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The Best Winter Mittens of 2024

When it’s too cold for gloves (generally around 10 degrees F), finding the best winter mittens is crucial to enjoying wintertime activity.

Best Winter MittensGearJunkie team testing winter mittens; (photo/Jason Hummel)
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We spend a lot of time outdoors testing gear. And if we’ve learned one thing over the years, it’s that being cold can quickly ruin any adventure. This is where having the best winter mittens comes into play, but it’s not just about warmth. You’ve also got to think about dexterity, features, and breathability.

When wearing mittens, you’ll sacrifice a bit of dexterity for cozy digits, but that’s the price of warmth in the rock-bottom cold months of the year. And if it means having a good time outside all winter long, then it’s a price we’re willing to pay.

While this list doesn’t cover every mitten ever made, suffice it to say we’ve been thorough in narrowing it down to our favorites. These are the best winter mittens that we can’t stop raving about — the ones we recommend and rely on all winter long.

If you’d like to learn what differentiates each pair of mitts, check out our buyer’s guide and frequently asked questions at the bottom of the article. You can scroll down to the comparison chart to help guide your decision-making process. Otherwise, read our full gear guide below.

Editor’s Note: We updated our winter mittens buyer’s guide on April 4, 2024, adding the field-tested Outdoor Research Revolution GORE-TEX Mitten and Dakine Women’s Baron GORE-TEX Index Mitt plus a sweep of freshly snagged awards and streamlined specs.

The Best Winter Mittens of 2024

Best Overall Winter Mittens

Black Diamond Mercury Mitts


  • Shell/Material Stretchy polyester, 100% recycled outer shell with goat leather palms
  • Insulation 170 g PrimaLoft Gold Cross Core insulation on the back; 133 g PrimaLoft Gold with Grip Control on palms
  • Cuff type Long gauntlet
  • Waterproof Yes, a BD.dry insert and a PFC-free DWR finish
Product Badge The Best Winter Mittens of 2024


  • Very warm
  • Good dexterity for a mitten
  • Long cuffs keep moisture out


  • Some users report a tight fit
Best Budget Winter Mittens

Outdoor Research GORE-TEX Revolution Mitten


  • Shell/Material 2L polyester with waterproof PU palm
  • Insulation EnduraLoft polyester insulation (200g on backs of hands, 133g on palms and fingers)
  • Cuff type Medium-length gauntlet with elastic cinch
  • Waterproof Yes, Gore-Tex 2L
The Best Winter Mittens of 2024


  • Affordable for this grade of mitt
  • Handwarmer pocket for extra-cold days


  • Buckle and cinch feel flimsy
Runner-Up Best Winter Mittens

Give’r Frontier Mittens


  • Shell/Material All leather cowhide exterior
  • Insulation 380 g Thinsulate insulation on inner palm, 490 g on back of hand
  • Cuff type Elastic undercuff
  • Waterproof Yes, waterproof hipora membrane
The Best Winter Mittens of 2024


  • Durable
  • Good dexterity
  • Warm


  • Requires a short break-in period to reach optimal feel
Next Best Budget Pick

Flylow Oven Mitt


  • Shell/Material Pigskin leather
  • Insulation 200 g of SpaceLoft synthetic insulation on back of the hand, 100 g on the front
  • Cuff type Undercuff
  • Waterproof There is no waterproof membrane but the beeswax coating repels moisture effectively
The Best Winter Mittens of 2024


  • Good value
  • Durable


  • The black color of the leather runs when wet
Best Winter Mittens With Synthetic Insulation

Outdoor Research Alti II GORE-TEX Mitts


  • Shell/Material Ripstop nylon + GORE-TEX shell with Pittards Armor-Tan leather palm
  • Insulation PrimaLoft Gold 170 g synthetic insulation, removable liner with 340 g PrimaLoft Gold insulation
  • Cuff type Long gauntlet
  • Waterproof GORE-TEX 2L waterproof/breathable membrane that’s Bluesign-approved
The Best Winter Mittens of 2024


