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Gloves vs Mitts - which one is better for me?

Gloves vs Mitts - which one is better for me?


Nothing could be more divisive than the age-old debate of ‘Gloves vs Mitts’ - it’s almost as passionate as snowboarding vs. skiing! Do you want the dexterity of gloves or the inherent warmth of mittens?

Firstly, we want and need something that fits well and feels good! Gloves, just like boots and goggles can make or break your day. If you’ve got cold or wet hands, you’ll have a terrible time no matter how great the snow is. Gloves and mitts will fit on a basic length and width across different brands – so if you’ve tried on a Small in one brand, you’ll be a Small in another. They also work on a centimetre measurement, so when ordering online, you can always give us a call here at the store with your hand measurement, and we can point you towards the perfect size for you.

When fitting a glove or mitt, there are a few key points that make them comfortable and practical:

  • There should always be about a fingernail length of extra room at the end of your fingertips – this keeps your body heat circulating throughout the air pocket properly and in turn keeps you toasty!
  • When trying gloves and mittens on, make a fist. If the fabric stretches across the top of your knuckles, they’re definitely too small. There shouldn’t be any tension, and should fit nice and snug, but not too tight.
  • Often, we also recommend wearing a liner underneath – this can aid in breathability and insulation. Make sure to leave enough room for these.

Mitts

Do you run on the colder side? This can determine what kind of insulation you need as some models are definitely warmer than others. As a general rule, mittens are always going to be slightly warmer than gloves. This is because they create a larger air pocket, and keep more body heat circulating throughout compared to a glove. Have a look at the Burton Gore-Tex Mitt.Unfortunately though, mittens can inhibit mobility so sometimes it is necessary to remove your mitt to do your bindings up answer a call or to eat your snack on the chairlift… To be honest though, more often than not, even when wearing gloves you may find you need to take them off as well.

If you run on the hotter side, and are in need of something with less insulation, a great option is to look for a ‘spring’ glove – still with a reasonable water-proof rating, but without any insulation or thick lining. You can even find Neoprene based gloves now, which are water-resistant but are great for people who just want something to cover their hands and not necessarily give any kind of warmth or waterproofing.


What makes it a snowboard glove?

Snowboarders need a little more out of gloves and mittens – they need to be hardy enough to ratchet up bindings quickly, and sturdy enough to rip them back off at the bottom of the run. Because of this they’re re-enforced around the tips of the fingers with wrap around cuffs. Often, you’ll also find that snowboard gloves are double stitched on the palm and finger seams to make sure they don’t fail when you need them most.

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Ski gloves and mittens on the other hand, are slimmer in profile to give the user more dexterity whilst holding their poles. They’ll also be pre-shaped into an ergonomic curve to limit overworking of the hand. Pretty nifty!

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Why are my hand still wet!!!

Most of the questions we get in store, are about why people’s hands get wet even when they’re wearing gloves or mittens. There are a few reasons to why this can happen, and most come down to the different types of waterproofingthat companies use in their gloves and mitts. However, there are a few tricks you can do to make sure you’re getting the best out of your purchase too

  • Always try to wear your jacket sleeve OVER your glove or mitten cuff. This makes sure that snow, rain or any kind of moisture doesn’t run down your sleeve and into the top of the glove.
  • Treat your gloves like your outerwear – much like a jacket they use a shell, water proofing membrane, insulation and lining and should be cared for in the same way to maintain optimal waterproofing.
  • Try not to take your gloves on and off and put your hands in the snow. However, if you do, think about wearing a glove liner – this will help to wick moisture away from your hands when you put them back in the gloves and enhance the breathability index to expel moisture.

Are you skiing or snowboarding? This question also determines which gloves and mitts will suit you best. Although on the surface, ski and snowboard gloves don’t look that different, there are subtle discrepancies between the two that make them more suitable for each activity.


Leather is the best, yes?

Another question we often receive, is whether leather gloves really are the best, or whether a synthetic alternative is as good. The answer to this is determined mostly on what you actually need out of the glove.

Leather is a natural water repellent and insulator whilst being incredibly durable. In saying that though, it does need a little more maintenance than other fabrics because it is a natural substance. Waxing/oiling the leather should be done prior to initial use when first bought and again a few times throughout the season to avoid cracking and degeneration of the leather itself.

Synthetic palms are the most common design you’ll find in both gloves and mittens. Reasonably durable, can sometimes add extra grip compared to the suppleness of leather and also easier to care for. However, their main draw card is that they’re a little more cost effective than leather.

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