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Zpacks or MLD Rain Mitts
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Jason Mahler
(jrmahler) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Zpacks or MLD Rain Mitts on 02/23/2013 10:55:25 MST Print View

I have not been successful in finding a comparison between the two. I am trying to make a 3 layer system for 3-season use. My first two layers are Possum Down gloves and fleece mitts. I run fairly hot and typically don't need gloves/mitts unless stopped or if it is raining and cold. My main concern between the two is breathability for when I am wearing the rain mitts solo (hiking while raining and cold). I figure the event is probably better for this, but wanted to see if anyone has any real experience with this. I aslo question how good teh Zpacks are for layering.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Zpacks or MLD Rain Mitts on 02/23/2013 11:27:45 MST Print View

I'd choose the Extremities Tuff Mitts over either. I haven't had the zPacks, but have had cuben rain mitts made with the breathable cuben. I've had the MLD mitts. I like the Extremities over both - has a textured palm to make gripping easier, is made from Paclite, already taped so waterproof 'out of the box' and durable.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: Zpacks or MLD Rain Mitts on 02/23/2013 13:00:16 MST Print View

I haven't tried the MLD eVent ones for comparison, but I don't find the WPB cuben Zpacks ones very breathable at all. I would recommend the MLD based on that, plus my experience with eVent in jackets and pants.

Jason Mahler
(jrmahler) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Thanks on 02/23/2013 16:31:35 MST Print View

I had GoreTex gaiters and couldn't wear them because they made me sweat so bad. Bought E-vent instead, but haven't used them yet. Those gore-tex mitts look nice, but they are pretty heavy and costly. I'll wait a couple of days to see if anyone else has experience before going with the E-vent.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Thanks on 02/23/2013 16:38:11 MST Print View

I have the MLD ones and they are fine, seam sealing them was an awful pain though, also have an old pair of Berghaus Paclite ones which I use at times.

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: Re: Thanks on 02/23/2013 17:06:46 MST Print View

I have the MLD, my wife has the Zpacks. I think I like the MLD better, but yeah, seam sealing them was a major PITA and they now look terrible. They still work, of course. The seam taped Cuben mitts were a lot easier to buy and use.

Don Selesky
(backslacker) - M
Re: Zpacks or MLD Rain Mitts on 02/24/2013 06:19:23 MST Print View

I've had good luck with the Zpacks combo so far. No issues.

Rick Sutton
(rickcsutton) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re:Zpacks or MLD Rain Mitts on 02/24/2013 07:50:11 MST Print View

I had been searching for a similar WP and LW outer shell for 4 months. I tried the OR Versaliner gloves as the WP shells only weighed 0.8 oz. While the fabric was WP the seams were not and my hand got wet right away around the all seams by the fingers. Trying to seal a glove looked to be about impossible due to all the seams in the finger area.

Terra Nova makes a few options as well. In the Extremities series, you have the Tuff Bags and the Top Bags. These are both mitts. The Top Bags are much lighter at 1.3 oz per pair, however Terra Nova does not recommend you use them with trekking poles as I believe the fabric is not strong enough for this. Instead, the recommend their Tuff Bags. The Tuff bags are a Gore-Tex material and weigh about 2.5 oz / pair. The Top Bags are not Gore-Tex rather a in-house 100% nylon fabric they say is WP and breathable. It seems like there is a debate on how well Gore-Tex breathes. I have not really liked it myself, yet have very limited experience and it was years ago. Terra Nova also make a WP running shell called the Ultra Glo that is made from Cuben Fiber that weighs next to nothing, yet, it is not seamed sealed either so not 100% WP.

I had the MLD eVent mitts before and they were fine, although, I never sealed them so obviously they were not WP. At the time, I was doing some serious boulder hopping in the Wind River Range each year and I was afraid they would torn to pieces so I sold them. I have talked with other who have stated that seam sealing the MLD shell or any glove / mitten shell is a real pain. Over time the sealant starts to fall off and sometimes they are not 100% WP either. I also know some people say their MLD gloves are WP so maybe it has to do with the technique when sealing, etc. I have not tried the Zpack gloves yet, however, I had a friend who has them and said the thumb was a bit small when he used them with his trekking poles. I believe he wears an XL size so if going that route, I would encourage you so talk to Zpacks and see if Matt could make the thumb made a bit bigger if you use poles often.

You might also want to check out the Mountain Hardware Epic glove. This is a fully WP option that is also a glove. It might not be UL at 3.1 oz /pair and maybe not as good for keeping the hands warm as a mitt, however it gets really good review for being 100% WP right out of the box. I am looking to get the dexterity of a WP glove over a WP mitt as keeping my hands warm is usually not a problem based on where and when I hike as long as my hands stay dry. Seeing they are only a few oz more than the Tuff Bags and offer the glove benefit, I am leaning towards them unless, I can find anything better. If I was going after a mitt, I would probably try to get the Zpacks mitt with a bigger thumb and go that route. I don't know how they would last, yet, like most of the SUL items, it might be how we treat them. Obviously, everything is a trade off.

Hope this helps and good luck in your search.

