SNOW SPORTS

Best Ski Mittens: Going Beyond Protection and Design

Smitten by the snow
Jerry Mueller
Written by Jerry Mueller

Skiing is such a fun activity that people do and look forward to every year. Some even do it multiple times a year. They undergo preparations and often use the best equipment. From head to toe, they’re well prepared. They even get the best ski mittens to help them perform at their best and enjoy the experience.

You might be also one of those who prepare thoroughly and get the best equipment whenever possible. Often, people pay more attention to the skis, boots, bindings, poles, goggles, and helmets they use. However, ski mittens can also make a difference.

Skiing season is here

How? In almost every sporting activity, you always use your hands. These are what you use to pivot and maneuver through various trails. Your hands also exert much effort and experience pain in different settings. That’s why a quality pair of ski mittens will help you in taking the most out of each skiing experience.

Here we’ll discuss what features to look for before buying ski mittens. They go beyond protection and design. We’ll still mention here those features and what specific things to look for. We’ll also discuss other features such as type of material, water resistance and proofing, adjustability, and more.

How to choose ski mittens

Different ski mittens have various special features and strengths. In all those features, the user’s needs are always put as a priority. Different people have different preferences.

That’s why it’s worthwhile to know the purposes of these features. This way, you’ll know if they match your needs and preferences. Let’s start.

Material

In many product descriptions, the type of material is often mentioned first. That’s because avid skiers are often concerned about how the ski mittens were made. The material often dictates the overall quality of each pair of ski mitten.

Choosing ski mittens

Different areas might be made from different materials. For example, the shell might be nylon and polyurethane. The palm might be leather, while the lining might be made from 100% polyester. These materials often contribute to the functionality and durability of the ski mittens.

Many are made from polymers (polyurethane and polyester) because these are durable and lightweight. They also provide ample protection to the hands so you won’t be worrying about injuries when you’re fast skiing forward.

In skiing, the grip is important because you want to securely hold the ski poles. That’s why the palm of ski mittens is usually made from leather. This material provides good grip even if you’re going fast. Also, it’s not too stiff and offers some flexibility.

Interior Lining

Many experienced skiers also take note of the interior lining. It helps in keeping them warm even during unreasonably cold days. This is important because when the hands get too cold, adjusting our hands might be a challenge especially when maneuvering.

Inside ski mittens

Many prefer that the interior lining should be removable and replaceable. This way, they can customize the warmth they’re feeling. On snow, the temperature might vary because of the location. The temperature might fluctuate greatly all throughout the day. For some who are really used to relatively colder places, the cold might not be affecting them as much while skiing.

Breathability and Waterproofing

Insulation means a lot to keeping your hands warm and comfortable, but that’s not the only thing ski mittens do. A perfect balance has to be struck between keeping your hands warm and preventing them from getting wet. The majority of ski mittens are either made from waterproof/water-resistant materials, or a waterproofing treatment has been applied to them so that your mittens won’t absorb any moisture.

Alternatively, you want breathable material that will allow your hands to stay dry. As the heat increases inside your gloves, your hands may begin to sweat, leading to condensation. With nowhere for this moisture to go, it stays inside and makes your hands feel colder than they really are.

Protection against extreme weather

This is essential. Weather is often unpredictable. No matter how much you prepare, the weather might not go according to your plans and wishes. You must be aware of the risks and protect yourself against them. You can easily accomplish that by looking for specific features that satisfy your requirements.

Mittens against the cold

For example, the soft shell of the gloves should be water-resistant. This serves as an added layer of protection. Our hands and bodies react with cold water and melted snow.

In addition, it will feel uncomfortable if the water goes in while you’re skiing. You might mishandle the poles and, as a result, lose a bit of control. The water might also affect how the ski mittens fit on your hands.

Security in wrists

When experienced skiers go to the store or browse online, they also take note of the security in the wrists. They look for locks or “handcuffs” on the ski mittens. That’s because these locks secure the mittens on our hands no matter how you move them.

In addition, it helps us have a proper grip on the ski poles. If the gloves are improperly positioned, it will affect how you use them. Also, you always want to focus on the skiing itself. You don’t want to be worrying about the ski mittens falling off.

When browsing online, look for the words cuff, lock, and wrist. Add it to your checklist before buying any pair of ski mittens.

Flexibility

Even if the ski gloves are made from strong materials for protection and durability, they should still be flexible enough. They shouldn’t be too rigid because this can cause discomfort, especially since your hands will be moving while you’re skiing.

Evaluating ski mittens

Experienced skiers pay extra attention to how flexible the palm of a ski mitten is. Our palms make the most contact with the ski poles. You may be holding on to them a bit tighter or a bit loose depending on our trail and preference. If the palms of the gloves are rigid, it might be hard to adjust.

Comfort

This feature overlaps with the things mentioned above: material, protection against weather, interior lining, security in wrists, and flexibility.

