Dachstein Extreme Warm Wool Mittens Review

Dachstein Extreme Warm Mittens Review

Dachstein Extreme Warm Wool Mittens are very warm boiled wool mittens popular with mountaineers. Made with very dense boiled wool (more on this below), they’re windproof and virtually waterproof. When the mercury drops near zero or below, these are the mittens you want to be wearing. They’re also ideal for people who get very cold hands in winter or who suffer from Raynaud’s Disease.  They’re not itchy at all. They can be worn alone or with an outer shell mitt in extreme winter weather.

Dachstein Extreme Warm Wool Mittens

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Thick Boiled Wool Mittens

Dachstein's Extreme Warm Wool Mittens are made with thick boiled wool. Favored by mountaineers, they will keep your hands warm on very cold days and are ideal for outdoor recreation or work.

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Boiled Wool Clothing

Boiled wool mitts are made by repeatedly boiling heavy wool mittens in hot water until they shrink to the desired size. The boiling process preserves the natural oils occurring in the wool and results in a very tightly woven mitt that is windproof and virtually waterproof. Boiled wool clothing has been around since the Middle Ages and is prized for its warmth and value. It’s surprising that there’s not more of it available, if only from cottage manufacturers who could tailor it for niche winter hiking and mountaineering use.

I’ve used the Dachstein Wool Mittens on long winter day hikes in cold, zero-degree weather in the White Mountains. They’re very thick and warm, with long wrist gauntlets that extend over the wrist and half-way up your arm. In terms of dexterity, the mitts are perfect for use with trekking poles but are otherwise too large and bulky for much else. It can be convenient to wear them with a thin glove liner, so you can remove your hands to adjust zippers, drink from a water bottle or eat snacks, without exposing your hands, however briefly, to the cold.

Long Wrist Gauntlets
Long Wrist Gauntlets

One of the things that’s always impressed me about the Dachstein Mittens is their water resistance. When I go winter hiking and snowshoeing the mitts invariably get covered with snow, but the interior never feels wet, even when I’ve worn them all day. I guess that’s just the density of the boiled wool weave at work. It’s rare for me to get a full day’s use out of a fleece or wool glove before they get soaked by external moisture, so being able to wear a single pair of these the Dachstein Mittens all day is a novelty.

Dachstein Mittens Hand Length

Sizing and Care

Dachstein bases their sizing on the length of your hand from the wrist to the top of your middle finger. If you intend to wear the mittens with an inner liner, you’ll probably want to size up. I wear a size 8 and my mittens weigh 7.8 oz for the pair.

The mittens retain their shape well through multiple washings as long as you wash them in cold water and blot dry in a towel rather than ringing them out or putting them in a drier. When washing use a very gentle detergent like Woolite and rinse well.

As you can imagine, Dachstein’s Extreme Wool Mittens are simply too well insulated to wear in warmer temperatures, but they are an ideal cold-weather glove worn alone or under a large waterproof shell glove, and a fairly affordable one as cold weather mitts go.

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

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  1. I have a pair of these, and are they ever warm! Unfortunately, in the Pacific NW, they are too warm most of the time, and make my hands sweat. I therefore seldom wear them, but carry them in my pack (in case of emergency) during winter day hikes–I would wear them if caught out overnight. If I were still living in Wyoming, I’d be wearing them most of the time!

  2. Love my Dachsteins. Just bought 4 pair this spring (2 for me 2 for the wife) because the supplier(Sweaters international) was going out of business and got 4 pair for $87 total. Couldn’t pass that up. My old pair lasted 30 years.Great in snow,ice almost waterproof etc extremely warm with polypro glove liner my hands never get cold in winter in NH

  3. These mittens were the glove of choice for mountaineers all over the world for decades. Look at some of the pictures of the climbers/mountaineers that set the stage for us today back in the 50’s – 70’s. they all wore Dachstein, mittens, sweaters, (this is before down parkas!) hats and fingered gloves.
    I have used these since the 1970’s. Lost my original pair, but got new ones from another source.They’re different from most gloves you’d wear. The lanolin that is concentrated in the wool by the boiling process makes them very moisture repellent. They’re not water proof, but
    I’ve had the outside freeze over completely from constant exposure to snow, and the inside be completely warm and dry. I do wear a thin liner to handle my camera, but they’re great with just bare hands too.
    My hands are always cold, so they live in my pack as camp gloves, and there are days I do wear them hiking, and under a shell mitt for skiing, but they can be too warm!
    Try one of their hats!
    Another suggestion for those with constantly cold hands, wristlets (or wristies) available in wool as military surplus, or in tech fabrics from Wristies.

    • Meant to add another good source for these mittens is SweaterChalet. They have an excellent selection of wool items from Norway, & Austria.

      • I prefer to buy direct from the manufacturer since it does them the most good in terms of profit. They are a small company. They always have the best selection too!

  4. YEP! Dachstein Austrian boiled wool mittens are great. I’ve had mine since 1978. As a Nordic patroller for the 1979 Pre-Olympics (World Cup) when temperatures were always below 0 F. and some days -20 F. and -40F.!!

    But inside leather and nylon shells they kept me warm even at -40 F. Amazing. Love them and I think I’d trust them more than my heavy two-layer fleece mitten liners.

    Later I bought a pair of Knut & Knut Norwegian heavy wool gloves in size XL. Then I boiled them to fit as a size Large and they feel like Dachstein gloves, thick and very tightly knit.

    • Got mine in 1975 so I’ve got the guy from 1978 beat. Used in high school as I rode almost every day to ride my bike in high school. One day I rode in below zero weather, which for my area in North Carolina was pretty cold.

      You are right about nearly waterproof. I never worried, hiking or cycling, about rain snow or ice. And NOTHING wears like Dachstein mitts! And NOTHING breathes like them as well. Take that to the bank. Few things simply have not been improved on in the last 1500 years, but this one qualifies.

  5. I’ve had a pair of Dachstein mitts for decades. I wear them inside of leather “choppers” (leather mittens) or inside some OR Gore Tex mitts. These are reserved for when the temperature gets well below zero here in Montana. They have accompanied me on several winter ski touring expeditions. Top notch product.

  6. You can also swish them in a sink with lukewarm water and a little shampoo, roll in a towel to blot, then lay flat to dry. I’ve knitted and felted a lot of wool, and it’s actually very easy to care for, and wears like iron!

  7. Love my pair, too, but they’re not water proof. I’ve had best success with them in dry very cold conditions where the snow and ice freezes over the outside, but not so much when the needle is hovering closer to freezing or where you might run into freezing rain or icy conditions.

    • Bring a pair of waterproof shell gloves to cover them.

      • I do, but the waterproof claim made on these mittens tends to be overstated.

      • Any recommendations on good shell gloves? I tried going through the archives but missed it if you do have a recommendation. I was looking at the products from Ragged Mountain, which are designed for their own fleece-based mittens.

      • Shells are shells. They’ll work with any inner mittens or gloves. I’d start with the Ragged Mountain ones. The price is right. I’ve been tempted to try them, just haven’t gotten around to it.

  8. P.S. For”water proofing” I rubbed Snow Seal boot wax into my Dachstein mittens and melted it in with a hair dryer set on warm. After doing this 3 times the mittens were pretty “water resistant” and definitely MOTH PROOF.

    Today I would use Biwell boot wax.

  9. Can these be purchased in lighter weights?

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