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NRS Toaster Mitts Review

Posted by on January 31, 2013

Overview:

“NRS Toaster Mitts are the warmest paddling ‘glove’ on the water. Its mitten-style design lets your fingers snuggle together for warmth while its pre-curved shape and grippy palm let you grip your paddle with comfort and confidence.” – NRS

NRS toaster mitts


The Deets:

Materials: 3.5mm neoprene back with 2.5mm neoprene palm

Design: Mitt-type glove with extended cuff

Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL

MSRP: $39.95

 

Review:

I’ve searched high and low for a paddling mitt that was able to keep my digits dexterous in the dead of New England winter. I think that I’ve finally found what I’ve been looking for in the NRS Toaster Mitts! Their name says it all; these rugged paddling mitts were designed to keep your hands toasty warm. The back of your hands are well-protected by 3.5-mm “titanium” raw neoprene which contains a laminate adhesive layer to reflect heat back at your hands and further minimize heat loss. The extra-tough 2.5-mm grippy neoprene palms help to keep the paddle firmly in your hands.

Pre-curved finger pocked and grippy palms help keep the paddle in your hands!

Pre-curved finger pocked and grippy palms help keep the paddle in your hands!

I recently had the chance to try out my Toaster Mitts on a local pond. It was the beginning of the mid-January thaw; the ice had just broken up and the water temperature was in the mid-30s. These mitts did a great job of keeping my hands warm and dry both while paddling and during a test where I held my hand under water (past the cuff) for 5 minutes! For additional warmth, consider buying Toaster Mitts a size larger to accommodate a pair of fleece glove liners such as the EMS Windpro Gloves.

Buy one size larger to accommodate fleece glove liners

Buy one size larger to accommodate fleece glove liners

Overall, I’ve found the Toaster Mitts to be both comfortable and functional. They don’t offer much dexterity (not something that one should expect from a mitt) but the pre-curved finger pocket is shaped perfectly to keep the paddle in your hands and grip the spray skirt grab loop in an emergency. The cuff and elastic adjustment strap are comfortable against the wrist and are located far enough down as to not impede motion. I haven’t had the mitts long enough to comment on long-term durability. However, they seem to be rugged and more than capable of surviving at least a few winters of moderate use with proper care!

The Toaster Mitts are reasonable functional (for a mitt).

Picking up some ice chunks with Toaster Mitts

The small details that went into the design of these mitts should not be overlooked! The nylon bite tabs and elastic adjustment straps make getting the mitts on (especially the second one) and securing them to your wrists much easier. I also under-appreciated the fleece panels on the backs of the thumbs until my nose started to run in the cold!

One small weakness in the design of the Toaster Mitts that I would like to point out can be found in the Hydrocuff wrist seal. The width of the neoprene seal is very narrow and relies on the pressure provided by the elastic adjustment strap located further up the cuff to make a complete seal. Submerging your hands beyond the cuffs allows some water to leak into this intermediate space and further into the mitt on occasion. The good news is that the cuffs reach 3 inches above the wrist and submerging them past this point while paddling is rare. Also, I should note that I purchased an older version of the Toaster Mitts on clearance. The Hydrocuff seal on the newer version has been updated and is noticeably wider.

The Hydrocuff sits high up on the wrist.

The Hydrocuff sits high up on the wrist.

The NRS Toaster Mitts are a great choice for the winter paddler looking for ultra-warm hand protection! They’re comfortable, rugged, and full of small details that make paddling in the winter-wonderland a real dream. Make sure to purchase the newest version for the updated (and more watertight) Hydrocuffs and consider buying a size larger to accommodate a pair of fleece glove liners for added warmth on extra-cold days!

-Kayak Dave

Pros: Very warm. Enough room for layering with glove liners. Quality materials and construction.

Cons: Mitt-style offers little-to-no dexterity. Hydrocuffs recently updated (older versions not as good)

Fit: True to size. Recommend buying one size larger to accommodate fleece glove liners for added warmth

Kayak Dave Rating:

4 paddles

 

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