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The Best Winter Mittens of 2023

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 Mittens GearJunkie 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.

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 mittens we can’t stop raving about — the ones we recommend and rely on all winter long.

At the end of our list, be sure to check out our buyer’s guide . And if you still have questions, take a look at our list of frequently asked questions .

Jump to our top picks or explore our full recommendations below. To compare over a dozen mitts in one place, check out our spec chart .

The Best Winter Mittens of 2023

Best Overall Winter Mittens: Black Diamond Mercury Mitt — Men’s & Women’s

Black Diamond Mercury Mitt -

We think of these mitts as cocoons for the hands. They’re indeed stuffed full of PrimaLoft insulation, the same fill used in cold-weather sleeping bags. This was one of our first favorites all the way back in 2007, and it’s still a strong contender.

The Mercury Mitts are now $120 but still a good buy, in our opinion. They’ll last for several years, and with a removable liner, they can be used in frigid or kinda-cold weather.

With what seems to be a trend among Black Diamond’s warmest gloves (the BD Guide Gloves are the same way), these mitts fit a good bit tighter than what you’d expect. We highly recommend trying these gloves on in person before committing and don’t be afraid to size up to get that perfect fit.

With the newest rendition of the Mercury Mitts , Black Diamond added a “trigger finger” that separates your index finger from the rest, increasing dexterity without surrendering too much warmth. The waterproof membrane and long gauntlet cuff are appreciated in wet conditions.

  • Shell/Material: Stretchy polyester outer shell with goat leather palms
  • Insulation: 170g PrimaLoft Gold Cross Core insulation
  • Cuff type: Long gauntlet
  • Waterproof: Yes, a BD.dry insert and a PFC-free DWR finish
  • Very warm
  • Good dexterity for a mitten
  • Long cuffs keep moisture out
  • Some users report a tight fit

Check Men’s Price at REI Check Women’s Price at REI

Best Budget Winter Mittens: Gordini Challenge Mitt — Men’s & Women’s

gordini challenge mitt

This mitt didn’t blow us away as the snazziest or most high-tech, but it’s gosh-darn warm. A basic design and budget-friendly, we found the Challenge Mitt ($70) to be warm enough for a variety of snow activities and, best of all, easy to put on.

The mitts have wrist leashes and easy-pull tabs so you can shed them when you need more dexterity. (Although the mitts are touchscreen-compatible, so you don’t need to shed them to check your phone!)

While our male testers found these gloves to fit just about right, our female testers reported a slightly snug fit in the size they traditionally would fit in. Size these mitts for comfort, with enough space at the end of your fingers to avoid cold spots.

We also found these gloves to be extremely soft on the inside, thanks to the cozy fleece lining that extends all the way to the cuff. To top it off, Gordini added tech like a textured water-resistant shell and a waterproof and windproof GORE-TEX Warm insert.

Read our full review to see how this awesome mitt made the cut.

  • Shell/Material: Synthetic outer shell with textured palm
  • Insulation: Megaloft synthetic insulation
  • Cuff type: Neoprene undercuff
  • Waterproof: Yes, GORE-TEX insert
  • Great value
  • Comfortable fleece liner
  • GORE-TEX at a low price
  • Women’s version tends to run small

Check Men’s Price at Amazon Check Women’s Price at Buckmans

Best Winter Mittens With Synthetic Insulation: Marmot Expedition Mittens

Marmot Expedition Mittens

The Marmot Expedition Mittens ($107) were developed for high-altitude climbing pursuits and scientific fieldwork in the arctic tundra. They are puffy, PrimaLoft-stuffed, waterproof mitts that have kept our hands toasty in extreme temps as low as -30 degrees F.

But there’s a caveat: The abundant insulation creates a mitt that lacks dexterity — you could easily grip a ski pole, but anything much more than that is difficult. Non-technical mountaineering is fine, but don’t try ice climbing in them. And even riding a fat bike is hard, depending on the dexterity requirements to shift and brake. The built-in nose-wipe on the back of the thumb is a unique and convenient feature.

Amazingly, the Expedition Mittens have increased by only $10 since 2012. They cost $120, which is a fair price for an uber-warm mitt that will last for years.

