingers. The result is an extremely protective and durable glove, with secure grip whether you’re holding a ski pole, an ice axe or a mountaineering rope. Rollover fingertips further enhance overall durability and tactility. There’s also an extended cuff with a drawcord closure, wrist loops and leashes, and a suede nose wipe on the back of the thumb. This is a glove that really does tick all the boxes for technical winter use.

"These are truly worth every penny," says our mountaineering expert, counting the Couloir Glove as hiking gear he couldn't live without.

Read our full Mountain Equipment Couloir Glove review

The best gloves for winter walking

Sealskinz Extreme Cold Weather Gauntlet on white background

Top-of -the-range gauntlets delivering toasty warmth, reliable waterproofing and unusually good dexterity for a burly winter glove (Image credit: Sealskinz)
The best gloves for winter walking

Specifications

Gender specificity: Unisex
Sizes: S-XL
Weight: 212g / 7.5oz
Colors: Black
Materials: Polyester and elastane shell with goat leather palm and reinforcements, waterproof insert and PrimaLoft Gold insulation, polyester lining
Compatibility: Winter hill hiking and mountaineering

Reasons to buy

+
Close fit
+
Good dexterity
+
Nice and warm
+
Waterproof

Reasons to avoid

-
No wrist leash
-
Lots of stitching
-
Expensive compared to some

Sealskinz’ fully waterproof Extreme Cold Weather Gauntlets are burly insulated gloves that are designed to keep hands warm, dry, and protected from the elements in frigid temperatures. To achieve that, they combine tough materials with high-performance synthetic fill, along with a microfleece lining and a fully waterproof insert.

The thumbs, palms and fingertips are made from hard-wearing goatskin, as is the double-stitched overlay at the base of the thumb. On test, we found the design of these gloves offers superior feel and dexterity compared to most others in their class, thanks to pre-curved, rollover fingertips and unique fabric gussets at the knuckles and finger joints. "This aids freedom of movement," according to our expert reviewer, "while also ensuring a closer fit". The only thing perhaps lacking is a wrist leash to prevent a glove from flying off down the mountainside if you do need to remove one.

Read our full Sealskinz Extreme Cold Weather Gauntlet review

The best gloves for extreme weather

Keela Extreme Gloves on white background

These cozy, lightweight gloves protect your hands from wet and cold conditions during your mountain expeditions (Image credit: Keela)
Best hiking gloves for extreme weather

Specifications

Gender specificity: Unisex
Sizes: S-XL
Materials: Nylon shell, polyester lining
Colors: Black, white
Best for: Mountain hikes, skiing

Reasons to buy

+
Waterproof and windproof 
+
Breathable 
+
Well-insulated and cosy
+
Comfortable with decent finger dexterity

Reasons to avoid

-
Fingers are a bit cumbersome for touch screen compatibility to work well

These cosy, well-insulated ski gloves come in a classic design and will keep your hands warm and dry in all types of winter weather. They are both windproof and waterproof so great for wet, heavy snow and powder days alike. On test, we found them to be noticeably lightweight. However, they feature Primaloft insulation so don't be fooled – we found they offered plenty of protection from the cold too. Unlike some ski gloves, these give decent finger dexterity – "certainly all you need to wrap your hands around your ski poles" says out snow sports expert. 

They feature a drawstring wrist to keep the draft out, a durable palm to hold up against your poles and soft wipe on the thumb good for runny noses on cold days. They do boast touch screen compatibility on the index fingers, which works on its own, but we found the fingers were a bit too cumbersome to really be able to use our phones without removing them first. 

All in all, these make for a really nice pair of ski gloves that will get your through the winter at a decent price point. For more options that are more suited to the slopes than the trails, see our roundup of the best ski gloves.