  • Very warm
  • The oversized cuffs are handy in deep powder


  • Price
Best Winter Mittens for Biking

GORE-TEX Infinium Thermo Split Gloves


  • Shell/Material GORE-TEX INFINIUM stretch fabric with a GORE Windstopper layer (100% polyester)
  • Insulation PrimaLoft liner
  • Cuff type Undercuff
  • Waterproof No
The Best Winter Mittens of 2024


  • Purpose-built for biking in cold weather
  • Good palm traction
  • Plenty of dexterity for gear shifting and braking


  • Not waterproof
Best Battery Heated Mittens

Volt Heat 7V Heated Mitts


  • Shell/Material Nylon shell and leather palm
  • Insulation 200 g synthetic insulation
  • Cuff type Gauntlet
  • Waterproof Yes
The Best Winter Mittens of 2024


  • Warm and comfortable — with or without heating element engaged
  • Excellent wind protection


  • Expensive compared to similar options
Best of the Rest

Salomon Fast Wing Winter


  • Shell/Material Stretch fleece with a DWR-treated over mitten-style cover
  • Insulation Thin fleece layer
  • Cuff type Short undercuff
  • Waterproof No
The Best Winter Mittens of 2024


  • Great for high-output cardio
  • Lightweight
  • The attached mitt cover adds versatility
  • Touchscreen compatible


  • Not waterproof

Dakine Women’s Baron GORE-TEX Index Mitt


  • Shell/Material Shell (52% goat leather, 25% polyester, 19% polyamide, 4% elastane) and 100% goat leather palm treated with DWR; PFC-free GORE-TEX insert; liner (64% wool, 20% polyester, 16% nylon)
  • Insulation PrimaLoft Gold 100% recycled polyester
  • Cuff type Short 2.5" cuff
  • Waterproof Yes
The Best Winter Mittens of 2024


  • Very durable exterior
  • Streamlined cuff with space for fingers to move
  • Recycled insulation


  • No nose wipe

Hestra XC Over Mitt


  • Shell/Material 3L interlock polyester
  • Insulation None
  • Cuff type Short undercuff
  • Waterproof No
The Best Winter Mittens of 2024


  • Warm and comfortable — stand alone or over liner gloves
  • Solid wind protection
  • Flexible


  • Not waterproof

Stio Hardscrabble Insulated Mitt


  • Shell/Material Leather
  • Insulation 3 oz. of PrimaLoft Grip Control synthetic, merino wool blend liner
  • Cuff type Neoprene undercuff
  • Waterproof Yes
The Best Winter Mittens of 2024


  • Low-profile
  • Elegant
  • Comfortable


  • Not ideal for sub-freezing conditions or deep powder

Hestra Moon Mitt


  • Shell/Material Ripstop nylon shell with hairsheep leather palm
  • Insulation PrimaLoft Gold synthetic
  • Cuff type Short gauntlet
  • Waterproof No
The Best Winter Mittens of 2024


  • Good value
  • Comfortable soft liner


  • Not waterproof

Burton Women’s GORE-TEX Under Mittens


  • Shell/Material 2-layer GORE-TEX waterproof-breathable exterior fabric
  • Insulation ThermacoreECO synthetic insulation
  • Cuff type Undercuff
  • Waterproof Yes, GORE-TEX
The Best Winter Mittens of 2024


  • Warmth adjustability with glove liners, ventilation zipper, and pocket for hand warmers
  • High-quality materials
  • Streamlined design


  • Touchscreen compatibility is not a selling point for material on palm — but it’s durable
  • We’d like a stretchier stitch in the glove liners

Picture Organic Women’s Anna Mitts


  • Shell/Material Biosourced and recycled polyester with goat leather palms
  • Insulation Thermal STD 220 g
  • Cuff type Undercuff cuff minimal gauntlet
  • Waterproof Yes, DryPlay 20K/20K Membrane and Teflon Ecoelite™ PFC free Durable Water Repellent Treatment
The Best Winter Mittens of 2024


  • Extremely warm with 5-finger lining inside
  • High-quality materials
  • Streamlined design


  • Not touchscreen compatible
GearJunkie gear tester Sarah Stubbe testing mittens at the GearJunkie Ski and Snowboard Week at Crested Butte Mountain Resort; (photo/Jason Hummel)

Winter Mittens Comparison Table

Scroll right to view all of the columns: Price, Shell/Material, Cuff Type, Insulation, Warmth.