  • Shell/Material: Synthetic outer shell with reinforced palm
  • Insulation: PrimaLoft Gold
  • Cuff type: Long gauntlet
  • Waterproof: Yes, a Marmot MemBrain waterproof/breathable insert
  • Warm
  • Plentiful insulation
  • Durable palm
  • Lacks dexterity

Check Price at Amazon Check Price at Backcountry

Best Winter Mittens With Down Insulation: Dakine Diablo Mitten

Dakine Diablo Mitten

The Dakine Diablo mitten system allows for a lot of versatility. For $250, you get three unique sets of handwear — a lightweight glove liner, a puffy down mitten liner, and a burly GORE-TEX outer shell. You can easily switch between layers during high-output activities and pile all three layers on when the temps drop.

The removable liner glove has a silicone grip and touchscreen-friendly fingertips. The 650-fill-down mitten liner provides plenty of lofty warmth. And the GORE-TEX outer makes for a breathable, waterproof shell.

We really like the outer shell’s leather palm, which provides just enough grip for managing ski poles or carrying your board. These are a big investment and, depending on your needs, you could perhaps get away with a cheaper pair. But if you’re looking for a versatile mitten system that will keep you cool on the uphills and warm on the mountain, the Diablo Mittens can’t be beaten.

Like the Dakine Diablo mitt system , but looking for something less pricey? Check out Dakine’s gauntlet-style Titan Mitt , also with a removable liner and GORE-TEX (but no down), for just $80.

  • Shell/Material: Fleece glove liner, down mitten liner, and GORE-TEX shell with leather palm
  • Insulation: 250g PrimaLoft fleece and 650-fill HyperDry down
  • Cuff type: Gauntlet (outer shell)
  • Waterproof: Yes (outer shell)
  • Versatile three-piece system
  • Plentiful insulation
  • Supple leather palm
  • Expensive

Check Price at Backcountry Check Price at Amazon

Best Leather Mittens: Give’r Frontier Mittens

Give'r Frontier Mittens

The Frontier Mitten ($139) raised more than $1 million during its initial crowdfunding efforts, and we’re not surprised. The brand had already built a solid reputation for super-durable yet warm and weather-resistant gloves. Its expansion into mittens had fans stoked from the beginning.

From our Frontier Mitten early prototype testing to the brand’s 2.0 pair, these mitts proved wonderful from the get-go. They have the same burly leather build as the gloves, which means they can handle turns on the slopes or grabbing a log out of the campfire. Under that, five layers of insulation and a waterproof liner keep hands cozy.

Since these burly mitts use an all-cowhide exterior, there is a bit of a break-in period to be expected, as well as upkeep to maintain that supple texture. Waxing them every season with Sno Seal Beeswax Waterproofing is a surefire way to keep your leather from going waterlogged.

  • Shell/Material: All leather cowhide exterior
  • Insulation: 380g Thinsulate insulation
  • Cuff type: Elastic undercuff
  • Waterproof: Yes, waterproof membrane, optional wax coating
  • Durable
  • Good dexterity
  • Warm
  • Requires a short break-in period to reach optimal feel

Check Price at Give’r Check Price at Huckberry

Best Winter Mittens for Kids: Burton Vent

Burton Vent 

The Burton Vent Mitts ($40) are built for young shredders. These mitts are easy to adjust at the back of the palm, cinch at the wrist if the weather requires, and have a zippered pocket for your little one’s hand warmers too.

The Vent mittens have Burton’s DryRide Insane Membrane for waterproofness and breathability, Thermacore synthetic insulation, and two-layer shell fabric. The mittens also have a grip texture feature on the palm and a soft, microfiber lining to keep hands and fingers cozy inside.

As with much kiddo-sized gear, these mitts won’t be the most durable and should, pardon the expression, be handled with kid gloves.

Reviewers like these most for their different size options (kids’ mittens really shouldn’t be one size fits all), ease of use and adjustability, and warmth. Parents also rave at the length of the cuffs and cinches that do a great job of keeping snow out. Normally $40, these kid mitts can also be found on sale.

