Ice climbing requires great skill and precision, but it also requires comfortable, durable cold-weather gear that is designed to stand up to the elements. Aside from your tools, your ice climbing gloves will probably be one of your most important investments. That’s why you should take the time to learn what features to look for in a proper pair of gloves and get to know some of the best gloves on the market. That way, you can improve your climb and protect your hands from the elements.
We’ve taken the hard work out of the process for you. In the guide below, we’ll cover the top ice climbing gloves on the market today, along with the pros and cons of each. Plus, you’ll find a buyer’s guide at the end that will help you learn more about which features to look for and what you can get from a high-quality pair of climbing gloves.
Table of Contents
The Best Ice Climbing Gloves
Outdoor Research Stormtracker Sensor Gloves
These black outdoor gloves are designed for ice climbing and extreme sports. They are a women’s glove and are available in a black finish for that classic look. These gloves offer a low-profile design and are designed to help retain heat and stave off the cold wind. The leather palms ensure premium gripping while the rest of the material makes the gloves breathable and easy to use. You won’t lose dexterity or performance with these slim gloves, which also features a Tricot lining to wick moisture away.
The Outdoor Research Stormtracker Sensor gloves are functionally sound, from one of the best brands in outdoor gear. These gloves include plenty of useful features, such as under cuff construction, zippered gauntlets, gusseted wrist openings with tapering, and elastic for a secure, perfect fit every time. These gloves are waterproof and touchscreen compatible and dry quickly even when they do get wet. These warm black gloves are designed for the do-it-all outdoors adventurer and will deliver everything that you need in a simple package.
- GORE-TEX INFINIUM with WINDSTOPPER waterproofing
- Full-finger coverage
- Unique women’s style fits smaller hands
- Women’s sizes may have limited sizing
Black Diamond Arc Cold Weather Gloves
The Black Diamond Arc Cold Weather Gloves feature everything that you need for cold weather protection when you’re enjoying outdoor extreme sports like ice climbing. These 100% waterproof gloves feature a dual-layer shell that includes plenty of comfort and dryness to keep your hands warm even in the harshest conditions. The leather palms from Petards Oil Tic and the goatskin lining add additional comfort and premium luxury.
The back of these gloves features a softshell finish so that they are easy to use and don’t limit your dexterity. When you’re enjoying climbing, you don’t want to be held back by bulky gloves that get in the way. These gloves are a men’s style, so sizing will typically run larger than unisex gloves. They also feature water resistance and waterproofing, along with longer fingers so that you don’t get that too-tight feeling like some gloves would create. These cold weather gloves are reasonably priced and feature a standard black finish.
- Longer fingers for more comfort
- Petards Oil Tic leather palms
- Lightweight but insulated and warm
- Men’s sizing may be too large for women and those who have smaller hands
Camp USA Geko Ice Glove
The Camp USA Geko Ice Glove is a basic glove design that is anything but boring. These gloves feature a unique Dryzone membrane and protect your hands from ice shards and slush. The knuckles are gusseted too, allowing you to get into all the climbs that you want without worrying about the protection of your hands. Plus, the protective features don’t complicate the dexterity, which is a critical part of the ice climb for any outdoor enthusiast.
These gloves are great for difficult climbs and harsh conditions. The goatskin reinforcement enhances the durability of these gloves, which also include a safety leash so that they stay on your hands and don’t get lost in the climb. These gloves really do offer a little bit of everything when you want to make your outdoor climbs easier during the winter season. Although they aren’t a premium design, they do come from one of the best brands in outdoor gear. Plus, they offer an affordable solution for those who need good gloves without breaking the bank.
- Goatskin reinforced for comfort and dryness
- Extra padding on knuckles
- Safety leash to ensure gloves aren’t lost
- Unisex gloves may be difficult to fit all hands
Outdoor Research StormTracker Gloves
The StormTracker Gloves from Outdoor Research offer all the versatility that you need for ice climbing, ski touring, and other outdoor activities. These gloves include Windstopper fabric and the tricot lining that retains heat to give you the most comfort on the climb every time. These full-finger gloves are sized for men so they may be a little big for smaller hands, but you can always buy a size down to get a better fit. You can stay connected on the go, too, since these gloves are touchscreen compatible.
