Dec 22, 2010 at 6:18 am #1266840
After being disappointed last year at my supposedly breathable mitten shells wetting out at high exertion, I decided to sew my own. Using suggestions from my hiking buddies that do this more than I, the following system was developed:
1. fingerless wool gloves
2. fleece liner
3. larger fleece liner
4. totally breathable mitten shell
5. rain over mitt – just in case
*disclaimer – much sewing help was used from my sister
We made two complete systems for about $40 and a lot of coffee
(pattern modified from quest)Dec 22, 2010 at 7:37 am #1676723
@tkkncLocale: Desert Rat in the Southwest
What material did you make the shells out of? Please write how they perform after you use system a few times. I have been quite underwhelmed on my winter hand systems. A muff works well for me, but you can not do any work when your hands are in in the muff.Dec 22, 2010 at 7:57 am #1676730
I've been on one trip. Lows in low teens. Gloves worked great. Even when I knew my hands were perspiring from high energy hiking, they were dry. The moisture moved out and away from my fingers. The shells are breathable supplex, and I think the fleece is 300wt.
Mods: I added a cord lock system around the wrist and I have cut 2" off the length of the fleece…the fleece was banging up against my jacket. I am going to sew the locks down to the mitt, so I can adjust them with gloves on and I have added a small strip of Velcro to keep the layers together.
I hang the gloves on a strap, so I can let them go to do chores with my fingerless gloves, but can don them quickly when the chill comes.
I'm sure there are commercial setups available, but at the prices I saw…I can make a bunch of these.
DaveDec 22, 2010 at 9:59 am #1676759
@theflyingdutchmanLocale: Spanish Mountains
Nice work – looks good.
You say that "the shells are supplex" – I understand the mitten shell being Supplex, but what about the raincover? Supplex as well? Didn't know it was waterproof.
Any idea about the total weight of the system? …. and each individual item, if it isn't asking too much :)Dec 22, 2010 at 8:18 pm #1676931
OH, I forgot…the rain shells are standard sil nylon. It was really an afterthought. The pattern didn't have an XL, so we freehanded it. They really look ridiculously huge, but if there is a cold rain…who cares.
I'll get the weights tomorrow. After my fiasco last year – trying to keep my wet fingers from freezing, I don't care how much they weigh. I suppose they will be heavy as there are two layers of fleece. I do have more flexibility with mixing and matching different weights of fleece. I have 200 wt and 300 wt and if I can find 400 wt fleece, I'll make a pair of those.
Hope it helps – so far so good. I'll know more in Jan – got a 5 day sled trip in the U.P
DaveDec 22, 2010 at 9:29 pm #1676953
@beaverboymikeLocale: Southern Utah
I'm really interested in the weight of the system. (hopefully you'll weigh the items separately for us :) What do you estimate the whole system to warm down to?Dec 23, 2010 at 3:47 am #1676994
I know this is a light site, but this project was more for function. the only scale I have is an old food scale, so the weights are the best I could come up with. I think we have a better scale at work and I can try to re-weigh them there.
Total single glove system 4.5 oz (each side)
supplex shell 1.5 oz
small fleece <2.0 oz
med fleece >2.0 oz
rain shell needle didn't move.
I didn't weigh the fingerless gloves – they don't come off for the entire trip and they are store bought.
I could have gone crazy with technical fleece and momentum fabric, but I'm pretty tough on gear and a cheap hill-billy
People in our group have used similar systems down to -38 F, so far I have had it down to 13 F. It was over-kill, but I was in testing mode.
Hope this helps
DaveJan 19, 2011 at 9:20 pm #1686107
Just got back from a 5 day sled trip in the U.P. Got down to -14. Mitts worked perectly. no complaints. The durability stripe shows some wear from the poles, but everything else held up well. (it's just PU coated nylon, turned inside out)
DaveJan 20, 2011 at 7:42 am #1686192
@theflyingdutchmanLocale: Spanish Mountains
Nice to know your system held up so well – even at -14 (BTW I suppose that’s Fahrenheit). I’m really impressed with that figure (at -25,5 ºC it's really getting cold) and that your fingers didn’t freeze off with “only” two layers of fleece; I know the gloves and shells must have helped (Wind Chill, etc), but the main protection comes from the fleece – or not? Might have to try something like this myself.Jan 21, 2011 at 5:54 pm #1686831
Last year I didn't beleive this system would work either. They tell me it has to do more with moisture movement rather than insulating layers. When you are at high energy exertion your fingers sweat and your mitts wet out. this happened to several new hikers last weekend as you saw gloves and mittens hanging by a small snow melting fire.
I may add one more layer if I go next year to Canada in Feb with -40 possible. (F that is, although at -40 the two scales meet)
Thanks for the interest,
DaveJan 22, 2011 at 8:28 am #1687007
Very nice and inspiring, David. I need new shell mitts, and you're making me lean toward making them myself. Your weight is a little less than OR Goretex overmitts plus liners and has more flexibility.
" They tell me it has to do more with moisture movement rather than insulating layers. When you are at high energy exertion your fingers sweat and your mitts wet out." Also, I find that in snow my mittens get wet from the snow, so it's good to have spare mittens. I like to carry a spare pair of ragg wool mittens and a pair of Dachsteins (for the ultimate backup).
Adding very thin liner gloves to the system makes your fingers hurt less when you need to do delicate adjustments to camera, etc.
It's hard to tell from the photos, but adding idiot cords is handy in cold weather and absolutely necessary in windy conditions (you don't want to lose your overmitts).Jan 22, 2011 at 4:38 pm #1687157
You are right. I did notice that the breathable shell material always seems damp, but the fleece did not. When I would drop the mitts to work on something, sometimes the outside layer would freeze, but as soon as I put them back on it would dry out. It is interesting that your hands can generate so much heat. I never needed my back-up mitts that I had stashed in my emergency clothing bag. I did have the mitts on a hanger strap that I kept moving to the outside layer when I had to modify my clothing system.
I will have to check if those Austrian mitts you mentioned are breathable enough for this system. According to the website the weave is so tight that they are waterproof. I think that if it were much colder my fingerless glove idea would have to be scrapped for a tight liner type glove.
We used the simple pattern from Quest, but eliminated the insulation layer and the stretch cuff and added 4 inches to the length. When I need to make another pair, I will probably flair the cuffs a little to fit better over my sleeves.
DaveJan 22, 2011 at 7:07 pm #1687206
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> but adding idiot cords is handy in cold weather and absolutely necessary in windy conditions
Not arguing overall, just disputing that they should be called 'idiot' cords. 'Smart' cords would be more my way of thinking.
Note that they are absolutely stock standard in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.
CheersJan 23, 2011 at 10:51 am #1687359
Marco A. SánchezMember
@marcoasnLocale: The fabulous Pyrenees
> 'Smart' cords would be more my way of thinkin.
The same applies to the very small cord locks found in many mittens: a real pain to press. False economy imho.
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