I go through a lot of gloves and mitts. Usually, the fingertips wear through. Another problem is "waterproof-breathable" handwear keeps water out, but it also keeps sweat in - so my hands get cold. My solution is to wear a liner glove or mitt inside a lightweight waterproof-breathable shell. When the liner gets damp, exchange it for a dry one. If it is a cold day, use a warm liner. If it is a cool/dry day, wear only the liner. If it is raining or snowing, wear the shell with or without a liner, depending on the temperature.
The Outdoor Research Endeavor Mitt is made of Gore-Tex PacLite fabric with a very durable coating on the palms for extra grip and a long gauntlet to overlap the cuffs of a jacket.
Weighing just 3.9 ounces per pair (size large), the Outdoor Research Endeavor is a durable lightweight waterproof-breathable shell mitt. My emphasis is on durable because there are lighter shell mitts to be found, such as the Mountain Laurel Designs eVENT Rain Mitt, and the Etowah/ULA Frogtog Over Mittens. Although Outdoor Research markets the Endeavor Mitt for "wet moderate conditions," I found it performs quite well for snow sports or any situation where a more durable shell mitt is needed. Note: the OR Latitude Mitt is the Endeavor Mitt combined with a removable softshell and fleece liner glove and costs $20 USD more.
The palm side (left) is coated with AlpenGrip, which feels rubbery and is very grippy and durable. The mitt's long gauntlet overlaps a jacket sleeve to effectively seal out snow. The gray pull tightens the gauntlet and the black one loosens it - very convenient. The inside of the mitts (right) is fully seam taped.
The Endeavor Mitt runs true to size, and the OR website shows how to measure your hand to ensure you order the correct size. If you are going to use them in cold weather, it is a good idea to oversize a shell mitt so there is plenty of room inside for insulated gloves or mitts.
The OR Endeavor Mitt and several liners were part of my gear kit for an eleven day winter camping trip in Yellowstone National Park, plus many backcountry ski and snowshoe trips near home. With a warm liner inside, the mitts are perfect for building igloos, snowshoeing, and ski touring. For snow sports, overmitts are a very important outer layer because they keep snow from sticking to insulating gloves or mitts. Fleece is very light and warm, but snow sticks to it, and it gets wet easily in the winter. Wearing the Endeavor Mitt over fleece is a perfect combination for cold days. On really cold mornings (down to -16° Fahrenheit) while winter camping and cold days (0° to 10° Fahrenheit) while backcountry skiing, the Endeavor shell added a lot of warmth when worn over an insulated glove.
I wore the Endeavor Mitt over a variety of gloves and liners made of different fabrics, with or without insulation. Some of my favorites are (left to right) OR Latitude softshell/fleece liner glove, Manzella Tahoe fleece glove, Heat Factory Pop Top mitten (a fold back mitten with a built-in pocket to insert a chemical hand warmer packet), Ibex wool liner glove, and Outdoor Research PL-400 mitts (also available as a glove).
After three months of hard use, the Endeavor Mitt shows little evidence of wear, as can be seen in the two top photos. It also has been consistently waterproof, with no detectable leakage through the mitts, even in situations where there is a lot of contact with wet snow or water. Overall, the OR Endeavor Mitt is an excellent choice for a lightweight shell mitt for situations where more durability is needed, such as snow sports and winter camping.
Specifications and Features
- Manufacturer: Outdoor Research (http://www.orgear.com/)
- Year/Model: 2008 Endeavor Mitt
- Materials: 70 d Gore-Tex PacLite
- Insulation: None, this is a shell mitt to be worn by itself or over a liner
- Features: Seam taped Gore-Tex PacLite shell, AlpenGrip palm, Duo Cinch gauntlet closure, ladder lock wrist cinch, removable idiot cords
- Sizes: Small to Extra-Large
- Weight: Measured Weight: 4.1 oz/pair (116 g) size extra-large, Manufacturer Specification: 3.9 oz/pair (111 g) size large
- MSRP: $69 USD