As long as I have been riding I have always heard the debate between glove wearers and mitt wears. They are always trying to tell you one is better than the other. I am going to try and shed some light one this debate and see if I can come up with a winner. When it comes to choosing gloves or mitts you must ask yourself a few questions:

  1. What conditions are you going to be riding/skiing in?
  2. Do your hands get cold easily?
  3. How much mobility do you need from your hands?

Gloves greatest benefit is they offer greater dexterity than what mittens do. They are better suited for activities where you will need more mobility with your hands such as adjusting boot buckles, or dealing with gear that has zippers. They are good for activities where you are in warmer weather or are generating lots of body heat

Mittens are the winner when it comes to warmth. If the same materials are used mitts will be the warmer of the two, this is because your fingers generate more heat when they are not separated like they are in gloves. Because of the fingers not being individual you lose dexterity making some tasks like buckles and zippers less than ideal. Mittens will normally serve you better for activities where warmth is need more than dexterity.

In both categories there are options that will work for both. If you really like gloves but want them to be warmer you can always choose a glove with a better insulation, but you might lose some of the dexterity that you are looking for. On the other side if you want a mitten that allows you to have more dexterity you can choose a Lobster style glove which joins your index and middle fingers together and your ring and pinky fingers together for more dexterity, but you will lose some of the warmth having the finger separation. If you just can’t choose between gloves and mittens there is one more option for you and it is a 3 in 1 mitten. This is where you have a mitten shell that has an inner liner that is a glove. This way you get the warmth of having all your fingers together but if you need dexterity you can remove your hands with the liner on and do your task without having your hands freeze.

So, after looking at gloves and mittens there is not really one winner. Gloves and mittens both have their benefits and areas where they are perfectly suited for the job. When it comes to choosing one over the other you must decide what is more important to you dexterity or having your hands be warmer overall.

Mitten Activities

Extremely Cold Hikes

Glove Activities

Cross Country Skiing

Sundance Suggestions


Swany – Blackhawk, X Cell II, X Change Mitt
Hestra – Fall Line, Army Leather Extreme Mitt
Scott – Ultimate GTX
Black Diamond – Guide


Swany – X Change Glove, X Clusive Glove
Hestra – Ergo Grip Active, Army Leather Patrol Gauntlet
Black Diamond – Crew Glove

3 in 1

Swany – Supreme Toaster, Softy