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Reviews > Clothing > Gloves and Mittens > Outdoor Research Latitude Mitt > Test Report by Sheila MorrisseyOUTDOOR RESEARCH LATITUDE MITTS
Initial Report - January 20, 2007
Field Report - March 7, 2007
Long-Term Report - May 8, 2007
Photo from Outdoor Research Website
Initial Report: January 20, 2007
Name: Sheila Morrissey
Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.7 m)
Weight: 150 lb (68 kg)
Hand Circumference: 7.5 in (19 cm)
Hand Length: 7.5 in (19 cm)
Email Address: geosheila(at)yahoo(dot)com
City, State, Country: Goleta, California, USA
I have been hiking and camping since I was born, but only started backpacking in 2005. So far, most of my backpacking trips have been weekend hikes into the Sierra Nevada with friends and my dog, Patch. I prefer the eastern Sierra and typically hike at elevations from 6,000 to over 10,000 feet (1,800 to 3,000 m). My pack is usually around 25 pounds (11 kg), including consumables, but only because I make Patch help out.
Manufacturer: Outdoor Research
Model: Latitude Mitts
Year of Manufacture: 2006
Manufacturer’s Website: http://www.orgear.com
Size: Medium (sized for hand circumference 8 to 8.5 in (20 to 22 cm) and hand length 7.5 to 8 in (19 to 20 cm)
Listed Weight: 7.4 oz (210 g) for size large
Measured Weight: 214 g (7.5 oz) for size medium (the scale I used is in g)
MSRP: $89.00 US
Made in Vietnam
Manufacturer’s Description from Product Tag: (all information is in both English and French on the tag)
“Fully functional glove system for technical mountaineering and alpine climbing in all conditions.” The tag lists the sizes available (S, M, L, XL), technical features (3-in-1 glove system, waterproof/breathable Gore-Tex® PacLite® shell, high-grip AlpenGrip® palm, and removable soft shell work glove), average weight, manufacturer website and phone number, and the Outdoor Research “Infinite Guarantee” (“Outdoor Research products are guaranteed forever.”) More specific descriptions of the technical features are also listed.
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS AND PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
The color and size of the mitts are as requested: tarmac/black, medium. I had never heard “tarmac” used as a color before, but to me it implies the blackish brown color of actual tarmac. However, the photographs and color swatch on the OR website show a tan color. The actual color of the mitts is neither the color of tarmac nor the tan color I viewed on the website. Of course, differences in computer screens are probably to blame. A more appropriate color name for the product would be “greyish brown” or better yet, “mud”. I like mud, so the color is fine by me!
The mitts are a size medium, but are labeled as “Men’s M” inside both the inner gloves and outer shells. Nowhere else on the OR website or product tag are they listed as a men-specific product. With a 7.5 in (19 cm) hand circumference and length, my hands don’t fit the sizing chart for the OR Latitude Mitts. My hand circumference puts me in a size small and my hand length puts me in a size medium. I chose the size medium to accommodate the length of my hands. The size medium Latitude Mitts fit well enough for my use and are probably the best size for me based on the sizes available. The inner gloves are excessively wide, as expected based on the sizing chart and my hand circumference, but I don’t think this will be problematic. The fingers of the inner gloves are the right length for me. The thumb of the inner glove, however, is positioned too far up the palm of the hand for me. My hands must be longer than typical. I also wish the thumb of the glove was longer. Next time, I should try a pair of women-specific mitts, but the OR Latitude Mitts should do for now, despite the awkward thumb. According to the OR website, OR does sell other models of mitts with women-specific measurements that would fit my hand measurements. I would prefer that the OR Latitude Mitts be listed as men’s mitts on the website.
The black inner soft-shell work gloves are made of a “weather-resistant soft shell stretch fabric”, but the only stretchy portions of the inner gloves are the tops of the fingers and knuckles (for dexterity) and the material from the wrist down (approximately 3 in (8 cm) of material). The AlpenGrip® material covering the palm of the inner gloves is flexible (but not stretchy), feels rubbery to the touch, and is waterproof. AlpenGrip® covers the entire palm of the inner gloves, including the bottoms of the fingers and thumb, and wraps around the back of the hand. Elastic around the wrist keeps the inner gloves comfortably secure, and a hook-and-loop adjustable tab further secures the inner gloves. 100-weight black fleece lines the inside of the inner gloves along the back of the hands.
The inner gloves are made to fit inside the outer shells of the mitts. The Gore-Tex® PacLite® nylon mitt shells are “tarmac” (mud-colored) with black palms. There is no liner or insulation in the shell since they are meant to be worn over the inner gloves. The shells can be tightened around the wrist by adjustable straps. The coolest features are the DuoCinch™ gauntlet closures, approximately 6 in (15 cm) down from the bend in my wrists. Pulling on the grey tabs tightens the cinches, and pulling on the black tabs loosens the cinches. I can easily pull these tabs, even while wearing the mitts.
