REI Co-op Guide Insulated Mittens Review
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REI Co-op Guide Insulated Mittens
Check Price at REI
Check Price at REI
|$63.96 at Backcountry|
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|$28.99 at Evo|
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|$26.99 at Backcountry|
Compare at 3 sellers
|Pros||Inexpensive, warm for price, stylish||Extremely featured, warm, Gore-tex insert, good deal||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|
|Cons||Not very water resistant, not very durable||Could be more dexterous, stitching located in some high stress areas||Not a lot of extra insulation||Not fully waterproof, less durable construction||Not super warm, 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 quality ski glove impressed us with its high-end performance and reasonable price||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 generally dry, warm conditions|
|Rating Categories||REI Co-op Guide Ins...||Outdoor Research Wo...||Burton Gore-Tex Mitten||Dakine Camino||Kinco Pigskin Leather|
|Water Resistance (25%)|
|Specs||REI Co-op Guide Ins...||Outdoor Research Wo...||Burton Gore-Tex Mitten||Dakine Camino||Kinco Pigskin Leather|
|Waterproof Material||Leather outer||Gore-Tex waterproof insert||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||EnduraLoft 100% Polyester 100g, removable merion wool liner glove||ThermaCore Synthetic Insulation||110/350g high loft synthetic||HeatKeep Thermal Lining (polyester)|
|Palm Material||Goat leather||Water resistant goat leather||Leather, Sticky Icy Grip Palm||Goat Leather||Grain pigskin leather|
|Inner Glove Material (if applicable)||Polyester shearling fleece||Merino wool||Fleece||150g tricot, 100% polyester||n/a|
|Double or Single Construction?||Double||Double||Double||Double||Single|
|Gauntlet or Cuff?||Cuff||Gauntlet||Gauntlet||Gauntlet||Gauntlet|
|Special features||Nose wipe||Touchscreen compatible liner glove, nose wipe, removable leash, glove clip, carabiner loop, cinchable gauntlet||Nose wipe, leashes, warmer pockets, wrist cinch||Google wipe on thumb, touch screen compatible liners, removable wrist leash||None|
|Fit||True to size||True to size||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 it 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 model. 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 our fingers on the chairlift.
The overall water resistance of the REI Guide Mitten comes from an included water-resistant treatment that needs to be applied to the leather. Without this treatment, we found that water seeps through the seams of this mitten and the leather itself begins to absorb water. 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 the 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 goat leather leads us to believe that it may begin to wear thin in the highest-use areas. That 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 is always appreciated. We do wish these mitts had at least a leash, however, as we do find ourselves taking mittens off more often than gloves due to the decreased dexterity.
Should You Buy the REI Co-op Guide Mittens?
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.
What Other Women's Ski Gloves Should You Consider?
If you're seeing the pinnacle of warmth for your cold-weather ski adventures, the Black Diamond Mercury Mitts are our top recommendation. Not only are they super warm, but they are also waterproof and the long gauntlets help to seal out the elements on windy or stormy days. Our other mitten recommendation is the Burton Gore-Tex Mitten, a high-value option that still performs well without breaking the bank. Either option will keep you warmer than the Gide Mittens, though arguably not as stylish.
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