How to keep hands warm when skiing

Having cold hands can turn a magnificent day on the slopes into a nightmare. Although there is no miracle way to keep hands warm when out skiing, selecting the right equipment and adopting some behaviours help greatly. Here are our tips.


1 – Gloves or mittens: go covered

Gloves or mittens? This selection is based upon your desires and requirements when on the slopes. Mittens are the best in terms of warmth, whilst gloves are more practical when it comes to handling zips, backpack straps, ski boot hooks… With the warmth of mittens and the ease of use of gloves, discover our recommendations to make the right choice for you.


Essential to keep hands nice and warm Don't forget to take a pair of liner gloves. They add 2 to 3 degrees of additional warmth to gloves, but also manage humidity by absorbing it to prevent hands from getting cold when resting (ski lift, meals, waiting on the slopes). Liner gloves dry more easily than the glove lining, so they are nice and dry when setting of after a meal break.  



2 – Movement and action to provide a good circulation of warmth

Skiing is quite an intensive sports activity which uses a large amount of energy. Our first recommendation for keeping hands warm: store up energy before hitting the slopes, rest and eat well.


Throughout the day, between descents and climbs, alternate between intensive and calmer periods. Effort provides warmth as well as perspiration. So, you must be careful and keep moving fingers during rest periods, do not remove your gloves or mittens, and ensure you do not restrict blood circulation by resting your hands on ski lift bars for example.


Some people, like myself that although they have followed these recommendations, they still feel cold at some point during the day. My tip: heating pads placed inside your gloves as soon as you initially feel the cold, but not beforehand otherwise you run the risk of sweating.


3 – Dress correctly on the slopes: your best ally to combat cold hands


Did you know?

During cold periods, the body prioritises the vital organs such as the brain and heart, reducing the blood flow to the extremities. So, the cold is initially felt by the hands and feet.


To avoid having cold hands and feet, you must dress correctly and cover your head. If your clothing allows the cold and wind to get in and keeps in perspiration… you risk getting cold, starting off with hands! Read our recommendations on dressing correctly on the ski slopes.


As you would have understood, a good pair of gloves or mittens are not enough to keep hands warm, you must consider all clothing, including your head. Correct clothing with a good hat and correctly fitted gloves or mittens and nothing can get in your way on the slopes.

This is how with correct equipment and certain behaviours, you can keep hands warm and make the most of your day skiing.

Pauline MARTIN
Dialog leader