A good pair of snowboarding mittens are worth their weight in gold. Thankfully, they don’t cost (or weigh) anything near as much as gold, and insulate far better. When it comes down to it, warm and dry hands are a fundamental aspect of a good day snowboarding. The best pair of snowboard mittens is the pair that you don’t have to think about.
On the other hand (pun intended), a soggy pair of mittens will absolutely ruin a day on the mountain. Having to seek refuge in the lodge due to cold, wet hands is not only a waste of time but the opposite definition of fun. This becomes even more essential when we’re talking about venturing into the backcountry, where there is no lodge to warm up in.
So, with these factors in mind, we recently sought to separate the wheat from the chaff and put the best snowboard mittens on the market to the test. We went out in wildly fluctuating Tahoe storm cycles, pow dumps in the Eastern Sierras, and some uncharacteristically deep stuff in Southern California’s local mountains. We also tested some standout pairs in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia to see how they fare when the snow is more akin to slush.
Below are our top picks. If you’d like to see how they stack up against each other, view our Comparison Table, below. For more information on how to pick the best snowboard mittens for you and your style, scroll down to our Buyer’s Guide.
Best Overall Snowboard Mitten: Backcountry GORE-TEX All Mountain
Best Upgrade Snowboard Mitten: Baist Mitten
Best Budget Snowboard Mitten (Undercuff): Flylow Unicorn Mitt
Best Budget Snowboard Mitten (Gauntlet): Burton GORE-TEX Mitten
Best Trigger Finger Snowboard Mitten: Burton [ak] Clutch GORE-TEX
Warmest Snowboard Mitten: Burton [ak] Oven Infinium GORE-TEX
Best All-Around Snowboard Mitten
Pros: Warm, waterproof, and comfortable
Cons: Liner is not removable
In terms of finding the ideal balance between functionality, warmth, and durability, the Backcountry GORE-TEX All Mountain Mittens really hit the mark for us in testing. The goatskin leather palm and outer overlays were nice touches style-wise and also made for a grippier surface when performing basic tasks like tightening bindings, zipping up a jacket, and buckling a helmet. As a true mitten, there are definitely certain tasks that are difficult to perform when all fingers are conjoined — think de-icing bindings when it’s really stuck in there or other tasks during a split board tour that require a bit more dexterity.
However, the easy on and off of the All Mountain Mittens meant that at the least, you could pull a hand out, do what you needed to do, and throw it back in to warm up. For deep days, the gauntlet cuff features a cinch that does a great job of keeping snow out. While these certainly weren’t the warmest gloves we tested, they were solid all-around workhorses that felt very reliable, and feature a great bang-for-buck pricepoint.
Best Upgrade Snowboard Mittens
Pros: Great extras such as wrist leashes and a microfiber thumb
BAIST is a company out of Vermont built to address founder Ace Jonas’s Reynaud’s disease – a condition that results in poor circulation in the extremities. When other gloves didn’t cut it, he literally took matters into his own hands. The result is a line of products that are well-thought out and built from scratch to address the needs for those who need it most.
The BAIST Mitts offer a whole host of bonus features that add to the riding experience. We loved the microfiber thumbs that allow for wiping your goggles or runny nose (Pro tip: don’t use one thumb for both), and a removable liner that you can throw in the wash. The mitts sports a wrist strap to tighten things down with a long cuff that keeps the snow out of your jacket but still provides enough mobility when you need it. The reinforced knuckle is a great extra touch, too.
You can even order an extra liner for those supremely cold days. It’s nice to have the option to layer up inside the glove, which is a unique feature of all the models we tested. Our only knock is the lack of a GORE-TEX construction, but the combo of Cordura fabric and double-reinforced leather has been bombproof so far, and we’ll update this article if that changes throughout the season. But so far, so good when it comes to warmth and protection.
Best Budget Mitten (Undercuff)
Pros: Leather durability for a great price
Cons: Not as waterproof as others tested
In testing, we found that Flylow’s nearly all-leather offering, the Unicorn, is an absolutely solid, dependable pair of mittens that will last for years. We love that they’re designed to last a lifetime — while pre-treated with a DWR treatment, Flylow includes a packet of Nikwax waterproofing wax for a little at-home DIY waterproofing if they ever start to take on water.
