The North Face Montana Futurelight Etip Mitt Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Great features, comfortable
Cons: Not warm for a mitten, could be more weather resistant
Manufacturer: The North Face
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The North Face Montana Futurelight Etip Mitt
|Price||Check Price at REI|
Compare at 2 sellers
|Check Price at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
$94.95 at Backcountry
|$69.95 at Backcountry|
Compare at 3 sellers
|$49.95 at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
|Pros||Great features, comfortable||Warm enough, weatherproof, inexpensive||Warm, fairly dexterous, good price, comes with liners||Sweet features, included pair of liner gloves, screen sensitive thumb and index finger, comfortable wider fit||Tough, windproof, durable|
|Cons||Not warm for a mitten, could be more weather resistant||Poor dexterity, slightly tight fit around the knuckles||Moderately durable, lower end materials throughout||Average dexterity and weather resistance, below average durability particularly on the palm||Bulky stitching, not very warm, not waterproof|
|Bottom Line||An affordable mitten that sacrifices some warmth for increased dexterity||A warm and fully featured ski glove for a great price||This model delivers in all the right places from the backcountry to the resort||A solid glove at a great price, which offers a plethora of features and above average warmth, but only so-so durability and dexterity||Trendy and stylish, but lacking in key aspects of versatility for skiing, these gloves are solid winter work gloves, so don't hesitate if you're looking for that utility|
|Rating Categories||The North Face Mont...||Gordini GTX Storm T...||Outdoor Research Hi...||Dakine Titan||Flylow Ridge Glove|
|Water Resistance (25%)|
|Specs||The North Face Mont...||Gordini GTX Storm T...||Outdoor Research Hi...||Dakine Titan||Flylow Ridge Glove|
|Double or Single Glove||Single||Single||Double||Double||Single|
|Gaunlet or Cuff?||Gauntlet||Gauntlet||Gauntlet||Gauntlet||Cuff|
|Palm Material||Synthetic leather||Polyurethane||Goat leather||Rubbertec||Cowhide leather|
|Waterproof Material||Futurelight||Gore-Tex||Ventia insert 100% nylon shell||Gore-Tex insert||SnoSeal beeswax|
|Insulation Type||Back of hand: 200g Heatseeker Eco
Palm: 100g Heatseeker Eco
|Megaloft||Shell: 130g Vertical X
|Back of hand: 230g high-loft polyester fill
Palm: 110g high-loft polyester fill
Our Analysis and Test Results
While most mittens tout their warmth, the Montana is on the thinner side and features a lining with individual fingers for increased dexterity.
The Montana Mitt isn't overly warm, an oddity for ski mittens. It lacks the insulation that other models pack, and it separates each finger into a separate internal sleeve in the lining. This takes away the chief warming feature of a mitten, that the fingers can distribute their natural heat from circulation amongst themselves. We were surprised by how cold these mittens felt on chilly days on the ski hill. They are about as warm as many midweight ski gloves. While this comes with some benefits, the lack of warmth may surprise some users who seek mittens for this exact performance attribute.
The benefit of sacrificing some insulation and the addition of individual finger sleeves is that dexterity is increased. We were able to perform most tasks on the ski hill without taking these mittens off, thanks to their thin construction. The main downside to mittens has historically been the lack of dexterity, but in this case, we can't complain. It does make us question, however, why we would choose these mittens over an average pair of ski gloves that might be both warmer and more dexterous. Some users prefer mittens for stylistic reasons, and those are the users who will welcome a thinner and more dexterous mitt.
The Montana Mitt uses The North Face's Futurelight waterproof/breathable membrane, which our testers found to be effective at keeping liquid water out of the mittens. The seams are tight and the wrist cinch strap keeps stormy weather out of the hand compartment. The wrist gauntlet is on the small side and doesn't easily fit over some jacket cuffs, but it gets the job done well enough. These aren't as weather-resistant as the burliest mittens on the market, but they offer plenty of protection for most days on the ski hill. For the coldest and most brutal winter storms, there are better mittens out there.
The Montana Mitts hold up well for most resort skiing use. The stretchy shell material snags a bit easier than thicker, stiffer fabrics, and the synthetic palm is susceptible to wearing out faster than reinforced leather. That said, these mittens have a solid construction with tight seams, and we didn't experience any durability issues during our testing period. These mittens should last at least one season of heavy use, and for the price, this is acceptable.
The North Face Montana Futurelight Etip Mitts are packed with useful features, as the name implies. They have a wrist cinch strap and drawcord wrist cuff gauntlets, both of which help customize the fit and keep you hands warm and dry. They also have a small plastic clip to keep the pair of mittens together, and small elastic wrist leashes that keep the mittens attached to your body when need to take them off to use your fingers. Finally, they have a touchscreen-compatible fabric patch near the tip of the forefinger, but in our testing, this patch was ineffective, due to either the fabric not working or the lack of dexterity preventing us from putting pressure on the fabric in the right place. The mittens don't have a soft fabric nose wipe patch.
The Montana Mitt is priced to sell. If you like mittens and don't need them to keep you warm on the coldest days of winter, these could be a good option. But for the price, there are better gloves on the market that will also keep you warmer.
The North Face Montana Futurelight Etip Mitt is feature-forward, and relatively dexterous for a mitten, but it lacks the warmth that many users seek in this type of handwear. It is comparable in performance to some mid-weight gloves, and won't protect you on the coldest days of winter. But if mittens are your style, you might like the added dexterity.
— Jeff Dobronyi
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