Gloves can be an advantage on the hill because of the increased dexterity they provide you. If you’re frequently adjusting your boots or bindings, gloves allow you to do so without needing to use your bare hands. The downside? It can be easier for your fingers to get cold when they’re isolated.


Mittens offer greater warmth than gloves because your fingers are enclosed in the same space and will generate more body heat for your hands. The downside of mittens is the decreased level of dexterity, requiring that you remove your mittens to properly use your hands.


If your hands get cold in gloves but you also need dexterity to adjust your gear, there are a number of options available that combine a glove liner with a mitten outer shell. The outer shell provides the warmth of a mitten while the glove line provides the desired finger mobility, without needing to bare your hands to the elements.


Regardless of whether you choose gloves, mittens, or a combination glove, there are several additional features to take into account when making your purchase. 


The two types of insulation typically used in gloves and mittens are down and synthetic.
Note: While both these insulators are breathable, the liner of your glove or mitten should be breathable as well, letting water molecules pass from the inside of the glove to the outside, helping to keep your hands warm and dry.

  • Down – This lightweight, high-performance insulator is both durable and breathable but loses its insulating power when wet. Down-insulated gloves are great for dry, cold conditions and perform best with a waterproof outer shell.
  • Synthetic – This breathable material is a good insulator even when wet. Synthetically insulated gloves and mittens tend to be a good choice for wet conditions, or for those whose hands tend to sweat. Synthetic insulation is slightly bulkier than down, and loses its insulating ability as it becomes compressed over time.


Similar to the outer layer of your ski jacket, glove and mittens intended for the mountain typically have a waterproof, breathable outer shell. This protects the integrity of the insulation in your gloves or mittens, ensuring your hands stay dry and warm.

Long Cuffs

A long cuff on your glove or mitten allows overlap with the sleeve of your jacket, helping to keep out snow, cold air and moisture. The addition of a wrist cinch allows you tighten the end of the cuff around your arm or wrist, creating a seal.

Finding the Right Fit

When trying on your gloves or mittens, ensure that your palm fits all the way inside the cuff with your wrist fully covered, and that you have enough room to comfortably extend your fingers. Look for a fit that is snug and comfortable, without being restrictive; if your gloves are too tight they will decrease circulation, making your hands cold. A properly fitting pair of gloves or mittens will help keep your hands warm and mobile, extending your time on the mountain.

This article and post is designed for educational purposes only. When participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is a possibility of physical injury. Please consult with a doctor prior to engaging in any exercise or exercise program. The use of any information provided is solely at your own risk. Product selection is an individual choice and the consumer is responsible for determining whether or not any product is suitable based on the consumer’s circumstances.