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Here’s some advice from one parent to another: Don’t skimp on gloves for your kids.
Honestly, in the fall it’s tempting, to grab a pair of cute $20 gloves at your local sporting goods store or Costco. Trust me, I’ve been there…and I have a bin full of worthless gloves to show for it. Thankfully, after 10 years of parenting, I finally learned my lesson and don’t buy cheap gloves anymore.
You see, I’ve never had a pair of $20 gloves for my kids make it through an entire season, still waterproof and warm. So come February, when stores have been picked over of all their winter gear, I have to somehow find new winter gloves for my kids (which usually only last a few months as well).
So those $20 gloves that seemed like such a bargain in the fall, actually make me spend $40 and I only got one season of use out of them. For that same price, I could have bought amazing gloves that would last for YEARS!
The truth of the matter is that if your kid has cold or wet hands, they’ll be miserable, so cheap gloves just aren’t worth it – I promise!
On the flip side, I’ve had the same pair of mittens since college. I remember totally splurging on them and blowing my budget on these $60 mitts…and now 15 years later they’re still waterproof and warm and are my go-to pair EVERY TIME we’re going to be spending some serious time in the snow (skiing, sledding, etc).
So why in the world was I blowing $40 a year on crappy gloves for my kids when if I spent that amount upfront, I could get great gloves that would last year after year?
Luckily, you get to learn from my mistakes. I enlisted the help of my kids, and for the last several weeks, we’ve been testing the top 10 gloves and mittens from the best kids glove and mitten brands around. No, these are not just the best deals or top-rated gloves on Amazon (because I’ve tried several top-rated gloves and been disappointed). I turned to my most winter obsessed outdoor friends to see what works best for them. Friends that do things like take their kids on multi-day winter hiking trips in the Canadian Rockies, and others who ski 50+ days with kids in Alaska. These are the best kids gloves and mittens that you’re going to find. PERIOD.
Should kids wear Mittens or Gloves??
Should kids wear mittens or gloves? In our home, it’s a longstanding debate. Two of my kids insist on wearing gloves, and two of my kids always wear mittens.
Honestly, when my kids wear mittens, their hands are always significantly warmer. Factually, mittens are always warmer than mittens (though not because your fingers are closer together). Mittens are warmer than gloves because they have less surface area, which means less area to get COLD.
If you need warmth, or maybe you’re teaching your kids to ski, I recommend mittens. If you’re going to be doing activities that require a lot of grabbing and manual dexterity, like building an igloo or having a snowball fight, gloves are your best option. If you really can’t decide, go for the Swany Toaster (my go-to adult gloves). They are a mitten with an inner glove liner, and you can unzip the entire side so that your fingers can stick out and you can grab things more easily.
How to choose the best kids mittens and the best kids gloves
Whether your kids are wearing mittens or gloves, there are a few key features that you need to look for BEFORE you buy, and these are the main criteria that we are evaluating each pair of gloves on.
Waterproof: The best gloves for kids are always WATERPROOF. Don’t buy something that’s merely water-resistant, because eventually, your kids are going to get them completely soaked. With younger kids, it will be faster than you can imagine since they’ll probably be licking the snow off of them, and will eventually grab something out of a puddle while wearing them!
Not all waterproofing is created equally as we learned pretty quickly in our testing. To see how waterproof gloves and mittens were, we soaked them in water and checked for leaks at 1 minute and again at 5 minutes. A few pairs didn’t even make it past the one minute mark, while others were struggling a lot by the 5-minute mark. Keep reading below to see what gloves were the most waterproof.
Warmth: Cold fingers will instantly ruin any kids’ day, so choosing a warm glove or warm mitten is really important. While it’s great to have kids mittens or gloves that will keep hands warm during a 15 minute recess, make sure that you choose something that will keep them warm for 4 hours while skiing or out sledding with their friends (even if you aren’t skiers, choosing a kids ski glove instead of a fashion glove will get you much higher quality).
We’ve spent an entire winter putting kids gloves and mittens to the test so that we can share with you what the warmest gloves and warmest mittens for kids are. All of these kids mittens and gloves have been thoroughly used (and abused) by our kids and we are so excited to be able to help you find the absolute best kids mittens and the best kids gloves so that your kids stay warm and dry this winter.
Windproof: When it’s really cold and windy outside, you’re going to want your gloves to be windproof, or else your kids’ hands will get cold really fast. Typically, thin gloves are less windproof and thick gloves are more windproof. To test how windproof they were, the kids decided that they would stick their hands out the window while we were driving down the highway on a cold day (their idea, not mine). I figure if anything would test to see how windproof gloves were, that would be it.
*We’ve got lots of winter gear reviews on our site right now if you’re looking for good winter clothing for your kids. We’ve reviewed the best winter snow boots, the best coats for kids, and the best base layers for kids.