MittenPriceShell/MaterialCuff TypeInsulationWarmth
Black Diamond Mercury Mitts$120Stretchy polyester outer shell with goat leather palmsLong gauntlet170 g PrimaLoft Gold Cross Core on the back; 133 g PrimaLoft Gold on palms9/10
Outdoor Research GORE-TEX Revolution Mitten
$892L polyester with waterproof PU palmMedium-length gauntlet with elastic cinchYes, Gore-Tex 2L
Give’r Frontier Mittens$139All leather cowhide exteriorElasticated undercuff380 g Thinsulate on inner palm, 490 g on back of hand8/10
GORE-TEX Infinium Thermo
Split Gloves
$90GORE-TEX INFINIUM stretch fabric with a GORE Windstopper layer (100% polyester)UndercuffPrimaloft liner6/10
Salomon Fast Wing Winter$55Stretch fleece with a DWR-treated over mitten-style coverShort undercuffThin fleece layer5/10
Dakine Women’s Baron Gore-Tex Index Mitt
$130Shell (52% Goat Leather, 25% Polyester, 19% Polyamide, 4% Elastane) and 100% goat leather palm treated with DWR; PFC-free GORE-TEX insert; liner (64% wool, 20% polyester, 16% nylon)ShortPrimaLoft Gold 100% recycled polyester 
Hestra XC Over Mitt$453L interlock polyesterShort undercuffNone4/10
Volt Heat 7V Heated Mitts$130Nylon shell and leather palmGauntlet200 g synthetic8.5/10
Stio Hardscrabble Insulated Mitt$159LeatherNeoprene undercuff3 oz. of PrimaLoft Grip Control synthetic, removable 312 g polyester fleece liner7/10
Outdoor Research
Alti II GORE-TEX Mitts
$209GORE-TEX 2L + ripstop nylon shell with leather palmLong gauntletPrimaLoft Gold 170 g synthetic insulation8.5/10
Hestra Moon Mitt$85Ripstop nylon shell with Hairsheep leather palmShort gauntletPrimaLoft Gold8/10
Flylow Oven Mitt$55Pigskin leatherUndercuff200 g of SpaceLoft synthetic insulation on back of the hand, 100 g on the front7.5/10
Burton Women’s GORE-TEX
Under Mittens
$852-layer GORE-TEXUndercuff ThermacoreECO synthetic insulation7.5/10
Picture Organic Women’s Anna
$80Biosourced and recycled polyester with goat leather palmsUndercuff, minimal gauntletThermal STD 220 g8/10
Mittens Often Provide More Warmth Over Gloves
In our experience, mittens don’t change our ability to grip a ski pole; (photo/Jason Hummel)

How We Tested Winter Mittens

The GearJunkie team is made up of skiers, snowboarders, and lots of folks who simply live in cold, wintery regions. We’ve tested mittens through frigid Minnesota winters, during extremely cold Colorado outings, and while traveling across North America in search of snow-laden adventures. We regularly hike, bike, ski, snowboard, and camp with these mittens on. We’ve even had a few snowball fights and an epic snow angel competition for good measure.

More than three decades ago, Senior Snow Sports Editor Morgan Tilton learned to ski in sync when she learned to hike as a toddler in Telluride, Colo., and still calls Southwest Colorado home. Today, she lives in one of the coldest locations in the country, Gunnison Valley, where it’s not uncommon to drop into negative digits plus windchill. If it’s frigid out, she reaches for mittens when she’s heading up the ski lifts at Crested Butte Mountain Resort or taking laps on the Crested Butte Nordic trails.

Among the lead testers, Mattie Schuler is no stranger to cold weather — she grew up in Wisconsin and has lived in Colorado for a decade. As an early childhood educator, the majority of Schuler’s days are spent outside teaching kids — even in cold, windy, and wet weather — through the outdoor classroom program she founded in 2019. Throughout the past decade, Schuler has tested dozens and dozens of gloves and mittens for personal and professional utility, so she has a solid grip on the metrics from warmth to comfort. She’s quite picky about certain variables like nose wipe placement and if the wrist leashes are too long or thick.

