Let me start this review by stating the fact that my hands are ALWAYS cold. We’re talking back-of-the-freezer-cold, polar-vortex-cold, running-with-gloves-on-in-the-summer-cold. So, towards the end of October I decided it was time to upgrade my mittens, and I figured I would go big this year. Goodbye fumbling with bindings, zippers, stoves and lighters; Hello cocoon of toastiness!
I ended up ordering Outdoor Research Stormbound Mitts. I’ve gravitated towards Outdoor Research gear because I like the streamlined, no-frills design. Useless pockets, straps, and doohickies drive me bonkers. And OR backs up their products with an Infinite Guarantee, which, as you will see, turned out to be a good thing.
Outdoor Research Stormbound Mitts
- 800 Fill Down insulation
- 2 additional layers of synthetic insulation
- Waterproof/breathable shield on the outside
- Undercuff design
- Leather Palm
- Pull loops
- Removable idiot cords
What I Like:
- Down. It’s hard to beat the weight-to-warmth ratio.
- The insulation sandwich is a great idea. I get the benefit of down, plus the security of knowing that it’s sandwiched in there between the synthetic layers. Slight drizzle? No sweat.
- The undercuff design; it’s trim, fits under jack cuffs, and reduces overall bulk around my hands. To me this is a classic example of the OR no-frills design attitude.
- They looks snazzy!
What I Don’t Like:
- Inside the mitt, it’s actually a glove. This is nice when I wear these mitts standalone, but not so great when I want to wear my mitten-liners underneath. I couldn’t find mention of this detail online (A good reason to buy gear in person, I suppose).
- The pull loop is too small to handle once the first mitt is on.
- They are not as warm as I hoped. I suspect what’s going on here is that they are plenty toasty for most people, but just don’t quite cut it for those of us who run cold.
- Durability. After about six weeks, a quarter-sized hole in the thumb blew out, exposing insulation and destroying my toasty cocoon. When I called OR, they sent me a new pair, so that was great. But part of me still wonders how this pair will hold up…
The search goes on…. but hey, it’s still a pretty great mitten.