What's new in the world of snow gloves? We take a look at five pairs for winter 2020

WED’ZE 500

As ever, Wed’ze have come up with a lot of product for a little price in the 500, which has all the essential features you need in a ski glove and will undoubtedly appeal to anyone working on a tight budget. The plain but quite stylish looks don’t give any indication that you’ve paid less than a tenth of the price of the most expensive gloves on test here.

That said, you can’t make a phone call from the Wed’ze 500, but they will keep perform the essential task of keeping your hands warm and dry thanks to a mix of 150g/sq.m insulation, a soft brushed knit lining and waterproof outer.

The latter is a mix of goat leather on the palm and fingers and soft shell fabric on the back of the gloves, which gives a reasonably dexterous fit, although you may want to look at going up a size – I wore a 9.5/Large and found the fit quite tight.

The cuffs have a decent-sized Velcro fastening and fit under the cuffs of your jacket, and a small wrist tab helps with pulling them on, whilst an adjustable wrist loop ensures you don’t lose them. There’s a soft nose wipe on each thumb, and a clip on the wrist allows you to keep them together when not in use so you don’t end up with one glove in your pack and another somewhere up on the slopes.

All in all, the Wed’ze 500 offers all the important features you need in a pair of ski gloves, and whilst they’re not really designed for extremely cold temperatures they’ll keep your hands warm in most conditions without breaking the bank.

FOR Great value.

AGAINST Not as warm as more expensive options.

£24.99 www.decathlon.co.uk

LEKI SPACE GTX

The Space GTX has what Leki call a ‘sporty’ look and as such will appeal more to piste skiers; the more so since the cuffs, which have a Velcro adjustable tab, fit under the cuffs of your ski jacket rather than over it as with a bellows cuff, which is more common in backcountry ski gloves.

The have a stylish, understated look utilising a softshell, breathable upper and a sturdy, synthetic leather ‘G Grip’ material for the palms and fingers – this is quite ‘sticky’, providing a reassuringly secure grip on your ski pole handles.

A breathable and waterproof Gore-Tex membrane along with breathable ’Dexfill’ insulation help keep the weather and the cold on the outside, and the micro-Bemberg lining feels luxuriously soft against your hands.

I found the fit to be excellent – I take a size 9 (the gloves are available in sizes from 6.5 – 11) and Leki’s size 9 fit my hands perfectly, which isn’t always the case with some other brands. This is important as you don’t want the gloves to be too tight since this will reduce their insulating capacity, nor do you want them so loose that there’s space at the end of the fingers since once again it reduces the level of insulation as well as limiting dexterity.

Indeed, the Space GTX was amongst the best-fitting gloves I’ve worn recently, and although I prefer a bellows cuff on my gloves I’d have no hesitation in using these – in fact if you’re a piste skier looking for a well-designed ski glove at a reasonable price the Leki Space GTX is well worth checking out.

FOR Good fit, lovely soft lining.

AGAINST Under-the-cuff fit won’t appeal to everyone.

£59.95 www.leki.com

PICTURE SPARKS

I’m not a great fan of ‘lobster’ style gloves as they can be clumsy in use, but with the Picture Sparks you can easily do stuff like opening and closing zips, and as with all of Picture’s gear the Sparks are very eco-friendly, featuring recycled materials and PFOA/PFOS-free DWR treatment, along with a chrome-free leather palm (chromed leather is an environmentally unfriendly tanning process).

The Sparks also feature a 10k mm/10k breathable ‘Dryply’ membrane to help keep your hands warm and dry, along with a soft brushed fleece liner and Thinsulate lining – they don’t fele quite as warm as the similarly-designed Reusch Ndurance Pro, but then they’re considerably cheaper and not aimed at the more demanding backcountry market.

And if your hands do start to feel a bit chilled whilst wearing the Sparks, you can insert handwarmers into the small zipped ‘Hotshot’ pocket on the back of the gloves – admittedly it will take time for the heat to transfer to the ends of your fingers, which are invariably the coldest bits, but it’s still a nice feature to have.

