Frontier Adventure

The Best Mittens for Winter 2023

By Michael Lanza

Let’s start with two truths about mittens: 1. We know they’re warmer than gloves. 2. We often choose gloves over mittens, anyway, for some reasons that make sense and some reasons that, well, don’t make as much sense. Whether you need them for resort or backcountry skiing or snowboarding, hiking, walking, snowshoeing, bike commuting, trail running, clearing snow, or something else, this review covers the best mittens for a wide range of temperatures and cold-weather activities.

As someone who gets cold hands very easily, spends many days outside in winter, and has been a professional gear reviewer for more than 25 years—formerly the lead gear reviewer for Backpacker magazine for 10 years and for even longer running this blog—I’ve used innumerable models of mittens and gloves and learned a lot over the years about how to select the right type of both for specific uses. See also my review of “The Best Gloves for Winter.”

Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. Click here for my e-guides to classic backpacking trips. Click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

The mittens reviewed below include models appropriate for a range of activities. I’ve tested them in temperatures from the 30s Fahrenheit to far below freezing, cold wind, snowstorms, and every kind of frozen precipitation, on numerous days of resort and backcountry skiing, cold-weather hiking and trail running on very chilly days, and shoveling snow and other yard work. I also offer tips below on how to choose the right mittens for your needs. Scroll past those tips if you want to jump directly into the reviews.

I’m confident you’ll find a pair of mittens in this article that meet your needs. You can support my work on this blog, at no cost to you, by making purchases through the affiliate links in each review below. Thanks for doing that.

If you have a question for me or a comment on this review or any mittens in it, or other mittens to recommend, please make it in the comments section at the bottom of this story. I try to respond to all comments.

A Nordic skier in Idaho’s Boise Mountains.
” data-image-caption=”My wife, Penny, Nordic skiing in Idaho’s Boise Mountains.
” data-medium-file=”″ data-large-file=”″ src=”″ alt=”A Nordic skier in Idaho’s Boise Mountains.” class=”wp-image-36863″ srcset=” 1024w, 300w, 768w, 1080w, 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 900px) 100vw, 900px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />My wife, Penny, Nordic skiing in Idaho’s Boise Mountains.

The Pros and Cons of Mittens

Mittens are generally warmer than gloves of a comparable weight, making them a better choice in colder temperatures when dexterity is not a top priority, which can include resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding, snowshoeing, hiking, walking, bike commuting, and clearing snow—although those activities often include moments when the poor dexterity of mittens becomes disadvantageous, such as when lacing up boots or shoes or
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