A warm cuff-length single mitten, the POC WO mitten fits nicely under most ski jackets. It's a perfect addition to most women's resort ski day arsenal - especially when it's not too cold outside.
Annie reached for the POC WO Mitt when she noticed its no frills, no maintenance exterior. Add a splash of amazing waterproofing and a breathable cuff design - and you have a great mitt perfect for the resort!
The Thinsulate insulation that lines the palm and the back of the hand makes this mitt warmer than the Pow Gem and Outdoor Research Arete - Women's, but not as warm as the Hestra Heli Mitt or Mountain Hardwear Skistar - Women's. When we first started testing this mitt, we were impressed and had high hopes. We even took it out in -10F weather and noticed that our hands were still warm. However, after just a month of intensive use while skating, skiing, snowshoeing, and just walking the dog, the Thinsulate material began to pack out and lose its warmth. After hand washing the mitt in cold water (you have to do this with 100% leather) and drying it out, we noticed that the loft still hadn't bounced back and it was only warm to about 10F. As a result, we weren't impressed with the long-term warmth of this mitt and gave it a 5/10.
The thinsulate in the POC mitt is warm, breathable, and meant for temperatures above 20F. If the weather gets really cold, feel free to throw in a pair of hand warmers.
The full goatskin leather outer - with its reinforced palm - performed amazingly well during our dunk tests. After submerging this mitt for one minute and squishing it around to see if it would absorb water, the liners came out completely dry and it only held only 0.40 ounces of water - the second least absorbent of the lot and second to the Arc'teryx Beta AR Glove - Women's. When testing in the field, after hours of play at Horseshoe Resort in the wet climate of Ontario, Canada, we noticed it became a little soggy but didn't lose its waterproofing. Overall, this is a great waterproof mitt that requires seasonal leather treatment to maintain performance.
In the lab, this mitt only absorbed 0.40 ounces of water and the liners were completely dry in our dunk tests. However, in the field we found that after a few hours, it got a little soggy.
Like the Hestra Heli Mitt, this mitten did not provide us with a whole lot of dexterity in comparison to the gloves like the Pow Gem or Outdoor Research Arete. When taking her dog out for a walk, our main tester had trouble clipping the leash to her pup's collar. That said, this mitt was more dexterous than the Heli Mitt because of its thinner construction. It still did a good job clipping on ski boots, driving a car, and putting together a splitboard. However, when it came to dealing with fine and small parts like attaching a lift ticket or fiddling with pins of a splitboard, this mitt just did not stack up.
This mitt provides some dexterity and allows you to still clip your boots and zip your zippers. The thin leather and insulation isn't too thick and still allows you to feel the things around you. If it weren't for the mitten construct, this would be a very dexterous glove.
Losing points in the features category, the POC WO mitten has very few. It does not come with a nose wipe, leashes, a long gauntlet, and it only has single mitt construction. That said, a lot of our female women testers were reaching for these babies because they were so lightweight, without the bulk of extra straps and zippers. If you're trying to find a glove or mitt that has a few more features, check out the single Outdoor Research Southback - Women's or double Outdoor Research Arete. Still not satisfied and want tons of cool features? Then the Swany X-Cell II Mitt - Women's may be the one for you. If a featureless mitt is what you are looking for, check these out!
Features are minimal, but some of our testers loved the POC's minimalist construct and its fancy connector to keep the gloves together.
The POC has surprisingly good breathability with its leather outer. The Thinsulate does a relatively decent job to move the moisture from your hands to the outside of the mitt. Its thin construction also helps to move moisture out of the mitt, which keeps your hands nice and dry. However, we wouldn't recommend them for any uphill treks. One of our testers wore these on a backcountry ski afternoon and had them off and on her poles in minutes because she said her hands were sweating. They breathe when its cold, but don't do so well in warm weather. If you want a high quality and super breathable glove, check out the Arc'teryx Beta AR or the less expensive Outdoor Research Arete instead.
After a skin up the trail, the POCs had to come off. Though they are breathable, they aren't the best for hiking uphill.
As we mentioned above, the liner on this mitt packed out quite a bit, resulting in a loss of a couple of points for durability. In just a month it went from braving -10F weather to just 10F. The leather outer didn't show any additional wear and the stitching and materials seem well-constructed. The knitted cuff is comfortable and didn't lose any stitching throughout our testing period. Not only that, but POC offers a manufacturers' lifetime warranty. Remember to treat the leather regularly to make these last for a few years.
The goatskin leather on the glove is reinforced at the palm and didn't show any sign of wear and tear through our testing period. We did notice, however, that the liner began to pack out after a couple of days, losing some warmth.
A lot of our testers said these mitts were stylish and looked like a nice pair of driving mitts. This product's applications far exceed around-town use and extend to resort and park riding and skiing. Not only that, but it does a great job while running errands or shoveling snow. We wouldn't bring this model into the backcountry since it is a single mitt, and we prefer a double glove like the Arc'teryx Beta AR for this purpose, or a double mitt like the Editors' Choice, the Hestra Heli Mitt. This allows them to be more versatile when hiking up and weaving down.
Melanie on lap 12 while donning the POC Mitt. The resort in any weather is a perfect place for it.
At $115, we think the price is a little high for the value and functionality offered. Although a fashionable and low frills piece that is well constructed and durable, we think that you can get a little more bang for your buck investing in a mitt like the Hestra Heli (for just $10 more) that also features a full length gauntlet, warmer insert, higher level of versatility, and better durability. However if what you want a no-frills option, this is cuff length and offers great water protection, then there are no other choices but the POC WO mitten. Plus, it comes in both white and black! If you want a glove that is cuff length with more dexterity, check out the Pow Gem instead.
This featureless 100% goatskin leather reinforced mitten will do a great job keeping your paws dry and warm in weather down to 10F. Although it doesn't offer great dexterity or long-term durability in the liner, it's a great option for those looking for hand protection that will last them a season or two on the ski hill.
Annie tests the breathability of the POC mitts on a skin up Corkscrew Road in the San Juan mountains. On this particular day, they were a little too warm to wear and a glove or mitt with a removable liner would have been a better choice.