What are the best gloves for climbing Kilimanjaro?
For handwear, Ultimate Kilimanjaro® recommends using two gloves on the mountain – one pair of thin fleece gloves and one pair of waterproof, warm gloves.
THIN FLEECE GLOVES
The thin fleece gloves will be the go-to glove. You’ll want to use them when the temperature drops. Though you could probably go without gloves for most of the time on the trail, we encourage climbers to put them on in cool weather in order to protect the hands and preserve heat. It’s one less thing your body has to do, thus saving precious energy at altitude.
Mountain Hardwear Power Stretch Glove
This glove is a well designed performance glove made of four-way stretch fleece. It fits well and allows good movement of the fingers and hands, providing manual dexterity needed to zip open and close your backpack and handle objects. The pointer fingertips have a special coating that allows the wearer to use a touchscreen smart phone, so you don’t have to remove the gloves to snap a photo. The glove also has reinforcements at the palm to prevent wear and tear from holding trekking poles.
The Mountain Hardwear Power Stretch Glove retails for $40 and can be found here.
The North Face ETip Glove
A similar version of the above item is made by The North Face, called the ETip Glove. It also has four-way stretch fleece and has a touch-screen compatible fingertips. A portion of the glove has small nubs designed to improve grip. This glove comes in several different color variations.
The North Face ETip Glove retails for $45 and can be found here.
The warm pair of gloves will be used for more extreme conditions – such as heavy snow, blistering winds and freezing temperatures. This second pair of gloves will likely be your hands’ best friend during the midnight summit attempt as temperatures tend to be very cold. It could easily be subzero, which you would have to endure for usually six to seven hours before the rising sun warms the air. The typical ski or snowboarding glove would suffice for this purpose.
REI Switchback GTX Gloves
With REI Switchback GTX Gloves, you get two gloves in one. The removable fleece liner gloves can serve as your thin glove. When the outer shell is added, you have a completely waterproof system for Kilimanjaro. The liner has silicone dots for grip. The shell has gaunlet cuffs and a drawcord to shut the elements out.
REI Switchback GTX Gloves are priced around $90 and can be found here.
Outdoor Research Arete Gloves
These versatile alpine gloves offer good grip, dexterity and waterproof protection. A Gore-Tex shell keeps the weather out while lightweight fleece insulation holds the heat in. This glove has a removable spandex liner that can be worn by itself. Other features include a glove clip, silicone grip liner palm and cinch gaunlet.
Outdoor Research Arete Gloves retail for $100 and can be found here.
Mountain Hardwear Compressor Gore-Tex Mitt
When it comes to keeping warm, nothing beats mittens. If your hands are always cold, even when you are dressed warm, mittens might be for you. These ultra-light and ultra-compressible alpine mitts are guaranteed to keeps your hands warm and dry. Made with Gore-Tex technology, the Compressor offers enduring weather protection, comfort, balanced heat transfer and moisture management. These heavy duty gloves are waterproof, windproof and breathable.
The Mountain Hardwear Compressor Gore-Tex Mitt retails for $120 and can be found here.
You can find all your outdoor gear at these preferred retailers: