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Much like a jacket, Mitts or Mittens are made up of several components that help keep you protected, dry, and warm. These are the shell material, membrane, insulation, lining, and palm.

A proper fitting Mitt should fit snugly and allow enough room at the end of outstretched fingers for you to pinch about a quarter of an inch of fabric.

Make sure your palm is completely inside the cuff so your wrist remains covered. When you make a fist, the fit shouldn’t be so tight that is constricts your fingers from curving fully

Gloves Vs Mittens

Deciding on which one may suit your needs better may come down to simply trying both on and seeing which one feels right.

Do you prefer the dexterity of gloves or the warmth of mittens? There are gloves and mitts for all occasions and conditions, and manufacturers will often make both gloves and mittens with the same basic construction and materials. Mittens generally provide more warmth because your fingers will share one compartment and generate more heat that way, as opposed to being separated like in a glove. However, mittens limit mobility in certain circumstances and may have to be removed to access your pockets etc.


Measurements taken with garment lying flat on the ground.

Lay your dominant hand flat, fingers together, palm facing upwards. Wrap the measuring tape around your palm, just below the knuckles, not including the thumb. Mitten size should be measured in inches. Round up to the nearest half inch.


Most Mitts start with a body of synthetic fabric, usually nylon. High quality models use waterproof breathable fabric, and utilize a membrane or coating of ePTFE (expanded Polytetrafluoroethylene, also known as Teflon) or PU (Polyurethane). GORE-TEX models include a separate ePTFE insert between the outer fabric and the insulation layer. Waterproof breathable fabrics come in both hard and softshell versions, and both are used for gloves and mittens. Usually these fabrics are combined with leather or synthetic protective materials in high abrasion areas like the palms and fingers.

Leather is normally cowhide or goatskin, can be more durable and pliable than nylon materials and is naturally water-resistant. With a combination of treated leather (leather that has had grease, wax, or resin added to it) and a microporous membrane, leather mittens can be waterproof, windproof and warm. When maintained properly with leather waterproofing treatments, these Mittens can last for years.


Wet hands quickly become cold hands. The major cause of wet snow mitts is actually your own perspiration and lack of breathability from the inside of the glove. In a waterproof breathable glove , the membrane is placed between the outer shell and the insulation and has small microscopic pores to let liquid water enter but large enough to allow water vapor to escape. How waterproof and breathable a glove/mitt is depends primarily on the membrane.


Finding a snowboard mitt with the proper insulation is very important. Properly insulated gloves provide superior warmth and breathability, without restricting movement or compromising fit. The conditions and temperatures you ski in as well as how warm or cold your hands run will determine how much insulation you require.

Primaloft insulation uses a patented synthetic microfiber insulation material to help the body retain warmth and conserve energy. This is a very good insulation choice if wet conditions are expected. Primaloft is not as warm as down by weight, but it’s breathable, compressible, water resistant and provides good insulation even when wet.

Another very common type is Thinsulate insulation made of unique ultra-thin microfibers, 3M Thinsulate insulation provides excellent insulating properties with less bulk, making it ideal for use in mitts where dexterity is a priority.


The lining is an extra layer of material built into ski glove/mitt to create a comfortable feel, increasing warmth and comfort. Lining material will vary depending on the brand and glove/mitt. Fleece and wool are two examples. Typically the lining uses a synthetic material that has moisture-wicking qualities to help pull sweat away from your skin and pass it through the membrane. You can also buy a separate lining to use as needed.

Most ski gloves and mittens have grips and reinforcements located on the areas that get the most use, like your palms, fingertips and thumbs. Grips are included on gloves for durability and better grip on your poles as well as for protection from your edges. The palms may be made of various materials, such as leather or vinyl, which adds to their longevity.