While these gloves are ideal for ice climbing, they can also be used for several other purposes. Many users wear them for all of their winter activities. The temperature control makes sure that hands are warm without overheating and the palm grip is great for ice tools, poles, and other gear. When you need a good grip for ice climbing without breaking the bank, these gloves will do the job. Plus, they are also available in black and red, giving you color options that you might not find with other brands.
- Available in red or black
- Touchscreen compatible
- Windstopper technology protects hands from the elements
- Men’s sizing may not fit all hands
Black Diamond Punisher Cold Weather Gloves
The Black Diamond Punisher Cold Weather Gloves are comfortable enough to give your hands the protection that they deserve, but durable enough to go anywhere that you want to climb. These durable, abrasion-resistant gloves feature articulated fingers and a slim design for easy dexterity. They also have a waterproof liner that is fixed so that your hands are always dry and warm on the climb. They are sized in men’s sizes, but some buyers report that they fit tight, so be sure to consider that when choosing a size.
The knuckles on these gloves are padded for your protection and they feature all of the things you need in high-quality ice climbing gloves. The hands have premium grip features in place and the wrists feature both elastic and Velcro closures to ensure that the fit is snug and nothing gets into your gloves. They are available in black and the inner fleece lining is made from 100g fleece. Plus, the shell offers four-way stretch for durability on any climb. When you want simple gloves that get the job done and don’t cost a fortune, this pair from Black Diamond delivers.
- Waterproof and windproof design
- Abrasion-resistant construction
- EVA padding protects knuckles
- Some people say sizing runs small
Camp USA Geko Ice Pro Glove
If the standard Geko Ice Glove isn’t enough for your needs, you could consider upgrading to the Camp USA Geko Ice Pro Glove, which offers the same quality you expect from the brand but with a few extra features. These gloves feature leather palms and fingers to provide a premium grip, Primaloft Gold insulation, and more. They are designed specifically for mountaineering and ice climbing and they have all of the features that you would expect from a pair of quality gloves.
The Geko Ice Pro Glove offers premium DryZone waterproofing and wind resistance, giving your hands the ultimate protection no matter what conditions you are in. The stylish black finish goes with any outdoor gear and the sturdy Velcro closure allows you to trust that your gloves will stay tight on any climb. These gloves are unisex so they should fit most people comfortably, but you can check the size chart for more details. Another great feature of these gloves is the loop that allows you to secure the gloves so that they don’t fall off and get lost.
- Premium-quality ice climbing gloves
- Designed for harsh weather conditions
- Waterproof, windproof, and reinforced knuckles
- The price is higher than most of the gloves on this list
Arc’teryx Alpha SL Gloves
These outdoor gloves from Arc’teryx feature a fleece backer for soft comfort and they are constructed so that the layers stay together well during use. The construction offers a premium grip for all kinds of climbs and there is even a pulley adjustment that locks the gloves to your hands so that they don’t get lost when you’re out on the mountain. Gore Windstopper fabric is used to add wind resistance and offer the waterproof durability that people need.
These gloves are sold as unisex sizes, so be sure to check the size chart to get a perfect fit. The Alpha SL gloves feature a full-finger design, leather palms, and plenty of other design features that are specifically for outdoor enthusiasts. The brand is committed to providing the best alpine and outdoor gear and can provide you with years of comfort. Plus, they offer all of this with dexterity in mind so that you get a lightweight, flexible glove that gets the job done.
