Mittens for Snowboarding

Snowboarders all around the world wait anywhere from five to nine months for the snow to blanket the nearby mountains so their favorite winter activity can begin. But unfortunately, winter is also waiting for us, and it brings a terrible element with it: the freezing cold. Mocking the cold and not appropriately protecting your body with thick insulating clothing and battery powered mittens could cause you to develop frostbite and lose a finger or two. Keeping your hands safe and warm is essential, and there’s plenty of mittens in sports equipment stores and on the internet that are designed to do just that. But with so many different types of mittens out there, what features should you look for, and which mittens are the best ones available? That’s what I’m here to help you with. Keep on reading, because I have created a full in-depth guide on the best snowboard mittens of 2020. 

Mitten Vs. Gloves – What’s The Difference?

Mittens and gloves look the same to many people, and we understand why. They look very similar and there are just a few small differences between gloves and mittens. Gloves have each finger wrapped in fabric, but mittens have the last four fingers wrapped together without fabric between them. But this small detail means that there are major differences in the way a mitten and a glove keep your hands warm.

Mittens tend to be warmer than gloves and insulate the hands better. It may be counterintuitive because each finger is wrapped in fabric, but when a hand is placed within a mitten, the hand can use its body heat to keep its fingers warm. Gloves, on the other hand, allow your fingers to move individually, so you have greater use of your hand and fingers. But because you still have fabric on your hand, you may not have a strong grip. You can use your hand to do pretty much anything you would normally be able to without the gloves on. Mittens, on the other hand, impedes the movement of the fingers. Try signing your name while wearing mittens, and you’ll see what we mean. But a snowboarder will still be able to pick themselves up after they fall, hang onto rocks, and grip tree branches.

Snowboarding Mittens: How Are They Different From Other Mittens?

There are various types of mittens for all kinds of winter activities, and each mitten has its own features pertaining to the sport it is made for. When it comes to snowboarding mittens, they differ from other mittens because they’re not made to grip objects. Their main purpose is to maintain the warmth of your hands and keep the elements out. You’ll be hard-pressed to track down a pair of snowboarding mittens with rubber or grip assistance on the palm. You can always use skiing mittens, but they may be stiffer than what you’re used to because skiing mittens need to have a grip so it can assist the skier in holding their ski poles.

Another difference snowboarding mittens have from other types of mittens is that the fabric that encloses the fingers tends to have reinforced padding, which keeps the hands doubly insulated and warm. This reinforced padding is because snowboarders don’t have ski poles to help them stand up if they fall, so they have to touch the frozen ground

What Are Lobster Mittens?

Now I know what you’re thinking, and no, Lobster mittens are not mittens that are in the shape of lobsters with bright red fabric and squeezable claws. But that wouldn’t be such a strange idea! A lobster mitten is a combination of a mitten and a glove. The main difference between mittens and gloves is that the lobster mitten has an individual finger, your pointer finger, wrapped separately from the other fingers. So your thumb and pointer finger are separate, but your last three fingers are all together. We use our pointer fingers and our thumb for many small movements, so wearing lobster mittens makes sense, especially if the pointer finger has smartphone-compatible fabric. Just don’t try to boil and eat them if you get hungry! We’re not sure lobster mittens taste good, even with a side of butter.

Features Of Mittens

Strong Insulation

There’s no point in purchasing mittens if they can’t keep your hands warm during the winter. Snowboarders spend hours outside in the freezing cold, so they need mittens that can keep their hands warm. Because mittens have the last four fingers all together, it should be easier for your hands to stay warm because they can share each finger’s body heat. But if you are someone with poor circulation who finds that their hands and fingers are often cold even in the sunny weather, then you may need to wear mittens made for sub-zero temperatures.

Removable Lining

If your mittens have a removable liner, the mittens will be much easier to clean. You can simply remove the liner every day after a long snowboarding day and wash them in the sink. Once they dry overnight, the liner is ready to be put back into your mittens. Washing your liner every night means that it will stay clean, and odors will not build up. But a removable liner doesn’t just make mittens easier to clean. This feature also saves you money because you won’t need to buy light weather mittens. Just remove the liner from within, and your hands won’t become overheated and sweaty on warmer winter days.

Waterproof

Snow may be solid, but it is still water, and water or moisture can get into your mitten if it is not completely waterproof. Snow will either fall from the sky and land on your mittens or the snowboarder needs to touch snow because they fell and need to pick themselves up. If the fabric of the mitten’s shell is not waterproof, then the mittens can get wet, and you could develop frostbite on your hands. Also, the seams of the mittens must be sealed tight to prevent moisture from coming through.