Looking for even smaller (toddler) mitts? The Columbia Chippewa II Toddler ($22) would take our second vote.

  • Shell/Material: DryRide 2-layer synthetic fabric
  • Insulation: Thermacore synthetic insulation
  • Cuff type: Gauntlet
  • Waterproof: Yes, DryRide waterproof membrane
  • Good value
  • Handy hand warmer pocket
  • Kid-friendly styling
  • Not the most durable

Check Price at Amazon Check Price at Backcountry

Best Winter Mittens for Biking: GORE Wear Thermo Split Gloves

GORE WEAR Thermo Split Cycling Gloves

Call ’em gloves, call ’em mittens, call ’em lobster claws — the added dexterity of a split mitt is great for cyclists. The concept itself isn’t new, but GORE’s in-house brand, GORE Wear, has a lobster mitt ($90) we’ve tried and love.

And because it’s made by GORE, it offers superior wind protection, loads of warmth, solid durability, and enough water resistance to stand up to snowmelt (once you’re inside) or light freezing drizzle.

GORE rates them to temps that fall below 40 degrees F, but if the mercury plummets to the teens or single digits, a set of pogies like Bar Mitts will (most often) afford you the extra warmth you need on top of these mittens.

And while we’ve pushed the INFINIUM Windstopper layer from GORE pretty far in the past, it’s important to note that these gloves won’t be 100% waterproof (just dang close).

For shoulder season and year-round commuters, the Thermo Split Gloves also have touchscreen-compatible index digits to check directions or send quick texts. Best of all, you can score these for under $100.

  • Shell/Material: GORE-TEX INFINIUM stretch fabric with a GORE Windstopper layer (100% polyester)
  • Insulation: PrimaLoft liner
  • Cuff type: Undercuff
  • Waterproof: No
  • Purpose-built for biking in cold weather
  • Good palm traction
  • Plenty of dexterity for gear shifting and braking
  • Not waterproof

Check Price at Amazon Check Price at Backcountry

Best of the Rest

Volt Heat 7V Battery-Heated Mitts— Men’s & Women’s

volt heated mittens

Heated gloves or mittens can cost upward of $300 — but not these. Volt’s 7-Volt Battery-Heated Mittens ($120) are fully decked out like many other mitts on this list: with a nylon shell, leather palm, and waterproof breathable membrane. In terms of the heating element, the Volt mitts have ultra-thin stainless steel heating wires bonded into the fabric to heat across the back and palm of your hand.

The system, which heats up to 150 degrees, has a built-in microprocessor for heat control and is powered by a 7-volt portable battery. Volt says it lasts for 2 hours on the highest setting and up to at least 8 hours on low.

While they are cheap compared to many other heated options, the 7-Volt Battery-Heated Mittens are still a pretty penny compared to other mitts in our testing. But for those who might suffer from Reynaud’s or just dang cold hands, having a little extra juice can make the difference.

  • Shell/Material: Nylon shell and leather palm
  • Insulation: 200g synthetic insulation
  • Cuff type: Gauntlet
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Warm and comfortable — with or without heating element engaged
  • Excellent wind protection
  • Expensive compared to similar options

Check Men’s Price at Volt Heat Check Women’s Price at Amazon

Salomon Fast Wing

Salomon Fast Wing 

We’ll admit, these aren’t for the coldest of temps, but if you’re looking for a lightweight mitt that can perform, check out the Fast Wing from Salomon ($55). Best for high-output winter activities like running, cardio, and hiking, the Fast Wings prioritize lightweight and versatility.

Technically, the Fast Wing is a glove, but the attached DWR-treated “windproof” mitt cover is a nice option that helps retain warmth.

The glove has Salomon’s AdvancedSkin Warm tech, which reflects warmth back to your body and works to retain heat, plus an extended cuff and touchscreen finger pads. All that and these mitts weigh less than 2 ounces.

If you want lightweight hand protection, the Fast Wing is a solid option. Just know they aren’t for the coldest temps, as they don’t have added insulation.

