Snowboarders, this one’s for you. We won’t lump you in with the skiers: You prefer one plank and comfortable boots, despise moguls, and have a penchant for style. And your hand protection needs differ too: Since you don’t carry poles, you end up touching the ground more than most bi-plankers. As a result, most snowboarders choose mittens and lobster mitts over gloves and prefer slightly warmer designs. Below we break down the best snowboard gloves and mittens of the year. For more information, see our buying advice and comparison table below the picks.
- Best Overall Snowboard Mitten: Outdoor Research Mt Baker Modular GTX
- Best Budget Snowboard Mitten: Dakine Scout Mitt / Camino Mitt
- Best Split-Finger Snowboard Glove: Oyuki Pep GTX Trigger Mitt
- Best Snowboard Glove: Black Diamond Guide Gloves
- Best Workhorse All-Leather Mitt: Flylow Oven Mitt
Best Overall Snowboard Mitten
Cuff style: Gauntlet
Insulation: PrimaLoft Gold & PrimaLoft One
What we like: Excellent build quality and no-holds-barred warmth and waterproofing.
What we don’t: Bulky, pricey, and too warm for some.
For a no-compromise mitten that’s warm, protective, and easy to pull on and off, look no further than the Outdoor Research Mt Baker Mitt. This has been our snowboarding go-to for years running thanks to its burly 70-denier Gore-Tex shell with PrimaLoft Gold insulation, insulated glove liner, and generous over-the-cuff gauntlet that offers coverage well past the wrist. Topped off with helpful features like a heat-pack pocket, locking wrist cinch, and removable leash, the Mt Baker leaves little to be desired. It all adds up to our favorite snowboarding mitten of the year for deep-winter days both in the backcountry and at the resort.
The Mt Baker Mitt excels in almost every category, but it might be overkill for some. There’s no mistaking the bulk of these mitts, which definitely compromises dexterity, and two layers of insulation can be too much for mild spring days or those who run warm. And unlike many modern gloves, the OR is not touchscreen-compatible (the liner glove is simply too insulated). But the removable design does give you the option of swapping in a thinner liner, and in our experience, the Mt Baker doesn’t feel excessive in any way: The mitts cinch down securely, provide ample range of motion, and the rubberized thumb and palm offer enough grip to adjust your bindings or grab a rope tow in the terrain park. For unparalleled build quality and winter-ready protection—we think of them as an insulated hardshell jacket for your hands—the Outdoor Research Mt Baker Mitts are hard to beat.
See the OR Mt Baker Modular GTX Mitts
Best Budget Snowboard Mitten
Cuff style: Gauntlet
Insulation: High-loft synthetic
What we like: Great feature set and warmth for just $50.
What we don’t: Disappointing waterproofing and dexterity.
You can spend upwards of $150 on a snowboarding mitten, but casual riders and those who only get out a few times a year don’t necessarily need a top-notch design. Enter the Dakine Scout (and women’s Camino), which balances decent performance at a low cost. For just $50, you get a waterproof shell and high-loft synthetic insulation, touchscreen-compatible fleece liner glove, and easy, one-hand cinch gauntlet. And Dakine didn't skimp on features, with an adjustable leash (great for taking off the gloves without dropping them) and a functional nose wipe on the thumbs.
We’ve been very impressed with Dakine’s handwear lineup, and the Scout is a standout in the budget category, but you certainly give up some durability and performance when compared with the more premium competition. The cheaper shell and in-house waterproof membrane will wet out in sustained moisture, and the mitts don’t hold up to wear and tear as well as most (it's best to avoid rope tows). What’s more, with compromised dexterity, you’ll likely have to take off the outer glove when operating zippers, snapping photos, or even opening your car door. But for occasional days at the resort or casual riders who relish the excuse to head into the lodge to dry out, the Scout certainly gets the job done and has a great feature set to boot.
See the Men's Dakine Scout Mitt See the Women's Dakine Camino Mitt
Best Split-Finger Snowboard Glove
Cuff style: Undercuff
Insulation: PrimaLoft synthetic
What we like: Premium build and excellent dexterity.
What we don’t: Split-finger design can’t match the warmth of a mitten.
Japan-based Oyuki is a newcomer to the U.S. market, but we like what they’ve come up with in the Pep Trigger Mitt. Built out of premium goatskin leather, the Pep is a solid workhorse glove that will only get better with age, and the undercuff design is sleek yet secure with a wide Velcro cinch for snugging things down. There’s a lot going on under the hood, too: The Pep comes with high-quality touches like a Gore-Tex waterproof insert, warm PrimaLoft insulation (200g on the back of hand and 133g on the palm), and a soft fleece lining. Finally, Oyuki nailed the styling with a simplistic aesthetic and fun mountainscape sewn into the padded back of the hand.
In addition to its beautiful design, the Pep also stands out as the top split-finger mitt to make our list for 2022. On paper, this concept makes a lot of sense: By combining a mitten with a dedicated slot for your pointer finger, you get more thermal efficiency than a standard glove while retaining enough dexterity to pinch a zipper, fiddle with your bindings, or even send a text (keep in mind that the Pep is not touchscreen-compatible, but the Clutch below is). Downsides are that your pointer finger ends up being just as cold as it would be in a glove, and freedom of movement still falls short of a regular five-finger design. But the concept nevertheless provides a nice middle ground of warmth and dexterity, and we think the Pep pulls it off better than most.
See the Oyuki Pep GTX Trigger Mitt
Best Snowboard Glove
Cuff style: Gauntlet
Insulation: PrimaLoft Gold & fleece
What we like: Durable leather shell and generous insulation.
What we don’t: Leather requires routine maintenance and takes time to break in.
Black Diamond’s Guide Glove is legendary among skiers and snowboarders for its impressive warmth and durability in a beautifully designed package. The glove is completely waterproof with a Gore-Tex insert and competitively warm, too. Inside its very tough nylon and leather exterior, the Black Diamond features a removable liner glove packed with PrimaLoft Gold insulation and a plush wool and fleece interior. You also get foam padding at the knuckles for added impact protection, which is a nice addition for hard-charging riders. For top-notch durability and warmth for cold hands and frigid conditions, the Guide Glove is hard to beat.
The downside to all this material is that the Black Diamond can take some time to break in. Even after a few years of consistent use, ours still lacks the flexibility that you get right out of the box with a synthetic design. What’s more, you’ll need to take care with leather: To maintain waterproofing, we recommend routinely treating it with a Nikwax product or Sno-Seal wax. But for those who love leather’s dexterity, durability, and feel, this is a small compromise to make. And if you’re partial to snowboarding brands, Burton makes a similar glove in their [ak] Gore-Tex Guide ($135), but you’ll sacrifice a bit of protection with the undercuff design.
See the Men's Black Diamond Guide Gloves See the Women's Black Diamond Guide Gloves
Best Workhorse All-Leather Mitt
Cuff style: Undercuff
Insulation: Spaceloft Micropuff synthetic
What we like: Incredibly durable and comes with Sno-Seal baked on.
What we don’t: Not particularly warm.
Leather work gloves are a staple amongst lifties and ski patrollers thanks to their low price tag and incredibly durable build, so it goes without saying that they’re also a capable option for dedicated riders (park rats who spend a lot of time on a rope tow will especially benefit from the tough construction). Kinco’s gloves and mittens dominated the scene for decades and are still the go-to for many boarders, but in recent years, we’ve come to prefer Flylow’s offerings. Purpose-built for life in the snow, the Flylow Oven Mitt is treated with Sno-Seal and triple baked, which means that (unlike Kinco gloves and mittens) it requires no additional waterproofing after purchase. For just $50, the combination of durability, performance, and value is hard to beat.
The Flylow Oven Mitt features synthetic Spaceloft Micropuff insulation for warmth, and you can size the mitten to accommodate a liner underneath, too. But while the Oven Mitt will keep you warm in mild conditions or if you’re moving constantly (while backcountry snowboarding or operating a lift, for example), we don’t recommend a leather work glove for cold days at the resort. Further, the Oven Mitt’s lack of a waterproof membrane can be a problem in areas known for consistently wet snow, and you’ll want to make sure to refresh the coating if you notice the gloves starting to absorb moisture. But for a mitten that can take a licking and keep on ticking, we love what Flylow has to offer. If you prefer a glove, it’s also worth checking out their Tough Guy and Ridge designs.
See the Flylow Oven Mitt
Best of the Rest
Cuff style: Gauntlet
Insulation: PrimaLoft Gold & wool
What we like: Premium materials and versatile for all-season riding.
What we don’t: Not quite as warm or weather-protective as the OR Mt Baker above.
We’ve tested a lot of gloves and mittens, and the Dakine Phoenix GTX consistently stands out as one of the best-executed designs. It starts with the liner glove—in and of itself an impressive piece—which features a Gore-Tex membrane with Gore’s breathable Active technology, along with 85-gram PrimaLoft Gold insulation and a goat leather palm. This liner can easily play double duty as a standalone glove but also includes snaps at the wrist for a hassle-free connection to the shell. And speaking of the outer glove, it’s a work of art in its own right, featuring stretchy Gore-Tex Infinium softshell with generous leather overlays and stuffed with thick wool insulation. It all adds up to a wonderfully warm, durable, and versatile glove for all-season riding.
