Best Gear Purchase of 2015

At the end of 2014 I hiked Mount Moriah and my fingers nearly froze off on the summit. I knew I needed to purchase suitable hand protection in order to hike through the winter.

I decided I wanted mittens and glove liners. Mittens were the logical choice as they keep fingers warmer than gloves, but I also wanted the option of taking them off for short periods of time to get into my pack, unfold a map, take photos, etc. Glove liners would give me the dexterity of my fingers without leaving my hands exposed to the elements.

Looking at the combination of the two, the price was too high for my tastes. I don’t recall how exactly but I came across the Dakine Scout Mitt. They had high reviews everywhere I looked and a low price tag ($45). They were what I was looking for and 1/3 of the price I was previously considering.

Mittens and glove liners

Dakine Scout Mitts

I read that they ran about a size small. I have long fingers that are slim, so I typically wear a size L glove. I ordered the size XL mitts and they fit perfectly. Someone who typically wears a size XL probably won’t be able to purchase these mitts.

The outer mitts have DK Dry which makes them waterproof and contain a synthetic high loft (which is important to vegans, like myself). There are cinches across the back of the wrists which are easy to manage with one hand and make the mitts fit snugly, keeping in the warmth. There are medium-sized gauntlets and a second set of cinches so that the mitts fit over my jacket cuffs and keep the snow out. Each mitt also has a cinching lanyard so they can be attached to my wrists and when I toss them off I don’t have to worry about them blowing away. Lastly, each thumb has mechanisms for managing my face. The left thumb has a small squeegee for wiping snow, ice and fog from goggles and the right thumb has a soft nose-wipe panel.

The inner glove liners are snug fitting fleece with a hatched rubber texture printed on the palm. They grip very well which is useful for unfolding a map or opening a snack. The thumb and pointer finger on each glove also have touch screen compatible surfaces so that I can operate my phone without taking the liners off.

Overall, the Dakine Scout Mitts are exactly what I was looking for: warmth, functionality and a low price. The only negatives are that the sizes run small and the touch screen surface on the liners has become nappy, so touches aren’t always recognized by my phone. Since I purchased them at the beginning of the year, I’ve used the mitts twice in situations where the windchill was below -20°F: on the summit of Cannon Mountain in January and on top of Mount Washington in November. Both times my hands were comfortably warm.

References:
Scout Mitt.” store.dakine.com. Dakine. Web. 27 December 2015.

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3 thoughts on “Best Gear Purchase of 2015

  1. I’m in the same boat. Looking for that perfect combination of gloves, though I doubt I’ll be seeing temps anywhere close to -20 anytime soon. My fingers are the first things to chill when I hike. I’m adding these mitts to my list of options. Thank you!

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