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Review: The Best Gloves For Winter 2019

Review: The Best Gloves For Winter 2019

By Michael Lanza

Looking for winter gloves that keep your hands warm and dry and are made with quality to last for years? As a professional gear reviewer who gets cold hands easily and spends many days outside in winter, from skiing in all of its forms to bike commuting, trail running, and working outside, I’ve used many types of gloves. I’ve learned a lot over the years about how to select gloves and which models perform best for specific uses. This review covers the best gloves I’ve found for winter, in several styles and degrees of warmth, for outdoor recreation as well as doing any kind of work outside. I’m confident you’ll find a pair here that meet your needs.

I tested the gloves reviewed below in a wide range of temperatures from the high 30s Fahrenheit to below-zero wind chills, and in snowstorms, cold rain, graupel, and most other forms of frozen water that fall from the sky, as well as the liquid kind. I used these gloves on numerous days of backcountry skiing, skate skiing, ski touring, and resort skiing, on multi-day, backcountry yurt trips, and spring mountaineering in the mountains of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and California.

I’ve also, of course, used many of these gloves shoveling snow and doing outdoor chores in winter, and biking around town in cold temps.

Scroll down past the tips on how to choose gloves if you want to jump directly into the product reviews.

Besides coming in a range of prices and styles, the gloves reviewed below have different strengths and weaknesses, making each better for varying activities and circumstances, which I specify in each review. I’d love to see your observations about any of these glove models, or others you like; please make them in the comments section at the bottom of this review.


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I’ve divided the reviews below into two categories:

1.    Under-the-cuff gloves, which have shorter, closer-fitting gauntlets designed to be worn under a jacket cuff. They vary in degree of warmth and dexterity, but (with just a couple of exceptions among those reviewed here) are usually less warm and expensive and more dexterous than over-the-cuff gloves. They are typically used for high-intensity activities like classic Nordic or skate skiing on groomed trails, but depending on your needs and typical temperatures encountered, can be used for winter hiking, climbing, ski touring, and snowshoeing in “moderate” winter temperatures from the 20s to 30s Fahrenheit.

2.    Over-the-cuff gloves, which have longer, adjustable gauntlets designed to be worn over a jacket cuff. They have more insulation and often better water resistance than under-the-cuff gloves—or are fully waterproof—making them appropriate for temps in the 20s Fahrenheit and lower, and they usually cost more. I chose only two-piece gloves, with removable liners, for versatility in activities like backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, ski touring, climbing, or winter hiking and backpacking, where temperatures and your exertion level vary.


Suit up smartly. See my review of “The Best Clothing Layers for Winter in the Backcountry.”


Skiers above the Baldy Knoll yurt in Wyoming's Teton Range.

Skiers above the Baldy Knoll yurt in Wyoming’s Teton Range.

How to Choose Winter Gloves

How do you choose between under- and over-the-cuff gloves? While either style can be worn for most of the activities I’ve mentioned, consider these factors:

•    Your activity.
•    Your usual range of weather conditions and temperatures.
•    How easily your fingers get cold.
•    Thicker, warmer gloves are overkill for high-intensity activities like skate skiing and winter running.
•    Under-the-cuff gloves are usually best for outings of a few hours or less.
•    Over-the-cuff gloves are usually best for multi-hour, all-day, or multi-day activities, especially when your hands are repeatedly in snow (such as when backcountry skiing or snowshoeing).

I’ve listed the products below in ascending order by price within the two categories, and pointed out the pros and cons of each and what they’re best for.


Under-the-Cuff Gloves


Black Diamond Mont Blanc Gloves.

Black Diamond Mont Blanc Gloves.

Black Diamond Mont Blanc Gloves
$25, 2 oz. (medium)
Sizes: unisex XS-XL

Pros: Lightweight, very breathable, excellent dexterity, touchscreen fingertips.
Cons: Minimal weather resistance, unisex sizing.
Best For: Being active in temps from around freezing into the 40s.

No matter how easily your hands get cold, you will encounter conditions at any time of year (not just winter) when you need a light glove. Whether for high-exertion activities like running or Nordic skiing in temps around freezing to well above, hiking in cool weather, or long ultra-runs and hikes—BD designed this model with the ultra-race of the Tour du Mont Blanc in mind—these featherweight gloves are a good pick. With my typically cold fingers, I found them perfect for hiking and trail running in temps in the 30s and 40s, but not warm enough for high-speed skate-skiing in temps in the 30s, because you create your own wind; but my wife, whose fingers don’t get cold easily, found them ideal for skate-skiing in those temps.

