May 17, 2013 at 9:49 am #1303030
I'm guessing off hand that the MLD Event mitts might be a bit more durable long term? The only reason why i would consider the Zpacks one is because of weight, and more so because you probably don't need to DWR treat it like you would the MLD ones *(meaning more specifically, that the Cuben Fiber fabric probably doesn't require a DWR coating to begin with, and while the MLD event mitts come with a DWR coating, it will eventually wash off. I have contacted Joe to ask him about this assumption though and will update accordingly). Ultimately though, i'm more interested in long term durability.
Looking for feedback especially from folks with experience with one or the other, or especially both.
*Edited for clarity, i wasn't trying to say that the MLD Event mitts didn't come with a DWR–i assumed they did, but i was thinking that the Cuben WBP stuff might not need it like many other WPB fabrics. When Joe get's back to me, i will edit it again.May 17, 2013 at 9:57 am #1987056
@wandering_bobLocale: Oregon, USA
I've been asking the same question. Durability trumps weight when you're using trekking poles. Cuben fiber doesn't handle abrasion well so I'd be worried about it in a mitt.
MLD: 3 layer eVENT; 1.3 oz per pair; $49; seam sealing required
zPacks: 1.42 oz/sq yard WP/B Cuben fiber; 0.8 oz per pair; $59; taped seams – no sealing needed
Looking at just the specs, I don't consider either the 0.5 ounce weight or $10 price difference really significant. I suspect that MLD will be more durable (especially with trekking poles as they were designed for that) and more breathable. ZPacks will be more waterproof with their taped seams (no messy seam sealing to do improperly).
YMMV.May 17, 2013 at 11:05 am #1987072
Thank you Bob. That is also an important factor, breathability, and yes i would want better breathability as well. So definitely leaning to MLD event mitts.May 17, 2013 at 12:40 pm #1987096
@valsharLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I have had the 1st and 2nd generation versions of the MLD rain mitts.
I have NOT used the 2nd gen version in the rain, but my experience with the 1st gen. version has been good.
Hiked in the rain all day with hiking poles….no damage.
However, you might want to carry some surgical gloves on your hands while wearing the mitts if you are looking to be waterproof.
In my case, gripping the poles was pushing water through the rain mitts….not their fault because of the exerted force of anyone's grip is more than what the material can handle.
I am a big fanboy of MLD, Ron does great work!
Hope this helps.
-TonyMay 17, 2013 at 1:12 pm #1987108
Thanks a bunch Tony, great info.May 17, 2013 at 2:38 pm #1987124
@valsharLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
You are welcome.
Given enough hours of hiking in the rain, I would expect that you will get soaked.
That is the sense that I gathered after reading Andre Skurka's book from National Geographic on backpacking and gear.
If you carry surgical gloves as part of your med kit, then you have a dueal use item.
Maybe something else you can use for the rain….take UPS plastics shipping bags, the ones that are the size of legal documents.
Cut them down to sock/booty size and slip them over your socks to wear in your trail runners while hiking in the rain.
Your feet will be damp from the sweat and get a bit chilled, but that is a heck of a lot better than cold, wet socks and feet from the mud and rain.
Light weight and the bags are "free" and very durable.
On the same trip I used my 1st gen MLD rain mitts, I used the UPS bags on my feet.
Even have used this trick in the snow while renting snowmobiles and wearing trail runners….an experiment that I ran to see how they would work.
Cheap vapor barrier socks of a sort.
-TonyMay 17, 2013 at 2:45 pm #1987126
@geokiteLocale: Southern California
I have had a similar experience with Frogg toggs rain jackets; the pack exerts enough pressure to push the water through. My butt and lower back get wet.
I have both the MLD mitts and the Z-packs mitts. I tried them both at one time, with poles, to see which was more breathable. It's a toss-up, couldn't tell. Both my hands were clammy, hiking steep uphill in 60 degree temperature (which is warmer than most would need to use them).
I have decided that mitts with poles just doesn't work that well. I'd rather extend the life of the mitts and just carry the poles when wearing the mitts. At least going uphill.
Made a pair of mitts out of the very light DriDucks material, cut from a poncho. Pair came out to be 0.5oz with cuben tape seam sealing.
SteveMay 17, 2013 at 6:34 pm #1987188
@lindahlbLocale: Colorado Rockies
Neither. Outdoor Research Versalite gloves. You get gloves (the shells) at the same weight, or less. Plus, a "free" pair of liners.
If you want to go real lightweight, some Nitrile gloves are waterproof and weigh around 0.4oz for the pair. About half the weight of more durable options (though the Nitriles are pretty durable still). Other benefits of the Nitriles are much more dexterity – since they're stretchy and completely form fitting, and have excellent grip (the eVent/WPB Cuben isn't that great in the grip department).
I pick and choose depending on my terrain (if I'm going to be climbing around with my hands on rock or deadfall).
Another option, is you can use liner gloves over the Nitrile gloves to protect them. This works well in somewhat cold wet weather, but not REALLY cold wet weather – due to the vapor barrier effect. The liner gloves maintain durability of the Nitriles.
The DriDucks material isn't very durable. I'd rather go Nitrile over making some from DriDucks for that reason – the durability is about a wash, if not in favor of Nitrile, and saves you time and money.May 19, 2013 at 4:35 pm #1987646
Hi Tony, Stephen, and Brian, thank you for the further suggestions and pointers. I'll definitely keep in mind the nitrile gloves.
Something i was considering before i read the more recent replies, was using a DWR soaked polyproplene glove liner for the issue of wetness and bleed through. It might be a way to keep the hands relatively dry and warm, but still allow them to breathe some?
Dunno, something on my list to try out, but will also keep some nitrile gloves on hand as well–well not literally on hand unless i need em.May 19, 2013 at 6:03 pm #1987689
@geokiteLocale: Southern California
After working in the yard with nitrile gloves on (gluing PVC), my hands get very sweaty and generally don't feel good (plasticy/rubbery feel).
But I guess all of us are different.
SteveMay 20, 2013 at 10:24 am #1987904
@brianleLocale: Pacific NW
I've been surprised how well my MLD mitts have held up. I've no experience with cuben mitts, but did have a pair at one time of something made of a material quite like (or the same as) dri-ducks or frogg toggs wear. I didn't use those enough to wear them out, but do recall some signs of wear.
The MLD mitts I've carried in aggregate for thousands of miles of backpacking, but — big caveat — that's not at all the same as the amount that I've *worn* them. Most days one doesn't need that sort of thing. But I have worn them, with two trekking poles in constant use, for quite a number of days along the way and they're in surprisingly good shape as a result.
I certainly agree with whoever said that being in enough rain for long enough, everything gets at least somewhat wet. If you're expecting eVent mitts to be magic beans that keep your hands always dry, then definitely save your money.
And I too tend to take bread bags along on trips where I'm not expecting to have to use them a great deal. Breadbags are multi-use, and I don't care if they get destroyed along the way.May 22, 2013 at 7:13 pm #1988873
Hi Brian Lewis, thank you for the feedback.
Btw an update, i got an answer back from Joe at Zpacks, and i had earlier assumed correctly. The Cuben WPB mitts and fabric does not require DWR treatment to work like most WPB fabrics do.
In any case, i went with the MLD eVent mitts because of durability, as i do use hiking poles much of the time.
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