Loving the HighCamp Mitts! Being a stereotypical woman, my hands are frequently cold. It could be 55 degrees and I’m wearing gloves. Some women have shoe collections? I have a glove collection! Which means when preparing to travel to colder climes I find myself staring at piles of fleece gloves, soft shell gloves, windproof or insulated mitts and wondering which one will work. And usually I need to pack two, sometimes three, to cover my bases.
Along come the HighCamp Mitts from Outdoor Research ($89), which quickly has become a popular standby in the line it seems. And it’s clear why: They are versatile and insulating. The mitts can go from keeping hands warm on a ski slope to keeping hands happy during a wander around town. In fact, the HighCamp Mitts are so versatile they can move from winter to a cool spring day without sacrificing hand comfort.
Wait, how is THAT possible? The mitts – as well as their companion HighCamp gloves – have an insulated waterproof, breathable shell with PrimaLoft fill and come with a removable fleece liner (The Mitts’ liners are touch-screen compatible).
So what you really have is three-in-one: A cozy standalone mitt (or glove if you opted for that), a lightweight fleece liner – or both worn together for extra toasty warmth. With my mitts, I can also easily put a heat pack inside the shell but outside the liner and keep the heat pack at my fingertips or in the palm without risking burns.
The soft, leather, water-resistant palm on the HighCamp Mitt doesn’t make you feel like you’re wearing boxing mitts either, but if you need to take a call or fool with a camera, you don’t need to freeze your hands. Just slip out of the shell mitts and leave on the liner.
The liners have two pieces of hook-and-loop at the cuffs that allow them to attach to the mitt where the other side of the hook-and-loop is. We did find in testing that sometimes the HighCamp Mitt liner didn’t sit or attach just right. We’d slip in our hands and fumble about, wondering where the thumb was and discover we’d slipped our fingers BETWEEN the shell and the liner. But that is a minor quibble.
While the HighCamp Mitts (or the gloves) are not truly designed for Antarctic use or Arctic chills, for cold winter wear (we had them on down to about 10-12 degrees Fahrenheit) they serve their purpose very well.
Other features are a cinch gauntlet closure, wrist cinch with lock, and removable idiot cord. A men’s glove and a men’s three-finger (i.e. lobster) mitt are also available.
Next time we’re headed to winter playgrounds, I’ll spend less time staring at my glove drawer trying to choose since I’ve finally found one mitt that works three ways very well. Thus, the HITT Seal of Approval is duly granted.