Tested: Arc’teryx Fission Mitt

I arrived in Whitehorse wearing only the clothes I was wearing, a state of affairs brought about by the airline’s inability to synchronise passenger and his luggage. This would normally have necessitated buying only underwear and a toothbrush, but this was the Yukon. In winter. Which meant temperatures as low as -40°C. A decent pair of gloves or mittens would be essential.

So, Amex card in hand, I arrived at Coast Mountain Sports to stock up on some winter essentials.

Regular readers will know that I’m a huge fan of Arc’teryx clothing, so a pair of its Fission Mitts found its way into my basket. Insulated with PrimaLoft, they have a Gore-Tex liner and are faced with Arc’teryx’s own Fortius softshell fabric.

Leather too, at least on the palm and fingers, there to give extra durability and a better grip. As a result, they’re tough and the synthetic insulation meant that they would keep me warm even if they got wet.

And so it proved. My hands were warm in even the foulest conditions – and it got pretty damned foul at one stage with temperatures, including wind chill, approaching -60°C. I wore them for walking, dog-sledding, snowmobiling, and to warm my hands up between taking photographs. The long gauntlet style and tight inner cuff kept out drafts and gave an almost snow-proof seal.

Being pre-curved, they fit like a, er, well like a glove.

I kept the cord keepers cinched loosely around my wrists, which made it almost impossible to lose them when I slipped one off to quickly to take a photograph or to untangle a recalcitrant dog. As with all the best gear, they simply worked so well that I soon took them for granted.

Faults? None, really. A snot patch on the back of the mitts would have been handy, but other than that I was very happy with their design, fit and performance.

Expect to pay around $150/£120, which isn’t cheap but then it’s way cheaper than getting frostbite.

Carlton Boyce @motoringjourno