When the temperature drops, we sometimes need to change what we are wearing to protect us from extra frigid conditions. This is when I find myself switching from gloves to mittens. They can generally keep your fingers warmer than the average gloves.
Hi, I’m Christine, and I love to ski. Since I was very young, I’ve been on the slopes and have developed a lifelong passion for the sport. I know how important it is to stay warm on the mountain and have researched or worn many of the mittens found here.
The Black Diamond Mercury is my pick for the best ski mittens of the season. This model provides outstanding warmth that you can count on during the worst winter conditions. The mitts are also super comfortable and built to last.
Several other solid ski mittens are available, and I’ll provide you with all the best options in this post. If you want to ensure your hands stay warm or just have a backup for when conditions get bad, the models here will have you covered.
Time to bundle up and get going.
Who Should Get This
Whether you are a skier, snowboarder, or like to do any other type of outdoor winter activities, you should invest in a good pair of mittens. Gloves provide good dexterity and are great for moderately cold weather, but they won’t keep your fingers as warm in extreme cold.
Mittens will contain all of your fingers in one place, keeping them warm and cozy. New technology and materials can also provide you with the mobility and grip you need to perform most outdoor winter activities.
Holding ski poles, grabbing the chair lift, and much more can all still be done with the average mitts. Some of the newer ones even have touch screen capability, so you can still use your phone.
Even if you prefer to use gloves, it’s never a bad idea to keep a pair of mittens with your gear. You never know when temperatures will drop, and your fingers will get cold. You don’t want to spend your whole day of skiing worrying about keeping your hands warm.
What is the difference between gloves and mittens?
Gloves have fingers, and mittens do not. That’s the fundamental difference from a visual and construction point of view. But mittens also offer more warmth because the fingers are close to each other, while gloves provide increased dexterity.
How much warmer are mittens than gloves?
Mittens can be quite a bit warmer than gloves. If you have ever struggled with keeping your hands warm in gloves, I highly suggest giving mittens a try for this reason. I’d say mittens are about 50% warmer than gloves on average.
Do skiers prefer gloves or mittens?
This really just depends on the skier. I always have at least one pair of each. I wear mittens on really cold days to make sure my hands stay warm. I wear gloves when the weather is better or when I want more flexibility.
Can you hold ski poles with mittens?
You sure can. A good set of mittens will allow you to hang on to your ski poles easily. Mittens are a little bulkier than gloves, so getting them through your pole straps might be more difficult. But you can hold ski poles just fine when using mittens.
Should ski mittens be tight or loose?
Ski mittens should not be too tight or too loose. You want a fit that is somewhere in the middle for the best performance. If they are too tight, you can restrict blood flow, which can make your hands cold. If they are too loose, snow and wind can enter.
What size mittens should I get?
Remember, you don’t want your mittens to be too tight or too loose. Get a pair that fits snugly, but that still provides a little wiggle room for your hands.
Top Picks of the Best Ski Mittens
Here are my picks for the best ski mittens of the season. Every model below will give you a little extra warmth than the average ski glove.
1. Black Diamond Mercury
- Best for: Overall
- Key features: Warm, durable, waterproof, removable liner, long cuff
- Insulation: 170 grams PrimaLoft Gold
- Construction: Four-Way Stretch/Goat Leather
- Cost: $$$
The Black Diamond Mercury (review) is one of the best ski mittens you can find. This is a favorite among many skiers and comes highly recommended.
One hundred seventy grams of PrimaLoft Gold insulation gives you plenty of reliable warmth to keep your fingers cozy on the coldest days.
A goat leather palm offers excellent grip and is super durable, thanks to a reinforcement patch. They also come with a removable liner so that you can adjust to the conditions.
These are a little bulky, but that’s really their only downside.
2. Hestra Heli Ski Women’s
- Best for: Women
- Key features: Women’s fit, comfortable, super durable, great style, velcro closure
- Insulation: Polyester Fiberfill
- Construction: Triton Polyamide/Goat Leather
- Cost: $$$
The Hestra Heli Ski Women’s is the best option for female skiers. This is a practical and stylish option that is sure to keep you warm all season long.
The mitts come with a super strong and durable construction made of goat leather and Triton polyamide, and these will last for years.
They are also well insulated and provide a good grip. A pull strap with a Velcro closure gives you another layer of protection against the elements.
These are expensive and not a budget option.
Also Read: Best Ski Gloves for Women
3. Outdoor Research Lucent Heated
- Best for: Warmth
- Key features: Battery-powered heat, comfortable, durable, good grip, waterproof
- Insulation: EnduraLoft
- Construction: Leather/Vinyl/Gore-Tex
- Cost: $$$$
The Outdoor Research Lucent Heated mittens (review) will give you fantastic warmth, thanks to a battery-operated heating element.
This feature comes with three different heat settings, so you can adjust things based on the conditions you are skiing in.
