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The choice between snowboard gloves and mitts is relatively easy to make, and should be made based on your needs in regards to dexterity. Mitts group all the fingers together in a single "compartment" and as such you lose fine motor skill. Simple tasks like opening zippers on your jacket vents, pockets, or even backpack, become difficult. You will inevitably take your gloves on and off often in this situation. However, gloves are also faced with their issues. With a lot more surface area between the fingers and a larger length of seam, coupled with a more intricate shape, the opportunity for water to penetrate is much greater.
When gloves are represented as waterproof, there is a distinction between fully sealed gloves and those with a breathable membrane. Fully sealed gloves will have a single, plastic-derived layer within the shell of the gloves which completely prevents water ingress. However, this also prevents moisture from being let out. Breathable snowboard gloves often feature a PTFE membrane within the shell of the glove which is both breathable and waterproof. Fully-sealed gloves will be completely watertight, while breathable gloves will endure more of a challenge when faced with the daily wear and use that comes with snowboarding.
Snowboarding gloves are often made with a multilayered construction. A polyester microfleece inner layer is comfortable against the skin, offers solid warmth, and helps to wick sweat away from the hands. A layer of insulation is often then added which further helps to seal heat in on cold days.
A waterproof membrane is then inserted which further repels water, and finally, this is covered with an "outer shell" material, which is often DWR coated. This shell material is tough, durable, and is designed to stand up to the wind, snow, and constant flexing and offers protection from abrasion that snowboarding comes with.
The option between natural and synthetic comes with its own set of benefits, but neither has significant drawbacks.
Natural materials such as leather remain popular for high end gloves as leather is supple, waterproof, and extremely tough. It also breathes well, and remains in good condition for a long time. Synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon are extremely tough, can be worked in different colours, textures, and thicknesses, blended with materials such as elastane, and are also treatable with DWR coatings.
Snowboard gloves have evolved in the last few years. Steps forward in technical construction have allowed for more diversity in styles, providing brands the opportunity to experiment and produce more niche gloves. Park specific gloves are simple, waterproof gloves without insulation, designed for warmer, dryer days. They offer maximum breathability at the cost of warmth. Resort gloves offer a solid mixture of waterproofing and warmth, and have good breathability, too. While backcountry models will have more durable constructions, higher waterproof ratings, and will keep your hands warm and dry in all conditions, though may suffer with breathability.
When choosing snowboard gloves, you need to consider the style of riding you do most often, the places you snowboard, and your personal preference, too. A pair of park snow gloves is great for warmer days, for more advanced riders who don't drag their hands often, or for those whose hands get warm easily. A resort model is a good all-rounder for those starting out, or for the rider who rides all season in all weather conditions. A backcountry glove is more specialised, heavier, often more expensive, and is likely overkill for resort riding, but would be essential for backcountry trips or for those who love fresh pow.
Check out the new women's and men's snowboard glove collections at Ridestore online shop. Here you'll find a wide selection of models to choose from. Whether you're looking for a colour to match the rest of your snow gear or in contrast, the options are almost endless. And if you're not sure which size to choose, you can always contact our customer experience team. Choose the pair that best suits your need, prepare the rest of your snow equipment and see you on the slopes!