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Mountain Laurel Designs eVENT Rain Mitt Review

At one ounce per pair, these waterproof/breathable rain mitts are designed for ultralight backpacking, but should they be worn over a jacket sleeve or under it?

Recommended

Overall Rating: Recommended

The MLD eVENT Rain Mitts are designed specifically for ultralight backpacking and are remarkably light, breathable, and waterproof. However, the mitts' gauntlets are a bit of an issue. A gauntlet works great for keeping snow out, but rain will run into the mitts when they are worn over jacket sleeves. The mitts work better when the openings are tucked inside the sleeves, so perhaps a simple elastic band would be sufficient.

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by Will Rietveld |

Description

It took me nearly a year to use the Mountain Laurel Designs eVENT Rain Mitts enough to give them a thorough testing. In the western United States, rain mitts spend more time in my pack than on my hands, but when I need them, I really need them. In other regions of the country, rainwear gets a more frequent and thorough workout, so performance is very important. The MLD eVENT Rain Mitt is a good choice in either situation. At only 1.1 ounces per pair (measured weight, size Large), they are wicked light, and a no-brainer to carry them in your pack as standard equipment.

Mountain Laurel Designs eVENT Rain Mitt Review - 1
The Mountain Laurel Designs eVENT Rain Mitts I tested are constructed of Gore-Tex XCR in the palm and inside of the thumb (blue), and two-layer eVENT (black) for the remainder. The latest (2009) version uses three-layer eVENT in the palm area. As can be seen in the photo, the mitts have a curved shape to reduce seam stress while holding trekking poles.

Mountain Laurel Designs eVENT Rain Mitt Review - 2
The MLD Rain Mitts have a long gauntlet with an anchored cordlock/bungee cord closure that is easy to operate with mitts on.

Performance

My usual glove size is an XL, so I opted for the eVENT Rain Mitt in size Large (it's available in Medium and Large). The size Large provides plenty of extra room to wear gloves inside them, even heavy ones. Although the volume of the mitts is more than ample, I still needed the size Large for their length in the hand and gauntlet areas.

The mitts come with a small tube of McNett Seam Grip for seam sealing, and MLD recommends stuffing the gloves with paper to expand them to facilitate a neat job of seam sealing. That's easier said than done; I find it difficult to do a neat job of sealing anything with Seam Grip! The result is sealed seams, but it's not pretty.

I tested the MLD eVENT Rain Mitts while backpacking or day hiking in rain and wet snow on numerous occasions, with and without trekking poles. In warmer weather I wore thin liner gloves inside them, and in colder weather I went to thicker fleece gloves inside. I also gave them a try for backcountry skiing.

I found the MLD Rain Mitts to be a real hand saver when I needed them. While hiking in really wet conditions, it's hard to keep my hands dry and warm, and with glove liners inside they kept my hands dry all day. They also breathed well, and I did not have any problems with moisture buildup (from sweat) in my glove liners while hiking uphill in warmer temperatures. They are waterproof as expected; I did not have any occasions where water penetrated the fabric or seams. However, how I wore the Rain Mitts did make a difference. With the gauntlet worn over the sleeves of my rain jacket, I found that water (under gravity) has a tendency to run into the mitts, but the mitts worn under the sleeve of my jacket shed water very well. If the mitts are worn with the gauntlets under jacket sleeves, it is helpful to place a rubber band around the wrist area to hold the sleeves in place.

Mountain Laurel Designs eVENT Rain Mitt Review - 3
MLD Rain Mitts worn with the gauntlet on the outside (left) and inside (right). Water ran into the mitts with the gauntlet on the outside of my sleeve. The right photo shows my preferred method of wearing the mitts under my sleeve.

The Rain Mitts performed well with trekking poles and did not leak, even with some pumping action from holding the poles. After a year of intermittent use, my test mitts did not show any serious signs of wear from trekking poles, but it stands to reason that fabric abrasion from constant use with trekking poles will probably wear them out faster.

Ron Bell at Mountain Laurel Designs does not recommend using the Rain Mitts for snow sports, and I agree. I used them once while backcountry skiing and realized that they are simply too fragile for that type of use. I much prefer the Outdoor Research Endeavor Mitt for snow sports; they are still light at 3.9 ounces/pair, adequately durable, and waterproof.

Overall, the MLD eVENT Rain Mitt is hard to beat for three-season backpacking. They add very little weight to your pack, and, combined with lightweight liner gloves, make a very effective and versatile handwear system for ultralight backpacking.

