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Reviews > Clothing > Gloves > ULA Mist Overmitts > Test Report by Edwin L. Morse

ULA - MIST OVERMITTS
TEST SERIES BY EDWIN MORSE
LONG-TERM REPORT
September 16, 2007

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Edwin Morse
EMAIL: ed dot morse at charter dot net
AGE: 69
LOCATION: Grawn, MI USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 8" (1.73 m)
WEIGHT: 143 lb (64.90 kg)

I started backpacking in 1979 with two weeks in northern Michigan along the Lake Superior shore. My gear was cheap, heavy and sometimes painful. Starting pack weight was 70 lbs (32 kg) with food but no water. Since that first time I have made one and two week trips in Michigan, Maine, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. I am slowly reducing my pack weight. Starting the last one week trip in New Hampshire I carried 35 lbs (16 kg). I am slowly obtaining lighter gear. I am also occasionally switching to a hammock in warmer weather.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

May 18, 2007

Manufacturer: ULA Equipment
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer's Website:http://www.ula-equipment.com/
MSRP: US $20
Listed Weight: 1.2 oz (34 g) (size medium)
Measured Weight: 1.2 oz (34 g) (size medium)


INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

Measurements of my hands, according to the website, indicated that I should wear a size small.

When the Overmitts (size small) arrived they were too small. I called the telephone number given on the sheet of paper that came in the package. The address, telephone number and internet address are also on a tag inside the wrist of the right mitt. When a man answered I asked for the customer service department. He said "This is Brian. How can I help you?"

I gave my name and explained the problem. He said he would send the next larger size. I received the size medium Overmitts three days later. I like this kind of customer service! I know I will get service when I talk with the owner.

The size medium fits just fine. If necessary, I have room for a thin pair of gloves inside the overmitts.

The Mist Overmitts (herein to be called Overmitts or mitts) are a very lightweight material which seems to me to be very similar material, though lighter, to my old Frogg Toggs rainsuit. The mitts are a light gray color.

Here is a picture of the Mitts:

ULA Mist Overmitts



It is stated in the website that the mitts are constructed of an "unlined, non-laminate, waterproof- breathable material."





READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

No instructions regarding use or care were provided.

What instructions do I need to use a pair of waterproof mitts?

TRYING IT OUT

The material is, in fact, waterproof. I put the mitts on and ran the kitchen faucet near full force. Even rubbing the stream between my hands they stayed dry. I did get some water inside by holding a seam directly under the force of the water. I doubt very much this would happen in an actual rain.

TESTING STRATEGY

Two thoughts have occurred to me while looking over the mitts.

The snap hook on each mitt is a neat idea and suggests another short term use. I could clip one or both mitts to a shoulder strap of my pack to keep a snack or my GPS handy. The mitt itself could be an extra pocket for small items. The small cord between snap hook and mitt might not be strong enough to hold a GPS. I will try this soon. It might not really be a good thing to do. Too much weight could rip out the loop material that attaches the snaps to the mitts.

There is a seam from the base of the thumb across to the opposite side of the palm. I wonder if this seam will irritate my hands when using hiking poles.

SUMMARY

I don't have much to say at this time, with no actual use yet. The mitts are waterproof, by faucet test.
They appear to be just what I expected: a very light weight mitten that should keep my hands dry while hiking.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

July 25, 2007

I carried the Overmitts in my pack on 4 over night hikes, 3 in the Manistee National Forest (MNF) and one in the Pere Marquette State Forest (PMSF) at the Sand Lakes Quiet Area. The first two were solo hikes in the MNF, combining the Manistee River Trail and the NCT for a 22 mile (35 km) loop walk. The third was with a friend trying to get back into backpacking. I did wear the Overmitts on this third overnight in the morning long enough to get down the food bag. The fourth overnight, in the PMSF was another solo hike. The weather varied from cloudy and warm to clear and sunny or cloudy and wet with a low temperature one night of 35 F (2 C) to a high of 85 F (29 C) and sunny on the second overnight hike.

