Expert Review: Outdoor Research Women's Alti Mitts
This review is my honest opinion of the mittens, which I purchased with my own money in May of 2021.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the mittens, which I purchased with my own money in May of 2021.
I love the Outdoor Research Alti Mitts for cold days in the mountains. These keep my hands warm in some of the coldest conditions.
About the mitts I own
- Model: 2022 Outdoor Research Alti Mitts
- Size: Large
- Height: 6’0”
- Weight: 190lbs
- Experience: 20 years of skiing
- When I bought them: May 2021
- Days used: 40
- Weather conditions used in: Whiteout blizzards, sunny -11 days, and windy, cold days.
- Where I’ve used them: Alyeska, Hatcher Pass, Turnagain Arm, Alaska Range, Alaska; Vail Pass, Colorado.
- Terrain: Resort and backcountry
How they perform
What I was looking for
My hands are always the first thing to get uncomfortably cold. After a particularly miserable day in a whiteout blizzard, I was looking for something to keep my hands warm in the coldest conditions I would be experiencing.
Why I chose this gear
I have several touring partners that swear up and down by these mittens. One of my friends has been living in Fairbanks, Alaska, for the past 20 years and knows how to keep warm. I tend to take his advice when it comes to keeping warm outdoors. I have tried so many other gloves, and none cut it when it came to keeping my hands from being uncomfortably cold.
What I love about them
- Fit: These mittens are big. I sized them so they are snug but will fall off my hand if I swing them downwards.
- Comfort: These mittens are extremely comfortable and soft. I can wear these multiple days in a row, and my hands still feel great.
- Warmth: The fleece liner keeps my hands extremely warm. The GORE-TEX liners trap all my body heat, even on the windiest days.
- Waterproofing: The exterior shells stay dry as long as I avoid sticking them in a river. After owning them for two years, they are still as waterproof as ever without having to reapply any waterproofing spray.
- Weight: The Alti Mitts weigh in at 202g per glove. They are heavier and bulkier than other options, but it is worth it for the added warmth.
- Features: The leashes work great. I constantly take my mitts off while teaching, and the leashes stay fixed. The mitts have a carabiner clip that makes it easy to quickly store the mitts on a pack or waist loop.
- Quality: The GORE-TEX liner is awesome, and the fleece liners are super comfortable and warm.
- Durability: After two years of pretty heavy use, I have had zero problems with durability. The mitts still look almost brand new, and there are no rips or tears.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Ease of movement: These mitts are bulky, which is why they keep my hands warm. However, finger dexterity is greatly reduced. I can barely transition my split from ski to board mode, but it is doable.
- Breathability: The fleece liners are not breathable, but if my hands are sweaty, I can just take them off.
- Touchscreen compatibility: I can't use my phone with the GORE-TEX shell or the fleece liner on.
- Any workarounds?: This is always my backup pair of mitts. I usually wear lighter gloves with more dexterity, then break these out when my fingers get numb. Once my hands warm up, I switch back to the lighter pair, which has much more dexterity.
Favorite moment with this gear
I went on a four-day hunt trip with these mitts in tow. Unfortunately, we got caught in a very windy and cold (-10℉) blizzard. I broke the Alti Mitts out and stayed comfortably warm during the 10-hour ordeal. These mitts almost made it an enjoyable experience.
Value for the money vs. other options
One can often find these mitts on sale towards the end of the winter season.** **An alternative was the Mountain Hardwear Compressor GORE-TEX Mitt, which is about half the price of the Altis. However, I had seen reviews stating they didn't have quite the same warming power as the Altis. So, in the end, the recommendation from my Fairbanks buddy made me go with the Alti Mitts. As I said, I tend to listen when he talks about what gear keeps him warm. These guys are worth every penny, and it's hard to put a price on not getting frostbite.
I call it finger insurance. With these mitts, I can put them on and have some toasty digits within minutes, even in pretty gnarly conditions.