In the world of hiking rain mitts, there are very few that really stand out to me. Without a doubt the one at the very top of my list is the Mountain Laurel Designs, eVENT Rain Mitts.
I have been using these rain mitts from Mountain Laurel Designs for a few years and absolutely love them.
There are actually very few rain mittss on the list of UL/SUL rain mits these days. The ones off the top of my head are the Mountain Laurel Designs, eVENT Rain Mitts, the Black Rock Gear Overmitts, and the ZPacks WPBCF Rain Mitts. The Black Rock Gear ones are the lightest ones out there (13.6 grams) but also the ones most prone to suffering damage because of their use of 0.34 cuben fiber and they are also the least breathable ones. The ZPacks WPBCF Rain Mitts are mid-weight (23 grams), and are 100% made from WPB CF so their breathablity is better than the ones from Black Rock Gear, but nowhere near as good as the (36 gram) eVENT ones from Mountain Laurel Designs.
As I have written so many times over the last few years, it is always my goal to go as light as possible, yet also strike a balance between weight and usability. This is one of those times when the additional 10-20 grams of weight are put aside for the fact of usability – specifically breathablity.
Cuben Tech has never released what the breathablity stats of their WBPCF is, but from testing results I have received (from numerous and nondisclosable sources) the breathability of their material is “significantly less” than eVENT.
For a piece of outerwear that I might be wearing for hours and hours at a time – I do live in the middle of a rain forests – the ability for a piece of outerwear to keep me dry from the inside (that is: breathability) is potentially just as important as it is to keep me dry from the outside.
Storage & Use:
I bought my mitts in size large, specifically so that I could wear them over my PossumDown gloves and/or any other inner mitts that I might happen to be wearing, and because I have a long fingers and I wanted a little extra wiggle room.
I have carried a single pair for a couple thousands miles and used them for a few hundred miles, probably close to 400 miles or so. Here recently I got a new pair (the ones in the photographs) and already put them to use this winter. Because of where I tend to hike, I encounter lot of blackberry bushes and 6 foot tall ferns, and these two plants have destroyed thousands of dollars worth of my gear. The eVENT Rain Mitts gloves from MLD have held up longer than just about any other piece of gear that has suffered the abuses of blackberries and ferns. I could still use my original pair for another couple hiking seasons, but as I have said in so many of my articles, when you are out there pushing the miles, you need to have your gear in top condition, and this next hiking season I will be putting myself into the most high-risk regions of California I have ever been to.
When I store mine within my backpack I first roll up my two NRS Wet Socks, whatever amount of Gurney Goo I am carrying, and the second glove, and stuff all of that into one of the two gloves. Chances are pretty good that if I need to put on my gloves, my feet are probably going to be cold at some point in the near future, so I usually slip on the WetSocks to keep my feet warm within a micro-climate.
The MLD eVENT mitts do need (well, should be) seam sealed as Mountain Laurel Designs does not do this on their end.
It is a very easy process and takes very little time to do – I did it while sitting around watching a tv show and was done before the show was over.
There is a good video on youtube that shows just how easy it is to get your gloves sealed and do so in a clean way.
For me the verdict/decision is simple: the Mountain Laurel Designs, eVENT Rain Mitts are my go-to mitts for hiking. The breathability of eVENT is unmatched these days, and I want a pair of rain mitts that are not going to sweat-out when using them for hours at a time. Their long cuff length make it nice to make sure no rain enters between them and my rain jacket. Their weight (36 grams / 1.27 ounces) is acceptable considering the high value of a pair of rain mitts. Their quality and construction are top of the line, as every piece of gear I have ever owned from Mountain Laurel Designs has been.
In accordance of USA Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255: I hereby declare that the products mentioned within the content of this article were not supplied to me in exchange for services. All products mentioned within the content of this review, with the exception of Black Rock Gear products, are free of endorsements between myself and the manufacturers and meets all FTC 16 CFR.255 compliance requirements.
Updated: March 10, 2013 to include the seamsealing section of the article, which I neglected to include.