We tested the mitten version of the Phoenix, which uses the same materials and construction as the glove here. We did find the liner mitt to be a bit overstuffed, creating an uncomfortable fold down the top of the hand (keep in mind this might not be an issue with the glove). Further, Gore-Tex Infinium is not technically waterproof, meaning you’ll need to wear the liner for complete protection. In the end, the Phoenix doesn't have quite the same technical savvy as the Mt Baker above, but it's nevertheless extremely well built, comes in both a mitten and glove option (the OR is only offered as a mitt), and it’s hard to knock the added dexterity you get from the supple leather and softshell outer. Finally, if you don’t need the versatility of the removable liner, you can save a bit of money with the Dakine Excursion ($105).
See the Men's Dakine Phoenix GTX Glove See the Women's Dakine Phoenix GTX Glove
Cuff style: Gauntlet
Insulation: Thermacore synthetic
What we like: A good all-rounder that’s high on value.
What we don’t: Uninsulated liner; thin leather palm will deteriorate over time.
It’s hard to find fault with the OR Mt Baker and Dakine Phoenix above, but at $145 and $160 respectively, they certainly don't come cheap. The Burton Deluxe Gore-Tex offers comparable performance for significantly less, boasting a removable liner with touchscreen compatibility, a waterproof nylon/polyester shell and leather palm, and a hefty dose of synthetic Thermacore insulation. We were also impressed with the fit of these mittens: There’s ample space for the liner glove inside the mitt, and the shell’s brushed microfiber lining provides a nice home for your hands while wicking away moisture. For temperatures as low as the mid teens (or colder with handwarmers), the Deluxe GTX Mittens are a solid choice at a relatively low price point.
We’ve worn the Burton Deluxe GTX Mittens for two seasons now, and the waterproofing remains excellent despite deteriorating leather on the palm. Compared to more premium designs, you certainly compromise a bit of warmth (the liner gloves are not insulated), and the leather palm reinforcement is noticeably thin—in our tester’s words, the Burtons are “chairlift princesses” and "won’t tolerate the tough love of the rope tow." On the flip side, the Deluxe GTX Mitten stands out from similar designs like Oakley's The Ridge GTX and TNF's Montana Futurelight below (we tested all three side by side) with its real leather palm and noticeably better fit and finish. Taken together, it's a good all-rounder from a trusted snowboarding brand and one of the best values here.
See the Men's Burton Deluxe GTX Mitten See the Women's Burton Deluxe GTX Mitten
Cuff style: Undercuff
Insulation: PrimaLoft Gold synthetic
What we like: A durable leather work mitten with PrimaLoft insulation.
What we don’t: You’ll want to apply your own leather waterproofing finish after purchase.
One of the largest online retailers of snowboarding gear, Evo has recently launched their own lineup of branded clothing and accessories, including the Pagosa Leather Mittens here. The Pagosa is a high-performance take on the traditional leather work mitt, merging a durable leather shell and Hipora membrane with premium PrimaLoft Gold insulation (200g on the back of the hand and 133g on the palm). You also get some useful extras not typically found on a work glove, including a leash and Velcro wrist cinch. The net result is the longevity and style of a mitt like the Flylow above but with the warmth and features to tackle most days at the resort.
Like all leather gloves, the Pagosa will require some extra care to preserve its water resistance. Unfortunately, unlike the Flylow Oven Mitt, the Evo does not come pre-baked with Sno-Seal, meaning you’ll want to apply your own waterproofing wax or spray before you hit the slopes to keep the shell from absorbing moisture. And although the Pagosa is warmer than most work gloves, it’s no match for designs like the Mt Baker and Phoenix above, which also sport insulated liners. But with the mitten design, it’s easy to add your own liner to boost warmth, and the Evo’s price is hard to beat at just $80.
See the Evo Pagosa Leather Mittens
Cuff style: Undercuff
Insulation: PrimaLoft Gold & 550-fill down
What we like: Incredibly warm, stylish, and supple.
What we don’t: Not fully waterproof, no liner glove, and less durable than an all-leather design.
If you suffer from chronically cold hands, Burton’s [ak] Oven Mitten has your name on it. This mitt is packed with both PrimaLoft Gold synthetic and down insulations, offering incredible warmth in a soft and packable design. A fixed liner made out of brushed microfiber wicks moisture away from your body (yes, these mittens are so warm your hands might actually sweat), and the shell features stretchy Gore-Tex Infinium softshell fabric, a pre-curved shape, and a leather palm. Oven mitts are a popular style in the snowboarding world, and Burton’s [ak] is one of the best-executed of the bunch.
We love the Oven Mitten’s cuff, which slips on easily with a zipper and cinches under your jacket with a hook-and-loop closure. And unlike many models here, you get a touchscreen-compatible tip on the thumb, in addition to a helpful nose wipe. But with no liner, the Burtons do lack some versatility, and—as we mentioned in the Dakine Phoenix write-up above—Gore-Tex Infinium (a fabric used a lot in softshell jackets and pants) is not technically waterproof. This won’t be an issue for sub-freezing days and dry conditions common in areas like Colorado and New England, but you’ll likely want full-on waterproofing for winter in the Pacific Northwest.