  • Shell/Material: Stretch fleece with a DWR-treated over mitten-style cover
  • Insulation: Thin fleece layer
  • Cuff type: Short undercuff
  • Waterproof: No
  • Great for high-output cardio
  • Lightweight
  • The attached mitt cover adds versatility
  • Not waterproof
Check Price at Salomon

Stio Hardscrabble Mitt

Stio Hardscrabble Mitt

These low-profile insulated mittens are new for the 2023 season. While many mittens on the market aim to be bulky and over-stuffed with insulation, the Hardscrabble Mitts ($159) are sleek and relatively thin. They weigh very little and easily fit into a back pocket, but the 3 ounces of integrated PrimaLoft insulation is plenty warm for most winter conditions.

Stio is based in Jackson, Wyoming — a full-blown ski town where the average lows in January hover around 5 degrees. While the Hardscrabble isn’t the warmest mitten on this list, it’s far warmer than its thin profile would suggest. We wore the Hardscrabble while skiing in fierce winds and walking around town in a blizzard. We never needed a bulkier mitt.

Inside the Hardscrabble , individual finger compartments combine the feel of a glove with the contained warmth of a mitten. The dividers between each finger are soft and cozy. Supple leather covers the entire exterior, while an extra thick patch adds durability to the palm. The cuffs are relatively short — so they aren’t ideal for skiing deep powder — but they fit nicely underneath most jacket sleeves.

  • Shell/Material: Leather
  • Insulation: 3 oz. of PrimaLoft Grip Control synthetic
  • Cuff type: Undercuff
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Low-profile
  • Elegant
  • Comfortable
  • Not ideal for sub-freezing conditions or deep powder
Check Price at Stio

Outdoor Research Alti II GORE-TEX Mitten – Men’s & Women’s

OR Alti II Mitts

Designed for mountaineering and high-elevation adventure, the Outdoor Research Alti II GORE-TEX mittens prove warm even in the coldest conditions. Newly redesigned for 2022/23, the Alti’s got a brand new fit and has been optimized for better dexterity — something we’re always looking for in a big, bulky mitt.

The leather palm provides plenty of grip, and the three-panel thumb construction allows for even better dexterity to grab gear. We like the longer cuff for its all-around sturdy construction, keeping snow from sneaking in.

Aimed at the shivering hands of high-altitude mountaineers, these mitts do command a higher price, but we’d pay it every time to receive the warmth these mittens pump out.

Perhaps best of all is the thumb insulation that keeps the secluded digit warm all day long. And speaking of insulation, the PrimaLoft Gold synthetic liner not only repels water but also dries quickly if it does get wet. This is key for staying warm all day. And if you get too warm, simply remove the liner. We’re in our fifth year using some version of the Alti II GORE-TEX Mittens ($199), and they’re still going strong.

  • Shell/Material: Ripstop nylon + GORE-TEX shell with Pittards leather palm
  • Insulation: PrimaLoft Gold 170g synthetic insulation
  • Cuff type: Long gauntlet cuffs
  • Waterproof: GORE-TEX 2L waterproof/breathable membrane
  • Very warm
  • The oversized cuffs are handy in deep powder
  • Price

Check Price at REI Check Price at Backcountry

Black Diamond Dirt Bag Mitts

black diamond dirt bag mitts

At $50 — less than half the cost of the Black Diamond Mercury Mitts (our overall winner) — you can get these cozy Dirt Bag Mitts to keep your hands warm. You could call these mitts basic, but they do the job — the water-resistant, all-leather exterior shell kept our hands warm while winter camping and skiing. The gloves are finished with a 100g fleece lining and knitted cuff for that extra coziness factor.

Looking to make these non-waterproof mittens stand up to a bit more moisture? Consider treating the goat leather with a waterproofing wax . You won’t gain full waterproofing, but the Dirt Bag will put up much more of a fight before giving up the ghost.

If you’re looking for affordable and uncomplicated winter hand protection, we recommend the Dirt Bag Mitts .

  • Shell/Material: Goat leather
  • Insulation: 100g fleece and thermal foam
  • Cuff type: Elastic undercuffs
  • Waterproof: No
  • Good value
  • Comfortable soft liner
  • Not waterproof

Check Price at Backcountry Check Price at Amazon

Hestra Moon Mittens

hestra moon mittens

Warm, soft, true to size, and at a great price point — the Hestra Moon Mittens ($85) have proven very popular in recent years.

