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Last updated: March 11, 2021
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Ice climbing is a fun, adventurous sport. It is a great way to get outside in the winter and experience the beauty of nature. Ice climbing is dangerous, though, which is why all experts will stress the importance of being prepared. One of the most essential parts of ice climbing are ice climbing gloves. Without quality gloves, you can lose your grip, have your fingers become numb and even worse.
To help you find the best ice climbing gloves, we have put together this article that highlights the five best pairs. Each product review will tell you about the materials used, the sizes available, the color they come in, and if they are heated or not. Knowing this information and having it all in one handy spot will make your next purchase of ice climbing gloves that much easier.
In this article, we have provided you with a quick comparison table that introduces the five pairs of climbing gloves. Then, each product is detailed so that you understand all of their features, pros, and cons. Finally, there is a buying guide where more information is given about the product features and answers some common questions you still might have. Together, we aim to provide you with all the information that you need so that you can find a pair of ice climbing gloves that will allow you to continue this adventurous sport, fully enjoy it, and be safe while doing so.
For those that regularly brave the cold winters, a sturdy pair of gloves is a must. The Black Diamond Punisher Cold Weather Gloves are perfect for ice climbing on the weekends and shoveling snow on the weekdays. They are our Editor’s Choice because of their construction, fit, and price.
The outer material is a mixture of nylon and spandex which makes them both durable and highly waterproof. Around the knuckles are EVA padding shields. This helps to protect the back of your hand from ice shattering or just any hard knocks.
The palm sides of the gloves are made with 100% goat skin which gives an extremely flexible feel to them. Users rave about how they can hold on to objects and retain their dexterity, all while being protected from the elements. You can tie knots, belay on a cliff, and not have to worry about your safety. They are truly some of the best gloves for ice climbing.
You can choose from either black or brown colors with the Black Diamond Punisher Cold Weather Gloves. They also come in a variety of sizes, from XS to XXL. This is good as the fit can be a bit tight, so you may need to buy a size up. There is a handy sizing guide, so be sure to measure your hand for the right fit before purchasing. Otherwise, you may have to go through the hassle of returning.
Sometimes insulated gloves just aren’t enough for you. Sometimes, you need the extra power of heated gloves. Savior Heated Gloves are perfect for ice climbing because not only are they flexible, but they can be manually heated so that you never lose feeling in your fingers.
The external layer of the Savior Heated Gloves is made from polyester while the palm part is made from leather. This allows your hand to better mold to whatever object you need to hold, including climbing gear or a pickaxe. These are truly some of the best cold weather ice climbing gloves.
Inside the gloves is an extensive heating system. The small battery pack allows you to select from three settings and it only takes 30 seconds for you to be able to feel the heat. The heat is distributed in your gloves around the back of the hand, and over your fingers and thumb. Your blood circulation will remain strong so you never have to worry about a numb feeling. The packs themselves last for two to six hours. One downside is that you will have to purchase extra batteries to keep these gloves working. This can be costly if you plan to wear them a lot.
One last feature of the Savior Heated Gloves that you’ll want to take advantage of is the fact that it comes in many different sizes. From X-small to XXX-large, there is a size for everyone.
The Verabella Thinsulate Lined Touchscreen Snow Ski Gloves are our Budget Choice, but in addition to their affordable price, you’ll also want to consider them for their amazing extra features.
Built for the cold, the Verabella Thinsulate Lined Touchscreen Snow Ski Gloves are waterproof and won’t let rain, wind, or snow in. The cuffs are belted and offer an extra layer of protection against both moisture and cold.
As for the palm areas, they are made from fabric which allows you to use a cell phone touchscreen. This is excellent news for anyone who doesn’t want to miss the latest text or tweet. Inside the gloves, there is a Thinsulate core which provides enhanced protection against the cold. You can wear these gloves all winter long and keep staying warm whatever you do.
