12 Best Backpacking Gloves

backpacking gloves

If you have ever been into cold regions without a good pair of gloves for hiking with you, you must have realized the importance of good hiking gloves to keep your hands warm. Stiff-fingers, frostbite are just some of the long list of dangers of not having suitable winter hiking gloves on a trek.

We are going to review the following best backing gloves:

  1. Mountain Made Outdoor Gloves for Men & WomenOpens in a new tab.
  2. Outdoor Research Ultralight Ditty SacksOpens in a new tab.
  3. FREETOO Men Tactical GlovesOpens in a new tab.
  4. TrailHeads Running GlovesOpens in a new tab.
  5. Gordini Men’s Gore Gauntlet Glove
  6. Smartwool Merino Wool Liner GloveOpens in a new tab.
  7. Black Diamond Mercury Mitts Cold Weather MittensOpens in a new tab.
  8. The North Face Men’s Etip Hardface Gloves (Large, Asphalt Grey Heather Print)
  9. Outdoor Research Men’s Versaliner
  10. The North Face Men’s TKA 100 Glacier Glove
  11. Seirus Innovation 1425 Men’s Original
  12. Columbia Men’s Fast Trek Fleece Glove

Before a detailed review, let me share some important details that you need to pay attention to when buying a backing gloves pair.

How To Choose The Best Backpacking Gloves

Here are some of the features which the gloves would need to have, for the best hiking experience.


While hiking your hands are of the utmost importance as they establish your grip on the trail. However, wearing gloves would lead to building up moisture in your hands. If this moisture is not properly released into the atmosphere, your skin could suffer, leading to your hands not working very effectively.


Getting the perfect fit is a crucial part of finding your ideal glove. In the event that you have a tight glove, the blood circulation in your hands would be affected.

Grabbing a pair of gloves that are too loose would risk your hands not having proper insulation from the cold weather. This could easily cause frostbite.


This is the outside covering of the glove. The material for this coverage may vary with the type of glove. A glove designed for hiking in cold weather conditions would have proper insulation and waterproof shell to keep the gloves warm, it would be windproof and waterproof as well.

A glove designed for function in moderate temperature would be lighter.


If you have ever spent a long trip hiking with wet gloves, then you would know the importance of gloves with a waterproof shell. This could potentially be the only thing between you and frostbite. Water freezes up quickly and pulls out the heat from your body.

Wet gloves could also reduce your grip on your trekking poles which can lead to accidents. So you need to have those necessary features which make your glove waterproof.


Needless to say, without proper insulation, your finger would lose a lot of heat in winter hiking. As opposed to natural materials, gloves made with synthetic materials are known to provide much more insulation and weather protection during winter hiking.

Cold fingers would mean lesser strength in your hands. This could bring down your efficiency. The best winter hiking gloves are very well insulated for weather protection.


Warmth is something that should not be compromised. Different materials and different styles of gloves aim to keep your hands warm during hiking.

Some gloves have longer cuffs which would provide more protection from the cold. Well, insulated gloved would be able to give you the most amount of warmth.


Some gloves come with added features that would be designed to help the user while trekking such as pockets. These are strategically designed feature would be an added advantage and extra-protection.

These features could include wrist clips, palm grips, and pockets which would give them the upper hand compared to the average glove.


The toughness of a glove is integral for it to be the ideal glove, A glove that would get torn from branches or shrubs would need constant replacement and thus couldn’t be a trusted companion during your trek.

If the gloves are not tough and durable, they could leave you with your finger cold in freezing conditions.

A durable glove might be something that could save your life on a trek.

Review of the 12 Best Backpacking Gloves


1. Mountain Made Outdoor Gloves for Men & WomenOpens in a new tab.

Mountain Made Outdoor Gloves for Men & Women, Black, X-Large
  • Zipper fabric: 88% polyester, 6% spandex and 6% PVC rubber
  • Absorbent and quick drying comfort lining, multi-directional stretch for...

Mountain Made Outdoor Gloves are made out of synthetic fabric. They are one of the best gloves available on market. This glove is lightweight, which makes it ideal for backpacking. The material used in this type of glove is moisture absorbing which means it would keep the moisture away from your body. The multi-directional stretchable fabric means it will fit nicely over your hand, maximizing not only grip but comfort.  The antimicrobial properties help the glove to avoid catching odor. This would be useful on a long trek.

