Tips for Choosing Snow Gloves & Mittens

choosing ski gloves

If you’ve been out in the cold before, you know how important protecting your hands can be. Having the right gloves makes all the difference, but with so many options and designs, how do you even know what to buy? Whether you’re planning your first ski trip or looking for an upgraded pair for daily winter use, there’s a lot to consider when shopping. A lot of times people may go for the “warmest” pair, without considering functionality. Warm gloves won't help when you have to take them off to use your phone! So what criteria should you consider when shopping? Read on to learn a little bit more about buying gloves, and maybe you'll be ready to get your next pair.

Gloves or Mittens: What’s Best?

It's one of the longest-running debates for outdoor gear, mittens vs. gloves. While there's no hard and fast rule as to which is better, there are some common generalizations for the two. Plenty of people think a mitten is warmer than gloves, while gloves offer you more dexterity for a functional fit. There may be truth to both arguments, but with plenty of options and reliable comfort and warmth, it’s more about preference in some cases.


The most versatile of the bunch in terms of usage, a good pair of gloves will keep you warm, dry, and offer plenty of functionality. You’ll usually opt for gloves if you’re going to handle gear or make adjustments without wanting to go through the hassle of taking your gloves off.


A popular choice for colder conditions, mittens are known to pack in the heat because your fingers do a good job of creating warmth – since they’re not separated like in a glove. While you may lose the dexterity of individual fingers, you can still handle the essentials like holding ski poles or snapping down buckles as needed. 

Lobster Mitts (3 Finger Gloves)

They may have a few different names, claw gloves, lobster mitts, etc., but they are as close as you can get to a hybrid solution. They offer the overall comfort of a mitt, with a separate trigger finger that gives you more accessible options for tying your shoes or adjusting your gear.

3-in-1 Designs

Get the comfortable warmth of mittens with the versatility of gloves with a 3-in-1 design. Generally, it’s a mitten with an interior glove-style liner. This lets you take of your mitten without letting your hands freeze!  

Warmth & Waterproofing Matters Too!

Outside of the fit, you still want to stay warm and dry, which is where insulation and waterproofing come in. Just like your ski pants or jacket, your gloves or mittens should have a waterproof, breathability, and warmth rating, all of which impact their use and comfort. It’s generally a good idea to know where you’re planning on going or at least the weather conditions you’ll be dealing with before getting your new gloves.


As far as the debate between gloves and mittens, this is one spot where gloves sometimes can make up for their lack of heat. While mittens have overall insulation, and get an added boost of heat keeping your fingers close together for added warmth. Gloves can keep you warm by packing  in the insulation at every finger, keeping you cozy at all times. Like ski clothing, insulation comes in gram amounts, with options for synthetic insulations like PrimaLoft® or your traditional down-fill insulation.


All that heat won't matter, however, if your gloves aren't waterproof or breathable. If there's no way for heat to escape your hands will sweat – and in the cold, sweat = moisture, which can have you freezing in no time. Many gloves are made with a lightweight, breathable material that has some type of waterproofing. At it's most basic, it can be something along the lines of a DWR treatment. But if you're looking for top-rated waterproofing, always opt for GORE-TEX®. It offers the highest waterproof rating, with a durable design you can count on.

Choosing Features

Now that you're most likely down to the nitty-gritty, how do narrow it even further? It’s all about the features! Outside of the warmth and waterproofing, some gloves have creature comfort features that may help you narrow down your search. Some examples include:

  • Touchscreen Compatibility: Who wants to freeze their hands to take a selfie or check your likes on insta?
  • Leashes/Wrist Cords: Never lose a pair of gloves on the slopes again – simply attach it to your wrist, and you're good to go.
  • Pockets: Glove doesn't have a lot of insulation? With a pocket, you can easily store essentials or slip in a handwarmer.
  • Fit Adjusters: You want to be able to adjust on the go quickly. Look for cinch cords or added adjustment features for that perfect fit.
  • Palm Materials: Durability starts with the material – so look for gloves that feature a leather or durable rubber palms.

There are plenty of other features you can find when shopping online. So be sure to take a look and think about all the uses you can get form your glove.

How to Find Your Glove Size?

Now that you know what gloves you want, you want to be sure you get the perfect fit. Here’s the skinny on measuring your glove size. All brands have different sizes. For a proper glove fit you will want to first measure the circumference around your dominant hand across your palm just below your knuckles. If the measured size is in between you can go up a size for a looser fit or a size lower for a tighter fit. Also, if you plan on using a liner that isn't included with your glove, be sure to take the measurment with the liner on, for a better fit.

Get Your New Pair Today! 

Shopping for new gloves doesn’t have to be hard when you have all the right info. With the right pair you can stay comfortable, agile on the slopes, and even have options for use when you’re off the mountain. Best of all, you can find a conveniently wide selection of options at Peter Glenn Ski & Sports. Whether you’re looking for some GORE-TEX® weather protection or even a stylish pair of gloves you can keep on during an après stroll around the lodge, we have an option for everyone!