When leaving the SIA On-Snow Demo earlier this week at Winter Park, Colorado, I couldn’t help but notice how unpleasantly brisk the weather had turned. … a.k.a: it was colder that a witch’s nip tassles, and my little-girl hands were beyond calling it quits in e negative 23-degree frostbite hell. When finally arriving at Denver Airport, the TV monitors shared news flashes and update bulletins galore, many proclaiming that this current swath of incredibly disasterous winter weather was the “Worst in a Century” and would affect over 180 million people here in the good ol’ US of A. Snow! Ice! Wind! Cold! … Um … hell-freaking-yeah!
The storm’s are a-coming, and while your crusty old Dad/teacher/boss/landlord might be losing their sh*t over the forecast, all it says to us snowboarders is that we’re about to get slammed. Snow in the cities, spots opening up, resorts getting pummeled, and don’t forget the best part: school/work is getting cancelled. It’s on!
But you’re never gonna be able to enjoy these epic conditions if your body’s shaking with cold—and especially not if your little fingers are screaming out in frostbitten pain. Tackle the arctic end times with a pair of these misty mitts on your paws, and never be caught defrosting your digits on a pow day again.—A.H.
P.S.—No, rocking a 700-fill puffy, four layers of pants, two facemasks, and then pipe gloves (??) doesn’t make a whole lotta sense, Marvin. You may not be able to give the “peace sign” in your future on-hill Facebook photo when rocking hefty winter handbags, but you won’t need to be running to the bathroom heaters every 10 minutes, either. Missing runs and/or making your buddies wait because your hands are lobster claws isn’t “steezy”, it’s “stoopid”—mitt up.
Burton [ak] Oven Under Mitt
“Sleeping bags for your hands.” Pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it? Expensive as hell, but ready to do battle in the most hellish of winter conditions, the Oven Mitts are maybe the warmest hand-guards in the game. Pistol-gripped, leather palms, 15 oz. of Primaloft, and now coming in short cuffs—if you live in Antarctica (or Minnesota), these are for you.
Although … unlike sleeping bags, you probably can’t “share” these during a high school camping trip.
POW Royal Mitt
As a life-long vegetarian, I’m not really down for rocking the leather products. But until some Amsterdam-grad develops soybean synthetics or flaxseed-oil-byproducts that don’t fall apart in 15 minutes and have the weatherproofing of swiss cheese, I’m down for killing a few cows/goats to keep my days on the hill finger-happy. Whatever fit model POW uses has better hands that the dude from Zoolander as well, making for some of the best-sized mitts in snowboarding. Short cuffs, open digits, 100 grams of Thinsulate, and waterproof/breathable.
Maybe you’re into filming. Maybe you get your jolls by shooting a few snaps on the hill. Maybe you’re even one of us hyper-compulsive, oversharing Facegeeks or Twittards who spend more time recounting the shred than making turns (guilty…). Either way, if you’re someone who likes to keep their mitts warm, yet have easy-access to your triggers, check out the Chroma from Celtek. Their Wünderzip technology lets your digits out with an easy pull, so you’ll never miss the shot/forget to heckle your buds who passed on the session.
Heard of these guys? No sweat if you haven’t, but if they keep putting out high-quality leather gloves, mitts, and accessories, you probably will. Candygrind’s been steadily growing over the past few years, recently moving production to downtown Denver, Colorado. The pipe glove-filled Handbag is their warmest creation, with full-zip inserts, Hypora-breathable, and double leather palms. Wait … didn’t our Moms warn us about dudes with “leathery” palms …?
Volcom Gigi Rüf Gore-Tex Mitt
Gore Tex mittens. Sonuvabitch, those Volcom outertech nerds sure are on to something here. Maybe the biggest no-brainer of all time, super-waterproof mittens just make sense. Stash pocket, Thermore insulation, V-Science neoprene stretch, and tons more. Freaky colors, but hey—what’s good for the Gigi, is great for the gaper.
A few words from our in-house Gear Guru, Ben Gavelda: Gore-Tex + leather + mitt. It's about time someone finally made this combination come true. Leather lasts season after season. Gore-Tex keeps your paws dry and mitts keep 'em warm. These hot pockets even feature a mini vent/stash pocket. Enough said. -B.G.