It was the second day of my third overnight hike that I finally had an opportunity to actually use the Overmitts for their intended purpose. When I saw the clouds getting darker and the thunder louder, I made sure my rain gear was easy to reach and kept walking. The rain started soon after and I stopped to put on rain gear, including the Overmitts. Then I continued on down the trail. I learned very soon to put the sleeves of my rain parka over the wrists of the Overmitts for better protection. The rain only lasted about an hour.
The following image shows one mitt wrist outside the rain parka. On the other hand I have the sleeve over the mitt to keep the rain out. When I was setting up to take the picture I discovered the thumb loops in the rain parka.
wearing Overmitts

I also carried the Overmitts in my pack for both trail work hikes and just plain day hikes. The first "work day" was exploration and GPS mapping. This is my favorite kind of "work" and hiking, all bushwhacking. The first day was cool, with a high of 60 F (16 C) and sunny. The terrain varied from swampy and wet brush to dry sandy pine forest areas. The second and third days were warm, humid and wet. Temperatures topped out at 82 F (28 C) both days. Terrain was similar generally going from dry sand forest to wet swamp and small creeks.

I also went on about 12 day hikes in the last 2 months, both before and between the overnight hikes. These were mostly in the MNF and at least half on the NCT. Several of the hikes in the MNF were mostly bushwhacking. I also took 2 hikes in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The weather varied from cool 60 F (16 C) and cloudy to a hot, for this area, 85 F (29 C) and sunny. All my solo day hikes were from about 8 mi (13 km) when bushwhacking to around 15 mi (24 km) for days totally on trail. I carried the Overmitts in my pack every time out but had only the three occasions in this time period to use them.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

This is an unusually dry season for this area. It has only rained one time when I've been out backpacking or hiking. There have been a few rain storms at night when I was home. Even then it quit before I could get out in the morning.

The first time I used the Overmitts it was not raining. I hiked the section of trail that I maintain. It had rained the night before with strong winds. Everything was wet. I wore the Overmitts while picking up branches to throw off the trail and while using a small saw to cut the ones too big to move, then to drag them off the trail. The wrist elastic is loose on my thin wrists and the mitts had a tendency to slide down while I was working. The leather gloves I normally wear would have been soaked through in the first mile. My hands stayed dry but the Overmitts got very dirty, stained both green and brown. I was worried that I would tear the Overmitts but this did not happen. When I got home I put them in the washer with all the other clothes I had been wearing. I was surprised that they came out as clean as new from all the green and black stains.

I made one mistake when I put the Overmitts in the washer; I left them snapped together. When I took them out of the washer the thin cord holding the snap hook on one Overmitt had pulled out of the mitt. The next day I took them to The Stitchery, a local small business that does clothing alterations, and asked if they could repair my mistake. They did such a neat job that I can't tell which mitt was repaired.
As a result of this experience I decided not to try using the mitts as extra pockets on my pack straps. I did not want to rip the small cord out again. I also thought this might be pushing the limits for which the Overmitts were made. I do not consider the ripped cord a flaw in the mitts. Being wrapped around other clothes in the washer was just too much strain.

One chilly morning on an overnight I wore the mitts for a short time just to keep my hands warm while I got down the food bag.

The Overmitts worked very well the times I did use them. When I noticed that rain water would run inside the wrists I put the rain parka cuffs down over the Overmitts. When I was wearing the Overmitts and using hiking poles there was no tendency for the mitts to slide down, even before I put the rain parka cuffs over the Overmitt wrists. This kept my hands dry from the rain. Since I was using hiking poles my hands would have been very wet.

I always sweat hard when I hike. When I took the Overmitts off my hands were getting sweaty. Of course I was more sweaty under my rain parka, which is not breathable.

