I’ve mixed and matched my hand layers over the years and will swap in different items depending on the seasons, conditions, temperatures, or preferences.
I appreciated my wool Dachstein mitts in Colorado for deep winter use. They worked magnificently as softshell layers with the fluffy snow conditions of the deeper cold.
And though not as thick, the Alyeska mitts make for an effective middle layer as part of the standard liner/middle layer/shell system. And I find these wool layers durable for maneuvering ski poles, grabbing metal edges of skis, and similar tasks during the deeper winter season.
However, in the high desert of Utah, I’ve gravitated towards fleece for my middle layers and often wear it without a shell. Fleece breathes better, I find, and is less bulky and has a better warmth-to-weight ratio. Perfect for the cold but dry conditions of where I currently call home.
With the colder weather of the winter season, I find my single-layer fleece mittens not quite warm enough unless I wear a shell. And that’s not ideal at times when it’s cold and dry. The Dachstein mitts end up as overkill being heavy and bulky, and do not have as much dexterity and are heavy for what I need here. Again, great for the deeper cold of my Colorado ski tours but not for what I need here in the Moab area.
Wanting to fill this missing niche in my kit, I turned again to Etsy.
I’ve talked about Etsy before and how I found these small-batch gear companies perfect for some needs. Joan’s boiled wool and fleece-lined mitts serve her well, for example. Some mail-order cabinet makers will produce custom shelves outside of outdoor gear. Perfect for when we needed to make some home improvements, and I did not wish to purchase lumber or a miter saw (and have dedicated space for its use) or attempt to book the very hard-to-get tradespeople in our desert town.
In any case, I found Mimsi’s shop that makes double-lined fleece mitts for a custom order for only $15. Amazing. I contacted her, and she emailed me, told me what colors she had to choose from, and let me give specific measurements to fit my liner gloves, somewhat large hands, and have enough “wiggle room” to manipulate gear.
These double mitts weigh 3.75 oz for an XL size, are not overly bulky, and are warm. The colder part of the High Desert experience will end soon, but I use them a good amount already. They pair well with the Swiss army over mitts, too.
I also prefer these mitts to the Fox River Double Rag Wool mitt that weighs 6 oz. Not only for reasons mentioned earlier about fleece vs. wool where I live but also because I have not found the ragg double mitts large enough to accommodate my needs with a liner.
I still prefer wool or wool blends for fluffy snow vs. fleece and find the wool ones more durable, but for cold and dry use; these double fleece mitts work better for my needs.
There’s not too much more to say. These double-knit fleece make for inexpensive, warm, and reasonably light custom clothing by a person who takes pride in her work and makes gear on time—highly suggested if you have similar needs.
Where to get them? Check out Mimsi’s store and offerings, and see what she can make for you.