The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Outdoor Research Alti Mitt - Women's Review

A mitten that offers a superior level of warmth, protection, and versatility.
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $200 List | $149.21 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  Super warm, water-resistant liner, insulated shell, incredibly versatile, weather-proof
Cons:  Expensive
Manufacturer:   Outdoor Research
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 4, 2018
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76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 12
  • Warmth and Breathability - 25% 10
  • Water Resistance - 25% 9
  • Dexterity - 25% 3
  • Features - 10% 9
  • Durability - 15% 8

Our Verdict

If you're looking to climb to the tops of the world's tallest mountains, the Outdoor Research Alti Mitt has you covered. Even if you're not that extreme and you simply need a solid mitt that will keep your hands happy and warm this winter, it's our favorite! Built with a double-mitt construction, the 2.5 layer Gore-Tex shell isn't just waterproof but ultra-durable. Loaded with a combined total of 510-grams of Primaloft Gold insulation in both the shell (170-grams) and the liner (340-grams), it's one of the warmest options you'll find on the market. What truly makes it special is its unlimited uses and versatility. The double-glove construction allows any user the opportunity to wear just the shell, just the liner, or both as a whole. What's more unique is that the liner is constructed with a water-resistant shell, making it a perfect wear alone option while skinning up a mountain, or while running snow-covered trails.

Unlike other double-construction mitts, such as the Hestra Heli Mitt (last year's award winner), the Alti Mitt is loaded with insulation in both the shell and liner. This makes it far more versatile than the Hestra model…the main reason it lost its Editors' Choice podium. In addition, the insulation is a lot warmer. If you're looking for the warmest and most versatile mitten on the market that will suffice on the coldest days at the top of high peaks to warmer days near sea level, this is our top recommendation.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

This mitten features a bomber double-glove construction that offers a wide range of versatility in its uses. It's super warm and built to take on just about anything that winter throws your way. Take a gander at what we think is the best mitten out there, and our Editors' Choice winner.

Performance Comparison


The Alti Mitt is a perfect option for all types of weather conditions. Both layers function well on their own  and put together  this thing is seriously warm!
The Alti Mitt is a perfect option for all types of weather conditions. Both layers function well on their own, and put together, this thing is seriously warm!

Warmth and Breathability


These are some of the warmest mittens you'll find on the market! Built to take on snow-covered peaks that tower into the sky, this Editor's Choice winner is both super warm and breathable. It has a double construction and features the most insulation that we've seen thus far. It has many unique features that allow the mitten to breathe while insulating and protecting from the worst weather. Wear it while you lay low in a snow cave or while working to become a professional snowperson maker.


The key feature that makes this mitten better then the rest is the double mitten construction that features insulation in both pieces. The outer shell is constructed of weatherproof Gore-tex, protecting from both wet and dry days in the winter. When you reach your hand into just the liner, you'll find a plush layer of high loft Moonlite Pile fleece (and 170g of PrimaLoft Gold insulation) that isn't only soft to the touch, but wicks if your hands begin to sweat. What's more is that this mitt offers a lot of space so you can move your fingers around, enhancing circulation and overall warmth. When we took this product to the sub-zero temperatures of Northern Canada, we were happy to learn that our hands stayed toasty and warm — even without an inner liner! What's more is you can throw a hand warmer into the body of the mitten liner, as there's plenty of room to accommodate one or two! The large and long cuff will cover even the bulkiest layers, while the cuff cinch helps to keep heat in when it's cold, and can be released to increase ventilation.

The double-mitt construction provides ample warmth offering 340-grams of PrimaLoft insulation in the liner and 170-grams in the shell. This makes it one of the most versatile contenders  providing hand protection in all weather and climates.
The double-mitt construction provides ample warmth offering 340-grams of PrimaLoft insulation in the liner and 170-grams in the shell. This makes it one of the most versatile contenders, providing hand protection in all weather and climates.

The next feature is the awesome inner liner. No other product offers a water-resistant liner mitten that functions this well on its own. The outer is water-resistant (not waterproof), and it has a velcro strap around the wrist to ensure a better fit. It is made up of 340-grams of PrimaLoft Gold insulation, offering sufficient warmth while skinning uphill, or for wear on its own on warmer days at the resort.

