Ultralight Rain Mittens
I like to go backpacking in the early spring, but cold spring rain can really be murder on your hands if you hike with trekking poles on multi-day trips. So, this year I’ll be using a pair of ultralight rain mitts made out of super breathable eVent fabric from Mountain Laurel Designs. At 1.5 oz per pair (unsealed), these are insanely light, but like most MLD gear, they are not cheap, costing $45/pair.
I’ve owned these mitts for a few weeks and got to test them recently on two long hikes when we received a record breaking 10 inches of rain over a 3 day period. I was the only person hiking on our local trails, which were awash in water, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to test my entire rain gear system, which has several new components. These mitts proved to be an excellent addition and did a great job of keeping my hands dry all weekend.
On my first hike, I just wore the mittens without any kind of thermal liner. My hands stayed dry throughout the day but got cold after a few hours in 40 F weather with a brisk wind.
The next day, I wore the mitts again with the very thin fleece liners that I normally bring along on three season hiking trips and stayed warm and dry the entire time. This is significant because I normally wet out a pair of fleece gloves after a few hours of hiking.
Size-wise these MLD rain mitts are large enough that they fit over the sleeves of my new Rab Momentum Rain Shell (also made out of eVent) and they have adjustable cord locks around the ends like mountaineering gloves to create a perfect seal. However, unlike mountaineering mittens, my hands retain an amazing degree of dexterity. I can even tie my shoes when wearing these mitts.
MLD includes a tube of McNett’s seam grip with these rain mitts and strongly recommend using it to strengthen the seams. The key to doing this without creating a big mess is to carefully stuff the mittens with paper towels starting with the thumbs. Next, run a bead of seam sealer over the seams and push it into them with your finger in one pass, hang, and let dry overnight.
Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.
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