Did you know that throughout the world there are about 95,000 snowboarding-related wrist fractures annually? It seems like an awfully high number, doesn’t it? Whether you are a recreational snowboarder or have been an elite for years, the risk of injury is always going to be high with snowboarding. You are already protecting your head with a helmet and using ski and snowboard sunglasses to make the slopes safer, but what are you doing for your wrists? Normal gloves are not going to cut it. You need reinforcement. You need the best snowboard gloves with wrist guards.
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Why You Need To Protect Your Wrists
Think about all the times you have seen someone fall or you have fallen on the slopes while snowboarding. There are two points of contact within the body that usually absorb the impact: your wrists and tailbone. Beginners are especially prone to injury of the wrists, tailbone, and ankles because they have yet to master balancing and break-falling. This is why it is highly recommended that snowboarding beginners take lessons to learn how to avoid common snowboarding injuries by falling correctly.
Another recommendation from safety experts is to wear snowboard wrist guard gloves or a wrist brace. Wrist guards work by eliminating forced wrist extension when you fall, taking away some of the peak impact. In short, wrist guards minimize damage to the vulnerable structures of the wrist.
** If you’re interested in wrist protection, you may also be interested in padded shorts for snowboarding and skiing.
Best Snowboard Wrist Guard Gloves
Snowboarding gloves with built-in wrist guards are invaluable on the slopes. Finding a perfect pair can be difficult. There are limited selections of snowboard and ski wrist guard gloves out there, and the ones that you do find may be outside of your price tag.
That is why we took a long look at the most popular wrist guard snowboard gloves and compared things like materials, insulation, wrist brace design, and features to see which ones are worth your time and money. We chose four gloves and one wrist brace for our list. Check out the best snowboard wrist guard gloves below:
Best Snowboard Gloves with Wrist Guards: LEVEL Fly
LEVEL is one of the top brands in the snowboarding industry and has been around for ages. We have named their Fly gloves as the best snowboard gloves with wrist guard for more reasons than that, though. Out of all the options out there, the LEVEL Fly gloves perform great without completely sabotaging your bank account. These gloves are fitted with LEVEL’s unique BioMex wrist guards, which were the result of a collaboration between pro snowboarders and physicians. The BioMex wrist guards use a swallowtail design that makes them superbly comfortable. In a test, it was found that BioMex can reduce the incidence of wrist injuries 7.5 times better than the competition.
Inside the glove, there is Membra-Therm, a material that wicks away moisture while adding insulation, as well as a removable fleece liner. On the outside, the gloves are encased in a water-resistant polyester shell. The cuffs on the glove are long enough to keep wind and snow away from your skin. The cinch allows you to tighten the cuff for even better resistance. You might also notice the boxy fingertips on the gloves, those help improve circulation. Cool, right?
Also, do not get the LEVEL Fly and Fly Trigger glove models confused. Both versions have identical features, but Fly Trigger separates the index and thumb fingers from the rest of the mitten, whereas the regular Fly is a standard glove.
- Fingers and gloves are reinforced with Kevlar
- Features a goggle and nose cleaner, as well as a storm leash
- Included an air vent
- Ergonomic BioMex technology for enhanced dexterity and mobility of the wrist
- Shock absorbent materials
- Insulated with 200g Polyester Thermolite
- Uses Membra-Therm for wind and water resistance
- Sizing tends to run small. Be sure to measure your hand according to LEVEL’s size chart.
- Velcro for the wrist strap is not the most durable
Best Snowboard Mittens with Wrist Guards: LEVEL Half Pipe GTX
Two LEVEL glove recommendations in one list? You bet. There are quite a few choices out there for snowboard wrist protection, but there are not a lot of gloves to choose from. Because of that, we decided to go with brands that are tried and true and do not disappoint. LEVEL’s Half Pipe GTX snowboarding mittens with a gauntlet style cuff are an excellent choice for those who are seeking more warmth.
Like LEVEL’s Fly gloves, these mittens utilize the impressive BioMex wrist guard technology and also use 100% Kevlar for the palm grip. Unlike the Fly models, the BioMex in the Half-Pipe gloves features dual-density, making them even more supportive. There is additional padding around the wrist for unbeatable protection.
When looking at the warmth and dryness of these gloves compared to the LEVEL Fly, you will notice that the Half Pipe version has more insulation, thanks to the Gore-Tex and upgraded liner. These gloves are rated for temperatures down to -15 degrees F (-26 degrees C). That’s impressive. On the fingertips, there are little air vents for when your hands get too hot, and when your nose runs, you have access to a plush patch on the thumb to wipe your woes away.