Mountain Made is a stylish pair of gloves designed for the harshest outdoor conditions. These gloves offer absorbent and quick-drying with multi-directional stretch for a perfect fit. They are also designed rugged for everyday use. The gloves are light in weight, very warm and breathable to provide adequate ventilation, and also to keep you warm and dry in all weather conditions. You can also use your touchscreen mobile device with this pair of gloves on.

This fabric, however, is not waterproof, which could be set-back on a trail.  The glove is lightweight and breathable.


  • Lightweight hiking gloves
  • Best quality gloves
  • Breathable
  • Has stretchable fabric
  • Does not catch odor easily
  • Moisture-wicking fabric


  • It is not waterproof
  • Does not have proper insulation
  • May shrink in warmer conditions.
  • Relatively less durable

2. Outdoor Research Ultralight Ditty SackOpens in a new tab.

Outdoor Research Men's Alti Mitts
  • Fabric Performance: Waterproof, Breathable, Windproof, Wicking, Fully...

These pair of gloves are designed to keep you warm in the roof of the world. Outdoor Research Ultralight Ditty Sacks are made from gore tex fabric. This glove is not only lightweight and warm, but it is also fully seam-taped to maximize insulation. The fabric used in this glove allows it to be waterproof, which is ideal for cold treks. Furthermore, it is breathable for your hand and also windproof which would protect your hand from getting frostbite, making it one of the best backpacking glove. These gloves are one of the best hiking gloves.

It features a moonlight pile fleece liner palm, which is extremely useful in keeping your hand warm at heights such as 8000m. The wicking fabric would keep unnecessary moisture away from your hand. Feature-rich construction makes the gloves of choice for your most extreme adventures. These best quality gloves are designed to let you survive comfortably in the Artic; to keep your hands warm and protected from elements. Construction with goretex fabric makes it a great choice for users.

Each pair is made of high-quality material to enhance durability. Not only is the material durable but also waterproof and breathable. This means, you can use it in the rain or snowy regions and it lets out perspiration when you sweat. When you are walking in warm weather, you can remove the liners to make the gloves lighter.

Outdoor Research features best quality stitching for durability, leather palms to increase grip, and Tough-Tek tabs to ensure they do not slip off. Overall, this is a good pair of gloves if you are looking for warmth, comfort, and protection; they are rugged and durable to withstand elements.


  • Lightweight
  • Has good insulation
  • Moisture-wicking fabric
  • Windproof
  • Breathable
  • Durable
  • Gore tex fabric


  • The thumbs are not insulated as good as the fingers; however, insulation on the thumb is still decent. 

3. FREETOO Men Tactical GlovesOpens in a new tab.

FREETOO Tactical Gloves for Men Military Gloves with Knuckle...
  • PERFECT PROTECTION: Reinforced palm and double stitching for heavy duty,...
  • SUPERIOR GRIP: Dual-layer synthetic leather palm featured by anti-skid...

This tough pair of gloves is perfect for tactical activities. The material used is 20% nylon-mesh. It features a dual-layer synthetic palm. This glove is designed to protect your hand from physical obstacles that might be in your trail, making it perfect for trails which include a hefty amount of bushes, shrubs, and branches.

It has PVC knuckles that are padded from the inside to give your knuckles exceptional protection. The reinforced palm and double stitching would prevent your hands from any abrasions or cuts. This can help you avoid life-threatening infections.

The leather palm helps to establish a firm grip. These gloves are breathable and do not catch an odor easily. It has adjustable wrist Velcro which you can later adjust to your liking.

These gloves are best suited to hot weather or mild winter seasons.


  • Waterproof
  • It has breathable vents
  • Tough and durable
  • PVC knuckles for extra protection
  • Anti-skidding fabric
  • Adjustable Velcro wrists.


  • These are not suited to freezing temperatures.

4. TrailHeads Running GlovesOpens in a new tab.

TrailHeads Elements Running Gloves,Black/Grey,small
  • LIGHTWEIGHT FABRIC - Our blend of nylon / polyester / spandex has...
  • TOUCHSCREEN GLOVES - Conductive fabric on thumb and forefinger enables use...

The TrailHeads Gloves are designed to keep your hands warm in temperatures as low as 30F. These gloves are made using a blend of polyester/spandex and nylon. This allows it to have many useful properties.