A look at the fleecy interior material of the water-resistant liner. As an added warmth feature  it has a pocket to fit a hand-warmer when you need even more warmth on your coldest mountain endeavors.
A look at the fleecy interior material of the water-resistant liner. As an added warmth feature, it has a pocket to fit a hand-warmer when you need even more warmth on your coldest mountain endeavors.

The versatility in the level of warmth you can achieve with this mitten is not comparable. Wear both the liner and outer shell while adventuring into the coldest conditions you can think of. If you're encountering a sunny day and don't need extra insulation, ditch the liner and use just the shell. Or, if you're planning on hiking uphill for the day, use just the liner. This product offers versatility in a way that you get three mittens in one!

The long cuff fits nicely over even the puffiest of layers. This in addition to the wrist strap does a fantastic job locking in warmth.
The long cuff fits nicely over even the puffiest of layers. This in addition to the wrist strap does a fantastic job locking in warmth.

Water Resistance


Weather protection is bomber with the Alti Mitt. With a shell constructed of a 2.5 layer, Gore-Tex shell with a 100% nylon 40-Denier ripstop material, you can assume wonderful wind and water protection. During our dunk test, water didn't permeate through any seams, and the leather palm stayed completely dry. In our field tests, we played in the snow, and even after several hours of making snowmen, our hands stayed dry and happy.


Not only is the shell basically waterproof, but the inner liners are also pretty amazing. While they aren't waterproof, they are water resistant. In our water tests, when we just ran water over the liner, it simply beaded up, repelling absorption. When agitating and squishing around the fabric, water eventually permeated the seams, saturating the fleece interior and making it a little wet. This took about 30 seconds of intense agitation. As a result, the liner is water-resistant, but don't expect it to be waterproof.

The waterproof shell is constructed of a high-quality Gore-Tex that repels water...even after spending all day in the wettest weather.
The waterproof shell is constructed of a high-quality Gore-Tex that repels water...even after spending all day in the wettest weather.

When both the shell and liner are put together, this mitten is seemingly weatherproof. Don't be afraid to wear it in the worst weather you can imagine! It's built to take on 8000-meter summits, and its fabrics' performance is a clear indicator of this.

The water-resistant liner is not waterproof but functions well when encountering snow or a little rain.
The water-resistant liner is not waterproof but functions well when encountering snow or a little rain.

Dexterity


Being a mitten with ample amounts of insulation, dexterity is sadly lost when all parts of the mitt are worn as one. Given that the fit is a little less precise (with the shell on), it's hard to perform even the most basic of tasks. You can definitely zip up a jacket, but trying to unlock your car might result in frustration. Thinking about fiddling with your bindings with the shell on? Don't even consider it — it's near to impossible.


One nice thing is that dexterity isn't completely lost and is made up for when the shell is taken off. The liner (that has protective features) mitt provides a much better option for dexterity, as it is thinner and less bulky. When we went out splitboarding in the backcountry, we could easily remove a pair of skins and put them on, without taking off the liner mittens. When we first attempted with the shell on, it was near to impossible. Overall, like all mitts and products with more layers and bulk, dexterity is lost while warmth and performance in other metrics remain strong.

While the leather palm provides a little more friction to grab your ski poles and other accessories on the mountain  because of its bulky design  it's not very dexterous.
While the leather palm provides a little more friction to grab your ski poles and other accessories on the mountain, because of its bulky design, it's not very dexterous.

Features


This Editors' Choice winner comes with all the bells and whistles. It has many features that we love, making it an incredibly versatile mitten. Starting with the double mitten construction, the water-resistant shell on the liner provides protection and can be worn on its own. This means multi-faceted use for wear at the ski resort, backcountry touring, or while mountaineering.


The shell is constructed with a super long and wide cuff that will fit over even the puffiest of layering set-ups. The cinch cord around the cuff has a single-pull mechanism that is big enough to be pulled easily. There is also a simple release mechanism if you need to vent moisture and heat.

The cinch and release pulls are large enough to be operated easily  even with the Alti Mitt's less dexterous design.
The cinch and release pulls are large enough to be operated easily, even with the Alti Mitt's less dexterous design.

The removable leashes are tied to the interior of the mitten and can be removed if you're not a fan of them.