The Best Gloves for Kids: Warm & Waterproof
As you read through these reviews below, you’ll notice that most of these gloves and mittens scored really high in our tests. This isn’t because we didn’t review them well, it’s because we are only testing the very best kids gloves and mittens available so they all should perform well.
The Swany X-Change Glove is one of the top-end best kids winter gloves made by Swany. They have all the bells and whistles that I would expect in a high-end adult glove but made for kids. They are made of a softshell outer with a leather palm and trim and even have a little pocket for inserting a hand warmer. I also really like the easy Speed Draw closure on the bottom which allows you to adjust how tight or loose they are with the press of a button (and allows them to be worn both under or over a jacket cuff) If you’re looking for the best winter gloves for kids, you absolutely need to consider these.
After being submerged for 5 minutes, the inside of these gloves was completely dry. These are the best waterproof kids gloves that we tested. Water had started to soak into the fabric and I could wring extra water out of the gloves, but none of it soaked through. These waterproof kids gloves performed about the same at the end of the season as they did at the beginning.
These gloves were really warm and would be excellent for super cold winter days.
The Swany X-Change gloves are amazing! They are warm, waterproof and windproof. While we didn’t get to test them in extreme conditions for the entire day (yet), I think they will perform just as great in the long term as they did in the short term.
The Hestra All Mountain CZone Jr Glove is one of the top of the line kids gloves made by Hestra. In many respects, they are incredibly similar to the Swany X-Change Glove, both in appearance and performance. They are easy to pull on and the cuff is generous enough to be worn either under or over a coat. These gloves also include a waterproof zipper pocket (perfect for hand warmers), and easy to adjust closures at the cuff and around the wrist for a secure fit. I also really like the leather palm as well as the durable outer shell that the rest of the exterior is made of.
After being submerged for 5 minutes, the inside of these gloves was completely dry. Water had started to soak into the fabric and I could wring extra water out of the gloves, but none of it soaked through. These waterproof gloves for kids feature a waterproof lining material, so this should not be an issue.
These gloves were really warm and would be excellent for super cold winter days. These are the warmest kids gloves that we tested.
The Hestra All Mountain CZone gloves for kids are spectacular. They have everything that I would look for in a high-end adult glove, yet are made in a miniature size for kids. Although we haven’t taken them out on a long ski day yet, I’m confident that they will perform well. Note: Hestra also makes this glove in a mitten style if you prefer mittens more.
The Swany X-Over Jr Glove looks a lot like its more technical counterpart the X-Change Glove. However, there are a few differences that set the two gloves apart. One of the biggest things going for the X-Over is that they are touchscreen compatible. The palms are synthetic material, have a hand warmer pocket, and have a nose wipe section (which all moms have a love-hate relationship with).
It also has a wrist closure similar to the X-Change, though the toggle is a bit more difficult to adjust on the X-Over.
After being submerged for 1 minute, the inside of the Swany X-Over gloves was getting wet. After 5 minutes underwater, they were absolutely soaked. These kids waterproof gloves need some more work before we recommend them for wet conditions.
My kids kept these gloves on for a full hour while they were playing outside, but when they came inside, their hands were cool to the touch. It wasn’t enough for them to complain about, but I’m not sure they would last an entire day. Good enough for a recess, but probably not for longer or more intense outdoor time.
The Swany X-Over glove looks pretty good on the outside, but the performance wasn’t as great as I had hoped. It didn’t do very well on either our waterproof or warmth tests. While these could still work well for light outdoor play, I would recommend a higher quality Swany glove like the X-Change Glove.
The Best Mittens for Kids: Warm & Waterproof
There are SO MANY wonderful mittens on the market for kids that we would recommend buying. Each one of the kids mittens that we reviewed is a little bit different, so think about your kids personal preferences (long or short cuffs, fluffy or streamlined, etc).
I don’t know if I can possibly say enough good things about Stonz mittens. They were the first mittens we got a few years ago, that were actually EXCEPTIONAL (and convinced me that the $20 gloved I kept buying were a rip off!). Over and over the are the warmest kids mittens we have ever owned, and also the most waterproof kids mittens we have had.
They’re entering their third season of almost daily winter use and are still going strong! They are warm and dry and do a great job of keeping the snow out with their extra-long cuffs.
These kids waterproof mittens were the most waterproof mittens or gloves for kids that we tested. After 5 minutes they were completely dry inside and the water hadn’t even soaked into the fabric at all. I did notice with our older pair we own that while they are still waterproof, water does soak into the outer fabric some.
My daughter gets the coldest hands of anyone in our family and she said she’s never been cold wearing these (except for the day her brother put a snowball inside of them!!!)