It is moisture-wicking; thus, it will absorb moisture from your hand and spread it in the fabric resulting in quick evaporation of the moisture. Furthermore, it can be used on touchscreens, so you won’t have to take your gloves off to use your smartphone. It has decent insulation; however, it does not overheat as it has mesh insets that provide ventilation and help in regulating the body temperature.

The TrailHeads Gloves have mesh insets that help regulate body temperature and provide ventilation so you won’t have to worry about the annoyance of finishing a run carrying your gloves. They are great for those chilly early morning or evening workouts and are ideal for between seasons when the temperatures fluctuate so much.


  • Fabric is light in weight
  • Very cheap gloves with great quality.
  • Breathable
  • Moisture-wicking fabric
  • Can be used on touch screens.
  • 4-way stretch


  • It is not waterproof
  • Not effective in freezing temperatures

5. Gordini Men’s Gore Gauntlet Glove

Gordini Men's Gore Gauntlet Glove, Black, X-Large
  • Durable polyester shell with mini-ripstop trim; textured palm and thumb for...
  • Waterproof, windproof, and breathable Gore-Tex insert

Gordini Men’s Gore Gauntlet Glove is a fantastic companion when trekking in freezing conditions. It has impressive insulation due to its Megaloft Synthetic fabric used which makes it an ideal glove for winter hiking. It is made from 100% polyester. This glove is not only waterproof but also windproof giving you exceptional protection from the cold and harsh windy climate.

This glove is breathable as it has Gore-Tex inserts. The textured palm and finger enhance the grip, reducing slip accidents. It also has a moisture-wicking lining to keep your skin healthy and fresh. It features a gauntlet cuff with draw-cord closure and wrist strap, this means you could tuck it into your clothes for extra insulation.

It also has a durable polyester shell with mini-ripstop trim for extra toughness. These are one of the best gloves for hiking, available on market right now.


  • Able to withstand freezing temperature
  • Has exceptional insulation
  • Waterproof
  • Windproof
  • Breathable
  • It provides a firm grip
  • Extended cuffs and adjustable as well
  • Gore-tex inserts


  • Does not have the ability to function on touchscreens

6. Smartwool Merino Wool Liner GloveOpens in a new tab.

Smartwool Liner Glove Black MD
  • Keep phalanges from freezing over by slipping into the cozy Smartwool®...
  • Lightweight knit allows for easy movement.

Protection is always a top priority when investing in a pair of hiking gloves, but that should not come at the expense of your safety. Smartwool’s gloves are a decent match for you on your next trek on snowy climates. This is made of 45% Merino Wool and 45% acrylic and 9% nylon. This glove has a warm lining of merino wool to keep your hand from getting cold during your trek.

The soft-brushed merino wool against will not only keep your hand warm, but it will also provide you with a comfortable feel while wearing these gloves. The windproof overlay would prevent any wastage of body heat, keeping your hand warm. The gloves are touchscreen compatible, this does not compromise on your hand’s protection.

The material construction of the Smart Wool liner glove is predominantly from Merino wool, though it has incorporated a blend of other synthetic fibers such as nylon, acrylic, and elastane. Contrary to the other hiking gloves, this pair isn’t multi-layered; instead, the interior lining, or rather the insulation, is an extension of the outer shell.

The breath-ability on this pair of glove is simply on another level. The fabrics promote the free flow of air in between your hands and the outside, and so, you’ll be less worried about getting soaked in your sweat. Moreover, the Smartwool fabric has moisture-wicking properties, and it resists odors, so you’ll always be treated to a comfy experience, free from chaffing.

However, this glove is not waterproof, which could be a problem during a trek in the brutal winter, and could lead to frostbite. We recommend layering a waterproof glove above it for safety.


  • Warm hiking gloves
  • Lightweight
  • Windproof
  • Touchscreen compatible
  • Versatile, stylish and lightweight knit for ease of movement.
  • Great for shoulder season running


  • Does not provide an extra grip which might lead your hands to slip on the trekking poles
  • These are not waterproof
  • Not heavy duty 

7. Black Diamond Mercury Mitts Cold Weather MittensOpens in a new tab.

Black Diamond Equipment - Mercury Mitts - X-Large
  • 100% waterproof Dry insert stays with removable liner
  • Lightweight, abrasion-resistant, Pretext Shield shell with 4-way stretch

The Black Diamond Mercury Mitts are one of the best pairs of gloves for the cold weather. These provide exceptional insulation. They maximize your hand’s protection by combining the lightweight nature of the fabric with the abrasion-resistant, Protex shield design of the shell.