Other great features include a Gore-Tex membrane for excellent waterproofing, EnduraLoft insulation, and durable goat leather palms.
You will have to pay a pretty penny for this added warmth, and these are by far the most expensive mittens on the list.
Related Article: Best Heated Ski Gloves
4. Hestra Fall Line
- Best for: Low Profile
- Key features: Lightweight, not bulky, warm, durable, stylish
- Insulation: Foam
- Construction: Cowhide/Polyester/Neoprene
- Cost: $$$
If you want a low-profile ski mitten that isn’t very bulky, check out the Hestra Fall Line.
Thanks to a Cowhide aniline shell material, this model also looks terrific, giving them a classic ski appeal.
A neoprene cuff with a Velcro strap helps keep the mitts in place while blocking out wind and snow.
These are pretty expensive, and they aren’t the most heavily insulated option.
5. Burton Gore-Tex
- Best for: Grip
- Key features: Affordable, great grip, waterproof, breathable, comfortable
- Insulation: Thermacore
- Construction: Gore-Tex/DryRide 2L
- Cost: $$
The Burton Gore-Tex mittens are a more affordable option that offers superior grip, thanks to a Sticky Icky Grip palm.
They also have Thermacore insulation to keep your fingers toasty on frigid days and a Gore-Tex membrane that offers excellent waterproofing.
Other fantastic features included a removable 4-way stretch liner, touch-screen compatible palm (rare on mittens), and a pre-curved ergonomic fit.
This model can fit a little loose, but there are multiple size options available, so you should be able to get one that works for you.
6. Dakine Titan
- Best for: Budget Option
- Key features: Affordable, insulated, waterproof, cuff closure, good grip, removable liner
- Insulation: High Loft Synthetic
- Construction: Polyester/Gore-Tex/Rubbertec
- Cost: $$
Ski mittens can get expensive, but the Dakine Titan (review) is a solid budget option for any skier looking to save a little money.
The Titan still offers quality performance, and the Gore-Tex membrane will keep your hands reliably dry even at a very affordable price.
High Loft synthetic insulation does a good job of keeping everything warm and keeps working even when wet. A removable storm liner is another nice feature that is also touch screen compatible.
These aren’t the most durable mittens around, and that’s a tradeoff you’ll see with a budget pick.
How to Pick The Best Ski Mittens
It can be challenging to pick the best option with so many mitten models on the market. Keep the following factors in mind to help you narrow down your search.
Keeping your hands and fingers warm is our primary goal here, so any mitten needs to keep them warm at temperatures well below freezing. You will want to look for ones that have good insulation as your first line of defense against the cold.
Nearly every mitten will offer more warmth than a comparable gloves model. But if you need added warmth for severe conditions, you’ll want thick insulation made of high-quality materials.
If your hands don’t stay dry, they won’t stay warm. Remember that there is a difference between waterproof and water-resistant. Waterproof means no water should get through. Water-resistant only means that it resists water, but some may still get through.
Synthetic waterproof materials such as Gore-Tex offer excellent protection to keep your hands dry. Many mittens also feature leather in the construction, which still provides good waterproofing – you just might need to treat it with a waterproofing product.
Your mittens must be comfortable to wear. If not, you will not want to wear them and may take them off. That will cause you to lose heat, and your hands will most likely get cold.
Look for a fit that isn’t too tight but not too loose either. You don’t want the mitts to cut off circulation, but they shouldn’t allow any wind or snow in through the cuffs.
Also, look for lightweight materials that still keep you warm. You don’t want something that feels like you are wearing boxing gloves.
Your mittens will probably take a beating out there on the slopes, so they need to be durable. They should be constructed well and from quality material. You don’t want them coming apart when you’re out there in sub-zero weather.
Even though the main point is to keep your hands warm, you still need to be able to grip things such as ski poles, skis, or anything else. You won’t have the same dexterity as gloves, but you should still be able to grab and hold on to most things.
Look for grippy materials on the palm, such as leather or synthetic fabric with a bit of texture. Some options are also available to be touch-screen compatible.
Pockets for hand warmers, touch screen ability, and long sleeves to keep snow out are just a few of the extra features you will find in many of the mittens. Be sure to weigh these against the more critical things mentioned above.
Useful Tips & Resources
There has often been a long-time debate over which to use, mittens or gloves? I suggest getting a pair of each to prepare for anything and everything during the ski season.
As I mentioned above, mittens are the best for keeping your digits warm, but there are valid reasons for choosing gloves in some situations. Take a look at the video below for some more on the debate of mittens vs. gloves.
The Black Diamond Mercury is my pick for the best ski mittens of the year. This is one of the most durable and high-performance options around, and it will keep your hands warm in even the coldest conditions.
Mittens are a great piece of equipment to have for severe weather conditions. If you want to avoid getting cold fingers, any of the mittens on this list will serve you well.