Weatherproof

A great pair of mittens is not only waterproof, it’s weatherproof as well. A waterproof mitten means that water cannot get inside the mitten. But weatherproof mittens won’t allow water crystals to form on the outside when it comes in contact to water. It must be ice-resistant and also wind-resistant so the cold winds cannot come through the fabric or the seams. And just because it’s wintertime does not mean the sun will come out. Prolonged sun exposure can cause the color of different materials to fade, so if the sun is shining down on the area where you are snowboarding, the mittens you are wearing should be able to withstand the sun’s light and not have its color fade over time.

Durability

Snowboarding is an extremely active sport that does take a great toll on your body and your equipment. So a snowboarder needs mittens that can handle rough terrain, slushy ice, and the seams cannot wear out. Also, it must be able to retain its shape after being shoved into the corner of your ski bag for days on end. The liner in the mitten can’t stop absorbing moisture after a few uses as well. The liner also needs to be odor resistant, so the moisture from the snowboarder’s hand does not ruin the lining or glove shell.

Absorbs Moisture From Skin 

Many people forget that your body still produces sweat from the energy that you burn while snowboarding even though it is wintertime. If the liner’s fabric or the mitten does not absorb moisture, you will end up snowboarding with wet soggy hands, which is an extremely unpleasant experience. A well-made pair of mittens absorb the moisture from your hand and captures it in the fabric’s lining, so your hands stay dry. But not only that, the fabric must dry quickly, so the wearer isn’t constantly touching wet fabric if they produce a lot of moisture on their hands. 

Pocket

It is quite difficult to rummage through your pockets when wearing a pair of mittens on your hands. But you don’t want to take your hand out of his protection and exposure to the cold. So, some brands have now designed their mittens to have pockets. The other mitten can easily open the pocket, and it is large enough to store your ID and some money. The placement of the pocket is either on top of the hand or as part of the wrist cuff. But a snowboarder will need to store their smartphone in their actual pants pocket because the mitten pocket will not be large enough to hold it.

Ease of Movement

Warmth, durability, and protection are important, but not if you are unable to close your hand into a fist. The pair of mittens that a snowboarder wears should not impede their movement and keep them from using the full range of their hand. Likewise, the cuff around the wrist needs to be loose enough, so the wrist is not constructed but tight enough to prevent ice and water from entering the mitten. So when you place on a pair of mittens that you were looking to purchase, flex your hands as much as possible and use our wide range of movements to test out how easy it is to use your hands while wearing it.

Touchscreen Friendly

Unless you still have a cell phone with mechanical buttons, the mittens that you purchase need to be touchscreen enabled. There will be a special fabric on the fingertips of certain mittens so you can interact with the screen of your smartphone. This feature is important because you won’t have to take off your mittens and expose your hands to the freezing air. You can make your calls or take a selfie while your hands stay safe and warm inside your mitten.

Wrist Cuffs

Some mittens extend farther past the hand and onto the wrist and forearm. The wrist cuffs are designed in this manner so that the sleeve of your clothing and coat is not the only piece of fabric protecting your arms from the cold. The wrist cuff goes underneath the coat sleeve, and you can stuff your shirt sleeve inside the cuff, or you can lay it over the cuff. Another great feature of a wrist cuff is a string sewn into the cuff so you can pull on the string and tighten the opening of the mitten.

Strap

Even though it is important for mittens to be weatherproof and waterproof, it’d be even better if the wearer avoided contact with ice and mud as much as possible. One way to prevent contact with the substances is to purchase a pair of mittens with a strap attached to them. When the snowboarder takes off their mitten, they don’t have to shove it into their pocket or hold it with the other hand. They can just slip the strap over their wrist so it can stay safe and dry on their forearm. By having a strap, they’ll be able to keep both hands empty and the mittens from falling on the ground.

Best Mittens For Snowboarding 2020

Best Mittens For Snowboarding – Women

DAKINE Leather Camino Mittens – Women’s

DAKINE Leather Camino Mittens - Women's

One of the best snowboard mittens for women on the market, the Dakine Brand has an entire line of mittens for skiers and snowboarders. Its construction is essential to keeping your hands warm, as the shell of the mitten is made of both nylon and polyester. These materials are blended to create a waterproof fabric that not only prevents water from seeping in, but it stops water beads from lingering on the shell. The fabric design does not allow for the formation of water droplets. The shell’s construction is one of the biggest reasons it is perfect for late winter early spring skiing when the late spring heat is beginning to set in. The lining inside the mitten keeps your hands warm, but there is also the option to place a hand warmer within the mitten For an extra boost in heat protection. Also, the fingers have smart screen compatible fabric, so your hand does not have to leave the liner or shell in order to make a call or take a picture. The glove even comes with a two-year warranty back by the company itself. So for any reason, you can contact the manufacturer and receive a brand new pair of mittens if they rip or the material is damaged within the two-year time frame. 

