Hiking can be a joy- or misery. It all depends on your gear and attitude.
If you plan on hiking in freezing temperatures, for instance, it’s essential to keep your hands covered and protected from the elements by using the best hiking gloves.
No one likes frozen fingers, and depending on the environment, the cold could get downright dangerous for your skin.
Fortunately, by choosing the right pair of hiking gloves, you can keep your hands toasty, so you can tick off the trails miles and stay happy, too.
To help you stay warm and dry while out on the trail, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide of the best hiking gloves to help you know exactly what to consider when purchasing the best hiking gloves for your outdoor needs.
Quick Comparison Table & Our Pick!
This as you would expect from us is an EPIC post so grab a coffee before you start and see how we cut through every product and review it with precision. IF YOU ARE SHORT ON TIME and just need to know the results of our reviews , CHECK THE RESULTS TABLE BELOW!
Deerskin Leather Suede
Fleece liner fabric
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Top 5 Hiking Gloves in The Market for The Money
SKYDEER Winter Gloves - Editor’s Choice
Hiking in the winter is challenging, but equally rewarding experience. In most cases, you'll be dealing with extreme temperatures, so you need a pair that you can count on, and one such pair is the SKYDEER Winter Gloves.
The SKYDEER Winter Gloves are appropriately named, considering the palm of this pair is made from carefully selected deerskin leather.
This pair of glove comes across as a warm, comfortable, and stylish pair of glove.
Features and Benefits
Like any winter glove, SKYDEER Winter Glove is a multi-layered option that will provide you with the warmth you need while hiking the treacherous mountains.
For starters, the palm is constructed from premium deerskin suede that is tough and durable, too.
With a sturdy leather palm, you won't have an issue grabbing onto your hiking stick or any other object without compromising your safety.
Better yet, the leather construction feels supple, and though it won’t allow you to perform tasks that require fine-motor skills, it’s dexterous enough for the general tasks.
The outer soft-shell, on the other hand, is designed from polar fleece, a windproof material that protects you from wind bouts. And though I've not ridden a bike with them, I'd say the windproof material would make this option ideal for outdoor activities such as cross-country skiing or cycling.
The best part with the polar fleece is that it’s an extremely skin-friendly material, and so, you don’t have to worry about possible rashes or any other skin problems.
3 M Thinsulate materials, which are essentially insulation cotton, help in maintaining the warmth within the gloves.
Generally, the glove feels thick, yet less bulky, and it will help to keep your fingers and hands toasty all through.
That said, these gloves, as I had mentioned, aren’t bulky compared to most of the winter gloves.
While they’re a bit thicker than neoprene gloves, they’re not ideal for the extreme winter hiking; otherwise, you might get exposed to frostbite.
Generally, this pair of gloves is ideal for general winter around 0 F. Nonetheless, they're a great option for the regular winter activities.
Quick Dry Element
In relation to what we've mentioned above, the interior lining features a quick-dry element, which works as hard as you do to keeping your hands sweat-free at all times.
Away from the moisture-wicking ability, I love how the lining has been sewn in, and so, I don't have to worry with the lining pulling out when I take them off, especially when I get sweaty.
Ease of Use
To promote the ease of use, these gloves come with a double shirred elastic wrist that keeps the glove in place, and more importantly, preventing the entry of debris, dirt, and the chilly wind.
Protection against the elements is further bolstered by the presence of an extended fleece cuff. And though not as effective as the gauntlet-style hiking gloves, it still goes a long way to extend the protection above your arms.
- Windproof durable
- Not waterproof
Outdoor Research Versaliner Gloves - Best Overall
The Skydeer might have been an incredible option for the winter hiking, but what it lacks is the waterproofing element.
With the Outdoor Research, however, you get a highly functional and waterproof pair of glove that will allow you to tackle the slopes while keeping your hands toasty.
Features and Benefits
I consider the Versaliner as my best overall glove because of its practical hiking design and durability for long-term outdoor use.
The practicality of this model is largely contributed by the 100% nylon construction.
Now, while nylon is not as tough as leather, these synthetic material is lightweight, durable, and breathable too.
Better yet, they’re quick at drying, and if you’re in the wood and maybe get them soaked, it’s easier to dry them by the fire, something that can’t be achieved with the leather gloves.
The outer nylon shell acts as a barrier against the entry of water and will prevent your glove from getting soaked.
Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed that the seams aren’t sealed, and so, they feel pretty useless in the rain.
I would bet they’re ideal for the chilly conditions, and would rather not use them for rain-hiking or even during precipitation.