That said, in testing, we found that while the Unicorns were extremely warm, they did take on a bit more water than some of the other pairs of mitts we tested. Another drawback is that Flylow doesn’t offer any sort of integrated wrist tether, which meant being creative with keeping them handy when we had to take them off to fiddle with a zipper or headphones. Alternatively, you can make your own wrist leash if you’re the DIY type. That said, for a solid, dependable pair of mittens at a great price, look no further.
For those interested in just as solid of a mitt for the same great price but with a trigger finger option, check out Flylow’s Maine Line Mitten.
Best Budget Mitten (Gauntlet)
Pros: Waterproof with a great price
Cons: Not the warmest model we tested
For a basic, well-priced mitten with all the features you could ask for at such a price point, look no further than Burton’s classic GORE-TEX Mitten. Those features include a pair of thin liner gloves (that are touchscreen-compatible), wrist leashes, a cinch at the end of the gauntlet to keep out powder, and pockets on the back of the hand to insert hand warmers for the coldest of days. The all-leather palm of the mitten is grippy and can even do some touchscreen duty itself for basic tasks (read: not typing).
The biggest downside to these gloves is the waterproofing. The all-fabric back of the glove will get soggy on wet days, but the mittens are easy to dry, and the liner gloves add an extra layer of protection and insulation. And thanks to the GORE-TEX construction, your hands will stay dry even when the outer part of the mitten is soaked. With the liner gloves, these are a very versatile pair of mittens, capable of layering up without becoming too stiff and bulky for the colder days and shedding layers for spring skiing.
Best Trigger Finger Mitten
Pros: Great for touring
Cons: Thin insulation, harder to warm up if hands get wet
Three-finger gloves, trigger finger mitts, lobster claws, call them what you will. We’ve fallen in love with this style of mitten in recent years as they bridge the gap between the warmth of mittens and nearly offer the dexterity of a glove. How often do you use an articulated pinky finger, anyway? Living up to its name, Burton’s Clutch trigger finger outperformed the rest of the mitts we tried by a huge margin. While thinner and lighter than others (they almost had the feel of spring riding gloves), we found that our hands stayed warmer and drier in the Clutches than in bulkier mitts.
Almost paradoxically, the Clutches were also the highest performers to meet the demands of backcountry touring. We found they breathed well enough on the uphill not to be sweating like crazy yet still offered sufficient warmth on the downhill. For those that struggle to find the goldilocks pair of mittens and often have to choose between sweaty palms or cold fingertips, we highly recommend the Clutches.
Warmest Snowboard Mitten
Pros: Incredibly toasty
Cons: Not as durable as other premium models
Okay, you’re the type of rider that keeps hand warmers on hand warmers in jacket pockets because even on the bluebirdiest of bluebird days, those fingers stay frigid. This is for you. Burton calls these their warmest mittens. And after testing, we can say that claim absolutely holds up. What’s great, though, is the Ovens crank up the heat without cranking up the bulk, thanks to the blend of synthetic and down insulation.
For this test, for good measure, we performed a few tasks with bare hands — throwing snowballs and scraping snow out of bindings — then put our hands back into each mitt to really get a sense of how each performed. The Ovens were easily the highest performers when it comes to re-warming frozen digits.
The only knock on the Ovens is that for anyone who has owned a puffy jacket made of ripstop fabric, you know to avoid sharp edges for fear of tearing a hole in the jacket and leaking feathers. The Ovens feature a similar ripstop fabric we’d definitely think twice about throwing into a backpack with any pointy objects like collapsible ski poles, crampons, or multi-tools. These would not be our first pick for a backcountry workhorse kit. Unless that kit also includes duct tape.
Super Durable Snowboard Mitten
Pros: Virtually bomb-proof
Cons: More difficult than others to put on
Black Diamond’s Progression Mitts are the crème de la crème when it comes to freeride durability. Almost the entire exterior of the mitten is made of leather, with a pre-curved fit to enhance dexterity. The mittens are solidly warm as well, with toasty insulation. However, due to the bomber and somewhat stiff construction, they aren’t the easiest to pull on.
There is no doubt that the exterior of this mitt is solid, but if you’re someone who worries more about the interior lining pilling up and getting uncomfy (as happens with basically any pair of gloves or mittens, eventually) rather than the exterior getting ripped to shreds by your stylish hand-drags, some of the removable liner options would be a great pick for your preferences.
Pros: Durable, stylish, and comfortable
Cons: On the pricier side
These full-leather mittens from Burton were another solid pair that looked great and performed extremely well. Like Burton’s other [ak] offerings we tested, the Clutch Leather Mittens weren’t too bulky while still offering stellar all-day warmth.
