The North Face Montana Etip Mitt is a legit mitt and is one of the lowest-priced pairs in our fleet. They provide an excellent fit and are surprisingly dexterous (for a mitten) and water-resistant while offering some of the best features of any mitt in our review. This mitt has been around for a while, and our testers and the modern world welcome the addition of the touchscreen compatibility. The Montana Mitt is a quality choice for most resort or backcountry skiing. It performs best at the resort in temps above 0F but can handle colder weather in the backcountry when you're working harder. Note that this mitt trades warmth for more functionality than commonly found in thick and stiff mittens. If you are looking at mitts singularly for a whole new level of warmth, these aren't our first recommendation.
The North Face Montana Etip Mitt Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Extremely water resistant, nice fit, dexterous, extra features, killer price for what you get
Cons: Not as warm as other mittens we tested
Manufacturer: The North Face
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The North Face Montana Etip Mitt
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|Pros||Extremely water resistant, nice fit, dexterous, extra features, killer price for what you get||Versatility, durable palm, lightweight and packable, dexterous, ergonomic shape, freedom of movement||Great fit and dexterity, weather resistant, electrical heat works, great glove even when turned off||Super warm, extremely tough, great weather resistance, removable liners help them dry quicker, our go-to expedition glove||Dexterous for its warmth, inside feels soft and cozy, durable, above average weather resistance|
|Cons||Not as warm as other mittens we tested||Long gauntlet tricky to get under jacket, gauntlet can slowly open, expensive||Doesn't get as warm as other heated gloves, expensive||Not very dexterous, take time to break in, if in between sizes you should consider sizing up||Expensive, leather needs to be retreated slightly more than other models|
|Bottom Line||A high scorer across the board, this mitt is an excellent value.||Top-tier performance, coupled with exceptional versatility across a wide range of conditions. Best in Class.||Well-built ski gloves that perform even when the heat is turned off.||If rugged capabilities and warmth top your list of importance, think about investing in the Guide.||Expensive but durable, this leather all-arounder is cozy and provides sound weather resistance.|
|Rating Categories||Montana Etip Mitt||Arc'teryx Fission SV||Hestra Power Heater Glove||Black Diamond Guide||Hestra Army Leather Gore-Tex|
|Water Resistance (25%)|
|Specs||Montana Etip Mitt||Arc'teryx Fission SV||Hestra Power...||Black Diamond Guide||Hestra Army...|
|Double or Single Glove||Single||Single||Single||Double||Single|
|Gaunlet or Cuff?||Gauntlet||Gauntlet||Hybrid||Gauntlet||Gauntlet|
|Palm Material||Synthetic (polyurethane) leather||Leather||Goat leather||Goat leather||Army Leather (goat leather)|
|Waterproof Material||Gore-Tex insert||Gore-Tex||CZone||Gore-Tex insert||HESTRA Triton three-layer polyamide fabric, leather|
|Insulation Type||Back of hand: 250g Heatseeker Eco
Palm: 100g Heatseeker Eco
|133g Primaloft Gold Eco and 200g Primaloft Silver Eco||Fiberfill polyester||170g PrimaLoft Gold and 100g boiled wool fleece lining||Fiberfill polyester|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The North Face has updated the design of the Montana Mitt and added Etip technology, which allows the user to operate the touchscreen on their phone- a rare quality to find in a mitten.
The first thing we found odd about the Montana Mitt, is that it wasn't overly warm. This is odd since it is a mitten and not a glove. With that said, the Montana still offers a decent level of warmth — keeping the fingers together does generate more warmth than most gloves. While warmth might be the only factor that kept the Montana from scoring higher, they did have other advantages, such as excellent water resistance and dexterity.
During our side-by-side testing, the Montana Mitt performed fantastically and offered better dexterity than many of the mittens available in our review; this is due to the Montana's solid design, with the well-articulated thumb and four-finger section. The lightweight design doesn't have as much insulation as some competitors, but this allows for more dexterity. Less bulky insulation surrounding the hand allowed more freedom of movement.
The Montana was the only mitten we tested that felt closest to a glove on the hand. It even performed the knot tying test better than some of the gloves we tested- an excellent choice for those that need something warmer than a glove but don't want the dexterity sacrifice that most mittens threaten.
The Montana Mitt has been updated with a newer Gore-Tex membrane versus the old HyVent that North Face used previously. The Montana has a waterproof membrane fabric inside the shell of the mitt; this shell coverd the entire mitten, including the palm. This is important because the entire mitten can be susceptible to water, and not just the palm or exterior of it. The water resistance of the shell significantly outlasted competitors. In the four-minute ice bath/submersion test, the Montana was impenetrable to water, but the lacking insulation could be slightly felt about halfway through. On the ski hill, we saw similar results. The palms and back of the hand of the Montana mitts performed as we desired, keeping our hands dry. Keep in mind the water-resistant material used in this mitt will not likely wear as well over time as a leather one.
While the Montana Mitts were only tested for one season, they held up wonderfully. The outer fabric offers high-quality water resistance, and these mitts are beefy enough for most resort skiers and snowboarders. The synthetic construction, especially in the palms, does not hold up to reinforced leather, but the price of the Montana is much lower than many leather competitors. Plus, no leather treatment is required, and break-in time is much pretty much negligible.
This pair of ski gloves has loads of useful features that set it apart when compared to the other gloves and mittens we reviewed. One of our favorite features is the inner elastic seal that comes down over our wrist. This not only helps to keep snow out and heat in, but it also adds to the fantastic fit of this mitten. The keeper leashes and tightening strap are great additions and give this mitt all of the extra features some competitors are lacking in a lightweight design.
The gauntlet cinch does a great job of keeping snow out, and the slightly softer fabric on the back of the thumb is nice for wiping goggles and runny noses. The Montana doesn't feature a removable liner; this allows for better dexterity, though they did take a little longer to thoroughly dry out. The new Etip technology works flawlessly with smartphone use and is a great updated feature for mitten technology. And with the added dexterity, we were also able to actually pull a phone out of our pockets successfully — a feat few mitts are capable of with confidence.
The Montana Mitt is priced right. It's a great buy for people looking for excellent waterproofing in a mitten without paying a ton. It is an excellent choice for wet climates and will be warmer than gloves of a similar price.
The high-quality, water-resistant fabric allows the rider to maintain dry hands for a longer period and keeps the mitts from wetting out as quickly as nearly all of the other models. The North Face Montana Etip Mitt offers a quality blend of waterproofing, warmth, and dexterity at a great price. Plus, the features make wearing this mitt very convenient.
— Ian Nicholson, Jeff Rogers and Travis Poulin