Gloves Vs. Mittens; What’s The Best Way To Keep Your Fingers Warm This Winter.

I’ll tell you my bias now, I’m like a good pair of mittens during the winter. Mostly that’s because I love snowboarding and they work really well for me. However for you the question of gloves vs mittens can be confusing.

The basic difference between gloves and mittens are the pocket where the fingers reside. On Gloves the pocket is broken into individual finger placement, While Mittens have one giant pocket for all the fingers. A bigger pocket means more shared warmth and less dexterity.

In addition to the above, I like to wear a pair of fingerless gloves under my mittens. This way if I need to remove the glove, my hand doesn’t freeze right away, and I still have full dexterity.

Gloves Vs Mittens: Which is Better?

As I stated above, I’m a snowboarder and I really love a good pair of mittens on the hill. They keep my fingers warmer, and I can do almost anything needed with my mitts on.

That being said, when I take them off from time to time it’s always for something where I need a little dexterity. Mostly it’s to adjust some music or to open a snack when I’m back on the chairlift. (Texting and other phone stuff too).

That being said, it really depends on what you’re doing, and what you need. If you’re going for a hike, and you don’t need the dexterity. I’d opt for a pair of mittens.

If you’re out for a ride on a snowmobile, maybe gloves would suit you better?

It’s really a personal preference.

Gloves VS Mittens; What Are The Differences?

As I stated above the major differences between gloves and mittens stems from their design.



There is a 3rd style that I’ve neglected to mention. It’s called a lobster, and it’s a hybrid between the two. Personally I don’t like them, so I won’t mention them much more either.

The basic difference between gloves and mittens are the pocket where the fingers reside. On Gloves the pocket is broken into individual finger placement, While Mittens have one giant pocket for all the fingers. A bigger pocket means more shared warmth and less dexterity.

It should go without saying that the reverse means more dexterity and less warmth.

Why Should I Wear Gloves Under My Mittens?

I started doing this a few years ago, and can’t seem to stop now. It just works for me. However I bought a pair of fingerless gloves. They were leather workout gloves. They weren’t fancy but they fit well and have a bit of insulation.

On warmer days I would ride with them instead of the mittens an on colder days wore the mittens.

One day I realized that I should wear both, and it made a huge difference. Yes they can sometimes overheat but I can take the mittens off and everything is fine.

Once my fingers get cold again, I put the mittens back on.

In a world that wants to make you choose gloves vs mittens. Maybe you can have both?

Below are some awesome gloves that I’ve seen on amazon, check them out. Full disclosure, your purchases do help support my website by a small percentage. Happy Shopping.

Gloves Vs. Mittens For Snowboarding

As I stated above, I don’t think there’s much of a need only for gloves when you’re snowboarding. However there are instances where you could need them.

If your bindings get jammed up with ice or some other mountain crud, clearing them out will be difficult with mittens. Also if you’re doing some tree runs and wipe out, trapping a tree branch to get up might be easier with full dexterity.

Wearing mitts I learned the easiest way to disengage my bindings and that’s one of the bigger issues you’ll wind up facing.

Let me know what you think in the comments below, did I miss anything?

Gloves Vs. Mittens For Skiing

Now skiing is a whole different story. If you’re a skier that uses ski poles, I think you’d be better suited for gloves. My reasoning is strictly for mobility and the ability to move quickly.

Keep in mind that I’m not a skier, but I feel like mobility when going downhill at high speed would be more beneficial than warmth.

Is There A Difference Between Snowboard And Skiing Hand Wear?

I’ll tell you a little secret, there isn’t a difference at all. Some companies will market to certain groups, but gloves are globes and mitts are mitts.

Wear what works for you, and what you’re comfortable with.

How Waterproof Are Gloves and Mittens?

When you’re buying snow pants they categorize them into 2 separate categories. Breathability and Waterproofing. This means 2 things.

  1. You’ll want the gloves to be waterproof. This will keep your hands dry and warm throughout the day. Once the cold sets in. The day ends pretty quickly. Nobody wants to ride when they can’t feel their fingers.
  2. Breathability is a secondary thing to look at, because it involves sweat evaporating from your hands. If the gloves can’t breathe sweat won’t dissipate, and you’re hands will get wet. Go back to Point 1 now.

My understanding is that sweat evaporates in smaller droplets than water can get in. Hence the collaboration between the 2 systems. You want breathability and it being waterproof.

Keep in mind no system that needs breathability can be 100% waterproof. It won’t happen.

Take a look at my blog about choosing the best snow pants for information on this topic.

Take A Look At The Fabric:

When checking out a new pair of gloves, take a look at the fabric. See how thick it is.

A couple other questions you’ll want to ask:

  1. What kind of temperatures will I be riding in?
  2. Will it be wet out?
  3. Can I put layers on under this?

These 3 questions are important, and they mingle together for a proper view of what you’ll need.

Remember when I said that I wear fingerless gloves under my mittens. I switch between 3 different ways of wearing them.

I’ll wear only fingerless gloves when it’s spring riding. This is the kind of riding you’ll do when the sun is shining and it’s almost T-Shirt weather.

The mittens will only be worn when it’s a little colder than the spring days, but not below 17 degrees. (For me that’s the limit, you might have a different temp)

Anything below 17 degrees gets a double layer. I’d rather have extra layers to remove that not enough and be cold.

Extra Accessories:

When looking at gloves vs mittens, there’s also a bunch of other accessories that might help. Personally I don’t use any of these, but that’s because I’m very simplistic in my though process.

Hand Warmers:

They do have gloves and mittens that heat up. You can do this a few different ways but you can get those little hand warmers that chemically make heat. Or you can use a battery.

I do think they’re kinda cool, and I think about them a lot when riding in January. However I don’t think they’re for me.

Kinda feels like cheating to me, but that’s just me. To each their own.

Touch Screen Gloves:

I’ve yet to see these on mittens, but that’d be difficult to do. Some gloves have the ability to use a phone touch screen without taking them off. It’s kinda cool but that’s really up to you.

In Conclusion

Thank you so much for reading my latest blog post. Links to Amazon on this page give me a slight commission that helps me keep this blog running.

Don’t forget to comment and subscribe below. Happy shredding this season.

SnoFall Gear is Owned By ESterling LLC

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