How to Keep Your Hands Warm: A Primer on Glove Layering

By Courtney Dec 22, 2020
You've always layered your ski jackets, so why wouldn't you layer your gloves?
How to Keep Your Hands Warm: A Primer on Glove Layering

I spouted on about my lifelong love of Hestra gloves in Ski Utah’s 2020 Holiday Gift Guide this year, but what I didn’t know is that the brand would revolutionize how I keep warm in the winter. Before this season, I wore gloves on a warmer day and mittens when it’s cold. But turns out, I was doing it all wrong.

While I stack base layers and a Stio puffy jacket and Stio shell on my body to stay toasty during my winter fun, I had never utilized the same tactic on my hands. Enter Hestra's game-changing trick: layering.

Like layering underneath our outerwear to stay warm, we should also be layering gloves. “Most skiers think their layers end at their wrists and ankles,” said Hestra’s Marketing Manager Drew Eakins. “We build many of our gloves around the idea of a three-layer system that gives you some serious versatility within your kit.”

Hands and feet are the first parts of your body to suffer when you’re out skiing or snowboarding. They’re the furthest from your core—and when you get cold, your body sacrifices the heat from your extremities to save your important organs. That means that your hands and feet need extra protection when it’s cold outside to compensate.

Here in Utah, we don’t have many brutally cold days. Most days start off chilly, get warm during the middle of the day and then cool off again as the sun starts to set behind the mountains. While that sounds perfect, it means when I’m sidestepping Honeycomb after lunch and wearing my heaviest mitts because it was 10 degrees at the base of Solitude Mountain Resort at 9 a.m., I’m sweating through them. But then when I’m back on the chairlift, my fingers freeze up again and I’m miserable.

To combat this concept, Hestra came up with their brilliant layering solution: a liner, a base glove and shell glove. Think of it like wearing a base layer, a down/synthetic layer and a shell on your core. You can wear any layer separately or put them all on together, depending on the situation or weather.

Here’s the breakdown: 


Layer one is a liner. Hestra says to think of it like the hand’s underwear. The liner creates the first warming layer of heat and increases the insulation in the glove by 20 percent. It also wicks away moisture, so when you’re hiking Baldy and your hands start sweating, wear just the liners while you’re going up. The material wicks away that sweat and keeps your fingers toasty. The liner also allows you to have more dexterity when you need it—so instead of taking off your glove to mess with the strap on your boot, you can keep your liner on and stay warm.


Layer two is a base glove. This is the layer you’ll use most often. This bad boy protects against the rain, snow, sleet, wind (and everything in between) while keeping your hands cozy. So when you get to the top of your hike, pull on this layer to help keep your fingers from turning into tiny icicles when you’re skiing down, Plus, the glove is durable, which means it’s not going to rip when you catch your hand on a tree branch or run it down a sharp ski edge.


And finally, layer three is the beast of the lineup: a shell glove. If it’s particularly miserable outside, add this to your outfit. If it’s not, keep the mitt in your pack or jacket for when the weather gets colder throughout the day. The shell creates an extra warming layer of air and insulation and provides more protection in biting cold and wet conditions. Plus, it’s suitable for low-intensity activities (après ski, anyone?) when your body isn’t generating as much heat as it was an hour ago when you were ripping pow in Deer Valley Resort’s Empire Bowl.

Started in Sweden by the Magnusson family, Hestra has been developing gloves for 80 years. Add that to the fact that badass Wasatch skiers like Mali Noyes rock their gloves, there’s no reason to not snag yourself a pair. Give Hestra's layering technique a try this season and let us know what you think! 

This post sponsored by Hestra