Gloves or Mittens – How Do You Choose?

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Guess what is just around the corner, WINTER!

Not sure about you, but fall and winter are my favorite times of the year. And although I wear shorts year-round, there is one piece of gear I always have nearby.

So let’s spend a little time on the same piece of gear you likely have as well.

In fact, I’m sure you already have a few different pairs. That is the topic of gloves and mittens.

Picking the right pair is one of those debates many people have.

Which one do you choose?

Is one better than the other?

Why would you wear gloves or mittens?

Gloves vs. Mittens

It all comes to comfort. I am a firm believer in having gear that you not only want to use but will use.

You can then continue reading when you have finished!

Watch this quick video for an overview.


These allow your fingers to have better dexterity as they keep your fingers separated.

They are perfect if you are doing an activity that you will frequently need to use your fingers. Things such as buckling your boots, tying your shoes, or zipping up your zippers.

Gloves are also a great choice for when your body generates a lot of heat, like working out, running, or cross-country skiing.


The best feature I like is they tend to be a lot warmer. This is because your fingers are together and not separated from lots of fabric.

Keep in mind that you will have restrictions. This is due to your fingers becoming one.

Mittens can be great for holding ski poles or even while snowboarding. 

Hybrids – Best of both worlds?

I don’t know if that is really what this section is called, but it works for what I’m talking about.

A perfect example of a hybrid has a fleece glove that has a mitten you place on top. This allows you to have the best of both worlds. But nothing is perfect. They will not be as warm and do not work great in the rain.

It’s a great option if you don’t know which one to purchase and use for daily activities.

There are strange-looking ‘gloves’ that are a combination of both. They look like mittens with a separate finger. These are referred to as lobsters, as they look like their claws. This allows the wearer to have some extra dexterity but have the pointer, or index finger, separate from the three fingers.

The last one I will cover is the all popular multi-glove pairs. Most commonly referred to as the 2-in-1 or 3-in-1.

This is where the glove and mittens become one. They allow for multiple uses as you can pick and choose what you choose for your condition. These gloves allow you to wear the shell (could be a glove or mitten) together with a liner.

If worn together, you will have maximum warmth, but removing one of the layers is easy if needed.

Heated Option

If none of these seem to work for you, there is yet another option.

These are awesome for those that have poor circulation too!

If you don’t mind spending more, a lot more, heated gloves or mittens might be for you.

These will be on the pricy end of the spectrum.

If cost, extra weight, and thickness are not a problem. They can be a great option for some. It is common for these to have rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

Glove Features

Now that we have different gloves and mittens, we must consider each one’s features. As you can imagine, many are out there, so I will cover the most common ones.

As I mentioned above, just like with clothing, you name it, and they also have it for your hands.

The material can be everything from nylon, synthetic, down, all the way to leather.

As with most gear, it’s important to remember the activity you will use them for. Will you be driving, skiing, running, bike riding, relaxing, camping, or climbing mountains?

More features to be aware of include:knitted mittens held up to a blue sky

  • Multi-layered
  • Insulation
  • Waterproof
  • Breathable
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Dexterity
  • Touch-screen compatibility
  • Insulation (generally down or synthetic)
  • Use of different fabrics
  • Wrist straps (I really like this feature)
  • Pockets (for small items like a hand warmer)

As you can see, many options exist when choosing the glove or mitten you want to use. It’s also not uncommon to have many gloves.

Such as having a pair for bike riding and climbing will have two very different applications.

Glove Size Considerations

It doesn’t matter which option from above you choose. Just make sure it works for you.

The next thing to consider is ensuring the option you choose fits properly. You don’t want one too big, which won’t keep your hands warm, or too small, which will limit your movement.

How do you see if your glove or mitten is fitted properly? Depending on who made the glove, many have size charts you can use. This will provide you with hand measurements to get the proper glove.

What I have done and works well is the following:

  • Put your glove on and extend your fingers.
  • You are looking to have approximately 1/4 inch of material at the end.
  • Now, make a fist.
  • Your glove or mitten should not be tight.

Do Gloves or Mittens Work For You?

I’m sure you were hoping to get a specific answer to which is better. But guess what? The answer depends on the activity you are doing.

Another way of looking at it is if you are concerned about warmth or the ability to manipulate what you are doing or working on.

Like most, having both options could be the best solution for you.

Such as in my case, every day I wear gloves. But when I’m snowboarding, I use a mitten.

This is mainly due to warmth and helping me remember that when I fall, to make a fist (if you don’t know, falling and putting your hand or arm out could cause some major damage).

Now is where I ask you a few questions!

I’m looking forward to your answers and anything you want to add that I might have missed.

Which one do you use, GLOVES or MITTENS?

Do you have a reason you use one over the other?

Let us know in the comments below!


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2 thoughts on “Gloves or Mittens – How Do You Choose?”

  1. The struggle is real.

    You are so right that choice depends on what you’re doing. Personally, I prefer mittens for the most part. I just can’t stand it when my fingers are frozen.

    That said, I wear both. Some I have just because I like the color, or because they’re cute. This dilemma explains why I have a basket full of hand wear!

    • Ha, I apologize for not covering cuteness and color as factors. I know that is a deciding factor for many.

      But mittens will defiantly help keep your fingers warmer. Some even have pouches on the top for hand warmers. It might be something to look into.


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