Other features of the Verabella Thinsulate Lined Touchscreen Snow Ski Gloves include zippered pockets. They are just large enough to hold your keys or some cash, so you don’t have to be bogged down by a cumbersome bag if you don’t want to.
The Verabella Thinsulate Lined Touchscreen Snow Ski Gloves only come in four sizes, from Small to X-Large. However, they do come in a wide variety of colors. From moss green to burnt orange, these gloves will fit any styles.
With all that these gloves have to offer, the only drawback is that your hands can become a bit sweaty inside of them. Sometimes, they seem to work a little too well at keeping you warm.
Outdoor Research is one of the best brands out there for ice climbing and outdoor adventure gloves. The Outdoor Research Men’s Revolution Gloves have a nylon outside layer which makes them waterproof. The palm surface is made from supple goat leather, which means increased flexibility. You can bend your fingers, have a sturdy grip, and keep your hands protected with these gloves.
There are many extra features with the Outdoor Research Men’s Revolution Gloves that really set them apart. There are small yet significant details, such as the fact that the thumb has a soft spot so that you can, for example, gently wipe your nose with the area. There is also a removable leash and a clip so you won’t have to worry about losing the gloves. To help you put them on, there is a pull on loop. As for keeping the cold air out, there is a ladder lock wrist cinch so that you’ll never have to suffer from a cold breeze traveling down the back of your hand.
The wrist area is made with a FlexAction articulation so you can remain flexible at all times. This is primarily for cold weather sports such as ice climbing and should not be overlooked.
While there are just basic sizes to choose from with the Outdoor Research Men’s Revolution Gloves, they do come in three color choices. You can select black, cobalt blue, or midnight blue.
What we liked:
Small details such as soft thumb area are convenient
Palm area is made from goat skin which makes them flexible
Wrist cinch keeps cold air from coming into gloves
The Glacier Glove Perfect Curve Gloves may look a little strange at first, but they are perfectly adequate no-frills ice climbing glove. These gloves are made from neoprene which makes them 100% waterproof. You never have to worry about cold, damp fingers. So, whether you’re ice climbing, shoveling snow, or working in the pouring rain, the Glacier Glove Perfect Curve Gloves will keep your hands protected.
Inside the gloves, there is a two-millimeter layer of fleece which is a wonderfully soft feeling to have your fingers immersed in. Not only is the fleece silky smooth, it is also an extra layer of warmth and protection from the cold.
Some gloves are not structured enough, or conversely, are too floppy. The Glacier Glove Perfect Curve Gloves come with pre-curved fingers. While the picture may seem a bit awkward, this curved design allows you to be able to move your fingers better once they are inside the gloves.
Buyers of the Glacier Glove Perfect Curve Gloves have used them for all manner of activities, and all have rave reviews about their efficiency. One user wore them on an epic motorcycle journey. Another used them cold water kiteboarding. Really, the fields of use are endless.
The only downside to these gloves is with regards to the neoprene layer. While neoprene is waterproof and a fantastic insulator, it can be damaged quite easily. If there is a small hole or puncture, then the material can start to rip. You will need to be careful with the Glacier Glove Perfect Curve Gloves so that no rips occur.
What we liked:
Great for an assortment of cold weather activities
Neoprene layer is 100% waterproof
What could be better:
Neoprene can be damaged and lead to rips
Things to Consider
There is a lot of vital information to know about ice climbing gloves. If you are new to this adventure sport, or just need a refresher, here are the features to consider in your next purchase, as well as some information on other equipment you might need, and an FAQ section all in order to make your shopping experience a breeze.
Other ice climbing gear essentials
Along with gloves, there are other essentials that you will need for your next ice climbing trek. A helmet is essential, just in case you suffer from a fall. It might seem a bit cumbersome, but your head is highly valuable and needs to be protected. Connected to your shoes will be crampons. These fit around a boot and have spikes on them to allow you to dig into the ice, ensuring a good grip. A pickaxe is also essential ice climbing gear. You will need it to help maneuver your way up an icy cliff.
