Outdoor Research markets men’s and women’s Adrenaline mitts for skiing, but our tests revealed that they’re actually great for a variety of winter activities that get the heart pounding. Waterproof, comfortable and thoughtfully designed, they kept our testers warm, dry and smiling while snowshoeing in the West and hiking on ice-covered trails in the Appalachian Mountains.
Adrenaline mitts are outfitted with the company’s Ventia membrane, which effectively blocked snow, sleet and rain, while also allowing moisture to escape, even as we pushed our heart rates higher. Our testers’ hands never grew sweaty as they ventured out into temperatures ranging from the mid-20s to the low 30s. With 200 grams of insulation on the back of the mitt and a lining of soft fleece, the Adrenaline kept hands nice and toasty, even when our testers paused for snack breaks. As you would expect, we occasionally had to remove the mitts while out and about, but when we put our clammy hands back into them, the soft fleece lining wicked the moisture away quickly.
While the mitts managed moisture well, they also simply fit nicely. Male testers and female testers noted that the fit was snug, but comfortable, and there was little dead space, which made the mitts retain heat more efficiently. The close fit also allowed a decent amount of dexterity (as much as you can expect with a mitt), allowing us to hold ski and trekking poles comfortably. Without too much trouble, we were also able to unzip backpacks, clean sunglasses, unscrew water bottles, etc.
Outdoor Research included a few things to make the Adrenaline easy to use in the field, including a gauntlet cord that cinches easily with one hand. This might seem like a small detail, but it makes a difference when you’re securing the mitts while holding ski poles or trekking poles. At the wrist, the mitts have an elastic material, plus a cinch strap to trap heat and keep hands warm. Kudos for rigging the cinch strap with a wide pull-tab that’s easy to grab.
As usual with Outdoor Research products, Adrenaline mitts can withstand a beating in the field. We were really impressed with the somewhat rubbery AlpenGrip material on the palm, which was very flexible and showed no chinks even after we scraped it across rocks. Better yet, moisture did not affect the tackiness of the material when it was wet, so we kept a firm grip on ski poles, while trekking poles never felt slippery when we encountered a sleet storm.
We really appreciate that, for a reasonable price, you can get a mitt that serves so many purposes and should last through many winters.
SNEWS® Rating: 4.5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)
Suggested Retail: $45
For information: www.outdoorresearch.com