Temperatures on the slopes can fall well below the freezing point. This is more common if you like to visit more northerly ski destinations in places like Canada. It’s vital, therefore, that you have something to protect your hands from the cold. In this review, article, we’re going to take a look at the warmest women’s mittens for skiing and snowboarding currently available on the market.
Why Choose Mittens And Not Gloves?
Some skiers perceive mittens and gloves as interchangeable. But as you will see, there’s a considerable difference between the two. Mittens are for women who want to tackle the coldest of slopes in the harshest of conditions. Containing all the fingers in a single pouch helps to keep each finger warm. This prevents the temperature of any individual digit from falling too low.
The mitten design also enables manufacturers to use more insulating material. There’s a limit to how thick you can make an individual finger on a glove without inhibiting movement, but the restrictions are less onerous with mittens.
Even in the coldest weather conditions, you’ll still see a lot of women in the mountain wearing gloves. The reason for this is the extra dexterity. It’s a heck of a lot more comfortable to hold onto a pair of ski poles when you’re wearing gloves compared to mittens. What’s more, grabbing things from your pocket and eating is more comfortable when you wear gloves. With mitts, you either have to take off the outer and risk the cold or go without.
Both gloves and mittens are, therefore, a compromise. Which you wear is up to you. Some women prefer mittens because of the extra protection against the cold. Others prefer gloves because of the improved dexterity. It’s often a matter of personal taste, and many women who ski regularly own both.
What Makes A Great Mitten For Skiing And Snowboarding?
Okay, let’s suppose that you’ve decided to go down the mittens route. Now, how can you tell if a particular product is any good?
Just like the regular ski gloves market, mittens come in a range of qualities, from budget up to super-premium. While more expensive gloves incorporate higher-quality materials, they might not always be the most functional. Some gloves are relatively affordable but come with a host of features that makes them more attractive.
The main goal on the slopes should be to keep water away from your skin. As soon as water seeps through mittens and onto your hands, you’re at risk of chill.
Some manufacturers attempt to protect by waterproofing the outside sleeve of the mitten. Many use proprietary technologies licensed from other companies. Others try their luck with their own. It’s critical, however, that the waterproofing technology works. The last thing you want is fresh pow melting on your hands and trickling through to the skin below. A soggy mitten is not a warm mitten.
The other major consideration is the quality of the material and stitching. The better your glove is put together, the longer it will last. Some manufacturers use cheaper, synthetic materials, like polyester. While others opt for natural alternatives, like goat-leather. The type of material is important, though it’s not the primary consideration. The most common issue isn’t material wearing through, but breakage at the seams. When looking for a quality pair of mitts, you should, therefore, check the seams thoroughly. If they’re not robust, you’re in for a disappointment.
Finally, there are quality-of-life features to consider: things which make mittens more practical. When you’re wearing mitts, for instance, it’s hard to do anything with your hands. Some brands, thus, put small pockets on the back of the gloves with pull-cords for easy opening for your ski day pass.
Good women’s ski mitts also have tight drawstrings around the wrists. These help to prevent snow from getting into the glove through the wrist area keeping you completely dry.
The grip can be a problem too when you don’t have full use of all your digits. Many brands use goat leather to provide you with extra grip while providing excellent durability at the same time.
When Should You Use Mittens And Not Gloves?
While there are no hard and fast rules on this, most experts agree that you should wear mittens when the conditions become more extreme. Most would recommend choosing mitts when temperatures fall below 20 F – well below freezing.
Many of the top ski glove manufacturers test their mittens in the harshest of conditions. They design the gloves to withstand blizzard-like weather and plummeting temperatures. Things like wind and waterproofing the backs of the gloves and providing thick insulation keep your hands comfortable as you traverse the slopes.
In this review, we’re going to take a look at some of the warmest women’s mittens for skiing and snowboarding currently on the market.
Carhartt is a popular brand in the skiing and snowboarding accessories industry. It positions Women’s Quilts Insulated Breathable Mitt as a value option, but does it deliver?
- Durable material construction: 100 percent polyester
- Comfortable quilted mitten fleece with excellent feel on the hands
- Antimicrobial lining to prevent the buildup of bacteria that could cause odor
- Sweat-wicking technology to help remove moisture from inside the glove and transfer it to the environment
- Integrated nose wipe
- Elasticated wrist
- Excellent insulation: an excellent mitt for clear but cold weather conditions
- Easy to insert the liner
- Sizing issues for some women: the fingers can be too loose and the palms too tight
- Sweat-wicking technology can fail to deliver under certain conditions
- Must dry them out after use if you sweat into them
- Can be challenging to put on the second mitt after you’ve put on the first: mitts do not come with a cord to help you put them on
- Lack of waterproofing makes them unsuitable for harsh conditions on the slopes
Carhartt is trying to appeal the budget market with its Women’s Quilts Insulated Breathable Mitt. While the mittens fail to deliver consistent sweat-wicking, they are both warm and comfortable. Thanks to the soft inner liner.
