Hiking in the rain can be a joy—or misery. It all depends on your gear and your attitude. Freezing fingers are a big-time downer. But choosing the right pair of gloves can help keep your digits comfortable so you can tick off the trail miles and stay happy, too.
We asked Lauren Taylor, our product manager for gloves and resident expert on keeping fingers toasty, for advice. Here are her tips for picking out the best pair of gloves for rainy weather.
Look for both water protection and breathability.
Gloves for wet weather can be either water resistant or waterproof, but they also need to be breathable. “Your hands expel a lot of heat, especially when gripping an item like trekking poles, due to conduction,” Taylor says. “If you can keep the skin on your hands dry and allow for air-flow of your hand’s heat from rising blood flow, you will have dry and comfy hands, despite the rain.”
Be open to different types of fabric.
“We have several fabrics that fit this bill, namely our Pertex Shield nylon ripstop fabrics,” Taylor says. ‘We use other fabrics that have either a membrane (waterproof layer bonded to the face fabric), or fabrics with a PU or TPU finish. Rain will roll right off these kinds of fabrics!”
For super wet conditions, look for a mitt with seam taping.
Seam tape is used to bond seams to make sure rain cannot penetrate any point on the mitt, Taylor says. “The Revel Shell Mitts are made of WR treated fabrics that are then seam taped,” she says. Plus, they’re lightweight, crushable and ultra-breathable. “These are great to throw in your pack if you’re expecting rain, and slide right over your liner glove should you need the added protection.”
If you’re not sure what the weather will do, a convertible glove is a great choice.
If you think you’ll run into rain, but might not be in constant showers, a glove that comes with a built-in shell is a great option. “Versaliner Sensor Gloves and the Overdrive Convertible Sensor Gloves are both a fleece glove with silicone grip at the palms that have a convertible shell component that can slip over the fleece glove and magically make your glove system very water resistant,” Taylor says. They’re made of a lightweight ActiveTemp fleece that regulates your hand temperature as it changes, and while they’re not considered water-PROOF because moisture could technically work it’s way into the shell gloves seams, Taylor says they’re great for those hikes when it won’t be raining the whole time, or you will just be in a constant mist—as we normally are in Seattle.
BEST GLOVES FOR HIKING IN THE RAIN