There are times when you feel the need to go for extended skiing ventures. During those times, you will be wearing the ski mittens for longer periods of time. That’s why the ski mittens should feel comfortable even after many hours of you wearing them. Yes, they are protecting you against the cold. But that doesn’t mean you should endure discomfort while wearing them.

Design

For many experienced skiers, this is the least of their priority. That’s because many ski mittens almost always look the same. They’re often in black or white, or a combination. These are neutral colors which mean they can complement any outfit.

Mittens basic design

There are a few made in red and other colors. They may catch more attention but they can also limit your choice of outfit. However, having brightly colored mittens will make them easier to find in the snow if you happen to lose them, as well as making them more easily identifiable from someone else’s mittens. So, if you’re not one who cares about matching, then any color should do.

After discussing the features you should look for, it’s now time to take a look at the popular ski mittens experienced skiers use. This way, you will gain some ideas on their best features and figure out which one is the best for you.

Top Products on the Market

Canada Goose Men’s Northern Mitts

Canada Goose Mens Northern MittsMaterial: Shell: 89% Nylon / 11% PU; Palm: 100% Leather; Lining: 100% Polyester

Specific Features: Removable liner, water-resistant soft shell with goatskin leather, extended cuff with single hand webbing adjuster

Description: They look simple but they work. These are especially designed for insulation and extreme weather protection. These ski mitts are a bit more expensive than most of other gloves out there. But that didn’t stop some users from choosing these because of the warmth and comfort they provide.

Even some people near the Arctic find the Canada Goose Men’s Northern Mitts useful. These ski gloves provide extra warmth that is hard to match. This is important especially when you’re planning to ski in colder places and during unusually cold winters.

Aside from the comfort and warmth, these ski mittens also provide security. There’s the extended cuff with single hand webbing adjuster, which makes it easy for you to adjust them even while you’re slowly exploring the snow-covered locations.

There will be a few times when you’re feeling something on your nose and nearby. Maybe it’s dirt or snow. Whatever the case, you need to wipe it. That’s why these ski gloves have a nose wipe on the thumb. These won’t scratch the skin. They’re made from soft material which is suitable for wiping your nose and maybe other areas on your face.

Black Diamond Mercury Mitts Cold Weather Mittens

Black Diamond Mercury MittensMaterial: Shell: 92% Nylon/8% Spandex, 100% Goat Skin Palm, Lining: 100% Polyester

Specific Features: Removable liner, lightweight, abrasion-resistant, fully waterproof shell

Description: This is one of the most popular ski mittens out there. The Black Diamond Mercury Mitts Cold Weather Mittens is that popular mainly because it’s built extremely well and provides enough warmth.

In addition, they also provides some flexibility and allow for some dexterity even if these ski mittens look bulky. Its bulkiness contributes to the warmth, which is the most important during extreme cold weather. Many users even forget about the dexterity because the warmth is a higher priority.

For skiers with poor circulation in their hands, this pair of ski mitts might be ideal. This is essential because some have reported they can’t feel their hands even while wearing mitts. It’s a common case especially when temperatures drop below zero. This pair of ski mitts is up for the job. They provide enough warmth, and you will feel really warm while wearing them. They are also extremely rugged, so they’re not going to fall apart after your first adventure.

Even during windy weekends, the mitts will hold up. You won’t have to worry about security and cold. You can focus instead on the skiing and getting the most out of the winter.

Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski and Cold weather 3-Finger Gloves

Hestra Army 3-Finger GlovesMaterial: 70% Leather, 30% Synthetic

Specific Features: Windproof upper section, Palm made of proofed-army goat leather, interior lining is replaceable and removable, Hestra handcuffs to secure mitts to wrist

Description: This is also one of the most popular gloves out there. The Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski and Cold weather 3-Finger Gloves provide both warmth and dexterity. Even athletes all around the globe are using it for their adventures and mountain pursuits.

Your checklist will be likely completed if you buy a pair of these. These ski mittens have “handcuffs” that secure gloves to the writes. The removable and replaceable interior lining allows you to customize the warmth you feel. The upper section is both windproof and waterproof. You’re always sure that you’re protected from the harsh cold of the mountains.

Some customers have already reported they’ve been using the gloves for many years (even if they’re regularly wearing them and skiing). They’re well made and suitable for the harsh weather. You can already feel the quality the moment you wear the mitts.

Many users take note of the palm part of the mitten. It’s made from proofed-army goat leather. It provides excellent grip while still maintaining flexibility. This is ideal for both men and women who want to taste the adventure and test the gloves.

However, there might be issues about the comfort and warmth. Even with the interior lining, your hands might get really cold. There are warmer gloves out there that can satisfy your requirements about protection from the cold. The quality craftsmanship is still there (built to last) but issues about the cold might be a problem.

