Warmth, dexterity, durability, and breathability…everything you want in a winter glove and mitten. The Denali line of gloves and mittens by Outdoor Designs claims to be “uncompromising in materials, quality and fit. It all adds up to a high performing product you can rely on in the harshest environments.” And while their price point is more than an entry level glove, you get what you pay for. Here’s why I heartily recommend you check them out.
Denali Gloves: http://www.outdoordesigns.co.uk/store/denali-glove Winter in Ohio was slow to come this year, so my initial testing of these gloves was in warmer than ideal temperatures, but this is an area in which many well-insulated gloves fail. Nothing leads to cold fingers more quickly than sweaty fingers, and the breathability of these gloves, even in warmer temperatures, was truly impressive. Not once did I experience sweaty palms. Winter has finally set in, and I have continued to use these gloves for everything from fishing to bike riding on frigid days.
Here are the strengths. Warmth, my hands stayed warm even in freezing temperatures. Dexterity, if anything tests how nimble you can be in a glove, it’s fishing that requires incessant casting. I took these gloves steelhead fishing in upstate New York. I casted all day and never complained about the dexterity or warmth of my hands. Durability, one of my daily winter tasks is moving wood…not a forgiving task especially for insulated gloves, but these gloves handled the task with aplomb and show no indications of ripping at the seams or wearing through the material. Waterproofing, wind-proofing, and breathability, a lack in any of these areas leads to cold hands, and the Denali Glove excelled in all areas.
Denali Mittens: http://www.outdoordesigns.co.uk/store/denali-mitt I must admit that I tend to prefer gloves to mittens although there are certainly areas in which mittens really excel. One of those areas is to provide increased warmth over a glove. But this warmth often comes at the cost of losing dexterity. The Denali mitten has a feature that provides subdivisions for fingers within the mitten. This subtle feature maintains the warmth of the mitten but also keeps your hand from getting lost in a directionless sack. I spent an afternoon in a snowball fight, and never lacked for dexterity.
To expedite durability testing, I did multiple workouts with kettlebell swings, pull-ups, and burpees. While the mittens aren’t intended for this (and it is a bit ridiculous to be working out in the snow), the fact that the mittens handled this abuse without a hiccup attests to their solid construction. Multiple submersion tests in a bucket of water showed no signs of leakage, so they are more than waterproof for normal use. On extended hikes in subzero temps, I did feel a bit of a chill, but that it likely unavoidable when your fingers aren’t in use.
If I could change anything, it would be the initial slipperiness of the palm. The first thing I did with the mittens was to push my kids in a stroller on a run, and I did notice that I had to grip the bar more firmly. I have found as the gloves are used that the grip becomes more secure. I could also wish that there was more of a difference in warmth between the glove and the mitten. In order to sacrifice the dexterity of the glove, I would like to make substantial increases in warmth.
I have only the tinniest of quibbles, and I wholeheartedly recommend the Denali gloves and mittens. They are comfortable, warm, and designed to hold up under use. When I eventually wear them out, I will happily buy another pair…the gloves first and then the mittens.