What’s the first item of gear you think about when someone mentions hiking?
It’s most likely going to be boots, right?
And it’s very true that if you look after your feet, everything else will follow.
But that certainly doesn’t mean you should overlook other appendages – in particular – your hands.
Hiking in the great outdoors will be miserable if your digits are in any way uncomfortable – and protecting them is a vital part of enjoying the experience.
But choosing the right product for your needs can be a bit of a challenge – there are a lot of factors to consider.
So, I’ve put together this review and guide to the best hiking gloves of 2021 to assist you in making your choice.
An FAQ section will follow.
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- TOP 15 Best Hiking Gloves of 2021
- Skydeer Winter Gloves
- Freetoo Men’s Tactical Outdoor Gloves
- Ozero Women’s Touch Screen Gloves
- Trim Fit Life Ultimate Windproof Neoprene Gloves
- Palmyth UV Protection Fishing Fingerless Gloves
- Bruceriver Men’s Pure Wool Knitted Gloves
- Perfect Curve Gloves
- Mountain Made Outdoor Gloves
- Carhartt Men’s W.P. Waterproof Insulated Mittens
- The North Face Etip Gloves
- Burton Men’s Insulated Winter Profile Gloves
- Gordini Men’s Promo Gauntlet Gore-Tex Gloves
- Marmot Men’s Spring Gloves
- Black Diamond Mercury Cold Weather Mittens
- Black Diamond Soloist Cold Weather Gloves
- How to Choose the Best Hiking Gloves
TOP 15 Best Hiking Gloves of 2021
Skydeer Winter Gloves
Review: Made from genuine deerskin leather and warm polar fleece, 3M Thinsulate insulation, these stylish gloves are soft and flexible, keeping your hands warm while wicking away moisture to prevent those dreaded sweaty palms.
They will suit a variety of outdoor activities in all conditions. The double elasticated wrist and closure improve your comfort while keeping the elements out.
For the price – you can’t go wrong.
- Great value.
- Well constructed.
- Storage buckles.
- Not for use in really cold temperatures.
Freetoo Men’s Tactical Outdoor Gloves
Review: Another versatile glove, these military-style tactical gauntlets are super heavy-duty to protect you in any situation.
They’re made from odor-free, breathable materials (with ventilation holes built-in) and have reinforced palms and knuckles that resist wear and tear.
They provide excellent grip and could well be the best lightweight hiking gloves out there – but also ideal for hunting, fishing, camping, and many other outdoor activities and work.
- Solid build and protection.
- While great for the price – they won’t last that long with prolonged, extreme use.
Ozero Women’s Touch Screen Gloves
Review: Having the ability to use your smartphone or other fiddly devices while wearing gloves can be something of an issue.
With these screen-touch versions, that issue is eliminated. Keep your hands nice and snug on the go, while being weatherproof at the same time.
The silicone particles on the palm and inside fingers aid with grip, and the elasticated cuff provides a comfortable fit.
Up there with the best women’s gloves for winter hiking around – so long as it’s not THAT cold!
- Comfortable cotton interior.
- Thumb and forefinger pads.
- Versatile use.
- Again, not ideal in really cold temperatures if you’re not exerting yourself.
Trim Fit Life Ultimate Windproof Neoprene Gloves
Review: These windproof, breathable and water-resistant gloves also have the ability to tap away on your smartphone while wearing them.
Another versatile glove, they’re ideal for multiple uses in three season temperatures.
Lightweight and comfortable, the gloves have a velcro wrist strap, silicone palm grips and a wicking system to keep your hands cool.
These gloves are great for any number of activities or moderate indoor/outdoor work.
- Versatile use.
- Touchscreen friendly.
- The fit can be a bit on the snug side.
Palmyth UV Protection Fishing Fingerless Gloves
Review: It might say ‘fishing’ in the product title but really these are useful for plenty more outside or inside applications.
The lightweight, breathable material will keep you cool while protecting you from UV rays – making it an ideal hiking glove.