A weather-resistant shell fabric on the back of the hand and digits sheds light precipitation and blocks some wind, while the stretch palm and cuff release perspiration and dry quickly; and the cuff seals snugly around the wrist. A silicone grip pattern covers the entire palm and grabbing side of the digits, for easily holding onto poles and bottles. And the thumb and forefinger tips have excellent touchscreen sensitivity. Sizing is average, with a skin-tight fit that doesn’t feel too tight because of the stretch, which also helps accommodate different hand types.

BUY IT NOW You can support my work on this blog by clicking either of these links to purchase the Black Diamond Mont Blanc Gloves at or


Be smart about your winter adventures. See my story “How to Dress in Layers for Winter in the Backcountry.”


The North Face Runners 2 Etip Gloves.

The North Face Runners 2 Etip Gloves.

The North Face Runners 2 Etip Gloves
$30, 1.5 oz. (medium)
Sizes: unisex XXS-XL

Pros: Lightweight, very breathable, excellent dexterity, touchscreen fingertips.
Cons: Minimal weather resistance, unisex sizing.
Best For: Running and hiking in temps in the 30s and 40s.

Like BD’s Mont Blanc Gloves, the Runners 2 Etip is made for high exertion in cool temps, but leans more toward maximum breathability—best for running and cool-weather hiking. The lightweight fleece fabric stretches and breathes very well, delivering just enough warmth for temps around the mid-30s to the 40s, and light rain rolls off the soft-shell fabric on the back of the hand and fingers, which blocks some wind.

The back of the forefinger and thumb sport a nose wipe of soft, brushed fleece. A minimal amount of silicone grip pattern covers parts of the palm and three fingers. The close fit permits good dexterity, and the touchscreen sensitivity in the forefinger and thumb is good. The sizing runs slightly large, but there’s a wider range of sizes than with other models.

BUY IT NOW You can support my work on this blog by clicking either of these links to purchase The North Face Runners 2 Etip Gloves at or


Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside, which has made several top outdoors blog lists. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Subscribe now to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. Click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip. Please follow my adventures on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.


Outdoor Research PL 400 Sensor Gloves

Outdoor Research PL 400 Sensor Gloves

Outdoor Research PL 400 Sensor Gloves
$40, 2 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XL, women’s S-L

Pros: Lightweight, warm liner, excellent dexterity, touchscreen fingertips, men’s and women’s sizes.
Cons: Not weatherproof, dry slower than other light gloves.
Best For: When dexterity is needed in cold temperatures, or when active in temps from just below to just above freezing.

For the dexterity and warmth they offer, these double-layer gloves stayed on my hands much of the time on a four-day, April climb of the Mountaineers Route on California’s 14,505-foot Mount Whitney—at times alone, often under a shell glove. Made of stretchy, 300-weight fleece with a 100-weight fleece liner, they strike a balance between more warmth than most liner gloves—which are lighter—and optimal dexterity for delicate tasks like firing up a stove.

They extend slightly beyond the wrist for better warmth. The fabric breathes really well, wicks sweat, and dries quickly, and fingertips and palms have an no-slip, silicone print. The forefinger and thumb tips are reliably touchscreen compatible, though you have to tap a little more deliberately than with bare hands. There is a quick clip for mating the gloves. They’re ideal as a single glove in temperatures from the 20s to the 30s Fahrenheit (depending on your activity and how easily your fingers get cold), or as a liner under a shell glove or mitten in colder temps. One the downside, once wet, do not dry as quickly as lighter gloves.

BUY IT NOW You can support my work on this blog by clicking any of these links to purchase the men’s or women’s Outdoor Research PL 400 Sensor Gloves at,,, or


Keep your noggin warm, too. See my “Review: The Best Winter Hats.”


Seirus Soundtouch Xtreme All Weather Gloves.

Seirus Soundtouch Xtreme All Weather Gloves.

Seirus Soundtouch Xtreme All Weather Gloves
$55, 3.5 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s and women’s S-XXL

Pros: Lightweight, waterproof-breathable, warm, excellent dexterity, touchscreen fingertips, and great value.
Cons: Too warm for some users for high-intensity activities in temps above freezing.
Best For: High-intensity activities in cold temps, or moderate activity in temperatures above freezing.