The interior is lined with fleece insulating material to keep your hands and fingers warm during winter hikes.
Though I prefer GoreTEx for insulation, these fleece lining is good for the cold weather and will help at keeping your hand warm throughout.
Better yet, the insulation feels light, and when you combine this with the flexible shell, you get an extremely dexterous pair that won’t limit what you can do.
Sporting a removable ristop fabric shell, Outdoor Research is quite flexible as it gives you the option to layer for temperature control.
With this option, it’s easier to personalize your warmth depending on the environmental conditions for the ultimate comfort.
The grip element on the Outdoor Research is offered by an anti-slip silicone palm print that will allow you to have a firm and slip-free grip of objects, regardless of the existing outdoor weather conditions.
Outdoor Research comes with plenty of convenience features that help to promote the overall ease of use.
For instance, the small storage pocket at the back of the globe lets you put some heat packs inside to keep your hands even warmer.
Another convenience element is the tapered wrist that keeps the wind, snow, and other elements from getting blow up inside the glove.
- Not waterproof enough
SmartWool Liner Gloves - Best for Sensitive Skins
Protection is always a top priority when investing in a pair of hiking gloves, but that should not come at the expense of your safety.
In particular, if you’ve sensitive hands, you would want to invest in gloves that breathe well, one that offers a snug fit, and at the same time protecting from bumps and scrapes.
One such glove is the Smart Wool Liner glove.
Sure, it might not be the most heavy-duty pair we’ve come across, but it has all the properties to keep your fingers and hands warm, while at the same time providing a safety cover.
Features and Benefits
The material construction of the Smart Wool is predominantly from Merino wool, though it has incorporated a blend of other synthetic fibers such as nylon, acrylic, and elastane.
Nonetheless, I’ve to admit that the construction doesn’t feel solid, especially compared to materials such as leather and nylon.
With these gloves, it's far too easy to get pricked or injured during your hiking as they're not heavy-duty enough, and so, I wouldn't advise using them for the treacherous environments.
However, for the lightweight and moderate hiking conditions, they’ve everything it takes to keep you protected.
Contrary to the hiking gloves we've listed above, this pair isn't multi-layered; instead, the interior lining, or rather the insulation, is an extension of the outer shell.
That said, I find the merino wool quite functional, and though it doesn’t offer the warmth I would’ve preferred, it works well in the moderately cold and warm temperatures.
So, yes, this pair would also be an ideal option for hiking during the warm summers or even autumn.
Away from the warmth provision, another element I like about the merino wool is that it’s less likely to irritate your skin that other natural fibers would do.
The fabric feels comfortable and won’t irritate even the sensitive skins.
The breathability on this pair of glove is simply on another level.
The fabrics promote the free flow of air in between your hands and the outside, and so, you’ll be less worried about getting soaked in your sweat.
Further, the Smartwool fabric has moisture-wicking properties, and it resists odors, so you'll always be treated to a comfy experience, free from chaffing.
Now, if you need to pick a call or reply to a text, you don't have to go through the inconveniences of removing gloves.
This is because Smart Wool is touch compatible on both the thumb and the index finger, and will let you operate your smartphone while blocking out the cold temperatures.
- Ideal for sensitive skins
- Touch-screen compatible
- Not heavy duty
Outdoor Research Sun Gloves - Best for Sun Protection
Hiking is not always about taking your experiences to the winter or moisture-laden conditions. Sometimes, we all love to get some exposure to the sun, especially during summer.
Now, if you need to spend some serious time on the warm, dry, and sunbaked environments, you might need to invest a glove that will allow your fingers and hands to tolerate the heat.
That said, nothing can make your summer hiking even better than having an Outdoor Research Sun Glove with you.
As its name suggests, this glove is specifically designed for the warm smelting conditions.
Features and Benefits
Sun Gloves are primarily made from polyester, a material that has incredible waterproofing and breathability.
While it's not as tough as leather, it's durable and will provide your hands with the protection they need during your hike.
The material is similarly lightweight, and it's easier for you to wear them during your hike as they virtually add nothing to the backpack.
Unfortunately, however, these gloves are fingerless, and so, your fingers are not going to be protected from the elements.
But here's the thing, the Sun Gloves are not designed for safety. Instead, they're primarily designed to protect you against the sunlight, a feature we shall look at shortly below.
50+ UV Protection
Why your hands need protection from the sun isn’t something that you would want to find out the hard way.
With the Sun Glove, however, you benefit from 50+ UV protection, a feature that does an incredible job of keeping your hands cool.
For a summer glove, you don’t need insulation from cold.
