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How to Choose the Best Ski and Snowboard Gear | Gloves and Mittens

How to Choose the Best Ski and Snowboard Gear | Gloves and Mittens

Part 2 - Ski Gloves vs Mittens

In part two of our blog about choosing the right snow gear we address the age old question of ski gloves vs mittens.  You can read part one about ski goggles and helmets here.

Whether you are skiing or snowboarding, keeping your hands warm on the mountain can make the difference between hours of enjoyment or frozen fingers and too many breaks for hot chocolate!  There is nothing more miserable than cold hands, so it’s definitely worth spending the time to make sure you choose the right gear.

When comparing ski gloves or mittens, the truth is both work. There are advantages for each one – so it really depends what works for you!  Are you a regular skier or snowboarder, who skis or boards in all conditions, or a fair weather, few days a year rider? Do your hands get cold easily?

Read on to find out more about what you need to look for when buying ski and snowboard gloves and mittens.


When it comes to dexterity gloves are an outright winner! Since gloves have individual fingers they provide significantly more flexibility for activities involving fine motor skills – undoing zips, handling snow gear and ski poles, adjusting snowboard bindings, opening your snack bar, answering your phone and even helping the kids. Mittens, with their rounded ends, ensure a number of these tasks are more challenging!  However, if you are looking for dexterity don’t just go and pick up the first pair of gloves you find. Not all ski gloves are created equally. The material, thickness and fit on the wearer will all affect how easily these tasks can be performed, even in gloves.


All things being equal mittens are considered warmer for skiing and snowboarding. This is largely because mittens provide one pocket for all the fingers and the heat is shared around. There is also less surface area exposed to the cold. However, the warmth of gloves or mittens actually depends more on a variety of other factors:  the insulation, waterproofing and breathability of the fabrics, what lining is used, as well as how well the glove or mitten fits the wearer.


Whether you are wearing gloves or mittens, the material and construction will have a big impact on their ability to keep your hands warm while out on the snow. Most gloves and mittens are made using a synthetic exterior, a waterproof and breathable barrier, insulation and a lining. Fleece linings are very warm and will help to lock in your bodies warmth. How thick your ski gloves are will affect your dexterity, so look for quality insulation that is light and not bulky. Most snow gloves and mittens will come with a waterproof and breathable barrier to ensure hands remain dry.  Gortex® technology is most frequently used due to the high level of waterproofness and breathability it offers. Also consider the outer material. Leather is warmer and more durable, but less flexible than other synthetic materials.


Fit is a key factor in keeping your hands warm while skiing or snowboarding. Poorly fitting mittens will be colder than properly fitting gloves and visa versa. A properly fitting glove or mitten will have about a 1/4inch at the end of the fingers and if you make a fist will not be too tight or restrictive.

Other factors

Whether you decide that ski gloves or mittens are better, some other factors you might consider before you buy include cuff style, leashes and wrist cords, zip pockets for inserting hand warmers and thumb wipes for cleaning your goggles.  If you find you have really cold hands you might also like to consider heated gloves or mittens.

Get out there!

Check out our full gloves and mitts here we've got something for everyone. 

At On Mountain NZ we offer a variety of gloves and mittens perfect for skiing and snowboarding. We are always happy to provide advice, so just hit the chat button on the bottom right of your screen, give us a call or drop us an email!



Previous article How to Choose the Right Snow Gear | Ski and Snowboard Pants and Jackets
Next article How to Choose the Best Ski and Snowboard Gear | Goggles and Helmets

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