Lightweight Handwear for Cold and Wet Conditions (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008)

We rounded up handwear of interest and suggest how they might be used in lightweight handwear systems.

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by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl | 2008-01-29 10:40:00-07

Introduction

This is the first time Backpacking Light has tackled the subject of handwear in any depth - for good reason. The volume and diversity of handwear on the market is mind-boggling! We decided to tackle the handwear category at Outdoor Retailer Winter 2008 to try to make some sense of it and to highlight newer products that should be of interest to our readers. Please keep in mind that this is an Outdoor Retailer Show dispatch, and not a comprehensive article.

The best way to describe the handwear category is: you name it, it’s out there! Handwear exists in a myriad of styles, fabrics, insulations, weights, and intended uses - by a multitude of manufacturers. This category almost defies taxonomy, but our objective in this article is not to organize it. Rather, we simply want to identify the types of handwear that we believe will be of interest for lightweight outdoor pursuits, and highlight some products and technologies that we believe our readers will be interested in. This short article is not intended to be comprehensive; it’s just a primer to delve into the topic, and hopefully generate some contributions from readers in the attached forum.

Conventional Handwear

Conventional gloves and mitts are an integration of fabrics and technologies. By “integrated” I mean the layers are inseparable - you buy and use the package. When you walk into an outdoor store, you see racks of them - thick and thin, waterproof or not, windproof or not, insulated or not, long gauntlet or elastic wrist closure, leather or gripper palms, etc. Many are intended for snow sports or climbing, so they are overkill for simple backpacking. The lighter ones are usually made of Powerstretch fleece or softshell fabrics with a fleece lining. A pigskin leather palm or silicon gripper palm is a good feature if you use trekking poles a lot.

Most conventional handwear does in fact follow the layering system, which consists of a baselayer, insulation layer, and outside shell layer. They consist of two or more layers of materials selected to provide combinations of warmth, waterproofness, wind resistance, breathability, durability, and dexterity. Most handwear manufacturers have a wide array of products - so many that it often becomes difficult to make a selection. If the layers are what you want, the weight is reasonable, and they are targeted to your intended activity, this is a good way to go. We will cover some of these products.

The downside of integrated handwear is you wear them as they are - they’re a unit, you can’t separate the layers - so they’re less versatile. Many “waterproof/breathable” gloves and mitts trap moisture from perspiration inside, and are slow to dry out, so when they get damp (and cold) you have to take them off, put them in your pack, and put something else on.

Handwear Systems

We personally like to select and wear the individual layers we want (usually a liner and a shell) so we can match the type and thickness of layers to the conditions. To us, donning separate layers is a more versatile approach because it gives numerous combinations we can use.

The separate layer approach allows you to use the layers individually or combine them (e.g., a Gore-Tex or eVENT shell with a liner glove). This creates lots of options. You can choose an appropriate liner for the conditions and wear it alone. Without a WP/B membrane, it readily transports moisture away from your hands and expels it, and dries out faster if it gets damp. When you need more warmth, you can switch to a thicker liner; when you need a waterproof layer, you can add a shell; if a liner gets damp from sweat, you can exchange it for a dry one. We will cover some of the more interesting new products to illustrate this approach.

Shells

We personally prefer a mitt shell because it’s warmer and roomier, but there are also several glove shells on the market. When buying a shell, it’s important to size up to allow plenty of room to wear thicker liners inside. Although it wasn’t at the OR Show, the lightest shell we know of is the Mountain Laurel Designs eVENT Rain Mitt at 0.90 ounce/pair. Interestingly, only the top of the mitts are made of 2-layer eVENT, the palm side is made of more durable 3-layer Gore-Tex XCR, giving them the distinction as the only product we know of that combines these two rival technologies. Because of their thin materials, these mitts have limited durability and longevity. With reasonable care they could last several years.

