Whether crushing groomers at the resort or earning turns in the backcountry, hand warmth and dryness are critical — and often overlooked — aspects of the snowboarding experience. The best pair of snowboard mittens is the pair that you don’t have to think about. They do their job, and you find maximum enjoyment in hunting pow stashes or hand-dragging stylish Euro carves.
However, a soggy pair of mittens will absolutely ruin a day on the mountain. I can’t tell you how many times in my snowboarding life I’ve had the unique displeasure of having to seek refuge in the lodge due to cold, wet hands from poorly constructed gloves or mitts. 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 those who suffer from perpetually frigid digits in mind, we recently sought to separate the wheat from the chaff in the snowboard mittens market by putting some of the toughest to the test in wildly fluctuating Tahoe storm cycles, pow dumps in the Eastern Sierras, and some uncharacteristically deep stuff in Southern California’s local mountains.
Below are our top picks. If you’d like to see how they stack up against each other, view our Comparison Table and Ratings Chart, below. For more information on how to pick the best snowboard mittens for you and your style, scroll down to our Buyer’s Guide.
The Best Snowboard Mittens of 2023
Best Overall Snowboard Mitten: Backcountry GORE-TEX All Mountain
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
Most Durable Snowboard Mitten: Black Diamond Progression Mitt
Warmest Snowboard Mitten: Burton [ak] Oven Infinium GORE-TEX
Best Removable Liner: Hestra Army Leather Heli Mitt
Best All-Around Mitten
Pros: Warm, waterproof, and comfortable
Cons: Not as great when fingers are needed such as binding adjustment, etc
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.
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. 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.Check Price on Amazon
Best Trigger Finger Mitten
Pros: Great for touring
Cons: Harder to warm up if hands get wet
Three-finger gloves, trigger finger mitts, lobster claws, call them what you will. I’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. Glove enthusiasts, riddle me this: 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.
Best Removable Liner Mittens
Pros: Incredible durability
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. The only mitten on this list that features a removable liner, and one of the few on the market to do so, 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.
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.
Most 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. My one gripe is that 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 bomber, but when it comes to the longevity of a mitten, 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, the Hestra Heli Mittens, above, would be your best choice for a mitt that will last you forever and a day as the liners can easily be replaced.
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. They look and feel like little puffy jackets for your hands!
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 there. 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.
Best of the Rest
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. They were only narrowly beaten out by Backcountry’s All-Mountain for best all-around mitten, and that was because the gauntlet cuff created added warmth and protection from the snow on powder days. Like Burton’s other [ak] offerings we tested, the Clutch Leather Mittens weren’t too bulky while still offering stellar all-day warmth.
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. Although 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.
|Mitten||Price||Score||Waterproofing||Insulation||Cuff Style||Notable Features|
|Backcountry GORE-TEX All Mountain||$124||7.5||GORE-TEX||Recycled Synthetic||Gauntlet||Goat skin palm|
|Hestra Army Leather Heli Mitt||$160||7.5||Triton Fabric||
|Burton [AK] Clutch GORE-TEX||$145||7.75||GORE-TEX||PrimaLoft Gold Synthetic||Undercuff||Trigger finger|
|Black Diamond Progression Mitt||$160||7.25||GORE-TEX||PrimaLoft Gold Cross Core||Undercuff||Super durable|
|Burton [AK] Oven Infinium GORE-TEX||$175||7.25||GORE-TEX Infinium||PrimaLoft Gold Synthetic/Down||Undercuff||Leather palm, down insulation|
|Flylow Unicorn Mitt||$65||6.75||DWR-treated||Spaceloft Synthetic||Undercuff||Cheap and durable|
|Burton GORE-TEX Mitten||$80||6.75||GORE-TEX||PrimaLoft Gold Synthetic||Gauntlet||Liner gloves|
|Burton [AK] Clutch Leather||$150||7.0||GORE-TEX||PrimaLoft Gold Synthetic||Undercuff||Leather palm|
|The North Face Montana Mitten||$65||6.75||DryVent Membrane||Heatseeker Synthetic||Gauntlet||Warm, great price|
How We Tested
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 2023-2024. 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.
|Backcountry GORE-TEX All Mountain||7.5||10||8||4||8|
|Hestra Army Leather Heli Mitt||7.5||9||7||6||9|
|Burton [AK] Clutch GORE-TEX||7.75||9||7||6||9|
|Black Diamond Progression Mitt||7.25||8||8||4||9|
|Burton [AK] Oven Infinium GORE-TEX||7.25||9||10||4||6|
|Flylow Unicorn Mitt||6.75||7||7||5||8|
|Burton GORE-TEX Mitten||6.75||7||8||5||7|
|Burton [AK] Clutch Leather||7.0||8||7||4||9|
|The North Face Montana Mitten||7.0||7||8||6||7|
Snowboard Mittens Buyer’s Guide
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. And 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, I am a huge fan 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, on the other hand (pun intended), 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.