They’re a fingerless design should you need to be extra dexterous during your activities, and the wrist and fingertip pulls make them super-easy to get on or off which is a nice little touch.
- Certified SPF 50+.
- Finger and wrist pulls.
- Quick drying.
- For warmer weather only.
Bruceriver Men’s Pure Wool Knitted Gloves
Review: The outer shell is made from 100% quality wool, while inside is a mix of fleece and Thinsulate lining, ensuring these Bruceriver men’s gloves are super stylish while offering to keep your mitts warm and toasty.
They’re a classic, timeless design, so you’re fashionable as well as being practical.
There’s an over-knit cuff for added warmth at the wrist and for the size and price they’re surely up there with the best winter hiking gloves available.
- Stylish design.
- Warm and comfortable.
- Choice of colors and touchscreen options available.
- Won’t do well in or around a lot of water.
Perfect Curve Gloves
Review: A somewhat unusual and interesting design, these gloves are made from 100% waterproof neoprene, making them perfect for use if you’re hiking in bad weather or enjoying any water-based activity.
Lined with 2mm fleece, these gloves will keep you warm and dry whatever the conditions.
They have pre-curved fingers that natural contour to a hand’s resting position, making them very comfortable as well as practical.
- Seamless palm design.
- Integrated wrist strap.
- Blind stitched and glued.
- Not the best for dexterity.
Mountain Made Outdoor Gloves
Review: Recommended for 30 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer, these Mountain Made outdoor mitts aren’t the best gloves for cold weather hiking, but they offer a great deal over three seasons at least.
They’re ideal for use during multiple activities and are quick-drying with an anti-bacterial treatment to banish odors.
Offering touch screen technology and excellent grip, they also come with an integrated wrist zipper for added comfort.
- Versatile design.
- Good dexterity.
- No use in cold weather.
Carhartt Men’s W.P. Waterproof Insulated Mittens
Review: Carhartt are known for making quality, rugged outdoor work gear and apparel, so it’s really no surprise to find them with an entry here.
The first of our mittens in this review, these extremely popular gloves have a polyester shell with ultrasoft insulation that incorporates a high-performance wick lining.
Your hands will stay warm without ever getting sweaty. For the price, you could do a lot worse if you’re looking for the best gloves for winter hiking.
- Stylish and comfortable.
- Brow/nose wipe.
- Not the best grip.
The North Face Etip Gloves
Review: It was only a matter of time before The North Face followed suit and they need little introduction.
These fleece-lined, lightweight gloves are ideal for hiking in three-seasons.
They incorporate touch-screen technology for use with your devices, and are radiametric articulated to keep your hands comfortable in their natural, relaxed position. A silicone palm provides additional grip – just right for holding your hiking poles.
- Quality name and construction.
- Excellent articulation and dexterity.
- Not for cold weather.
Burton Men’s Insulated Winter Profile Gloves
Review: Known for making top-quality snowboarding gear, you’d imagine Burton to pull something awesome out of the bag for their entry.
And indeed they have, with this versatile, touch-screen, Dryride two-layer fabric glove.
It has Thermacore insulation, with a brushed, microfiber fixed lining, and while obviously targeted at those using the pistes, there’s no reason why these gloves can’t keep you warm on the hike, either.
Warm, quick-drying and weatherproof – these gloves will do the job all year round.
- Trusted winter-sports name.
- Ergonomic fit.
- Camouflage option available.
- Not the best in wet weather.
Gordini Men’s Promo Gauntlet Gore-Tex Gloves
Review: The only downside to Gore-Tex is that you really have to pay for it, but if you want guaranteed warm and dry hands though, you’re going to need to bite the bullet.
These Gordini gauntlet-style gloves are made from a waterproof, poly tex fabric – 100% polyester – with a breathable, windproof insert.
They have a real leather swath across the palm for added grip and durability, and offer an adjustable cuff and drawstring bottom for added protection at the wrist.
- Gore-Tex technology – need I say more?
