Ganka Expedition Mittens
If you NEED to keep your hands warm in the coldest temps, these are the mittens you want. Just don’t plan on being able to do anything with your hands while wearing them.
- Face-warmer patches
- Plenty of room for liner gloves/mittens
- Didn’t come with leashes
When I got out of the army in December 1998 I went back to Maine and started hanging out with friends from high school. One of the things we got back into was ice fishing. I was all set for warm clothing but needed boots and hand protection. A trip to Kittery Trading Post in Kittery, Maine, took care of that; I went home with a pair of LaCrosse Ice Bowl boots and these Ganka Expedition mittens.
I may have brought these on a camping trip or two, but wore them mainly for ice fishing. We didn’t build a shanty or bobhouse to fish from, but just cut our holes and sat out on the ice to watch our tip-ups. These mittens were perfect for that, being very warm and easy to get on or off. After I moved to New Hampshire we stopped ice fishing so the mittens would go unused for 2-3 years at a time.
The Ganka Expedition mitten is a gauntlet-length mitten made of leather (top and bottom of hand, including thumb) and heavyweight nylon (forearm.) There’s an oval fleece facewarmer patch about 5" x 3" on the back of the hand, slightly elastic gathering at the wrist on the palm side, and a nylon cinch strap with ladder buckle near the cuff. There are leash loops on the cuffs but no leashes were included. I made some from cheap tent guy line and plastic tensioners.
A removable liner is held in by 4 snaps, the hand is made of quilted insulating material maybe 1/4” thick while the forearm portion appears to be canvas or a synthetic equivalent. This part will be over your jacket sleeve so no insulation is necessary. The interior is a very low-nap fleece, almost like velour in texture. There’s plenty of room for liner gloves or mittens, both my TNF Denali gloves and USGI wool mitten inserts fit without any compression or constriction.
How warm are they? Well, two Fridays ago I went walking around town for about an hour at night during our cold snap. With Cabela’s insulated snow pants, my Marmot Greenland parka over a Marmot Olden hoodie, my Sorel Conquest boots, and the Ganka Expedition mittens worn over my bare hands, -23°F was showing on the gas station clock and my hands were toasty warm the entire time. I wasn’t walking very fast so my body wasn’t generating much extra heat; once I got out of the wind I had to lower the parka hood and unzip a bit because my glasses started fogging and icing up.
The Expedition mittens seem to be long discontinued. There‘s a similar model (50-WP-301) on the Ganka website (www.ganka.ca), but it seems to be downsized a bit, especially in the forearm/gauntlet.
They‘re not exactly light or small, but my Ganka Expedition mittens are going to start being part of my gear load on winter overnights when the temp is forecast to be 0°F or lower. They’ll be a lot warmer than my gloves when I’m stargazing under the cold, clear sky.
I’ve had them for 24 years, worn maybe 15-20 times in subzero temps and colder wind chills.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: No idea