These mitts were a top pick for our Best Overall category, only narrowly not making the cut due to the lack of a gauntlet cuff that adds warmth and protection from the snow on powder days.
Pros: Great durability and warmth
Cons: Style points are more skier-oriented
Hestra has earned legendary status with their ski and snowboard hand gear, from gloves to lobster claws to mittens. And when it comes to mittens, none is more iconic than the Army Leather Heli Mitt. One of the only mittens on this list that features a removable liner, Hestra has been perfecting its liner system for years, and it shows.
The mitten is geared towards mid-winter powder-hunting and, as such, is warmth-forward, and wasn’t our first choice for spring ski laps. It also lacks a GORE-TEX liner, another ding for less-than-frigid temps.
If you want the removable liner but aren’t stoked on the full gauntlet-style cuff, Hestra also offers their removable liner in mittens like the Fall Line Mitt or the Army Leather Patrol Mitt. For those interested in a more “budget” removable-liner option, the Powder Gauntlet Mitt offers the basics of the Heli Mitt without the bells and whistles (like a wrist leash) for just $95.
Pros: Superior durability and fit
Cons: Significant break in period needed for best fit
Coming out of Jackson Hole, WY, Give’r is a brand born out of a need for warmth. The frigid, wind swept plains of the Teton Valley can be bone-chilling when it comes down to it. But if the locals there let a bit of chill ruin their day they wouldn’t do much for half the year.
The Frontier Mittens offer waterproof protection, warmth, and comfort – all you need for a great day. These mittens can do much more than be part of a snowboard day – they have been tested for fishing, outdoor chores, and just general winter activity. The more you use ’em, the better they will feel.
Speaking of which – they do feel rigid at first and take some breaking in to really work, so if you’re the type who uses your winter gear only a few times a year you won’t get the most out of em. But if these are for daily wear, they will only get better with age. They do run on the smaller side, so it’s worth sizing up a bit if you like a bit more room inside.
Pros: GORE-TEX, Great comfort and mobility
Cons: Pricey. Wrist area isn’t super warm
When Arc’teryx gets behind something, it’s a safe bet that it’s a quality piece of gear. The Sabre Split Mittens are no different. Sporting the clutch design, the added dexterity is a welcome addition to a splitboarding trip or times digging snow pits. But it’s not only useful in the backcountry – the gloves are warm enough to work well on resort laps as well.
That said, we did find the wrist area to be a bit more sparse than other models we tested so make sure you have a good underlayer that can come fully underneath to make up for it and it should be fine. For the price, though, you might want something else if inbounds days are a priority. But if mobility is a key deciding factor these had excellent movement while still retaining the waterproofing and breathability that makes GORE-TEX so sought after.
Pros: GORE-TEX, Excellent value
Cons: Backside isn’t as durable as other mitts
With GORE-TEX the standard for waterproofing and PrimaLoft being our favorite synthetic insulation, the Dakine Baron mitts give you both for under $100, which doesn’t come often.
These mittens are some of the best value we tested, and there isn’t much wrong with them other than it’s not full leather in the knuckle area. This only is an issue if you’re not taking care of them – if you are just using them for snowboarding (like they’re made for) they will last plenty long and give you many seasons of warmth and protection.
Pros: Great price, Gauntlet closure
Cons: Waterproofing not as good as premium models
If you want a great mitt at a great price, Montana Mittens from The North Face is a solid option. With a synthetic waterproof membrane and gauntlet closures, this mitten punches far above its weight on warmth and comfort.
That said, the price does reflect its lack of premium materials, so if you’re someone who rides hard in wet environments you might start to see the wear and tear sooner than later. But if you just want something to keep your hands warm and aren’t a bell-to-bell type rider, this pair of mitts should handle most days out there and leave you enough room in the pocketbook for a warm lunch and some beers later on.
For this review, we relied on our institutional knowledge and deep pool of contacts in the snowboard industry to identify longstanding favorites, promising new options, and the most highly-rated snowboard mittens of the 2023-2024 season. We then got our hands on more than a dozen options, and hit the slopes, putting our selection of snowboard mittens to the test in the cold and deep powder that Tahoe was blasted with last season, the massive powder dumps that Mammoth Mountain is known for, laps on the skintrack in the Southern California mountains, and spring-boarding speed-runs at Jackson Hole.
