Mittens have long been the preferred choice of skiers that suffer with cold hands. Thanks to a design that groups your fingers together; they are a warmer alternative to traditional ski gloves.
Just like gloves; mittens also come in a variety of styles, shapes and sizes. Each pair have unique pros and cons that make them ideally suited to a different scenario.
In order to help you cut through the countless available products; we have produced this handy guide. It uses industry knowledge and research to detail the best ski mittens.
Ranking The Best Ski Mittens
- Hestra Heli Mitt
- Hestra Fall Line
- Black Diamond Murcury
- Outdoor Research Lucent Heated Mitt
- The North Face Montana Etip
Best Ski Mittens Comparison
A premium quality mitten that's warm enough for any weather and offers unbeatable durability
Super high-quality mitten that has a built in heating system that will guarentee warmth in extreme cold
Great all-round mitten that provides good dexterity, warmth and a great range of features
Comfortable mitten that provides maximum dexterity and Hestra's excellent durability
Budget friendly mitten that has great dexterity and is comfortable to wear in moderate temperatures
Warm, durable, waterproof, comfortable, reliable, time-tested, solid features, quality design
Built in heating, three heat levels, waterproof, soft liner, well insulated, good palm grip
Value for money, good dextrerity, 4-way stretch shell, split-finger liner, warm, durable
Great dexterity, low profile design, super durable, high-quality design, waterproof, versatile
Budget friendly, flexible, comfortable, easy-to-use, lightweight, grippy, good features
Expensive, requires maintenance
Expensive, short battery life
Warmer mitts available, slippery palm
Warmer mitts available, needs upkeep
Not warm enough for serious cold
Polyamide, Goat Leather
Pertex Shield, Goat Leather
Synthetic Leather, Nylon
Why Do I Need The Best Ski Mittens?
If you suffer with poor ‘cold hands syndrome’; mittens might be the answer. By keeping your fingers huddled together in one ‘pouch’, they are able to retain more warmth than a traditional glove.
Although mittens are traditionally worn by snowboarders; they have become popular with a skiers visiting cold resorts. Trading your ‘finger freedom’ for a pain-free experience is seen as a worthy trade-off for those with poor circulation.
Once you’ve decided that mittens are for you; it’s time to find the right pair. Any online search will provide you with a plethora of products that claim to be the best. In reality; many are substandard and most are only designed for a specific situation.
We have split our reviews into categories that clearly state the strong points of each mitten. It will allow you make the right choice based on your needs, wants and requirements.
How To Choose The Best Ski Mittens
Warmth should be the main consideration when choosing mittens. It’s especially important if you’re prone to frozen fingers or ski in resorts with extremely cold temperatures.
The main deciding factor for mitten warmth is insulation. Every product will use a different insulating material, with everything from wool to synthetics being included in various amounts.
Big brands like Gore-Tex and Primaloft commonly provide insulating material to many of the high-end ski gloves. Primaloft is especially common among premium products and is capable of providing serious warmth.
The amount of insulation can also vary greatly. Those heading to colder resorts should look for ‘heavy weight’ level of synthetic, while spring skiers might require something lighter.
Either way; it’s always difficult to judge the warmth of a mitten without trial. Price is usually a great indicator, with expensive products generally offering maximum heat retention.
If you’re serious about warmth, we also have a guide that reviews the best heated ski gloves. Each one has an electronic heating system that will ensure warmth in any weather.
Stopping snow from entering your mittens should be a key priority. If your hands get wet; they will almost certainly be cold.
Fully waterproof mittens use a ‘membrane’ that sits between the outer shell and insulation. It’s a thin layer of watertight material that will keep your hands completely dry.
Premium mittens commonly use a Gore-Tex membrane. It offers a superb combination of waterproofing and breathability that is ideal for all weather conditions.
Aside from Gore-Tex; many brands have their own in-house fabric that can provide varying degrees of waterproofing. Some are more effective than others, with more expensive products often providing the most protection.
It’s also worth noting that some mittens are labelled as ‘water resistant’ and do not include a waterproof membrane. They are generally capable of withstanding light precipitation in dry ski resorts, but cannot protect you on a powder day.
Material is a key deciding factor for warmth and waterproofing. Mittens are usually made from either leather or synthetic fabrics that each have unique pros and cons.
