Arctic Mitten Inners

Last year we looked at an example of the inner mittens of the British Army arctic gloves set here. This was an earlier design of mitten and featured a thick pile liner that whilst very warm, was both bulky and soaked up water very easily. In August 1995 that design was dropped and today an updated inner glove is used in Arctic situations and it is an example of this we are looking at tonight:imageThis glove benefits from more modern fabrics and is much lighter and flexible than the older design, whilst still retaining some of the same thermal properties. What has changed is the method of wearing the mittens. The older design consisted of just a heavily padded inner and a waterproof outer layer. The new system had three layers: a wool inner liner, these polyester inner gloves and then the water resistant Goretex outer layer. The three layers allow the level of warmth to be altered depending on how cold it is, with layers being added or removed as temperatures dictate. The palm of the inner mitten is covered with an artificial black leather to aid grip:imageThe cuff of the mitten is secured with an elasticated pull cord and friction toggle:imageThe DPM fabric used on these gloves is a rip-stop type polyester and is windproof. The inside of the mitten is lined with a black fabric that seems to be the self-wicking type of fabric that draws moisture away from the hand:imageThis would be helpful in a cold environment as if a hand was wet from sweat, when the mitten was removed this moisture would far more rapidly cool the wearer’s hand than if it were dry.

The inside of the mitten has a sewn in label giving details of the mitten’s designation and year of manufacture:imageFrom this we can see that this pair of mittens date back to 2009. Three different sizes were produced, small, medium and large. This illustration comes from the army’s ‘Black Bag’ kit book:CaptureThe stores catalogue indicates that these mittens cost the MOD about £18 each:Capture1These mittens are prized by civilians working or hiking in the snow due to the quality of the mittens and how cheap they are on the surplus market. I find it interesting how many variations there are for Arctic mittens, every time I think I have found all the versions, I come across another variation or design.

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