For extreme cold, nothing beats a mitt and having all your fingers sharing warmth keeps your hands protected in the most testing of environments.
In northern Lapland I was glad I packed my Hestra Helags Sr Mitts as the temperatures were always below freezing and on occasion dipped as low as -20C. The Helags Sr are a well made mitt consisting of a piled wool terry loop liner, which is removable and a durable goat leather palm and fingertip area. The back is covered with a cotton polyester which can hold a wax finish.
I used the Hestra Merino Wool Liner glove alongside the Hestra Helags Sr. Mitt to create a really versatile and comfortable layered system in the cold conditions. It was a well matched pair as the liners worked as a baselayer for my hands and allowed the Helags Sr to provide maximum warmth and protection when I needed it.
I normally used the Helags Sr Mitt when I was stationary or walking with low exertion levels, saving using the Merino Wool Liners for when I was more active and didn’t need so much warmth. It was however sometimes cold enough to use the Helags Sr when active, and it was in these situations where you really appreciate the terry loop liner to the mitts, as it regulates temperature and moisture very well on the inside of the Hestra Helags Sr. These liners are removable and so easily washed and dried on the trail.
The goat leather is vegetable tanned using tree bark extract and is of a high quality. This leather is easily maintained with a little Hestra Leather Balm applied now and again to keep it supple and water repellent. I am a big fan of leather, it’s a long lasting material if cared for and allows the user to keep and maintain one single item instead of purchasing countless more disposable ones.
Adjusting the Helags Sr is simply done by the velcro wrist strap and by the elasticated gauntlet. The components holding these together are plastic and a strong feeling metal.
My only reservation is the Helags Sr Mitts do not have a metal carabiner hole so you can’t conveniently stow them on your belt loop. I found myself missing this feature on the trail. You could stitch one on yourself if you wanted.