The North Face Steep Patrol FUTURELIGHT Mittens
The North Face Steep Patrol Futurelight Mittens are a lobster claw style mitt. These insulated mittens are all about warmth while maintaining dexterity.
It didn’t take long to tell how warm they could be. In fact, I found the 260 g of Primaloft Silver Insulation in these mitts to be too warm for me on a 250 F day. Depending on how warm/cold you run, I see these mitts performing best on colder days in the -100 to 150 F range.
The lobster-claw style can feel a little odd at first if you’re not used to using gloves like that but it doesn’t take too long to get used to. I found the added pointer finger dexterity very useful over standard mitts. Mind you, these won’t feel as nimble as standard 5-finger gloves, but the compromise here is a higher degree of warmth. These are also a sleek under-the-cuff style glove with a velcro tab for tightening them, but like any non-gauntlet glove, they could let snow in through the cuff on deeper days.
As for the material, The North Face makes these mitts with a water-resistant goat leather palm and Futurelight material, their waterproof-breathable shell-fabric. The leather palm needs no break-in time but still feels burly enough to handle quite a bit of abuse.
The mitts also have elastic wrist leashes to prevent dropping them, say from the chairlift, and a small buckle to keep the gloves together while in storage, backpack, etc.
The North Face Steep Patrol Futurelight Mittens Review
Overall, I’m really impressed with the warmth and dexterity of the North Face Steep Patrol mitts and am excited to get them out on some really cold days. I could see these also being my go-to for ice climbing on cold days because of the sleek fit under the cuff, mitt style for warmth, and the pointer finger for rope work and placing gear.
A transplant of the Midwest, Austen immigrated to the promised land of western Colorado in 2012 in search of good climbing, deep snow, quality rivers, and a college degree when his goofing off allowed. He learned pretty quick the difference quality gear can make on the outcome of a day (or days) in the mountains and began looking for the best gear to abuse.
In the summer Austen is an avid whitewater kayaker, bouncing his boat down the steep, rocky waterways of Colorado, trad climber in search of the route less traveled, and works as a federal river ranger along the Gunnison River. During the winter Austen spends his time telemarking around the backcountry of western Colorado and working as a ski patroller up on the continental divide.
Austen says, “A hundred days of skiing and paddling each per year and you’ll figure out what is wrong or right with your equipment, especially when your lively-hood depends on it.” Austen also has his American Avalanche Association Professional Level 1 avalanche certification, EMT-B, and ACA swift-water rescue cert, as well as a member of the Search and Rescue team in Gunnison County for 6 years.