I can’t quite grasp that these are $75 mittens. They were a gift, and were on sale for $40 at Amazon, but even so I can’t really get my head around mittens that cost that much. For those kinds of prices they better take out the trash and clean the sink all on their own, right?
I can’t tell you how much I really like these yet, but I’ll explain the features, and what I’ve decided to date and post updates as I use them more. (But it’s certain that I don’t like the mittens I had been using, so perhaps these will at least be better.)
First of all these are called a “glove component system.” That means that they come with a liner glove. The shell has two kinds of leather- micro plus tanned deerskin and water block sheepskin- whatever those tech words actually mean when attached to a leather tanning process. They have kevlar accents. What that seems to mean is that the sections in the pics that look knitted are made of kevlar. What that says to me is that it should wear like iron. We’ll see. The insulation is Primaloft which claims to be: wind resistant, breathable, fast drying, warm, compressible like down, water repellant and thermally efficient. Wow. So, they should be warm.
The liner glove is made of microfleece. As you may be able to see in the picture, the seams of the liner are on the “outside, ” which is to say that they aren’t touching your hand. That seems nice. The liners have velcro at the cuff to hold them in place in the mitts... more on that later.
There is a button loc drawstring to snug up the cuff so that snow can’t get inside your wrists. I don’t like the way the button loc is fastened to the mitten- it makes it hard to loosen. There is a wrist tightening strap that is easy to pull and loosen through the plastic buckle even when you are already wearing the mittens. The ends of these straps have a small elastic loop.
The left mitten has a metal clip on the outer wrist edge to fasten the mitts together. Like most such clips, it is too small and difficult to work. The right mitten has a metal “g” on the outer wrist edge. It is too thick to fasten the clip into. I don’t like either of these metal items because they tend to snag on things. The too-small clip is particularly annoying. You would think they could get that right for $75. I suspect I’ll cut both of these off.
The gloves seem warm enough, but we haven’t had a real cold day yet since I got these. Supposed to have some this week.
I don’t like it that the liners fasten in with velcro. This makes it really difficult to take only the mittens off just leaving the liners on to work a camera or deal with some other gear issue. I also prefer my own Manzella glove liners. They did, correctly, put the fuzzy velcro on the inside of the mitts so that if you don’t wear the liners, or use other liners that the velcro won’t irritate or catch on other fabrics. I have used my other liners with these and liked that better. Also, when I’m out skiing, and sweating, if I pull the mitt and liner off the fingers tend to pull back on themselves making it difficult to get the whole thing back on.
These seem a bit bulky also, but I’m thinking that is just because I’m not used to them yet. I ordered a women’s medium, even though I have small hands, and I’m glad I did. I believe that small ones would have been too tight.
The lining of the mitts only is also microfleece. I plan to wear this today with no liners to see how warm that is. One issue I had with my previous mittens is that they did not dry well at all. Without being placed on a heater they would stay wet from day to day just from being outside for an hour or less. So far I haven’t noticed these being wet, but they haven’t been put to a serious test.
So much for my first round of impressions. I’m going to take the dog and go out for another jaunt right now. I’ll add updates as I discover more about how these work in the long run.
Update On Jan 21, 2009: Gave these a better test today with several miles and hours in the woods. I used my own liners, and between the two I had plently of options. The glove lining dried quickly in the car on the way home. These still haven't had the multi-day hike test, but so far so good.