Lightweight Handwear for Cold and Wet Conditions (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008) - 1
The Mountain Laurel Designs eVENT Rain Mitt ($45) comes in medium and large sizes and weighs just 0.90 ounce per pair. They have a long gauntlet with an anchored drawcord. The mitts are sized to fit over thin and medium weight liners. Available now.

At the summer 2007 OR Show we found the Etowah Outfitters Frogtog Over Mittens, made of the same fabric used in FroggToggs rainwear, which is a membrane sandwiched between layers of spun polypropylene. These mitts have an elastic wrist band and minimal gauntlet. Based on our previous experience with FroggToggs, the fabric tends to fray with use, absorbs water in the face fabric, and the membrane eventually splits. If these mitts are reserved to be worn only while hiking in the rain, they will last awhile. Otherwise, especially when hiking with trekking poles, we would not expect them to last long.

Lightweight Handwear for Cold and Wet Conditions (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008) - 2
The Etowah Outfitters Frogtog Over Mittens (1.3 oz/pair, $18) are made of the same “fabric” as FroggTogg rainwear. They’re waterproof but not very durable. They are also available from Ultralight Adventure Equipment (ULA), and are available now from both companies.

For a more durable shell mitt, the Outdoor Research Endeavor Mitt is constructed of 70 denier Gore-Tex PacLite fabric. These mitts feature a gripper palm and long gauntlet with drawcord. This is our favorite shell for snow sports and other situations where there is more contact with snow (like snow cave and igloo building) and where more durability is required. A variety of other shells with removable liners is also available. Although the manufacturer intends these shells for use in wet, moderate weather, they can be matched with a wide range of liners to achieve comfort in cold wet conditions.

Lightweight Handwear for Cold and Wet Conditions (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008) - 3
The Outdoor Research Endeavor Mitt (3.9 oz/pr, $69) is constructed of 70 denier Gore-Tex PacLite with taped seams. Available now.

Lightweight Handwear for Cold and Wet Conditions (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008) - 4
Shell gloves are less common because the numerous seams in a glove make it is more challenging to make them waterproof. A standout is the Mountain Hardwear Lightspeed Glove (7 ounces/pair with a 200 weight fleece liner, $135). Available now.

Lightweight Handwear for Cold and Wet Conditions (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008) - 5
The lightest hand wind shell to be found anywhere is the C.A.M.P. Windmt’n at 0.5 ounce/pair, $25. These featherlight windmitts are made of plain nylon with no DWR treatment. Available fall 2008.

Liners

There are zillions of liner gloves and mitts available. Most handwear manufacturers have an assortment of liner gloves, made of a wide array of fabrics and different thicknesses. You can find liners made of simple polyester fleece, wool, or silk, as well as more high tech fabrics like WindPro, Outlast, PowerDry, Coolmax, and WindStopper (to name a few). These high tech gloves or liners are targeted to higher aerobic activities where wind resistance, moisture transport, and high breathability are desired. If you look around, you can also find liners insulated with Primaloft, Thinsulate, and down (although down is usually found only in expedition grade handwear).

Lightweight Handwear for Cold and Wet Conditions (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008) - 6
Liner mitts and gloves abound; every handwear manufacturer has them in a variety of fabrics and weights.

Plain polyester fleece liners give the most warmth for the weight. They generally come in 100, 200, and 300 weights. Liner mitts with finger slots inside and a flip-open feature to expose the fingers are really handy to provide both warmth and dexterity. Some liners have a silicon-coated palm for more durability and grip, which is handy for use with trekking poles.

Lightweight Handwear for Cold and Wet Conditions (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008) - 7
Plain fleece liners, such as the Manzella Tahoe Glove (4 ounces/pair, $15), give the most warmth for the weight. Fleece gloves generally come in 100, 200, and 300 weights.

