Table Of Contents

Black Diamond Spark Mitts Review: Best Overall Mitts

Best Overall Mitts

  • Warmth 80% 80%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Dexterity 90% 90%
  • Durability 90% 90%

Price: $80

Finger Slots: Yes

Cuff Style: Cuff

Waterproof: Yes (BDDry Insert)

What We Like: Finger Slots, BD.dry Insert

What We Don’t: Different Colors Have Different Features

This one is a favorite of the testers. The stylish and functional Black Diamond Spark Mitts are the definition of low-profile performance. The BD.dry insert has kept our hands dry throughout the day and the cuff is soft against the skin while keeping the mitten securely in place. They also come with the softest nose wipes of the group, an added bonus. Not as warm as large mittens, they are perfect for moderate temperatures or if you’re working hard in the backcountry. The finger slots inside of the mitten improve dexterity and comfort for each finger. The combination of warmth, comfort and features, made the Black Diamond Spark Mitts our Best Overall Mitts.

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  • Warmth 90% 90%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Dexterity 70% 70%
  • Durability 90% 90%

Pros

Gore-Tex Liner, Comfortable Leash

Cons

Gauntlet Sizing

Finger Slots: No

Cuff Style: Gauntlet

Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex Insert)

A Comparison and Review of Ski Mittens: Black Diamond Spark Mitts - Gear Hacker
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  • Warmth 80% 80%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Dexterity 90% 90%
  • Durability 90% 90%

Pros

Finger Slots, BD.dry Insert

Cons

Different Colors Have Different Features

Finger Slots: Yes

Cuff Style: Cuff

Waterproof: Yes (BDDry Insert)

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  • Warmth 60% 60%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Dexterity 70% 70%
  • Durability 70% 70%

Pros

Inexpensive, Super Soft

Cons

No (Can Be Treated)

Finger Slots: Yes

Cuff Style: Cuff

Waterproof: No (Can Be Treated)

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  • Warmth 70% 70%
  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Dexterity 70% 70%
  • Durability 60% 60%

Pros

Inexpensive

Cons

Overall Fit And Leash System

Finger Slots: No

Cuff Style: Cuff

Waterproof: Yes (Nylon Shell)

The Spark Mitt is an example of when good execution of a simple design makes for a great product. Black Diamond is well known for their snow-sport prowess and the Sparks do not stray from that title. This surprisingly warm yet low-profile mitt can work in a multitude of situations on or off the hill. Available in five colors, you should be able to find a Spark Mitt that will go with any snow suit or snow pursuit. The Spark Mitts are $80 for the pair and the value is fully there – this is a great mitten.

A Comparison and Review of Ski Mittens: Black Diamond Spark Mitts - Gear Hacker

Material

Like the Outdoor Research Carbide Sensor, the shell of the mitt as well as the palm patch are made of goat leather. Inside the mitt is a really soft and comfortable fleece lining that feels instantly warm. The internal finger slots create warmth for each digit while helping overall dexterity. The liner is non-removable, so if they do get wet it does take some time for them to dry out.

Black Diamond has used their 100% waterproof BD.dry insert to the mitt and it’s working really well. After several wears in wet snow and light rain, the water still beads right off the mitt with no absorption into the leather. This is really beneficial to any riders who like to extend their season into the rainy Spring.

A Comparison and Review of Ski Mittens: Black Diamond Spark Mitts - Gear Hacker

Insulation

Black Diamond has gone with PrimaLoft Gold as the synthetic insulation for the Spark. The synthetic insulation helps to keep your hands dry and protects them from absorbing water on wet days. There is 60g of PrimaLoft Gold as insulation, which is slightly less than the 200g of VerticalX insulation in the Outdoor Research mitts. The individual finger slots help to keep each digit warm and the entire hand comfortable throughout the day. I did find that on some colder days after a few longer runs, there have even been some sweaty hands.

A Comparison and Review of Ski Mittens: Black Diamond Spark Mitts - Gear Hacker

Dexterity and Fit

With all of the mitts in this test, we went with the large size to see how the sizing differed across the board. The Black Diamond Spark Mitts run the smallest of the group but are not too small for our testers’ hands. The smaller fit also helps with overall dexterity thanks to the internal finger slots. It would be lame to say that the mitts “fit like a glove” but honestly, they do. It is a close fit with enough room so my hand doesn’t feel constricted, and it is really easy to handle ski goggles and poles while riding. On colder days you can comfortably fit a pair of thin gloves inside of the mitten as an added layer of warmth without things getting too constrictive.
The cuff style on the mitt has a velcro adjustment to secure the mitts and keep snow from getting inside while charging powder. It is a very comfortable wrist cuff and keeps warmth along the veins that run into your hand as an added bonus. We have been able to keep watches underneath the cuff as well because if you don’t record your laps, did they even happen?
A Comparison and Review of Ski Mittens: Black Diamond Spark Mitts - Gear Hacker

Accessories

The Black Diamond Spark Mitts, as mentioned earlier, are simplistic in design but do come with some great features. The velcro hook and loop closure on the cuff makes sure that no powder is getting into your warm and cozy mittens. The Spark Mitts also come with EVA padding on the knuckles to protect your hand from any impact, or if you find yourself using trees like Giant Slalom flags.

While looking at the website, only the blue, red, and brown versions of the mitt have a patch of soft material on the thumb as a nose wipe. We tested a pair of the blue mitts so we were able to use the nose wipe, which is very handy on those cold morning runs. The mitts do come with a plastic clip to keep your pair together, however, there are no leashes. You’ll find leashes on the Spark Johnny Mitt version that are $15 more expensive. At that price, you could buy some paracord and customize a leash for yourself using small cord loops on the inside of the mitt leftover from the tags.
A Comparison and Review of Ski Mittens: Black Diamond Spark Mitts - Gear Hacker

The Bottom Line

Of the mitts that we have tested, the Sparks are a favorite. They fit really well and kept our testers’ hands warm throughout the day. The waterproofing provided by the BD.dry insert is solid and has been working perfectly while riding or wiping snow off our cars. They aren’t the warmest mitts in the test, but for milder ski areas, we have skied comfortably in them up to 14°F (-10°C). If they had leashes they would be the perfect mitt, but that is easily fixed with a homemade pair of paracord leashes or buying the more expensive Spark Johnny Mitt.

A Comparison and Review of Ski Mittens: Black Diamond Spark Mitts - Gear Hacker

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We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!