Black Diamond Mercury Mitten Review. I got new mittens this year, Black Diamond Mercury Mitten. This is my third pair.
I have very poor circulation in my hands and have to wear mittens if the temperature is below 30°. If the temperature is below 20°, I also need to use hand warmers. With the combination of a good mitten and hand warmers, I can keep my hands from freezing down to about -15°.
I have had two pairs of Black Diamond Mercury Mittens. They are the warmest and most durable mitten I have found. In the past two years, I tried Marmot and OR mittens, but they were not as warm and not as durable. The Marmot and OR mittens lasted one season / 80 days before the shell blew out in the area between the thumb and index finger. This area gets a lot of abuse if you backcountry ski because the poles rubs that area the most.
As a result of the poor wear of the Marmot and OR mittens, I decide to buy the Black Diamond Mercury Mitten again.
What I Like About the Black Diamond Mercury Mitten
- They are very warm. If you have normal circulation in your hands, these mittens would probably be too warm except for below 20°. For me, they are warm to about 25°. Below that, I have to wear hand warmers and they keep my fingers and thumbs just warm enough to keep from hurting.
- They are very durable. As I said, I wore out the OR and Marmot mittens in one season of backcountry skiing. The Black Diamond Mercury Mitten shells last about 3 seasons for me. I think the leather palms and the reinforced thumb / index finger area helps a lot. Fabric and synthetic material does not hold up in this area.
- The liners are removable. This is a deal breaker for me. I have to be able to take out the liners each night and dry them. Yes, you can dry mittens with fixed liners, but it takes longer. Plus, you can replace the liners in the Mercury Mitts.
- You can easily close or open the mitten cuff with one hand. There is a drawstring with cord lock at the top of the mitten cuff that allows you to close the cuff tightly around your wrist and jacket. This keeps out the cold, snow, and wind.
- They are reasonably priced. The full retail price is about $109, but you can often find them for around $80. That price is competitive with mittens in the same class.
What I Don’t Like About the Black Diamond Mercury Mitt
- The liner has a split index finger. The seems like a dumb idea. I buy mittens to keep my fingers warm. The last thing I want to do is separate my index finger so it can get cold and stay cold all by itself.
- In the past, I put all my fingers in the main mitten. But that significantly reduces my dexterity. For example, if I’m trying to pinch a buckle release, or pick up a cup, or pull skins apart, it’s much more difficult with the empty split index finger between my thumb and index finger
- As a result, when I got my new Mercury Mitts, I cut off the split index finger and sewed it shut with a needle and thread. See the image below. Yes, it’s very painful to cut new mitten liners, and my modification is pretty ugly. But the modification is a success. I significantly improved the dexterity.
The Black Diamond Mercury Mitt is very warm, durable, and it’s reasonably priced. If you don’t mind the split index finger liner, this is a great mitten and I highly recommend it.