The wonderful world of ski gloves has many colors, sizes and styles. It seems as if there must be a glove for every type of snow or weather condition under the sun.  With such a ubiquitous and essential piece of gear comes personal preference combined with the latest and greatest technology, like the Outdoor Research Prima Volta gloves, which feature battery-powered finger warmers.

I’ll leave the battery-powered contraptions to someone else while I focus on simple, functional and versatile gloves for backcountry skiing and warmer winter days on the hill. Sometimes, even though the weather is cold, it’s nice to have some extra dexterity, so I opt for thinner gloves than most. On the surface, the DaKine Blockade Windstopper® gloves seem simple or lightweight, but I’ve quickly found them to be some of the best gloves I’ve worn in the backcountry.

DaKine Blockade Windstopper Gloves Review

DaKine Blockade Windstopper Glove Features

At the core, the Blockade gloves are built using midweight Gore Windstopper fabric. Squished inside the glove’s Windstopper fabric is a water-resistant and breathable membrane that’s adhered to dense yet thin fleece on both sides. The effect is a soft and supple glove that still sheds water, yet errs on the side of breathability for comfort during blood-pumping activities (such as backcountry skiing, hiking XC skiing or snowshoeing).

The Blockade gloves are built with high-energy winter activity in mind with the following features:

  • Gore Windstopper fleece palm and softshell top
  • Pre-curved finger construction
  • Neoprene cuff with hook-and-loop construction
  • Velcro cuff closure
  • Clarino® synthetic palm and finger re-inforcements
  • Kevlar® palm stitching
  • MSRP: $40 Stoic eVent Shell - Jason Mitchell in South Fork Provo Canyon

DaKine Blockade Gloves Review

Looking around at the various glove options for backcountry skiing, I’ve typically settled in on nice-quality Gore Windstopper gloves. With Windstopper fleece, you get dexterity and ultimate breathability–both key features in a backcountry glove.  As is typical, when you start your tour in the early-morning hours, the temperatures may hover in the teens, but once you get rolling, you’re glad to be wearing something breathable that takes the chill off.

The DaKine Blockade Gloves have performed extremely well thus far in both springlike afternoons and crisp and cold mornings. Dexterity is superb and I appreciate the softshell top, which makes these gloves a little more durable when it comes to bushwhack exits. I can feel confident that I’m not going to snag or rip these gloves when I’m battling the low-lying maple and oak bushes that are commonplace here in the Wasatch.

The neoprene cuff and easy-to-cinch wrist strap keeps snow out and holds things in place nicely. The synthetic palm material provides just the right measure of grip and also adds to the durability.

I did find that these gloves met their match while skiing on an extremely cold morning. By the time I got to the bottom of the run, my fingers were completely numb. By the next lap, with the sun drenching us with early-morning light, the gloves felt a little chilly, but definitely not as bad as the first run.

I’ve since used these gloves extensively for cold-weather trail running and absolutely love their lightweight feel and breathability. I’ve yet to find a more durable, comfortable and versatile glove for backcountry skiing or winter trail running.

Mens GoLite Vermillion Fleece Top Review

The Good

  • Comfortable fit
  • Durable and windproof Windstopper fleece and softshell
  • Nice neoprene cuff
  • Breathes extremely well
  • Great for aerobic activity
  • Maintains good dexterity

The Bad

  • Not for extended use in temperatures under 20 degrees
  • Hard to find them at your local retailer

The Bottom Line: DaKine Blockade Gloves

For highly-aerobic activity in the backcountry, the Blockade Gloves are spot-on. I love the mixture of Windstopper fleece and softshell that adds a little measure of durability and good looks. Though these gloves may be hard to find at your local DaKine retailer, trust me… they are great gloves.

Buy Now: Find DaKine Gloves at EVO

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.


  1. Nice review.

    As an avid backcountry skier I know how difficult it can be to find the perfect glove!

    One question. I find my gloves tear at the seams in the palms and the index finger. Are these areas reinforced in this glove?

  2. Hey Sharon

    Thanks for the question. Yes, as you can see the extra palm materials span the palm and the index and middle fingers to provide extra grip and durability. These are great gloves for backcountry skiing in dry areas like Utah. You’re in the Northwest, so I’m not sure if you’d like these getting soggy on occasion. Just a thought.

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