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After skiing in Auclair race gloves for half a decade I decided I needed to revamp my glove / mitt situation. My good friend Charlie Dayton recommended the T Hall mitt from Dakine. I know Dakine made great packs and outerwear, but their gloves and mitts always seemed to be on a lower level quality wise. They have the look, but do they have the performance?
The mitts come with a Nikwax pack that you apply yourself. It's a bit messy and it takes some time to apply. This may not be for everyone, I personally do not mind applying the wax.
The mitts are extremely warm for how lightweight they feel. Just bye holding them you would not think they are warm, they do not have excessive bulk or insulation. My hands stay perfectly comfortable anywhere from 10 degrees and above. Once the temp dips below that, my hands got a bit cooler but nothing unbearable. Once the temp really dips and the wind blow your hands will get cold. But, the great thing about mitts is you can bunch your fingers up while on the lift and get some feeling back. If you are looking for the warmest mitt available, this is not it. If you are looking for a warm, cool looking mitt that is not bulky, these are fantastic.
The Fit: The thumbs and overall mitt are proportioned very well. Neither seems too big or small. They do have wrist straps which snug down nice and tight to keep the snow and air out. I should also note that the wrists are fairly narrow, so if you have wrists like tree trunks they may be tough to get on. One of my mitts does tend to slip down on the pinky side of my hand if that makes sense. Basically the palm slips towards the thumb. This is a bit annoying at times but it's not very extreme. As I said before, they are not the highest quality mitts as shown by the slight inconsistency of the fit, but they do the job very well. A notorious problem with mittens is the lack of grip when grasping your poles. These fair well compared to some bulkier mitts. If you don't use poles, then no worries!
Durability: I used these for most of last season. They have held up very well from grabs against ski edges, grabbing trees and dodging branches in the woods, carrying skis, slamming and dragging on ice, etc. There are no rips, tears, weak seems, or worn away fabric / leather. I am very happy with them, especially for the price. Will they last forever? No, I can tell that the leather on the palms will be the first thing to go, but I believe I can get a solid 2 or 3 more seasons out of them.
Waterproof: Since I primarily use these when it's cold, it is usually dry out. I haven't used them in any real wet conditions, so I cannot say for sure how waterproof they are. I have had zero issues.
Breathability: Since mittens are warmer, your hands will tend to sweat more if its not too cold out. My hands definitely got sweaty on some warmer days, but the mitts did not get / feel drenched with sweat. Easy way to make them breath is to take them off while you are on the lift. The wrist straps come in very handy when your hands need a breather.
Overall: If you are looking for a warm mitt that won't break the bank, or are looking to try out mitts instead of gloves for the first time then these are a fantastic option. If you are looking for the warmest mitten out there, look elsewhere (Hestra makes probably the best mitts, they have a few insulated models that will be much warmer).
Dakine have a reputation for making great mitts, particularly for backcountry skiers. The team fillmore combines exceptional warmth and DK dry waterproofing technology to maximizes value and comfort. The waterproof inserts block water from the outside, keeping your hands warm and dry.