See the Burton [ak] Oven GTX Infinium Mitt
Cuff style: Gauntlet
Insulation: Heatseeker Eco synthetic
What we like: Great style and ergonomics for just $70.
What we don’t: Gauntlet is too small and synthetic leather palm suffers in terms of durability.
The North Face’s Montana Futurelight Etip Mittens follow a very similar formula to the Burton Deluxe GTX above with a waterproof nylon shell, synthetic insulation, gauntlet cuff, and non-insulated removable liner. But a closer look reveals a few notable distinctions: The Montana's shorter cuff design actually falls somewhere in between an undercuff and a gauntlet (we ended up cinching it under our bulky jacket), the palm reinforcement is synthetic (rather than real) leather, and you get waterproofing by way of TNF’s Futurelight membrane rather than Gore-Tex. Finally, the mitten also utilizes the brand's Heatseeker Eco insulation patterned to balance warmth and dexterity, with 100-gram fill at the palm and 200-gram on the top of the hand.
At just $70, the Montana is an undeniable bargain, but we’d gladly pay the extra $10 for the Burton Deluxe. The TNF's polyester and polyurethane “leather” on the palm is a construction we’re quite familiar with, and in our experience, it only lasts about a season (or a few trips up the rope tow). What’s more, the Montana fits very snug (we recommend sizing up), and the design forgoes a goggle wipe on the back of the thumb. Finally, they’re simply not that warm, and the streamlined gauntlet doesn't always succeed at keeping drafts at bay. It’s hard to knock the brand cachet of The North Face, and the Montana will get the job done for casual snowboarders, but performance is a significant step down from the options above.
See the Men's TNF Montana Etip Mittens See the Women's TNF Montana Etip Mittens
Cuff style: Undercuff
Insulation: PrimaLoft Gold
What we like: Very dextrous and touchscreen-compatible.
What we don’t: Not particularly durable or warm.
Hailing from Burton’s premium [ak] line, the Clutch is a midweight trigger-style mitten that offers great performance for high-output backcountry days or spring conditions at the resort. Unlike some of the warmer designs here, the Clutch is streamlined and supple with a breathable and moisture-wicking softshell outer, thin layer of insulation, and sleek undercuff design. It's also fully waterproof by way of a Gore-Tex membrane and Gore’s breathable Active technology, which is great for mild and wet days out. Rounding out the design, you get leather reinforcements on the palms and knuckles and a touchscreen-compatible tip, which is fully functional when paired with the dextrous, three-finger construction.
The Clutch is one of our go-to options for colder backcountry tours or mild resort days thanks to its great mix of breathability, waterproofing, and light insulation. However, the thin build is certainly limiting, and a warmer design will make a much better all-rounder. But if you’re building out your quiver and looking for a midweight option, the Clutch is worthy contender. And while we know that most snowboarders are partial to mittens, it's worth noting that the Clutch also comes in both glove and leather glove variations.
See the Burton [ak] Clutch Gore-Tex Mitten
Cuff style: Gauntlet
Insulation: PrimaLoft synthetic
What we like: Great price for a warm and dexterous mitten.
What we don’t: Cheaper build quality and not a standout in waterproofing.
Flylow built their reputation in the glove world around simple leather designs that come pre-coated (and baked) with Sno-Seal, but they’ve stepped up their game with the Super collection. Offered in both glove and mitten styles, the Super is substantially warmer and more protective than their Oven Mitt above with 240-gram PrimaLoft synthetic insulation along the back of the hand and a waterproof lining. A lighter 120-gram PrimaLoft around the front and flexible pigskin leather combine to offer outstanding dexterity, even in the mitten version (the glove is similarly impressive). At just $90, the Super punches well above its price class in both warmth and all-around comfort.
Compromises are inevitable in keeping costs down, and some of the details on the Super fall short of our top-rated designs. In particular, the plastic ladder buckle and webbing that cinch around the wrist have a cheap feel and can loosen during the day (it’s an easy fix to re-tighten, however). And you miss out on a proven Gore-Tex liner for trusty, long-term performance in wet conditions. If you prioritize warmth and protection, the OR Mt Baker above is a better option, but the Flylow is still quite cozy, has better freedom of movement, and saves you a pretty substantial $55.
See the Flylow Super Mittens
Cuff style: Undercuff
Insulation: Thinsulate synthetic
What we like: An affordable trigger-finger mitt with decent warmth.
What we don’t: Middling build quality and not super waterproof.
