Choosing the best ski and snowboard gloves

The best gloves and mittens for alpine skiing and snowboarding in 2021

In view of the widest offer and the mass of different characteristics, the choice of gloves for alpine skiing is not always easy to make. What to look for in order for an active vacation to be a success, we will tell you in this article.

What is the difference between ski and snowboarding gloves or mittens

Good ski gloves are designed to protect the rider's hands from icy wind, moisture, cold, snow and mechanical damage. They should be warm, comfortable, and hands should not sweat.

It's not a good idea to buy ordinary warm mittens and go to the mountains. Specialized ski models are different:

  • we will cover ;
  • using materials;
  • quality and strength of sewing;
  • thermal insulation properties;
  • the presence of additional functions, chips;
  • water repellency and other parameters.

This type of equipment is designed for heavy loads, active skiing, heat retention and high-quality moisture removal. You will be convinced of the importance of these parameters after the first descent from the mountain.

Gloves vs. Mittens?

Mittens provide maximum warmth to your hands. By keeping the fingers in the same compartment, more heat is produced. They can be removed faster and make it easy to operate simple ski equipment. This is a great option for backcountry, freeriding, and also for fun in powder.

Gloves give more agility, mobility, sensitivity. This is especially important when you need to use complex equipment. Ideal for park, freestyle, ski touring, mountaineering. In gloves, it is easier to button something, tie, take from a pocket.

If you wish, you can buy a hybrid version - lobster mittens. It is a symbiosis of gloves and mittens. Several fingers are freed in it. The rest are together. This gives you more freedom of movement.

Types of ski and snowboard gloves

To make it easier to choose snowboard or ski gloves, it is worth exploring what types they are:

Gloves are one of the must-have accessories for skiing. Their choice depends on how comfortable and warm you will be in cold weather.

Basic requirements for ski gloves

Ski gloves have two main requirements: good heat retention and effective moisture wicking. Of course, a lot depends on the individual characteristics, as well as on the person's riding style. But in general, good heat conservation is important when skiing in cold weather, and moisture removal comes to the fore in relatively warm weather.

The thermal insulation properties of gloves depend on their material, the quantity and quality of insulation, and the presence of a membrane. The moisture protection characteristics are directly dependent on the membrane.


The membrane is a material with the smallest pores. It wicks moisture out of the gloves and prevents moisture from entering the outside. Membranes can be made from several materials:

  • Polyurethane is the most common option, it is inexpensive and provides good moisture wicking.
  • Hipora is a microporous polyurethane-based film material. It is elastic, capable of absorbing moisture and bringing it out, has good air permeability, but does not let the wind through.
  • Gore-tex is a porous Teflon membrane fabric. It is completely waterproof on the outside, but at the same time it wicks moisture well from the inside of the gloves.
  • Windstopper is a kind of Teflon membrane, but it has larger pores than Gore-tex. For this reason, the Windstopper is good for air permeability and heat dissipation, but without additional impregnation, it is not waterproof and does not provide reliable wind protection.


Three types of materials are used for its manufacture:

  • Down is an excellent natural heat-insulating material. It is able to protect the skier in any frost, but when wet it loses all its thermal insulation properties, therefore it is suitable for use only in dry weather.
  • Primaloft is an artificial microfiber material. It retains heat worse than natural fluff, but is not afraid of moisture and is suitable for any weather.
  • Thinsulate is a new generation insulation. It is also a man-made material consisting of the finest polyester fibers. It provides excellent thermal insulation and is suitable for all weather conditions.

Additional Attributes

When choosing ski gloves, also pay attention to the following nuances:

  • Lining makes the gloves more comfortable and improves moisture wicking. Most often it is made from wool, fleece or synthetic materials.
  • The cuffs keep snow out of the way. Long cuffs do their job well, but they limit wrist mobility. The short ones are devoid of such a drawback, but they do not protect against snow ingress.

