When it comes to choosing men’s mittens for skiing and snowboarding, you need something that will keep your hands warm and protected from the elements. In this review, we’re going to take a look at the warmest men’s mittens for skiing and snowboarding on the market, looking at the pros and cons of each.
How To Choose The Best Men’s Mittens For Skiing And Snowboarding
You would have thought that choosing a ski mitten would be a straightforward process. But there’s more than you might think that goes into creating clothing that will keep your hands warm on the slope.
Obviously, you’ll want to choose mittens that will keep your hands warm. But, there are other considerations too, such as waterproofing and breathability. Even sizing is vital to ensure that you have adequate insulation and grip.
So how exactly do you go about choosing the excellent ski and snowboarding mittens?
The first thing to look out for is the quality of the insulation. You need a material that will hold pockets of air to keep your hands warm, but that will also allow them to breathe. You’ll often find that cheap mittens do well at preventing frostbite, but cause your hands to sweat excessively. The sweat then leaches into the surrounding material. This increases the risk of odor and makes it unpleasant when putting mittens back on.
The second thing you’ll want to look out for is a grippy surface for carrying your ski poles or snowboard. Many of today’s leading men’s ski mitten manufacturers use special compounds on the fingers and palms of their products. These compounds help you hold on to your gear. This is a welcome addition when you don’t have an independent use of your fingers.
Third, you’ll want to look out for products that offer waterproof tech. Many ski mittens use patented waterproofing technology from companies like Gore. These technologies improve on previous materials. They prevent water from penetrating the exterior while allowing your hands to breathe on the interior. The most common cause of cold hands on the slop is water penetrating the mitten liner. Waterproofing technology prevents this from occurring.
What Are The Benefits Of Men’s Ski And Snowboarding Mittens?
Skiing and snowboarding mittens are vital when out on the slopes, especially in the height of the season.
Yes, mittens protect your hands from the biting cold and chill up on the mountain, but they offer a host of other benefits too.
The first is improving comfort when handling your gear. Mittens use durable materials and multiple layers to prevent things like blistering. Blisters might occur using ski poles unprotected all day.
Mittens are also vital for protecting you if you fall. They help to prevent damage to your hands if you topple over at any point.
Finally, mittens can give you a sense of confidence while out on the slopes that you might not have without them.
What Features Do The Best Men’s Ski Mittens Have?
Ski and snowboard mittens have been in development for decades. In that time, manufacturers have concocted a tried-and-tested formula for what makes a great pair. Unfortunately, if you want the best, you have to pay for it, just like anything else.
Cheap mittens usually do insulation well, protecting your hands from the cold. But they often neglect proprietary features such as sweat-wicking and waterproofing. They will also keep your hands warm, so long as you don’t fall over on the snow or get any water on them. If you do, then it’s only a matter of time before it seeps through the material and comes into contact with your skin.
More expensive mittens have comfort features such as adjustable wrist bands and zips. They provide venting if your hands get too hot. Cross country skiers are highly active on their skis. They often benefit from vented mittens to help them cool off during long climbs.
Premium mittens also have better and more durable gripping surfaces on the palm and thumb. As discussed above, this makes it easier to grip onto your equipment and helps the mittens to last longer. In short, you always feel the additional value for spending more money on mitts.
Gloves Or Mittens: Which Is Best?
There’s controversy in the skiing and snowboarding community. This is about which is best: gloves or mittens.
Gloves have the advantage of allowing you to use all your digits individually. They provide you with a better grip on your poles. Gloves also let you take stuff out of your pockets more easily than mittens.
Mittens, on the other hand, are the go-to hand gear for extremely cold days. You’ll often see seasoned and pro skier wearing mittens during the height of the season when temperatures plunge well below zero.
Carhartt Men’s W.P. mitt is an attempt to create a mitten with all the bells and whistles of its premium counterparts but without the price tag. The Carhartt features many technologies that you’d usually expect to see on a much more expensive mitten. But can it offer all the things that more costly mitts do at a lower price point?
- Exceptionally warm owing to the polyester construction
- Hard-wearing: great for expeditions, even in the coldest parts of the season
- Comfortable insulating material makes them ideal for all-day on the slopes
- Stretch fleece cuff for different wrist sizes
- Polytex shell designed to provide high performance at low cost
- Sweat-wicking technology that pulls moisture from the hands and lets it escape through the glove material
- Reinforced palm providing abrasion-resistance when using poles or falling
- Can feel a bit bulky for some users due to the large quantity of insulating material
- Lack of choice of colors
- Weak material can rip easily if you fall or get involved in a crash
- A tendency for fingers to get sweaty when doing cross country skiing
- Lack of effective waterproofing technology
- Gloves can easily become damp
- The lining on the mitts doesn’t dry out easily
Carhartt has a good crack at making mittens that offer a premium feel at an affordable price point. Unfortunately, the gloves lack waterproofing or build-quality of their more expensive counterparts.
