Let’s face it, nothing dampens a walk through a winter wonderland like a pair of frozen mitts—aside from being painful, cold hands are useless when it comes to climbing, setting up camp, and, oh yeah, checking your Pocket Ranger® app. Outdoor living means outdoor dressing, which also means those hand-knit mittens from your Aunt Boo won’t quite cut it when it comes time to scale that snow-covered mountain, and feel the alpine air blasting away at your poor mortal skin. Even with Valentine’s Day coming up, we don’t recommend hand-holding as a remedy for frosty fingers, but instead we’ve rounded up some tried and tested hand helpers that will not only keep your digits toasty while hailing a cab or waiting in line for the newest Apple product, but also stand up against the wicked winds of the wild, and whatever chilly challenges come your way.
One of the most affordable and functional models offered by outdoor big timers, Marmot, this Caldera Glove offers a waterproof outer shell and a cozy thermal insulation to keep active hands warm and dry. The Caldera also includes a soft nose wipe fabric for those mountain top booger emergencies, as well as handy safety leashes so gloves stay put even when not in use. Available at Marmot.com, $65.
You don’t have to ditch dexterity just to keep your phalanges from freezing over. These form-fitting, nylon blend gloves allow fingers to grip while keeping them safe from the elements in even the coldest, wettest conditions. Available at Amazon.com, $34.99.
Winter’s harsh chill doesn’t stop at the wrist, so neither should your gloves. These durable nylon gloves have extra long, cinching wrists to keep the cold air from creeping up your sleeve while you’re on the trail or slopes. Available at Moosejaw.com, $49.
Horseback riding is amongst the most popular activities found at state and national parks, and thanks to these extreme weather gloves, you can get your gallop on year round. Lined with trust Thinsulate® and Polar fleece insulation, these form-fitting riding gloves will keep you hands safe and dry on and off the trails. Available at SmartPakEquine.com, $34.95.
For the ski slopes to the snowy trail and every chilly place in between, there’s this pair of waterproof, pliable winter gloves from the outdoor outfitters we trust, L.L. Bean. These easy-grip gloves allow for maximum dexterity, whether you are grabbing a ski pole, walking stick or companion’s hand. Available at LLBean.com, $89.00.
We know what you’re thinking, but these aren’t your childhood mittens. Insulated with Primaloft and lined with super soft micro fleece, these tough mitts are two shakes of a lamb’s ear away from being little ovens for your fingers. One of the warmest of its kind out on the market, the Troller Mitt is ideal for snow sports and other winter activities where your primary goal is not to freeze your poor pinkies off. Available at Amazon.com, $30.45.
We’d put our lives in the hands of L.L. Bean as much as we’d put our hands in the hands of L.L. Bean, which is why these Gore-Tex-lined gloves made the final cut. Durable, yet lightweight, these do-it-all gloves come complete with a strong holding bungee at the gauntlet to seal out snow and moisture to ensure complete comfort when participating in the outdoor activities you love most. Available at LLBean.com, $49.95.
Keeping the cold out is a cinch with these durable winter sports gloves from REI. Easy gripping, waterproof, and well-insulated, these gloves are the perfect pair for skiers, hikers and mountaineers alike. Available at REI.com, $44.93.
Not only are these gloves waterproof, insulated, and available in an ultra chic white-grey colorway, but the glove’s Etip is designed with Smartphone users in mind. No need to slip off your gloves and risk frostbite just to find the nearest restroom or trailhead on your Pocket Ranger® map. The Etip allows you to smoothly and comfortably using your touch-screen devices without removing your gloves. Available at TheNorthFace.com, $85.
If you can’t bear to part with the coziness of warm woolen mittens, but you know darn right your digits will fall off if you don’t give your homemade handwarmers an upgrade, than these are the pair for you. These tight-knit, “sweater” gloves are sleek, soft, and dare we say stylish. Ideal for those who don’t want to sacrifice style or comfort, the Better Sweater™ Gloves are all you want and more. Available in three colors from Patagonia.com, $39.