The Oakley Factory Winter 2 joins the Oyuki Pep and Burton Clutch above as another solid split-finger mitten for snowboarders. Featuring a leather shell, synthetic Thinsulate insulation, and a thin liner, it’s a midweight design that will keep you warm into the 20s Fahrenheit, and Oakley also tacks on a waterproof membrane for decent protection against moisture. One of the biggest benefits of going with a split-finger design over a mitt is having your index finger free to text and take photos, and the Factory Winter 2 maximizes this with a sleek design and touchscreen-compatible tip on the index finger.
The Oakley mitts are a good value at just $80, but the design does have a few shortcomings. The in-house membrane will wet out in sustained moisture, although adding a waterproofing wax or spray can go a long way as a first line of defense. Second, Oakley’s build quality can’t match that of brands like Oyuki, Black Diamond, and Burton’s [ak] line, and the Factory Winter 2 is known to suffer from durability issues over time. Finally, the mittens come with a glove liner, which isolates the fingers and slightly detracts from overall warmth. But for resort riders looking for a midweight trigger-finger mitten at a low cost, the Oakley is certainly worth a look.
See the Oakley Factory Winter Trigger Mitt 2
Cuff style: Undercuff
Insulation: G-Loft and foam
What we like: Incredible build quality; great comfort and dexterity.
What we don’t: Not particularly warm and no Gore-Tex membrane.
Hestra is well known in the ski world for their premium gloves and mittens, and many of their designs will appeal to snowboarders as well. The Leather Fall Line Mitt is our top recommendation: This classic design features an all-leather shell, neoprene undercuff, removable insulated liner, and thin layer of foam for additional warmth. The cowhide leather is an absolute work of art with beautiful exposed stitching and classy logos on the thumb and back of hand, and build quality is unparalleled throughout. We’ve worn the Fall Line for years now, and it just gets better with time—we have yet to find another design that rivals the Hestra in terms of comfort, dexterity, and durability.
However, the Fall Line is far from the warmest mitten here (you won’t want to test it past the high teens Fahrenheit), and—like all leather gloves—its water resistance is dependent on routine treatments with a waterproofing wax or spray. Given these shortcomings, the Hestra starts to feel fairly pricey at $165, especially considering you can get a sizable bump in warmth and weather protection with a synthetic design like the OR Mt Baker ($145) above. That said, for a classy leather mitten that can pull double duty around town, the Fall Line may be worth the added investment depending on your needs and priorities.
See the Men's Hestra Fall Line Mittens See the Women's Hestra Fall Line Mittens
Cuff style: Gauntlet
Insulation: Thinsulate synthetic
What we like: A decent mitten for less than premium options above.
What we don’t: Liner is not removable, synthetic leather is a poor substitute for the real thing.
Known for their incredibly diverse lineup of eyewear, Oakley also offers a variety of clothing and accessories for snowboarders. The Ridge GTX Mitten is one of their top designs, with ample warmth and weather protection for all but the chilliest days at the resort. You get a nylon/polyester shell with synthetic leather at the palm and thumb, premium Gore-Tex waterproofing, an attached glove liner, and a microfiber nose wipe on the thumb. And like most of the gauntlet-style models here, the Oakley mitts cinch at both the wrist and cuff to keep out cold air and stray snowflakes.
But despite their fairly standard design and feature set, we have a number of gripes with The Ridge mitts. The synthetic reinforcements are a poor substitute for leather and lack both the durability and supple feel you get with the real deal. Second, the liner gloves are fixed, which has a number of downsides: You can’t remove them for quick drying and washing, you won’t be able to replace them with liner mittens if you prefer to keep your digits together, and you can’t sub them out for a warmer liner. Finally, we found the touchscreen-compatible tip at the index and middle finger to be completely useless, which means you’ll have to expose your hands to the elements if you want to use your phone. All told, we appreciate the Oakley’s svelte, comfortable, and dextrous profile but prefer many of the more durable and user-friendly options above.
See the Oakley The Ridge GTX Mitten
Cuff style: Gauntlet
Insulation: PrimaLoft Gold & down
What we like: Incredibly warm and waterproof; includes two liners.
What we don’t: Expensive.
Burton’s [ak] line offers performance on par with big-name brands like Outdoor Research and Black Diamond, and the Hover is their warmest and most technically savvy offering. The protection starts at the shell, where 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro (a popular choice on top-end hardshell jackets) serves as an impervious barrier against the elements. On the inside, you get PrimaLoft Gold and down insulation along with a choice between two liners: a standard Screen Grab liner and a down-insulated fleece liner (also with touchscreen compatibility). All told, the Hover is among the warmest and most waterproof gloves here, ideal for deep-winter days in places like the Northeast, Mountain West, and Alaska.
However, although Burton touts the Hover as being six mittens in one (true, if you consider all the various combinations), the price is still steep at $210. What’s more, neither of the liners include leashes or gauntlets, meaning they don’t work well for standalone use on the slopes. But the Hover is undeniably a warm place for your hands to be, and with two choices of liners, it offers more versatility than top performers like the OR Mt Baker and BD Guide above. If you're willing to splurge, it's one of the warmest and most protective snowboard-specific mittens on the market.