SUMMARY

Things I like:
The Overmitts are light weight. It is extra nice if the items I hope not to use (First Aid kit and rain gear) are as light as possible.
The mitts are breathable.
The mitts are NOT bulky. All other breathable rain gear I have used has either been heavy, bulky or both. I can stuff the mitts in any small space in the pack.
I generally carry the Overmitts in the top pocket of the pack with the first aid kit and other rain gear since this is the quickest place to find and get things. I tried other places in the pack for these items but the top pocket seems to work best for me.

Things I do NOT like:
I can't say there is anything I don't like at this time. I have had very little opportunity to really test the mitts with our unusual weather this year. I also have several other pieces of new gear that have not been adequately tested in the rain.
There are some things the manufacturer might consider changing:
The top of the wrists could have a way to tighten. This would (might) keep rain water from running down inside the mitts. On the other hand, I really think that when it is raining it is a simpler solution to just put the rain coat (jacket, parka or whatever) sleeves over the mitt wrists.
The elastic in the wrist could be stronger and tighter. I will try a rubber band on each wrist the next time I go backpacking to see if a tighter wrist elastic would be a good change.

On the other hand, after due consideration, I might decide the changes would not be good.

I would like to thank BackpackGearTest.org and ULA Equipment for giving me the opportunity to try out (and to test) the ULA Mist Overmitts.
This concludes my Field Report. The Long Term Report will be added in about two months.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

September 16, 2007

Early August was mostly travel and day hikes in Michigan, Minnesota and Maine. The weather was much the same in each state; warm and low 80's F (27 C). Terrain in Maine and Minnesota was similar with hilly and rocky trails. In Michigan the trails were hilly and sandy.

The real testing for this period was on Isle Royale National Park in western Lake Superior. I was hiking on the island for 15 days, about 125 miles (200 km) in late August and early September. I went with an older (age 74) friend and his younger (age 70) brother. We separated 3 times for them to do shorter days and easier trails.

The weather varied from bright and sunny 80 F (27 C) on 2 days down to a few damp and chilly mornings of 40 F (4 C). We had 4 days and 2 nights of rain which varied from a light drizzle to a good steady soaking rain.

The terrain varied from a smooth "tunnel through the trees" to up and down over rocky ridges.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

The first time I used the Mitts on the island was during a morning of slow steady rain on a mostly uphill trail with wet brush over the path. Even after the rain quit the brush was still wet so I continued to wear the Mitts most of the day. My hands stayed warm and dry. I was surprised and pleased that constant brushing against wet leaves did not soak the Mitts through. The following picture shows the conditions.
After the rain

A few days later I wore the Mitts to take down and pack a very wet tent while it was still raining. No pictures here since my camera is not waterproof. I also wore the Mitts on 2 days of steady drizzle while climbing over wet rocks. Great days hiking with dry hands but wet feet (part of another report) and sweaty wet and warm body.

Several of us (new friends and old) took a day hike near the end of our stay on the island. This day had frequent rain with gusty winds and a high of 45 F (7 C). The Mitts kept my hands warm and dry.
DAY HIKE MOSTLY RAIN






SUMMARY

The ULA Mist Overmitts have worked very well for me. They are easy to pack and keep my hands dry and warm. Previously I've used light wool or fleece gloves and put up with wet hands. It is very nice to have both warm and dry hands.

During the overall testing period I've worn the Overmitts for trail work, for day hikes in the rain, for backpacking in the rain and for packing away wet gear in the rain. Not only have the Overmitts kept my hands warm and dry when needed, they also dry quickly when I quit getting them wet.

CONTINUED USE

The Mist Overmitts will be in my pack ready for use on all hikes. These are a great addition to my gear.
I would not have thought to purchase the Overmitts but when this pair wears out they will be immediately replaced with another pair from ULA Equipment.

I would like to thank BackpackGearTest.org and ULA Equipment for giving me the opportunity to try out (and to test) the ULA Mist Overmitts.
This concludes my Long Term Report.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.

Read more reviews of Ultralight Adventure Equipment gear
Read more gear reviews by Edwin L. Morse

Reviews > Clothing > Gloves > ULA Mist Overmitts > Test Report by Edwin L. Morse



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