Sunday, November 17, 2013

RaidLight OverMitts review

My notoriously cold hands can be a big problem, especially in the high mountains during storms. Sometimes my fingers feel like ice sticks. RaidLight OverMitts are the best solution I've discovered so far. They were designed to meet the gear requirements of some ultra trail running races, demanding completely waterproof gloves.

As these ├╝ber-gloves weigh only 24 grams/pair (0.9 oz) and take very little space in your pocket or backpack, there's no reason to leave home without them. I simply wear whatever comfy old gloves I fancy wearing in good weather, and then quickly add the mitts over them if the weather turns bad. Of course it's also possible to wear the mitts alone without any undergloves in hot weather. The mitts are not warm at all by themselves, so all the warmth has to come from the undergloves and your hands.

You can secure the mitts around your wrist with the attached velcro/elastic band. The band can be also handy when you want to hang the mitts somewhere or attach them to each other.

None of my vast selection of gloves are quite waterproof or warm enough by itself (including RaidLight/SealSkinz Ultra Grips), but together with these OverMitts my hands stay dry and warm. The MP+ Stretchlite membrane (79% polyamide, 17% polyurithane, 4% elasthane) is extremely wind- and waterproof while somewhat elastic and breathable.

With a price tag of about 40€ these mitts aren't exactly a bargain (whopping 1,662.50€/kg!), but in my experience they are worth every penny. I've experimented enough with various el cheapo rubber gloves in the past to know that they just don't make it for me in serious alpine races.

I bought these OverMitts in Chamonix with my own money, and I'm not in any way affiliated with RaidLight. I just happen to like these gloves, that's all. Highly recommended, especially for UTMB and other euro races with superstrict management. Certainly everyone could use a pair of working hands, even when running!

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