- Might get a little sweaty in certain conditions.
Marmot Men’s Spring Gloves
Review: Specializing in outdoor clothing and gear, Marmot offer up these lightweight, multi-purpose gloves that are targeted for shoulder season use.
Ideal for a variety of outdoor activities, they are made from a waterproof but breathable membrane that will repel damp while reducing internal condensation.
Translated – water out not in. They have an articulated, stretch fit for a strong, comfortable grip and ease of use.
I’d say these were up there with the best gloves for backpacking on the market.
- Stylish, practical design.
- Versatile use.
- Nose wipe.
- Not useful in winter.
Black Diamond Mercury Cold Weather Mittens
Review: Specializing in climbing, skiing and mountain sports, Black Diamond are up there with the very best when it comes to outdoor gear and apparel.
But you’re going to pay for this kind of quality.
These cold-weather mitts are perfect for trekking any distance in freezing conditions and include a 100% waterproof shell and removable liner for wetter hikes.
Lightweight and abrasion-resistant, they will take a beating no matter what you throw at them. Buy these and choose your pair of the best winter hiking boots and you’ll be laughing in the face of the elements.
- Top-drawer construction and design.
- Very warm.
- Removable liner.
- Not the best breathability.
Black Diamond Soloist Cold Weather Gloves
Review: Drawing my review to a close is another Black Diamond product, which is effectively the fingers version of the mitten above.
It too has the waterproof shell and removable inner liner, with a pull-on closure and abrasion resistant 4-way stretch woven nylon construction.
Targeted at climbing in cold weather (providing excellent dexterity) this glove would also come into its own on any winter hike.
Probably one of the best winter hiking gloves out there – but you’d expect so for that price.
- Excellent quality.
- Name to trust.
- Super warm and dry.
- Good articulation and dexterity for a larger glove.
- Very pricey for a glove.
How to Choose the Best Hiking Gloves
Below you’ll find some top tips and advice on selecting the right kind of hiking glove for you and your needs.
An FAQ section will follow for some extra pointers.
First of all, you should determine when and where you’re going to be using such a garment – your choice of glove will depend on this a great deal.
What season are you going to be hiking in? Obviously, for warmer temps – you’re going to need something that’s a lot more lightweight than for wintery conditions.
And hiking when the mercury is sub-zero with little protection is the surest way to make your fingers drop off.
Put a little thought into where and when you’re going to need the gloves before you dive right in.
Material and Construction
Hiking gloves (or any gloves for that matter) are made from a variety of different materials. And they’ll all have their advantages and disadvantages.
You should be looking out for gloves with decent insulation if you’re out in colder weather. This is where synthetic materials will win out over natural ones – they’ll keep you warmer for longer.
The material and construction will also affect…
Are you likely to be fiddling around with one of the best backpacking stoves while you’re wearing your gloves?
Maybe you’re trying to set up one of the best cold weather tents with limited use of your fingers?
Either way, you should check those links out for some seriously quality camping essentials.
But I digress – before selecting your glove of choice, understand how much or how little you’re going to need to use your hands or your fingers when you’re out there.
This will basically help you decide between mittens, fingers or fingerless gloves.
With hiking, you can pretty much wear any of the above.
But what if you want to snap a picture…?
Or, tie your hiking boot laces?
Or, phone a loved one to say you’re lost?
Then you should take these things into consideration.
Are you going to need gloves that keep the water out 100%?
Gore-Tex gloves are the way to go – as the technology is guaranteed to keep you dry.
But there are other options that can still keep you dry in most conditions.
Just remember the terminology. Water-resistant and water repellent gloves will only keep water out for so long.
If you want to ensure bone-dry hands in any situation – you need to make sure the product is 100% waterproof.
But, unfortunately, the trade-off is usually…
Nobody likes getting sweaty palms.
In some cases, however, it is almost unavoidable.
Particularly if you’re wearing heavy-duty, waterproof gloves.