Stonz mittens are both excellent quality and excellent value. They only cost about $40 and the performance is really incredible. Personally, I love that these mittens have extra long cuffs since it helps keep the snow away from my kids’ wrists (the cuffs go about halfway up the forearm). However, I know that these can be difficult to put on and tighten independently, especially for younger kids. Truthfully though, my kids need help getting their mittens and gloves on and adjusted well until they’re 5 or 6, so it’s not too big of a deal.
The Swany Softy Jr mitten is a bit of a hybrid. It performs like a mitten, but with the dexterity of a glove. These are the kids’ version of the mittens that I’ve had for 15 years that performed like a champ. Personally, I love that they keep hands warmer than gloves or mittens alone, and also that when you need to do something more detail-oriented (like answer a phone call or zip a coat), you can just slip your gloved fingers out of the zipper, so they’re never really getting too cold.
After submerging these mittens for 1 minute, they were pretty wet on the inside and after 5 minutes they were totally soaked. I was really surprised by this, and I am assuming that these mittens didn’t do as well in the test because of the zipper on the side that could allow water in. These are not great waterproof kids mittens.
These mittens may have been the warmest that we tested. If you have a kid who gets really cold fingers, I highly recommend these.
While these mittens didn’t perform great in our waterproof test, I’m still going to highly recommend them. Their unique design really suits kids who have extra cold hands or kids who normally would need to take their mittens off to do detailed tasks.
Also, I swear these are the absolute best mittens for parents, so look into the adult version for yourself. I am constantly needing to use my fingers during the day when we’re out with the kids (zipping coats, getting into pockets, passing out treats) and these keep my fingers SO WARM!
The Hestra CZone Primaloft Mittens for kids are soft and lightweight and almost reminiscent of a stuffed animal, with their brushed lining. I have one son who is incredibly particular about textures and how things feel and he instantly fell in love with them. Having a mitten that’s this soft, but also a high performer was a major win in my book. These mittens have a stretchy cuff that’s best suited for being worn underneath a coat. For us, we usually put our kids’ mittens on first and then put the coat over the top for a tight fit to keep snow out. They also happen to be very easy for younger kids to put on and take off alone (major parenting win!!)
After 5 minutes of being soaked in the water, there was no water on the inside of these gloves. However, I could feel that there was some water that had soaked into the gloves, but that’s not a problem because, with these mittens, the waterproofing isn’t on the outer material, but rather in an interior insert.
These mittens are lacking nothing in the warmth category. In fact, because the lining is brushed, I think that they feel softer and warmer than most other gloves. I was actually quite surprised by this as we’ve never had a pair of mittens that’s felt this soft AND been warm – usually mittens are either soft or warm, so having the CZone Primaloft mittens be both, is a huge benefit!
I am really impressed with the Hestra CZone Primaloft mittens for kids. At first appearance, they don’t look rugged or very durable (they’re kind of poofy). However, they performed incredibly well in our tests. I think these are the best option I’ve ever seen for kids who are sensitive about materials or textures since they are incredibly soft, and their puffy construction actually makes them really easy to grab things while wearing them.
The Outdoor Research Adrenaline Mittens for kids are a simple design that works quite well. They are more lightweight than any of the other mittens or gloves that we have tested, but they still seem to do the job quite well. My absolute favorite feature of these mittens is the grab loop at the cuff that kids can easily grab to pull their mittens on more easily (I really believe all kids mittens and gloves should have these).
After 5 minutes submerged in water, the interior of these mittens were completely dry. I was surprised by how much water the exterior of the mittens absorbed, but since nothing got inside, it’s probably not an issue.
My kids kept these mittens on for a full hour while they were playing outside, but when they came inside, their hands were a bit cool to the touch. It wasn’t enough for them to complain about, but I’m not sure they would last an entire day. We’ll update this as winter progresses and we find out how they last on a long cold day.
The Outdoor Research Adrenaline Kids Mitten is a pretty good mitten overall. It’s not the best we’ve tested, but I also think that it’s a lot better than anything that I have bought in this price range before (at the time of writing, these are the most inexpensive pair we tested). We’ll update this as winter progresses and we get a better idea of if they stay warm for an entire day in the snow.
The best waterproof mittens for toddlers
When it comes to buying the best mittens for your toddler, we have two brands that we really like, Veyo Kids and Stonz. One has thumbs and the other is a thumbless mitten, so your choice will be largely based on what mittens will work best for your toddlers thumbs.
People often ask us about buying the best gloves for toddlers. Truthfully, toddler winter gloves always seem to be a bit of a disaster. Not only are the best toddler gloves not as warm as the best toddler mittens, but they are almost impossible to get gloves on a toddlers hands. If your toddler needs the flexibility of a glove, get them the toddler Veyo Mittyz, since they have the best mitten flexibility for toddlers.