Through waves of heavy rain and thunderstorms in chilly temperatures on a mid-September backpacking trip in Wyoming’s Wind River Range, these lightweight gloves kept my hands warm and absolutely dry. They also proved plenty warm enough for a morning near freezing while backpacking in May in Utah’s Dark Canyon Wilderness, as well as on frosty days cycling and hiking at home.

With a light fleece lining and a stretchy cuff that extends about two inches behind the wrist bones, these gloves felt quite warm in temps in the low 40s Fahrenheit; even with my cold fingers, I could wear them in temps down into the 20s, so they’re as warm as some bulkier fleece gloves. But unless you get cold fingers easily, they’re too warm for hiking in temps in the 40s or running in temps much above freezing. A waterproof-breathable Pro-Fit insert kept my hands dry through heavy rain during thunderstorms in the Winds, and even when I ran tap water over them; they’ll certainly repel snow. The soft-shell outer fabric’s four-way stretch affords a close fit with excellent dexterity. Soundtouch sensitivity in the thumb and forefinger allowed me to easily tap out text messages and select icons on a phone screen, and PVC in the palm adds durability.

BUY IT NOW You can support my work on this blog by clicking either of these links to purchase the men’s or women’s Seirus Soundtouch Xtreme All Weather Gloves at or


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Marmot XT Glove

Marmot XT Glove

Marmot XT Glove
$75, 4 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s XS-XL

Pros: Water-resistant, lightweight, good fit and dexterity, palm pad.
Cons: No women’s sizes or touchscreen sensor.
Best For: High-intensity activities in any weather, or any activity in moderate temperatures.

I wore the XT Gloves for numerous one- and two-hour, skate-skiing workouts from the Harriman Trail in Idaho’s Wood River Valley to my local Nordic trails above Boise, and for cold-weather biking around town. Even in temps in the low 20s and some wind on a sunny, two-hour ski tour in the Boise Mountains, and a four-mile dayhike in the Boise Foothills on a 15° F morning, my chronically cold fingers stayed warm.

The proprietary, water-resistant, breathable MemBrain stretch fabric on the backs of the hands repels snow and light rain, while the DriClime lining wicks sweat. Falcon Grip articulation and Pittards leather in the palms and undersides of the fingers deliver good dexterity, fit, and easy gripping for manipulating pack buckles and zipper pulls; that leather makes the palms more durable than nylon, too. A small palm pad cushions the ulnar nerve, especially useful when using poles. The hoop-and-loop wrist closure seals out cold air. There is a quick clip for mating the gloves, but no touchscreen sensor.

BUY IT NOW You can support my work on this blog by clicking this link to purchase the Marmot XT Glove at


Get the right synthetic or down puffy to keep you warm. See my review of “The 10 Best Down Jackets.”


Smartwool Ridgeway Glove.

Smartwool Ridgeway Glove.

Smartwool Ridgeway Glove
$80, 5.5 oz. (medium)
Sizes: Unisex XS-XL

Pros: Very durable, water-resistant, lightweight, good dexterity.
Cons: No women’s sizes or touchscreen sensor.
Best For: Everything from high- and moderate-intensity activities in temps below and above freezing to all-around, everyday use, including working outside.

For high-speed Nordic skate-skiing in temps down to the mid-20s as well as biking around town, these gloves kept my chronically cold fingers happy, thanks to the warm and soft, Merino wool and nylon lining. And yet they’re low bulk, fitting easily in pole straps and offering good dexterity. With goat leather everywhere but on the back of the hand (to make that area more breathable and the glove more flexible), and a double layer of leather reinforcing the thumb and forefinger, the Ridgeway is an excellent all-around winter glove for everything from cross-country skiing and snowshoeing to bike commuting and working in the yard and elsewhere.

The cuff lacks a closure strap or elasticity, leaving it slightly open, but fits easily under any jacket cuff to keep snow and cold out. They’re not warm enough for downhill skiing, except on sunny, warm early-spring days. Sizing runs slightly small, probably to accommodate women’s hands (since these are unisex); men on the cusp between sizes will probably need to size up. But I almost always wear men’s medium, and the medium Ridgeway fit my hands well.

BUY IT NOW You can support my work on this blog by clicking any of these links to purchase the Smartwool Ridgeway Glove at or


Enjoy your cold-season activities more. Read my “12 Pro Tips For Staying Warm Outdoors in Winter.”


