The Best Gloves of 2016
Better mitts equal happier hands
It's simple: better mitts equal happier hands. The engineering and tech that went into these six warmers—which deliver on warmth, breathability, and fit—is not.
Hestra Narvik Wool Terry
Like most of the leather gloves here, the Narvik is made from goatskin, but unlike some of them, it’s tanned with plant tannins. Like Flylow, Hestra utilizes a wax coating rather than laminating its fabrics. It’s a touch less breathable but still adequately water resistant, provided it’s waxed periodically. The removable wool liner is exceptionally fast drying.
Seirus HeatTouch Torche
Seirus upgrades the typical battery-heated glove, adding a poly-fleece liner that slips into a leather-and-soft-shell outer with a heat reflective layer. Choose from three settings: warm, medium, and toasty (the last seriously diminishes battery life). Unlike most heated gloves, the Torche works well when switched off, even without the liner.
Eddie Bauer First Ascent Guide Trigger
Mittens are notorious for compromising dexterity, but the pointer finger and notched leather at your knuckles make it easy to grasp ski poles while letting your index finger freelance. Like the Extravert, this one is built with goatskin palms and a nylon shell but also includes a blanket of PrimaLoft batting.
Flylow Gear Blaster
Other than the cuff, this is completely leather. Between all that hide and the fluted lines along the outsides of the fingers, you’ve got a glove that wants to wrap around a ski pole like an anaconda around a hog. Credit the warmth to Prima-Loft Gold insulation and the waterproofing to triple-oven-baked leather and a coat of beeswax.
Outdoor Research Extravert
The perfect choice for skin up, ski down mornings. The nylon on the outside of the hand breathes extremely well, while the wool lining wicks away moisture. Goat leather in the palms is durable yet oh so supple. Easy-to-snug Velcro cuffs cozily swaddle the wrists, and the handy nylon loop makes slipping them on a snap.
The Lithic eschews leather in the palm for polyurethane patches laminated to Gore-Tex. And while our friends at Arc’teryx may be vegan, they say they do it to improve waterproofness. Leather, they insist, absorbs moisture no matter how diligently you apply a DWR treatment. Add seam-taped Gore-Tex and you’ve got the driest hands on the hill.