If there’s one piece of gear I always carry multiples of, it’s gloves! I not only have rheumatoid arthritis, but I also suffer from Raynaud’s, which means my circulation is sometimes a mess and I’ve experienced more cases of the screaming barfies than I’d like to remember.
My hands can go bad fast and I’ve spent a lot of time finding gloves that keep me warm. I wrote a review of Outdoor Research’s StormTracker heated gloves, which have served me well now for over two winters, but they do have a steep price tag. Want another option? Here they are!
Outdoor Research Transcendent Mitts.
Enter the Outdoor Research Transcendent Mitts, which are basically down booties for your hands. I can’t even explain how much I love these ridiculous little mittens. I love them so much I have two pairs.
And yes, they are ridiculous! But that’s also what makes them so amazingly warm and awesome!
I picked up a pair of these on sale a season ago from the OR retail store in Seattle, mostly because I couldn’t stop laughing about owning down booties for my hands. Then I walked around the store in them for 10 minutes and I stopped laughing because my hands were sweating. I was all “yep, sold!” The sales associate told me they were amazing and she was indeed correct. They retail for $59, but that’s $59 well spent!
The Transcendent Mitts are made of a water-resistant 20D ripstop polyester and filled with 650-fill power goose down. An elasticized cuff keeps the fit snug and secure and the inside lining is a very soft tricot polyester. As with most things OR, they come with an infinite guarantee for material defects, workmanship, or product failures for the lifetime of the product.
The mitts come with a pull-on loop and glove clip. Outdoor Research sources only Responsible Down Standard, which safeguards the welfare of geese and ducks.
Fit and comfort.
Yep, you’re going to look like you’re wearing down booties on your hands! Your friends will laugh and your hands will be useless, but they’ll also be soft, warm, and cozy so you really won’t care!
Obviously, they’re a mitten, so using your hands is a bit difficult, but they’re perfect for keeping your hands warm during static activities or when you don’t need your fingers. With them on, I can still easily hold a cup or eat with a spoon, which makes them perfect for camp.
I usually wear a size XS in gloves and I bought these in a S for a little more wiggle room. They fit comfortably, even if I wear a thin glove liner underneath. The inside of the mittens are made of tricot polyester, making them super soft. The thumb can be a bit easy to lose sometimes, so you may have to take a few seconds to poke around with your finger and find it.
I take these mittens everywhere! I’ve used them skiing, trail running, hiking, and backpacking. On a really cold backpacking trip in the North Cascades where temps dipped into the single digits, they kept my hands surprisingly warm.
They’ve also been fairly water repellant in snow and light rain, though I’ll pack them into a small dry bag if conditions are really wet so I can guarantee they’ll stay dry.
If I do wear them while moving, it’s usually not for long because my hands will start sweating in no time. Because of that, they’re great for even the coldest of conditions and especially during static activities. If I know I’ll be taking them off and on, I keep them close by and often wear a thin liner under them.
What makes these mittens so great is that they’re highly compressible and can be packed into virtually anything! They easily tuck into pockets and backpacks and there’s really no excuse not to bring them everywhere. I stuff them into my backpacks as an emergency glove and put them in a dry bag with other gear if it’s raining.
Mine have held up very well after a full year of use, though I probably wouldn’t recommend bushwhacking with them. Ok, I admit, I have bushwhacked with them on a rocky slope with snaggy trees and they did just fine but I was really careful and probably wouldn’t recommend it!
As is typical with OR, their infinite guarantee covers any defects with materials or craftsmanship for the life of the product. Bushwhacking likely not covered.
The biggest issue is that of course, these are mittens, so dexterity and grip are compromised and mittens obviously aren’t great for activities requiring your fingers. I sometimes wear a thin liner under the mitts, so I can take them off and on and still have gloved hands. They are great; however, at keeping your hands warm when you need it, especially during more static activities.
These little mittens are so versatile that I’d highly recommend anyone doing outdoor activities to grab a pair. They’re fantastic for backcountry camping, ski transitions, or times when you stop for lunch.
Being down, they’re highly compressible and lightweight and are a perfect emergency item in case you really need to keep your hands warm. You’ll love having booties for your hands and your friends will want them!
Outdoor Research infinite guarantee.
OR provides an infinite guarantee and stands by their products. I’ve always experienced impeccable customer service from them, so if you have worries about quality or longevity, I would feel very confident about OR’s support.
Want to buy them?
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Disclaimer: I believe in doing good in the world and purchase my gear from companies who feel the same. I’m not paid to support any of the companies or products I review. Unless prominently disclosed at the top of all of my reviews, this gear was purchased, tested, scuffed up, and loved by me!