After years of snowboarding and even working as a Snowboard Instructor, I can tell you that having a good pair of mens snowboard gloves is crucial. The reason is because your fingers are usually the first part of your body to get cold. You need a pair of mens snowboarding gloves that will keep your hands warm and dry. There are a few things you’ll want to consider before purchasing a pair of snowboard gloves or mittens, which we’ll discuss throughout this article.
The Ultimate Mens Snowboard Gloves Guide
What’s the Difference Between Gloves and Mittens
What are Lobster Gloves?
Liner Gloves and Pipe Gloves
Getting the Right Size and Fit
Materials and Construction
The Anatomy of Snowboard Gloves
Additional Gear and Features
Where to Buy Mens Snowboard Gloves
What’s the Difference Between Gloves and Mittens?
It’s very easy to tell mens snowboard gloves apart from mittens because they look different.
Gloves offer individual finger pockets, while mitts wrap around the entirety of your hand.
When it comes to warmth, mittens are the superior option. This is because all your fingers are grouped together and therefore can radiate and maintain internal heat better. With gloves, your fingers are separated and have to individually heat themselves.
But when it comes to dexterity, gloves are the better option. If you need to adjust straps, or maybe unzip your jacket to get something out of a pocket, you’ll have a much harder time while wearing mitts.
So that’s the trade-off, gloves provide more dexterity but mittens are warmer.
What are Lobster Gloves?
Lobster gloves are a hybrid between a glove and a mitten. They come in a few variations such as having the index finger gloved while the rest of the hand is mittened. Or, your four fingers can be grouped in pairs of two. See the image below for examples.
I’m personally not a fan of lobster style gloves. I understand as a product offering they are trying to combine a glove and a mitt together to get the best of both worlds. But I think they are silly because you still don’t have the dexterity of a regular glove or the heat retention of a regular mitten.
Liner Gloves & Pipe Gloves
Combining the use of liners and pipe gloves is my personal preference.
Liner Gloves are thin, non-insulated gloves that you put on first before wearing normal gloves or mitts overtop. The reason I prefer this is because I find I often have to go through my pockets to get my phone or music player to skip tracks. I also bring a GoPro camera and other devices with me to film snowboarding.
I really like the ability to layer with liner gloves. I like that I can take off my outer glove without my bare hand being exposed to the cold air and wind because I’m wearing liners. It makes snowboarding photography and videography so much easier. Also, most liner gloves have special material on the index finger and thumb so that you can interact with your touchscreen devices.
Pipe Gloves are often wore by freestyle snowboarders. They are less insulated than regular gloves and mitts and provide basic protection from the wind and cold. But they are highly dexterous and comfortable to wear. I pair my liners with pipe gloves to improve warmth.
Getting the Right Size and Fit
Similar to other snowboarding outerwear, your mens snowboard gloves will come in small, medium, large and extra large. The sizing is based on the circumference of your hand measured just below your knuckles. Some brands also use the length of your hand from the base of your palm to the tip of your middle finger. However, this is less common. Usually it’s the circumference of your hand that determines your glove size.
If you don’t know the size of your hand you can use a tape measure. Otherwise, it’s usually best to go into a snowboard shop and try on different sizes to see what fits best. The fit you’re looking for is something snug where your whole hand feels wrapped in the glove’s material.
The glove is too tight if your finger tips are curled or feel crammed. When you have gloves on, make a fist, if you feel squeezing in your hand, that’s probably just a little too tight and small in size. The glove should feel comfortable with your hand open and closed in a fist.
The glove is too big if you have open space above the tips of your fingers and thumb inside the glove. You’ll want to avoid this because the open space can cause cold air to form which will make your fingers cold.
Here is a helpful mens snowboard gloves size chart if you have to buy gloves online:
|Measurement in Inches||Men’s Snowboard Glove Size|
This informative video is great to quickly learn the different types of gloves that are available to snowboarders:
Materials and Construction of Mens Snowboard Gloves
Gloves and mittens are constructed with either two primary materials: synthetics or leather.
The synthetic material is usually a nylon based fabric. This fabric is usually coated with ePTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene), PU (Polyurethane) or GORE-TEX®. These coatings allow for varying degrees of waterproofing and breathability.
Leather based gloves normally use cowhide or goatskin. These are naturally water-resistant and more durable than nylon. The leather can also be treated, which creates a membrane that makes them waterproof, windproof and generally warmer than nylon based gloves.
The Anatomy of Mens Snowboard Gloves
There are four main portions of a glove that needs to be considered. These four areas will determine if a glove is going to suit your needs.
A glove’s membrane is placed in between the shell and the insulation. It serves two functions. One is to provide waterproofing so your hands don’t get wet from outside snow or rain. The other is breathability, which allows the internal heat from your hand to escape the glove to prevent sweating and keep your hands dry.
It’s important that your hands stay dry, because if they sweat and get wet the outside air can cool your sweat which will cause your hands to get cold.
Insulation sits in between the membrane and the inner lining, or the inner material, of the glove. Insulation is meant to retain warmth inside the glove. A common insulation used in outerwear is called Thinsulate™. It looks like a very thin film of plastic wrap.
Another common insulation material is called Down. It’s a bit thicker than Thinsulate™ and can usually be found in gloves that are designed to withstand colder temperatures. It’s a material made up of down plumules and feathers. Down is best for cold dry air conditions. However, when down gets wet it can be slower to dry.
The lining is the most internal material in a mens snowboard glove or mitten. It’s what your skin will be in direct contact with. The material is usually synthetic fleece or wool based because they have better moisture wicking qualities than cotton. The moisture wicking will pull sweet away from your hand and pass it through to the membrane.
Snowboarding gloves and mitts typically have grips or reinforced materials around the palms, fingertips and thumbs. Sometimes the palm grips are made of silicon which help you grab and grip your board. Other times they can be made with leather or vinyl, which will last longer than silicon.
Additional Gear and Features in Mens Snowboard Gloves
The length of a mens snowboard glove or mitten can be either short or long. Short cuffs are gloves that fit to the bottom of your wrist. Long cuffs extend down to your forearm. Generally, when wearing short cuff gloves you’ll pull your jackets sleeve over the glove. With long cuff gloves, sometimes called gauntlets, the material will be worn over the sleeves of your jacket. These pictures are a good example:
The cinches can either be a buckle strap or a velcro strap that you pull snug to secure the fit of your gloves to your hand.
Some mens snowboard gloves and mittens are designed with soft material on the sides of the thumb. This is for gently wiping your nose and get can get drippy outside in the cold.
Leashes and Wrist Cords
A lot of gloves and mitts will have elastic cords which you can use to secure around your wrist. This way if you ever need to take your gloves off on the chairlift to get something from your pockets you don’t have to worry about dropping and potentially loosing a glove.
Where to Buy Mens Snowboard Gloves
If possible, try on gloves at your local snowboard shop. I like to go to Corbett’s in Oakville, Ontario.
It’s not always possible to go to a store so you can buy mens snowboard gloves online. You’ll want to be more cautious though and make sure there is a return policy just incase the gloves don’t fit. You’ll want to be able to return it or exchange it for something else.
- The Ultimate Mens Snowboard Guide
- The Ultimate Mens Snowboard Boots Guide
- The Ultimate Mens Snowboard Bindings Guide
- The Ultimate Mens Snowboard Goggles Guide
- The Ultimate Mens Snowboard Helmet Guide
- The Ultimate Mens Snowboard Jacket Guide
- The Ultimate Mens Snowboard Pants Guide
- The Ultimate Mens Snowboard Socks Guide
- The Ultimate Mens Snowboard Base Layer Guide