Specifications

  Manufacturer

Mountain Laurel Designs (http://mountainlaureldesigns.com/)

  Year/Model

2008 eVENT Rain Mitt

  Materials

Current (2009) version has three-layer eVENT in the palm area and inside of the thumb, two-layer eVENT for the remainder

  Sizes

Medium, Large

  Features

Ergonomic curved shape to reduce seam stress while holding trekking poles, long gauntlet with anchored cordlock/bungee cord closure

  Weight

Measured weight, size Large: 1.1 oz/pair (31 g)
Manufacturer specification: 0.95 oz/pair (27 g)

  MSRP

US$45

Citation

"Mountain Laurel Designs eVENT Rain Mitt Review," by Will Rietveld. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/mld_rain_mitt_review.html, 2009-04-07 00:10:00-06.

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Mountain Laurel Designs eVENT Rain Mitt Review
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Mountain Laurel Designs eVENT Rain Mitt Review on 04/07/2009 19:43:26 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Mountain Laurel Designs eVENT Rain Mitt Review

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
MLD Mitts on 04/07/2009 19:50:28 MDT Print View

My testing in Minnesota confirms Will's findings. They are great, but must be worn under your jacket sleeves.

My brother also used them over last winter, laying over some Powerstretch gloves. He used it mostly for wind-breaking purposes, but also do dig out snow shelters and other wet winter activities. He loves them.

Edited by citystuckhiker on 04/08/2009 10:34:39 MDT.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Mountain Laurel Designs eVENT Rain Mitt Review on 04/07/2009 21:43:51 MDT Print View

I have them aswell. Awesome pair of mitts. I actually have never used mine in rain yet, only as an overmitt in winter. They work great so far.

Daniel Baettig
(btd1) - MLife
MLD MItts on 04/08/2009 02:35:28 MDT Print View

I also have the MLD mitts, and I agree with Will. My experience with the MLD Mitts: very light and very good.

Frank Deland
(rambler)

Locale: On the AT in VA
important gear on 04/08/2009 07:21:00 MDT Print View

I often do not see waterproof mitts such as these mentioned on gear lists. I have used them in spring rains in GA and wet fall snows in New England. My hands would have become numb and useless without them. OR used to make a pair similar, but with a shorter length and tight elastic cuff. ($40 gortex). Less expensive models of silnylon are also around, and simple patterns are found for sewing your own. The thumb of the MLD pair is a somehow funny, awkward fit, but they work well....a very important piece of gear.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: MLD MItts on 04/08/2009 09:05:55 MDT Print View

I have some of the first round and I like them. I bring them along and use them as a stuff sack for my rain knickers most of the time. When it's pouring they keep my leather biking gloves from wetting out immediately and keep my hands pretty dry.

For an ounce they are worth it for sure.

Andrew Skurka
(askurka) - F
Other observations from personal use on 04/08/2009 10:26:18 MDT Print View

I've worn these mitts quite a bit, but, like Will, I've carried them for many more miles than I've actually used them. I want to point out three things:

1- I can't emphasize enough the importance of sealing the seams with SilNet. This is not easily done, but it needs to be done perfectly in order to make them waterproof. Without sealed seams, they are not waterproof, and your hands will get wet. And having cold and wet hands is miserable.

2- In addition to using them for backpacking, I run with them often in the winter in order to add warmth to my standard running gloves (DeFeet Duraglove) and to shed any precip that may be coming down. I've worn them in temps between 15 and 35.

3- When backpacking the mitts are part of my 3-season handwear system, the other part of which is usually the DeFeet Duragloves. When morning/evening temps are regularly less than 30 degrees, I prefer bringing the BPL Vapor Mitts made by RBH Designs, which are much warmer (in both dry and wet conditions) and only slightly heavier than the Mitts/Duragloves combo.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Other observations from personal use on 04/08/2009 11:45:51 MDT Print View

Agree with Andy on the seam sealing. Also I don't like to wear merino wool inside them, as the mitts are "slippery." I normally use a Burton Outlast Soft-shell Glove Liner.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Another good reason for rain mitts on 04/08/2009 15:53:42 MDT Print View

6618S - frozen poles
.
Cold frosty morning, wet tent from previous night, poles frozen into sleeves. I tried extracting the poles with bare hands, but soon gave that up as a seriously bad idea! I was wearing both mitts and liner gloves here!

