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Best Waterproof Mittens for Toddlers which Actually Stay On (Plus 4 Alternative Solutions)

waterproof toddler mittens which actually stay on

Getting a toddler dressed in winter is frustrating enough (so many layers to put on!), but it’s even more challenging when they keep taking their mittens off.  Or, if you are lucky enough to have a toddler which actually wears mittens without a fight, the mittens still end up falling off.

Luckily, there are a few brands which have solved this problem by making “stay-on” toddler mittens.  These can be broken down into three basic types: mittens with two cinches, extra-long mittens which go over the jacket and extra-long mittens which go under the jacket.

I’ll go over these types below, and also list the best waterproof toddler mittens for each type.


Quick Picks:


Toddler Mittens with Two Cinches

These are the most basic type of “stay-on” mittens made for toddlers.  They have a cinch around the wrist and an extra cinch higher up on the forearm.  The cinches are usually made from elastic, Velcro straps or straps with a clip.

The extra cinch has two benefits.  First, it makes it more difficult for the mittens to fall off.  Second, because they go further up, snow is less likely to get up into the jacket sleeve.

Your toddler can wear the mittens above their jacket or underneath it.  However, it can be a bit uncomfortable to wear these underneath the jacket, especially if you need to really tighten the cinches.  It also can be hard to pull the jacket sleeve over ones with buckles.


1. Jan & Jul Waterproof Toddler Mittens

jan jul toddler mittens

I love this brand.  They make a lot of cold weather gear for toddlers which is actually suitable for serious play.  Their toddler mittens are waterproof, actually have a temperature rating (no guessing whether they will be warm enough) and are super cute.  The pull-strap over the wrist stays put better than elastic wrists.


  • Rated warm to 5°F
  • Easy to get on
  • Fleece Thinsulate lining
  • Textured palm grip
  • Lots of cute designs
  • Get them here


2. Gordini Easy-On Toddler Mittens

Gordini easy on stay on toddler mittens

These are also really nice mittens.  The shell isn’t waterproof, but there is a waterproof lining inside.  The Velcro closure is easier to use with gloves on your hands, but snow can get stuck in it, so it’s a tradeoff.  Gordini also makes a few other models of waterproof toddler mittens (including ones with a hand warmer pocket), but these are my favorite because the side zips make them easier to get on.


  • Side zipper makes them easier to put on
  • Megaloft insulation
  • Waterproof insert
  • Textured palm grip
  • Available at Amazon or REI


3. MCTi Waterproof Toddler Ski Mittens

mcti waterproof toddler mittens

These mittens aren’t as warm as the Jan & Jul ones and the sherpa lining means they take a bit longer to dry out if wet.  But they have an anti-loss string already attached, so you don’t have to worry about losing them. Just be warned that a lot of daycares don’t allow toddlers to have strings on their mittens because of choking hazards!


  • Rated warm to 15°F
  • Sherpa fleece lining
  • Textured grip
  • Anti-loss string
  • Get them here


4. Burton Toddler Mittens

Burton toddler mittens

Burton makes really good quality snow gear.  These toddler mittens are insanelly easy to get on because they have a side zipper. It’s also easy to adjust the fit because of the wrap-around closure.  There’s even a pocket for a hand warmer.  The downside is that the mitts are expensive, but Burton does have a lifetime warranty so a second child will be able to wear these.


  • Thermacore insulation
  • Side zippers and fold-over closure make them easy to get on
  • Hand warmer pocket
  • Textured grip
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Get them here


Extra-Long Over the Sleeve Mittens (Aka Up to the Elbow or Gauntlet Mittens)

Like the mittens above, this type also has two cinches. The difference is that the mittens are very long and go all the way up to the elbow.  They are designed to be worn over the jacket.

Because the mittens go up so high, they don’t slip down or fall off.  They are also really difficult for a toddler to pull off (though a very motivated toddler could still get them off).  The downside is that they can be a bit annoying to put on, especially if your toddler’s jacket is bulky.


5. Stonz Toddler Mittens

stonz mittens toddlers stonz mittens toddlers features

Stonz is the best-known brand of toddler mittens which actually stay on.  They are also made for seriously cold weather and rated down to -4F.  The design is really well thought out with features like a fleece “nose wipe” on the top part of the thumb.  These mittens are NOT cheap though!


  • Rated warm to -4°F
  • Thinsulate synthetic insulation
  • Textured grip
  • Nose-wipe fleece on thumb
  • Pricy!
  • Available at Amazon and REI


6. L-Bow Toddler Mittens

L-Bow toddler mittens

L-Bow is a cheaper alternative to Stonz toddler mittens.  They aren’t as warm as Stonz, but also have thinsulate insulation.  The wrap-around Velcro flap makes it easy to get these on and also get a good fit.


