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Are Mittens Warmer than Gloves?

You know what gloves are, and if you have ever hiked in the snow, you would have probably used a pair several times. Gloves are generally made of thick or waterproof materials and are designed to protect the hands during winter and rainy hiking. Over the years, gloves have moved from being typical hand wears with five pockets for each finger to thicker equipment designed to improve warmth.

There are so many variants different from the typical gloves, and you have probably heard of the special mittens, which are believed to be much warmer than conventional hand wears. However, how true is this claim? Are mittens much warmer than gloves? Do they provide better coverage? Find out more about these special gloves and whether you should buy them.

Mitten Basics – What Are They, How Do They Work

Mitten basics are a type of glove that is typically worn in cold weather. They have a closed end that covers the fingers and an open end that goes over the wrist. Mittens are more effective than gloves at keeping hands warm because they allow the fingers to share body heat. When it is very cold, people may wear a liner underneath their mittens to add an extra layer of warmth.

Mittens are typically made from wool, fleece, or other insulating material. Some mittens also have a waterproof outer layer to protect against snow and ice. The most important thing to look for in a pair of mittens is that they fit snugly but are not too tight. If mittens are too loose, body heat will escape, and the hands will get cold. If they are too tight, circulation will be restricted, and the hands may become sweaty, leading to chafing and discomfort.

The Difference Between Gloves And Mittens

Gloves come in various styles and sizes to suit different needs, but they all share one common purpose: to keep your hands warm.
Mitten, a special glove, is made of heat-absorbing materials to keep the hands warm or at least ensure continuous blood flow in extremely cold conditions. They have a snug fit that helps to trap heat and a windproof shell that protects against the elements.

The typical five-fingered Gloves also have a variety of uses, including keeping your hands warm. However, these conventional gloves do not trap heat as much as mittens due to the looseness between fingers. This is the main advantage mittens have over gloves. They trap heat much better because skins get to rub each other, generating warmth.

However, where gloves lack warmth compared to mittens, they meet up in dexterity. Gloves are more convenient and much better if you will need your fingers and hands for activities. And as far as hiking is concerned, you will definitely need your fingers for lots of things. You can tie up a loose shoelace, grab your hiking ole better, grab on trees or objects for leverages once in a while, and lots of other stuff.

Gloves - snow

Gloves or Mittens? Which is Better as a Hiker

Gloves are typically thinner and more form-fitting than mittens, making them ideal for tasks that require dexterity, such as typing or using tools. You will definitely not be so interested in typing when hiking in cold weather, but there is no doubt you may need to work with some tools once in a while, and gloves offer a better grip than mittens. But don’t pick gloves yet. Mittens have their advantages.

Mittens are apparently warmer than gloves since they enclose all of the fingers in a single compartment. This makes them better suited for cold-weather activities, with hiking in winter at the top of the list. When out there on the trail on an extremely cold night, the last thing on your mind would be to use tools. Warmth becomes your first desire at that moment, and mittens provide that very well.

Summarily, gloves are worn when precision is needed, while mittens are worn when warmth is the priority. In winter hiking or snowshoeing as it is called, warmth is a bigger priority than precision.

Also, most mittens these days are designed to allow a better grip. So as a recommendation, it would go with a nice, well-made mitten against a pair of gloves during winter hiking. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which handwear is most appropriate for the task.

How To Choose The Right Mittens For You

Mittens help keep your hands warm and dry, which are crucial for a comfortable hike. But with so many different types and styles of mittens on the market, how can you choose the right pair for your next hike? Here are a few things to keep in mind as you shop for hiking mittens:


A waterproof mitten is essential for hikes in wet or snowy conditions. Look for a mitten made from waterproof materials such as Gore-Tex or neoprene.


Hiking can be tough on your gear, so make sure to choose a mitten that is built to last. Look for a mitten made from durable materials such as leather or synthetic fabrics.


A warm mitten is key for hikes in cold weather. Look for a mitten that is insulated with down or synthetic fill.


A comfortable mitten will help you enjoy your hike from start to finish. Look for a mitten that fits comfortably on your hand and doesn’t restrict movement.

Mitten in frost

How to Care for Your Mittens

To keep your mittens in good condition, you must keep them as dry as possible since they are mostly wet when you are on the trail.

Store Them Right

Store your mittens in a cool, dry place when you’re not using them. If they become wet, thoroughly dry them before storing them. Keep them away from heat sources, like radiators or fireplaces, and from direct sunlight.

Be Careful Not to Over-Wash Your Mittens

Washing them too often can cause the fibers to break down and the colors to fade. If they start to look dirty, spot-clean them with a damp cloth instead of just doing a full wash. Be sure to read the care label before washing, as some Mittens can be delicate and require special care.

Always Keep Them Dry

If your mittens get wet, be sure to dry them thoroughly before storing them. Wet mittens can cause the fibers to break down and the colors to fade. It’s important to inspect your Mittens regularly for signs of wear and tear. If you see any holes or fraying, be sure to repair or replace them as soon as possible.

Bottom Line

So there you have it. Mittens offer more warmth than typical five-finger gloves. They have the ability to absorb heat and store it due to the proximity of the fingers and skin rubbing factor. So if your priority is warmth when hiking, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to use a mitten instead of typical hand gloves. Several brands have a hybrid of gloves and mittens that you could also check out.

Instead of all four fingers and a separate pocket for the thumb as is known with mittens, the hybrid offers something different. The hybrid has two separate pockets for the thumb and next finger, while the other three fingers are packed into a single wider pocket. This hybrid aims to give users better dexterity while maintaining better warmth than a typical hand glove.

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