There are great gloves and there are cozy mittens – and then there are the shockingly warm Heat 3 Smart Gloves, just making their way into North America.
They are made in Austria by the Heat Company and were designed to be used by German and Austrian special forces combat troops, so this mitten/glove combo has an impressive CV.
While they're too bulky to be considered chic, I was ready to try anything, since I've never been able to ski for long without my hands going numb. Not with these gloves. On long lift rides up the Alps, wind seared through my ski jacket, but my Heat 3-covered hands always stayed warm.
Underneath the goatskin leather and Primaloft-insulated mitt is a thinner insulated glove. The mitt top zips open and stays open when needed (thanks to magnets), so you can tweak those boot bindings or thumb through phone messages without exposing fingers to the elements.
If there's a downside, it's that your hands might get too warm, and pulling off the mitt and damp glove together is tricky.
The Heat 3 mitts also come with thick, rather dorky looking cuffs to Velcro around your wrists. As if! Thankfully, they are easily removable, but then again, you really don't want to drop these off the ski lift.