No one wants cold hands, least of all kids who might not be hardened up to the winter cold like adults. Everything is new when your first learning to ski and it can be an exciting yet daunting challenge for many children.
Being cold can exasperate the feeling of nervousness or make a child more reserved and less likely to have fun. We all want out little ones from toddlers to young teenagers to enjoy their first few days learning to ski – so warm hands go a long way to making them more comfortable and more eager to learn.
|Burton Youth Gore-Tex||Best Overall||Check Price|
|Burton Youth Vent||Best Budget||Check Price|
|Hestra Heli Ski Mitts||Best Mitt||Check Price|
|Columbia Youth Whirlibird||Best Budget Mitt||Check Price|
Key areas to look for in ski or snowboard gloves?
Synthetic vs Down 🐦
Down is very warm and light, but when it gets wet it takes much longer to dry, which makes it not very practical for snowing days out on the slopes. It’s also not the most ethical choice.
Synthetic insulation keeps some warmth even when it’s wet and does dry much faster – because it absorbs less moisture overall. Expect a bit more weight but it’s the better choice for gloves or mittens specifically for skiing or snowboarding.
Often overlooked by many looking for new gloves. Breathability is actually really important for staying warm and for a glove that is comfortable all season. Breathability means the fabric is able to wick away internal moisture and dry much faster. This keeps your hand’s dryer and warmer for longer. 2-way membranes like Gore-Tet are very breathable and make the glove comfortable in very cold and warm weather skiing.
Warmth comes from thick insulation and a fully waterproof shell. Look for gloves that keep out water, dry quickly and conserve heat. Insulation like Thinsulate is renowned for locking in body heat – but can be too sweaty in warmer weather.
Not all gloves are equal and although some gloves look waterproof they may, in fact, be only water resistant. These gloves will be fine on sunny days with little snow contact, but if you take a few tumbles in the snow or it starts to rain your gloves will get soaked through and you’ll get very cold hands and fingers.
For skiing and snowboarding, only choose gloves that are fully waterproof and can stay dry internally even after hours of snow contact.
Look for a glove with wrist straps so you can tie them together when not in use and also wrap around your wrist so that they can fall by your child’s side when they take them off on the chairlift. This will help prevent one glove from getting lost (more tips on preventing glove loss at the bottom of this article).
Best Overall Kids Ski Glove
1. Burton Youth Gore-Tex Gloves
- ✅ Fully waterproof & windproof
- ✅ Very warm and durable
- ✅ Breathable Gore-Tex membrane
❌ Only come in one color; black.
Shell: 2-layer synthetic fabric + Gore-Tex
Insulation: Thermacore + brushed microfibre
Size range: XS-XL (age 3-13)
This is an excellent choice of glove. It’s a really good mix of warmth, breathability, and price. It has a fully waterproof 2 layer shell with a Gore-Tex membrane which has tiny holes that let out water vapor but block all rain and snow.
Unlike many cheap gloves, this won’t leave your kids with sweaty or cold hands because it allows sweat to be wicked away – which is just as important as preventing moisture from leaking in.
Best Budget Kids Ski Glove
2. Burton Youth Vent Gloves
- ✅ Fully waterproof & windproof
- ✅ Touch-friendly fingertips
- ✅ Warm insulation
- ❌ Takes a bit longer to dry
- These Burtons gloves are my top pick for the best budget ski glove. These gloves are great value for money and delivery warm waterproof protection for chilly days.
Although these gloves take a bit longer to dry they come with an extra feature – touchscreen fingertips – not found on the more expensive Burton Youth gloves. This means your kid can take photos and use their phone without having to take their gloves off and exposing skin.
The gloves come in black, pink, stripe, camo and grey to suit your child’s slopestyle.
Best Kids Mitten
3. Hestra Gloves 30561 Jr. Heli Ski Mitt
- ✅ Windproof, waterproof
- ✅ Breathable & very durable
- ✅ Carabiner wrist straps
❌ Not budget-friendly
Shell: goat leather + polyester
Insulation: Thermacore + brushed microfibre
Size range: S-XL
These are top of the range mitts (glove option available) that will keep your kids hands warm all day in very cold weather. They have fiberfill insulation to trap warmth and a goatskin palm for excellent grip, waterproof and durability.
The goatskin requires some seasonal maintenance to stay fully waterproof but will last many seasons on and off the slopes from skiing to hiking.