Veyo Kids Mittyz Thumbless Mitten Review
The Veyo Kids Mittyz toddler snow gloves have been recommended to me over and over again, by winter-loving outdoor families as some of the best winter mittens for toddlers, so I was excited to try them out. These mittens are thumbless and are designed generously so that kids can still grab things while wearing them. Obviously designed for younger kids, all of their mittens have fun designs that kids will love. As a mom, I love that they are adjustable at both the wrist and the end of the cuff, so I can really cinch them down so that they stay on well. They come in a variety of fun designs that kids will absolutely LOVE. The best part about these warm mittens for toddlers is that they allow the best hand flexibility that we’ve ever found. We highly recommend these toddler winter mittens for kids who won’t wear mittens, as they are the best things we found for our own anti-mitten toddler.
After being submerged in water for 5 minutes, the inside of these mittens was completely dry. The exterior seemed to have more water soaking into it at the one minute mark than any of the others, but since nothing ever got inside, I’m not worried about it. These mittens claim to be 100% waterproof, and they actually have a sort of a crinkly feel in the lining, so I suspect there is a lot of waterproofing material inside the mittens. At the end of the season, we still had the same opinion that water seemed to soak into the gloves really fast and these toddler mittens were always soaked on the outside. However, the inside of these toddler waterproof mittens always stayed dry.
This is a bit of a hard one for me to gauge since my toddler is wearing them (and he doesn’t give the best feedback), but whenever he came inside from playing while wearing these, his hands were cool. As it’s difficult to tell with a toddler, I’ll update this throughout the year when we get a better idea of how warm these are.
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I love the unique design of the Veyo Kids Mittyz since they really do eliminate a lot of the mitten battles created by trying to get the thumb in the right place. They still provide a lot of hand movement (significantly more than any other thumbless mitten we’ve tried), but if your kids want to do a lot of things that require fine motor skills in the winter, these might be difficult for them (see my other recommendation below). These make great ski mittens for toddlers. The quality appears pretty good, but we will need to test them a bit more to see how the warmth works out in the long run. While I think that these mittens are best suited to toddlers, I do want to note that they fit up to age 6 if you have an older child who prefers thumbless mittens.
Our 2-year-old is pretty obsessed with these mittens and thinks they’re the best mittens for toddlers, and even wants to wear them around the house to play, since they look so cool, so that’s a HUGE WIN! If you want toddler mittens that stay on, these are a great choice.
Like I mentioned earlier, I really like Stonz mittens, and we’ve had great experiences with them over the years. They are warm and dry and do a great job of keeping the snow out with their extra-long cuffs. This is our first time trying out their toddler mittens and they did just as great as their youth mittens.
These were the most waterproof mittens or gloves that we tested. After 5 minutes they were completely dry inside and the water hadn’t even soaked into the fabric at all. I did notice with our older pair we own that while they are still waterproof, water does soak into the outer fabric some. We absolutely love these waterproof toddler mittens
These mittens are very warm and after a couple of hours of snow play, the kids’ hands are still warm. These make excellent toddler snow mittens.
Stonz mittens are both excellent quality and excellent value. They only cost about $40 and the performance is really incredible. Personally, I love that these mittens have extra long cuffs since it helps keep the snow away from my kids’ wrists (the cuffs go about halfway up the forearm). Overall they are probably the best winter mittens for toddlers. Toddlers will need help putting them on and tightening the cuffs, but they need help with just about any mitten so it’s not a big issue. They are a stiffer mitten than the Veyo kids toddler mitten, but these toddler waterproof mittens are much stiffer, so keep that in mind.
The best waterproof mittens for baby
When it comes to the best baby mittens, there is only one brand that I’ll recommend…
These baby snow mittens are the absolute best and the design is incredibly simple. They’re winter baby gloves that are super simple to put on, and they actually stay put once they’re on. Yes, these baby mittens stay on, and don’t fall off!
We’ve had a pair of these for the last few years, and finally, with my 5th baby, I can truthfully say that I have found a pair of mittens that are perfect for babies! The Stonz Baby Mittz are a thumbless mitten that go on super easy and are easy to tighten. We’ve never had these mittens for babies fall off, and our little guys hands always stayed super warm, making these the warmest mittens for babies around. These are also the only waterproof baby mittens we’ve ever found. These aren’t cheap baby mittens like most stores sell, but are a high quality piece of gear that’s made in baby size. If you’re planning on adventuring with a baby in the winter, these mittens are a must have for infants, up to about age 2-3. These warm baby mittens will keep your little one’s fingers toasty, and the elastic closure around the wrist and cuff helps them to stay on well.
These are the mittens that I tell all my friends to buy as soon as they have a baby, because I simply love them so much!
While our baby waterproof mittens from Stonz are several years old, they still work amazingly well. They are more stiff than the Veyo Kids mittens so there isn’t a lot of flexibility and I noticed as our son got close to age 2, he started getting frustrated that he couldn’t grab things while wearing them, but for a baby that’s not really a problem.