In a race for the Editors' Choice award, the Swany X-Cell Mitt put up a heck of a fight. This single construction mitt-glove hybrid features a mitten exterior to lock in warmth below 0F and an interior with glove-like fingers. Not only that, but the liners wick moisture and are ridiculously soft. During an impromptu snowball fight, one of our testers lost her gloves and ended up with some wet hands. After slipping her hands back into this mitt, the triplex insulation warmed her hands immediately and the moisture was wicked away, leaving her hands bone dry. Moreover, the Swany X-Cell II Mitt has HUGE pull tabs to cinch down the long snow proof gauntlet AND a pocket to slip hand warmers into when it got even chillier than subzero. All our testers loved it! So why wasn't it awarded our Editors' Choice?
Warmth is a really important factor in the hills during winter. The Hestra Heli Mitt - Women's proved that it was the warmest product of the bunch - not only from the first time putting it on, but throughout days of ice climbing, snowboarding, and ice skating. The Swany was a close second and kept our hands nice and toasty when the weather turned. However, it didn't do the trick on the wet days. On a cold day in Leadville, CO, while digging snow pits for the day, we noticed our hands getting cold. We found that it was because once the Nubuck leather (used in the outer) got soaked, it took forever to dry. Our hands were still dry, but this cold outer began to freeze and eventually transcended to our fingers. This left us cold and unhappy. Even though the Hestra Heli Mitt doesn't have as many features, it is still more waterproof and warmer than the X-Cell. Aside from this wet experience, this mitt showed great performance in every other weather situation.