- Utilizes Gore-Tex material to keep your hands dry
- Liner meets a strict ThermoPlus 4000 standard—your fingers will never be cold
- Removable wrist guards and liner
- Kevlar on the palms and fingertips of the gloves for enhanced durability and protection
- Available in men’s, women’s, and children’s sizes, as well as in glove or mitten form
- Adjustable strap around the wrist
- Features a storm leash made of nylon and a cinch
- There have been reports of the outer shell wearing down rapidly, but LEVEL customer service resolved this by replacing the gloves/mittens with another pair or model.
Best Budget Snowboard Gloves with Wrist Guard: Seirus Innovation 1208 Skeleton Unisex Glove
Perhaps the price tag on the LEVEL gloves have you shivering in fright. In that case, try the Seirus Innovation 1208 Skeleton gloves. These are unisex snowboard wrist guard gloves with several excellent features. First, let’s talk about the materials. Leather and polyester form the outer shell, both of which provide great wind and water resistance. On the palm, there is an UltraGrip palm for enhanced grip. The insulation—Dryhand Insert—is made of polyester and is both waterproof and breathable.
The gauntlet cuff design and one-handed wrist cinch are long enough to keep snow. Both also add security. You will enjoy the snug fit that won’t budge as you glide down the mountainside.
Now, why is it called the Skeleton glove? That would be the design of the wrist guard. The protection mimics the bones of the hand and wrist, forming a shield over the back of the hand and the wrist. Now, whichever way your hand hits the ground, you won’t be getting badly bruised.
One last thing. Yes, this glove seems like a fantastic deal, and many happy people are using these gloves. It has a lot of features for the price. However, the durability of these gloves is not at the same level as something more expensive. The gloves are meant to protect your wrists, so if you truly want to get a lot of use out of the gloves and never have to worry about the wrist guards failing, go with the Level Up gloves mentioned above.
- Comes with a special insert and 200 grams of thermolite insulation
- Affordable price
- Removable wrist protection and strong padding
- Waterproof and breathable shell and insulation
- Skeleton brace is specially designed with snowboarders in mind
- Hoop and Loop closure
- The quality of these gloves is subpar compared to other gloves on this list. After a few uses, these gloves look like they are years old.
- Does not feature straps or clips to connect to a jacket when you aren’t using them
Best Wrist Guard: Burton Impact Adult Wrist Guards
Burton is another brand that most snowboards trust implicitly. Why? Their products have done what they are meant to do for over 40 years. And with a lack of wrist guard snowboarding gloves out there to choose from, sometimes the best bet is to buy ultra-warm snowboarding gloves or mittens and wear these awesome Impact wrist guards underneath. You can also lower the cost of your gear that way. They are easy to put on and remove, and the material is flexible.
These Burton Impact wrist guards are constructed from polyester and use splints to shift the force of an impact away from your bones when you fall. Because of the slim profile and flexible hook-and-loop, you won’t notice these wrist guards once you put them on. Since they are unisex, both men and women can wear them, which is another plus. Some of the other gloves on this list were not designed with female hands in mind.
Now, what is one disadvantage to these wrist guards? They are the best wrist brace for skiers and snowboards who are just starting out and not doing anything too crazy. But intermediate or expert level snowboards and skiers might find that the protection is not enough to prevent bones from breaking during a fall. The thing is when making big jumps there is no guarantee any wrist guard will stop a break from occurring.
- Velcro adjustment for easy fitting
- Secure and snug once fastened
- Available in a range of sizes for children, men, and women
- Can be worn underneath all kinds of snowboarding and skiing gloves or mittens
- Flexible yet supportive
- Padding on the palm and also along with the bones of the wrist and forearm
- Can be a bit bulky if you are wearing them under thinner gloves
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Snowboarding Gloves with Wrist Guards
When you start looking at skiing and snowboard mittens and gloves, you are going to be faced with a cornucopia of choices. And while all those options might be viable, you need to consider your experience level, among other things. If you want to enjoy this winter season to the fullest and without injury, then you should seek out the best snowboard wrist guards using the following criteria:
The wrists are not the only parts of the hand that need to be reinforced. Make sure the gloves have adequate protection for the fingers, palms, and wrist. Some gloves will have vinyl or leather padding on the palms and fingers to make the gloves more durable and provide support.
Some gloves, like the Seirus model, have both palm and backside support the hand, forming a cage-like structure to protect every bone.
There are three layers to every good pair of skiing and snowboarding gloves: the outer shell, the lining, and the insulation. We’ll get around to talking about insulation in a moment, so let’s consider the first two for now. The outer shell is the part you see on the outside, and it usually consists of waterproof yet breathable materials and a membrane. The membrane is designed to keep water from seeping in while letting moisture out, so your hands stay dry and comfortable. Some common outer materials include Windstopper and Gore-Tex, PU, nylon, and others.
