When you head out for a day of skiing, staying warm is one of the things that should rank high in importance. Gloves and mittens really are a requirement for staying warm, but which one will keep you the warmest? Are gloves better than mittens? Or, are mittens better than gloves? This is a question we want to help you solve.
Here are two aspects of many to consider when deciding whether a ski glove or mitten will be work for you.
We can wiggle our fingers fairly easily sitting here at our desks. Go ahead, try it. Good ski gloves are well insulated to help keep heat in and offer waterproof features to help keep your hands dry but with these great features often comes at least some bulk. Moving your fingers while wearing ski gloves may not be as easy as you would think. From grabbing ski poles, to the side of chairlifts and more; all should be taken into account.
This doesn’t mean ski mittens are any easier, in fact mittens tend to allow for less mobility and movement than gloves do. In a mitten your fingers are in one “compartment” instead of individually separated like in a glove. This allows you to use four fingers at once to wrap the mitten around ski poles and the thumb and fingers combo when zipping up tighter on the windy chairlift rides up the mountain may actually be easier. But, for other tasks a mitten may not be as well suited.
Keeping all those fingers together adds to the warmth of ski mittens over ski gloves, right? It’s utilizing heat to keep it all compartmentalized into one central location.
Not so fast.
Insulation is key when it comes to ski gloves and mittens. Insulated ski gloves wrap your fingers individually providing excellent coverage and plenty of warmth.
But what about the insulation in ski mittens? Ski mittens also have adequate insulation, but the mitten also relies on your fingers being close together to generate more heat. It’s also important to note that not all ski mittens are the same. Some actually have individual spots for your fingers once inside the mitten. Others are just one compartment in which your fingers will actually touch. So if you decide to purchase a mitten, it is best to read descriptions carefully or try them on to make sure it is the type of mitten you are looking for.
Is there a Glove/Mitten Hybrid?
Some people like keeping their fingers close to together inside a mitten. It certainly allows for greater flexibility of the fingers. Others prefer the gloves where each finger is separated by insulation and shell material.
For those really conflicted or just interested in trying a new style of glove/mitten, the 3 finger gloves are a cool way to keep your hands warm. The 3-finger gloves have a spot for the thumb, a spot for the index finger and a mitten type area for the remaining 3 fingers. This combines the warmth of insulation in gloves and the dexterity of mittens to give you a great new kind of style and performance for your hands.
Gloves, mittens, 3-finger gloves – whatever your preference, make sure to find hand-wear suitable for the conditions you’re in. Gloves and mittens come many different styles shapes and uses. Make sure you don’t choose a spring glove for a January snow day and a fully insulated glove for a March slush session. The spring glove in January will not provide you with enough insulation and your hands will get cold really fast, where as choosing a fully insulated glove for a spring day may lead to sweating hands which will keep your hands wet and that moisture build up on the inside of the glove will also lead to cold hands. Choose your hand wear appropriately for the conditions and time of year.