Leki St. Moritz Lady Mitten Review
No matter the weather, my hands are always colder than my ski buddies. As a result, I am constantly searching for a hand warming solution that also allows for some dexterity and doesn’t require a hand warmer at all times. At the 2015 SIA On Snow Demo a few weeks back, I checked out Leki ski poles that featured the Trigger S system and was asked if I wanted to try a mitten with an integrated Trigger S Loop for a complete set up. For those unfamiliar with the Leki Trigger S system, briefly it is a patented safety release system that eliminates the need for a pole strap and utilizes a loop that is clicked in and out on the grip of a pole. You can utilize the system with your own gloves by simply slipping a wrist strap that is equipped with the Trigger Loop or don a pair of Leki gloves or mittens that already feature the Trigger S Loop.
At the SIA On Snow Demo Days, I tested out the Leki Bluebird ski pole (available Winter 2015-2016) and the St. Moritz Lady Mitten. I was able to keep the St. Moritz Lady Mitten and have been putting it to the test out in Steamboat over the course of the last dozen or so ski days, in a wide array of ski conditions.
St. Moritz Lady Mitten Fabric and Warmth
The Leki St. Moritz Lady Mitten is perfect for those that need the warmest mitt on the market to keep their hands warm on the slopes. The St. Moritz Lady Mitten features both Primaloft and goose down for insulation. When you put the St. Moritz Lady Mitten on for the first time, it reminds you of a sleeping bag for your hand. Those words were actually first uttered by the Leki rep, and I couldn’t agree more. My fingertips were comfortable on frigid days without liners with temps down to the teens and in the single digits with an added pair of windproof liners. Like I said before, I have terribly cold hands.
Leki has strategically placed more insulation on the top of the mitten, where your blood vessels are located within the hand, which aids in keeping your hand warm. The insulation is lightweight and not overly cumbersome. With the mittens on, I am still able to buckle/unbuckle ski boots, access key items in my pack or pockets, maintain easy grip on my ski pole, remove and don skins for touring. The only task I find difficult to perform is transition my bindings from tour to alpine mode, which requires the use of my index finger through a loop. I haven’t been able to do this task in any of the mittens I own or have tested, so this was not a surprise. Having the ability to keep the Leki St. Moritz Lady Mitten on during the above activities means that my hands will stay warmer throughout the day and will not be exposed to the elements.
The inside of the St. Moritz Lady Mitten is a super soft fleece, while the cuff area incorporates Teddy Bear fleece. The Teddy Bear fleece material is a good addition in the wrist due to the easy pilling of traditional fleece in this high wear and tear area. The St. Moritz Lady Mitten features a cinch adjustment strap to get an excellent seal from the elements. If you pull the mitten relatively tight, you are left with a long tail or cord that can get caught on items, such as pole straps or buckles. I typically stuffed the tail into the cuff to avoid this issue. One thing these mittens do not have is a cord to slip your wrist through so that you can safely remove the mitten without fear of dropping them on the lift or the ground.
Durability and Outer Fabric
The Leki St. Moritz Lady Mitten features a ripstop nylon outer shell material at the cuff and top of the glove. This material makes the mittens lightweight, but I do worry about the ability of it to stand up multiple seasons of use. Leki has incorporated a Soft-Tex insert into the St. Moritz Lady Mitten, which helps to keep your hands dry in wet conditions. I have worn these mittens on heavy-wet snow days for up to 6 hours and have not experienced saturation. The mittens were a little damp at the fingertips, but even my hard shell and pants were saturated on this day. Overall, I was pleased with the St. Moritz Lady Mittens’ ability to keep the wet out, and ultimately the warmth in. The high wear areas, such as the palm and thumb, feature sheepskin which is great for durability and grippy with ski poles. The transition between the top of the glove and the palm features two seams and little in the way of insulation within the seams. I am unsure as to why there is little insulation in this area, perhaps to maintain more dexterity?
The Leki St. Moritz Lady Mitten is not simply a mitten to utilize with your Leki Trigger S pole system. Rather, it is a solid stand alone mitten for your all of your cold weather pursuits. I found the warmth to be similar to my high-end down mittens. The Leki St. Moritz Lady Mitten is available in size XS to L and retails for $129.