Not only are these puffy mitts great-quality and well-insulated (with PrimaLoft Gold insulation and a windproof ripstop shell), but they’re also great at transcending activities — from cruising groomers to walking around town. The mitts also have thoughtful sheepskin leather reinforcement on the palms for enhanced grip.

Best suited to drier climes (no waterproofing here, unfortunately), the Moon Mittens are quickly becoming our quick stash of warmth on any cold-weather outing.

  • Shell/Material: Ripstop nylon shell with sheepskin leather palm
  • Insulation: PrimaLoft Gold synthetic
  • Cuff type: Elastic undercuffs
  • Waterproof: No
  • Good value
  • Comfortable soft liner
  • Not waterproof

Check Price at Amazon Check Price at Backcountry

LEKI Xplore XT S Mitten – Men’s & Women’s

leki xplore xt s mitten

The Leki Xplore XT S Mittens ($130) check all the important boxes. They manage to offer as much dexterity as you can get in a mitten while being stuffed full of PrimaLoft. One of our favorite features is how supple they feel.

The Soft-Tex membrane keeps wind and water out without unwanted bulk. Add in the goatskin leather palm, and you have a very comfortable and functional mitten.

But that’s not all. There’s also a zippered pocket on the back of the hand, so you can easily insert a handwarmer on the coldest of days.

Be advised that LEKI does use a unique glove sizing regiment and that some of our testers didn’t get the fit exactly right on the first go. Use LEKI’s glove size advisor to fine-tune your size and get it perfect the first time around.

And the standout feature of the Xplore mittens is the Trigger Loop . It’s a little loop between the thumb and pointer finger that perfectly integrates with Trigger S Poles . This allows you to quickly snap in and out, so you don’t have the hassle of pole straps. It’s a great bonus feature on some of our favorite warm, comfortable, and durable mittens.

  • Shell/Material: Polyester and elastane exterior with goatskin leather palm
  • Insulation: Primaloft
  • Cuff type: Gauntlet
  • Waterproof: 100% polyurethane Soft-Tex waterproof/breathable membrane
  • Good quality waterproofing
  • Relatively low profile yet quite warm
  • Some users report sizing issues

Check Women’s Price at Amazon Check Women’s Price at Backcountry

Mountain Hardwear Oven Mitts

Mountain Hardwear oven mitts

Mountain Hardwear’s Oven Mitts ($80) are just what you’d expect from the style — puffy, super comfortable, and extra warm. We love them best for backcountry pursuits — whether on hiking trails or in the snow — because of their light weight and packability.

These mittens, with an ultralight ripstop nylon shell and 650-fill down, proved warm for us in all kinds of winter weather — from frosty and windy fall days to full-on snowstorms. And the pair weighs just 4 ounces (small/medium).

Our only qualm? They do run a tad large, leaving an ample amount of room for liner gloves. (If you want a snugger fit, size down.) Also, the cuffs aren’t as long as some other mitts on this list.

  • Shell/Material: 30D ripstop nylon shell and tacky synthetic palm
  • Insulation: 650-fill down
  • Cuff type: Short gauntlet
  • Waterproof: No
  • Warm
  • Lightweight
  • Short gauntlet cuffs could create an exposed gap at the wrist
  • Not waterproof

Check Price at Amazon Check Price at Mountain Hardwear

Flylow Oven Mitt

flylow oven mitt

While these leather ski mittens require a little care, they’ll also last for years. Flylow’s Oven Mitts ($65) perform well in frigid temps and are durable and, of course, toasty warm.

We love the quality of these gloves for the price point. Really, if you want something for cold days — whether hiking, skiing, or working out in the snow — and don’t want to spend a fortune, these mitts will get the job done.

Our only downside? During testing, we noticed that the black pigment in the leather wasn’t quite as fixed as we would have liked, and smudges happened. For the rough-and-tumble type, who are likely drawn to the Oven Mitts anyway, it probably isn’t much of an issue.

