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Gloves Vs Mittens – Which is Better for Skiing & Snowboarding?

gloves vs mittens
Written by Brian G Smith

Keeping your body warm is another significant aspect whenever you intend to go skiing. Maintaining a warm body temperature should be at the top of your priority list. The contest between gloves vs Mittens is an old one that has influenced the decision of most snowboarders and skiers for decades now.

One of the major requirements to retain and maintain your body temperature is the protection of hands. The fact here is this can be done either with gloves or Mitten, the question is, which is better? Well, a perfect answer to such question balls down to our individual preferences and needs. Both mittens and gloves all serve the purpose of keeping the body warm and creating the right covering against cold.

If you have a perfect pair of mittens or hand gloves, you can be enthusiastic about your move. So, if this is where you are currently stocked, no worries; we’re here to help you make the right choice of what serves best.

Gloves Vs Mittens – The Most Noticeable Differences

Gloves Vs Mittens for snowboarding

1. Mobility

To know if a glove is well designed, it retains body heat enough body heat and also helps to ensure a waterproof feature that is meant to keep both hands always dry, although this feature most times increases the price rate of the gloves in question. A proper movement of your fingers while the gloves are on you may not be easy as you think.  From the side of the chairlifts to holding the ski poles, you will need to take proper account of everything. Apart from washing the gloves, you should also know how to dry them to get longer service from them.

On the other hand, this doesnt means using a ski mitten is more comfortable, as a matter of fact, Mitten gives you room for less movement and mobility than gloves would when compared. Mitten allows all your fingers to be within a compartment instead of having it locked separately in different loops like that of a glove.

The design in a mitten allows you to wrap your hands around the ski pole while your fingers and thumb are well combos once you are zipping up within a windy chairlift to the top of a mountain. But in some instances, the use of a mitten will not be recommended.

2. Warmth

When your fingers are closely packed together, your level of warmth generated is increased. Since your fingers are held together in a central location, heat is easily generated.

Proper insulation can be the major key that makes a significant difference when it comes to Mitten and ski gloves. Most insulated gloves are designed to get your fingers wrapped up independently; as a result, provide enough warmth and perfect coverage over the hand. On the other hand, ski mittens are also designed with enough insulation, but it relies greatly on the closeness of your finger to generate sufficient heat.

It is also important to know that there is a slit difference among ski mittens. There are mittens with individual spots that are created for the finger. So, if you intend to buy a mitten, take out time to read the manufacture’s descriptions properly; you can also try having them it on to ensure the Mitten is a perfect size of what you want.

3. Breathability

Similar to most pants and jackets, for snowboarding and skiing, gloves and mittens are both designed with weatherproofing features that will help keep your body dry, comfortable, and warm while you cruise out there on a slope.

Breathability, explains the feature of material to allow the skin release and breathe heats that are pent up from different activities, this feature allows the skin with the normal exposure to cool off and avoid getting wet. Although this feature is not found in all ski wear, if you intend to maintain a certain temperature while snowboarding or skiing out the door, then it is important to check the breathability quality before making a purchase.

The waterproofing quality is one of the major features possessed by 75% of snowboard or ski wear. This feature helps control water from going in or out of the gloves; as a result, your hands remain completely all through.

4. Touchscreen

Here are some pointers to look out for –

  • The moisture-wicking ability: this allows sweat or moistures that are pent up to get across the glove membrane to the outer part of the gloves helping you to stay dry all through.
  • The next factor of consideration is the touchscreen technology. This technology allows the use of a smartphone while having your gloves on. Gloves that are designed with this amazing technology are normally created with few fingers or a just a thumb and a finger, irrespective of this; the gloves are still lifesaving.

Here are some factors to give attention too:

  • Wrist cuffs to Velcro shut or cinch it to ensure snow is kept out.
  • The presence of a nose wipe: a soft area located directly on the thumb that is meant specifically for the nose.
  • A zippered pocket, meant for hand warmers.
  • A wrist cord that is placed on the wrist to hold back the gloves if it falls off.
  • A well-designed leather palm to help protect the entire glove area that performs the most activities.
  • Mitten or glove liners that are accompanied by gloves and can also be used separately.

Heated Gloves

The most important part of this is to know that nothing outstrips a mitten or heated glove if you want to keep cold away. Heated gloves are perfect replicas of their names. Although there are battery-powered gloves that heat the hand from inside out, this technology is also designed in mitten and gloves and features different settings and types of battery length. If your hand goes numbs easily, then we recommend this as a must!

Heated Gloves and Mittens

Some prefer to keep their fingers closed with a mitten. This is another way to increase the height of the flexibility of all the fingers. On the other hand, some prefer using gloves that allow their finger enclosed on each separate location covered round with shell and insulation.

And for those interested to try out something new, using the three-finger gloves will be an ideal way to ensure your hands are kept warm. The three-finger gloves are designed with spots; one is meant for the thumb, the other houses the index finger, while it has a mitten designed area which is created to house three fingers.  The bland of mitten and glove create another level of comfort and gives you a perfect kind outward appearance and performance.

Suitable for Skiing?

So far, we had a brief look into some of the basic information about mittens and gloves. In brief, let take a look at which is preferable when it comes to skiing.  Whenever it comes to ski clothing outwear, most skiers and snowboarders are equally similar to the way most apparel made for winter will work perfectly for any sport.

The common belief is that most snowboarders have mittens on while skiers have gloves on. Although, on some occasions, this becomes true, while in some cases, it is the reverse. The fact here is that gloves offer a better grip on poles than the mittens. However, you can use them both interchangeably as you can do with the ski masks.

Suitable for Snowboarding?

Gloves or mittens all depend on the level of warmth and comfort an individual needs. One of the major exceptions in this area is that most snowboarders take off their snowboard gloves or mittens if they intend to strap out or in their bindings, and since mittens are easily taken off and on; this makes it popular.

Mitten, gloves, the three-finger gloves, regardless of your preference, it is most important to ensure you get suitable handwear that suits your condition perfectly. Mittens and gloves are designed in different sizes, styles, shapes, and uses.

It is also important to make sure you do not make the choice of a spring glove while you’re in January. Most spring gloves don’t have enough insulation; to this effect, hands get cold easily. It is important to choose the appropriate handwear in line with the time and conditions of the year.


Q. 1: What came first – mittens or gloves?

A. Gloves are created with separate pockets meant for fingers and are designed to increase comfort when holding poles and handling gear. On the other hand, mittens are created with only one pocket, which is meant to house the fingers, thus giving room to share the heat generated among the fingers. The bottom line is Mittens are warm but not so comfortable.

Q. 2: Do mittens or gloves keep your hands warmer?

A.  Mittens are a bit warmer than most gloves because the fingers are clustered together. As a result, they tend to generate more heat. The liner in gloves offers more comfort that allows handling poles and gears while closing the skin against cold.

About the author

Brian G Smith

“Hey, are you out of your mind?” - this is what I often hear when people see me performing some really dangerous stunts. While most people use scooters to commute, I use mine to hone my stunting skills. Yes, that’s me, Brian Smith. I’ve a small group of like-minded people in my team that love to do all sorts of stunts with their kick scooters and skateboards. My fans also ask me to teach them a thing or two every now and then. This is why I am here. In my leisure time, I like to write about what I do with my scooters and what I am going to do next. One thing I want to say to all my fans - Don’t hit the streets without proper information and training..

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