Read our full Keela Extreme Gloves review

The best winter mitts

Patagonia Nano Puff Mitts on white background

These light but well-insulated gloves are like cosy puffer jackets for your hands (Image credit: Patagonia)
The best winter mitts

Specifications

Gender specificity: Unisex
Sizes: XS–XL
Materials: Polyester
Weight (per glove): 96g/3.3oz
Colors: Green
Best for: Winter hikes

Reasons to buy

+
Great warmth to weight ratio
+
Good padded palms

Reasons to avoid

-
Top of gloves liable to rip
-
Mittens make fiddly jobs hard

Patagonia’s Nano Puff insulated jackets are rightly very popular for their brilliant warmth to weight ratio, and the brand have applied exactly the same concept to these comfy-as-anything mitts. On test, we found they provided instant warmth but never felt heavy or restrictive. 

The Nano Puff gloves are windproof and water-resistant enough to put up with light rainfall, and the elasticated wrists help to further trap in heat. These squishy gloves are stuffed with 55% recycled PrimaLoft Gold Eco Insulation, which compresses down easily to stuff in pretty much any pocket. 

The inside of the gloves is a soft-brushed fleece that feels great against the skin. The tops of the gloves are a rather thin material that, just like a down jacket, you’ll want to keep away from anything sharp to avoid the risk of ripping, but the palms do at least have tough abrasion-resistant pads suitable for working or setting up camp.

Read our full Patagonia Nano Puff Mitt review

The best lightweight winter gloves

Montane Prism Gloves on white background

Windproof, ultra packable and water resistant, the Prism Gloves are like tiny down jackets for your hands – super comfortable (Image credit: Montane)
The best lightweight winter gloves

Specifications

Gender specificity: Men's and women's
Sizes: XS-XL
Materials: Pertex shell, Primaloft insulation, brushed fleece lining
Weight: (per glove): 55g / 2oz
Colors: Black, narwhal blue
Best for: Winter hiking, camping, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing

Reasons to buy

+
Soft and warm
+
Windproof and water resistant
+
Ultra packable
+
Precise touch screen compatibility
+
Made using recycled materials

Reasons to avoid

-
Not completely waterproof
-
Not durable enough to withstand abrasive rock surfaces

We found these super soft, ultra-light gloves provided plenty of warmth for chilly winter hikes and cold ski days without being bulky or sweaty. "Their slim fit packs a lot of punch", according to our expert, "with a windproof and water-resistant Pertex shell combined with a brushed fleece lining for warmth that still allows for some breathability once we got moving". They weigh only 55 grams and come with a tiny stuff sack, which they easily pack down into.

The Montane Prism have a wrist loop which makes it easy to pull them on in cold weather and an elasticated wrist to keep the heat in and the cold and snow out. The index finger and thumb boast a precise, touch screen compatibility pad combined with a snug fit that allows you to perform technical tasks without taking them off.

They are made using recycled materials and while they won’t stand up against extreme cold or abrasive surfaces during winter climbing and scrambling, they’ll give you all the warmth you need for skiing, winter hiking and even trail running on chilly days, all at a fair price point.

Read our full Montane Prism Gloves review

The best winter gloves for dexterity

Extremities Antora Peak GTX Gloves on white background

A lightweight waterproof glove designed for cold-weather hillwalking and winter sports, including skiing (Image credit: Extremities)
The best winter gloves for dexterity

Specifications

Gender specificity: Unisex
Sizes: S-XL
Materials: Shell: 100% polyester; palm: 100% leather; membrane: Gore-Tex; lining: 100% polyester
Weight (per glove): 112g/4oz
Colors: Black

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight, low bulk design
+
Reliable Gore-Tex waterproofing
+
Roll-over fingertip for dexterity
+
Leather palm ensures good grip
+
Useful nose/goggle wipe on thumb

Reasons to avoid

-
Cuffs aren’t the longest
-
Only a single wrist closure
-
Less insulated than some winter gloves

The Antora Peak gloves feature a polyester shell, waterproof Gore-Tex membrane and cosy brushed lining, with a genuine leather palm. The lightly lined construction ensures they are surprisingly breathable for winter gloves and we experienced no sweaty palms during the test period. Nor are they overly bulky, so they slid easily underneath the cuffs of our waterproof jackets. "They feel relatively dextrous too," says our hiking expert, "thanks to the rollover finger design that means there are no seams at the fingertips".