See the Burton [ak] Gore-Tex 3L Hover Mitten
|OR Mt Baker Modular GTX Mitts||$145||Gauntlet||Nylon/polyester||PrimaLoft synthetic||Yes|
|Dakine Scout Mitt||$50||Gauntlet||Polyester||High-loft synthetic||Yes|
|Oyuki Pep GTX Trigger Mitt||$150||Undercuff||Leather||PrimaLoft synthetic||No|
|Black Diamond Guide Gloves||$180||Gauntlet||Nylon/leather||PrimaLoft & fleece||Yes|
|Flylow Oven Mitt||$50||Undercuff||Leather||Spaceloft synthetic||No|
|Dakine Phoenix GTX Glove||$160||Gauntlet||Leather/polyester||PrimaLoft & wool||Yes|
|Burton Deluxe GTX Mitten||$90||Gauntlet||Synthetic/leather||Thermacore synthetic||Yes|
|Evo Pagosa Leather Mittens||$80||Undercuff||Leather||PrimaLoft synthetic||No|
|Burton [ak] Oven GTX Infinium Mitt||$175||Undercuff||Nylon/leather||PrimaLoft & down||No|
|TNF Montana Etip Mittens||$70||Gauntlet||Nylon||Heatseeker synthetic||Yes|
|Burton [ak] Clutch GTX Mitten||$130||Undercuff||Softshell/leather||PrimaLoft synthetic||No|
|Flylow Super Mittens||$90||Gauntlet||Leather/nylon||PrimaLoft synthetic||No|
|Oakley Factory Winter Trigger Mitt 2||$80||Undercuff||Leather||Thinsulate||Yes|
|Hestra Fall Line Mittens||$165||Undercuff||Leather||G-Loft & foam||No|
|Oakley The Ridge GTX Mitten||$110||Gauntlet||Synthetic||Thinsulate synthetic||No|
|Burton [ak] GTX 3L Hover Mitten||$210||Gauntlet||Synthetic/leather||PrimaLoft & down||Yes|
- Snowboard Gloves vs. Mittens
- Materials: Leather vs. Synthetic
- Caring For Leather Gloves/Mittens
- Cuff Style and Length
- Snowboard Glove/Mitten Features
- Should I Get Gloves with Removable Liners?
- Fit and Sizing
Do a quick visual survey at any resort across the country, and you’ll see that snowboarders are wearing both gloves and mittens, with a slight preference for the latter. Because snowboarders travel without poles, they don’t necessarily need a super dextrous and grippy glove, and the added warmth of a mitten is hard to beat (especially given that snowboarders’ hands come into contact with the snow a lot more than skiers’). However, gloves certainly win by a wide margin in dexterity, which can be helpful for adjusting bindings, grabbing a lift pass out of your pocket, or taking photos.
A nice middle ground is the three-finger glove (also called a trigger or split-finger glove), which attempts to bring together the attributes of glove and mitten designs. In these gloves, the pointer finger and thumb have their own slots while the remaining fingers huddle together for warmth. While three-finger gloves haven’t impressed us too much with their dexterity (they still retain a lot of the clunky feel of a mitten), they do free up the index finger for tasks like adjusting bindings or operating a phone, which is a big benefit for many.
Snowboard gloves and mittens are constructed with two general material types: synthetic and leather. From a glance at the table above, you’ll notice that many gloves utilize both materials, playing to their respective strengths, so this isn’t always a question of exclusivity. But knowing what each material is best for goes a long way in finding the ideal glove.
Leather snowboard gloves are durable, extremely comfortable, and on occasion cheaper than synthetics. From premium Hestras to budget options like the Flylow Oven Mitt, they have a much more natural feel and are usually more flexible and dexterous than a comparable synthetic. The biggest downside is moisture protection, as these gloves generally rely on leather’s natural water repellency (rather than a Gore-Tex membrane) to keep water out. It’s true that leather is water resistant and can withstand light-to-moderate moisture, but eventually it will soak through in wet conditions. To stay dry and extend the lifespan of your leather gloves, you’ll want to apply Sno-Seal or another wax waterproofing treatment.
Synthetic (Nylon and Polyester)
Leather has had a resurgence, but the majority of snowboard gloves and mittens still use a synthetic shell. Premium designs like the Outdoor Research Mt Baker, for example, feature tough but pliant nylon shells that fend off snow, wind, and cold conditions. Cheaper synthetic gloves often use a flexible polyester shell that doesn’t hold up as well to moisture and is more prone to breaking down quickly. With either type of shell, a waterproof insert (like Gore-Tex) often is incorporated between the exterior and insulation. Leather has its advantages, but synthetic gloves offer the highest levels of waterproofing. To get the best of both worlds, many synthetic gloves add leather on the palm and fingers for grip, toughness, and dexterity.
