Ski Gloves vs Mittens Compared

Ski gloves and mittens are both popular handwear for skiers. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, and it’s good to understand these to make an informed choice on what works best to meet your needs in the snow. 

I’m Christine, the founder of this blog and an avid skier. I’ve used many different ski gloves and mittens over the years, and I know through first-hand experience how they both perform on the mountain. 

This post will compare and contrast ski gloves versus mittens. I’ll explain the pros and cons of each and also tell you when you might want to use one option over the other. 

Let’s dive in. 

The Importance of Warm Hands

Every skier wants warm hands when they ski. No matter what sort of handwear you choose, its primary purpose is to protect your hands from the cold, wind, and snow. You really can’t go skiing without them. 

If you have been skiing for a while, you have more than likely experienced cold hands or fingers at some point. It’s an inevitable part of being a skier and, in some ways, kind of like a right of passage. 

But that doesn’t mean that your fingers should be cold. If you get a good pair of ski gloves or mittens, you should be able to keep your hands warm most of the time. 

No glove or mitten can completely guarantee warmth at all times, but high-quality options provide the best performance. Read my review of the best ski gloves and best ski mittens to learn more.

All of this is meant to say that warm hands are super-important. They can be the difference between really enjoying your time on the mountain and struggling through a miserable experience. It’s well worth getting high-quality handwear.

Ski Gloves vs Mittens: Pros & Cons

Ski gloves and mittens are the two main choices you have for handwear when you ski. They both can work just fine for every type of skier, but it’s good to understand their differences so you can be prepared for everything that comes your way. 

GlovesNot as warmMore optionsBetter GripMore affordable
MittensWarmerFewer Options Less dexterityMore expensive

Let’s dive in and explore the details. 

Ski Gloves

Gloves are probably the most common option that you’ll see on the slopes. Most skiers choose gloves, and there are many different models and styles available to choose from. They are comfortable and effective in a lot of different situations. 


One of the main advantages of ski gloves is that you have a ton of different options in styles and sizes. This makes it pretty easy to get a pair that will match any specific preferences you might have. 

Gloves also have the advantage of offering more dexterity compared to mittens. This is because you can use each of your fingers and thumb to grip or hold anything while skiing. This can be useful if you want to eat a snack or grab your ski poles. 

Gloves can also be more affordable than mittens. There is a wide range of prices within every ski glove available, but typically there are more lower-priced options with gloves than with mittens. This can be good for any skier on a tight budget or who just wants to save money. 


Ski gloves also have a few disadvantages compared to mittens. The most significant one is that gloves aren’t as warm as mittens. Ski gloves can still be warm, but they don’t offer the same level of warmth as high-quality mittens. 

The advantage of having a lot of options to choose from can also be seen as a disadvantage. It can be challenging to pick a specific ski glove because there are so many styles and models to choose from. Mittens are a bit simpler in design. 


Mittens are a comfortable and cozy option that can also work well for many skiers. They might not be as common on the mountain, but a good pair of ski mittens is always nice to have around when you need them. 


The most significant advantage of mittens is that they offer superior warmth compared to gloves. Because your fingers are entirely covered within the mitten material, you benefit from increased body heat to keep your hands warm. 

The difference in warmth between mittens and gloves can be pretty significant. Skiers who want the warmest option possible use mittens instead of gloves. They are reliably warmer, and that is an obvious benefit. 

I also think that mittens tend to be a little more durable than gloves. That might be because you don’t use them to grip and grab things as much, but it adds to their overall value and is something to consider when deciding between the two. 


The primary disadvantage to mittens is that you won’t get as much dexterity out of them. Because you don’t have individual fingers, this can limit what you can grab or use with the mittens on. 

Mittens are just more clumsy than gloves for practical use. They are great for keeping you warm and comfortable, but they aren’t going to let you use your hands like hands in the way gloves do. 

Mittens also tend to be more expensive than gloves. I’m not exactly sure why this is, but I’ve always spent more on mittens than I have on gloves. That makes them another expensive equipment item that can be out of budget for some skiers. 

Should You Use Gloves or Mittens? 

I always have both gloves and mittens. If you are a serious skier, I recommend that you do the same so you are prepared for just about any sort of condition you find yourself in. And this also means you’ll have a backup pair if you break or lose one or the other. 

Who Should Use Gloves

Gloves are a good choice if you don’t struggle with cold hands and want increased dexterity and gripping ability. They will keep you relatively warm in most situations, and you’ll be able to hang onto your ski poles or anything else pretty easily. 

Warm weather skiers are typically fine using gloves instead of mittens. If you live in an area that doesn’t get extremely cold, you probably won’t need the added warmth. 

Gloves are also the ideal choice for most skiers on a budget. There are many options, and you can choose a cheaper pair to match any spending concerns you might have. 

Who Should Use Mittens

If you struggle with keeping your hands warm or just want to have the warmest option available, I recommend using mittens. They are considerably warmer than gloves, and this added ability will keep you comfortable when the temperature drops. 

Their increased warmth also makes them ideal in severe cold. Having mittens is a really good idea if you live in an area where the temperatures are often subzero. 


Having both mittens and gloves can help you stay prepared for just about any sort of weather or condition during the ski season. But if you can’t afford both or don’t want both, make an informed choice based upon your needs using the information in the sections above. 

Warm hands are essential, and both gloves and mittens will have you covered when you ski. Mittens are warmer, but gloves will give you increased dexterity. 

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