A look at the removable leashes that fit nicely over bulky layers.
A look at the removable leashes that fit nicely over bulky layers.

If you plan on mountaineering or ice climbing in the mountains, taking off the shells and clipping them to the harness is easy. On the top of the outside of the shell is a carabiner loop. This allows you to simply clip the mitt to your harness when you don't need the shell…think while you're climbing a pitch of ice (after sitting at an icy belay stance) or while hiking uphill and the sun begins to beat down. Last but not least is the big loop attached to the interior of the cuff that allows you to pull on the shell with ease.

The carabiner loop is conveniently located on the top of the glove so you can attach it to your harness cuff down. This ensures that snow can't get inside when you need a little more ventilation as you explore.
The carabiner loop is conveniently located on the top of the glove so you can attach it to your harness cuff down. This ensures that snow can't get inside when you need a little more ventilation as you explore.

The liner is a little more barebones, offering little to no features. It doesn't have a huge cuff and instead features a gauntlet construction. It is minimalist and lightweight with a water-resistant outer. The liner stays in place in the shell with the use of a velcro attachment point. When worn on its own, this same velcro attachment point is used to cinch down the wrist of the mitt for a better fit.

The awesomely functional internal liner that is water resistant  warm  and can be worn as its own mitten.
The awesomely functional internal liner that is water resistant, warm, and can be worn as its own mitten.

While this mitt is not smartphone compatible, you can certainly purchase a liner that is compatible. The inner mitt is large enough to accommodate another layer underneath, especially one that might offer compatibility with your touchscreen device.

Durability


Constructed of a bomber Gore-Tex outer with 40-Denier ripstop fabric, this mitt is super durable. Its palm is made of Pittards Armortan leather, adding additional protection where it's required the most.


Even after skiing for several days, digging snow pits, and lounging around on ski lifts, we see little to no signs of any durability issue. Only a single stitching fly-away on the liner. Even after washing both the shell and liner, we didn't observe any performance loss in either the weather protection or insulation. Overall, this is a wonderfully durable product that should last you for many years to come.

A bomber leather palm coupled with high-quality Gore-Tex and stitching makes this a durable product that will last you for years to come.
A bomber leather palm coupled with high-quality Gore-Tex and stitching makes this a durable product that will last you for years to come.
A look at the single stitching fly-away that we found. As a result  it's not perfect  but pretty darn close.
A look at the single stitching fly-away that we found. As a result, it's not perfect, but pretty darn close.

Best Applications


With exceptional levels of performance in all metrics except dexterity, we'd recommend this mitten for all conditions, all weather, and all purposes. The weather-resistant liner that works in conjunction with its waterproof shell makes for three mittens in one! Wear just the liner or just the shell during warmer weather. Or if you need to amp up the warmth, wear them together for awesome all-day protection.

Crush the powder on your favorite ski run with the warmest mitten out there. This Editors' Choice is perfect for all climates  all altitudes  all winter weather. Take it anywhere.
Crush the powder on your favorite ski run with the warmest mitten out there. This Editors' Choice is perfect for all climates, all altitudes, all winter weather. Take it anywhere.

Value


With a sticker price at $200, this seems like an expensive mitten at first glance. However, even its amazing performance and it's 3-in-1 construction, you truly get a lot of bang for your buck. Value is spot on, and this is a great deal. If you're unsure, don't be. This is one of the best deals we've come across so far.

There are many online deals. Take a look around to find the best deals out there. You could score an awesomely versatile mitten for a little less than retail.

Conclusion


This versatile glove wins our Editors' Choice Award for its amazing versatility, wide range of thermoregulation, and awesome warmth that it offers. It's built to take on 8000-meter peaks, but can be used for so much more than that. The double glove construction is completely weatherproof while the liner is water-resistant, making it a great option for hunkering down in a snow cave or while hiking uphill.

Our main tester skins it out early Fall  using just the liners as skinning options. Here it gets a little too warm where no glove is needed at all. However  when she gets to the summit to ski down  these sufficed in their function.
Our main tester skins it out early Fall, using just the liners as skinning options. Here it gets a little too warm where no glove is needed at all. However, when she gets to the summit to ski down, these sufficed in their function.


Amber King