If you’re prone to cold fingers or live in an area with frigid temperatures like the Northeast or Mountain West, you’ve probably found glove shopping to be a bit challenging. Most snowboard gloves under $100 just aren’t warm enough to be comfortable on the chairlift when the temperature dips below about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. In these conditions, you’ll want to spend up for gloves like the OR Mt Baker or Dakine Phoenix, which feature insulated shells and liners. Conversely, if you run warm or snowboard in mild bluebird conditions, you can save some money with a less insulated glove like the Flylow Oven or Oakley Factory Winter 2.
Gloves are insulated in a wide range of ways, from fleece or wool lining to synthetic or down fill in the shell and/or liner, so it’s hard to establish exactly how warm a glove will be without trying it on first. Some indications include the weight of the synthetic (listed in grams) as well as the quality: PrimaLoft is the leader for lofty warmth and is popular on many high-end gloves. Finally, some of the warmest designs use a mix of insulation. The Dakine Phoenix, for example, has 85-gram PrimaLoft fill in the liner glove as well as a 360-gram wool lining. For absolute warmth, we turn to mittens, which heat more efficiently by pressing your fingers against one another.
Aside from warmth, waterproofing is the second major factor that can make or break your days on the slopes. Finding a waterproof glove is especially important for snowboarders: Given that snowboarders oftentimes sit down to rest and adjust bindings, their hands come into contact with the snow a fair amount. Most synthetic gloves above feature a waterproof membrane, while leather gloves are inherently water repellant (with routine reapplication of a waterproofing spray or wax).
In the case of a synthetic glove like the Burton Deluxe GTX, the waterproof (in this case, Gore-Tex) membrane is located between the shell material and insulation. Gore-Tex offers the best combination of waterproofing and breathability on the market and is heavily represented in our picks above, but cheaper gloves often use a non-Gore-Tex insert of varying names (DK Dry, FN Dry, BD.dry, etc.) and degrees of efficiency. Keep in mind that if you choose a cheaper glove in the $50 range, you can expect decent waterproofing, but it likely won't hold up as well over time or on particularly wet days. In other words, entry-level gloves can be fine for casual riders who spend a lot of time in the lodge, but serious snowboarders will want a serious glove to stay comfortable throughout the day.
As we mentioned above, leather gloves generally rely on their natural water repellency rather than a waterproof membrane. These work especially well in dry and cold climates like Colorado and Utah, or if you don’t mind performing routine maintenance on your glove (for more on this topic, see our section on care below). However, in wet conditions and without a recent waterproofing treatment, leather gloves can become completely waterlogged, resulting in cold, heavy, and uncomfortable hands (the worst is when the gloves freeze after becoming waterlogged). For this reason, we recommend that most snowboarders stick with synthetic gloves and mittens with a waterproof membrane.
Leather is incredibly durable, comfortable once broken in, and offers excellent dexterity, but it also requires occasional maintenance to avoid absorbing moisture. Most leather gloves come pre-treated, but if you start noticing the material soaking up moisture—also known as “wetting out”—it’s a good indicator that the leather needs some work. Sno-Seal is a beeswax-based solution that is a long-time favorite among mountaineers and winter enthusiasts. It does require some effort—including baking the glove in an oven—and will darken the leather, but it’s a proven formula that effectively repels moisture. Less involved treatments that still provide good protection include Nikwax’s Waterproofing Wax and Hestra’s Leather Balm. Finally, for gloves with a combination of leather and nylon, we recommend Nikwax’s Glove Proof, which adds a solid water-resistant coating to the outer materials.
In general, warmth and dexterity go hand in hand. A heavily insulated mitten like the Outdoor Research Mt Baker is bulkier and harder to use for tasks like grabbing a jacket zipper pull or snapping a photo. In addition, ease of use correlates with style: Gloves are significantly more dexterous than mittens, and three-finger mitts split the difference. A final element is the level of build quality—high-end gloves and mitts are better tailored to fit a hand and have a pre-curved shape for a natural feel.
Individual needs will vary, but dexterity won’t be the top consideration for most resort snowboarders. Even a very thick glove or mitten is serviceable for tightening a snowboard binding or grabbing a rope tow. In most cases, you’ll need to remove the bulky outer mitt to unzip a pocket or send out a text, but this is just par for the course in the winter (in milder spring conditions you can wear a thinner glove). For this reason, it’s a really good idea to have a sturdy, touchscreen-compatible liner mitt so you'll never have to fully expose your digits to the cold.
