Best Glove Insulation for Skiing and Snowboarding Gloves

Published by Harry Sowers on

Best Insulations for Ski and Snowboard Gloves

You love that feeling when skiing: the downhill rush and adrenaline-induced maneuvers. However, the fun can be disturbed with uncomfortable equipment. Ski gloves, snowboarding gloves, and winter gloves, in general, need to have quality materials both on the inside and outside to keep your hands warm.

There are so many glove materials out there that they all seem to do the job. This is not true, as some do better than others. Some can retain heat, but not all can keep your hands dry. Finding the right glove for your next skiing or snowboarding adventure can prepare you even for the black diamond.

Types of Glove Insulation

The goal of insulation, with any construction, is to keep the interior protected from the outside elements. When it comes to skiing and snowboarding, your hands need to be guarded against snow, wind, and cold weather. There are several types of insulating fabrics to prevent cold hands. However, a key to keeping your hands warm is blocking away moisture. Some insulators can do this, and others are not water-resistant at all.

It is important to note that the insulating materials in gloves may not be the same as the materials on the outer shell. The goal of insulating material is to maintain warmth. The outer material should block moisture and protect the hands from invaders.

Fiber Pile

This type of ski glove insulation is a synthetic material that comes from lamb’s wool. It is usually more heavyweight. So, depending on the dexterity you want while skiing, this material may be better for winter gloves than skiing or snowboarding.

The Tillman 1450 Pile Lining Select Shoulder Split Cowhide Winter Gloves are a pair of gloves that have the pile lining plus a cowhide exterior to shield your hands from the rough winter elements.


Fleece insulated gloves have a lightweight feel that can keep your hands warmer than other materials. Since there are fewer fibers, this material is more flexible and more comfortable to move in. The downside, though, is that fleece is not waterproof. It can be hard for hands to stay warm when there is chilled moisture trapped in the insulating material.

Hestra Heli Ski Gloves

Hestra Heli Ski Gloves

These gloves have a waterproof outside and a fleece liner to maintain warmth. There are also removable liners that keep hands as dry and warm as possible.

The Columbia Men’s Bugaboo Interchange Gloves are another pair of fleece-lined gloves. With a removable fleece liner and waterproof protection, this pair of gloves has all the fixings for a fantastic skiing adventure. There is a shock cord, a detachable safety leash, and a heater pocket.


Cotton is a cheaper ski glove insulator that allows you to preserve your dexterity and ability to move. However, this is one of the least water-resistant materials out there. Expert skiers recommend that you skip cotton altogether because once it gets wet, it takes forever to dry. So, when you hit the black diamond, there is almost no time to wait for your gloves to dry.

Tillman 1578 Winter Glove

Many ski gloves skip the cotton altogether since it is not a practical material to sustain warmth. However, there are winter gloves that use cotton/foam liners as insulating fabric. The Tillman 1578 uses cotton interiors so that winter weather workers can defend themselves from the elements.


Wool, while not the best insulation for ski gloves, is still much more useful than cotton. It provides the warmth needed when roughing the winter weather and generally stays warm when wet. It does take longer to dry, though. Additionally, wool is a heavier material with more fibers. This means that there is less breathability, so they may not be the best option for people prone to sweaty hands.

Smartwool SmartLoft Glove

Smartwool SmartLoft Glove

Having a textured palm for better grip and a weather resistant exterior, these wool insulated ski gloves provide the warmth needed for hitting the slopes and daring the back diamond hill. They are also lightweight, which gives more dexterity and comfort.


PrimaLoft is a trademarked insulating fabric that is made from lofty synthetics. They are breathable, weather-resistant, and provide lots of warmth when wet. Although not the warmest material overall and compromise dexterity, it does an excellent job keeping you comfortable.

Spyder Prime Gore-Tex PrimaLoft Ski Gloves

Spyder Prime Gore-Tex PrimaLoft Ski Gloves

Containing a Gore-Tex insert that allows breathability and the PrimaLoft insulating fabric, these gloves keep you warm while withstanding the cold and damp elements. Plus, they are touchscreen compatible so that you can use your phone while taking a break from the slopes.