The Black Diamond Mercury Mitts are also water-resistant, so your hand is safe from frostbite as much as possible. You can use it in warmer conditions as well but with a different liner. This pair can withstand temperatures as low as -20 F to keep your hands warm. They are indeed one of the best gloves for the winter.

The build quality of The Black Diamond Mercury Mitts gloves places them on top of the competition. They are one of the best gloves available on our review list. It has a separate index finger and thumb to enhance its functionality. At very cold temperatures, these gloves will give you warmth.

However, as this is a mitten, it would compromise your dexterity on the trek, which could be a disadvantage.


  • Water-resistant
  • Provides exceptional insulation
  • Abrasion-resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with a removable liner


  • Compromises dexterity
  • Not touch screen compatible

8. The North Face Men’s Etip Hardface Gloves (Large, Asphalt Grey Heather Print

The North Face Men’s Etip Hardface gloves are wind-blocking, stretch fleece gloves with touch screen compatibility. Etip functionality works easily with touchscreen devices. It provides smooth-face stretch fleece and reduces wear and piling. Radiometric articulation keeps hands in their natural relaxed position and silicone gripper palm provides a superior grip to these hiking gloves.

The North Face Men’s Etip Hardface gloves are designed to block the wind and allow you to use your touchscreen mobile device while on them. Its 5-dimensional Fit ensures that they fit all hand sizes perfectly. Basically, this pair of gloves will keep you warm and comfortable. Even when on the trail, it becomes increasingly inconvenient to have to remove your gloves every time you need to use your smart device.

Overall, this pair of gloves is designed sturdy to provide dexterity and durability. However, it did not stand up to very cold weather making them only ideal in less harsh conditions. Their great fit and the fact that you can use your touchscreen device with them on is an added advantage.


  • Wind resistant
  • Fleece gloves
  • Touchscreen compatible
  • Silicone gripper palm
  • 5 Dimensional Fit
  • Highly durable


  • Some customers complain about the shorter size of these gloves and not in accordance with their size chart.
  • They are less effective in very cold conditions

9. Outdoor Research Men’s Versaliner

Outdoor Research Men's Versaliner, Black, 2.8 Oz
  • Fabric performance: Highly water-resistant, durable, breathable,...
  • Design Features: Anti-Slip Silicone Palm Print, Heat Pack Pocket / Shell...

These Black, 2.8 Oz Men’s Versaliner Gloves are made up of 100% Nylon. They have a pull on closure system. Can be easily washed in a machine. Its synthetic fabric is highly Water-Resistant, durable, breathable, lightweight, wicking as well as quick drying. These are one of the most versatile and best hiking gloves you will find on the market.

It has a 100-weight Radiant Fleece liner fabric with a smooth face and brushed back. The 2.5 layer 40D Pertex Shield DS stretch ripstop fabric is ideal for hiking. The fit is accurate according to the sizing on their charts. these glove liners and shells are both windproof and waterproof although they are only advertised as water-resistant. These are the perfect addition to your collection of gloves.

Rain covers can also be used for an extra layer of warmth and protection from winds and weather. Or can be used alone without inner liners to keep your hands dry in warm but wet conditions. The drawback is that the waterproof shell is not seam sealed.


  • Comes with rain covers.
  • Built-in pocket for rain covers.
  • Pockets big enough to accommodate hand warmers
  • Loops at the bottom to pull the gloves on.
  • Lightweight
  • Best quality provided
  • Stretchy fabric
  • Water-resistant
  • Accurate fit according to their size charts.


  • Low-quality stitching according to some customers.
  • The glove itself is not waterproof.
  • Waterproof shells are not seam sealed.
  • Not touch screen friendly.

10. The North Face Men’s TKA 100 Glacier Glove

The North Face Men's TKA 100 Glacier Glove - TNF Black - L
  • Extremely durable, pill-resistant fleece
  • Lightweight warmth

The North Face Men’s TKA 100 Glacier Gloves are extremely durable and pill-resistant. Made up of light-weight fleece fabric. They can provide adequate warmth for cold weather above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

It also has a Split kangaroo hand pocket. Chin zip guard Elastic binding on hood, cuffs, and hem make them one of the best hiking gloves. The North Face Men’s TKA 100 Glacier Glove is a thin fleece glove for protecting your hands in cool weather. The chill can wreak havoc on your skin and when you need your fingers to open the next backpacker’s meal, these softies will help warm ’em up.