Lightweight Handwear for Cold and Wet Conditions (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008) - 8
Ibex presently has a very nice 150 gram wool liner glove (1.4 ounces/pair, $25), and will introduce a heavier 230 gram wool liner in fall 2008. They also have another model with silicon palms for better durability and grip.

Lightweight Handwear for Cold and Wet Conditions (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008) - 9
Pure silk liners are the lightest to be found, like these from Terramar (0.6 ounces/pair, $12). Available now.

A final general comment on liners: remember that the more water resistant or waterproof a glove is, the less breathable it will be. Our preference is to avoid waterproof gloves or liners for aerobic activities; plain liners breathe much better and we can don a waterproof shell over them when it’s actually needed.

Lightweight Handwear for Cold and Wet Conditions (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008) - 10
Fold back mittens like the Heat Factory Pop Top (4.6 ounces/pair, $20) provide warmth and finger dexterity, and work well as a liner inside a shell. This one is Thinsulate insulated and has a built-in pocket to insert a chemical hand warmer packet (0.8 ounce/glove). Available now.

Integrated Gloves and Mitts

When choosing from the vast array of conventional handwear products, we go for mitts instead of gloves. Mitts are warmer than gloves because they have room inside to rub your fingers together to keep them warm, and its easier to wear a liner inside. Our preference is a simple lined mitt with a removable fleece liner. However, it’s hard to find a conventional winter glove or mitt that does not have a WP/B liner. A simple trick we use with conventional gloves and mitts is to create a vapor barrier by wearing a liner glove plus a disposable plastic glove inside the mitt (this works best with a mitt). This system retains moisture from sweat in the liner, preventing it from going into the mitt. When the liners get damp and chilly, simply exchange them for a dry pair.

Lightweight Handwear for Cold and Wet Conditions (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008) - 11
The Kombi Insulator Mitt (8.8 ounces/pair, $45) has some built-in insulation, a WP/B membrane, a fleece lining, and a fleece liner glove. The backside has a zippered pocket for a chemical hand warmer packet.

An interesting new glove technology is the Komperdell “seamless bonding,” which is a welding technique where the fabric pieces are butted together and heat + pressure bonded with a narrow tape and adhesive. Their proprietary fabric used in a range of gloves is a four-layer softshell consisting of a nylon face, waterproof/breathable membrane, an insulating layer, and a merino wool mix inner surface. The fabric has four-way stretch and most models have a gripper palm.

Lightweight Handwear for Cold and Wet Conditions (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008) - 12
Various models of the Komperdell range of seamless gloves (about 4 ounces/pair, $80) using “seamless bonding,” in which the seams are secured with tape and adhesive, not sewn. The four-layer fabric provides all functions (four-way stretch, waterproof, breathable, comfort next to skin, outside durability) in one unit. Available now.

In waterproof/breathable handwear, Gore-Tex and proprietary polyurethane laminates dominate the market. One important thing to remember about “waterproof/breathable” is they keep the water out, but they also keep the water in - their Water Vapor Transmission Rate (WVTM) is not enough to keep up with the perspiration produced by steady hiking. The result is trapped sweat inside, which makes them feel damp and cold after a couple hours (or less) of hiking. In our opinion, it’s better to wear a lightweight liner-type glove, and add a waterproof/breathable shell when actually needed for rain or snow protection.

For some reason, eVENT lined gloves are rare. The only ones we could find are the Rab Latok and Ice Gauntlet gloves. The Latok Glove has a softshell back for breathability and a silicon coated palm for grip.

Lightweight Handwear for Cold and Wet Conditions (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008) - 13
The Rab Latok Glove (5.5 ounces/pair, $50) is one of the few gloves available with a waterproof/breathable eVENT lining. The palm side has a silicon coating for durability and gripability. Available now.

