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The North Face Montana Futurelight Etip Mitt Review

An affordable mitten that sacrifices some warmth for increased dexterity
The North Face Montana Futurelight Etip Mitt
Credit: The North Face
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Price:  $70 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Great features, comfortable
Cons:  Not warm for a mitten, could be more weather resistant
Manufacturer:   The North Face
By Jeff Dobronyi ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 6, 2021
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
58
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#16 of 22
  • Warmth - 25% 5.0
  • Dexterity - 25% 4.0
  • Water Resistance - 25% 7.0
  • Durability - 15% 7.0
  • Features - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

The North Face Montana Futurelight Etip Mitt is a comfortable, ergonomic mitten with good features and decent dexterity. It keeps the weather out, thanks to a proprietary waterproof/breathable membrane and shell material that stretches and breathes. It doesn't pack as much insulation as warmer options, which makes it less versatile for cold days, but it also has more dexterity than we usually find in mittens. It has excellent, thoughtful features that make it easy to use. It also comes at a great price. So if mittens are your thing, and you want a pair that can perform most days of the year and that won't break the bank, these are a good option. But if you are looking for mittens to keep your fingers warm on the coldest days of winter, look elsewhere.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Best Buy Award    
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Overall Score Sort Icon
58
69
58
53
47
Star Rating
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Pros Great features, comfortableWarm enough, weatherproof, inexpensiveWarm, fairly dexterous, good price, comes with linersSweet features, included pair of liner gloves, screen sensitive thumb and index finger, comfortable wider fitTough, windproof, durable
Cons Not warm for a mitten, could be more weather resistantPoor dexterity, slightly tight fit around the knucklesModerately durable, lower end materials throughoutAverage dexterity and weather resistance, below average durability particularly on the palmBulky stitching, not very warm, not waterproof
Bottom Line An affordable mitten that sacrifices some warmth for increased dexterityA warm and fully featured ski glove for a great priceThis model delivers in all the right places from the backcountry to the resortA solid glove at a great price, which offers a plethora of features and above average warmth, but only so-so durability and dexterityTrendy and stylish, but lacking in key aspects of versatility for skiing, these gloves are solid winter work gloves, so don't hesitate if you're looking for that utility
Rating Categories The North Face Mont... Gordini GTX Storm T... Outdoor Research Hi... Dakine Titan Flylow Ridge Glove
Warmth (25%)
5.0
7.0
5.0
4.0
3.0
Dexterity (25%)
4.0
4.0
5.0
5.0
7.0
Water Resistance (25%)
7.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
4.0
Durability (15%)
7.0
8.0
6.0
4.0
6.0
Features (10%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
3.0
Specs The North Face Mont... Gordini GTX Storm T... Outdoor Research Hi... Dakine Titan Flylow Ridge Glove
Double or Single Glove Single Single Double Double Single
Gaunlet or Cuff? Gauntlet Gauntlet Gauntlet Gauntlet Cuff
Palm Material Synthetic leather Polyurethane Goat leather Rubbertec Cowhide leather
Waterproof Material Futurelight Gore-Tex Ventia insert 100% nylon shell Gore-Tex insert SnoSeal beeswax
Insulation Type Back of hand: 200g Heatseeker Eco
Palm: 100g Heatseeker Eco
Megaloft Shell: 130g Vertical X
Lining: RadiantFleece
Back of hand: 230g high-loft polyester fill
Palm: 110g high-loft polyester fill
Spaceloft Micropuff
Nose Wipe? No Yes Yes Yes No

Our Analysis and Test Results

While most mittens tout their warmth, the Montana is on the thinner side and features a lining with individual fingers for increased dexterity.

Performance Comparison


The North Face Montana Futurelight Etip Mitt ski gloves - the montana mitt in action on the slopes in colorado.
The Montana Mitt in action on the slopes in Colorado.
Credit: Jackie Kearney

Warmth


The Montana Mitt isn't overly warm, an oddity for ski mittens. It lacks the insulation that other models pack, and it separates each finger into a separate internal sleeve in the lining. This takes away the chief warming feature of a mitten, that the fingers can distribute their natural heat from circulation amongst themselves. We were surprised by how cold these mittens felt on chilly days on the ski hill. They are about as warm as many midweight ski gloves. While this comes with some benefits, the lack of warmth may surprise some users who seek mittens for this exact performance attribute.