On the flipside, with limited insulation, they’re not the warmest winter gloves out there, and in sub-zero conditions you may need a thin liner glove underneath – though this is a practical layering system for winter mountaineering anyway. The cuffs aren’t the longest, so they don’t offer quite the same level of coverage as bigger, heavier gloves.

Overall, however, the Antora Peak gloves work well for cold-weather mountain pursuits, ticking plenty of boxes.

Read our full Extremities Antora Peak GTX review

The best winter gloves for breathability

The North Face Montana Futurelight Etip gloves on white background

Highly featured warm, waterproof and breathable snow gloves for skiers, boarders and winter hillwalkers (Image credit: The North Face)
The best winter gloves for breathability

Specifications

Gender specificity: Unisex
Sizes: S-XXL
Materials: Shell: DryVent 100% nylon plain weave; fabric: polyester (55%) and polyurethane (45%); Insert membrane: Futurelight; lining: 200g Heatseeker Eco
Weight (per glove): 101g / 3.5oz
Colors: Black / taupe
Best for: Skiing, snowboarding, winter hillwalking

Reasons to buy

+
Warm and waterproof
+
Breathable
+
Well featured 

Reasons to avoid

-
Etip feature ineffective
-
No nose wipe on thumb

Presented primarily as a glove for skiers and snowboarders, we found this wonderfully warm glove to be perfect for cold-weather hill walkers too. TNF’s proprietary Heatseeker Eco insulation (70% recycled) does an excellent job of heating hands. On top of this, brand’s Futurelight membrane insert is both breathable and waterproof, preventing moisture from getting in or building up inside the glove, even during stiff climbs.

The full-length gauntlet stayed securely in place under jacket cuffs, and the elasticated fastener pulls the mouth of the glove tightly shut, keeping out snow and cold air. A ladderlock wrist-cinch on the top of the hand keeps body-heated air in, and your fingers stay warm right to the tips, thanks to the fourchette-box construction of the glove. 

Both gloves in the pair feature an elasticated wrist leash, for keeping them secure if you remove them to perform a task, which is good, because our tester "found the ‘Etip’ material disappointingly ineffective" at operating touchscreen devices (possibly because the glove is so well padded).

Read our full The North Face Montana Futurelight Etip review

The best hiking gloves for versatility

Hestra C-Zone Contact Gauntlet gloves on white background

Dexterous, with pre-curved fingers and a low-profile, streamlined design for a range of cold-weather outdoor pursuits (Image credit: Hestra)
The best hiking gloves for versatility

Specifications

Gender specificity: Unisex
Sizes: XS-XXL
Weight: 150g / 5.3oz
Colors: Gray / black
Materials: Polyamide/elastane softshell outer with Duratan palm and finger reinforcement, C-Zone Contact waterproof insert, foam insulation and polyester microfleece lining
Best for: Everything from hiking and biking to fishing in the winter

Reasons to buy

+
Soft and comfortable
+
Good dexterity and grip
+
Touchscreen compatible
+
Waterproof

Reasons to avoid

-
No wrist leash
-
No rollover fingertips
-
Not the warmest

The CZone Contact Gauntlet is this Swedish brand’s all-purpose cold weather glove. On test, we found them to be close-fitting and precise, "offering excellent dexterity" according to our hiking expert. The glove is made of durable nylon, incorporating a stretchy and reflective nylon-elastane softshell fabric across the back of the hand. A tacky patterned overlay called Duratan is placed at the fingertips, palms and thumbs. The tip of the index finger and thumb are also fitted with conductive patches to enable touchscreen use. 