The liner is the internal part, which can add some level of warmth. Some ski and snowboarding gloves and mittens have removable liners. Usually, liners are made of fleece or wool that can wick away moisture and control odor.
Few people are going to concern themselves with the cuff style of their gloves. As long as the gloves are comfortable, right? Well, here are a couple of reasons why cuff style is important. You want cuffs that are going to complement your snowboarding gear. For instance, if a coat is tailored with slim-fitting sleeves, snug cuffs are going to be an issue. Their other motives for checking out cuff style is seeing if the cuff length is going to be enough for keeping out wind, water, and snow.
So, here is a quick list of common glove cuff styles to keep in mind:
- Short cuffs – Ideal for wearing under longer jacket and shirt sleeves or under-layers, since they are thin and less bulky than other cuffs. Short cuffs also provide dexterity, but they lack wrist support.
- Long cuffs (Gauntlet) – The most common type of cuff featured on gloves that provide wrist and forearm support. The cuffs are usually designed to fit over your jacket sleeves. Though they restrict movement a little more than shorter cuffs, they usually provide more insulation and protection from the elements.
- Knit wrist cuff – Soft knit keeps gloves in place and prevents the gloves or mittens from slipping. Usually, knit wrist cuffs are worn underneath the sleeve. Because of the firm grip of the knit, this usually provides some support for the wrist but not for the forearm.
- Slip-on cuff – A hybrid of short and gauntlet cuffs, slip-on are great for wrist protection but also makes removal easier.
Having a pair of gloves with both wrist protection and insulation will take your trip to a wholly different level of enjoyment. With insulation, you won’t have to worry about your fingers turning into icicles in an hour. Keep in mind that thickness is not proportional to the amount of insulation. For example, down insulation does not increase thickness, but it is one of the warmest forms of insulation out there. The only issue with down is that, if it gets wet, it takes forever to dry.
Other insulating materials include wool, wool/cotton flannel, fleece, terry cloth, and microfiber.
Poorly fitting gloves can be a safety hazard. Obviously, as a snowboarder, you plan on pulling stunts, maneuvering, and moving at a high speed. Gloves that get in the way are going to endanger you. The best snowboard gloves with wrist guards are going to have a snug fit without any risk of falling off. But you don’t want them to be so tight that your wrist feels like it’s going to fall off either.
There should be enough space in the glove for liners to fit without cutting off circulation. When testing your gloves, make sure you can make a fist and stretch your fingers without any hindrance.
Size your gloves by measuring the width of your palm. That will help you find the correct size when shopping online. If the brand has a specific way to measure, follow their guidelines.
Gloves or Mittens
Mittens have one advantage above gloves: they are warmer. However, the disadvantage of using mittens is the lack of mobility. Mittens decrease your ability to handle things—like grabs when you take a jump. Although gloves do not keep your hands as warm as mittens do, they help you maintain dexterity, and that is important when protecting yourself from injury.
One of the last things you should consider is the cost. A decent glove that protects your wrists from damage is not going to be cheap. However, you probably don’t want to spend hundreds on a pair of gloves that you wear for a couple of months and that’s it. Some gloves are going to be expensive solely based on the brand name. Others might have high-tech materials or features, like touchscreen compatibility.
Base your selection based on the features of the glove, the amount of protection provided, and the materials involved. That should justify the price.
Even if you didn’t see a pair of snowboard gloves with a wristguard that suits your fancy, then you should at least have more knowledge about picking a pair. Knowing what kind of materials are ideal for the slopes, which features are best, and sizing your gloves right will help you find a pair that makes snowboarding much more fun. Keep yourself safe and have more fun. Use wrist guard snowboard gloves.
FAQ About Snowboard Wrist Guards
What is the difference between regular gloves and wrist guard gloves?
Regular gloves rarely have any added support around the wrist, unless you are wearing a separate wrist brace under them. On the other hand, a snowboard wrist guard glove has added plastic or metal splints that protect the fragile bones of the wrist (and sometimes the tarsal bones in the hand) from breaking when you put your hands out to break a fall.
Are wrist guard gloves or mittens better?
This ultimately depends on you and your style of snowboarding. Some people love speeding down slopes, while others prefer pulling off insane jumps in the park. Gloves can increase grip and are better for movement. Mittens are much warmer and wind-resistant.
Why should I wear wrist guards when snowboarding?
An extra layer to prevent broken bones should always be considered when snowboarding. No one wants to go home from their winter holiday with their wrist in a cast. Snowboard gloves with wrist guard protection help prevent bones from fracturing. While you still may get hurt, the damage will not be as severe.
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