Black Diamond Legend Gloves

Black Diamond Legend Gloves

Black Diamond Legend Gloves
$150, 8 oz. (medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XL, women’s XS-L

Pros: Waterproof, all leather, padded, very warm.
Cons: Too warm for moderate temps, minimal dexterity for under-the-cuff gloves.
Best For: Deep cold while backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, ice climbing, and mountaineering, or working outside.

BD’s Legend Glove achieves a successful marriage of the warmth of a three-in-one, over-the-cuff glove with the fit of an under-the-cuff glove. With 170g of PrimaLoft Gold insulation on the backs of the hands and 133g of PrimaLoft Gold Eco in the palms, these are the warmest under-the-cuff gloves I’ve ever used—and they come loaded with high-end features. Shoveling out our tent after a night of wet, heavy snowfall, and taking the tent down later—with my hands repeatedly in heavy, sloppy snow—I found the Gore-Tex-lined Legend Gloves lived up to their fully waterproof claim. Ditto when I shoveled about a half ton of wet snow off the deck of a backcountry yurt in Idaho’s Boise Mountains. They’re built for hard use, with goat leather construction, Kevlar stitching, and compression-molded EVA padding on the backs of the hands. The soft suede nose wipe on the thumbs and a neoprene cuff with hook-and-loop closure close out a rich feature set.

Not surprisingly, I also found these gloves too warm for highly aerobic skate skiing in temps around freezing. They’re best for moderate-exertion, cold-temperature activities like ice climbing, resort skiing, skiing downhill in the backcountry (or skinning uphill in very cold temperatures), or hiking, snowshoeing and ski touring in temperatures well below freezing.

BUY IT NOW You can support my work on this blog by clicking either of these links to purchase the men’s or women’s Black Diamond Legend Gloves at or


Plan your next great backpacking adventure in Yosemite and other flagship parks using my expert e-guides.


Over-the-Cuff Gloves and Mittens


Outdoor Reseach Phosphor Mitts

Outdoor Reseach Phosphor Mitts

Outdoor Research Phosphor Mitts
$90, 5 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s and women’s XS-XL

Pros: Very warm, windproof and water-resistant, good price for the quality.
Cons: Too warm for moderate temps, very minimal dexterity.
Best For: Backcountry and resort skiing, snowshoeing, ice and alpine climbing, winter hiking and backpacking.

For bone-chilling days of skiing, climbing, snowshoeing, fitness walking, or other outdoor activities, few models match the deep warmth of the Phosphor Mitts. They kept my chronically cold digits warm on windy, frosty days of resort skiing, even when the temp started dropping fast toward sunset and other gloves weren’t warm enough. (They’ve become a favorite of my teenage son for skiing because he prefers the warmth of mittens.)

Stuffed with 650-fill power goose down, these mitts keep digits toasty in wind and temps from the low 20s to below zero Fahrenheit—they’re actually too warm for temps in the mid-20s or higher. The Gore Windstopper membrane and water-resistant and tough, synthetic suede palm shed snow and other forms of frozen water—and you don’t need waterproof mitts in the temps you’ll wear these. The polyester tricot lining feels soft enough and doesn’t cling to damp skin. The big pull loop on the gauntlet helps you easily yank them on, even when gripping it with the other mitt, and they clip together.

The fit is true to size—and while they come in men’s and women’s sizes, with bulky mitts like these, there’s little difference in fit between genders (because they don’t have fingers); women could use men’s mitts in their size. The downside of super warm mittens, of course, is very minimal dexterity.

BUY IT NOW You can support my work on this blog by clicking any of these links to purchase the men’s Outdoor Research Phosphor Mitts at,, or, or the women’s mitts at


Score a popular permit using my “10 Tips For Getting a Hard-to-Get National Park Backcountry Permit.”


The North Face Triclimate Etip Glove

The North Face Triclimate Etip Glove

The North Face Triclimate Etip Glove
$90, 9 oz. (medium)
Sizes: men’s XS-XL

Pros: Waterproof, warm, elasticized wristband on leash, touchscreen compatible, relatively affordable.
Cons: Slightly large fit may compromise touchscreen compatibility; some skiers will consider the wristband inconvenient.
Best For: Backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, ice and alpine climbing, winter hiking and backpacking.

