Reviewed by Emma Rogers
Dakine, the wintertime online snow and accessories store, has outdoor clothing for men and women ranging from surf leggings to insulated jackets and everything in between.
This year, they have sent me ski mittens to try out (see my previous review of women’s sports socks)
The first thing you notice about the mittens is the colour; spiced coral. That’s dusky pink to you and me! As much as I like pink, I think every feminist among us would agree that just because we’re women, it doesn’t mean we have to have all clothing and accessories in pink. Or purple. Looking at the Dakine website, these particular ski mittens come in other colours though, even if they are a bit floral (you can also get just in black).
The website promotes the mittens as being updated recently to being more durable and tough, and they do seem it. The material is mainly polyester and nylon with goat’s leather for the shell, and the insulation is made of polyester and polyurethane. They’re both waterproof and breathable too. Get this too – they have special material called ‘nose wipe thumb panels’ which I can only imagine is for one thing… how ingenious! I think we can all relate to why that might be needed, be it up a mountain or just when it’s freezing cold outside. I hadn’t even thought of this as a need but now that I’ve seen it, I agree!
The gloves have other neat features too. There’s a little clip on each glove so that you can fasten them together when you’re not using them (or make them into handcuffs?!) which is also a great idea if your hands are full, or like me, you seem to lose a glove all the time. There are adjustable cuffs with Velcro to each glove as well to make sure they’re really tight fitting, and wrist leaches to each glove. The leashes can be removed, but I thought this was again another gimmick that seemed to work, as you can tie them to your sports equipment when you take them off.
Of course, you don’t have to wear them skiing or during adventure sports. I was nowhere near a mountain when I tested these (I went out shopping in suburban London) and was really surprised. Firstly, everyone was telling me how cold it was outside. I honestly didn’t realise because my hands were so warm in the mittens that I didn’t feel cold at all. It was only when my face started getting cold that I had to take them off when I realised the weather was bitter, but my hands were toasty. I put this down to the improved 300 gram fleece lining and high loft fill insulation. I’m used to wearing women’s knitted gloves around town, so it took a while to get used to the mitten style, but once I did it was worth it to keep my hands so warm, in a way that gloves often don’t.
As for use, yes they’re for winter sports but I would recommend them for everyday use too. They’re great for pushing a pram or carrying shopping, and they fit into pockets too if you’re commuting. If you’re out running or on a bike, I should imagine they not only keep your hands warm but keep out the wind and rain too. I will be wearing these to New York later this year when the weather there is freezing, and I will be doing everything I can to keep warm. The wrist adjustable straps meant that I could fit the gloves under my sleeves, so I kept the cold out. That nose wipe panel though! I’m not going to admit to using it, but you’ve got to love it as a feature, haven’t you?!
For more information or to buy, visit www.dakine.com.