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  • One of the essential accessories to comfortably ski or snowboard is comfortable mittens or gloves. One should not approach their choice lightly. After all, it depends on how warm and comfortable they are, whether the skiing will be successful. Such gloves and mittens should keep warm well and wick away sweat so that your palms are dry while riding, and your hands are warm.

    What to prefer - mittens or gloves

    One of the important points is to choose what kind of accessory will be on hand. In gloves, the athlete feels more dexterous, but in mittens it is much warmer. Modern manufacturers of sporting goods have learned how to make this piece of clothing for all occasions, using the best materials and the highest quality base.

    By choosing mittens, the athlete provides warmth to his hands. The fingers are held together, so they generate more heat than glove compartments. Moreover, now this accessory is in trend.

    At the same time, there are different circumstances in sports and sometimes mittens do not provide the mobility and mobility that gloves can provide. For example, you have to take off your mittens if you need to find something in your pockets, make a phone call, or adjust the fastener.

    Currently, there are hybrid specimens on sale, which are a symbiosis of mittens and gloves. The accessory looks like a mitten with three compartments or a three-fingered glove. In it, the athlete can already perform some actions and at the same time keep his hands warm.

    Modern mittens and gloves for sports are made from several layers of different materials. This keeps your hands warm and dry. They usually consist of a durable upper fabric or leather, a membrane layer, thermal insulation material, warm and comfortable padding and material on the palms.

    The ability to keep warm

    This parameter is one of the most important when choosing a sports accessory. All mittens and gloves for sports differ in their characteristics. When choosing them, it is important to find the pair that will suit the athlete according to individual parameters.

    Gloves are always perceived by winter athletes as a must-have accessory. Admirers of snowboards and skis will certainly confirm this fact. Choosing the right and appropriate pair is not as easy as it might initially seem. Despite this aspect, it is possible to choose the most suitable products to protect hands and fingers from freezing at the lowest air temperature. Modern snowboard and ski gloves are specially designed for active skiing, successful moisture removal, keeping warm, dry hands. For this reason, conventional models cannot be suitable for skiing in mountainous areas, as can be seen after the first few descents.

    Alpine skiing and snowboarding are sports that require quality equipment

    A responsible approach to the choice of accessories is a must. Otherwise, gloves for snowboarding and alpine skiing will not meet the special expectations of an active person.

    When choosing an accessory, it is advisable to focus on the following aspects:

    • type of accessory - gloves or mittens;
    • level of heat conservation;
    • external material used;
    • membrane ;
    • degree of thermal insulation;
    • type of lining material;
    • palm device features;
    • wrist cuff length;
    • additional features;
    • size and fit.

    In order to make a worthy purchase, it is recommended to take all aspects into account and go through them.

    Gloves or mittens

    First of all, you need to decide on the type of accessory: gloves or mittens. What is the difference between the available offers? So, gloves surprise with their dexterity, and mittens - their ability to retain heat. By carefully studying the numerous proposals, it is possible to make sure that the mittens and gloves are suitable for all situations and riding conditions. Manufacturers try to use high quality materials to create accessories, but still the difference continues to persist.

    Most mittens assume all fingers to be in the same compartment, which will generate more heat. In this case, if the separation of the finger is supposed, the volume of stored heat decreases immediately. Recently, the level of popularity of mittens has become more and more, compared to conventional gloves for alpine skiing and snowboarding.

    Unfortunately, sometimes mittens limit mobility, preventing active action. For example, before answering a mobile phone call or buttoning your clothes, you will need to take off your mittens and decide that your hands will be partially frozen.

    If you wish, you can select three-finger hybrids, also known as lobster mittens. Models like this take the exact position between the two sentences, namely mittens and gloves. Despite the fact that snowboard mittens are offered with special protection and are ideal for skiers and snowboarders with different levels of training, some athletes choose three-finger hybrids and note their benefits, functionality, and convenience.

    Gloves and mittens, like other types of sportswear, are created from special materials. The main task is the maximum protection of hands from adverse external factors, the ability to keep warm and dry. For this reason, accessories must be made from quality materials and successfully demonstrate their properties.

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