Rating: 5 / 5
Normally I don’t like to review an item until I’ve really put it through its paces, but since this is a new product that’s received a bit of a buzz, I thought I’d provide some initial impressions. If I have any major revelations, I'll edit later.
First off, the fabric was the main selling point for me, based on about 2 years of very positive experience w/ my ID eVent Jacket. This is my first look at a 2-layer eVent fabric, and I am impressed. Compared to my (3-layer) jacket, the difference is noticable, but I am confident that durability will not be an issue for me (even tho I’m a trekking pole user, and I prefer reasonably durable gloves). This fabric has many promising applications.
The wristcord toggles are perfect, being easy to adjust w/ one hand while wearing the mitts.
I’d give these mitts a 4.5 if I could, only because the seam across the palm, combined with the bunching-up of fabric inside the thumb crease, are less than impressive design elements. Mostly this is aesthetic. A more ergonomic 3+ piece design could solve this (I’m not very knowledgable about sewing however), but would no doubt result in a higher cost for a product that is already in the upper tier for rain mitts. If I were hoping to use them as UL winter shell mitts for more continuous use, I might be disappointed. Note: not at all because of fabric durability. Admittedly this is way beyond the intended use! For these reasons I am now less curious about the weight penalty for a more durable 3-layer version, as the lighter choice is perfectly congruent with the design. In wet cold weather (my norm), even when I might wear them as often as not for a few days straight, the ergonomics should be fine.
Sizing: I normally wear a men's small glove, but I found the S/M mitts a bit restrictive for basic tasks, layered over possumdown gloves. Therefore I had to size up to a L/XL. This is my second order from MLD, and as before Ron's customer service was on point.
Nit-picks aside, and even without considering the lack of options in this market niche, MLD has really delivered a good product. They should prove excellent for the needs of the typical early season thru-hiker, and I fully expect to keep these mitts in my kit for a very long time.
EDIT: My size L mitts weigh 0.95 oz, measured on an accurate 5oz-capacity scale.