Lightweight Handwear for Cold and Wet Conditions (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008) - 14
Manzella has a solution to the trapped moisture issue when using insulated gloves for aerobic activities - they put core vents in them. The Neo Ventilation Glove (7 ounces/pair, $40), to be introduced in fall 2008, has zippers on the side and wrist to expose a mesh lining and (hopefully) exhaust excess moisture. Note that they can also vent around the wrist. The pockets can also be used for chemical hand warmers. Available fall 2008.

Finally, we asked ultra thru-hiker Andrew Skurka what he uses for cold weather handwear, and his answer was “vapor barriers for everything.” Though they were not exhibited at the show, his favorites are vapor barrier mitts from RBH Designs, such as the Vapor Mitt (9 ounces/pair, $145) and the Hybrid VaprThrm Mitt Liner (5 ounces/pair, $60). RBH Designs previously offered a vapor barrier glove, but they are no longer available.

Lightweight Handwear for Cold and Wet Conditions (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008) - 15
RBH Designs Vapor Mitt (9 ounces/pair, $145) and Hybrid VaprThrm Mitt Liner (5 ounces/pair, $60) have a built-in vapor barrier.

Conclusions

This is only a short foray into the subject of lightweight handwear. Overall, this category is daunting when you consider the vast array of conventional gloves on the market. While these products are well designed and constructed, our opinion is they perform best for less aerobic activities in cold weather (like downhill skiing and snowboarding). For backpacking and other higher aerobic activities, we recommend a more simplistic approach to handwear - lightweight handwear systems consisting of a liner and a waterproof/breathable shell. This approach is much more versatile because you can match the type and warmth of a liner to your intended activity and conditions, and you can don a waterproof shell over them when it’s actually needed. Liners are light weight, and you can take several liners along so you can exchange them when they get damp or conditions change. You can also experiment with vapor barriers by wearing a liner and disposable plastic glove inside a WP/B shell.


Citation

"Lightweight Handwear for Cold and Wet Conditions (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008)," by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/lightweight_handwear_for_cold_and_wet_conditions_orwm08.html, 2008-01-29 10:40:00-07.

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Forum Index » Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008 » Lightweight Handwear for Cold and Wet Conditions (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008)


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Will Rietveld
(WilliWabbit) - MLife

Locale: Southwest Colorado
Lightweight Handwear for Cold and Wet Conditions (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008) on 01/29/2008 11:46:26 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Lightweight Handwear for Cold and Wet Conditions (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008)

Christopher Chupka
(FatTexan) - M

Locale: NTX
Rubber Dots on 01/29/2008 15:05:14 MST Print View

As a simple MYOG project can rubberized grip dots be added to the MLD or Etowah mitts without compromising the waterproofness while increasing durability?

Brian Barnes
(brianjbarnes) - M

Locale: Midwest
RE: Lightweight Handwear for Cold and Wet Conditions (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008) on 01/29/2008 16:44:17 MST Print View

Thanks Will and Janet. I've always struggled with what to do for hand protection from cold and rain. Lots of good ideas here. I'm looking forward to more discussion.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Fascinating on 01/29/2008 20:57:59 MST Print View

Indeed. Thanks Will and Janet

cheers

carlos fernandez rivas
(pitagorin) - MLife

Locale: Galicia -Spain
why not one "real article about" on 01/30/2008 01:02:50 MST Print View

""""Please keep in mind that this is an Outdoor Retailer Show dispatch, and not a comprehensive article.""

May be one in depth article about ""Lightweight Handwear "" similar to the excellent Lightweight Footwear Systems for Snow Travel article could be one of the (in my personal opinion) most desired articles.

Edited by pitagorin on 01/30/2008 01:03:32 MST.

Carol Crooker
(cmcrooker) - MLife

Locale: Desert Southwest, USA
Another vote for an indepth handwear article on 01/30/2008 21:21:48 MST Print View

Yeah!
Great read Will and Janet!