While assessing the quality of a pair of gloves or mittens, we consider warmth, waterproofing, durability, comfort, fit, versatility, style, and overall value. We make an effort to test every pair of gloves in a variety of conditions over many days of field testing. Once a year, the whole team gets together to ski for a week and compare notes on our favorite products. This roundup is a living document — whenever a new pair of mittens earns a spot, we’ll update the list.

The Best Winter Mittens
With attentive care, good mittens like the Burton Women’s GORE-TEX Under Mittens can last many seasons; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose Winter Mittens

Types of Mittens

If you’re using mittens in snowy, wet, and cold weather — say, on the ski slopes or in the backcountry — you’ll want a mitten that is insulated, waterproof, and has a few key traits like a nose wipe or wrist leashes. Many mittens will be a bit thicker than gloves and might compromise your dexterity. If you don’t need to hold onto ski poles or an ice axe, less dexterity is OK, as long as you’re warm and comfortable like how we fared with the best overall mittens the Black Diamond Mercury Mitts

Other mittens will be leaner with less insulation, but that’s because they are made for a specific activity like running or cross-country skiing. You’ll get plenty of breathability though with such styles like the Hestra XC Over Mitt or the Salomon Fast Wing Winter.

In the middle of these two categories is the mitten you’ll wear out on the town or on warmer spring skiing days. A mid-level insulation mitt is perfect for warmer winter days, where you still need some insulation and waterproofness but don’t want your hands to get too sweaty, either.

Many ski jackets include an interior mesh drop pocket wide enough for gloves; (photo/Jason Hummel)

Warmth Value

Winter can mean a lot of things — specifically, a range of temperatures. Especially in higher alpine environments with more extreme winds or places with humidity, temperatures can fluctuate and drop wildly. Thankfully, mittens are a time-tested, perfect solution to extreme colds.

If you know your body runs warmer or colder, consider that when buying winter mittens. If you struggle with keeping warmth in your extremities, you may also want mitts with a higher weight or down-fill insulation, or a thicker shell. Consider a multi-layer system like the Burton Women’s GORE-TEX Under Mittens or the best overall winter mitten, the Black Diamond Mercury Mitts, both of which have a lightweight removable liner. If your fingers seem to never stay warm, or if you have Raynaud’s syndrome, opt for battery-powered mittens like the Volt Heat 7V Heated Mitts.

If your fingers are usually pretty warm, other options are more simplified, like the Give’r Frontier Mittens.

Some manufacturers provide a warmth rating in degrees Fahrenheit. Others have a warmth rating system that establishes internal brand categories and provides a comparison between the gloves and mittens in their own brand’s line. Warmth can be tricky to measure. The materials and fill both have an impact but so does a person’s own circulation, warmth, health, and preferences. 

Mittens are an excellent choice on a blustery day; (photo/Eric Phillips)


The type and amount of insulation is key to keeping your hands warm. In many mittens, you’ll find natural down insulation options, synthetic insulation, and designs with a combination of both.

Down Insulation

Natural down mittens are a popular option for skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. However, down loses its insulating powers when wet. Natural down fill is often made of duck down or geese down (the finest, lightest feathers), and is extremely lightweight, very packable (like what you want in a down jacket), and overall warmer than synthetic fill.

Thindown is a constructed fabric made of natural goose down rather than the down being stuffed between layers of textile in a traditional baffled design.

Synthetic Insulation

Synthetic insulation keeps you warm even when the fabric becomes damp, because it’s made from polyester, which retains warmth when wet. Ultimately, synthetic fill also dries faster than down fill. Many more companies are opting for synthetic fill including the Black Diamond Mercury Mitts.

More and more companies are using PrimaLoft synthetic insulation, which is a fiber made from recycled plastic bottles. PrimaLoft fill can also be recycled into another piece of gear.

Hybrid Down-Synthetic

Some winter mittens or gloves use a mix of synthetic and natural down like in the Gordini Fayston Gloves. The benefit is to utilize synthetic fill where the hands most receive moisture while the down increases the warmth factor in certain parts of the hands like the wrists or ends of the digits.