  • 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
  • Good value
  • Durable
  • The black color of the leather runs when wet

Check Price at Amazon Check Price at Backcountry

Burton Women’s GORE-TEX Under Mittens

The Best Winter Mittens

We love that this mitt is svelte yet offers just-enough warmth and is stylish, too. The well-made Burton GORE-TEX Under Mitten ($90) has quick-drying insulation and GORE-TEX technology to barricade the elements.

While snowboarding at the resort, these mittens withstood 10-degree weather with windchill, light snow, and sunnier windows in the 30s. The design provided warmth without bulk, allowing hand control when tinkering with our bindings. The thumbs are generously covered with a smooth polyester nose-wipe panel.

Each mitten’s upper face has a diagonal zipper and pocket, which we opened to drop heat or to slide in hand warmers on freezing days. Slender gloves liners are included with touchscreen compatibility in each forefinger though the wrist seams are not flexible, so the liners are tough to get on and off.

Both palms and interior thumbs have a durable and touchscreen-compatible material that feels like faux leather, but it’s not a super functional placement for operating a phone screen.

  • Shell/Material: 2-layer GORE-TEX waterproof-breathable exterior fabric
  • Insulation: Thermocore synthetic insulation
  • Cuff type: Under-cuff gauntlet
  • Waterproof: Yes, GORE-TEX
  • Very warm 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 more flexible stitching in the included glove liners

Check Price at Amazon Check Price at Backcountry

Hestra Army Leather Patrol Mitt — Men’s & Women’s

hestra army leather patrol mitt

Hestra makes some amazing mittens that are guaranteed for life. The Army Leather Patrol Mitt ($140) is one of the company’s hottest hand coverings.

It’s made of durable, waterproof leather and flexible softshell material, all stuffed with G-Loft polyester/fiberfill insulation for warmth. The company touts them as “one of our absolute warmest mittens for those icy days.” And we tend to agree. They’re warm but not overly bulky.

There is something to be said about the price, which is a little spendy for a mitt of this caliber, but the lifetime guarantee makes us feel like the Army Leather Patrol Mitt is a worthy investment.

  • Shell/Material: Goat leather shell
  • Insulation: G-Loft synthetic insulation
  • Cuff type: Undercuff
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • High-quality materials
  • Nice looking
  • Not the warmest mitt relative to the price

Check Men’s Price at Amazon Check Women’s Price at Buckmans

Winter Mittens Comparison Table

Mitten Price Shell/Material Cuff Type Insulation Warmth
Black Diamond Mercury Mitt $120 Stretchy polyester outer shell with goat leather palms Long gauntlet 170g PrimaLoft Gold Cross Core insulation 9/10
Marmot Expedition Mittens $107 Synthetic outer shell with reinforced palm Long gauntlet PrimaLoft Gold 8.5/10
Dakine Diablo Mitten $250 Fleece glove liner, down mitten liner, and GORE-TEX Shell with leather palm Gauntlet (outer shell) 250g PrimaLoft fleece and 650-fill HyperDry down 9/10
Gordini Challenge Mitt $70 Synthetic outer shell with textured palm Neoprene undercuff Megaloft synthetic insulation 8/10
Give’r Frontier Mittens $139 All leather cowhide exterior Elasticated undercuff 380g Thinsulate 8/10
Burton Vent $40 DryRide 2-layer synthetic fabric Gauntlet Thermacore synthetic 6/10
GORE Wear Thermo Split Gloves $90 GORE-TEX INFINIUM stretch fabric with a GORE Windstopper layer (100% polyester) Undercuff Yes (specifics unknown) 6/10
Salomon Fast Wing $55 Stretch fleece with a DWR-treated over mitten-style cover Short undercuff Thin fleece layer 5/10
Volt Heat 7V Battery-Heated Mitts $120 Nylon shell and leather palm Gauntlet 200g synthetic 8.5/10
Stio Hardscrabble Mitt $159 Leather Undercuff 3 oz. of PrimaLoft Grip Control synthetic 7/10
Outdoor Research Alti II Mitten $199 GORE-TEX 2L + ripstop nylon shell with leather palm Long gauntlet PrimaLoft Gold 170 g synthetic insulation 8.5/10
Black Diamond Dirt Bag Mitts $50 Goat leather Elasticated undercuff Fleece and thermal foam 7/10
Hestra Moon Mittens $85 Ripstop nylon shell with sheepskin leather palm Gauntlet PrimaLoft Gold 8/10
LEKI Xplore XT S Mitten $130 Polyester and elastane exterior with goatskin leather palm Gauntlet PrimaLoft 8/10
Mountain Hardwear Oven Mitts $80 30D Ripstop Nylon shell and tacky synthetic palm Short gauntlet 650-fill down 8/10
Flylow Oven Mitt $65 Pigskin leather Undercuff 200 g of SpaceLoft synthetic insulation on back of the hand, 100 g on the front 7.5/10
Burton Women’s GORE-TEX Under Mittens $90 2-layer GORE-TEX Undercuff gauntlet Thermocore synthetic insulation 7.5/10
Hestra Army Leather Patrol Mitt $140 Goat leather Undercuff G-Loft synthetic 7.5/10

