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Gloves or Mittens?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
While skiing in sub-zero temps this past weekend, I found only my hands were cold, particularly my finger tips. I was wearing nice insulated EMS gloves. My thought was to get new gloves, but now I'm thinking of getting some mittens? Any thoughts? Pros/cons of mittens? Also, will gore-tex make a big difference?
post #2 of 23
Mittens are the warmest. But I can normally get by with gloves and hand warmers. I don't think I've worn my mittens in 4-5 years, but I have them just in case.
post #3 of 23
There's a recent discussion of mittens on this thread: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=22714 See post #9
post #4 of 23
I have yet to find a pair of gloves that keep my fingers warm, but $15. Horsehide with fleece work mitts do the trick.
post #5 of 23

A few suggestions for warmer gloves

I'm sympathetic to your predicament as I've undergone similar feelings of not having adquately warm gloves in sub-freezings temps. In my opinion there are a few alternatives -
1) Get yourself a pair of glove liners - usually made out of thin silk - they serve as a base layer under your gloves - and they really do make the whole hand much warmer...
...BUT they may not solve the basic problem which may have to do with the fact that your gloves just may not be warm enough which brings us to ...
2) Get some gloves with WARM insulation - and some form of Waterproof lining. Many people swear by different forms of Gore-Tex - and though there's by no means a consensus, a lot of folks have been singing the praises of PrimaLoft insulation (a downlike synthetic which has the virtues of retaining warmth and compressibility even when wet! or so the theory goes). Having suffered from cold hands myself on and off over the yeras, I recently went out and bought myself a pair of PrimLoft insulated gloves (in this case, by Kombi - with gore-tex waterproofing) - and the damn things are MUCH warmer than any gloves I've ever had.
The downside is that good primloft gloves - everyone claims Marmot makes one of the most rugged, tough and bombproof versions - cost an arm and a leg. You can get deals on eBay but you have to search and be patient...
...so the last alternative is -
3) investigate word-of-mouth about Glove brands which are warmer than others. There have been other threads about this here, do a search. I remember reading that a lot of folks like brands like Hestra (European, pricey and hard to find here), Swany (available on the East Coast but not the west, pricey), Reusch (which make a lot of heavy-duty gloves for ski racers). I can't comment since I'm not familiar - but will say that until I got a great deal on my cheap primloft Kombis, I was seriously leaning towards shelling out some cash for the bombproof glove made by the folks at PMGear (spelling?) which sounds like it has a lot of great features...and, because it's covered with Kevlar (kev Gloves) is much more indestructible than most ski gloves.

Or you could just break down and get mittens. I considered that - but like the freedom/flexibility of inidividual digits (fingers) too much.

Good luck in your choice - and in keeping your hands warm!
post #6 of 23
My wife and I have been having issues with cold fingertips this year on single digit days with negative wind chills.

We saw some Swany Toaster mittens at a ski store the other week with a side zip that allows you to use your hand that has a liner on to unzip stuff or fix your boot buckles. They only had the leather ones but they make a few nylon ones. I also saw a pair that had half slots for your fingers to allow better control of your grip.

I also saw, that while racing, Bode had on mittens on the most recent Winter Revolution show so there must be some dexterity on them.

I always thought that mittens were stupid and not worth the loss of dexterity but seriously how much do you use your ring and pinky while skiing. Also once you get into bulky gloves those last two finger are useless anyways from all the padding.
post #7 of 23
In truly cold conditons, 0deg. F or less, there is no such thing as a warm glove. If you tend to have poor circulation or if your fingers tend to be cold anyway then even 10 deg. may require mittens. It is true that even cheap mittens are warmer than most expensive gloves. Dry chemical heater packs really do help with either. Moisture management also becomes an isuue. Goretex helps in moist condiitons and if it is very windy. If your hand are too warm and begin to sweat then the moisture will rob much heat. In these circumstance a good wicking liners is essential. In fact it is good to have two pair of liners so you can put in a dry one if need be.

If you tend to have cold hands--go with mittens. As far asloss of dexterity, how good is your dexterity in thick gloves? Its not worth the differnce.
post #8 of 23
And try using hand cream before heading to the slope. Seems to help.

this may or may not add... When I've worked outside and the temperatures were causing me hand pains, NITROL gloves (same as laytex except last better and handles chemicals better; available from some auto or industrial stores a hundred to a box for less than 10$) stopped the wind chill aspect and enabled me to continue accomplishing tasks where bare hands would have been singing the blues.
post #9 of 23


I think the general consensus is that mittens are warmer. After all, your fingers are all together.