Mittens Detail Shot
Mitten cuffs and extended gauntlets can typically be tightened down with a Velcro strap, buckle, or elastic cinch closure; (photo/Jason Hummel)

Fill Value 

The fill value of a mitten lets you know how much insulation, and thus warmth, is stuffed inside.

To calculate the fill, a one-ounce sample of down is put into a cylinder and then compressed. A higher number indicates a warmer option, which also means that you’ll need less down to get the same amount of warmth as lower-fill down. A higher fill number means the down can trap more air, which leads to warmth, in the piece of apparel or gear. For you, that means a lighter, more compressible piece of gear. 

The type and amount of insulation in each mitten varies; (photo/Jason Hummel)

Waterproofness and Water Resistance

Many of the mittens on this list claim to be waterproof. Typically, a “waterproof” mitten is constructed with a layer of breathable membrane such as GORE-TEX. This layer is designed to keep moisture from reaching the inside of the glove and also allow moisture from the hands to evaporate out.

While some of these membranes work quite well, they aren’t completely impervious to water. If your mittens become completely saturated in a heavy rainstorm, your hands will probably get wet underneath.

If you’re seeking the highest level of waterproofing mittens can offer, be sure to select a style with a GORE-TEX (or similar brand) membrane, like the Outdoor Research Alti II GORE-TEX Mitts. All leather options, like the Give’r Frontier Mittens or the Flylow Oven Mitt, won’t provide full waterproofing, but with an additional wax coating, you’ll get pretty close.

best ski gloves
The Stio Hardscrabble Mitts are low-profile yet very warm; (photo/Eric Phillips)


Most brands will now list the exact measurements of their mittens, specifically the dimensions of the palm. We recommend starting with your usual glove or mitt size, but always double-check any mitt’s specific sizing chart.

Most often, the sizing chart will have you measure from your wrist to your fingertips as well as the circumference of your palm. You should be able to make a fist without the mitten feeling too tight, and your fingertips should reach almost to the top of the mitt, with about ¼-inch of space left over. Mittens that are too big won’t be able to efficiently keep heat in, while mittens that are too small will be uncomfortable. 

Three-Finger or 'Lobster" Mittens
Leather is a super durable material that can be waterproofed for mittens; (photo/Jason Hummel)


Mittens have lots of pros — namely, providing a toastier warmth than gloves can — but they do go down a notch in the functionality department, specifically dexterity.

You’ll find more dexterity in thinner mittens and in split mittens, like the GORE-TEX Infinium Thermo Split Gloves. Designers have been enhancing overall mitten construction in recent years, too, so that the dexterity isn’t as compromised. Both the Black Diamond Mercury Mitts and the Outdoor Research Alti II GORE-TEX Mitts met high marks for dexterity, even though they are heavy-duty mittens.

Cuffs vs. Gauntlets

Mittens can have a roomy, high-reaching gauntlet cuff or a leaner undercuff. Choosing between the two designs comes down to the type of protection you prefer and need, which is influenced by your winter activities and the climate where you’ll be most outside.

With a larger gauntlet, the cuff goes over the sleeve cuffs of your winter jacket, like the Black Diamond Mercury Mitts or the Outdoor Research Alti II GORE-TEX Mitts. Tightening the cinch at the base of the mitten’s gauntlet helps prevent snow and wind from entering throughout the snowball fight or shoveling mission.

Certain designs, like the Picture Organic Women’s Anna Mitts, have a secondary wrist strap that’s threaded through a quick-release slider buckle to ensure a secure, proper fit on your hands. 

With an undercuff, like the Give’r Frontier Mittens or the Salomon Fast Wing Winter, you’ll have less bulk around your wrists, but a higher chance of snow or wind getting near your wrists and into your coat.

If your daily winter jacket has extended, dense cuffs, your wrists will be more covered and protected from any snow getting in, and a tight mitten cuff might not fit over the coat’s cuffs. While many midlayers have extended sleeve lengths with thumbholes, the material often absorbs moisture and we don’t consider that a replacement for a mitten that shields snow and wind. You’ll also want to consider your layering system beneath your mitts, so that the sandwich of the mitt, jacket, and midlayer isn’t cumbersome.