The wrist cuff offers good coverage and has an elasticated section as well as a drawcord lock. Insulation comes solely from a cozy microfleece lining, which makes these gloves lightweight and not too bulky. They’re still fairly warm for their weight as well as being fully waterproof and breathable, thanks to Hestra’s own CZone Contact membrane.

Read our full Hestra CZone Contact Gauntlet review

The best hybrid glove mitt

Daehlie Glove Rush mitt on white background

Offering the dexterity of a glove and the warmth of a mitt, these clever hand protectors have all bases covered (Image credit: Daehlie)
The best hybrid glove mitt

Specifications

Gender specificity: Unisex
Sizes: XS-XXL
Weight: 91g / 3.2oz
Colors: Estate Blue / Black
Compatibility: These are multifunctional gloves for a range of activities, including Skiing, boarding, cold-weather running, fat biking

Reasons to buy

+
Good dexterity
+
Excellent warmth
+
Good value

Reasons to avoid

-
Mitten finger cover is on the snug side

Made by a Nordic ski apparel company, the form-fitting Glove Rush is designed for high output activities like running and Nordic skiing or backcountry skiing, when your body is producing so much heat that you don’t need a lot of insulation to keep you warm. 

However, when you pause on the peaks and slopes, you can cool down very quickly, and the high grip power stretch glove has a windproof mitten cover to warm up cold fingers when that happens. The cover tucks away into a back of hand pocket when you don’t need it. Clever. On test, we found the elasticized cuff was easy to get into, and the wrist pull-tab was "handy for getting the gloves on" according to our expert. Other features include touchscreen tips on the thumb and forefinger, and soft nose-wipe material on the thumb.

Read our full Daehlie Glove Rush review

The best lightweight hiking gloves

Rab Flux Liner gloves on white background

The perfect pair of liner gloves for use under a thicker pair of gloves, or worn alone in warmer weather (Image credit: Rab)
The best lightweight hiking gloves

Specifications

Gender specificity: Unisex
Sizes: S-XL
Materials: Polyester
Weight (per glove): 40g/1.4oz
Colors: Grey

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight
+
Very comfortable

Reasons to avoid

-
No clip

Good liner gloves are the bit of outdoor kit you never knew you needed. We’ve been using the same pair of Rab liner gloves for a few winters now, and our hiking experts reckon they're "worth their weight in gold". These light, stretchy gloves are thin, breathable and very comfortable – wear them alone on warmer spring days or stick them underneath thicker gloves or mittens for bitter winter conditions, such as for ski trips or when hiking in snow. 

These liner gloves are also very useful when you’re camping or working outdoors and need to do more fiddly jobs, such as looking after a stove – they offer good dexterity without ending up with freezing hands. Rab’s liner gloves feel well-made, and the soft fleecy lining inside is a treat in cold weather. The thicker cuff stops wind well, and help the liners to stay put under larger gloves. It’s a pity they don’t clip together for easier storage.

Read our full Rab Flux Liner Glove review

The best waterproof lightweight hiking glove

best hiking gloves: Sealskinz Griston Gloves

Lightweight, weatherproof, 3-layer hand protection for hiking, biking and even paddling adventures (Image credit: Pat Kinsella)
The best lightweight waterproof hiking glove

Specifications

RRP: $55 (US) / £40 (UK)
Gender specificity: Men’s and women’s versions available
Sizes: S-XXL
Weight (pair of men’s large): 95g / 3.4oz
Materials: Outer Layer: Polyester (92%), Neoprene (5%), Elastane (3%); Palm: Suede (50%), Polyester (50%) Middle Layer: Aquasealz waterproof membrane; Inner Lining: Polyester (100%)
Colors: Black
Compatibility: Winter hill hiking, cycling, snowsports, paddling

Reasons to buy

+
Very versatile
+
3-layer waterproof and windproof protection
+
Breathable
+
Warm but not overly padded
+
Soft-feel inner  
+
Lightweight

Reasons to avoid

-
Wrists can’t be tightened or sealed
-
Not protective enough for midwinter or high alpine adventures 
-
Fiddly connecting system

Once winter is waning, it’s great to find a glove that can keep your fingers warm and protect them from the elements without absolutely cooking your whole hand, or being so padded that they’re irritating carry around. According to our expert tester Pat "the Sealskinz Griston strikes exactly this balance". 

