Here’s a dilemma every winter traveler faces: You’re working hard and your hands start sweating, but you need to keep your gloves on because if you fall on an icy slope, cold, wet, abrasive snow tears up bare skin fast. So even the lightest waterproof gloves inevitably wet out from the inside. Enter Columbia’s OutDry EX gloves, the most breathable pair of waterproof gloves we’ve ever used. “These gloves stayed dry as we climbed above-treeline slopes in 40°F sunshine on the Spearhead,” one editor says.
Columbia’s two-layer waterproof/breathable OutDry EX debuted earlier this year—we gave a jacket that uses the tech an Editors’ Choice Award in the spring. It enhances breathability by removing a layer from the conventional fabric construction. Not only does it breathe like it has gills, the durable waterproof membrane on the outside keeps snow and precip from saturating the gloves, which we noticed when ski-touring through mixed snow and rain, building cook dens, and preparing an artillery of snowballs. The soft interior lining boosts comfort and keeps hands from getting clammy. Tip: Size up; they run small. Men's S-XL; W's S-XL.