Stuart Steele
(sbsteele) - F

Locale: North Central New Jersey
Re: Lightweight Handwear for Cold and Wet Conditions (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008) on 02/01/2008 08:55:47 MST Print View

The layering principal works for me as well.
I begin with a polypropylene liner.
If or when cooler I add my double layer fleece mitts.
My waterproof gauntlets finish the system.
I have chemical warmers as backup for exceptional cold/survival.
I've also reviewed the commercially available products, but not to the depth of this article.
Many thanks.

SBS

Michael Church
(machurch) - F - M
RE: Lightweight Gloves on 02/03/2008 08:39:11 MST Print View

Good article, Will and Janet. I agree with your seperate liner/shell system for gloves, and I also agree that the mitt type of liners and shells provide the most warmth. I, too, like the fold-back fleece mitt liner gloves. Here are my personal glove-layering systems: (1) Capilene liners as a base layer for mild conditions which are worn underneath Mountain Hardware (MH) Epic gloves; (2) MH stretch liner gloves as a base layer underneath MH Epic gloves for cooler conditions; (3) Capilene liners as a base layer underneath Columbia fleece fold-back mitts for even cooler conditions; and (4) MH stretch liners as a base layer underneath Columbia fleece fold-back mitts for the coldest conditions. When needed for protection from rain/sleet/snow, I use REI waterproof mitt shells as the final outside layer (these shells would replace the MH Epic gloves in layering systems 1 and 2, but would go over the Columbia fleece fold-back mitts in layering systems 3 and 4). I, too, have found that built-in windproof or waterproof layers produce wet, soggy, miserable gloves after a few minutes of vigorous hiking. Will and Janet, I would welcome an in-depth survey on this subject!

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Lightweight Handwear for Cold and Wet Conditions (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008) on 02/03/2008 09:57:20 MST Print View

Add me to the "light weight shell mitts over insulation layers to match the temp" fan club. After 2.5 winters using those I see no reason to look back.

A minor disappointment is that the article did not spend more time on vapor barriers in winter hand wear. I've just started trying this (half a dozen walks totaling 25-30 miles) and was hoping to hear about another's experience. I guess I'll just have to keep on testing (what's that Braer Rabbit said about the briar patch?)

Michael Martin
(MikeMartin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Lightweight Handwear for Cold and Wet Conditions (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008) on 02/03/2008 13:59:19 MST Print View

Hi Jim-

Several BPL staffers are going on a 10 day expedition in a remote part of Yellowstone National Park this month. We'll be bringing a variety of vapor barrier pieces for testing and will report on what's available, the theory behind them, and tips for their use in an upcoming state-of-the-market article.

FWIW, I've been a big fan of VB handwear from RBH Designs for the past two winter seasons.

Cheers,

-Mike

Andrew Skurka
(askurka) - F
Handwear for extended trips on 02/07/2008 10:29:17 MST Print View

Reading through this article I increasingly began saying to myself, "Yeah, I've been here..." The frustrations expressed by Will and Janet are exactly what I encountered a year or two ago while searching for the perfect handwear systems for extended trips.

For short outings, the handwear market has got you covered -- you'll be able to find the *perfect* glove that you need in consideration of the activity you'll be doing (aerobic or non-aerobic, poles or no poles, etc.) and the narrow range of conditions that you'll encounter (cold or frigid, wet or dry, etc.)

For longer outings, however, you have to be able to *create* the perfect handwear system for the much wider range of activities and conditions that you'll encounter. For example, over the course of one winter day: the temps might start sub-zero, climb to the high-20's, and then descend back into the low-10's while you are setting up camp; and your own output might range from zippo (like in the morning and during rest stops) to full-on (like if you are climbing or really pushing hard while breaking trail).

For extended trips I really value lightweight and non-integrated layers -- it's the only way to keep your handwear system both (1) functional for a range of conditions and (2) lightweight in all set-ups.

I personally have 3 handwear systems for backpacking trips:

1- For wet conditions down into the mid-40's, or for dry conditions into the mid-30's, I use the DeFeet Duragloves, which are made of mid-weight merino wool and which have rubbery/plasticky pads to improve friction and durability.

