Gloves vs. Mittens: Which Is Better For Skiing And Snowboarding?

Buying equipment for skiing is always so confusing. There are so many things to consider; quality, comfort, wear, and not to mention style. Ensuring your hands stay away from the cold often confuses people about buying gloves or mittens. So, which is better for skiing and snowboarding?

Gloves and Mittens are two products that often confuse buyers. It is because they have similar functions, comfort, and wear. As a result, skiers often need help in selecting which one would suit their needs best.

Gloves and mittens have some differences that professionals can point out for you. Buying ski equipment can be expensive, and it is essential to make an informed choice. So, read on to learn more about ski gloves and mittens.

Related: Skiing Without Poles

A Few Questions To Ask Yourself Before Making The Choice

Gloves vs. Mittens

Choosing between gloves or mittens has no general rule. It is mostly about your preferences. Following is a compilation of some questions you may think about and ask yourself to make a decision.

How Easily Do Your Hands Get Cold?

If your hands get cold quickly, wear thick gloves or mittens. Most cold hands come from clammy hands due to the connection with internal moisture. Dry mittens with less insulation will keep your hands warm.

Mittens with thick insulation might make your hands colder and clammy. Be conscious of balancing the glove’s design or mitten with the outside environment. 

In What Conditions Will You Be Using The Gloves Or Mittens?

If you’re choosing whether to wear a glove or mitten based on the weather, then mittens will be the choice for cold conditions, and gloves will be the choice for warmer conditions.

However, mittens might be better if you only have the budget for one option. It is because they are more versatile in terms of cold weather.

Gloves have a more comprehensive temperature versatility in warm weather. It is better to have hands that are too warm on a warm day than to have hands that are too cold on a cold day.

What Activities Will You Be Doing?

If you’re doing activities requiring optimum dexterity and grip, gloves are your best option. But if the skill is not that important, mittens offer more temperature versatility.

People often buy both—mittens when it’s cold and gloves when it’s warmer. So you might search for offers and sales and get mittens and gloves within your budget.

Importance Of Mobility

When deciding upon mittens or gloves, mobility is another aspect to consider. It is because you will be doing different tasks while wearing gloves or mittens in the mountains. Some of these tasks that you might need to up the hill:

  • Manipulating zippers
  • Accessing pockets on your backpack.
  • Opening a snack.
  • Using your phone or camera.

Mittens will create difficulty

In all of these cases, it would be challenging to do so if you were wearing mittens. That’s because mittens have rounded-off ends like an oven glove. There is no material between the fingers, which restricts each finger’s use

You can move your hand and grasp objects as need be, but you can’t tightly grip objects in specific areas or use your fingers precisely.

Gloves Are Better

When it comes to mobility, gloves are a better option than mittens. However, not all gloves are the same in terms of mobility. It relies on the glove’s raw material, thickness, and fitting. Try different brands to see what works better for you and your hands.

Another option to look at is three-finger mittens. Snowboarders use them to have the warmth of a mitten and extra dexterity to fasten bindings and carry out other tasks as if with a glove.

Which Is Best For Skiing?

Let’s find out: 

Gloves Provide A Better Grip

Most skiers wear gloves as they provide better grip and are easier to handle gear. You can also wear mittens for skiing. However, getting used to holding poles with mittens may take a while. However, there is nothing you can’t do with some practice.

Grip Might Feel Awkward With Mittens

Skiers can hold poles while wearing mittens and place the grip between their thumb and finger. The grip will not be as firm as with gloves and may initially feel awkward.

Lobster Mittens Are An Option

You can try lobster mittens, which have separate thumb and index finger pockets. It provides a better grip than regular mittens, as you can independently move your thumb and finger.

Bulky Gloves Are Bad

Although gloves have more flexibility, thick bulky gloves are still difficult to maneuver. Choosing dexterity over warmth may be a sacrifice you can consider, depending on your preferences.

Whether you choose a glove or mitten for skiing, go for quality with excellent insulation and waterproofing. Having cold hands is the most unfortunate thing when you are skiing.

Do Snowboarders Prefer Gloves Or Mittens?

There are several reasons for snowboarders to prefer one or the other. Here they are:

No Poles, No Gloves

Many snowboarders wear mittens. It is because snowboarders don’t use poles and hence don’t need the extra flexibility required to hold poles. They can benefit from the warmth that mittens provide.

Gloves To Use Bindings

Many snowboarders also prefer wearing gloves. It eases taking off and putting on bindings after each run.

Mittens Are Easier To Take Off

However, many people find putting on and taking off mittens easier because the fingers don’t need to fit into each pocket. It also saves time.

Mittens Are Limiting For Some

Some people find mittens claustrophobic and limiting, whereas others love their extra warmth and cozy feeling. Every snowboarder has their preferences.

You should borrow a friend’s gloves or mittens, do a test snowboarding run and check them for ease of use before you invest in your pair.

Are Snowboard and Ski Gloves Different?

Skiing and snowboarding gloves are interchangeable. However, snowboard-specific gloves are more protective and are for more excellent contact with the snow. 

Snowboard-specific gloves often have greater knuckle protection and a reinforced palm. Snowboarders don’t use poles and are likelier to fall on their hands. They also hit their knuckles when doing bindings multiple times per day.

Final Word

Buying gloves or mittens has no hard-and-fast rules. It depends on the preferences of the buyers and the compromises they are willing to make. Warmth is an important factor, along with agility. Mittens are generally warmer and offer lower mobility. 

Gloves are less warm and provide better mobility and grip of gear. Your choice also depends on whether you are skiing or snowboarding, as they are different in equipment and activities involved. 

To help you decide the areas you can compromise on, it is a good idea to test both mittens and gloves!

Mitchelle Lynn