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Reviews > Clothing > Gloves and Mittens > ULA Mist Overmitts > Test Report by Bob Sanders
ÜLA Mist Overmitts
Test Series by Bob Sanders
Name: Bob Sanders
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 210 lb (95 kg)
City: Boulder, Colorado USA
Backpacking Background: I went on my first backpacking trip as a Boy Scout at the age of 16. Over the years I have hiked the Wonderland Trail in Washington and section hiked parts of the Florida Trail and the Appalachian Trail. In 2003 during a seven week period I hiked 740 mi (1191 km) of the Pacific Crest Trail. Best vacation I ever took. I continue to backpack and hike year round in the Colorado mountains. I have evolved from a heavyweight backpacker to a lightweight backpacker. My three day summer solo adventures (using a hammock) have me hovering around a 12 lb (5.4 kg) base weight.
May 13, 2007
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: ÜLA (Ultralight Adventure) Equipment
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer's Website: www.ula-equipment.com
MSRP: US $20
Listed Weight: 1 oz (28 g) Size Small
Measured Weight: 1 oz (28 g) Size Small
Size tested: Small (Based on the sizing chart listed on the website)
Colors available: Light Gray
Manufacturer's description (From Website): The Mist Overmitt is a basic, no frills mitten suitable for protection in wet conditions. Elasticized wrist, flared cuffs, and a handy mitten hook round out this simple and effective product.
Constructed from an unlined, non-laminate, waterproof- breathable material. Mosquito resistant. Serged seams insure durability and comfort.
Warranty: All Ultralight Adventure Equipment products are warranted to the original owner against defects in materials and workmanship. If an ULA product does happen to fail due to manufacturing defects, ULA-Equipment will replace or repair the product free of charge at our discretion. Necessary repairs due to improper use, unfortunate accidents, or general wear and tear, will be charged on a materials and time-spent basis.
My first impression was wow these are light. And my second was hummm, they don't feel very durable. The manufacturer's description is right on. They are indeed a basic, no frills mitten. I currently use a pair of rain mitts when I backpack which are made of nylon with a GoreTex laminate. They weigh in at 1.4 oz (39 g). Being the gram weenie that I am, I jumped at the chance to shave some weight and test these mitts.
FABRIC: The fabric feels like a soft thick paper. The surface is covered with lots of tiny little dots. Under a magnifying glass the dots appear to be tiny depressions. I have seen fabric similar to this used for lightweight rain jackets and pants.
FIT & SIZING: On the website there is a sizing chart listed and instructions on how to measure your hand. After measuring my hand and checking the chart it appeared I wore a small. I was a bit shocked. I usually hover between a medium and a large. I own 5 pair of mitts & gloves. Two pair are mediums and three pair are large. So I figured the Mist Overmitts were generously cut.
When I tried them on they seem to fit just right. Not too snug and not too generous. Even with a pair of wool liner gloves underneath they seem to fit fine. My fingers can move around and I can get a good grip on things without too much fabric getting in the way. I only wish the gauntlet was a bit longer.
CONSTRUCTION: The mitts are constructed of just 3 pieces of fabric. One for the back of the hand and two for the palm and thumb area. The only other addition is a simple elastic band sewn around the wrist area.
View of the Mitt turned inside out.
Water Resistance: Since it is currently sunny outside with no rain in sight I will have to resort to the faucet test. I put the mitt on my hand and held it under a stream of running water. The water beaded up and rolled right off. After about 30 seconds of this my hand remained dry inside.
Further testing: The main criteria I will be focusing on over the next 4 months will be durability (how well do they hold up after continued use, especially while gripping a hiking staff), water resistance, breathability and mosquito resistance.
For the past 2 months these mitts have spent more time in my pack than out of it. The reason is simple. No rain. It has not rained in this part of Colorado in nearly 2 months. The occasional 3 minute sprinkle is about it. And always when I am at home, not hiking or backpacking. The air has been so dry the rain just never makes it to the ground. With that said it has been difficult to test their waterproof capabilities while it is raining. With one exception mentioned below.
LOCATIONS & FIELD CONDITIONS: During June and July temperatures have been between 82° and 100° F (28° and 38° C) during the day and 40° to 65° F (4° and 18° C) at night. I have been on day hikes and one backpacking trip at elevations between 5000 and 10,500 ft (1524 and 3200 m). The backpacking trip was a 4 day 3 night affair to Lefthand Reservoir located in the Indian Peaks Wilderness area. We hiked in about 4 Miles (6.4 K) and set up basecamp at 10,000 ft (3,048 m). From there we did day hikes and fished the afternoon away.