Cuff lengths and styles vary greatly between models, and there are some concrete concepts that can help make your decision easier. Longer gauntlet-style gloves extend well beyond the wrist, covering the cuff of your snowboard jacket. Generally, they are warmer because they have more insulation and seal out the cold very effectively with a draw cord. They also offer slightly less range of movement in your wrist with more material in the way. As a result, gauntlets are popular for maximum protection in deep powder and cold (or wet) resort days. We also recommend them for beginner riders: With a lot of wipeouts in your future, you’ll want to batten down the hatches as much as possible.
Undercuff mittens and gloves tuck into your snowboard jacket, which requires more work than simply sliding on a gauntlet glove (you’ll want to cinch your jacket’s Velcro cuff overtop). Because of their shorter cuff, they don’t offer quite as much warmth as a gauntlet design, and will certainly leave you a bit more vulnerable to drafts and intrusive snow. On the other hand, their minimal bulk means they’re both agile and ventilated. We like undercuff gloves for experienced riders and mild conditions, but those just starting out will want the full-on coverage of a gauntlet design.
In 2022, a number of snowboard gloves and mittens come with touchscreen-compatible liners (including the Burton Deluxe Gore-Tex and The North Face Montana Etip), so that you can snap photos or videos without exposing your hands to the elements. In fact, this is one of the biggest benefits to opting for a design with liner gloves (rather than liner mittens). And while most gloves are too bulky to feature this technology in their outer shell, more streamlined designs like the Burton [ak] Clutch incorporate it into the leather on the forefinger and thumb. We won’t lie, touchscreen-compatibility is a really nice feature to have, but it’s not always a factor in our decision making. You can always tack on a touchscreen-compatible liner glove down the road—a design like the REI Co-op Liner Gloves 2.0 is just $25.
Gauntlet-style gloves in particular often have a cinch or drawcord to tighten the opening where snow and cold drafts can enter, and both gauntlet and undercuff gloves might feature cinches at the wrist. By pulling the cinch or drawcord, you can effectively seal out moisture and frigid air in all but the most extreme conditions. Much like a powder skirt on a snowboard jacket, this can be very effective at tightening down your gear before riding through the deep stuff. We have a strong preference for glove-friendly cinches (look for longer straps or drawcords) as you'll be adjusting these a number of times throughout your day on the slopes.
Wrist leashes—also known as keeper cords or retention straps—are a fairly common feature among snowboard gloves and mittens. The design is simple: elastic bands slide around your wrists and connect via a strap to the gloves. With this feature, you’re less likely to leave your gloves behind in a yard sale (colloquial language for what happens when you take a big tumble on the snow), and the straps also provide security if you remove your gloves while riding the chairlift. It’s also common to see snowboarders dangling their gloves from their wrists as they dig through pockets or use their phone. Wrist leashes are certainly a helpful feature, and the good news is that most are removable if you don’t want the extra bulk.
It's not easy to grab a tissue with your gloves on, so many models feature a soft patch of fabric on the thumb or pointer finger to help with a runny nose. Nose wipes are good in a pinch and the fabric helps to avoid irritation that you might get from doing the same thing with tough shell fabric. Of course, they lose their effectiveness when overused or when the temperature really drops, but they are a nice touch nevertheless.
Across all price ranges, you’ll have the choice between mittens and gloves that are made with or without removable liners. In general, designs with removable liners will be slightly warmer but are a little bulkier and less dexterous. For us, the most compelling reason to choose a mitten or glove with a liner is that it’s more adaptable to different temperatures. You can wear the shell on a warm spring day and use both for the rest of the season. A removable liner also allows you to take the outer glove off (to perform tasks like texting, snacking, or adjusting a boot) without exposing your bare hand to the elements. Another benefit is that it’s easier to dry out the gloves if they happen to get wet by separating the two pieces, and laundering the liner can give your glove a new lease on life. And as a bonus, liners can also be useful as standalone pieces, great for activities like cold-weather running or driving.
A proper-fitting glove helps maximize everything from warmth to dexterity, so it’s worth the time to nail down your ideal size. And while the market isn’t consistent with how they list glove and mitten sizing—you’ll see standard small, medium, and large options as well as numbers-based listings from a brand like Hestra—the good news is that most manufacturers rely on a simple hand circumference measurement. To get your size, wrap a soft tape measure around the widest point of your hand (typically right behind the knuckles) and match it to the manufacturer’s corresponding range. If you wind up in between sizes, it’s best to go up to avoid pinch points and being overly tight (which compromises both comfort and warmth).
It’s worth noting that relying on your hand circumference isn’t a foolproof process, as the sizing doesn’t account for finger length, so it’s always ideal to try gloves or mittens on before purchasing. If you need to buy online or just prefer the convenience, just make sure to follow the manufacturer-specific fit guidelines (avoid generic charts) and buy from a reputable retailer with a good return policy (our favorites are Evo, Backcountry, and REI).
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