On a full day of resort skiing in wind chills below zero, I was surprised that my hands never felt cold in these gloves—except once, when we stopped for a short break and cooled down. I wore them on multiple days of backcountry skiing with similar results, thanks to 200g of insulation on the backs of the hands and 100g in the palms. I also wore the fleece- and tricot-lined shell glove alone when I didn’t need the full system, such as when skinning uphill in relatively cold temps. The removable liner glove is made with a thin, light, wicking fabric for skinning uphill or touring in relatively warm temps.

The proprietary, waterproof-breathable Hyvent lining and extended gauntlet with a one-hand adjustment drawcord kept my hands dry when digging and working in a snow pit to evaluate avalanche hazard. Synthetic leather in the palms and undersides of the fingers provide good grip and durability, while nylon fabric throughout the rest of the shell repels moisture. The shell glove’s fingers are curved, keeping your hands in a natural position when resting.

Fit is slightly large: The liner glove fingers on the medium were slightly long for my fingers, which was only a problem when using a touchscreen, because the extra fingertip fabric would get in the way of swiping or tapping, rendering the gloves’ touchscreen compatibility inconsistent for me—although it works perfectly well. The shell glove has a wide, elasticized wrist band at the end of its leash, to guarantee you won’t lose the glove in extreme situations, like ice climbing or ski mountaineering, when dropping a glove could really mean losing it forever. But the wristband, which you have to slide over your hand whenever taking the gloves off or putting them on, is overkill for most skiers and somewhat inconvenient.

BUY IT NOW You can support my work on this blog by clicking this link to purchase The North Face Triclimate Etip Glove at


Dress and spend your money wisely. See my “10 Tips For a Smarter Layering System.”


Outdoor Research Luminary Sensor Gloves

Outdoor Research Luminary Sensor Gloves

Outdoor Research Luminary Sensor Gloves
$135, 8 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XL, women’s S-L

Pros: Warm, versatile, fully featured, excellent touchscreen compatibility.
Cons: Not the best choice for relatively mild temps or spring skiing.
Best For: Backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, ice and alpine climbing, winter hiking and backpacking.

In temperatures ranging from the single digits and sub-zero wind chills to around freezing, and skies from bluebird to snowing, these three-in-one system gloves became my go-to hand wear for backcountry skiing. My hands typically get cold during the first 30 minutes of skiing—even when I’m skinning uphill the entire time—but that didn’t happen in these gloves, which seem warmer than many in this category. That’s due to the combination of the removable, wool-blend inner glove, which delivers significant warmth, and the water-resistant Gore-Tex Windstopper soft-shell outer glove, which blocks the chilling effects of wind.

This system places its insulation in the liner rather than in the shell glove, which translates to a specific strategy for hand-temperature management: You wear the outer glove when you’re working hard (e.g., skinning uphill), and add the liner when you need more warmth, such as when digging a snow pit or skiing downhill. That means you still have wind and weather protection without making your hands sweaty, and it also makes this glove better for cold temps, or for people who get cold hands easily, than a system glove with a thin, removable liner (which is better for milder temps, like spring skiing)—although you could always supplement this system with inexpensive liner gloves for spring.

The Luminary also sports high-end features like water-resistant, tricot-bonded, goat leather palms for grip, plus leather overlays on the palm for added durability, and tricot lining in the shell glove. The touchscreen compatibility in the thumb and index finger works well even while wearing the full system (inner and outer glove). A one-hand drawcord closure on the extended gauntlet keeps out snow and it has a removable and adjustable leash. And I like the big nylon loop for pulling the glove on, and the loop on the shell glove’s middle finger for clipping them to a harness fingers-up (to keep snow out).

BUY IT NOW You can support my work on this blog by clicking either of these links to purchase the men’s or women’s Outdoor Research Luminary Sensor Gloves at or


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Outdoor Research Mt. Baker Modular Mitts

Outdoor Research Mt. Baker Modular Mitts

Outdoor Research Mt. Baker Modular Mitts
$145, 9.5 oz. (medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XL

Pros: Super warm and waterproof, two-piece system, glove dexterity with mitten warmth.
Cons: Too warm except in temps well below freezing, no women’s sizes.
Best For: Deep cold and expeditions.

Skiing in a wind chill around zero at times during a four-day, January trip to a backcountry yurt in Idaho’s Boise Mountains, my fingers—which get cold very easily—stayed toasty in this two-piece system of removable, insulated gloves inside a Gore-Tex shell mitten.