The short cuffs are designed to be worn under your ski jacket cuffs and have a Velcro fastening and a useful elasticated wrist attachment to ensure you don’t lose them, and there’s a soft nosewipe on the back of each thumb, something that doesn’t feature in any of the other gloves on review here other than the budget Wed’ze 500.

As for the overall look of the Sparks, the ‘Lofoten’ print design on the back of the gloves won’t appeal to everyone, but it does help to brighten up a vital piece of ski clothing that can often be quite dull in appearance.

FOR Eco-friendly; handwarmer pocket for added warmth.

AGAINST Print and short cuffs won’t appeal to all.

£79.99 www.picture-organic-clothing.com


REUSCH NDURANCE PRO LOBSTER GTX

Another ‘lobster’ style pair of handwarmers, and another surprisingly dexterous fit - the Ndurance Pro from Reusch is almost as nimble as a regular glove when fighting with zips and the like, and the fact that three of your fingers are snugged up against each other tends to keep your hands warmer than with regular ski gloves.

Reusch use a patented ‘Heat Capture System’ in the gloves which is a clever but simple innovation whereby a garter or baffle inside the cuff is activated when you pull on the wrist loops; this helps keep heat inside the gloves more effectively at the same time as keeping cold out, and with an adjustable and elasticated bellows cuffs above and an adjustable wristband below the baffle there’s no way cold air or powder is getting into the Ndurance Pro.

Insulation is provided by Polartec Powerfill, which the company claim is their warmest yet as well as being 80 per cent recycled, and this and the ergonomic cut and microfleece lining make the Ndurance Pro a real pleasure to slip your hands into.

A breathable and waterproof Gore-Tex membrane also helps keep your hands warm and dry, and the supple goatskin palms and fingers provide a secure grip on your poles, whilst the back of the gloves features a sturdy but flexible rubberised strip which will provide protection against branches and twigs should you be skiing trees.

Indeed, the gloves have been specifically designed for backcountry skiing, and I’d have no problem at all using them as my ‘go to’ glove for deep powder days – the build quality is excellent and should provide several seasons of use however hard you hit the pow.

FOR Superb fit, clever and effective ‘Heat Capture System’.

AGAINST Pretty pricey.

£145 www.reusch.com 

KJUS BT 2.0

“I’m phoning you from my glove” isn’t something you hear every day, but you may this season if you’re in the proximity of anyone wearing a pair of KJUS BT 2.0 gloves – that’s because you can actually take and receive phone calls via the Bluetooth handset and integrated OLED display built into the gloves.

You pair the gloves with your smartphone after which it can be tucked safely away in a pocket and your gloves do all the work - all the technical jiggery-pokery is located in the right-hand glove, where there’s a small OLED display on the wrist which informs you of incoming/outgoing calls etc.

A switch on the knuckle of the index finger turns the system on and off (it has been designed so it can’t be accidentally flicked on/off), whilst located in the thumb are a waterproof speaker and microphone with noise cancelling technology.

In use the system does exactly what it says on the tin – you use voice commands to make calls and press the on/off button to receive them. I’d have liked the speaker volume to have been a bit louder (on a windy chairlift that could be an issue, for example), but on the other hand it’s nice to be able to make and receive phone calls without your hands freezing, not to mention all the faff of getting your phone in and out of your pocket.

As for the gloves themselves, they’re super warm, waterproof and supple, featuring moulded visco-elastic foam knuckle protection, an engineered full leather palm, cosy microfleece liner, detachable wrist leash and a Velcro wrist closure.

As to whether anyone really needs to be able to make phone calls from their ski gloves, that’s another question…

FOR No more faffing around with phones on the mountain.

AGAINST Expensive; intrusive when you’re enjoying the peace of the mountains.

£299 www.kjus.com