Mittens can be worn by skiers and snowboarders alike – I wrote this if you’re interested in a full rundown of the pros and cons of mittens vs gloves.
They have a large gauntlet that will go over your child’s ski jacket for extra protection, more warmth and will stop any snow from getting in if your child takes a tumble.
Unlike the Burtons, they come in black, pink, grey, blue and red colors to suit girls and boys. They also have wrist fasteners for a snug fit and carabiner straps so you can tie the gloves together so they’re less likely of being lost.
Best Kids Budget Mitten
4. Columbia Youth Whirlibird Mittens
- ✅ Warm
- ✅ Waterproof
- ✅ Soft nose wipe
❌ Limited size range
Shell: Nylon & polyester weave
Insulation: 150g polyester insulation
Size range: M-L
These gloves are a great mix of warmth and price. They use Columbia’s Omni-Tech bladder which has a waterproof shell and allows some breathability for moisture from sweat to escape.
The palm is durable but has a soft finish which is non-abrasive and soft for nose wipes. Great for snowboarding or skiing.
They come in 5 color options, blue, red, purple, black and pink.
Is there a difference between ski and snowboard gloves?
Some snowboard specific gloves have knuckle protection and reinforced palms to protect snowboarders from falls and more contact with the snow (snowboards tend to spend more time in the snow and attending to their bindings).
You can quite comfortably use ski or snowboard specific gloves for either sport and most gloves are designed for both skiing or snowboarding. Generally skiers prefer gloves while snowboarders prefer mittens, but likewise, both mittens and gloves can be used in either sport.
Mittens tend to be slightly warmer because your fingers share body heat while gloves are easier to grip and maneuver. I recently wrote about gloves vs mittens if you want a more in-depth breakdown.
How not to lose your child’s ski gloves
So you’ve trawled over the reviews and finally picked up the right glove in the right size and right color and your child’s happy and warm. Now here are some top tips to not lose them on the mountain.
#1. Write your child’s name
You can use a sharpie to write your kid name + telephone number on the label. So there is a better chance of finding them at lost property or being reunited with them if you leave them somewhere. It’s more than likely that other nearby kids have the same style of gloves.
#2. Tie gloves together
Most gloves or mittens have straps that can be tied together so its harder to lose one glove. Otherwise, you can buy a carabiner – a small climbing clip. This allows you to fasten the straps together and clip into a backpack or other items for safekeeping. For toddlers or younger kids, you can use a one-piece clip.
#3. Use cuff loops
Many gloves come with cuff loops which you can wrap around your child’s wrist before putting the glove on. That way when they take them off they can use their hands and have the gloves hand by their side. Especially useful when on ski lifts, reaching into a backpack or grabbing in a snack.
How to keep your child’s hands warm
Quality gloves are the first step in keeping your kid’s hands warm while skiing. But there are a few extra things you can do to make them extra toasty and comfortable all day – especially on those frosty early mornings or evenings.
#1. Keep your kid’s core warm 🌡
The extremities, hands, and feet are the first parts of the body to suffer when the core temperature lowers. That’s because the body preserves heat in the most important organs. Keeping a warm core is vital and can do so by:
- Drinking hot drinks throughout the day (top tips: bring a thermal flask).
- Warming up inside at lunchtime.
- Putting gear and gloves on inside.
- Always wear dry gloves, socks, and base layers.
#2. Eat citrus fruit 🍊
I know it sounds crazy, but eating or drinking citrus (orange juice) actually improves blood flow to the extremities (source). Pack an orange or some juice in your backpack and see if it makes a difference.
#3. Make sure wrist cuffs aren’t too tight
Wrist cuffs are great for a snug fit and for blocking out frigid air, but too tight and they may be cutting off some blood circulation to the hands. Undo the velcro and aim for a moderately tight rather than a really tight fit.
#4. Wear glove liners
These are lightweight gloves that you wear under your main gloves and add an extra layer of insulation and are great for covering exposed skin when you take off your main gloves to do something. They provide more dexterity, can be touchscreen friendly while keeping you warmer. Be aware that your main gloves need a little bit more room to fit glove liners and in some cases wearing liners that are too thick can stretch your main gloves.
In warm weather or spring skiing, you can even wear glove liners on their own so you’re fingers don’t get sweaty. Always carry your main gloves in your backpack or pocket so you have the extra protection if bad weather rolls in or the wind chill picks up.
P.S I wrote a whole guide to keeping hands warm: 11 Incredible Ways to Warm Hands While Skiing