The warmth comes from 170g PrimaLoft One synthetic insulation in the glove insert, which has a soft, fleece lining. The Gore-Tex mitten shell kept moisture out and is made with the same 70-denier taslan ripstop polyester used in OR’s tough gaiters. Dexterity in the gloves is good enough to fuss with pack straps, boot buckles, and the like.

The mitts have smart details, like the one-hand gauntlet cinch on the shell mitten that’s manipulated easily with a gloved hand; adjustable straps at the wrist on both the mittens and gloves; and the carabiner loop on the mittens for clipping them to a harness or pack wrist-down, to prevent precipitation from getting inside them. AlpenGrip pads on the thumb and fingertips help you hold onto things. Note: With so much insulation, they’re made for temps in the teens and colder Fahrenheit. However, because the mittens have no insulation, they can double as three-season rain shells.

BUY IT NOW You can support my work on this blog by clicking any of these links to purchase the Outdoor Research Mt. Baker Modular Mitts at, or


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NOTE: I tested gear for Backpacker Magazine for 20 years. At The Big Outside, I review only what I consider the best outdoor gear and apparel. See categorized menus of all of my gear reviews at The Big Outside.


About The Author

Michael Lanza

A former field editor and primary gear reviewer for Backpacker Magazine, Michael Lanza created The Big Outside to share stories and images from his many backpacking, hiking, and other outdoor adventures, as well as expert tips and gear reviews to help readers plan and pull off their own great adventures.


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  1. Avatar

    Hey Michael, great review for outdoor activities. What I really need is a review of winter gloves for photographers. Any chance you could look into that?
    Keep up the great reviews.

    • MichaelALanza

      Hi John, thanks, and good suggestion. As someone who gets cold fingers easily, I find it challenging to shoot in cold temps, for sure, obviously in part because the camera itself gets very cold. But I would answer by saying that I still think a high priority when choosing gloves for winter photography is the temps you expect to encounter, the length of time you’ll be fully outside (i.e., not warming up in the car periodically), and the activity you will engage in to get your photos (skiing, hiking, etc.). Choose gloves for the circumstances, and then with an eye to the best dexterity you can find for the level of warmth you need.

      Of the models reviewed above, for photography, I would recommend the Outdoor Research Luminary Sensor Gloves, Black Diamond Legend Gloves, Seirus Soundtouch Xtreme All Weather Gloves, and Outdoor Research PL 400 Sensor Gloves—again, dependent on how much warmth you need, along with dexterity.

      Good luck. Nice to hear from you. Keep in touch.

  2. Avatar

    Mike, I just came upon your site, and am thrilled I did. Your tips and reviews are fantastic. Taking care of a farm in Michigan winters, x-country skiing, and walking dogs for miles each day makes for a cold winter without the right gear. It’s a battle to find outerwear that not only lasts more than a few months, but performs and keeps me warm. Your in-depth reviews are just what I needed.
    A heartfelt thank you from me!

    • Avatar

      Thanks, Phyllis, I appreciate that. I hope you share in this comments section any recommendations you have for favorite gloves or outerwear that work for you in your winters. Stay warm.

  3. Avatar

    Hi, Michael,

    Thank you very much for your review. I am wondering if you have any suggestions as to the best women’s glove for outdoor photography in extremely cold weather. I am looking for the warmest glove that will allow me the dexterity to operate a camera. My hands are FREEZING. and hurt even after I go back inside. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

    • MichaelALanza

      Hi Deborah, I’ve struggled with the same problem, because I’m frequently shooting in very cold temps. The simple truth is that thicker gloves are warmer and offer less dexterity. That said, and without knowing how warm a glove you need, I suggest you look at a few options.

      First, two of the under-the-cuff models come to mind. The OR PL 400 Sensor Glove gives the most warmth relative to its excellent dexterity; the question for you is whether they’re warm enough. Much warmer, though less dexterous, but possibly allowing you to manipulate camera controls, is the Black Diamond Legend Glove.

      Alternatively, you might try the OR Luminary Sensor Glove, because it would allow you to remove the shell and wear just the liner for maximum dexterity, and pull the shell on again when you need warmth while shooting. Ideally, you would try on each model with your camera to assess dexterity. And lastly, I would also consider getting the OR PL 400 Sensor Glove and some warm mittens to layer over them when needed, employing the same strategy as I suggested with the Luminary gloves.

      I think those are your best options, and only you can figure out which is best for your specific needs.

