In today's snowmobiling industry, there are glove options for everyone and every riding style, but all of these options can prove overwhelming and confusing when trying to find the right glove for you. We've created this snowmobile glove guide to help buyers make the decision that will ensure maximum comfort and performance on their next ride.
There are four key aspects to consider when selecting the right glove:
- Dexterity & Grip – How much control/mobility does your glove provide?
- Durability – Will your glove hold up to the brutality of snowmobiling?
- Weatherproofing – Does your glove block out wind and water?
- Warmth/Comfort – Does your glove keep your hands warm and comfortable?
To help you decide, we categorize snowmobile gloves into four primary levels: (1) Extreme Grip, (2) Warmth & Grip, (3) Warmth, and (4) Extreme Warmth. Higher levels provide more insulation, while lower levels have the most gripping power. Our snowmobile glove buyer's guide also features a sub-category for heated snowmobile gloves, which are manufactured at every level and ideal for riders needing an occasional boost of warmth.
Level 1 – Extreme Grip
Level 1 snowmobile gloves provide the most grip available in the lowest profile. These gloves are ideal for the most aggressive riders that demand a highly-dexterous snowmobile glove and maximum ventilation. Level 1 gloves supply little to no insulation and can often be used for other power sports like dirt biking or riding ATVs. These gloves are unlikely to perform well during a frigid trail ride.
Level 2 – Grip & Warmth
When you need both grip and warmth in a snowmobiling glove, level 2 gloves offer a proper balance. Typically, level 2 gloves maintain minimal insulation through the tops of fingers and the back of the hand while keeping the palm and fingertips free of added bulk and offering more breathability. We recommend a level 2 glove for most aggressive backcountry riders.
Level 3 – Warm
When you don't need the surplus amounts of insulation available in level 4 gloves, a level 3 ("warm") glove might prove more comfortable. Level 3 gloves are a better option for riders who don't struggle to keep their hands warm. These warm snowmobile gloves provide slightly more grip and airflow than level 4's.
Level 4 – Extreme Warmth
Some riding styles demand more hand warmth. If you are a trail rider in the upper latitudes (Upper Midwest & Canada) or prone to cold hands on a trail ride, you require a glove that offers incredible levels of warmth and insulation. Our level 4 category features the warmest snowmobile gloves on the market with the most insulation and weather resistance. These gloves often employ insulation throughout the fingers, back of the hand, and palm. Typically most mittens, split/trigger finger, or claw gloves fit in this category. Of course, added insulation has a trade-off, and you will lose some dexterity and grip.
Do your gloves need a little extra oomph? Whether you ride trails or shred mountain tops, heated snowmobile gloves add on-demand comfort when the insulation doesn't cut it. Heated gloves benefit from adding more warming power without sacrificing grip and dexterity. That said, heating technology is no replacement for the heat-retention capabilities of an insulated glove. Fortunately, there now exists a wide range of heated gloves manufactured at each warmth level.
Additional Gloves & Options
Add an extra layer of insulation to your current glove setup with an additional glove liner. Most glove manufacturers (like Klim) provide glove liners that can be integrated seamlessly into an existing glove model, and some gloves come standard with removable liners.
Loading gloves can be thrown on for quick insulation when loading and unloading your machine(s) or for work around the truck or trailer.
Handlebar muffs create space for additional hand warmth, insulation, and weather protection. Handlebar muffs are ideal for trail rides, especially in the most extreme weather conditions. If you wish to ride with only one set of gloves or need added warmth and protection against the wind, handlebar muffs are probably suitable for you. They allow riders to utilize a lower-profile glove without sacrificing wind and weather protection.
Choosing the right snowmobile glove is crucial for your riding experience. By considering factors such as dexterity and grip, durability, weatherproofing, and warmth and comfort, you can narrow down your options and find the perfect glove for your needs. It's important to keep in mind that no single glove can provide the necessary performance for every snowmobile ride, so carrying at least two sets of gloves is recommended. Whether you need maximum grip or extreme warmth, there is a snowmobile glove out there for you. And don't forget to consider additional options like glove liners, loading gloves, and handlebar muffs for added comfort and protection. At SnowBigDeal, our team is always ready to offer expert guidance and help you make the right choice.