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Black Diamond Mercury Mitt Review

These mitts provide extreme warmth and weather resistance at a good price, nailing the two most important aspects of ski mittens
Black Diamond Mercury Mitt
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $120 List | $119.95 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Incredible warmth, weather resistant, durable
Cons:  Poor dexterity, could have better features
Manufacturer:   Black Diamond
By Jeff Dobronyi ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 6, 2021
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64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#14 of 22
  • Warmth - 25% 8.0
  • Dexterity - 25% 2.0
  • Water Resistance - 25% 8.0
  • Durability - 15% 8.0
  • Features - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Black Diamond Mercury Mitt is a warm, roomy mitten that will keep your hands warm on the coldest days at the ski hill. It packs synthetic insulation and a removable liner into a waterproof package, with huge wrist gauntlets so they fit over any jacket imaginable. These are stormproof to the extreme, and they come at a reasonable price. They have a good slate of useful features, but the main downside is dexterity. Don't expect to use your hands for many tasks while wearing these gloves. They can raise and lower the safety bar and barely buckle ski bindings, but beyond that, you'll have to take them off. Still, if you want mittens to keep you warm and dry, these are the best.

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Price $119.95 at REI
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Pros Incredible warmth, weather resistant, durableTop-notch dexterity and durability, great for technical descents and rope handling, fantastic feelWARM, lifetime warranty, basically two gloves in one, super water resistantWarm enough, weatherproof, inexpensiveGreat features, comfortable
Cons Poor dexterity, could have better featuresNot as warm as other models, weather resistance requires more maintenance than other modelsNot super dexterous, inner glove not as durablePoor dexterity, slightly tight fit around the knucklesNot warm for a mitten, could be more weather resistant
Bottom Line These mitts provide extreme warmth and weather resistance at a good price, nailing the two most important aspects of ski mittensTough, offering optimal dexterity for almost any applicationThe ideal glove for multi-day ski tours and spending a lot of time in the backcountryA warm and fully featured ski glove for a great priceAn affordable mitten that sacrifices some warmth for increased dexterity
Rating Categories Black Diamond Mercu... Hestra Leather Fall... Outdoor Research Alti Gordini GTX Storm T... The North Face Mont...
Warmth (25%)
8.0
4.0
7.0
7.0
5.0
Dexterity (25%)
2.0
9.0
4.0
4.0
4.0
Water Resistance (25%)
8.0
7.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Durability (15%)
8.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
Features (10%)
7.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
Specs Black Diamond Mercu... Hestra Leather Fall... Outdoor Research Alti Gordini GTX Storm T... The North Face Mont...
Double or Single Glove Double Single Double Single Single
Gaunlet or Cuff? Gauntlet Cuff Gauntlet Gauntlet Gauntlet
Palm Material Goat leather Impregnated cowhide aniline Alpengrip Polyurethane Synthetic leather
Waterproof Material BD.dry Leather Gore-Tex insert Gore-Tex Futurelight
Insulation Type 340 g PrimaLoft Gold, high-loft fleece Foam Back of hand: 200 g/m2 PrimaLoft HiLoft Silver
Removable liner back of hand: 100 g/m2 PrimaLoft Active insulation
Removable liner palm: 60 g/m2 PrimaLoft Gold
Megaloft Back of hand: 200g Heatseeker Eco
Palm: 100g Heatseeker Eco
Nose Wipe? yes No Yes Yes No

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.

Performance Comparison


The BD Mercury Mitt is at home on the cold slopes of the Colorado...
The BD Mercury Mitt is at home on the cold slopes of the Colorado Rockies.
Credit: Jackie Kearney

Warmth


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's 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 helps spread the body heat 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.

The Mercury Mitts feature a removable liner with tons of synthetic...
The Mercury Mitts feature a removable liner with tons of synthetic insulation.
Credit: Jackie Kearney

Dexterity


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 mitte 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 Mitts are big and bulky, making them hard to use for...
The Mercury Mitts are big and bulky, making them hard to use for even basic tasks like buckling boots, but we got the hang of them over time.
Credit: Jackie Kearney

Water Resistance


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 would need 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 snow all the time, this isn't much of an issue at all.

The outer shell is made from a combination of leather and a...
The outer shell is made from a combination of leather and a synthetic shell material, while the inner liner is waterproof.
Credit: Jackie Kearney

Durability


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 liner's 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 lifespan to these mittens.

The leather palms tend to wear out over time, but...
The leather palms tend to wear out over time, but strategically-placed leather reinforcements add some lifetime to the supple palm.
Credit: Jackie Kearney

Features


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 a fixed elastic wrist gauntlet 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 huge, allowing these mittens to fit over any jacket.

The nose wipe fabric is soft and very comfortable against cold skin...
The nose wipe fabric is soft and very comfortable against cold skin, and the long and wide wrist gauntlets eat up any jacket's wrist cuff.
Credit: Jackie Kearney

Value


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.

Conclusion


If you're after the warmest mitten with which you can still reasonably perform the basic tasks required of resort skiing and snowboarding, then we think the Black Diamond Mercury Mitt is it. And, the price is right. Not everyone needs mittens, but those that do are almost always because gloves just aren't warm enough. If you're a fan of mittens, meet your new favorite pair.

The Mercury Mitts in action during early-season testing in Colorado.
The Mercury Mitts in action during early-season testing in Colorado.
Credit: Jackie Kearney

Jeff Dobronyi
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