- Gore Windstopper technology
- Sold in unisex styles
- Locking pulley for securing gloves
- Not as many features as some gloves
Black Diamond Crag Gloves
The Black Diamond Crag Gloves are climbing gloves that are designed to provide a sure grip and dexterity on the climb. The stretch-mesh fabric is designed to breathe, and the knuckle padding protects you from all kinds of potential dangers. There is a hook-and-loop cuff closure and a clip-in loop is available to secure the gloves to your hands so that they don’t get lost. The fingers and palm are made of durable synthetic leather and reinforced for durability.
The design of these gloves is all about dexterity and getting the job done. They offer one of the lowest profiles on the market and still provide premium protection in all conditions. Plus, for those who like something a little more stylish, these gloves are available in a couple of different colors to spruce up your outdoor wardrobe. Whether you choose these gloves for their high-quality features or their stylish look, or both, they’re sure to deliver everything that you want in a solid ice climbing glove.
- Available in bright colors
- Clips for securing gloves
- Premium features in a thin, lightweight design
- Not as many features or premium elements as some more expensive gloves
How to Choose the Best Ice Climbing Gloves
While you might not need to put a lot of effort into choosing a basic pair of mittens, you will want to pay careful attention to gloves that you’re buying for a hobby like ice climbing. After all, the wrong pair of gloves could quickly lead to getting your hands wet, which could cost frostbite or create other issues. There are specialty gloves created just for ice climbing, but even among those, some are better than others. Keep reading to learn everything that you need to know about buying the best ice climbing gloves for your outdoor adventures.
Related: Best Snowboard Gloves
The material that gloves are made of matters. Most of the gloves on this list are a combination of synthetic materials like spandex and nylon, as well as proprietary materials designed to withstand wind, water, and other elements. Look carefully at the insulation, the lining, and the palm and finger material on the gloves. You want a warm, dry insulator and a durable, rugged palm that will make gripping ice and ice tools easy on any climb.
There are many styles of ice climbing gloves available that have heat built into them to offer additional warmth and protection from moisture. This is not an essential element and it isn’t found in many of the gloves on this list, but for those who want the upgrade, it may be a good choice. Of course, then you’ll have to consider the way the gloves are heated, as this may fail over time and require replacement sooner than if you bought gloves without this technology.
Some gloves will include more features than others. Basic gloves will certainly get the job done, but they may not be enough for every climb that you want to try. Perhaps you’re just looking to get the best gloves and you want all the extra features. Either way, you’ll need to consider this in your purchase decision. Some of the additional features that these gloves offer include:
- Clips for securing gloves to your body
- Multiple colors
- Touchscreen compatibility
- Extra insulation or premium material upgrades
Does Color Matter?
When you’re in the market for gloves, you might not think much about the color at first. Some people aren’t worried about the color, but some people want something that’s as fun as it is functional. Most of the gloves here are black or black with various accents, but some brands make gloves in more colors. You may have to compromise some on the features if you care that much about the color, but again it’s all a matter of personal preference.
Do I need heated gloves?
Heated gloves are great, but they aren’t necessary. There are plenty of non-heated gloves that are ideal for ice climbing. It’s all about what you want, and heating is just a bonus. You can buy heated gloves if you are going to be outside for extended periods or in extremely harsh conditions, but you can also stay warm without them.
What material is best for ice climbing gloves?
There are so many different proprietary materials out there, but ultimately it is a solid combination of leather and nylon or polyester that will provide the best glove for ice climbing. Be sure to read reviews on each pair and find out what people like and what performs the best in the elements where you’ll be climbing.
Get Your Climb On
Now that you have a better idea of what’s on the market and what to look for, finding the best ice climbing gloves will be easier than ever. Whether it’s a pair from this list or just another pair you found elsewhere, at least you will know you’re getting the best for your money. Remember that while some features like waterproofing and padding are essential, there are a lot of other features that you’ll need to consider on your own. As long as you keep these things in mind, you’ll be on your way to some great climbs in no time.
Lindsey grew up on the snow in Colorado. Lindsey is an awesome snowboarder who loves exploring new places and riding. Lindsey’s favorite snow spots are Aspen, Mammoth, Park City, Vail, and Lake Tahoe.