ALERO MITT – W20

ALERO MITT - W20

Another great mitten created by the Dakine company, it also has a waterproof construction due to the same nylon polyester blend that goes into the shell of the mitten. But at the edge of the mitten, there is now a fur cuff with a cinch to prevent warmth from leaving the men and cool air from getting in. The lining itself is made from 100% polyester fabric, which means that it is a quick-drying fabric that readily absorbs moisture and draws it away from your hand. Like the mitten before, this mitten also allows for a hand-warming insert to be placed inside the lining and shell. The fabric on the palm side of the mitten is made from 100% polyurethane, which acts like leather and keeps in warmth, but polyurethane is a popular fabric to create faux leather. The Alero mitten comes in sizes between extra small and large so it can fit most women’s hands. Both the lightning and the shell are machine washable in cold water, but do not please either fabric in a dryer. Allow them to air dry oh, but it is safe to place these mittens near a warm air source like a heater.

Best Mittens For Snowboarding – Men

KINCO 901T-M Men’s Pigskin Skin Mittens

KINCO 901T-M Men's Pigskin Skin Mittens

Durable and made a faux leather, the Kinco Pigskin Mitten is one of the best snowboard mittens for men. Unfortunately, this mitten only comes in a medium-size, so men with larger or smaller hands than the average male may have to find an alternative mitten if they wish to wear pig skin fabric. The fabric is not fake, and it is made from the real skin of a pig. The cuff that protects the wrist is elastic, so it easily wraps around your wrist to prevent snow and cold air from entering. But it doesn’t have a drawstring. Around both the palm and the thumb of the mitten, the fabric is reinforced with extra patches of fabric on top to prevent wearing down or thinning in high-use areas. This type of construction prolongs durability. 

Men’s Burton GORE-TEX Warmest Mitten

Men's Burton GORE-TEX Warmest Mitten

Although the color scheme may put some fashion-minded people off from purchasing this mitten, what it does not have in fashion, it makes up for in durability, warmth, and waterproofing. Another of the best mittens for snowboarding men, the company Burton has a fabric technology called Gore warm, which means that this method is made from a two-layer fabric that quickly draws moisture away from the hands. It then dries quickly, so you never feel like you’re touching what fabric. The lining inside this mitten is removable, and it comes with warmth control technology, so your hand never feels too hot.

Best Mittens For Snowboarding – Unisex

Arc’teryx Fission SV Mittens

Arc'teryx Fission SV Mittens

Beautiful, sleek, and made with a seamless design, the Fission SV Mitten is designed to have 100% full weather protection, so both the fabric and your hands are safe from the elements. Made with both sexes in mind, the mittens themselves are made to last for years. The company reinforces the mittens with goat leather to lengthen durability. It also provides another layer of protection because these mittens were made for severe weather and regular weather. These mittens also come with an adjustable strap to tighten or loosen the cuff fabric for maximum comfortability. Gold and silver are blended into the fabric to increase insulation and keep your hands protected from the cold weather. Reviewers say that these mittens are extremely easy for their hands to move in and allow for maximum dexterity for gripping objects and even operating your car.

FRDM Evolve Cold Weather Snow Mitt

FRDM Evolve Cold Weather Snow Mitt

Creating a snug and fitted mitten with a wrist cuff is not easy, but the FRDM company has done so, and they did it flawlessly. The zipper on top of the mitten is large enough so you can open the pocket with your other hand. The shell of the mitten is completely waterproof, and even the zipper has a seal underneath it to prevent water from entering the mitten. The zipper on the bottom part of the hand gives the wearer access to their fingers and thumb. Depending on the cold, this could be a good or bad feature because it does expose your hand to the cold. But it does allow the wearer to use the dexterity of their entire hand to grab different objects and even use your smartphone. Unfortunately, the only real problem with this mitten is that it is not machine washable. It must be hand wash and spot cleaned whenever it gets dirty and then air-dried. 

Conclusion

Snowboarding is one of the most freeing sports you will ever experience, but it is important to stay warm and keep your hands and wrists from cold damage. Mittens that are constructed correctly can keep your hand dry and warm and prevent the inner fabric around your hand from becoming soggy with moisture. The shell of the mitten should be waterproof and weatherproof and have at least one pocket for easy access to small but important items. When you’re in a store that sounds mittens for snowboarding, be sure to try on each pair and test the flexibility and range of motion for yourself. Especially in mittens that have reinforced patches around vital areas like the thumb. Some fabrics may be easier to move with than others, and you must discover which ones work for your hand best. It is important to note that many great mittens out there on the market still do not have smartphone-compatible fabric, and you need to decide if that is important for you or not before you make your final purchase. 


Harry Sowers

Harry has been skiing and snowboarding since he was a boy growing up outside of Denver Colorado. He is most passionate about skiing and when he was in college a UC Boulder he even participated in the olympic trials for the USA Olympic Downhill Ski team.