Mittens VS Gloves: Which One Is The Right For You


Winter may be the reason some people take to remain indoors around a fire and drink hot soup. For lovers of snow sports, it is the perfect time to grab that all-mountain snowboard and come out and play.

If you are an avid snowboarder or skier, then you know the importance of having the right clothing. Part of having the right clothing is keeping your hands warm and dry. This includes knowing what to wear between mittens vs gloves. It will keep you warm and dry as you cascade down those steep slopes.

The last thing you want after all is cold, frigid fingers. To keep your hands warm, you have a choice between gloves or mittens. This guide takes a look at each of these to help you figure out which one is right for you.

Picking the right size

When choosing your gloves or mittens, you need to ensure that they fit nice and snug. This is the key to having warm hands and improved dexterity.

If they are too big for your hands, it will be much more difficult to hold the ski poles and handle the other gear. Also, they will do a poor job of keeping your hands warm.

Consider the activity

When you are deciding between mittens vs gloves, something to always keep in mind is the type of snow sport that you plan to do. Many of the gloves and mittens for snowboarding or skiing feature a synthetic upper material and a waterproof material underneath.

The material that comes into contact with the hands offers great insulation and will keep the hands warm when it’s wet and cold outside. Remember to carry the best quality snowboard jacket.

Special padding on the palms and well as the fingers and knuckles makes the gloves or mittens that much more durable and able to withstand the rigors of snowboarding and skiing.

Some people, however, prefer to do cross country skiing. As it is much easier to get hot in this activity and build up a sweat, the type of gloves used are flexible and breathable to allow moisture to easily pass through.

Difference between gloves and mittens

Gloves have an individual finger design. These provide more dexterity than mittens. It makes them suitable when you will be using your hands to handle a lot of gear as well as adjust zippers frequently. It’s important to understand what type of gear you will be using by going through the guide to ski and snowboard gear.

If you are in an activity that generates a lot of heat, then you will need lightweight gloves. This is the case with cross country skiing.

Mittens, on the other hand, keep your fingers together. Because of this, your hands can generate more heat. If you are not handling gear too often, then the less dexterity of the fingers can still serve you well as you can easily grab onto poles or even that snowboard.

Lobster is a blend of both the gloves and the mittens. They have more dexterity than mittens designs. Here your index finger and middle finger are held together while your pinky finger and your ring finger are held together.

There is also the 3-in-1 mittens and gloves. They feature a removable mitten or shell glove with an inner mitten or glove liner. The best feature includes versatility giving you optimum warmth. In case the weather turns warm, you can wear one individually.  You will get great dexterity with the liner globes allowing you to easily handle gear while still keeping your arms protected from the cold.

Comparing insulation


There are two main types of insulations that you will find in both gloves or mittens. These are synthetic insulation and down.

Many people will prefer down due to its lightweight, breathable, and durable nature. It is a more expensive alternative to synthetic. However, it will last much longer and keep its loft for longer than synthetic. Over time this results in great value for money. That said it is not used as frequently as synthetic as it doesn’t perform well in wet conditions and loses its insulation abilities when wet.

Often down insulation will be tucked between a shell that is waterproof to prevent it from getting wet. If you are planning on snowboarding or skiing in cold yet dry conditions, then down is a great choice. take a look at what to wear skiing.

Synthetic, on the other hand, is much popular. It is much more affordable compared to down. The great thing with this material is that it is capable of offering insulation even when it gets wet. And even then, it will dry quite fast.  If you plan on spending a lot of time playing in the snow, it is a great choice.

However, it does come with a disadvantage. Weight for weight, synthetic does not offer as much warmth compared to down. It is also bulkier and tends to lose its ability to insulate as it gets more and more compressed. Many people who enjoy to ski downhill, and do cross country skiing will prefer to use synthetic insulation in their gloves and mittens.


When you are searching for the ideal gloves and mittens for snow sports, one of the main features to look for is waterproofness. A top layer should prevent water from reaching into the gloves while also letting moisture from sweat to escape.

One of the main materials used in gloves and mittens designed for snowboarding or skiing is Gore-Tex. This is because it is both waterproof and breathable. Note however that there is no 100 percent waterproof mitten or glove. Try and prevent moisturize from getting in through proper wearing and limiting sweating activities.

Also, try and keep the hands dry as they can get warmer when they are dry than when they are wet.

Note that while making the most of your time on the steep snowy slopes, it’s important to understand avalanche awareness and to know what to do in case it happens.

Touch screen compatibility

In the early days when you wanted to operate your mobile phone, you would have to take out the gloves or mittens. This would expose your hand to the cold. However, manufacturers are now coming up with touch screen compatible gloves and mittens.  You can easily operate your mobile phone without having to remove the gloves.

Heated mittens and gloves

Some gloves and mittens have a battery-powered heating system. These will help to keep you warm on the chilliest of winters. The batteries are rechargeable and are the lithium-ion variety. They also allow the wearer to change the heat output.

Ultimately such technology makes the gloves much heavier and more expensive.

Before heading out into the snow, always ensure that you go through your backcountry ski and snowboard trip checklist.

Globo Surf Overview

There are a numbered of factors that need to be considered when deciding between mittens vs gloves. Picking the right size gloves, the insulation material and touch screen compatibility are just some of the features that can be found in the best quality gloves and mittens.

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  1. Difference between gloves and mittens,
Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!