Removable Idiot Cords dangle from each mitt. It seems to me that if I'm using Idiot Cords I probably don't want them to be removable or they might fall off. However, I'd have to untie the cords, so I don't think there's any danger of losing the Idiot Cords. Grey plastic disks on each Idiot Cord tighten to secure the mitts, but I haven’t yet figured out how they can be loosened with the same hand (OR promises “same-hand operation”). The mitts also have a small black plastic clip to keep them together while not in use.
There’s no snow on southern California’s beaches, so I won’t have the opportunity to test out snowman building with the OR Latitude Mitts tonight. However, a quick douse of water over the mitts in the kitchen sink assured me the GoreTex® PacLite® material works to keep the water out and the seams on the Latitude Mitts are sealed tightly. I plan on getting out into the cold soon to test the warmth, durability, and weatherproofness of these mitts.
Field Report: March 7, 2007
Unfortunately for me, the Latitude Mitts didn't arrive in time for a week long trip to the Sierra Nevada. However, since the Initial Report, I have still had the chance to use the Latitude Mitts while backpacking in Los Padres National Forest, cross-country skiing and playing in the snow in San Bernardino National Forest. The first of two weekend backpacking trips was at an elevation of 4,000 to 5,000 ft (1,200 to 1,500 m), with a dusting of snow (up to 1 in, 2.5 cm) on the ground, no precipitation falling, and temperatures ranging from 10 to 40 F (-12 to 4 C). The second backpacking trip was at an elevation of 3,500 ft (1,060 m), with no snow on the ground, no precipitation falling, and a low temperature of 40 F (4 C). The cross-country-ski and snow-play trip was at an elevation of 6,000 ft (1,800 m), with 1 ft (0.3 m) of snow on the ground, no precipitation falling, and a temperature of 20 F (-7 C).
FIELD TEST RESULTS
Long-Term Report: May 8, 2007
LONG-TERM TEST CONDITIONS & RESULTS
Since my Field Report, I have again used the Latitude Mitts for cross country skiing and on one of my backpacking trips. I spent two days cross-country skiing in Mammoth, mostly on groomed trails, at an elevation of approximately 9,000 ft (2,700 m) in sunny conditions with temperatures ranging from 35 to 65 F (2 to 18 C). I learned a sweaty lesson during earlier field testing to not use the waterproof shells for skiing, so I wore only the inner gloves while skiing. I again found that they were very comfortable for holding ski poles. I took a ski lesson where I learned how to hold the poles correctly, how to go uphill without falling and, most importantly, how to slow myself down on the way down hill. I generally have much better control now, so I didn't fall at all this time around. With my newfound confidence on the green ("easy") ski trails, I was willing to take off the inner gloves when my hands got warm and risk cold hands if I did fall in the snow. As the temperature heated up, and while I trudged up a 2-km (1.2-mile) slope, I took the gloves off because my hands were too warm. There was no way to attach the gloves to my jacket and they are too big to fit in the pockets of my fleece jacket comfortably, so I stuffed them into the front of my ski bib. It may have looked silly, but it worked and the butterflies on the nearly empty trails didn't seem to mind. The waterproofness of the inner gloves was tested, however, while I nervously compressed snow into balls of ice before descending a blue ("more difficult") trail that I never should have attempted. The inner gloves remained dry.
The backpacking trip was an overnighter in Los Padres National Forest at an elevation of approximately 7,000 ft (2,100 m) in windy but otherwise clear conditions with an evening temperature of about 40 F (4 C). Except for chunks of ice flying off the tops of the pine trees, there was no precipitation. I wore the inner gloves after dinner while I watched our fire and took them off again when I went to sleep. The gloves definitely helped keep me warm, but will probably soon be unnecessary as the evenings are getting warmer in the local mountains.
The mitt shells combined with the inner gloves were great for snow play and, without the mitt shells, the inner gloves alone worked great while skiing or hanging around the campfire. They were comfortable, especially for gripping ski poles. The fit of the Latitude Mitts turned out to be good enough for me, though still not great. The finger length was perfect, but the thumb seemed a bit short when my hand was in any other position besides gripping a ski pole. I think the anatomical curve and thickness of the inner gloves limited my dexterity. Since the dexterity of the Latitude Mitts wasn't great, I often took them off to zip my jacket closed or open a water bottle. Taking the Latitude Mitts on and off was only a problem when they got sweaty. The excessive width of the inner gloves didn't bother me while I used the Latitude Mitts, but I do wonder whether a tighter fit might have kept my hands even warmer. I never did end up using the Idiot Cords, though I appreciated the elastic and hook-and-loop fasteners around the wrists of the inner gloves and was also very pleased with the easy-to-use Duo Cinch gauntlet closures on the mitt shells. I have now washed the inner gloves twice and they are still in great condition with no changes to the fit or color. Summer has arrived now and, after one last trip to the Sierra Nevada later this month, I will be putting the Latitude Mitts away for next season. I will definitely continue to use the inner gloves for skiing and the inner glove and outer mitt shell combination for playing in the snow, though I will probably switch back to fingerless mittens for snow-free backpacking.
This concludes my Test Report. Thank you to Outdoor Research and BackpackGearTest.org for providing me with the opportunity to test the Latitude Mitts.
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