Over a season of testing, from morning driveway-shoveling to last chair of the day, our team of boarders, led by our snowboard-mitten guru Dylan Heyden, got to know the ins and outs of the best mittens on the market, and came to a consensus on the best of the best in warmth, durability, best overall, best value, and more. We’ve compiled those findings for you here, in this article.
Gear Editor Steve Andrews also tested gear in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, home of Whistler/Blackcomb, with the occasional super pow day at Mount Baker. It’s no secret that the coastal conditions can often be more wet slop than dry pow, which can be unfortunate when riding, but not so when testing out warmth and waterproofing for snowboard mittens. Steve enjoys digging snow pits, building jumps, and using hands more than just knuckle-dragging, so these mitts got their fair share of opportunities to either shine or fall by the wayside.
And yes, these mittens are all geared toward men, however unless you prefer more feminine colors, they will work well for women. We will add some women-specific models in the future, so stay tuned if you prefer some models more suited for the ladies.
Gloves have one major edge over mittens: dexterity. You’ll quickly notice that no true mittens in our test scored very highly in this category. But that is the eternal trade-off of mittens versus gloves: sacrificing the ability to fumble with gear with a bit more precision for maximum warmth.
For snowboarding, especially if you’re not adding poles to the equation, there’s generally less need for independent digits. If you’ve read this far, you’ve likely already come to the conclusion that you’ll deal with the clumsiness of zipping your jacket with a mitten so long as your fingers stay warmer and drier longer. But, choosing the right pair of mitts can come down to an array of personal preferences on functionality and style. Here are some key considerations:
Mittens vs. Trigger Mittens
Our top picks for mittens featured a mix of true mittens and trigger mittens. True mittens mean that all four fingers are conjoined in a single safe little cocoon with the thumb separate. In contrast, trigger mittens, sometimes called lobster claw mittens or three-finger gloves, have a separate index finger and thumb, while the three remaining fingers remain cocooned.
As mentioned above, we are huge fans of trigger mittens because that free index finger can be extremely helpful for clipping a helmet buckle or removing ice from bindings. Freeing up that index finger means, in general, trigger mitts aren’t as warm as traditional mittens, so choosing between the two is often a matter of personal preference.
Questions to consider include: are you a gear fiddler? And if so, if you owned a pair of mittens, would you find yourself removing them a lot to fiddle? If so, while the mitts might be the warmer choice in theory, if you keep taking them off and exposing your hands to the elements, choosing the pair that you’d be able to keep on all day might be the better choice.
Gauntlet Cuffs vs. Undercuff
Another major design feature you’ll see in our roundup that’s worth unpacking here is the difference between a mitten with a traditional cuff and a mitten with a gauntlet cuff. Traditional cuffs generally come down to the wrist area and have a velcro closure or elastic. They’re designed so that the sleeve of your jacket comes over them — and if you’re looking to seal out snow, you can generally adjust the velcro cuff of your jacket sleeve to do so if it has that functionality, which most do.
Gauntlet cuffs are elongated cuffs that go over your jacket and generally feature a cinch to create a good seal to keep out snow. As a general rule, gauntlet cuffs offer a superior seal and are great for deep or stormy days. But, a traditional cuff may be all you need in most conditions and offers easier on-and-off.
If warmth is the primary consideration in selecting a solid pair of mittens, dryness is an extremely close second. For mittens, they literally go hand-in-hand. Gloves that are waterproof will feature some sort of membrane between the outer shell of the glove and the inner liner. Across the industry, GORE-TEX is the gold standard for waterproofing.
Not to get too technical, but the way the fabrics are created is the GORE-TEX waterproof membrane is laminated onto the fabrics that brands in the industry use to create their products. And this membrane is porous, but the pores are literally too small for a water molecule to enter — meaning snow and water cannot get in. But GORE-TEX ain’t cheap. And you’ll notice that a decent pair of GORE-TEX gloves is going to cost a bit more than their non-GORE counterparts.
As discussed at length, mittens are big on warmth but not so big on performing tasks. This is especially true for operating a smartphone screen. These days, many gloves, and especially glove and mitten liners, boast the ability to operate a phone without taking them off.
While there are mittens on the market these days that do have this technology, we find it to be a bit unnecessary. Just try sending a text with all four fingers together to see why. It’s worth noting that none of the mittens on our list had touchscreen capabilities.
Editor’s Note: Gear Editor Will Sileo, and Contributing Gear Editor Steve Andrews contributed to this piece. For more gear reviews and features on The Inertia, click here.