- Leather mittens provide supreme warmth and waterproofing. It’s a material that’s incredibly durable and will naturally protect again cold and moisture. However, it is often the most expensive choice and can be overkill for some skiers.
- Synthetic mittens, such as nylon and polyester, are the most popular choice. The synthetic fabrics are generally lightweight, cost effective and offer a decent amount of durability. However, they tend to lack natural warmth and waterproofing.
It’s worth noting that some mittens combine leather and synthetics to get the best of both worlds. The design is predominantly synthetic, but with added leather in the palms and fingers for increased durability.
The inherent design of mittens can make dexterity an issue. With your fingers grouped together, they offer little range of motion for your fingers. However, aside from the design, the overall dexterity of the mitten can largely differ between products.
Thicker and well-insulated gloves will usually offer the least dexterity. The additional insulation and heavy-weight fabrics can make movement difficult. In addition, mittens using leather can often feel stiff at first and require a longer break-in period.
If your priority is dexterity, you will often need to look for reduced insulation and thin-cut fabrics. Although warmth will be sacrificed, they will afford you some additional movement.
Anyone that wants to prioritize warmth will often need to sacrifice some freedom of movement. It’s a worthy trade-off if you suffer from cold hands, but spring skiers might be more inclined to consider more flexible options.
The cuff is the portion that sits around your wrist. Its main task is to keep snow from entering the mitten and can be made in two predominant lengths.
- Gauntlet cuffs have a high-cut design that sits well above your wrist and covers the cuff of your ski jacket. It’s a design that improves warmth by providing an extended layer of insulation, while it can also be an effective barrier against snow entering. However, they can also reduce range of motion and are inherently bulky.
- Undercuffs use a minimalist design that straps tightly to your wrist and sit underneath your jacket cuff. It’s the most lightweight cuff shape and provides full range of motion through your wrist. The downside is their somewhat reduced ability to keep our the cold, while they also have reduced defense against excess snow.
In general; gauntlets are the recommended choice for extreme weather or powder skiing, while undercuffs can be great for spring skiing and dry climates. It’s a personal choice that is also dependent on comfort.
- Liners come in a range of styles. Some will offer added insulation or breathability, while others are removable.
- Touch screen compatibility is a popular feature. It allows you to use electronic devices without removing your mittens, which is especially useful in cold weather.
- Wrist cinches use elastic drawcords that can be tightened to stop snow from entering. It’s a common feature and viewed as essential by most powder skiers.
- Wrist straps are used to attach your mittens to your wrists. They are usually made from elastic and can be a great defense against the dreaded ski lift mitten drop.
- Nose wipe refers to a piece of softened material added to the thumb. It can be used to wipe your nose in times where taking your gloves off to find a tissue is challenging.
Best Overall Ski Mittens
Hestra are a brand with a reputation for producing exceptional mittens that meet the high standards of ski professionals around the world. The pick of the Hestra range is the ‘Heli Mitt’, which is our favourite mitten on the market.
The Heli Mitt is incredibly warm, thanks to a combination of ‘fiberfill’ polyester and quality shell fabrics. The mittens use a hybrid synthetic and goat leather outer material that is incredibly durable without sacrificing functionality.
The fully waterproof design comes with a long gauntlet cuff that’s perfect for keeping your hands warm and dry on powder days. When it comes to build-quality; the Heli Mitt stands out from the competition and will stay reliable for many seasons with a bit of leather treatment.
If you’re looking for durability, warmth, reliability and functionality; look no further than the Hestra Heli Mitt. We have a great experience of using Hestra gloves in ice-cold conditions and they never fail to disappoint. It’s easy to see why the Heli Mitt is such a trusted product.
- Super warm
- Incredibly durable
- Great build-quality
- Trusted by professionals
- Good mobility
- Reliable waterproofing
- Leather requires some upkeep
- Not cheap
Best Heated Ski Mittens
Skiers that suffer with severely cold hands can greatly benefit from a heated ski mitten. In our review, we found the Outdoor Research Lucent Mitt to be the most reliable heated option available.
The Lucent Mitt uses an electronic heating system that guarantees warmth in any weather. It’s battery operated and can be recharged overnight to ensure heat for the following day.
The combination of ‘EnduraLoft’ insulation and Gore-Tex waterproofing also makes these mittens great at retaining warmth. In addition; the overall design feels comfortable, practical and solid enough to last for many seasons.
