Outdoor Research Alti Mitt - Women's Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Super warm, water-resistant liner, insulated shell, weather-proof
Cons: Expensive, too warm and bulky (overkill?) for the average skier, large fit
Manufacturer: Outdoor Research
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This mitten features a bomber double-glove construction that offers a wide range of versatility in its uses. It's super warm and built to take on just about anything that winter throws your way. If you want the best in warmth, this is the one to check out.
These are some of the warmest mittens you'll find on the market! Built to take on snow-covered peaks that tower into the sky, it is both super warm and breathable. It has a double construction and features the most insulation that we've seen thus far. It has many unique features that allow the mitten to breathe while insulating and protecting from the worst weather. Wear it while you lay low in a snow cave or while working to become a professional snowperson maker.
The key feature that makes this mitten better then the rest is the double mitten construction that features insulation in both pieces. The outer shell is constructed of weatherproof Gore-Tex, protecting from both wet and dry days in the winter. When you reach your hand into just the liner, you'll find a plush layer of high loft Moonlite Pile fleece (and 170g of PrimaLoft Gold insulation) that isn't only soft to the touch, but wicks if your hands begin to sweat. What's more is that this mitt offers a lot of space so you can move your fingers around, enhancing circulation and overall warmth. When we took this product to the sub-zero temperatures of Northern Canada, we were happy to learn that our hands stayed toasty and warm — even without an inner liner! What's more is you can throw a hand warmer into the body of the mitten liner, as there's plenty of room to accommodate one or two! The large and long cuff will cover even the bulkiest layers, while the cuff cinch helps to keep heat in when it's cold, and can be released to increase ventilation.
The next feature is the awesome inner liner. No other product offers a water-resistant liner mitten that functions this well on its own. The outer is water-resistant (not waterproof), and it has a velcro strap around the wrist to ensure a better fit. It is made up of 340-grams of PrimaLoft Gold insulation, offering sufficient warmth while skinning uphill, or for wear on its own on warmer days at the resort.
The versatility in the level of warmth you can achieve with this mitten is not comparable. Wear both the liner and outer shell while adventuring into the coldest conditions you can think of. If you're encountering a sunny day and don't need extra insulation, ditch the liner and use just the shell. Or, if you're planning on hiking uphill for the day, use just the liner. This product offers versatility in a way that you get three mittens in one!
Weather protection is bomber with the Alti Mitt. With a shell constructed of a 2.5 layer, Gore-Tex shell with a 100% nylon 40-Denier ripstop material, you can assume wonderful wind and water protection. During our dunk test, water didn't permeate through any seams, and the leather palm stayed completely dry. In our field tests, we played in the snow, and even after several hours of making snowmen, our hands stayed dry and happy.
Not only is the shell basically waterproof, but the inner liners are also pretty amazing. While they aren't waterproof, they are water-resistant. In our water tests, when we just ran water over the liner, it simply beaded up, repelling absorption. When agitating and squishing around the fabric, water eventually permeated the seams, saturating the fleece interior and making it a little wet. This took about 30 seconds of intense agitation. As a result, the liner is water-resistant, but don't expect it to be waterproof.
When both the shell and liner are put together, this mitten is seemingly weatherproof. Don't be afraid to wear it in the worst weather you can imagine! It's built to take on 8000-meter summits, and its fabrics' performance is a clear indicator of this.
Being a mitten with ample amounts of insulation, dexterity is sadly lost when all parts of the mitt are worn as one. Given that the fit is a little less precise (with the shell on), it's hard to perform even the most basic of tasks. You can definitely zip up a jacket, but trying to unlock your car might result in frustration. Thinking about fiddling with your bindings with the shell on? Don't even consider it — it's near to impossible.
One nice thing is that dexterity isn't completely lost and is made up for when the shell is taken off. The liner (that has protective features) mitt provides a much better option for dexterity, as it is thinner and less bulky. When we went out splitboarding in the backcountry, we could easily remove a pair of skins and put them on, without taking off the liner mittens. When we first attempted with the shell on, it was near to impossible. Overall, like all mitts and products with more layers and bulk, dexterity is lost while warmth and performance in other metrics remain strong.
It comes with all the bells and whistles! It has many features that we love, making it an incredibly versatile mitten. Starting with the double mitten construction, the water-resistant shell on the liner provides protection and can be worn on its own. This means multi-faceted use for wear at the ski resort, backcountry touring, or while mountaineering.
The shell is constructed with a super long and wide cuff that will fit over even the puffiest of layering set-ups. The cinch cord around the cuff has a single-pull mechanism that is big enough to be pulled easily. There is also a simple release mechanism if you need to vent moisture and heat.
The removable leashes are tied to the interior of the mitten and can be removed if you're not a fan of them.
If you plan on mountaineering or ice climbing in the mountains, taking off the shells and clipping them to the harness is easy. On the top of the outside of the shell is a carabiner loop. This allows you to simply clip the mitt to your harness when you don't need the shell… think while you're climbing a pitch of ice (after sitting at an icy belay stance) or while hiking uphill and the sun begins to beat down. Last but not least is the big loop attached to the interior of the cuff that allows you to pull on the shell with ease.
The liner is a little more barebones, offering little to no features, but great insulation. It doesn't have a huge cuff and instead features a gauntlet construction. It is minimalist and lightweight with a water-resistant outer. The liner stays in place in the shell with the use of a velcro attachment point. When worn on its own, this same velcro attachment point is used to cinch down the wrist of the mitt for a better fit.
Constructed of a bomber Gore-Tex outer with 40-Denier ripstop fabric, this mitt is super durable. Its palm is made of Pittards Armortan leather, adding additional protection where it's required the most.
Even after skiing for several days, digging snow pits, and lounging around on ski lifts, we see little to no signs of any durability issue. Only a single stitching fly-away on the liner. Even after washing both the shell and liner, we didn't observe any performance loss in either the weather protection or insulation. Overall, this is a wonderfully durable product that should last you for many years to come.
If you have the money to spend on it, it's a great value. It features a 3-in-1 construction and super warm construction. For the amount of warmth, this mitt is quite a bit much for the average resort skiier. There are other mitts out there with awesome warmth for a much lower price. However, if you're heading to the top of an 8000-meter summit really cold places, you'll find the performance worth the cost.
This versatile glove earns a notable mention for its stellar water resistance, warmth, and versatility. It has a wide range of thermoregulation and all-day wear comfort. It's built to take on 8000-meter peaks, but can be used for so much more than that. The double glove construction is completely weatherproof while the liner is water-resistant, making it a great option for hunkering down in a snow cave or while hiking uphill.
— Amber King