Instead, you need a material that will cool your hands, and with the Sun Glove, you get xylitol crystals cooling elements that will help to get rid of the heat and warmth from your hands.
This is not to mention that the glove is highly breathable, and it works well by wicking moisture away from your skin.
The polyester fabric is fitted with anti-slip print on the palm area, and this gives the users a nice and grippy feel.
- UPF 50+ sun protection
- Cooling elements
- Not durable enough
Bruceriver Pure - Most versatile
These high-quality gloves brought to you by Bruceriver will make a great addition to your hiking trip.
They'll keep your hands feeling warm and comfortable, too, regardless of the conditions you find yourself in.
Features and Benefits
Bruceriver Pure is constructed from 100% wool, one of the warmest natural materials.
While wool is a bit lower on the pecking order of toughness and strength, I find the construction on the Bruceriver Pure durable and tough, too.
Better yet, these woolen gloves aren’t bulky either, and so, they’re easy to fit on my hands, which eventually give me a great hand motion.
Like a majority of the hiking gloves, this pair is a multi-layered option, and under the hood of the woolen shell, we’ve 40 g of Thinsulate insulation.
The insulation offered by the cotton composite will provide the much-needed protection during the cold weather.
These glove options will ensure your hands stay warm throughout the entire hike.
Touch Screen Capability
Bruceriver Pure is available in two series: Basic and Touchscreen.
The latter model will save you from the inconveniences o removing your gloves to operate your smartphones.
As its name suggests, it has touchscreen capability and will let you pick calls or even return texts and emails without removing your gloves.
I know styles shouldn’t always be a priority when choosing a hiking glove, but I’ve to admit I was tempted to.
These gloves are classy and aesthetically appealing, too; they're available in a variety of styles and colors, and so, you'll have an easy time selecting a pair that complements your style.
- Great hand protection
- Touchscreen capability
- Not waterproof
Best Hiking Gloves Buying Guide
It’s easy to think that all our listed gloves are similar, but there’re distinct features that separate each pair from the other.
These distinct features are probably what will make one glove suitable for one individual and not the other.
To make your hiking glove selection much easier, we’ve compiled a list of the crucial features that you should always consider when making a glove purchase.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Hiking Glove
Warmth is a rather obvious factor.
In most cases, the warmth of a hiking glove is normally determined by the material and material thickness. But it is not always.
That said, if you’re looking for the warmth element, the first thing to check is the material, more specifically the insulation layer.
Typically, materials with multi-layers of thick material are warmer than the uni-layered gloves.
On that note, warmer isn’t always better, and it all boils down to your hiking needs.
For instance, if you’re going for a multi-day summer hiking trip, having thick glove with you will make the conditions too warm, which can be both frustrating and annoying.
Hiking is tedious, and in a typical hike, your gloves might go through a lot.
And so, when selecting the best glove for hiking, pick a rugged model and one that provides enough resistance against abrasion.
Once again, like warmth, always check on the material construction, and, more importantly, the overall build, specifically the stitching.
While finding a waterproof glove might seem too obvious, but there're still plenty of non-waterproof gloves in the market.
Generally, if you’re in search of a winter glove, or rain-hiking glove, you need to get a pair that won’t allow entry of water into your hands.
It should have a waterproof barrier that prevents access of moisture into your fingers.
In relation to what we’ve mentioned above, you similarly need a breathable glove.
While the waterproof materials will prevent the entry of water, most of them will equally prevent the escape of sweat from your hands.
Now, if you sweat a lot, you’re likely to get soaked in your sweat, and your fingers are likely to get clammy.
To prevent this, your choice of the glove should have the breathability element, allowing the free flow of air in between your hands and outside.
Better yet, the interiors lining should have moisture-wicking abilities that will allow it to get rid of the sweat and any moisture in your gloves.
Numerous aspects contribute to the overall comfort, but the most notable one is the interior lining.
Typically, most of the comfortable glove has a plush interior lining that is soft to the touch and one that will keep you cozy.
Another major comfort element is fit. When purchasing a hiking glove, you must pick a model that runs true to size, and one that will not wear you down even after extended use.
Convenience can be quite different for every hiker.
But if, for instance, you prefer using your phone when hiking, you might consider a touchscreen-enabled pair.
The best hiking gloves are those that cater to your needs at best.
Safety, hygiene, and protection take precedence over all other factors.
Whatever model you choose, it’s always crucial to go with the models designed from reliable materials.
You also need to ensure that your preferred glove option promotes maximum comfort and protection.
Needless to say, when planning to go for a hike, it’s always crucial that you choose your gear with care.
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