I wear Grandoe CGS gloves. I have never used the inner liners. On real cold days, I sometimes have to pull my fingers down and make a fist in the glove. It was zero recently and I wore synthethic liners and I was toasty.
post #10 of 23
I bought a pair of mittens with fleece glove inserts and "boarder style" cuffs a few years ago at the local ski swap. They were new and they cost $5. On MLK weekend I skied with them in sub zero weather and they were toasty. My feet froze, but my digits were taking a tropical vacation. I usually wear gloves, but I always take my mittens for the really cold days.
post #11 of 23
Tee - D - Us
post #12 of 23
Originally Posted by wbroun
Tee - D - Us
Your kidding me right?

You make useless posts about giving up sex for skiing and you have the balls to criticize someone for bringing up a valid question?
post #13 of 23
Originally Posted by Scalce
Your kidding me right?

You make useless posts about giving up sex for skiing and you have the balls to criticize someone for bringing up a valid question?
I think you've probably just given him an idea for his next poll. "What's more useless in a skiing forum? Mittens or Giving up sex?"
post #14 of 23
Coach, the next poll is :

Is it better to have sex with a ski glove or a mitten?
post #15 of 23
Originally Posted by BigE
Coach, the next poll is :

Is it better to have sex with a ski glove or a mitten?
I'm going with the mitten for comfort and coziness, although the glove offers more options and gets the nod for overall versatility.
post #16 of 23
Originally Posted by Scalce
Your kidding me right?

You make useless posts about giving up sex for skiing and you have the balls to criticize someone for bringing up a valid question?
Sorry, I wasn't criticizing the THREAD, just the 12th post, the one by ... oh, that's YOURS. Yikes. Silly me. Nevermind. My mistake. Just ignore me, mate.
post #17 of 23
Originally Posted by Coach13
I'm going with the mitten for comfort and coziness, although the glove offers more options and gets the nod for overall versatility.
I laughed so hard, beer came out my nose!

post #18 of 23
Well damn, I don't mean to continue on this T-D-us thread, but as someone who's always had problems with cold hands, I highly recommend the Dakine Ranger mitt. I've always used hand warmers before and haven't had to since I started wearing these mitts. And they have a removable fleece lining if they get too warm. Good stuff!
post #19 of 23
I just ordered a pair of these for me and my wife.


We'll see how good they work this weekend.
post #20 of 23
how about them wierd ice climbing glove/mitten contraptions that THE NORTH FACE (other companies did too i think) came out with a season or two ago....looked like a crab claw....thumb, index finger, other 3 fingers, that's how the 'fingers' were divided. It was supposed to offer the dexterity of a glove but still retain most of the warmth offered by a mitten.
post #21 of 23

Primaloft insulation may be the 'hot ticket'

I'm still a believer in Primloft. I think a few other people may be benefiting from it without being aware of it. For example, Atomic_918 mentoned using Gradoe GCS gloves - and SkiChick70 mentioned DaKine mittens ... and unless I'm way off, most of the high-end DaKine mittens AND gloves use PrimaLoft. I know this doesn't constitute scientific evidence that your fingers will stay warmer - but I also know that my cheap Kombi gloves with PrimaLoft are ridiculously warm.
post #22 of 23
I had a pair of mittens that where my wife's but she never liked them so they ended up in my bag . My way-to-expensive Marmot long-cuffed gloves weren't keeping my fingers warm in the frigid weather we've had East the last week or so so I switch to the mittems. THEY ROCK!!! I'm converted. Mittens with liners are the way to go!!!

I used liners with gloves. Probable is, if the gloves are a good fit without liners, with liners, they'll be to tight and you'll lose precious circulation. If the close fit good with liners, they'll be baggy without.

Using liners with mittens, your fingers are toasting and if you need to fix something real quick, just take the mitten off and you can use your finger thru the liner. Put the mittens back on and in a minute, your fingers are toasty again.

With gloves, if a finger gets cold, it stays cold. So if you have to take a glove off to fix something, you might be screwed. Once fingers are cold, they lose circulation and may not warm up til you go in.

I broke both shear pins in my snowblower cleaning up after the weekend nor-easter. I took my mittens off for a couple minutes to do the work, they were were soaked on the outside and froze hard as a rock. I put them on when I was done fixing the thing and within a minute my hands were toasty warm again.

Enough raving. I'm now a mitten convert.

By the way, the mittens were GCS. I had GCS gloves years ago and was totally unimpressed. The mittens I have now, I love. Like I said, they got soaked on the outside and wear try and toasty on the inside. Something I can say about my way-to-expensive Marmots.
post #23 of 23
I currently have 4 pairs of gloves and a new pair of mittens that I just got in the mail today.

The mittens have a fleece liner and a zipper on the side to do whatever with.

I can't wait to try them out this weekend.
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