  • Easy-entry Velcro flap
  • Thinsulate insulation
  • Textured grip
  • Get them here

*L-Bow also makes elbow-length toddler mittens which have a hand warmer pocket. Those ones don’t have the easy-entry flap though.  See them here.


7. Burton Toddler Grommitt Mittens

burton grommitt toddler mittens

Here’s another pair of stay-on toddler mittens by Burton.  They are a bit trickier to get on than the Stonz or L-Bow mittens because the sleeve part isn’t as wide. However, they also come with Burton’s lifetime warranty and are more affordable than Stonz.


  • Two-layer waterproof shell
  • Thermacore insulation
  • Textured grip
  • Cute designs
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Get them here


Long Cuff Under the Sleeve Mittens

These mittens go on before the jacket. They have a long fabric part which extends high up the arm.  The higher up the mittens go, the better they will stay on.

Because there aren’t any cinches, they are more comfortable to wear underneath the jacket and you don’t have to worry that cinches are cutting off your child’s circulation.

There are some downsides to this type of stay-on mittens though.  The fabric part of the mitten can sometimes slide down.  When this happens, it is impossible to pull them back up without taking off the jacket.  So the fabric ends up uncomfortably bunched up near your child’s cuff.

Also, if you toddler needs to take off the mittens, you can’t get them back on without taking the jacket off too.


8. Snowstoppers Long Cuff Mittens

Snnowstoppers long cuff toddler mittens

These toddler mitts go all the way up to the elbow and the material has a good stretch to it, so they don’t slide down.  There is a lot of insulation in the mittens plus a double waterproof line, so your little one’s hands will stay warm and dry.


  • 40g Thinsulate plus 100g Polyfil insulation
  • Waterproof outer plus waterproof liner
  • Textured grip
  • Get them here


9. Zelda Matilda Xtra Long-Cuff Mittens

zelda matilda long cuff mittens

The main reason to get these mittens for your toddler is because they actually come in a lot of different sizes so you can get the perfect fit.  Where other mittens have sizes like “2-5 years old,” these ones are 1-2 years, 2-3 years, etc.  The quality is also great and there are lots of colors to choose from. I just wish that the grip went over the entire front of the hand to provide extra waterproofing.


  • 80g Thinsulate
  • Water-resistant shell plus waterproof liner
  • Textured grip
  • Lots of sizes and colors
  • Get them here


Alternative Solutions for Getting Mittens to Stay On

If you don’t feel like buying special stay-on mittens for your toddler, you can use these tricks to keep regular cheap mittens on your little one’s hands.


Put Adult Sock Over Cheap Mittens

Put on your toddler’s cheap mittens.  Then put an adult sock (ideally wool or a winter hiking sock) over these mittens, going all the way up to the elbow.  Next, put the jacket on.  Or, put the sock over the jacket sleeve (but the sock will end up stretched out).

It is almost impossible for a toddler to get the mitts off with this trick.  The downside is that your toddler won’t have a thumb for grasping things.


Adapt a Pair of Kid’s Socks to Put Over the Mitten

  • Cut the toe area off of a pair of kid’s socks.
  • Then cut a small slit to make a thumb hole.
  • Put a short pair of mittens on your toddler.
  • Slide the adapted sock on top of the mittens, pulling it up as high as possible.

You can see the instructions here.


Snow Suit with Fold-Over Hand Flaps

jan jul baby toddler snow suit

I think fold-over hand flaps on snow suits is a must-have on toddler snow suits. If the weather isn’t too cold, you can just use the flaps without any mittens underneath.  If it is very cold, you put the mittens on and then fold the suit over them.  It’s great at keeping the mitts from falling off.

Read: Best Toddler Snow Suits with Fold-Over Hand Flaps


Tape the Mittens On!

I know a lot of moms who use this trick.  Some daycares even tape the kids mittens on before letting them go outside!

Depending on the type of mittens your toddler has, you:

  • Tape the mitts to their sweater before putting the jacket on. You can’t see the tape this way, so it looks less ridiculous.


  • Tape the mitts to their jacket.

Instead of using duct tape, I learned this trick from a mom: Use hockey shin-guard tape instead (not the tape that goes around the stick). Shin guard tape is easier to remove and you can tear it easily.


What tricks do you use to keep mittens on your toddler’s hands? Let us know in the comments section below!


Image credit: “Glove help” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by quinn.anya

About the author /

Diane Vukovic grew up camping and backpacking in upstate New York. Now, she takes her own daughters on wilderness adventures so they can connect with nature and learn resiliency. With dozens of trips under her belt, Diane is an expert in minimalist camping, going lightweight, planning, and keeping her kids entertained without screens.

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