Burton knows that the key to a high-performance mitten is creating something that keeps hands both warm and dry, no matter what the weather is like. The company, therefore, invests heavily in proprietary technology, like Gore-Tex, to keep moisture out while retaining heat. This Burton Women’s Mitten makes use of Gore-Tex’s IP to create a ski accessory with fabulous properties.
- Soft interior feel
- Ultralightweight, making them ideal for long excursions on the slopes
- The liner doubles as a separate pair of gloves. You can use it for both skiing and other outdoor activities
- Perfectly capable of keeping the hands warm in sub-zero temperatures
- Come in a variety of colors and patterns, enabling you to customize your mitts to your style
- The liners make it easy to check your phone without exposing your hands to the elements
- Exceptional sweat-wicking capability, keeping your hands dry even when exercising ferociously
- Not as form-fitting as leather ski gloves because of the unique waterproofing material
- Sizing is a little on the large size: you may want to underestimate the size you need slightly
- Waterproofing technology may not be effective in extreme wet weather
Burton has created one of the most sophisticated women’s ski mittens on the market. The combination of Gore-Tex waterproofing and insulation technology makes this one of the best options for keeping your hands both warm and dry. Niggles with the underlying technology, however, may ruin the experience for some.
Marmot takes a similar approach to Carhartt with the Moraine Mitt. The company has created an entry-level glove. It hopes that this mitt will offer both comfort, value, and performance on the slopes.
- Anti-water penetration technologies, including Gore-Tex, NanoPro and Membrain
- Gore Windstopper technology helps to prevent wind chill
- Very soft interior lining
- An extended cuff that is easy to cinch
- Attractive white and grey design
- Helpful nose wipe on the side of the thumb
- Solar shield technology to prevent the gloves from generating excess heat during warmer weather
- Comes with a handy pull cord on the wrist that makes it easy to put on the second mitt
- Has an internal heater pocket
- Mittens can induce sweating when it is not cold enough on the slopes
- May not be suitable for women who have broad hands
- The palm-side material is not particularly durable and can wear out over several ski trips
While the Marmot may have some sizing issues, the other problems are relatively minor. Marmot achieves its objectives with the Moraine Mitt. It is comfortable and affordable. It also comes with a host of value-added features that make life on the slopes a little more enjoyable.
Hestra is something of a premium brand in the women’s ski mitten’s space. The company’s Army Leather 3-Finger Winter Mitten is no exception. It comes with unique three-layer fabric, a removable and replaceable inner liner, and a handy size guide.
- Goat leather palm for superior longevity, grip, and feel
- High-quality polyester fiber insulation
- Quality workmanship along the seams
- Comes in a range of stylish colors to complement the rest of your ski or snowboarding outfit
- Has a tight fastening around the wrist to prevent snow from entering the interior of the glove
- Comes with a pair of straps to make it easier to put on the second mitt once you’re wearing the first
- Uses the “lobster” design, providing independent movement for your index finger while containing the other three digits in a separate pouch
- Suitable for mountain biking in cold weather because of the trigger finger
- High-quality construction and materials throughout
- You can easily stain the white leather if you’re not careful
- You have to maintain the leather with Hestra’s exclusive wax products
Overall, the Hestra Women’s Army Leather 3-Finger Winter Mitten is among the best on the market. It offers a host of features and has practically zero drawbacks. If you can afford them, they are among the best you can buy today.
The second entry from Burton in this review is the Women’s Warmest Mitt. Unlike the Gore-Tex version we discussed earlier, the Burton Women’s Warmest Mitt comes with a different waterproofing technology: water Dryride Membrane 2.0. But does it perform?
- Extendable knitted cuff
- Available in a range of colors, including True Black, Persimmon, Sandstruck metallic, and Scuba
- Uses Burton’s Screen Grab tech, allowing you to operate your smartphone with your thumb
- Pre-curved ergonomic fit
- Long, knitted cuff for additional protection from the weather
- Gore Warm technology on the insert
- The area around the wrist can be exceptionally tight
- Can feel too bulky to people used to wearing regular gloves
- Women with short fingers may have to put up with unused space between the glove liner and the rest of the mitt
Burton’s goal here is to provide women with state-of-the-art mitts at an affordable price. It comes with a host of helpful features. The combination of the ergonomic fit and Gore Warm technology make this a contender for the best women’s mitt in the review.
The winner of the roundup is the Hestra. While the price might be outside of some people’s budget, there’s no doubt that you get a quality mitten in return.
At the beginning of this review, we outlined several factors that women should take into consideration before settling on a mitt. The most crucial factor was to keep your fingers warm, and the Hestra certainly delivers here. But what makes the mitten unique is all the other quality of life features that it offers. The small straps that make it easy to put on the second mitt, the goat-leather palm and the range of colors make this product the one to beat. The 3-finger design that gives you that little bit of extra dexterity is the icing on the cake.
The Burton Women’s Warmest Mitt is a notable second for those who want something more affordable.