Rain mitts are lightweight gloves that protect your hands in the rain or wind. They’re a great choice for cold and wet weather hikes and are typically used over a liner glove or insulating mitten, but they can also be worn on their own for some situations.
The best rain mitts offer a gauntlet hem closure that’s adjustable and secure in the worst conditions (like a backpacking trip through heavy snow). Some rain mitts feature a strap, either a hook-and-loop patch or ladderloc buckle, but these are generally less durable than a drawcord hem and may be less comfortable, too.
Some rain mitts have a wrist adjustment mechanism, either an elastic-bound drawcord or a single-hand use toggle. This keeps your fingers where they’re supposed to be, rather than slopping around in the cold, and makes the mitt more comfortable by keeping the hands and knuckles warm and dry.
Some palms of rain mitts are reinforced with thermally-fused patches of grippy material (typically textured polyurethane, or TPU). These add weight and reduce articulation but improve water resistance and grip, and enhance the handling of tools like trekking poles.
A longer gauntlet adds weight and improves the seal between your rain jacket cuff and your rain mitt cuff, but it can be useful in some situations where you’re scrambling or reaching.
Articulation and Fit
The articulation of any rain mitt is dependent on the design of the thumbs, which position the fingers at different angles. Many designs have articulated thumbs that are positioned on the back of the hand, but some have thumbs out of the side seam of the palm, like REI’s MLD 3-Layer eVent Rain Mitts and High Tail Designs’ Ultralight Pogie Mittens.
When choosing a mitt, take your hand measurements and select the size that’s closest to them. You should choose a pair that fits comfortably with your hand and still have room for a liner glove or mitten over the top.
If you plan on wearing your rain mitts with a liner glove, make sure to buy a size that’s slightly larger than the liner glove so that the gloves overlap and don’t bunch up.
All of the rain mitts click here tested were subjected to long-term field use in both wet and dry conditions, and most lasted at least two seasons, with some enduring as much as five years. They were used for firewood collection, talus scrambling, bushwhacking, and hiking in a range of temperatures.
The most popular rain mitts have articulated thumbs that are positioned at the back of the hand and have tall wrist cuffs to properly overlap with rain jacket cuffs. These mittens are easy to use and are designed for the wrist bungee to last a long time and be a one-hand pull or loosen maneuver that’s functional over other layers.
Fit & Sizing
The overall fit of rain mitts is primarily determined by the wrist cuff length. Some have a taller cuff length, which overlaps the wrist closure of your rain jacket for proper protection, while others have a shorter cuff. The longer the cuff length, the more likely it is to extend above your wrist for a more secure fit.
Gauntlet Hem/Closure and Wrist Adjustment
Closure options for rain mitts include a gauntlet hem (elastic-bound cuff) or drawcord and toggle at the wrist. The former is less durable than the latter, due to the abrasion-prone nature of elastic binding, but it’s more secure and adds a bit of comfort by keeping your fingers in place rather than slipping out.