David LaRue
(Phaedrus) - F

Locale: Chicagoland
Mountain Hardware Epic glove on 02/24/2013 09:29:17 MST Print View

+1 Outdry is awesome. I have these gloves, and I have used them ice fishing were I have literally had my hand in the hole filled with icy water. Perfectly dry and warm. I saw that have a mitten version of the Outdry that comes with a inner glove. I was thinking of getting these, removing the doodads on the mitts, and using possum down gloves. Likely slightly heavier than some of the options above, but certainly warm, and waterproof.

Edited by Phaedrus on 02/24/2013 09:30:00 MST.

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - MLife

Locale: The SouthWest
Re: Rain Mitts on 02/24/2013 09:57:19 MST Print View

I've been looking for some rain mitts too and came across these from Luke's Ultralite: WPB OverMitts

I do not have them but they look promising. They have a stated weigh of 1.8 oz. I sent an e-mail last week about sizing and material but haven't heard back.

The MEC Cloudraker mitts have also been discussed here on BPL and could be a good option.

Jason Mahler
(jrmahler) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Thanks on 02/24/2013 10:50:56 MST Print View

Wow, great comments. It sounds like I am going to shy away from the MLD because of thw whole seam sealing issue, unless they can do it for me on the cheap.

I am liking the Lukes products, but will have to find out about the materials of construction. They also have a silnylon rain jacket and pants that are a good weight and decent price. May have to give them a try.

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Thanks on 02/24/2013 22:44:21 MST Print View

I have a pair of MLD mitts I use for the summer (with very light glove liners). For the winter, I use similar glove liners with big wool mitts and OR mitt shells. Even though the shells are similar in purpose (rain protection) I use them differently. The summer ones fit fairly closely over the glove liners. They don't go up the wrist very high. The winter ones are sized to allow for a very puffy mitten underneath and go way up the wrist. They are also very tough, since I use them a lot and don't care as much about weight in the winter. The Lukes shell looks like it could work well for both, but would be especially good for winter. They could basically do the same work as OR shells but at a fraction of the cost. They might be overkill for summer use, but they've managed to keep the weight pretty low, so if you don't mind the minor weight penalty (over something like the MLD ones) then it would be a good choice.

ULA used to make mitts out of Propore, but it looks like they don't anymore. This is too bad, since that is a good, cheap, lightweight, breathable (although fragile) alternative.

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - MLife

Locale: Western Washington
zpacks on 02/26/2013 15:52:06 MST Print View

I've had both the MLD and the Zpacks mitts. I didn't find the eVent to be all that breathable, I had them on and got enough water inside the mitt to have to empty it. I also found the seam sealing to be a major, major PITA, and I can't be sure I did it correctly--I'd never seam sealed anything in my life, so that made for a major question about how waterproof they would really be. I've used the Zpacks mitts only a couple of times, but they are lighter weight, and for a piece of gear that I don't use extremely often, I liked the fact that they are lighter, and come seam sealed. I only use them when I'm hiking all day in cold rain, which is something I try very, very hard to avoid in the first place.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Zpacks or MLD Rain Mitts on 03/09/2013 15:06:46 MST Print View


John Abela's recent blog on these

Jason Mahler
(jrmahler) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: Zpacks or MLD Rain Mitts on 03/09/2013 16:35:54 MST Print View

I was going to go for the MLD Mitts and Abela's blog helped confirm this for me, but then I read a bunch of articles about how bad the seam sealing is. Based on this I was leaning towards the Zpacks, but am worried about the breathability and being able to wear them over PossumDown gloves and fleece mitts. Apparently I am a bit neurotic.

Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
Re: Re: Re: Zpacks or MLD Rain Mitts on 03/09/2013 17:40:36 MST Print View

Video of Seam Sealing

Can be done in about 30-45min.

The Seam Sealing process shown here can apply to many other type of outdoor gear. Obviously using this technique for long shelter seams this amount would be detail overkill but for clothing and small outdoor gear items it's great.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Re: Re: Re: Zpacks or MLD Rain Mitts on 03/09/2013 17:49:24 MST Print View

When I did my MLD Mitts it looked like a dogs breakfast.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Zpacks or MLD Rain Mitts on 03/09/2013 19:15:29 MST Print View


Outdoor Research Versaliner Gloves

0.8oz a pair in medium (womens - mens was sold out)

Lighter AND gloves. Plus you get free liners (kinda heavy though - so I use them around town and for driving). You also get OR's lifetime warranty.

My favorite liners are Marmot's Midweight Baselayer Gloves. 0.8oz in Men's medium. Lighter than anything else out there, but warm since it's a grid fleece, and will dry faster than anything else on the market.

For non-critical-rain trips, I bring Nitrile gloves as my waterproof gloves. 0.4oz per pair, and double as first aid in emergency situations. The Marmot liner gloves fit and slide easily both under and over.

Edited by lindahlb on 03/09/2013 19:19:59 MST.

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - MLife

Locale: The SouthWest
Re: Rain mitts on 04/17/2013 21:05:34 MDT Print View

I ended up buying both a pair of the MEC Cloudraker mitts and the mitts from Luke's Ultralite. So far, a shower test shows the MEC mitts to be completely waterproof (hands stayed dry). But my hands got wet in the mitts from Luke's Ultralite. Water seemed to be coming in from the seams (which are not taped) and the fabric appeared to wet through too. Pretty disappointing since they fit quite well and the buckle over the wrist is nice. I think the MEC mitts are worth the extra 0.7 oz.