Lightweight and paclable, these three-layer gloves boast a water repellent outer constructed from a technical material mix that provides hardwearing toughness (thanks to the polyester), good grip across the palm (courtesy of the suede and neoprene), and non-restrictive stretch, supplied by the elastane. Their plush, soft inner makes them super comfortable to wear even after a long adventure. Between these layers is a breathable waterproof membrane that halts rain in its tracks but allows vapour from your sweaty mitts out. 

The versatile Gristons can be used during all sorts of active pursuits, from hiking, biking and scrambling to kayaking, canoeing and SUPing. However, our tester Pat has some frustrations: the lack of fastening system at the wrist and the baggy design of the mini gauntlet, which means water can run into the glove from the sleeve of your jacket if you’re not careful.

Read our full Sealskinz Griston Gloves review

The best value hiking gloves

Advnture reviewer wearing Forclaz Mountain Trek 500 Gloves

Nicely priced hand protection, perfect for fall and spring adventures (Image credit: Pat Kinsella)
Best value hiking gloves

Specifications

Gender specificity: Unisex
Sizes: XS-XXL
Materials: Polyester (85%), elastane (15%)
Weight: (per glove): 55g / 2oz
Colors: Black
Best for: Fall walking and trail running

Reasons to buy

+
Allow for plenty of dexterity
+
Excellent price
+
Connecting clip

Reasons to avoid

-
Not fully windproof
-
Not waterproof
-
No snot chamois

These lightweight hiking gloves are intended for use on the high hills in the shoulder seasons. Although they are not fully windproof (and definitely not waterproof), we found they provided decent thermal coverage when we needed it, which was usually when coming out of the treeline and heading towards the summit, when the temperature rapidly drops and the windchill factor becomes a much bigger deal. 

They are relatively thin, so dexterity levels are good and we were able to continue to operate zips, take photos, access pockets and tighten pole straps without taking them off. Unlike some other gloves we have tested that claim to be touch sensitive and are not, our tester found that "you genuinely can operate phones and screens with these gloves on", which is extremely handy when using navigational apps.

The Trek 500 gloves are breathable, comfortable and light – so they’re a good option year round, as a throw-in-the-pack-just-in-case back-up, either for stand-alone use or as a baselayer for some waterproof gloves or mittens.

Read our full Forclaz Mountain Trek 500 Gloves review

The best fleece gloves

Outdoor Research PL Base Sensor gloves on white background

Polar fleece–fabric gloves for use alone in milder conditions, or as a base layer in colder climes (Image credit: Outdoor Research)
The best fleece hiking gloves

Specifications

Gender specificity: Men's and women's
Sizes: Men’s S-XL, women’s S-L
Materials: 50wt polar fleece with silicone print palm
Weight (per glove): 25.5g / 0.9oz
Colors: Black / coyote

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight 
+
Breathable and quick-drying 
+
Smartphone compatible
+
Good liner glove

Reasons to avoid

-
Not waterproof
-
Not designed for standalone warmth
-
Slightly awkward finger stitching

The lightest model in US brand Outdoor Research’s fairly extensive range of fleece gloves, the PL Base Sensor is expressly designed as a liner glove to be worn under a pair of chunkier mitts or gloves for winter mountain pursuits – basically, they’re a base layer for your hands. But, we found that they’re also good as a stand-alone lightweight glove for use during many activities in milder conditions, including hill walking and hiking. 

They boast touchscreen compatible Sensor technology for use with smartphones, plus a minimalist grippy silicone print on the palm that isn’t overly tacky, but which stopped our phone from sliding out of our grasp when stopping to take a photo or make a call.