The North Face Montana Futurelight Etip Mitt ski gloves - a fleece lining provides most of the montana's warmth.
A fleece lining provides most of the Montana's warmth.
Credit: Jackie Kearney

Dexterity


The benefit of sacrificing some insulation and the addition of individual finger sleeves is that dexterity is increased. We were able to perform most tasks on the ski hill without taking these mittens off, thanks to their thin construction. The main downside to mittens has historically been the lack of dexterity, but in this case, we can't complain. It does make us question, however, why we would choose these mittens over an average pair of ski gloves that might be both warmer and more dexterous. Some users prefer mittens for stylistic reasons, and those are the users who will welcome a thinner and more dexterous mitt.

The North Face Montana Futurelight Etip Mitt ski gloves - this thin mitten is better at performing fine motor tasks than we...
This thin mitten is better at performing fine motor tasks than we are used to seeing from mittens.
Credit: Jackie Kearney

Water Resistance


The Montana Mitt uses The North Face's Futurelight waterproof/breathable membrane, which our testers found to be effective at keeping liquid water out of the mittens. The seams are tight and the wrist cinch strap keeps stormy weather out of the hand compartment. The wrist gauntlet is on the small side and doesn't easily fit over some jacket cuffs, but it gets the job done well enough. These aren't as weather-resistant as the burliest mittens on the market, but they offer plenty of protection for most days on the ski hill. For the coldest and most brutal winter storms, there are better mittens out there.

The North Face Montana Futurelight Etip Mitt ski gloves - the montana mitts were a tight fit under the sleeve cuffs of some...
The Montana Mitts were a tight fit under the sleeve cuffs of some jackets (men's size Large) we paired them with.
Credit: Jackie Kearney


Durability


The Montana Mitts hold up well for most resort skiing use. The stretchy shell material snags a bit easier than thicker, stiffer fabrics, and the synthetic palm is susceptible to wearing out faster than reinforced leather. That said, these mittens have a solid construction with tight seams, and we didn't experience any durability issues during our testing period. These mittens should last at least one season of heavy use, and for the price, this is acceptable.

The North Face Montana Futurelight Etip Mitt ski gloves - the synthetic palms aren't as durable as leather palms.
The synthetic palms aren't as durable as leather palms.
Credit: Jackie Kearney

Features


The North Face Montana Futurelight Etip Mitts are packed with useful features, as the name implies. They have a wrist cinch strap and drawcord wrist cuff gauntlets, both of which help customize the fit and keep you hands warm and dry. They also have a small plastic clip to keep the pair of mittens together, and small elastic wrist leashes that keep the mittens attached to your body when need to take them off to use your fingers. Finally, they have a touchscreen-compatible fabric patch near the tip of the forefinger, but in our testing, this patch was ineffective, due to either the fabric not working or the lack of dexterity preventing us from putting pressure on the fabric in the right place. The mittens don't have a soft fabric nose wipe patch.

The North Face Montana Futurelight Etip Mitt ski gloves - wrist cinch straps and drawcord-sealed gauntlets help increase the...
Wrist cinch straps and drawcord-sealed gauntlets help increase the effectiveness of these mittens.
Credit: Jackie Kearney

Value


The Montana Mitt is priced to sell. If you like mittens and don't need them to keep you warm on the coldest days of winter, these could be a good option. But for the price, there are better gloves on the market that will also keep you warmer.

Conclusion


The North Face Montana Futurelight Etip Mitt is feature-forward, and relatively dexterous for a mitten, but it lacks the warmth that many users seek in this type of handwear. It is comparable in performance to some mid-weight gloves, and won't protect you on the coldest days of winter. But if mittens are your style, you might like the added dexterity.

The North Face Montana Futurelight Etip Mitt ski gloves - the montana mitt is thin enough to be dexterous, but it comes with...
The Montana Mitt is thin enough to be dexterous, but it comes with sacrifices in warmth, which may put off the mitten crowd.
Credit: Jackie Kearney

Jeff Dobronyi
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