2- For wet conditions between 32-45, or for dry conditions between 25-35, I add the Mountain Laurel Design eVent mitts to my DeFeet gloves. After learning about the OR mitts in this article, I'm tempted to replace the MLD mitts with them, since the MLD mitts wet out during downpours and then you're left with cold, wet hands, which stinks. The MLD mitts would probably be relegated to running, when temps are in the high-10's/20's, and/or when it's raining or snowing.

3- When the temps drop below those described in (2), I bust out my vapor barrier mitts. I currently have the Hybrid liner, which is overkill for the temps on the upper spectrum of this range, but I just never picked up the fleece liner. Plus, as far as I'm concerned, the extra few ounces are well worth it -- having cold hands is not only miserable, but it's also dangerous (try lighting a stove to tying your shoes when you have lost all your dexterity), and there's something nicely rewarding about Mother Nature throwing the worst cold and wet conditions at you and you still being comfortable in them. The VBL mitts are neither lightweight nor non-integrated (insulation + waterproofness), so it's necessary to frequently take off and put on the mitts to allow your hand to cool off or warm up. I keep a small 'biner on my shoulder strap so that I can lock them in easily and closely.

Andy

William Murphy
(33972) - MLife
waterproof gloves on 06/03/2008 19:08:25 MDT Print View

My favorite solution is liner gloves (any light weight fleece, silk, dollar-store, truck-stop $1.19/pair but sadly cotton) and Subway waterproof gloves.

You say, you didn't realize Subway had entered the outdoor gear market!? They haven't. But next time you get a foot long, ask for the gloves they wear while they make your sandwich. They're super light weight, perfect wind & water blockers, and free with your sub! (The downsides? they're a little slippery, and without a liner, they don't add enough warmth when it's in the 20's. With liners they're great to the teens or below...)

--Bill

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: waterproof gloves on 06/03/2008 21:19:08 MDT Print View

What about subway mittens...that bag yo sammich comes in?

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
re:"Lightweight Handwear for Cold and Wet Conditions on 06/04/2008 03:18:17 MDT Print View

After years of waiting someone finally came out with a WP glove shell with no insulation. But that Lightspeed glove is about $135! No way.
I think I'll turn a pair of eVENT or goretex gloves inside out and cut out the insulation.

My warmest setup now is a $1 store 300wt fleece glove inside an OR Snowline mitt which I used last winter. I kept an extra pair of the fleece in my pack. It was a hassle removing the glove to set a screw or tie a knot: thus the search for WP/B shells.

Jeremy Cleaveland
(jeremy11) - F

Locale: Exploring San Juan talus
Lightweight Handwear for Cold and Wet Conditions (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2008) on 06/04/2008 08:56:34 MDT Print View

for an upgrade to the Subway gloves, use thin liner gloves of your choice, and then put nitrile medical gloves over the top. They are surprisingly durable, unless they get snagged on something, and as a medical glove, are multipurpose, and could even be a water container in a pinch. I really don't like the feel of latex gloves, and they are much weaker. plus the nitrile gloves are a stylish blue color.

Frank Ramos
(frprovis) - F
lightweight handwear on 06/20/2008 21:02:03 MDT Print View

I don't know why you didn't mention the BPL Featherlite Vapor Mitts. This is by far the best handwear solution ever invented for everything above 0°F, which is about as low as I've ever encountered. You can mate with liner gloves for more comfort, but even alone these Vapor Mitts should prevent frostbite or frostnip down the 0°F. As it turns out, I seldom encounter conditions cold enough for the Vapor Mitts (I seldom see temps below even 20°F) and liner gloves are fine for that. For cold rain, I just take these liner gloves off and protect my hands with my poncho, which is adequate protection for me.