PERFORMANCE: I have carried the mitts with me on all day hikes and on the trip to Lefthand Reservoir. During day hikes the only time I used them was while hiking through very tall grass in the early morning. The grass was very wet from the early morning dew. Because the weather was warm I would normally just hike on through and dry out as I continued to hike. But since there had been no rain I slipped them on to get in a mini test. The dew beaded up and rolled off. I also had good grip on my hiking poles. I continued to wear them for another 15 minutes of so but the temperature was in the 70's° F (20's° C) and my hands began to sweat so I took them off.
During our stay at the basecamp we did have a torrential downpour with high winds about 3:00 a.m. I brought a tarp with me instead of a hammock because we were very close to tree line and the trees were very short around the Reservoir. I got up, put on my rain jacket and went outside to tighten all the guy lines on my tarp and my friend's tent. The mitts worked beautifully. My hands stayed dry and I got a pretty good grip on the wet guy lines.
These mitts have two other advantages for me, warmth and mosquito resistance. During this trip mosquitoes were a problem in the late afternoon and early evening. So while sitting around camp or making dinner I wore the mitts and they kept the mosquitos under control. Under close inspection you could see them trying to push their suckers through the fabric but with no success. While wearing the mitts around camp my hands did not become sweaty and the mitts seemed to have good breathability.
I also used the mitts to sleep in to keep the mosquitos at bay and for a little warmth. The temperatures bottomed out at 40° F (4° C) during the night and the mitts added just enough warmth to keep my hands from feeling chilled.
SUMMARY: So far I like these mitts. They resist mosquitos and add a bit of warmth. I will continue to keep an eye on their durability and hopefully in the next 2 months I will have the opportunity to test these while hiking in the rain.
LONG TERM REPORT
September 25, 2007
I was hoping for some rain but we have received little to none. So my desire to get some testing done while hiking in the rain was not possible. I would have settled for a light mist, but alas nothing.
LOCATIONS & FIELD CONDITIONS: During August and September temperatures have been between 75° and 93° F (24° and 34° C) during the day and 40° to 55° F (4° and 13° C) at night. I have been on 4 additional day hikes and an additional backpacking trip. Elevations have been between 6000 and 12,500 ft (1829 and 3810 m). The backpacking trip was a 24 mile 3 day 2 nighter along Buchanan Pass and Pawnee Pass trails located in the Indian Peaks Wilderness area. The weather was really quite nice – sunny with
occasional cloud cover, warmer temperatures in the valleys and cooler at higher altitudes. I took a tent this trip as we were above tree line quite a bit.
PERFORMANCE: Not much has changed since my Field Report 2 months ago. These mitts have been used quite successfully to keep the mosquitoes from attacking my hands at night and I wear them to sleep in to add a small amount of warmth to my hands. I use a quilt to sleep under and my hands and forearms don't always stay completely under the quilt. When I get up in the morning I continue to wear the mitts until the temperatures warm up a bit. I have used them to remove a pot of boiling water from the stove. But only after making sure the stove was out. I removed one mitt, folded it in half, giving me 4 layers of fabric which was enough protection to allow me to quickly pour water for my morning coffee and set the pot down. It was getting warm but not hot. Probably not something I will continue to do. Using the pot holder is a better solution.
Durability: I was also hoping to wear the mitts while hiking and using my hiking poles to check the durability. I tried a couple of times but the weather was neither cool enough nor wet enough to get much time with them. I would put them on in the morning as I started out but 10 minutes later I had warmed up enough that my hands were beginning to feel sweaty and I took them off. I guess I didn't realize just how sweaty my hands could get. I rarely wear mitts or gloves while I hike except if temperatures are quite cold. So overall they only received about 30 minutes of constant use. Not enough in my opinion to check long term durability. Looking at them closely the palms do seem to be slightly fuzzier then the backs, probably due to rubbing with the hiking pole handles.
SUMMARY: Now that the test is complete I have to say that these mitts have found a place in my pack. I have another pair of rain mitts that are made of nylon and Gore-Tex. They are much more durable but not as breathable. I will probably reserve them for when I expect to be hiking in the rain for numerous days on end. The ÜLA Mist Overmitts strike a nice balance between waterproof, breathable, lightweight hand protection. At $20, the Overmitts are cheap enough that I won't mind replacing them when they wear out, which is exactly what I plan to do.
I would like to thank ÜLA and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test these mitts.
Read more gear reviews by Bob Sanders
Reviews > Clothing > Gloves and Mittens > ULA Mist Overmitts > Test Report by Bob Sanders