Some mittens can be tough to pull on without an integrated pull tab; (photo/Jason Hummel)

Wrist Leashes

If you tend to frequently take your mittens on and off throughout the day, wrist leashes will be your best friend.

One end of the stretchy leash is either fixed or attached to your mitten’s cuff zone. Shaped like a lasso, the end of the circuit expands and slides around your wrist, so the mitts can stay securely attached to you.

Some wrist leashes are sewn on and not removable, like with the Picture Organic Women’s Anna Mitts, while others are easy to remove.


Certain mitten designs include ventilation options in the form of small zipper pockets. Zip it open to let some air in if your hands are hot, or use it to stash a hand warmer for extra warmth.

The Burton Women’s GORE-TEX Under Mittens has diagonal zipper pockets on the back of the hand, the perfect size and spot for hand warmers. 

In general, mittens sacrifice dexterity for warmth; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Nose Wipe 

A tester-favorite when it comes to the details: A soft, velvety patch of fabric wrapped across the exterior thumbs of mittens is super handy and comforting to use as a wipe for your runny nose. When you’re out in frigid temps and don’t have access to a tissue, a nose wipe panel is key.

Many brands incorporate a nose wipe in their mittens including the Black Diamond Mercury Mitts, Picture Organic Women’s Anna Mitts, and Burton Women’s GORE-TEX Under Mittens.


If they’re not included in the package, it’s a good idea to invest in a pair of liners, whether those are shaped like a mitten or a glove, even if the mittens provide adequate warmth.

You can pair a liner with your mittens for additional warmth. A glove liner also allows you to pull the mitten off and use your fingers for tasks that require a fine touch, all without directly exposing your skin to the cold air and risking dropping your heat too low.

Some liners are constructed with touchscreen capability, too, so you can send a text message or make a phone call without needing to remove the layer. Liners can also function on their own on warmer wintry days, so they’re never a bad investment.

Keep in mind that a handful of pairs already come with removable liners, such as the Black Diamond Mercury Mitts and the Burton Women’s GORE-TEX Under Mittens.

While some mittens have touchscreen-compatible materials, the curved shape is not the most conducive to screen operations; (photo/Jason Hummel)

Touchscreen Compatibility 

While liners can help, you can also consider investing in mittens with touch compatibility built in, so you don’t need to remove them to check your phone. We also like mittens with textured palms for grip and durability.

The GORE-TEX Infinium Thermo Split Gloves are well designed to be able to access your phone while on a bike ride. The Burton Women’s GORE-TEX Under Mittens are likewise touchscreen-compatible with a grippy, synthetic leather palm and a liner with touchscreen-compatible fingertips. While you can do your homework, not all systems are foolproof: the liners are more functional than the touchscreen-compatible leather palm on the Under Mittens, for instance.

Sustainability and Eco-Friendly Materials

The sustainability of a product is a key factor that many consumers appreciate these days when buying gear: And with finite natural resources, the planet also stands to benefit. Fortunately, more outdoor industry companies are pushing the needle regarding eco-friendly materials and sustainable manufacturing practices.

Responsible Down

If you can’t guarantee that down for a product is harvested in a cruelty-free way, you can also opt for synthetic down.

PrimaLoft is a leader in sustainable fill options, as seen in the Black Diamond Mercury Mitts, the Outdoor Research Alti II GORE-TEX Mitts, and the Hestra Moon Mitt. PrimaLoft synthetic fill includes a variety of iterations, like Gold, Grip, and more, but is actually made from retired plastic bottles that are turned into fibers to insulate your gear. Bonus: PrimaLoft can be recycled and reused to create other gear after you retire your mittens, jacket, or sleeping bag.

If you’re set on natural down, versus synthetic, check out Thindown. The material is sourced ethically, meets the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) metric, and is able to be recycled, meeting the Global Recycled Standard. 

Warm hands helps you stay out in the powder all day; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Recycled and Ethical Materials

A fair amount of outdoor apparel gear is made from polyester. The great thing about polyester is that it can be recycled and reused, like in the Black Diamond Mercury Mitts or the Picture Organic Women’s Anna Mitts. The Picture Organic Ann Mitts are made from fabric sourced from the brand’s Circular Fabric program, which reuses material from previously used (and beat up) garments and factory cutting scraps that would otherwise go to the landfill.