Backpack, day hike, head to the store for some groceries in cool conditions but they are not waterproof or water resistant. They’re a handy pair to have. 5 Dimensional Fit ensures consistent sizing. Radiometric Articulation keeps hands in their natural relaxed position with fully flat-locked palm for comfort.


  • Well Insulated
  • Comfortable and well-fitted.
  • Lightweight fleece fabric for easy movement
  • Hand pocket
  • Best material used in the construction.
  • Excellent for fall weather.
  • Ideal for driving due to their flexibility.


  • Not warm enough for extended periods outside in cold weather below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Susceptible to moisture.
  • Not touch screen friendly.
  • Not waterproof.

11. Seirus Innovation 1425 Men’s Original

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Seirus Innovation 1425 Men’s Original gloves are one of the best gloves available on market. They are breathable, waterproof, and windproof. It has a weather shield membrane that is sandwiched between the outer shell and fleece lining for warmth. The outer nylon layer is tough and flexible to allow complete dexterity; the fleece inner face is soft and warm against your skin.

Seirus Innovation 1425 Men’s Original gloves offer some of the best features which include Reinforced Kev-Tech palm, thumb and forefinger provide abrasion resistance and excellent grip. Knit cuffs help keep heat in and cold out. These versatile gloves provide a non-bulky, weatherproof shield to your hands.

Seirus Innovation 1425 Men’s Original gloves are constructed from 100% Polyester. According to the manufacturer, they provide the highest warmth per weight ratio for insulating materials resulting in the warmest most versatile lightweight glove that is soft to the touch yet provides maximum dexterity.


  • Maximum dexterity provided
  • Comfortable and durable
  • A safe and secure grip is provided
  • An extra layer of fabric on the thumb and index finger
  • Easy on/off flexibility is provided
  • Form-Fit design
  • Suitable for many outdoor activities


  • Not waterproof

12. Columbia Men’s Fast Trek Fleece Glove

Columbia Men’s Fast Trek Fleece Gloves are constructed of 100% polyester micro-fleece that’s soft to the touch and ultra-comfortable. These gloves come with a security clip near the cuff which secures the gloves in its place, along with the elastic wrists to keep cold out and warmth in.

Columbia Men’s Fast Trek Fleece Gloves comes with the wrist made of elastic for a better fit. The material on the palm has abrasion-resistant technology. The durable polyester material is machine washable, making the gloves brilliantly low-maintenance. These gloves come in a variety of color options to choose from; dark green, blue, and black are some popular shades. These gloves are the perfect choice for various outdoor activities and active people who use the wintertime to take hikes, walks, and treks.


  • The durable polyester material can be washed in the machine easily
  • Available in a variety of colors options to choose from
  • The elastic and the security clip near the cuff is provided
  • Perfect choice for the outdoorsy and active people who use the wintertime to take hikes, walks, and treks
  • The material on the palm is resistant to abrasions and damages


  • The grip is not exceptional
  • Traction might be a problem when driving for long
  • The size of the gloves can be inconsistent with the label
  • Have no conductive tip which will allow you to use screen touch devices while the gloves are on
  • The material is thin and not suitable to wear outside during harsh winters
  • Not suitable for high-wind locations and cannot be worn while riding the bike in winter


These are some of the best winter hiking gloves, in my opinion. The clear winner for the best backpacking glove is the Outdoor Research Ultralight Ditty SacksOpens in a new tab.. This pair of gloves is an exceptional glove that would help you on your trek in every way. This glove is waterproof, windproof, and lightweight, which not only increases for dexterity but also your comfort in harsh weather. Made up of Gore tex, its moisture-wicking fabric is also breathable, keeping your hands healthy and fresh for the upcoming treks. These gloves are cost-effective as well and do not compromise on the protection of your hands at all. They are really ideal winter hiking gloves.

Steve Hudson

I have been an outdoor activities enthusiast from teenage. I have been going out with my parents on different outdoor activities such as camping and hiking. After moving to a town surrounded by three well known fishing spots, I started fishing and started using all kinds of tricks and equipment to make the most out of each adventure I pursued. Over the years I have been camping outdoor, hiking and following my passion of enjoying life at full. Few years ago, I started writing about my thoughts, experiments and ideas about outdoor, fishing, hiking and more. This blog is a compilation of that plus tips, ideas and products that can make life more meaningful, enjoyable and a pleasant.

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