It’s February and as much I’d love to be discussing the best spring/summer gear, the fact is that’s winter’s still here, and it isn’t showing signs of letting up. In my last winter gear segment, I discussed with you how I kept my kids warm in their Canada Goose Grizzly Snowsuits – and I’m going to be discussing in the next day or two my own Canada Goose gear – but today, let’s look at a sometimes overlooked piece of gear that is imperative to cold weather comfort: the all-important gloves. If you live in a cold climate, you already own a pair. But finding ones that excel in even the coldest temps to keep your fingers warm and dry is a much more challenging task.
In my search for the perfect pair of gloves, I tested several different brands, and the one that kept my family and myself the warmest was Dakine. Dakine is a brand that specializes in delivering high performance gear for a variety of sports, including skiing, snowboarding, surfing and biking, and their winter gloves are about as close to perfect as you’re going to get.
Here in the Midwest, I anticipated that I’d be using the gloves in average temperatures around 5 degrees, so I opted for the warmest gloves Dakine offered. For those of you that don’t need coverage for such low temps, they also offer a range of gloves with varying degrees of warmth. One of the gloves I chose was the Dakine Kodiak Glove – a glove that was my favorite both from Dakine and every other glove I’ve tried.
Insulated with 225g Primaloft and featuring a Gore Tex Waterproof insert, the gloves hold in all the warmth your hands give off but also allow them to breath and not get sweaty. The benefit of the Gore Tex and Primaloft is that they are both waterproof materials. Primaloft will keep you warm much like goose down, but it’s also very light and won’t retain any water. Also adding to the gloves’ appeal is the water repellent leather outer that makes the gloves both waterproof and windproof, further aiding in keeping your hands toasty and warm.
Another feature of the Kodiak Glove that I came to appreciate after multiple uses was the velcro cuff closure, which helped give the gloves a perfect fit that kept the snow out no matter what activity I was partaking in. In the end, there was very little left to be desired from these gloves – they performed perfectly, I had plenty of dexterity, and I hands stayed perfectly warm throughout their use. If you’re looking for a pair of winter gloves for skiing, snowboarding or just going out in chilly temps, the Kodiak Gloves are the way to go.
As an alternative to gloves, if you don’t need the added dexterity a glove offers, you Dakine also offers an equally great mitten in the form of the Ranger Mitt. It features 280g of Primaloft insulation for some serious heat retention, a Gore Tex Waterproof Insert and a removable wool liner for quick drying. While I can’t attest to to the waterproof features on this glove, because in the minus zero temps I tested them in there wasn’t much fluid around, I can attest to the warmth of the mitt. I tested out the Ranger Mitt at Lambeau Field for the -20 degree wind chill Packers game, sitting for nearly four hours in negative temperatures, and my fingers stayed warm throughout the entire game even without heating packets. If you’re looking for the absolute best way to keep your hands warm during the winter and don’t need individual use of fingers, the Ranger Mitt is the way to go.
For adults, Dakine gloves are the great at keeping your hands warm; for kids, Dakine’s gloves perform equally as well. For my two children I have the Dakine Avenger Mitt – a mitten filled with high loft insulation and a nylon exterior. The gloves are light enough for their little hands and warm enough to keep them happy for hours in the snow. They also feature a cinch closure, making my life easier getting them on and ensuring that once tightened no snow reaches the inside of their gloves. If you have kids, I highly recommend adding Dakine kids gloves to your winter collection as well.
Bottom line, if you’re looking for gloves that will keep you warm, keep water out and last you for years to come, nothing can match Dakine. Out of everything I tried, none were able to perform as well as Dakine’s offerings, and they’re easily my top pick for anyone looking for winter hand protection from snow and freezing temps.