REI Co-op Guide Insulated Mittens Review
Cons: Not very water resistant, not very durable
Compare to Similar Products
REI Co-op Guide Insulated Mittens
Check Price at REI
Check Price at REI
|$52.46 at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
|Check Price at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
|Check Price at REI|
Compare at 3 sellers
|Pros||Inexpensive, warm for price, stylish||Warm, lightweight and packable, breathable, waterproof, single construction, dextrous||Warm, versatile, dexterous for a mitt, touchscreen-compatible liners, excellent value||Great price, breathable, warm, comes with liner glove||Incredibly affordable, durable leather, no-frills design, decent dexterity, cool points|
|Cons||Not very water resistant, not very durable||Expensive, won't fit super small hands||Not a lot of extra insulation||Not fully waterproof, less durable construction||Cold, absorbs water, unisex and limited fit, few to no features|
|Bottom Line||The bare bones mittens are a good option if you prioritize warmth at an inexpensive price||This unisex glove is off the charts for almost any adult, noticeably feeling different and excelling above other gloves on the market we have tested||A mitten that is weather-resistant and dexterous at a reasonable price||A well-priced glove that'll work fine for your ski trips this winter||This pigskin glove is perfect for the penny-pincher looking to explore the mountains in dry, warm conditions|
|Rating Categories||REI Co-op Guide Ins...||Arc'teryx Fission S...||Burton Gore-Tex Mitten||Dakine Camino||Kinco Pigskin Leather|
|Water Resistance (25%)|
|Specs||REI Co-op Guide Ins...||Arc'teryx Fission S...||Burton Gore-Tex Mitten||Dakine Camino||Kinco Pigskin Leather|
|Waterproof Material||Leather Outer||84% nylon/16% elastane, Gore-Tex||Dry-Ride Two Layer & Gore-Tex Insert||Nylon Shell (black part), Hoxton (75% nylon, 25% polyester) DWR treatment, Leather palm (water-resistant)||Leather outer|
|Insulation Type||Polyester||200g PrimaLoft Silver and 133g Gold synthetic fibers||ThermaCore Synthetic Insulation||110/350g high loft synthetic||HeatKeep Thermal Lining (polyester)|
|Palm Material||Goat leather||Goat leather||Leather, Sticky Icy Grip Palm||Goat Leather||Grain pigskin leather|
|Inner Glove Material (if applicable)||Polyester shearling fleece||Octa Loft||Fleece||150g tricot, 100% polyester||n/a|
|Double or Single Construction?||Double||Single||Double||Double||Single|
|Gauntlet or Cuff?||Cuff||Cuff||Gauntlet||Gauntlet||Gauntlet|
|Special features||Nose wipe||Unisex fit, kevlar stitching, removable wrist leash, carabiner loop||Nose wipe, leashes, warmer pockets, wrist cinch||Google wipe on thumb, touch screen compatible liners, removable wrist leash||None|
|Fit||True to size||Fits large (unisex sizing)||True to size||A little smaller, size up if you're unsure||Fits large (unisex sizing)|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Our favorite aspect of the REI Guide is that it comes in well below many of its competitors price-wise. This mitten is a step above the basic work gloves many of us continue to use for day-to-day heavy use, and the increase in warmth is worth the small increase in price.
While this mitten does not feature very heavy insulation, a large degree of warmth comes from the fact that is a mitten. The REI Guide does a good job of circulating existing heat from hands inside the mitten. We did like the pile lining on the inside of this mitt. We found that the pile helped to wick moisture away from hands and keep them both dry and warm. On very cold days, however, we did still find ourselves balling our hands into fists inside these mittens to warm up fingers on the chairlift.
The overall water resistance of the REI Guide Mitten comes from an included water-resistant treatment that must be applied to the leather. Without this treatment, we found that water seeps into the seems of this mitten. This also begins to happen as the treatment wears off and is due to be reapplied. This mitten requires more maintenance than most other mittens we have tested.
We found that we had a fairly good ability to adjust gear, zip zippers, and handle ropes with the Guide Mitten compared to other mittens. The nature of having four fingers in one pocket still hinders dexterity compared to gloves, of course. The lack of heavy insulation, however, allows for some individual motion and use of fingers.
We believe the durability of the Guide Mitten is just so-so, and largely dependent on the maintenance of the leather. The fabric construction of the mitten in the woven cuff and wrist backer is susceptible to tearing and catching.
The double-stitched goat leather construction of the main body of the mitten appears solid. The supple nature of the goat leather leads us to believe that it may begin to wear thin in the highest use areas. This being said, a major factor in the health of the leather is protecting it from moisture, and diligent water-resistance treatment will significantly improve the durability of this product.
The work-style Guide Mitten is relatively sparse on features. It does feature a suede textured nose wipe, which should not be underrated. This being said, we do wish these mitts had at least a leash, as we do find ourselves taking mittens off more often than gloves due to decreased dexterity.
These mittens are a great consideration for the wallet-savvy skier. Spending just a little more than you would on a hardware store pair of gloves will get you significantly warmer and hardier mittens. Moreover, if you want a pair of general use winter mittens that might occasionally see some ski use, these mittens are ideal and well-priced for that functionality.
The REI Co-op Guide Mitten is a bare-bones option for the mitten minimalist and bargain shopper alike. If you are someone who ruins gloves or mittens quickly and regularly and doesn't want to spend a lot on a sturdy option, this is a great option that is not precious.
— Jacqueline Kearney
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.Learn More