While they’re not the most hardwearing glove around, our pair have stood up to general use very well and, according to our expert, "markedly better than other lightweight gloves we’ve tested". Plus, they’re also relatively inexpensive. They’re not particularly water-resistant, but they manage moisture well and dry quickly.

Read our full Outdoor Research PL Base Sensor review

The best hiking gloves comparison table

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Hiking glovesPriceWeightStyleBest use
Rab Khroma Tour Infinium Gloves$100 (US) / £80 (UK)162g / 5.7ozInsulated, Gore-Tex cold weather glovesSkiiing, winter hiking, mountaineering, winter climbing
Mountain Equipment Couloir Glove$130 (US) / £100 (UK)224g / 7.9ozInsulated, GoreTex mountaineering glovesWinter hiking, mountaineering, skiing
Sealskinz Extreme Cold Weather Gauntlet$100 (US) / £75 (UK)212g / 7.5ozInsulated, waterproof mountaineering glovesWinter hiking, mountaineering
Keela Extreme Gloves£50 (UK)160g / 5.6Insulated cold weather glovesSkiiing, winter hiking, mountaineering, winter climbing
Patagonia Nano Puff$69 (US) / £65 (UK)96g/3.3ozInsulated cold weather mittsWinter hiking, mountaineering
Montane Prism Gloves$60 (US) / £45 (UK)55g / 2ozInsulated cold weather glovesSkiiing, winter hiking, mountaineering, winter climbing
Extremities Antora Peak GTX$48 (US) / £80 (UK)112g / 4ozInsulated, Gore-Tex cold weather glovesSkiiing, winter hiking, mountaineering, winter climbing
The North Face Montana Futurelight Etip$70 (US) / £75 (UK)101g / 3.5ozInsulated, Futurelight cold weather glovesSkiiing, winter hiking, mountaineering, winter climbing
Hestra C-Zone Contact Gauntlet£65 (UK) / €75 (EU)150g / 5.3ozInsulated cold weather glovesWinter hiking, fishing
Daehlie Glove Rush$30 (US) / £40 (UK) / €69 (EU)91g / 3.2ozLightweight gloves for high output activitiesTrail running, Nordic skiing, winter fastpacking
Rab Flux Liner$23 (US) / £17 (UK)40g / 1.4ozLightweight liner gloveHiking, scrambling, trail running or as a base layer for colder conditions
Sealskinz Waterproof All-Weather$65 (US)/£45 (UK)104g / 3.6ozFully waterproof hiking gloovesHiking, winter walking, sailing
Forclaz Mountain Trek 500 Gloves$12 (US) / £12 (UK)(Per glove): 55g / 2ozLightweight hiking gloves3 season hiking, mountaineering, scrambling
Outdoor Research PL Base Sensor$24 (US) / £18 (UK)25.5g / 0.9ozLightweight liner gloveHiking, scrambling, trail running or as a base layer for colder conditions

How we test the best hiking gloves

Our reviewers test hiking gloves in various settings, from shoulder season hikes to winter walks and forays into mountaineering territory. Specific features (including insulation, waterproofing, breathability, grip, dexterity, touch-screen compatibility, materials used and general comfort) are tested against claims made by the brand, and we assess factors such as durability, environmental impact and value for money.

Meet the testers

Pat Kinsella
Pat Kinsella

Pat has spent 20 years pursuing adventure stories and has found himself in some pretty cold climes en route. He’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps. He always has a spare pair of quality gloves in his backpack.