Why You Should Trust Us

Mittens Often Provide More Warmth Over Gloves
Mittens are gloves’ warmer older sibling; (photo/Jason Hummel)

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 cold Colorado outings, and while traveling across North America in search of snow-laden adventures. We regularly hike, bike, ski, board, and camp in these mittens. We’ve even had a few snowball fights and an epic snow angel competition for good measure.

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.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose Winter Mittens

Cold Temperature

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.

Mittens Detail Shot
Mittens are ideal for folks with chronically cold hands; (photo/Jason Hummel)

Down or Synthetic?

Down mittens are a popular option for skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. However, down loses its insulating powers when wet. Synthetic insulation, however, insulates better when wet and dries a lot faster. For damp climates especially, consider synthetic. The Dakine Diablo Mitten is a unique mitt that combines both synthetic and down insulation.

If you are going to be using mittens for higher-intensity sports like skiing and snowboarding, also consider durability and waterproofing. For sports like these and mountaineering pursuits, you’ll want mitts with longer cuffs and some form of adjustability to keep snow out.


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 Mitten . Other characteristics that can help with water resistance include DWR treatments and wax coatings.

Size & Dexterity

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

Mitts have lots of pros — namely, providing warmth better than gloves — but they do go down a notch in the functionality department.

When shopping for mittens, we always like to look for and invest in ones with touch compatibility (so you don’t have to remove them to check your phone), as well as textured palms for grip and durability. The GORE Wear Thermo Split Gloves are well designed to be able to access your phone while on a ride.

Finally, it’s a good idea to invest in a pair of liner gloves. These can pair with mittens or even function on their own on warmer but still wintry days.

Three-Finger or 'Lobster" Mittens
Three-finger mitts offer glove-like dexterity; (photo/Jason Hummel)

Mitten Care 101: How to Wash Mittens

First off, it’s important to note that mittens rarely need washing, so don’t go throwing them in your weekly laundry pile. That said, there are times when a filthy glove needs cleaning, or a worn-out mitt needs a bit of love. Here are three mitten care tips:

        1. Spot clean. Skip the full wash whenever possible and opt for a spot clean. Wipe down with mild soap and water. Allow to air dry.
        2. Remove liner. If your mittens have separate liners, remove them and wash them as needed. If the entire mitten absolutely needs a thorough washing, use a tech-specific wash like Granger’s Performance Wash on the delicate cycle. Lay flat to dry.
        3. Condition leather (if applicable). Leather can be a great waterproof material, but it needs proper care and attention. First, rub down the mitten with a damp cloth to remove any grit. Next, massage a leather wax like Sno-Seal into the leather. 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.


What are the best winter mittens?

The best winter mittens will firstly 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 Mitt — 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 DAKINE Diablo Down Mitten (thanks to the layering system, down fill, material, and liner glove), as well as the Volt’s 7-Volt Battery-Heated Mittens — which can heat up to 150 degrees.

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 DAKINE Diablo Down Mitten and the Hestra Moon Mitten (one of the warmest synthetic PrimaLoft-insulated mitts we tested).

Mitten Care
With attentive care, good mittens can last many seasons; (photo/Jason Hummel)

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