|Montane Prism Mitts. How small?!|
In previous posts I have mentioned Montane - both for their £80 Resolute Mitts and the somewhat more reasonably priced £35 (but not quite as waterproof) Extreme Mitts.
Both of those mitts were based off the old fleece pile and hard wearing outer - buffalo type of garment technology, and hence were relatively bulky and heavy. I use the term relatively as I was quite happy carrying them around with me in a bumbag, so its not like they were made of lead or anything. (about 147g, since you're asking)
In recent times, Primaloft has become the darling of clothing manufacturers looking to create light and warm clothing solutions. That, complimented by insanely light pertex has meant that options for stuff to keep me at a temperature slightly above hypothermic have come on lots, and it was only a matter of time before someone (ie Montane) decided to meld it all together into a glove and a mitt.
The Prism range is basically Montane's hyperlightweight clothing section, and generally is pointed toward the fast&light population. Everything is shelled with pertex and is characterised by ridiculous lightweightness.... (55g for the pair)
so a pair of primaloft gloves in this category are going to be a winner.... right?
I got myself a pair of these a few weeks ago, and even though it is allegedly turning into summer right now, I have still used them on a couple of occasions.
|Lightweight and warm|
tight space in your bag.
Taking them out of the bag, the mitts themselves feel a little on the thin side - down to the minimalist amount of primaloft actually used, and the superlight and thinness of the material. If I was honest, I'd say that my very first impression was... crikey, that seems a little fragile. The Pertex is used throughout the construction of the mitt, with no re-inforcement on the palm or gripping area - which saves weight, but seems like a bit of oversight, as mitts tend to be used quite harshly once the going gets tough.
Putting the mitts on, (I have quite small hands, and usually take a size small), the size small threatened to be too small for me, as the elastic which ends up encapsulating your wrist seemed to be quite tight going over the fat part of my hand. However, once over and on, the mitts were pretty much the right size.
Again, they feel very light indeed, almost too light.
|Handy clip point for stash/retrieval on the go|
couple of doubts over using these for a massive run where I'm not producing crazy amounts of heat.
Having said that, while wearing them, I didn't actually get cold hands, which is the point... they just didn't FEEL as warm as the Extremes. A little more primaloft would have done wonders, but that's just my opinion. There is ample room for hand warmers in them as well, so should I end up with actually cold hands, I could whack a couple of them in there.
As for usability, a friend of mine recently used hers on the Highlander mountain marathon. Snow, hail, high winds etc, and said they were pretty toasty throughout the day.
|Post Highlander. Slightly screwed over.|
Which is a little disappointing, but not entirely surprising.
I remember a person coming back from a skiing holiday with a new jacket that he had been wearing while carrying skis over his shoulder and they had cut through the swanky material. He wanted a replacement and the company wouldn't give him one as the jacket had performed well and was "fit for purpose" - ie. it kept him warm while skiing.... the jacket wasn't designed to carry skis over the shoulder....
So I wonder if the same thing can be said for these mitts.... they perform well doing what they are supposed to do - that is keep your hands warm, but anything outside of that remit - doing stuff that you normally do with your hands- is outside of the remit, and therefore voids warranty? I wonder.
(UPDATE - they got replaced free of charge)
|Montane Extreme on the left, Prism on the right. The Extreme is a whole lot more robust - but heavier. 147g as opposed to 50g for the pair.|
So anyway. I have a great pair of very lightweight mitts that fold down to nothing and keep my hands warm in pretty cold and gnarly conditions (sorry, I haven't managed to try them in the rain yet.... don't know about that), but tend to destroy themselves on contact when used in situations that you might find yourself in while negotiating challenging terrain.
These are a great pair of mitts for running, and running alone, at £35 a pair, you don't want to trash them too quickly, so if you want something that's going to stand up to some abuse and can manage the weight(!) the Extremes are probably a better buy.