As for getting up to higher levels, a climbing harness, belay and rappel devices, and of course carabiners, will all need to be used. A good system will allow you to climb to dazzling heights, all in a safe manner.
Lastly, don’t forget a durable backpack. You will need food, water, and emergency supplies. Pack tracking equipment and always leave a detailed plan of where and when you are going. This way if something does happen, Search and Rescue will be able to help.
Features to consider while choosing ice climbing gloves
There are many features to consider for your next pair of ice climbing gloves. Here are the most essential ones.
When looking at the materials used for ice climbing gloves, there are two parts of the glove to consider: the outer and the inner. The outer layer needs to be waterproof and will use synthetic material, such as nylon or polyester. The outer layer, by the palm, may be a slight variation as this area will need to be more flexible for your climbing needs. Some gloves will use goat leather as it is supple and can better move with your hands.
Inside the gloves, look for material that will keep your hands warm and cozy. Fleece is a really nice option and well-insulated. There might even be a more natural option in the form of sheepskin.
Whether you go with heated ice climbing gloves or not will probably be a matter of preference. If you have naturally bad circulation in your hands and always seem to be cold, then heated gloves are a great option. If you’re worried about having a natural feeling while you climb, then regular gloves may be the better option. Of the items on our list, only the Savior Heated Gloves are heated ice climbing gloves.
Color may not be at the top of your list when it comes to ice climbing glove features, but it is still worth considering. It seems like almost all gloves come in a variation of a black color. Some may have color accents, but you will be hard pressed to find exotic, neon color options. In our list, the Verabella Thinsulate Lined Touchscreen Snow Ski Gloves offer the broadest range of available colors.
Some ice climbing gloves are basic while others have extra features. An inner lining that can be tucked into your jacket while the outer layer goes over it adds more waterproof areas and more heat and comfort. Buckles or clips in your gloves can allow you to keep them together and avoid the dreaded hunt for the one lost glove. Mini pockets are also nice as they are a great place to store chapstick or an extra carabiner clip and gives you easy access.
It’s vital that your ice climbing gloves are waterproof. Most waterproof gloves will use nylon, which is a synthetic fiber. It can come in a variety of colors and thicknesses and is made to be durable and waterproof. Sometimes leather is also used. Leather is more often described as water-resistant rather than waterproof. Goat leather is often found in gloves, especially in the inner palm area, as it is more flexible than some synthetic materials.
Heated gloves work with tiny wires and a battery. Basically, the battery can be turned on and off. When it is turned on, it creates an electrical current that is then passed throughout tiny wires that are woven into the glove. The wires heat up, and that heat is transferred to your hands. Most heated gloves will also allow you to adjust the setting. You can turn the battery setting higher or lower, which will affect the temperature of the wires.
All of the ice climbing gloves on our list can be used in freezing temperatures. Most are able to be used in temperatures as cold as -20 Fahrenheit. Remember, though, that how you wear them is important. If you can remove any opportunity from cold air to enter the glove, that will keep your fingers more protected. Adjust the wraps and Velcro tapes tightly in order to do so.
The products that we have chosen to review are all dependable ice climbing gloves. One pair that really stands out from the others is the Black Diamond Punisher Cold Weather Gloves. The outer shell is extremely durable, and the goatskin palm allows for amazing dexterity. These are gloves that will help you climb new heights.
If you’re looking for extra warmth, then be sure to check out the Savior Heated Gloves. They are heated gloves and are made to withstand the harshest of weather conditions. Your fingers will truly thank you.
Finally, if you want practical ice climbing gloves that come in under budget, then go with the Verabella Thinsulate Lined Touchscreen Snow Ski Gloves. They aren’t super fancy, but they still have a lot of unique features. The fingertips of the gloves allow you to touch the screen of a phone and there is even a small pocket on the back of each glove. Hopefully, the search for the best ice climbing gloves is over.