Julia Clarke skiing Verbier
Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is Advnture's staff writer and a lover of all things hiking. She grew up near the Southern Highlands of Scotland, where the spark was lit. It developed into a burning passion when she moved to the US for university and she revelled in exploring the States' national parks. Now back in Scotland, she's often found among the mountains of the Highlands, where she often puts a pair of hiking gloves to use, or two.

best hiking boots: Matthew Jones
Matthew Jones

Matt is a seasoned hiker and gear reviewer who calls the mountains of Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park his home. In the warmer months, he loves a scramble and a hill walk, while he dons his crampons and grabs his ice axe when the winter snows come. He's always got at least two quality pairs of gloves in his pack.

best synthetic puffer jackets: Napapijri puffer jacket
Sian Lewis

Sian's adventures as a freelance outdoor writer have taken her across the world, from alpine peaks to majestic coast paths. She loves getting her digits cozy in a nice warm pair of gloves, particularly after braving a freezing cold wild swim.

How to choose the best hiking gloves:

The best hiking gloves come in all shapes and sizes, and we recommend buying a few different pairs for different outdoor scenarios and weather conditions. What you put in your daypack will depend the your planned pursuit. Following are a few factors we advise taking into consideration before making a decision on what to buy.

Gloves or mittens?

One of the major design differences you’ll come across in gloves designed for the cold is gloves versus mittens. Mittens are warmer than gloves, but you’ll lose a lot of dexterity, so they are best suited for very cold weather or for when you don’t need to move your hands much, such as when skiing but not quite as ideal for winter hiking. A thin inner ‘liner’ glove worn under a thicker glove or mitten can be a good way to keep warm but allows you to use your fingers freely when needed. You may also see ‘lobster’ gloves, which are half mitten, half glove, on sale.

best hiking gloves: mittens

Mittens are a warmer option than gloves but there's a compromise in terms of dexterity (Image credit: Getty)

Should I buy hiking gloves with insulation?

Next up, decide if you need gloves with or without insulation. Insulated gloves (stuffed with either synthetic or down insulation, just like puffer jackets) are very warm but less breathable than non-insulated gloves. We recommend the former if you suffer from bad circulation or for adventures in the coldest weather, and the latter for warmer days and for wearing during energetic activities such as trail running or hill walking in the shoulder months. For less extreme adventures, a pair of the best running gloves and mittens might be exactly what you are looking for.

Should I get lightweight gloves or heavier pairs?

This might seem a minor consideration for such a small item, but often you will start out on a morning walk or a run, very thankful for your gloves, only to find yourself removing them after climbing the first significant hill because your hands are too hot – especially as deep winter slides into spring. When this happens, the easier your best hiking gloves are to safely stash the better. Lightweight packability also means you’re more likely to take a pair of gloves along as a ‘just in case’ item in a backpack or in your dry bag, which often proves a very wise decision, especially if you end up being out longer or later than you expected.

best hiking gloves: winter mountaineer with gloves

In winter, your pack is often already very heavy, so any weight savings are a blessing (Image credit: Getty)

What other design features do hiking gloves have?

There are a few more design features that are useful additions to the best hiking gloves. If you plan to use your new gloves in wet weather, look for a fully waterproofed (rather than just ‘water-resistant’) pair – Sealskinz is a reliable brand. Some gloves are cinched at the wrist with elastic or Velcro straps – this stops wind chill or snow getting to your hands. You’ll also see ‘touchscreen compatible’ gloves on the market, which allow you to use your smartphone without removing your gloves first. 

We like gloves that clip together, for easy storage and for grabbing from your backpack on the go. And have you ever wondered why there’s a soft fleece-y panel on the thumb of your glove? Yep – it’s there so you can wipe your nose. Finally, consider what colour gloves you go for. Most winter gloves come in neutral blacks and greys – we favour darker colours, as they don’t show dirt (or snot…).

How important is sizing when it comes to hiking gloves?

Getting the right size is just as important with the best hiking gloves as it is with your best hiking socks. If you’re buying gloves you’ll need to rely on in cold weather or when working outdoors, it’s a big help if they fit perfectly. Only the cheapest gloves are one-size-fits-all – others are unisex but come in different sizes, and gloves designed specifically for men or women usually fit the best. Sizes can vary wildly from brand to brand but most brands have handy sizing charts available – measure the length of your hand and the circumference of your palm to find where you sit from XS–XL.