Black Diamond Dirt Bag Mitts

photo: Black Diamond Dirt Bag Mitts insulated glove/mitten

Specs

Price MSRP: $44.95
Current Retail: $27.98-$44.95
Historic Range: $27.98-$44.95
Weight Per Pair 154 g / 5.4 oz
Temperature Range -7 to 2 °C / 20 to 35 °F
Sizes XS-XL
Materials Water-resistant, full goat leather shell, fixed 100 g fleece lining and thermal foam lining

Reviews

1 review
5-star:   0
4-star:   1
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

Black Diamond's Dirt Bag Mitts are a very warm, durable product at a spectacular price-point ($44.95 USD). These highly water resistant mittens are made with a goat leather outer which is built to last. Ideal for temperatures well under freezing (30°F or less), the Dirt Bag Mitts are designed for snowsports, hiking/backpacking, or general outdoor activities and chores. Note: Black Diamond also offers a Dirt Bag Glove counterpart.

Pros

  • Extremely warm
  • Durable
  • Not bulky
  • Very weather resistant
  • Incredible price-point

Cons

  • No pull loop/can be difficult to put on
  • Questionable breathability
  • One color (subjective)

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When warmth is a necessity, quality hand-wear is absolutely indispensable. Black Diamond’s new Dirt Bag Mitt falls under the ‘WOW’ category, especially when considering the quality-to-price point ratio. Black Diamond has shown to be a frontrunner in apparel for quite some time, and their gear can be seen everywhere from the trail to the climbing gym since 1957. Although designed as a ski mitt, the Dirt Bag excels as a durable, general-use outdoor mitten. 


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Specifications:

  • Price: $44.95 USD
  • Size: XS-XL
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Material: Goat leather shell; thermal foam & 100g fleece lining; acrylic knit cuff
  • Color availability: Natural only
  • Weight: 154g/5.5oz (pair)
  • Temperature range: 20-35°F (Black Diamond’s spec)

 Note: The Dirt Bag Mitt is also offered in a glove, which can be found here

Warmth:

Handwear has a primary purpose—warmth. This always yields subjective results, depending on the wearer. Black Diamond specs these mitts to a temperature range from 25-35°F (-4 to 2°C). Testing has shown this to be a conservative figure, indicating warmer-than-average results. Black Diamond utilizes 100g of fleece lining, combined with a thermal foam lining. Testing conditions have been so much warmer than average that these mittens have seen minimal use, and little snow or ice.

On two occasions, these mittens were very warm in the lower 20°F range on overnight Appalachian Trail trips. Lower temperature limits have not been successfully established so far during testing. Upper temperature limits were found to be near the freezing point, when hand sweating became evident. 


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Design, Fit, and Comfort:

"Utility" comes to mind when describing these mittens in a word. This being said, comfort tends to be a consideration that is compromised for tough wearing products. Not at all the case, these mittens are quite comfortable to wear. The insulation is not bulky—this allows the wearer to add liners underneath, effectively extending the temperature range. Liners like the Seirus Thermal Deluxe Glove Liner layer very comfortably with these mitts. 


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IMG_4379.jpgUnisex Large Dirt Bag Mitts were tested, fitting true-to-size

The only perceived downside to the mittens: no pull loop. This is never a concern putting on the first mitten, however the second is a common concern with this type of handwear. Combined with Black Diamond’s "Under-The-Cuff" fit (see Features and Function below), a loop or tab would greatly improve adjustment and wear. That being said, the cuffs are comfortable; no snow, debris, or draft was able to get into the mitt at any time during testing. 

 
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Water Resistance and Moisture:

Save for submersion, these mittens have not allowed any water inside during testing. Considering that these mitts have no membrane, water resistance easily gets an A-grade. Moisture management and breathability falls a bit further behind however, once sweating begins. The key here, of course is temperature management. Significant aerobic activity has required switching to a lighter-weight glove system when closer to the upper temperature range. 

 
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Features and Function:

These very easy to use mitts function as one would expect—straight to the point. Although it would appear that these streamlined mittens are bare-bones, essential features are well thought out. Although there are no features for adjustability, Black Diamond successfully implemented all the fundamentals in this affordable mitt. 


IMG_0061.jpgOpen-grained leather is located on the thumb area to wipe away sweat


IMG_0064.jpgThe cuff has a close-fitted feel, which aids keeping snow and debris from entering the mitten.


IMG_0074.jpgA mitten hook and loop is located on the cuff for storage.

 

Construction and Durability:

The Dirt Bag Mitt is a high caliber product, and was clearly designed to last for a very long time. No signs of wear have shown over the course of testing; all leather and stitching is intact. The goat leather is built to withstand significant abrasion, and would be expected to last for years of heavy use. Tasks around camp can easily be handled without detriment to the mitts, the open-grained goat leather is very high quality.  

 
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Conditions: 

The Black Diamond Dirt Bag Mitt has been in testing since early December 2019 in the mid-Atlantic East Coast USA area. These mittens have been tested on overnight backpacking trips, multiple day hikes, and regular use around town, when temperature has allowed. 


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Many thanks to the people at Black Diamond for the opportunity to test the Dirt Bag Mitts for the Trailspace Gear Review Corps.

Experience

The product tester has been an avid hiker and backpacker for several decades, based in the mid-Atlantic USA. Whether it is volunteering time ridge running on the Appalachian Trail, guiding multi-night backpacking trips, or putting Wilderness First Responder certification to use, gear has been put to the test—Leaving No Trace since the 1970s.

Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps (Sample for testing and review provided by Black Diamond)

About the Author

Sean Van Cleve spends much of his free time as a backcountry guide in the mid-Atlantic USA. A certified Leave No Trace Trainer and Wilderness First Responder, Sean focuses on outdoor education with friends and clients alike. Whether it is recreational high-pointing, section hiking on the Appalachian Trail, or leading multi-day backcountry trips in West Virginia, practicing outdoor ethics is at the forefront of the experience- preserving the land for future generations. 

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