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Gear Review

5 5

Good and Not as good

I purchased the 2009 model of the AK mitt to replace my hardy 1997 Burton Tri-Lite Mitt which preceeded it. Those great mitts lasted 12 seasons, and are still plenty wearable, but the Fleece Liner had matted down to the point where hand warmers were needed in any kind of cold weather. These Mitts are still the best ones I can find for riding(not including and Extreme Hiking Mitts which i didnt search for) but the new mitts have a few issues:

1. I wear an XL mitt and the newer model is SUBSTANTIALLY SMALLER than the older model. My thumb has a tight squeeze getting in, though when i put the new liner in the old shell, it is a great fit. Burton will not sell the liner alone, so i had to by the new mitt, which is a shame since a replacement insert would have been fine, and much less $$
2. The new insert, while much improved and down filled on the back, is lacking a pouch for a hand warmer (I can only assume that Burton feels one will never be needed, but not a good call)
3. The new shell is 1 1/2 inches shorter(in the Gauntlet Portion) then the older model. If you are like me and like gauntlet mitts, then the missing 1 1/2 inches means that they are much harder, and take a bit longer, the get on and make sure your jacked sleeve is fitted in place so that snow/wind do not penetrate. I personally like the longer shell much more.
4. The new palm is now leather. When i bought my last ones i wondered why i paid $120 for mittens that were not leather...well they lasted 12 years and now i am not sure why they would use leather that will wear down with use (though for the price i guess most people will feel how i did back in 1997)

anyway, still a great mitt, but NOT for people with big hands, I am hoping the fancy leather will stretch out!