We first saw these at the start of the year and since then, the Hot Bags have been a constant companion. I liked the look of them having been a fan of Buffalo Mitts, but they’re actually pretty different.
There’s a polyester shell, the same fabric inside and out, and a synthetic fill, I’m still saying it’ll be called Novaloft. This makes them light, 84g, and compressible enough to stick this pair of mediums in a trouser or rucksack hipbelt pocket. The fill is warm, these have been great at winter camp, but not so warm that they’re not usable on the move, I’ve used these on every winter trip to hold poles and an ice axe where the dexterity is pretty good. The softness of the mitts allows you to feel items and adjust kit, buckles and stove knobs aren’t any trouble.
The shaping is right, the thumb sits at a good angle and the fingers have a nice pre-curve to them. In normal use I’ve had no seams pressing into my skin or fingertips or knuckles over-compressing the fill to make cold spots. The shaping is done with a minimum of seams which is good, these are so usuable that the clean design should give them some longevity.
The insulated cuff is long enough to go over or tuck inside a jacket cuff and has a one-handed bungee adjuster. The wrist is partly elasticated and has a velcro strap adjuster on the back which on these pre-production samples wasn’t quite right, some of the fine detail might change before these hit the shops. I haven’t used the velcro strap anyway, the shaping means there’s no slippage and the elastic holds the mitts in place just fine.
I’ve had these damp or wet a few times and they retain their warmth and dry fast, especially when you sleep with them inside your sleeping bag. At winter camp I wasn’t letting them get too far away.
Durability is looking good, they’re been on rock, ice axes, pulling on crampons and pulling out frozen-in tent pegs and there’s no damage to the polyester outer.
The Hot Bags are a great bit of kit, they’ll work with light liners and are designed to fit inside a pair of waterproof Top Bags. On their own they’re versatile, well designed and very light, they’ve become one of my pack-every-trip items.
In the shops after summer and definitely recommended.