Cheers

greg degler
(gregdegler) - F

Locale: West
this message approved by GregDegler on 04/09/2009 17:25:35 MDT Print View

I searched high and low for simply a simple UltraLite shell glove or mit. Impossible to find. Except for the MLD eVENT Rain Mitt. The design and craftmanship and materials used are excellent. I've done over 1000 miles of the Appalachian Trail with these baby's to say that they STILL get 2 thumbs up. Seem to be waterproof, they do actually breath and they are very light. Why can't I get a simple jacket and pant made like this?
NOTE: A very light and cheap mitten option is: when you wear out your DriDucks or FrogTogs Jacket, put the sleeve on backwards. Then cut it off just beyond your outstretched finger tips and glue/sew this open end
closed.

Edited by gregdegler on 04/09/2009 17:26:35 MDT.

Adrian B
(adrianb) - MLife

Locale: Auckland, New Zealand
Re: Other observations from personal use on 05/13/2009 00:09:01 MDT Print View

I agree sealing the seams isn't easily done. My don't seem to have 'stuck' that well, after a wet weekend they're peeling around the thumb. I dread having to do them again.

Also I find they tend to slowly slip down my wrist, because there isn't actually anything holding them on your hand. Cinching down a rain jacket over the top helps, but over time as your hands move about they work themselves down. I think a simple bit of elastic just around the wrist (below the wide bit of the hand) would help here (in a similar position to the webbing straps on the much beefier OR Endeavor Mitts).

Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
Re: Mountain Laurel Designs eVENT Rain Mitt Review on 06/19/2013 07:00:56 MDT Print View

Update: The current 2013 model uses the latest 15d full 3-Layer eVENT throughout. The wrist draw cord sleeve is designed for long term durability and servicibility and the robust 1/8" bungee cord can be easily user replaced by a simple small flat elastic cord if you want a lower profile cuff to wear under a jacket sleeve. This quick change will save about .5 oz from the pair.. More info on the product page plus a video link for fast and simple seam sealing. Sized for layering and large hands, avialble in two sizes.

Ben Pearre
(fugue137) - MLife
There is no wrist drawcord! on 01/23/2014 13:48:14 MST Print View

Ron writes "The wrist draw cord sleeve [munch]".

That seems deceptive: there is no wrist draw cord sleeve. If there were, the gloves wouldn't keep sliding off. I guess Ron is referring to the forearm draw cord, which keeps the gauntlet closed, but which does nothing to prevent the mitt from sliding up the forearm because it's, well, not at the wrist where a wrist draw cord would be.

If you always have something (e.g. hiking poles) in your hands, then the mitts stay on.

Any pointers for keeping them on? I'd think that just wrapping a rubber band outside the glove at the wrist would do it, if one of the right size could be found. But it can't.

If they had a wrist drawcord, they'd be a really great item. As it is, they frustrate me the whole way down the trail.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: There is no wrist drawcord! on 01/24/2014 12:09:28 MST Print View

you can make any size "rubber band" you need with some elastic or shock cord. It's also very easy to sew in a wrist elastic if you have a sewing machine with free arm. I've made several pairs of mitten shells, and for the wrist elastic I just take some elastic, play around with sizing by experimentation, then once I have the size I want, with the ends of the elastic sewn together, I turn the shell inside out, slip it over the free arm of the machine, with the elastic over it, and with the shell stretched out fully, just sew a line down the middle of the elastic all the way around with the biggest stitch size I have. The only downside is now you have more seam sealing to do.

When wearing a jacket with the shells, just put the sleeve over the shells and the jacket cuff can help keep the mitts in place.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
rubbers on 01/24/2014 17:37:06 MST Print View

"I'd think that just wrapping a rubber band outside the glove at the wrist would do it, if one of the right size could be found. But it can't."


I end up wearing several standard # 64 rubber bands on my wrist when hiking. When I take the rubber band off my pot/lid, it goes on my wrist. If I have a 1/8" CCF pad, and take the rubber band off of it goes around my wrist. I often carry a couple spares there. 0.04 oz each.

Might depend on the person, but seems it would work for me. Dont have any MLD mitts to try it on though.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: rubbers on 01/24/2014 17:44:51 MST Print View

"standard # 64 rubber bands"

Oh? You can't get by with a standard # 68 ?

I store them on my wrist the same way.

--B.G.--