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Bar Mitts Cold Weather Pogies Review

Bar Mitts can be used as cold weather pogies for regular trekking poles in cold weather. (Sleeves rolled up for illustration purposes only. )
Bar Mitts can be used as cold weather pogies for cycling or regular trekking poles in cold weather. (Sleeves rolled up for illustration purposes only. )

Bar Mitts are cold weather pogies used by cyclists to keep their hands warm in cold weather. While they’re available for many different bar and shifter combinations, the straight bar version of Bar Mitts designed for mountain bikes can also be used as pogies for regular-handled trekking poles. Made with 5 mm Neoprene, Bar Mitts protect your hands from wind and create a micro-climate that lets you use lighter weight gloves in winter, both on a bike or on foot when used with trekking poles. They’re a nice solution for people who have habitually cold hands outdoors and can help reduce the number of gloves you need to carry in winter.

The idea for using Neoprene pogies with trekking poles is not new. I first encountered it with Pacerpole’s OverMitts in 2013, makers of the ergonomic gripped trekking poles that I prefer to use year-round. Like all winter hikers, I’ve struggled with the problem of winter glove layering and developing a system that minimizes the number of gloves you need to carry, since they get wet from perspiration or come into contact with snow. I found that using Neoprene overmitts lets you use a lighter weight and more breathable glove, so your hands sweat less and stay drier longer. They also let you use a higher dexterity glove in crappy conditions where you’d be forced to use a low dexterity glove otherwise.

Bar Mitts are available in many different sizes, styles (corresponding to different handle bars and shifter combinations), so you want to be sure to get the ones for straight bar mountain bikes if you want to be able to use them as I show above. Be advised that you can’t lean heavily on your pole straps the way you might normally because the mountain bike version isn’t really sized for it. Bar Mitts does make a version of the Mitts for XC skiing poles and Snowshoe poles and they might be a better solution for you.

Of course, if you’re a cyclist and you don’t know about Bar Mitts, get some! They make it possible to keep your hands toasty in winter and are a complete godsend. The Mitts are sized by the size of the gloves and jacket you intend to wear them with, since your sleeve ends tuck into the ends of the pogies.  They have a zipper on one side that makes it easy to slip them onto your handlebars, with velcro tabs to seal in the heat and reinforce the zipper.

Disclosure: The author purchased this product with his own funds.

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  1. To avoid perspiration wetting my gloves, I have been using nitrile gloves as a VBL in cold conditions and they seem to work really well. Typically, I pack spares for the thin ones. I just found 9 mil ones at Harbor Freight that seem much more durable, but I have yet to test them for this application.

    Also in winter, I like to wear inexpensive work gloves. The kind that you find in packs of three for $10 at the hardware store. Always worried that messing with the points will destroy my nice gloves, which I save for the challenging bits. Also, my hands overheat when I trek, so I don’t need much insulation. What I need is wind resistance. So from a hiking stand point, Yama developed these pogies last year, and I rather liked them. I used them on two trips before misplacing them. It appears this year they are developing an insulated model.



  2. These Bar Mitts are an interesting idea, but the product is too small by half. I cannot fit either pole or gloved hand in there; there is simply no way to fit both.

    Also, there isn’t enough room to use straps properly. So +1 for concept, -1 for execution.

    The Yama pogies that Iago linked appear to be designed better.

    Will try the PacerPole product when the poles become available again.

    • I have the PacerPole pogies and love them. I have Reynaud’s and my fingers are VERY sensitive to cold, and especially cold and wet. I’ve hiked at 25F (-4C) using the pogies without gloves, although I usually wear a thin pair of gloves with them. They’ll be worth the wait.

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