When Black Diamond was designing the Mercury Mittens, the company’s goal seems to have been to take advantage of the properties of as many materials as possible. The gloves are made of nylon, spandex, polyester, and have a 100 percent goatskin palm. The Mercury is a premium mitt if ever there was one.
- Exceptional waterproofing owing to the dry insert
- Excellent grip on poles and snowboard. Thanks to the genuine goatskin material on the palms, finger area, and thumb
- The removable and lightweight liner gives you versatility on the mountain
- Exceptionally well built compared to many other gloves in this review
- Can swap out the liner for a different type, depending on the conditions
- Good movement and dexterity for a men’s ski mitten
- The supplied liners will not allow you to use your smartphone
- The insulation is almost too good, making them too warm for conditions over about 20 F.
- Bulky mitts may be too cumbersome for some
- Fragile plastic clips that hold the gloves together are prone to breaking
- Limited breathability: these gloves tend to make the hands sweat, even in cold conditions.
The Mercury is a glove for the coldest of winter ski and snowboard outings. It provides plenty of warmth and is well-built, but might not be suitable for the entire season.
Hestra’s goal with their Army Leather Wind-Proof Water Resistant Winter Mittens was to create something that would protect the harshest of conditions. But has the company succeeded?
- Both windproof and water-resistant, helping to protect your hands from meltwater
- Swappable liner to adjust insulation depending on weather conditions
- Hestra size guide helps you to find the perfect fitting mitts
- Leather goatskin palm for exceptional grip and durability
- Comes with a snow lock strap to prevent snow from entering the glove through the cuff
- Excellent insulation around the thumb
- Wrist cuffs prevent the mitts from falling off, even in the event of a fall
- Handy velcro closure system that is easy to use while wearing the mittens
- Leather components need regular maintenance. Hestra recommends applying its leather balm with a soft cloth
- Too warm for temperatures above about 35 F
- Not much warmer than many of the cheaper gloves on the market
Hestra’s mittens have practically every feature that you could want from a ski or snowboarding mitten. You could argue that the gloves are too good in a sense. While they perform admirably when the temperature falls substantially below freezing, they’re not so useful on hotter days.
Outdoor Research is targeting the middle of the market with their Meteor Mitts. The mittens made in China, offer a host of features that the company says will make the skiing experience more enjoyable.
- Easy to wash: Outdoor Research includes instructions for how to wash your mittens in the machine
- Comes with proprietary Ventia Dry technology to keep your hands sweat-free, even when exercising hard
- The helpful cord on the cuff allowing you to pull on and take off the mitts more easily
- Removable liners made of 300-weight fleece
- Easy to remove the outer mitten shell, if required, freeing fingers up for trickier tasks
- Wear the shell and liner together or separately, depending on the conditions
- Five-finger glove-style liners help to keep all your fingers together for shared warmth
- Magnets on the cuff of the mitten don’t work and make the mitts uncomfortable
- Lining on the interior of the gloves can become bunched, making it impossible to transmit warmth
- The liners tend to shift around during use
Outdoor Research does an excellent job of creating a versatile mitten, but some of the gimmicks on the mitts detract from their user-friendliness. The magnets, in particular, can make wearing the mittens uncomfortable for some skiers and snowboarders.
Burton designed their Men’s Gore-Tex Mitten with one thing in mind: to keep you dry. The mitten combines proprietary stay-dry technology with synthetic materials, bringing the price point down.
- Exceptional waterproofing, owing to the Gore-Tex fabric technology
- Synthetic leather palm does not require regular maintenance and will not wear out
- Screen Grab technology lets you use touch screens while wearing the liner
- Mix and match the shell and liner depending on the conditions
- Comes with windproof technology
- Provides adequate insulation, even in the coldest conditions
- Vent zip on the back to provide additional cooling if hands get too warm
- An elastic strap around the wrist prevents gloves from falling off accidentally.
- Some skiers and snowboarders might not like the cheap plastic-feeling material on the palm
- Palm material not as durable as many would like
- Stitching around seams is not robust
- Screen Grab technology is useful, but it doesn’t always work
Burton has packed its Men’s Gore-Tex Mittens with all of the latest glove material technology. Unfortunately, this strategy has also led to the gloves being less reliable than some of the company’s previous efforts. To keep costs down, Burton has sacrificed on material quality.
So which are the best men’s mittens for skiing and snowboarding? If you were only interested in features, then you’d choose the Burton. The company’s Gore-Tex technology adds extra waterproofing that you don’t see on other products in this review. The Burton, however, isn’t the best option out of the products reviewed here, in our opinion. The poor build quality detracts too much from the overall experience of wearing it.
The winner is Hestra. Though it is the most expensive, it does a lot of things right. The durability is exceptional. It provides sufficient warmth, and it offers windproofing and waterproofing. Most importantly, it doesn’t come with any of the deal-breaking issues we see in many of the other mitts in this review. It ticks all the boxes. This also includes a grippy surface and plenty of insulation for sub-zero excursions on the slopes.