If the material can’t be made from recycled products, there are fabric options that are Bluesign-certified. This certification verifies that the fabric has been tested to not be harmful to human health and the environment. Similar conscious certifications include Oeko-Tex-certified fabric and Fair Trade sewing. 

Another detail to consider when shopping for sustainable, healthier options is to choose mittens that are treated with PFC-free water repellency, removing the harmful toxins that traditional water repellent treatments carry.

Three-finger gloves are a hybrid between a mitten and a glove; (photo/Jason Hummel)


Winter sports like skiing and snowboarding or major shoveling duties will add wear and tear to your mittens. Luckily, heavy-duty mitts are often made with durable materials that can withstand these activities from buckling boots and gripping poles to strapping into bindings.

For such sports, domestic work, and mountaineering pursuits, you’ll want mitts made with durable materials, like goat leather, or mittens that are reinforced in high-friction zones. The all-leather Give’r Frontier Mittens are rated as extremely durable, as are the polyester and goat-leather Picture Organic Women’s Anna Mitts.

Aside from polyester and leather, other winter mittens are made from wool, fleece, and cotton, which typically result in a leaner mitten overall. Generally, cotton is not ideal, as it takes a long time to dry and easily tears. Liner materials — whether they are removable or not — most often are made with a soft fleece material that has a bit of stretch. 

Certain tasks are still achievable with mittens on like tightening a velcro cuff; (photo; Jason Hummel)


A handful of winter gloves, like those from Leki with their Trigger System, have a specific feature where the gloves actually connect to ski poles. The connectivity is created via a built-in, tiny loop in the thumb saddle. At this time, Leki offers one pair of women’s winter mittens with a built-in loop, the Snowfox 3D Lady Mitt. However, other mitten-wearers can pick up the Trigger S straps, a strap system with a small harness that goes over your mittens, so you can connect your choice pair of mittens to Leki poles, too. 


On the economic end, our choices of winter mittens include the Picture Organic Women’s Anna Mitts ($65). Both the Salomon Fast Wing Winter ($55) and the Hestra XC Over Mitt ($45) are on the lowest shelf, but those two designs are very specific to running and cross-country skiing, so they boast a slim amount of insulation.

The next price tier includes mittens that are still below $100, but use more durable materials for a higher-quality mitt: the waterproof Burton Women’s GORE-TEX Under Mittens ($85), the very warm Hestra Moon Mitt and the GORE-TEX Infinium Thermo Split Gloves ($90), which are ideal for biking. 

You’ll notice that the third price tier of mittens are better-suited for high-action like ski and snowboard laps. With greater investment, you’ll find hand mitts that have higher insulation, durable leather, and other details like wrist leashes and nose wipes. With a higher price tag, there’s our best overall pick, the Black Diamond Mercury Mitts ($120), the battery-heated Volt Heat 7V Heated Mitts ($130), and the Give’r Frontier Mittens ($139). 

The Stio Hardscrabble Insulated Mitt ($159) are on the priciest side, but you get an all-leather mitten that is sleek but still warm. Coming in at a premium is the Outdoor Research Alti II GORE-TEX Mitts ($199), which won our award for the best mitten with synthetic insulation and are made for mountaineering and high-elevation adventures. Health and safety tools come at a cost.

Tightening bindings is another task that is doable with beefy mittens on; (photo/Eric Phillips)


What are the best winter mittens?

The best winter mittens will first depend on what activity you’ll be using them for most — skiing or snowboarding, or just keeping your hands cold around town during winter. Are you looking to prioritize warmth, durability, or a balance of both?

Our best mittens in testing were the Black Diamond Mercury Mitts — well-insulated, durable, and a great balance of warmth, quality, coverage, and price.

But of course, we’ve included several other best mittens on the market (best for biking, best synthetic versus down) to make sure you find one suited to your cold-weather needs.

What are the warmest winter mittens?

There are several warm mitten options on our list, but the warmest would be the Volt Heat 7V Heated Mitts — which can heat up to 150 degrees. The Outdoor Research Alti II GORE-TEX Mitts are also among the warmest choices.

What material makes the warmest mittens?