One thing worth considering is that it can be really difficult to get gloves on when your hands are wet and numb. Moist but not wet skin is very unslippery against certain materials, such as those used in gloves, compared with dry skin. And numbness makes the muscles in the hands extremely weak. It can be very hard to judge difficult it will be to get gloves on in the cold, when you are testing while warm and dry. Best to avoid those form-fitting neoprene-style gloves which can be extremely hard to get on to wet and numb hands.

I use very loose liner gloves (the old BPL PossumDown liners, which apparently BPL doesn't sell anymore) which are very easy to get on, regardless of how wet and numb my hands are, because of how the PossumDown stretches easily. The Vapor Mitts are very easy to get on regardless of how wet and numb my hands on.

Doris deLespinasse
(ddeles) - F
New Zealand Possum Fur/Merino Wool on 08/18/2008 21:52:02 MDT Print View

No comment here on the New Zealand Possum Fur/Merino Wool "Eco-Fur" gloves that BPL has carried in the past. I've found them exceedingly warm for their weight, though not high on wear or water resistance. Lost one in the Sawtooths a few weeks ago and miss it a lot. Any comments?

E J
(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
glove system follow up article? current best shell choice? on 11/23/2009 21:25:13 MST Print View

My wife and I are in the market for a mitt shell to replace the 2 pairs of traditional gloves we have from x country skiing (which are warm, but once wet, a pain to dry). Has there ever been a follow up article?

What's the current best shell choice?

And what are the current best choices for the conditions Andy S mentioned?

E J
(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
Questions for the OR Latitude/Endeavor Mitt + Glove on 11/28/2009 21:57:17 MST Print View

Up to now in winter we’ve gotten by with 2 pairs each - one mid- and one heavy-weight pair of cross country skiing glove, and rotated them, placing the wet pair inside our Patagonia DAS Parkas and sleeping bags to dry. We also rotate a lightweight Ibex merino liner glove and lightweight powerstretch liner of the same weight.

Because I want something more durable and waterproof than lighter offerings, the Endeavor/Latitude looks just right. After reading the BPL overview on glove/mitt systems and a few reviews of the Endeavor and Latitude, had a few questions I’d appreciate your feedback on:

-Down to what temperature F can you comfortably use the shell with the PL-400 glove while still or moving?

-Do you find the Endeavor/Latitude breathable enough? A 2007 Backpackgeartest.org reviewer at
http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Clothing/Gloves/Outdoor%20Research%20Latitude%20Mitt/Test%20Report%20by%20Sheila%20Morrissey/ noted as a con that “The mitt shells are completely waterproof - awful for skiing as my hands were drenched in sweat!” Sweat rate differs from person to person, but just wondering how well the shell mitts breath when you are very active, such as digging a snow kitchen or building an igloo.

-Is the Latitude cut true to size like the Endeavor?

-If you size true to size, would there be enough room inside the PL-400 glove to fit a thin liner glove like the Ibex liner glove or our light powerstretch glove?

-If you oversize 1 size, do you lose a lot of dexterity with the larger shell mitt, especially when using a thin liner or no liner underneath in milder weather?

-If the Lattitude is true to size, and you size up for winter, won’t the included PL-400 gloves be too big for your hands and less dexterous?

-If we don’t already have a heavier warmer fleece glove like the PL-400, do you recommend it over similar ones? Is there a similar weight fleece/softshell glove that you like better?

-Do you find it necessary to renew the DWR on the surface of the mitt once/season with regular use? Which waterproofing spray would you use to keep them waterproof but breathable?

E J
(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
anyone try the Komperdell gloves? on 11/28/2009 22:19:22 MST Print View

Also has anyone actually tried the waterproof Komperdell gloves? Always concerned about wearing a single integrated waterproof glove - once wet takes forever to dry.

Also prefer modular systems like the Endeavor/Latitude mitts with a mid and liner glove, and possibly a vapor barrier liner, which one can dress up or down as needed.