      You’ve probably tried using chemical hand warmers, inserting them into your gloves and/or jacket pockets to warm your hands when needed. My other trick is to bring two pairs of gloves: I keep one pair in the pockets of the jacket closest to my torso (ideally inside pockets), where my body heat keeps them warm. When my hands get cold in the gloves I’m wearing, I swap pairs. It’s one of my tips in my “12 Pro Tips For Staying Warm Outdoors in Winter” (

      Good luck. Let us know if you find some gloves that work really well for you. Thanks for the good question.

  4. Avatar

    I like to wear mittens, rather than gloves, when it’s really cold. I hope you will review mittens one day. Thanks! I love your site.

    • MichaelALanza

      Thanks for the suggestion, Jan, you’re not the first to ask me to review mittens. Stayed tuned for the next update of this review, I’m testing some mittens now.

      • Avatar

        Hi Mike,
        Joe and I are heading to Banff in March for some backcountry skiing. I find I wear a light glove while climbing. At the top I throw the sweaty gloves in my pack and switch to the warmest system I own for the descent. I’ve got old, cold fingers, too.

        I’m ready to buy the warmest system I can find. Is there general consensus that an insulated glove under a waterproof mitten-style shell works best for warmth? Should I give that OR Baker a try? I’m willing to sacrifice dexterity for warmth for the downhill.


        • MichaelALanza

          Hi Sue, I’m envious of your plans, especially given how bad this winter has been for skiing.

          I regularly wear the OR Luminary Sensor Gloves for backcountry skiing, taking off the shells and wearing only the inner gloves for the uphill. They keep my cold fingers pretty warm.

          But I’ll also tip you off that I’ve been using OR’s Phosphor Mitts this winter–they’re super warm (very little dexterity), actually too warm for me when skiing downhill in the 20s F. And I can layer a light liner under them for when it’s really cold; the OR PL 400 Sensor Gloves feel a little snug but work inside those mittens, so most lighter liners would layer inside them just fine. I plan to add the Phosphor Mittens to this review once I’ve tested them a little more. But I see that has a really good sale price on them right now (see

          I also stick my damp liners or any spare gloves in zippered pockets in my middle/insulation jacket layer, to keep them warm and help them dry out for when I put them back on.

          Hope that helps. Have a great trip.

          • Avatar

            Hi Mike! I got my new OR Phosphors today. Can’t wait to test drive them this weekend! Thanks for the help.

        • MichaelALanza

          Good choice, Sue. Let me know what you think of the OR Phosphors.

    • Avatar

      Doing any kind of work outdoors in the winter require good warm gloves. Many times you need good flexablity also. Your review on gloves will help anyone make a good choice. Great info, thanks.

  5. Avatar

    Mike – Fantastic and thorough article on gloves for Raynaud’s. It is a debilitating disorder if you don’t know the resources available to continue a full outdoor life. Well-written. THANK YOU!

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    Mike, you did an awesome job. Really enjoyed reading all of your reviews. Please keep up the good work. And wish you good health so you keep getting out there. Just reading thru your reviews brought back vivid memories of Yellowstone, Montana, Idaho and Canada. I enjoy hiking, horseback riding and backcountry skiing. I’m somewhat disabled now but still enjoying hiking. I own a Scottish highlander beef farm. Love winter months—so quiet, no bugs, and just downright beautiful. Thanks for helping me decide what’s the right glove. God bless man!

    • MichaelALanza

      Thanks for those nice words, Michele. I share your love for winter and hope to be out backcountry skiing soon myself. Good health and life to you as well.

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    Nice glove review. As a cold hands person, I have found that ragg wool gloves, with thinsulate and fleece liner, are the warmest option for dry, cold days (or light snow) in the single digits and teens (or anything below 25 degrees). Make sure the fit is not tight. I use them for running, hiking, snowshoeing.

    • MichaelALanza

      Thanks, Kim. Do you have any favorites?

      • Avatar

        Fox River, Woolrich, and Millet. I have all three (you can probably tell, I have very cold hands). Fox River used to make a sherpa-lined ragg wool glove. I still have an old pair, and they are excellent even to below zero. But they discontinued that model. All three mentioned brands have a ragg wool w/fleece lining glove and mitten models.

    • Michael Lanza

      Thanks, Kim. I’m going to check them out. I like getting good suggestions from readers. Much appreciated.


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Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside and former Northwest Editor at Backpacker magazine. Click my photo to learn more about me and my blog. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside now to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. And click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

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