Black Diamond Mercury Mitt Review
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Black Diamond Mercury Mitt
$119.95 at REI
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|Check Price at Backcountry|
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$45.00 at Amazon
$44.61 at Amazon
|Pros||Incredible warmth, weather resistant, durable, reasonable price||Dexterous, well-made, water resistant||Warm enough, weatherproof, reasonable price||Warm, great features, comfortable, inexpensive||Inexpensive, heavily featured|
|Cons||Poor dexterity, could have better features||Not that warm, tight fit, no wrist gauntlet||Poor dexterity, slightly tight fit around the knuckles||Not dexterous, bulky and cumbersome||Don't seem very durable, unimpressive dexterity, not as warm as expected|
|Bottom Line||These mitts provide extreme warmth and weather resistance at a good price, nailing the two most important aspects of ski mittens||These dexterous and durable gloves have the best touchscreen-compatible features for using your phone in cold weather||A warm and fully featured ski glove for a great price||A quality mitten that is super warm, comfortable, and relatively inexpensive||These gloves don't match up to the best on the market, but they are a lot more affordable|
|Rating Categories||Black Diamond Mercu...||The North Face IL S...||Gordini GTX Storm T...||The North Face Mont...||Gordini AquaBloc Do...|
|Water Resistance (25%)|
|Specs||Black Diamond Mercu...||The North Face IL S...||Gordini GTX Storm T...||The North Face Mont...||Gordini AquaBloc Do...|
|Double or Single Glove||Double||Single||Single||Single||Single|
|Gaunlet or Cuff?||Gauntlet||Cuff||Gauntlet||Gauntlet||Gauntlet|
|Palm Material||Goat leather||Goat leather||Polyurethane||Synthetic leather||Rugged ripstop softshell, bluesign® approved|
|Waterproof Material||BD.dry||FUTURELIGHT insert||Gore-Tex||DryVent||AquaBloc® insert|
|Insulation Type||340 g PrimaLoft Gold, high-loft fleece||Heatseeker™ Eco||Megaloft||Back of hand: 250g Heatseeker Eco
Palm: 160g Heatseeker Eco
|Back of hand: 600-fill GooseDown, Palm: Megaloft® synthetic insulation|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The BD Mercury is quite warm and water-resistant, and among the most durable. The only drawback? Dexterity, which was pretty much the poorest overall but not too surprising for a bulky, warm mitten.
The Mercury Mitt uses 340 grams of PrimaLoft Gold insulation, plus a warm-to-the-touch, high-loft fleece. The result is the warmest overall glove or mitten in our review that doesn't use a battery heater. We have used these mittens down to -10F, and while we wouldn't want to use them in much colder temperatures, they worked as well as you could hope in those conditions. The Mercury mitts don't have infinite warmth, but they aren't far from it and are warm enough for the slowest and coldest chairlift rides and even snowmobiling.
Mittens are known for their warmth, and these stick to the pattern by allowing the fingers to contact each other in the roomy palm cavity. There are no small finger slots, which allows body heat to spread between the fingers that need it, but it also negatively impacts dexterity. But overall, these are the warmest gloves or mittens in our review that don't use batteries, and when the batteries on other options die, these are warmer.
As you might guess with all that insulation, the Mercury Mitt doesn't have good dexterity and is one of the worst performers for small motor tasks. The hand cavity is large and round, with no concessions made in the fingertips for any kind of dexterity. The outer edge of the mitten is round and blunt, covered in thick leather. The construction of these gloves does not prioritize dexterity at all.
In our side-by-side testing, we could perform basic tasks like buckling ski boots, and zipping jackets with extra-large zipper pulls. For more complex tasks, these mitts were challenged. If you are the type of skier who likes to do everything with your gloves on, these will be unbearable, but that is par for the course with thick mittens.
The Mercury Mitt performs well in this metric, though it did not offer amazing performance in wet conditions. The shell itself is water-resistant even in wet snowstorms; the exception is the leather palm, which doesn't feature a waterproof membrane backing. The leather on the palm is mostly water-resistant at first; however, after a half-season of use on wet storm days, the leather absorbed more water than we liked and we needed to re-treat it. This pitfall is elevated some by a unique feature: the removable inner liner on the Mercury sports a waterproof fabric outer shell. This helped keep our hands drier and kept us from feeling as cold from the potentially wet leather palms.
For most resort-bound skiers and snowboarders who are going to use these mittens in colder conditions, water-resistance issues are less critical because the Mercury deals with drier, colder snow fantastically. We think the Mercury is a decent, but not perfect, option for closer to freezing conditions, as long as users are willing to treat the Mercury's leather palm a few times every season, because despite the BDdry fabric on the liner, once the palm gets pretty wet, the mitten felt a little colder. For inland skiers who ski in cold temps all the time, this isn't much of an issue at all.
All aspects of the Mercury Mitt's outer shell are bomber, featuring a durable and high-quality yet supple goatskin leather palm that is sewn with strong Kevlar stitching. The liner is average in toughness as far as its tear resistance goes, but we did find that the PrimaLoft packed out a little quicker than some of the other models we tested. We also noticed a slight decline in warmth after a season and a half of medium to heavy use.
Compared to other options on the market, these gloves hold up well, lasting our testers a season and a half of heavy use, which is more than most gloves can claim. Over time, the leather palm gets scratched and worn, which is normal, but this allows the palms to absorb more water. There is a leather reinforcement patch in the webbing between the thumb and forefinger, which adds some toughness in that high-wear area.
The Mercury Mitt has a nice feature set that makes it easy to use. It has an easy-to-remove and quick-drying liner that uses a ring of Velcro around the wrist of the liner to lock it into place. There is also a small loop on the top of the mitt to facilitate hanging the mitten open side down to help speed up drying; it will also keep snow out if you clip it to your harness for ice climbing or mountaineering. There is no wrist tightening strap, but elastic around the wrist keeps the glove snug in place.
Like other gloves we tested, the Mercury Mitt features a soft fabric on the back of the thumb to make cleaning goggles and wiping noses more effective. In this case, the fabric is very soft and supple, making it more comfortable on the skin than other options. The wrist gauntlet is also huge, allowing these mittens to easily fit over any jacket.
Should You Buy the Black Diamond Mercury Mitt?
The Black Diamond Mercury Mitt is a much better deal than many competitors and is also warmer and more water-resistant. These are an excellent option for users on a budget who want warm hands every day of the ski season and who aren't afraid to give up some dexterity. They are also a good insurance policy for ice climbers and mountaineers who wear gloves most of the time but want a safeguard against frostbite.
What Other Ski Gloves Should You Consider?
If you're after the warmest mitten, the Black Diamond Mercury Mitt is in a league of its own. The North Face Montana Ski Mitt, however, is nearly as warm and will save you some serious cash. For the minimalist mitten user, the Flylow Oven Mitt is a good, but minimalist choice for warmer climates. If you want the warmth of a mitten but are willing to try out ski gloves, the Black Diamond Guide is super warm, as are the heated Outdoor Research Prevail and Black Diamond Solano gloves.
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