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down mittens
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Greg Miller
(1234abcd) - F
down mittens on 11/08/2010 17:34:20 MST Print View

I'm trying to find a really warm pair of down mitts. I tried the ones made by Canada Goose, but I didn't find them warm enough. To me, they didn't really seem to have that much loft. Also, a careful reading of the tag inside the mitts showed they're 75% down and 25% feathers.

Are there any down mitts that have a substantial amount of high-quality fill?

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
down on 11/08/2010 17:44:29 MST Print View

pretty pointless unless you can find 800 fill ... primaloft one will work just as well as a lower fill version and be water resistant to boot

even then is the down sealed so that it never gets wet?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: down mittens on 11/08/2010 18:09:56 MST Print View

In my opinion, down mittens are not too practical. Due to the nature of how you wear them and how you use your hands, you may find that a stiff synthetic insulation is good, or else a heavy wool with nylon overshell. This is especially true if you use trekking poles or ski poles.

Lots of people get cold hands when they are backpacking, but a lot of that comes from shoulder straps on the pack that are reducing circulation.


Greg Miller
(1234abcd) - F
down mitts on 11/08/2010 18:24:45 MST Print View

What about skins?

Ben Smith
(goosefeet) - MLife

Locale: Georgia
Re: down mittens on 11/08/2010 18:45:40 MST Print View


What is your intended use?

Greg Miller
(1234abcd) - F
mitts on 11/08/2010 18:48:40 MST Print View

I have cold hands much of the time. I want to have a really warm pair of mitts for general winter use; warm enough that I don't have to layer or use hand warmers (both of which I find mildly annoying).

Ben Smith
(goosefeet) - MLife

Locale: Georgia
Re: mitts on 11/08/2010 18:52:31 MST Print View

If you don't plan on using them for climbing, or other abrasive use, I can probably make you a pair.

Send me an email at if interested.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
mitts on 11/09/2010 12:39:30 MST Print View

mercury mitts ... unles yr on an artic expedition or climbing everest ... your hands wont ever get cold

theyre totally bomber with a removable liner and leather palm

the gold standard for a mountaineering mitt

not exactly lightweight ... but hey thats life for something that survives at summits ... lol

if for some reason you decide that you are climbing everest in your backyard ... or have polar bears on your porch ....

the OR alti mitt ... thats what they use on 8000m peaks

Edited by bearbreeder on 11/09/2010 12:42:23 MST.

Michael Febbo
(febbom) - F
What is "general use"? on 11/09/2010 13:59:09 MST Print View

I use the Alti Mitts in NE winters... mitts of this type are really only good for grasping the head of an axe or using poles with straps. They are too bulky for almost any other use. Given that, you will still need to wear a liner glove (powerstretch is my choice) as you need to remove the mitts in order to do anything (unzip a jacket, take off your hood, scratch your nose...).

My Altis are JUST warm enough for me when it gets below zero. They are XL, and my thumbs begin to get cold due to the slight tightness of the fit in that area. The insulation is simply too bulky in the thumb.

That said, they are a tough and versatile system. The outer shell is insulated, allowing you to wear a thicker glove instead of the bulky liner mitt when conditions allow. The shells make great "belay mitts" due to this.

Edited by febbom on 11/09/2010 14:00:05 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: What is "general use"? on 11/09/2010 14:30:24 MST Print View

What is general use?

I would say that general winter use is for hikers and backpackers that don't fit into a special category such as Mount Everest climbers, roped rock climbers, skiers, ski lift operators, etc. Each of those specialists uses mittens in a way that will wear them out faster than normal.


eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
mercury on 11/09/2010 14:45:12 MST Print View

i found the mercury mitts plenty warm with a light liner ... down to about -20+ C

a few times i found myself climbing in them when it hit -25+C ... luckily i was following that time and didnt need to place screws ... but they worked fine leashless with quarks

theyre my winter belay glove

Michael Febbo
(febbom) - F
clarification on 11/09/2010 15:30:06 MST Print View

Bob- I should have clarified my question insofar as I was really asking about the specific activities that the mitt was needed to accomplish.
If you want a warm mitten for campwear or for snow slogging in dry but very cold areas, then down seems fine to me. If you want a warm mitten to use while active, I'd go for synthetics due to increased moisture control.
If the intention is to stay out for days at a time, I also prefer a removable liner both as extra insulation at night and in order to dry them out in my sleeping bag... perhaps this is general use, but that is what I was attempting to decipher.

Eric: there is no way I can climb leashless in any mitt. If there is too much material between my hand and the handle I do not feel secure, leading or following. That's why it is nice to be able to lead a pitch wearing a good ice glove and throw the Alti mitt shells on over the gloves at the belay.

TS: if you do want down, Prolite appears to have both Rab and Valandre options for under $100

Greg Miller
(1234abcd) - F
Valandre Oural mitt on 11/27/2010 20:09:14 MST Print View

Has anyone tried the Valandre Oural mittens? They sound super light (120g) and super warm with 850 fill goose down. Is 50g of fill considered a good amount for a mitten?

Danny Milks
(dannymilks) - MLife

Locale: Sierras
Mammut Extreme Arctic Mitten on 11/28/2010 08:08:49 MST Print View

Mammut makes a mitten similar to the OR Altai: Mammut Extreme Arctic Mitten

It weights 290 grams and has 600fp down. They could use higher quality down and lighter fabrics, of course, but they are darn toasty. I got these for my wife, whose hands get really cold. If her mittens don't keep her hands warm then I have too. So in a way, I bought them for my sake. I also got them on a really good sale a while ago.

Tim Fleming
(timdeb1098) - F

Locale: Colorado
down mitts on 09/09/2011 09:02:51 MDT Print View

Check out Black Rock Gear down mitts:

Never tried them to know how warm they are but ultralight & pricey. Ther're also in the process of offering a rain mitt in cuben fiber - looks interesting.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Down and Synthetic on 09/12/2011 07:53:57 MDT Print View


I have a pair of gooses feet down mittens (weighs 43g) which I place inside a pair of Primaloft mitts.

beely huang
(beely) - F
seal skin mittens on 09/27/2012 22:45:07 MDT Print View

Hi all,

Seal skin mittens are what the Inuit traditionally use, as they are very warm - even in the middle of the winter in the Arctic! I spent some time in Nunavut, and have since learned to make their traditional 'pualuks'. I make them in all sizes (adult women/men; children). you can check them out here:

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
Plunge mitts. on 09/28/2012 11:10:24 MDT Print View

Check out the hot tent campers in Canada; they use what they call plunge mitts. When you take the mitts off for some task, they hang by straps so you can immediately plunge your hands back in.
These are definitely not ultralight.

I used to have snowmobile mitts that had the advantage that they were long and came well up my arm most of the way to the elbow; this made them warmer. I think the blood in the forearms was kept warmer which made my hands (and body) warmer. You might have to make your own for this.

Brian Barnes
(brianjbarnes) - M

Locale: Midwest
RE:"down mittens" on 09/28/2012 19:37:36 MDT Print View

these are great:

combine with OR endevors... solid cold weather setup.

Don Selesky
(backslacker) - M
Re: RE:"down mittens" on 09/29/2012 06:59:52 MDT Print View

I got both the lightweight and heavier versions of their mitts, figuring I'd use the lightweight ones while hiking or until it got really cold. So far, I've never needed to heavier mitts, and that's down to at least 0F. I will add either a thin or thicker glove inside, but that does the trick for me.

Edited by backslacker on 09/29/2012 07:00:57 MDT.