Good quality heated mittens are a big investment, but they are worth it for those suffering with poor circulation. In our opinion; the outstanding quality and warmth offered by the Outdoor Research Lucent Heated Mitt is superb.
- Built in heating system
- 3 levels of heat
- Easy to recharge
- Well insulated
- Gore-Tex waterproofing
- Durable mitten construction
- Soft and comfortable liner
- Grippy palms
- Huge investment
- Short battery life on high heat setting
Best Value for Money Ski Mittens
The Black Diamond Murcury wins our ‘best bang for your buck’ award thanks to its superb performance for a moderate price. The mittens proved to be warm, durable and easy-to-use upon review.
The Murcury uses an outer shell that combines ‘Pertex Shield’ fabric with goat leather to provide durability without adding weight. The shell fabric is also incredibly stretchy and we found it to be one of the most freely moving mittens in our review.
Underneath the shell; you will find Black Diamond’s classic ‘BDry’ membrane that is time-tested and reliable in seriously wet weather. In addition, the Primaloft insulation ensures warm hands in almost any climate and should be trusted by most skiers.
The sheer quality offered for a mid-range price makes the Black Diamond Murcury a great choice for most skiers. It’s a mitten that offers waterproofing, warmth and practicality that will improve your day on the slopes.
- Great waterproofing
- Good dexterity
- Decent Primaloft insulation
- Value for money price
- Durable construction
- Removable split-finger liner
- Quality goat leather and Pertex Shield shell
- Not the warmest in our review
- Palms lack grip
Best Ski Mittens for Dexterity
The fact that Hestra have produced two of our top 5 mittens shows just how highly we rate their products. The Fall Line mitt is uses a free-moving undercuff style that is incredibly popular with mountaineers and ski instructors.
The Fall Line’s low profile and flexible design gives it superb dexterity that was second-to-none in our review. It’s a supremely comfortable mitten that comes in a variety of sizes for a tailored fit.
The soft cowhide leather material used on these gloves gives them great freedom of movement, while also proviging waterproofing and durability. In addition; they have included Hestra’s typically warm fiberfill polyester insulation that can stand up to most conditions.
Anyone looking for a practical and comfortable mitten will be impressed with the Hestra Fall Line. It’s another favourite of our review team and has proven its quality over countless seasons.
- Super dexterity
- Soft and comfortable
- Durable leather shell
- Great waterproofing ability
- Warm enough for most conditions
- Precise Hestra sizing for a perfect fit
- Feels secure
- Versatile in many situations
- Less warm than the previously reviewed Heli Mitt
- Leather required maintenance
Best Budget Ski Mittens
It’s no secret that good quality ski mittens can be expensive. However, The North Face Montana Etip is a great option for those looking for comfortable hands without breaking the bank.
The Montana Etip is a synthetic leather and nylon mitt that is incredibly durable for its price. The outer shell is lined with a Gore-Tex membrane that gives these mittens reliable waterproofing in any weather.
The quality design is complemented by a range of practical features, including ‘Etip’ functionality that allows you to use a smartphone without removing your mitten. Although slightly less warm than the more expensive models, they still boast a decent amount of heat retention thanks to The North Face’s classic ‘Heatseeker’ insulation.
The all-round consistent performance of the Montana Etip makes it our top budget ski mitten. It’s extremely practical, comfortable and able to resist most mountain weather.
- Good build quality
- Budget friendly price
- Packed with handy features
- Smartphone compatible
- Gore-Tex waterproofing
- Grippy palms
- Easy and practical to use
- Good dexterity
- Lacking the warmth of premium mittens
- Budget price means a slight reduction in durability
Finding the best ski mittens isn’t a simple task. The amount of products on the market is huge, but finding the ones that provide genuine quality isn’t always easy.
Every mitten in this guide is designed with the quality and comfort that will ensure your hands are happy this winter. Each one is best suited to a different scenario, with a variety of features that will suit skiers of various styles.
Take the time to assess your needs before making an informed decision. If you stick to the mittens on this list; you should be all set for a great time on the slopes.
James is the founder of SnowSunSee. He started skiing when he was five years old and has been a qualified ski instructor for 8 years. He has taught skiing in many countries, including UK, Europe, Japan, China and Malaysia. When he’s not on the slopes, James spends his time travelling the world one trail at a time.