Alex Green, February 18, 2012
After making the transition from wearing gloves to mittens four years ago I haven’t once looked back. During this season in the US I got hold of a pair of Swany America’s environmentally friendly Eco-Mitts, a mitt that incorporates their Eco-Circle shell and Primaloft insulation technology. At an affordable $60, the Eco-Mitt’s performance credentials needed to be put the test and what better place than freezing Big Sky, Montana, my first resort of the season.
The first thing to ruin my day on the mountain will always be a cold pair of hands and with particularly bad circulation to my extremities, I am ever the more sensitive when it come to mitts.
After my testings over a week in Montana I found the Eco-Mitt to be a handy product in the cold, North American winter. The pair kept my hands toasty in sub-zero Farenheit over the week, keeping my complaints confined to the UK-US Celsius-Farenheit debate. As for moisture levels, and therefore thermal regulation, the inner of the Swany mittens were very breathable and, once taken off at the end of day, they dried overnight in the cabin without the help of a radiator. Also, with a soft interior and one that retains heat well, it is not completely unbearable to take your hands out to take a few snaps on a cold day.
After bagging three weeks of hard skiing in the Rockies and Tahoe wearing the Eco-Mitt, I’ve become assured of the gloves quality, and especially of its durability. My pair of mitts still appear to be straight out the packaging and have coped well with the freshly sharpened edges of my skis and any drips of coffee or bits of lasagne that found their freedom.
A few features, or lack there of, came to my attention during testing. Firstly, the shell around the thumb area is particularly coarse and become noticeably more so when wiping my face after a lengthy powder session or when the a howling wind required the occasional snot sweep. Also, after a nearly dropping the pair on multiple occasion from the lift whilst clumsily answering my phone, it is clear to me that I prefer a pair of gloves that have wrist straps to avoid any slightly embarrassing and tiresome moments collecting a lost item in full spectator view.
One more advantage with Swany’s relatively new closed-loop recycling system for polyester products is that you can tear up the mountains, safe in the knowledge that your warm hands aren’t costing the environment an arm and a leg. With meritable performance credentials, the Eco-Mitt certainly elevates the position of Swany in the highly competitive glove and mitt market