Choosing the right pair of gloves or mittens for snow sports can be the difference between a fun-filled, comfortable outing and a miserable trip with frigid fingers.
When shopping for gloves and mittens, first consider your activity. Most downhill ski and snowboard gloves and mittens are made with synthetic exteriors, often nylon, combined with a waterproof, breathable barrier and some type of insulation to keep your hands warm in cold, wet conditions. Abrasion-resistant patches on the fingers, knuckles and palms improve durability for activities like skiing and snowboarding.
In contrast, cross-country skiing is a highly aerobic activity where you’re likely to work up a sweat. Cross-country gloves are flexible, breathable and allow moisture from sweat to escape more easily.
Once you know how you will be using your gloves or mittens, consider such features as insulation, waterproofness, dexterity and touch-screen compatibility.
GLOVES VERSUS MITTENS
Gloves, with their individual fingers, offer better dexterity than mittens and are ideal for activities where you need to frequently handle gear, adjust boot buckles and zip zippers. Lightweight gloves are a great choice for aerobic activities, such as cross-country skiing, where your body is generating lots of heat.
Mittens tend to be warmer than gloves because your fingers generate more heat when they’re not separated from each other by fabric, as they are with gloves. They aren’t as dexterous as gloves but they can still serve you well when you’re holding ski poles, carving down the mountain on a snowboard or heading out for a hike in frigid temperatures.