Brooks 2-in-1 mitten review

I originally wrote this for our new gear review blog, Dirty Boy Gear Reviews, but figured I’d share it on here too.

My house is old and therefore cold and drafty. I'm wearing these inside. Oh, college living.

We’re in Michigan and that certain time of January has finally arrived… those few dreaded weeks of utter, bitter, biting cold, the sort that freezes your lungs the moment you take the first tentative breath. And that cold stays there, steeped deep within your bones for the rest of the day until you finally seek refuge under a heap of blankets once the sun has set (about 4:30 p.m.).

Yeah, we know how to have a good time. The windchill today was -16 when I woke up at 9 a.m. It hasn’t risen above -4 all day. Yesterday was very similar, although a few degrees warmer less freezing, so I did venture out for an extremely short (and quick) trail run. While he was stuck with poor frozen fingers in his Nike Thermafit gloves (which are fine in milder temps), my hands were actually sweating in these mittens. I’m telling you, it has to be about -20 for these guys to start to even hint at the cold nastiness threatening frostbite. If it’s above about 10 degrees, don’t even bother – your hands will be so sweaty they’ll actually start to get wrinkly. But if you need hand protection from some actual cold, these are your best bet.

With the Utopia 2-in-1 mitten, Brooks used the tried-and-true method of hardshell + insulation layer = warm and weatherproof. The outer layer is, of course, a wind- and water-proof shell, complete with a fabric thumb for convenient snot disposal (although once that freezes, it’s there to stay). The inner is a soft fleece mitten. Both fit quite roomily, which I personally like; I can move my hands/fingers as much as I want, and it allows a little more dexterity than a tighter fitting mitten might allow. The fleece cuff fits snugly enough that it does a good job of sealing my hand in, while the outer layer has a bit more flare to fit over sleeves/a watch.

There’s not much more to say, other than you should definitely invest in a pair of these if you do any real winter running, or even just want a good mitten that’ll keep your mitts warm even in the most disgustingly, stupidly cold weather. Like January in Michigan.

On an entirely unrelated note, I’m transferring to southern California.

peace love and running!


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