The North Face Men’s Montana Mitt 2015

TNF-Mens-Montana-Mitt-2015Material: Synthetic insulation, 100% nylon

Specific Features: Ensures consistent sizing (5 Dimensional Fit), Radiametric Articulation, Ladderlock wrist cinch

Description: It all sounds technical, but feel at ease because this pair of ski mitts is sure to protect you and make you feel comfortable.

This waterproof, alpine glove with full-gauntlet design fits comfortably. The Radiametric Articulation supports our ergonomic preferences. This means that the feature mimics the hand’s natural resting position, allowing you to feel comfortable and at ease while wearing these mitts.

The Ladderlock wrist cinch of the Men’s Montana Mitt 2015 will keep the mitts secure in our hands so that the gloves won’t fall off, no matter what activities you’re engaging in.

In addition, it’s made by North Face which is a popular maker of outdoor gear. They specialize in providing comfort and ensuring protection for outdoor adventurers. Many customers have already tried their gear and most of them are grateful for the purchase.

However, the size can be a problem. They might feel smaller than expected. That’s why you might have to order a larger size to ensure a good fit. Getting ones that don’t fit well will affect the comfort and security you feel whenever you wear them.

Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski Mitt

Hestra-Army-Leather-Heli-MittMaterial: 70& Leather, 30% Synthetic

Specific Features: Wolf Paw design reinforces the fingertips and eliminates seam exposure, Hestra handcuffs, removable and replaceable interior lining, can be combined with other liners

Description: The Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski and Cold Weather Mitt also covers the basics. It provides security, grip, comfort, and flexibility. Just like with the Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski 3-Finger Gloves mentioned above, this one also has a palm made of proofed-army goat leather. It provides excellent grip and flexibility.

It’s considered to be a modern classic by many users. Just from the first glance, you’ll see what that means. By the time you wear a pair, you’ll readily feel the comfort and quality. From the outside to the inside, every detail is made to suit the skiers’ needs.

Even in minus 10 degree weather, you can feel the warmth. You will feel the extra protection provided by these mitts. If you need extra warmth, you can add your own liners. This way, you will be thoroughly protected from the snow. The outer shell is also excellent because it’s both windproof and waterproof.

Some users might find the white design to be a disadvantage. That’s because dirt and grime will be more noticeable once they stick to the surfaces. However, this is a really minor problem in contrast to the benefits these mitts provide for the weekend warriors, regular skiers, and occasional skiing enthusiasts.

Wrap Up

If you don’t want to get overwhelmed, choose the ones that provide excellent protection from the cold weather. This is the most important because of the extreme weather’s health effects. One sudden exposure and it might cause permanent or temporary injuries. This will ruin your skiing experience.

Ski Mittens drying

It’s good to choose the ski mittens that will keep you warm even during below zero temperatures. This is important especially when you’re planning to ski in the near Arctic. The temperatures can drop and you need extra protection during those times. If your ski mittens can keep you warm, you won’t have to worry much about the cold temperature. You will then get the most out of your skiing adventure.

And please don’t forget to leave a comment or share your stories with us below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jerry Mueller
Jerry Mueller

Jerry ‘Boy Scout’ Mueller spends 99% of his time camping or teaching others how to live in the wild. He became an Eagle Scout which is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting division when he was 17 and after that he still lives the scout life. Jerry always plans neatly every trip, takes leadership very seriously and if you listen to his tips and stories, you can learn tons of useful things.

  • Kenneth Wong

    Mittens are definitely a must when skiing. They may seem cumbersome to the laymen, but if you want your fingers to function the way they ought when gripping a ski pole all day long then mittens are essential. Gloves underneath are good for the protection of individual digits, but mittens allow for the circulation of body and ambient heat from the sun.

  • Jerry Mueller

    I think mittens are a game-changer and can spell the difference between having an enjoyable and fun-filled trip or a miserable, cold one. Although it is still a matter of preference though, with some newer innovations in the market for both mittens and gloves.

  • Phyllis Perez

    Love the mittens. Love using them. There’s just something warmer to me about wearing mittens then having your fingers separated in different areas from each other. Functional, cute, stylish. I can’t usually use my smart phone with them but hey sometimes you have to sacrifice.

  • Tonya Murphy

    I like the Black Diamond Mercury gloves. It’s mostly because they fit nicely around my wrists. I absolutely hate getting snow in my gloves. It is definitely a negative because then it defeats the purpose. I love these gloves. Super soft inside too!

  • Jerry Mueller

    I understand what you mean Phyllis! Mittens are so traditional and offer warmth for your hands. Time was when we don’t have any gadgets to tinker with so they are very popular. But as you mentioned, you don’t mind taking them off to do other tasks because these mittens are really great!

  • Jerry Mueller

    I see that being toast is a priority for you and I can’t blame you. 🙂 People who love wearing gloves swear by its dexterity but when you have nothing much to tinker with, these mittens are all that you need.
    The Black Diamond Mercury is a good choice. I’m sure you appreciated the removable liner and the waterproof shell. It’s a very innovative product and offers the right amount of flexibility/dexterity that you might require.

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