Generally, a high-level down-fill will be the warmest insulation you can get in a mitten, although things like the thickness, lining, and a leather, sheepskin, or waterproof material exterior will also add to a mitten’s overall warmth.

If you struggle with cold hands, be sure to look into mittens like the Hestra Moon Mitt (one of the warmest synthetic PrimaLoft-insulated mitts we tested).

Should I wear liners under mittens?

Wearing liners under mittens is a personal preference that’s informed by your overall cold tolerance and the primary activity you’ll do while wearing mitts.

If you’re heading out on a super cold day, a liner can be useful for additional warmth, even in a well-built mitten. On the flip side, liners can be nice if you are working hard on a snow tour, like snowshoeing or ski touring, or if you’re in the yard and need to slip off that outer shell for a bit of air. 

Plus, if you tend to take your mittens on and off often, liners are nice so that your skin isn’t fully exposed to the elements. Look for liners that are touchscreen compatible, like with the Burton Women’s GORE-TEX Under Mittens.

Liners beneath mittens can help protect your hands when you need to fish around in tight pockets; (photo/Eric Phillips)
What are the disadvantages of winter mittens?

The main disadvantage of mittens is lack of dexterity. This means that when you don’t have your fingers free of the mitt, grabbing a pole or tool is not going to be the easiest. However, your hands will be much warmer than they would be in gloves. Depending on your cold tolerance, dexterity might be a compromise you are willing to make. 

Keep in mind that sometimes mittens might be too warm, like on high-temp spring days or if you are really working hard on a powder day. Rather than ditching your mittens altogether, you can opt for a pair that has a removable liner or ones that have small zipper pockets on the top of the hands for quick, easy ventilation.

Do mittens need to be waterproof?

For most winter pursuits, mittens don’t need to be fully waterproof, but they should be water resistant.

A water-resistance mitt will hold up for most snowy days, even if you are really getting your hands into that snow as you work or play.

However, if you are heading out on a super wet powder day in a damp climate, a fully waterproof mitten might be a better option, like designs with a GORE-TEX membrane, to ensure your hands stay completely dry and warm.

Are there differences between women’s, unisex, and men’s mittens? 

Technically, yes, especially for mittens and gloves.

Women’s specific mittens typically have a shorter finger length and narrower palm circumference compared to men’s mittens, which allows for a better fit for many women.

Some of our testers have found that when following unisex sizing, the size runs seem to correspond more closely to men’s sizes rather than women’s, so our female testers will often size down for a unisex pair.

Whether you’re selecting a men’s, women’s, or unisex mitten, be sure to measure your hands according to that brand’s sizing chart to help you find the best fit.

Pay close attention to sizing charts. For instance, Hestra’s mitten sizes differ between the unisex and women’s selections: a women’s mitten with a 152mm circumference corresponds to a size 7, while a unisex mitten with a 152mm circumference corresponds to a size 6.

Should mittens be loose or tight? 

Mittens shouldn’t be too loose or too tight. Your mittens should have about a 1/4-inch of space above your fingertips, and you should be able to make a fist comfortably without too much constraint or too much extra fabric.

Having a mitten that isn’t too loose or big and spacious is ideal, because that extra space and air requires body heat to warm.

If your mittens are slightly roomy, try wearing a thin, lightweight liner underneath. If your mittens are too tight, they will be annoying to get on and off and pose the risk of cutting off circulation at your wrists.

With attentive care, good mittens can last many seasons; (photo/Jason Hummel)
How do you wash and care for winter mittens?

Mittens rarely need washing, so don’t go throwing them in your weekly laundry pile. That said, there are times when a filthy mitt needs some love. Start with a spot clean: Wipe down the exterior with mild soap and water then air dry.

If your mittens have separate liners, remove and wash them as needed. If the entire mitten needs a thorough machine wash, use a tech-specific wash like Granger’s Performance Wash on the delicate cycle. Lay flat to dry.

You can also condition leather, which is a great waterproof material but needs proper care. First, rub down the mitten with a damp cloth to remove any grit. Next, massage a leather wax like Sno-Seal into the surface. Allow to air dry at room temperature overnight. Use a soft cloth to remove any extra wax, and get ready to enjoy your supple, waterproof mittens.

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