Gear Guy

Q:

What are the best spring gloves?

I need a pair of gloves for springtime hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, and maybe even some late-season ice climbing. What do you recommend?

What are the best spring gloves?
REI One Gloves (Courtesy of REI)
A:

Good question. Finding a pair of gloves that will work well across different activities can be a hassle. But I’ve found a handful of gloves (so to speak) that can be used for basically anything.

My do-anything gloves for spring are REI's One Gloves ($36). They're made from a softshell polyester fabric that resists wind and water and offers decent warmth. I wear these cycling in March and April in the Pacific Northwest, and they're good in temps down to the upper 30s. For higher-intensity activities like hiking or cross-country skiing, you can wear them comfortably to freezing. Leather palms offer a bit of extra durability and grip.

Manzella Silkweight Gloves
Manzella Silkweight Windstopper Gloves (Courtesy of Manzella)

Another great option is Manzella's Silkweight Windstopper glove ($35). I was initially skeptical that these would be warm enough—the material looks ultra-lightweight—but Manzella made them with Gore Windstopper, and when hiking or climbing, my hands have stayed comfortable into the upper 20s. For a little extra warmth, they work well layered over a pair of silk glove liners. My only gripe is durability, as they seem to wear through after two years of use.

Outdoor Research Gripper Gloves
Outdoor Research Gripper Gloves (Courtesy of Outdoor Research)

And don't forget Outdoor Research's Gripper Gloves ($49), which are made from Gore Windstopper fleece, a warmer fabric than the material used in the Manzellas. The Grippers come with a synthetic fabric on the palms that makes them ideal for swinging an ice axe (or a wood axe), or poling on skis. They're one of the finest all-purpose gloves I've tested.

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