Most manufacturers claim they have installed wicking technology to help move moisture away from the hands, but there’s still a possibility they’ll get hot and bothered anyway.
Consider what is more important for you and your chosen activity. Warm and waterproof, or lightweight and airy?
But the very best gloves can still be a combination of all four.
Some gloves are going to last longer than others – again, depending on the materials and the quality of manufacture.
Also once again – you should be taking into consideration what you’re using the glove for to weigh up how durable you need it to be.
If you’re likely to be doing any serious climbing on your hike, you’ll need a glove that can stand up to the task.
And If you’re generally working with your hands often outdoors – make sure to look for a garment that won’t fall apart at the first challenge.
These days, probably the newest addition to hiking gloves is the ability to use touch-screen devices while wearing the garment.
We never had that problem years ago.
Nonetheless, the issue is with us now, and most manufacturers will incorporate the technology in at least the thumb and forefinger of the glove so you can still access your phone or tablet when required.
Of course, if this isn’t a concern for you for whatever reason (you’re desperate to drop off the grid) then, by all means, give this feature a hard pass.
I very nearly forgot this obvious consideration – you need to ensure that the glove you purchase actually fits you properly.
You could use an existing pair of gloves that fit well as a guide – check their size and then you’ll know what to look for.
Failing that, there are plenty of resources online for how to measure your hands properly – and most manufacturers will include a guide at the point of purchase.
To start you off, I’ve included a very short (but insightful) instructional video below.
As you can see in my review, the cost of hiking gloves can vary immensely.
It’s up to you how much you spend on the product – and I always say buy the best you can afford.
But once again consider what you’re going to be using it for – and how often you’re going to be using it – before you splash the big bucks.
What Defines a Hiking Glove?
Truth be told, there’s no such thing as a “hiking glove” per se. At least not one that is specific for hiking.
Almost all of these gloves can be used in a variety of situations and activities, be it camping, climbing, kayaking, skiing, snowboarding, fishing or many more.
But in that respect, they’re very much different from other types of gloves – such as dress gloves, gardening/work gloves, washing up gloves…
“Hiking” gloves should simply offer you protection from the elements – no matter what outside pastime you’re enjoying.
Why Should I Wear Hiking Gloves?
You don’t have to!
It’s entirely up to you.
But don’t come crying to me when you’re on top of a mountain and a blizzard hits and all you can do is shove your hands down your pants to try to keep warm.
Just like your feet, your hands need care and protection when venturing into the great outdoors – because you’re going to be miserable if they’re suffering.
And don’t overlook the damage UV rays can do either.
Even if you don’t end up needing them – prepare for any eventuality. You’ll be glad of their protection if they’re ever called upon.
What is Better for Hiking – Gloves or Mittens?
Like many FAQ answers – this comes down to a personal choice.
Mittens are likely to keep you warmer as your fingers are close together in a snug little wrap.
The downside is that you don’t have as much freedom and it can be a challenge to get anything done with your hands.
Gloves with fingers are obviously more suitable should you require more dexterity – such as building a fire, sending a text message or flipping the bird.
Personally, I’d always go with gloves unless I was skiing or snowboarding.
And even then – I’d probably go with gloves.
It’s entirely up to you.
Should Gloves be Tight or Loose?
While you don’t want to cut off the circulation to your fingers, gloves should have a nice, snug, comfortable fit.
You should be able to move freely without restriction. Check the video above on how to size your gloves for more information.
There’s little worse than having small hands in giant gloves and being utterly useless at everything as a result.
How Should I Wash My Hiking Gloves?
As with most garments, I’d refer to the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to knowing how to clean them.
But most hiking gloves should be machine washable to make life easier.
Some, however, might need a hand wash only.
Double check before you potentially ruin your new purchase.
Hopefully, after my ramblings, you will have been armed with some quality information and advice for finding the best hiking gloves for you. Maybe, they’re even one of the entries in my review.
Let me know all your glove-related thoughts in the comments below.
Stay protected out there – and happy hiking!
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