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Submitted: 04-25-2012 by Phelps
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On recomendation of someone on the Greenland Forum, I sought out some of these mitts and thin Merino wool mitten liners made by Icebreaker. The shell mitts are built like your drysuit with reinforced grip area and taped seams. There is an extended cuff that can be cinched tight half way up your forearm and easily released using a second release pull. There is also a wrist strap that can be tightened. These look like shell mitts for backcountry skiing, and would be fine for that, especially if it's wet, but they are listed on the OR site as a paddling mitt. Of course if you capsize or imerse your hand beyond the cuff you'll get a wet hand, but all is not lost. If you're wearing a wool liner it'll still provide some warmth and the shells will cut the wind chill. What I like about them the most is that with some practice, it's possible to get launched and skirted with the mitts on, and the feel of the paddle in the hand is way better than with neoprene mitts or gloves. I've been comfortable paddling with these when the air temps were in the mid twenties. I don't do rolls or even rough days when it's this cold so my hands probably won't get wet at all unless I blow my dry exit! The shells cost more money than neoprene mitts, and there is the cost of the liners as well, but remember that they can be used for any winter outdoor activity, not just paddling, but I'm keeping mine as dedicated paddling gear.
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