In my years as a kids ski instructor, I have learned that kids very rarely get cold on the slopes, and when they do feel a little bit less than toasty, a few warm-up exercises usually do the trick. On an average January day, when I have added a third layer of clothing and am still freezing, my little students often refuse to even zip up their jackets. When their hands get cold, however, there is usually very little we can do beside head inside to warm up their fingers. To avoid wasting time indoors due to frosty fingers, I always advise my students’ parents to buy mittens instead of finger gloves. Mittens keep hands warmer because all fingers are bundled together and radiate heat toward one another. And interestingly, when their hands get too warm, my little students also seem to find gloves a bigger nuisance than mittens. Therefore, for this review I decided to bypass regular gloves and focus on the Best of the Best mittens you can buy to keep our little skiers’ paws warm. The mittens reviewed here can be purchased for different hand sizes and should easily fit the six to twelve year age group.
There are mittens with sewn-in pockets for heating pads, which is a fantastic feature for those extremely cold days. The heating pads can be carried separately, and all you have to do (or all I do as an instructor), is to take the pad out of its wrapper, knead it a few times, put it in the pocket and soon the entire mitten warms up. Mittens that have an inner liner that can be taken out for washing (or when there is no need for extra warmth) are also a great choice. Drawstrings on the cuffs are an effective way of keeping the snow out.
Keep in mind that children generally have a hard time keeping their hands out of the snow, with snow-eating and snow-ball throwing being some of their preferred activities. Gloves and mittens can quickly become drenched with moisture, and a moist mitten turns quickly into a soggy, cold one. Most water-resistant mittens can hold up to a day of heavy snowfall, but you will need a waterproof mitten if you directly handle the snow. The mittens reviewed here are all at least water-resistant, and some of them are waterproof, and will keep your little ones’ hands warm in most conditions.