If there’s one piece of gear or article of clothing that’s universally necessary come wintertime whether you’re hiking, skiing, or building a snowman in the backyard, it’s winter gloves or mittens. After all, fingers are delicate little appendages and need to be protected! But not all hand coverings are created equal, especially if you’re looking for options that are sustainable, vegan, and PFAS-free (read more about PFAS here). Fortunately, we found a bunch of delightfully cozy, sustainable winter gloves and mittens that are all of the above and more so you can gear up responsibly.
Picture Organic Clothing Kali Mitts: The Low-Profile Mittens
Super soft on the inside and nice and durable on the outside, the Kali Mitts from Picture Organic Clothing are a dream to wear. And they’re so dang warm. In fact, during testing, I had to take them off regularly while learning how to snowboard because my hands got too hot! Slim but adjustable wrist cuffs (via a short zipper) coupled with snug, stretchy cuffs that keep snow out, make them totally not bulky, but it does mean they fit better under jacket sleeves than over (if you have a preference). Synthetic leather palms offer good grip and I loved the removeable wrist leashes that kept me from dropping them in the snow every time I had to take them off. They’re labeled as women’s gloves, but those with larger hands can size up. These make excellent ski gloves, btw.
Sustainability: These pleasantly warm mittens are made of partially recycled materials, have a waterproof membrane, are OEKO-TEX Standard 100, totally PFC-free, and from a European brand that’s not only passionate about and committed to sustainability, but leading the way in bio-based and circular materials.
- Snug, not bulky fit
- Cozy lining
- Finger separation within mitts
- Slim, low-profile wrist cuff fits under jacket sleeves
- Snot wipe on both thumbs
- Attached wrist loops
- Zippable cuff doesn’t get big enough to go over jacket sleeves, just under
- Only compatible with very thin liner gloves.
Best Use: Skiing, snowboarding, any snowy winter activity that prioritizes warmth over finger dexterity.
Patagonia Nanopuff Mitts: The Perfect Around-Town Mitts
While the Nanopuff Mitts from Patagonia are less rugged and durable than some of the other options on this list, and less of a snow glove specifically, they’re perfect for around-town type activities, including light hikes and evening walks or grocery runs. That said, they’re water resistant enough to build a snowman in the backyard or indulge in a friendly snowball fight, and are super packable, to boot. Plus they look sleek and stylish when you’re wandering around a mountain town looking for the perfect place to grab dinner and drinks.
Sustainability: These mittens are made from mostly recycled materials and are Bluesign approved.
If you’re looking for an ultra-thin line glove to pair with the Nanopuff Mitts, the Capilene Midweight Liner Glove from Patagonia is an option for when you need a minimal amount of protection or are layering them under fairly snug gloves, but while they offer touch-screen compatibility, they snag easily on textured surfaces like Velcro, so aren’t very durable. They also run a bit big, so consider sizing down.
- Warm for their weight
- Water resistant
- Easy to slip on
- Not fully waterproof
- Not super durable
Best Use: Everyday use, including light to moderate outdoor activity.
The North Face Montana Ski Gloves: The Techy Gloves
Warm, waterproof winter gloves that are touchscreen compatible?! You betcha. We didn’t believe it either until we tried the Montana Ski Gloves for ourselves, but turns out, the marketing is true! They are a bit on the stiff side when it comes to flexibility and gripping trekking poles with them on was a bit difficult, but they should break in a bit with additional use. They performed beautifully on a rainy winter hike and kept our hands dry no matter how much we stuck them in wet snow. (They’re also available in winter mittens.) We loved the oversized (but adjustable) cuffs that made them slide effortlessly over jacket sleeves. On the downside, once the soft interior lining got damp from snow or sweat, they got a bit hard to pull on.
Sustainability: These ski gloves are made of an impressive 100% recycled materials, are vegan, and totally PFAS-free.
- Super soft and cozy lining
- Soft materials
- Removable wrist leash
- Long, wide cuff fits easily over jacket sleeves
- 2-point adjustable cuff
- Touchscreen compatible
- No snug ribbed wrist cuff to help keep snow out
- Not as flexible right out of the box
Best Use: Skiing, snowboarding, and just about any snowy outdoor activity.
Jack Wolfskin Alpspitze 3-in-1 Gloves: The All-in-One
These mittens are the bomb, and not just because they’re a 3-in-1 (which means they come with a liner glove). What’s more: the liner glove can either clip into place so it stays attached to the outer mitten OR unclips if you’d rather use the gloves independently, which is great. And did we mention those liner gloves are touchscreen compatible? But we also love that the gloves are cozy warm thanks to lofty insulation, they’re waterproof, flexible because they’re made of soft materials, and have a nice big adjustable wrist cuff that can easily slide over jacket sleeves (plus an attached high-vis wrist leash). The non-slip grip works well on both the mitten and liner gloves (which slid in and out super easily) and they’re adjustable at the wrist and the cuff. These may be the most feature-rich and versatile winter gloves on this list.
Sustainability: These mittens are PFAS-free and have recycled components, including the Texadri Micro Suede Warm Lining and the Primaloft Black Rise insulation, which are both 100% recycled polyester.
- Removable/attachable liner glove included
- Non-slip grip
- Large, insulated wrist cuff
- Bright wrist leash and liner cuff for high visibility
- Available in several unisex sizes
- Because the liner glove is farther down in the cuff of the outer mitt, the second mitten can be a little difficult to put on with one hand already sheathed.
Best Use: A great ski mitten, but also great for hiking, camping, and sledding.
The North Face eTip Recycled Glove: Our Favorite Liner Glove
If you know anything about layering in the outdoors, you know that one big, puffy, insulated winter glove isn’t always a stand-alone article of clothing; liner gloves can really up the warmth factor and bring some real versatility to your glove game when you need to remove a bulky winter mitten in order to zip a tent fly, change your ski goggle lenses, or light your camp stove. Also, if you need to ditch your outer mitts because your palms are getting clammy, your fingers are still protected from the elements.
And these eTip Recycled Gloves from The North Face quickly became my favorite stand-alone and heavy-duty liner gloves from the moment I put them on. They fit like a, well, glove, which is important if you want touchscreen functionality to work properly (in any glove), they come in a number of sizes, and the eTip does work beautifully. Plus the non-slip grip palms are perfectly low-profile.
Sustainability: They’re made of 90% recycled materials and are PFAS-free.
- Non-slip grip
- Good stand-alone gloves for milder temps
- Available in several sizes
- Non-slip texture is wearing after a month of use
- Thicker, so fit better under mittens than gloves
Best Use: Hiking, mild weather outings, as a liner under waterproof mittens on really cold days.
Bottom Line: Sustainable Winter Gloves
Winter gloves that are vegan, waterproof AND PFC-free do exist! And these are some out favorites for hiking, nordic skiing, snowboarding, or heck, just playing in the snow. And in addition to being cozy, they have the added benefit of being kinder to the planet. So protect those delicate appendages and get out there and wander on!
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Alisha is a freelance outdoor journalist and photographer based in Ogden, UT. She loves backpacking, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking and snowboarding (even though she’s terrible at it). She’s also pretty sure she’s addicted to coffee. alishamcdarris.com