Gore-Tex is one of the most reliable types of waterproof insulating glove materials. Created in 1969, it is a trademarked fabric of W. L. Gore and Associates. This fabric provides warm and breathable protection from the liquid form of water. It does allow water vapor to pass through, allowing for more airflow and comfort.

This pair of ski gloves- Men’s Gore-Tex Patroller Glove- is another PrimaLoft and Gore-Tex partnership that creates a breathable and warm covering. The exterior is durable to protect against the elements and contains a goat leather palm.


G-Loft is another synthetic insulator that blocks out moisture and keeps your hands toasty and warm. This material can be found in gloves, coats, and any other winter weather equipment.

Hestra Army Leather Patrol

Hestra Army Leather Patrol

These goat leather gloves from Hestra Army use G-loft technology for ultimate warmth. Using leather on the outside and G-loft inside, you can have quick-drying fabric and warm hands all day.

Goose Down

Goose down is a natural insulator for ski gloves that usually provides more warmth than synthetic insulated gloves. They are, most likely, the warmest material for ski gloves so you can feel confident enough to tackle the black diamond. However, the fabric is not very breathable and can decrease flexibility.

Canada Goose Arctic Down Mitt

This pair of mittens comes with a warming goose down insulating fabric and a waterproof exterior. There are adjustments to block out the cold elements and a reinforced palm for a better grip.

Warmest Insulation for Ski Gloves

Considering all the different lining and padding options for ski gloves, you should pick a material that coincides with your planned activities and your comfort. Therefore, if you are looking for the warmest ski glove insulation, then the most effective pick for you would be goose down.

Goose down may not be the most effective insulating fabric, but it does an excellent job maintaining heat while rushing down even the steepest hills on the black diamond.

For skiing, you need gloves that can keep your hands warm and block out moisture when hitting high speeds while snow and water are thrown at you. So, the best ski gloves would be any form of lofting synthetic. These artificial fabrics contain waterproof ski glove insulation to block out moisture and insulate warmth. PrimaLoft and G-loft are some of the most popular fabrics for the best ski gloves.

Warmest Insulation for Snowboarding Gloves

Snowboarding is much more extreme than skiing. There are more risks with jumps, maneuvers, and tricks. Therefore, you are more likely to wipe out and get some snow in your gloves. Regardless, the warmest snowboarding glove insulation is, again, goose down. It provides some of the heaviest protection against the cold. However, it cannot act as waterproof snowboarding glove insulation. Best if you pick something more weather resistant.

The best insulation for snowboard gloves would be those that contain waterproof glove insulation. For this, the most effective material would be any synthetic fabric. These block out all that you hate- wet gloves- and sustain all that you want- warmth. Plus, when you do fall, you do not have to worry about moisture finding its way inside the glove.

Best Winter Glove Insulation

When searching for the ideal winter glove, again, it is helpful to find one with moisture blocking materials that also trap heat. The winter gloves that you want also depend on the desired level of dexterity and how breathable you want them to be. There are plenty of fabrics that focus on heat and others that focus on functionality.

The warmest material for winter gloves is wool or goose down. Both have lots of fibers, so they stay heavy and warm. Both generally trap heat when wet, as well, but they take a while to dry. Overall, they do a good job of trapping heat.

The best insulation for winter gloves, overall, is a synthetic material. These fabrics are so effective because they combine all the finest qualities of natural fabrics into one. They block moisture, retain heat, and dry quickly. Plus, they sustain flexibility for when you need to move your hands.

Overall, across skiing, snowboarding, and winter weather in general, synthetic fabrics are the most effective insulating materials. Therefore, when you need to go out and shovel, carve it up on the slopes, or hit the black diamond, you can rely on artificial lofting synthetic to insulates your gloves and keep you nice and toasty. Plus, they generally cost less than natural materials like wool and cotton. 

Categories: SkiSnowboard


Harry Sowers

Harry grew up outside of Denver Colorado and has been skiing and snowboarding since he was 3. He is most passionate about skiing and when he was in college at UC Boulder he even participated in the olympic trials for the USA Olympic Downhill Ski team.