This is our Fortress Mitten and Glove Review. If you are looking for warm, durable, high quality outdoor gear, look no further than Fortress Clothing. The Utah based company is making headlines around the world for its patented insulation. Fortress specializes in making outdoor gear that keep you warm and safe even when you are wet. If you fall through the ice into the water, you won’t have to change into dry clothes to stay warm and alive.
Fortress Clothing has a motto and it goes something like this: there is no bad weather, only bad gear. Basically, if you are prepared and wearing the right gear, you can stand in a blizzard with gale force winds or trek up a mountain in sub zero temperature. Fortress Clothing is the kind of gear you can do anything in. Ice fishing? Snowmobiling? Fortress has you covered from head to toe… and hands! The company was founded after the owner’s son had trouble staying warm while working in arctic like temperatures in the oil fields.
So, the founder of Fortress came up with a solution: make better gear for those who work and play outside. Fortress is well known for it’s video blogs, where the owner and other brave souls jump into an icy lake to show how well its gear keeps people warm, even when fully submerged in the water. It’s impressive- check it out if you ever get a chance. The company has also even featured on several news programs and recently won best new product and best in show at the Worldwide Winter Show. This show is like Westminster for dogs, except we’re talking about outdoor gear, not poodles. The award is a major honor and well deserved!
AERIS Inside Insulation
Before I get into the mittens and gloves, let’s take a look at what sets Fortress fear apart from the other guy. For four years, the company worked tirelessly to develop and patent a special insulation- designed to keep people really warm, regardless if they were submerged in water or walking around the neighborhood. This patented insulation is called AERIS Inside Insulation. According to the company, the insulation is engineered polymer-and it repels water! The special insulation also has air pockets, which distribute the warmth more evening. Plus, everything Fortress makes is breathable, lightweight, comfortable and keeps you warm even when wet! See also our article entitled “Fortress Clothing Review“.
Did you know once your hands get wet, you lose body heat quickly? Not when you are wearing Fortress Clothing! In fact, water takes body heat away 25 times faster than other methods. This means, if your hands get wet, you will be more likely to suffer from hypothermia or frostbite! With Fortress, there’s no need to change out wet gloves, because the insulation keeps your hands warm. Now that you know what makes Fortress Clothing so unique, let’s take a look at the variety of gloves/mittens the company offers. Right now, Fortress makes four gloves/ mitten styles to choose from. Let’s get started!
You just looked at the thermostat and it’s -20 outside, not including the wind chill. It’s early in the morning and you are hoping to get an early start up the mountain, before the sun starts to warm up the glaciers. There’s nothing worse than being caught in snow- it’s unpredictable and can move without warning. You’re ready to face the day though, no hesitation, because you have a pair of Fortress Clothing GlovePro Gloves. For a pair of well insulated gloves, the GlovePro series is surprisingly light and agile. This glove is not bulky at all. Although, it packs a punch to cold weather. This is the kind of glove you can wear on the top of Mt. Rainier or shoveling snow in your driveway.
Let’s start with the outside of the glove and work our way in. According to Fortress, the GlovePro is made with a high quality 100% nylon outer shell and polyester. The outer shell is designed to repel water- like your kids when they see broccoli at the dinner table. You know they’re staying far away from that dinner plate. I digress. The gloves are also windproof. GlovePro comes standard with a pull tab at the wrists to prevent snow and cold air from making its way inside the glove. Keeping your wrists covered plays a big role in keeping your hands warm. In fact, a lot of arctic explorers always have their wrists covered to maintain body heat. Our wrists have major arteries close to the surface, making it easy for heat to escape. This is why a pair of GlovePro gloves will keep you so warm.
The inside of the GlovePro is carefully made with patented AERIS 250 and 500 insulation. This means it has two different layers and thicknesses of insulation inside the glove. You’ll notice the layers make a difference to maintain precious body heat. The GlovePro is reinforced around the palm of the glove to prevent wear and tear. You ever notice how the palm of a pair of gloves tends to wear out really fast. Fortress put a stop to that by paying special attention to the palm of the glove- this way your investment lasts as long as your passion for the outdoors!
It’s clear the GlovePro is the perfect glove for whatever Mother Nature throws your way. In fact, this glove is rated for weather between -20 and 60 degrees! So, you could pack this glove for Alaska and summers in Washington- it’s an all-season glove. The GlovePro rings in at $129. While on the pricier end of gloves, it’s an investment! Personally, I’d rather buy high-quality gloves and never have to worry about cold hands again. If you’re going to be spending a lot of time outside, the GlovePro might be the best choice for you!
While I really like the GlovePro, the Classic Regular Mitten is a fan favorite too. If you chronically have cold hands or suffer from poor circulation, a pair of high-quality mittens might be the best choice for you. I always find mitten keep my hands warmer than gloves. For me, it’s all about keeping my fingers together and sharing the body heat. The Classic Regular Mitten is designed to be a backup pair of gloves, emergency situations or as a liner. While durable, it’s not designed for intense manual labor or rigorous activities. The mittens are lined with a special polyester mesh designed to wick away all that sweat and other moisture.
This lining is key to keeping your hands warm. The outside of the mitten is made with polyester fabric designed to stop wind from stealing your body heat. Did you know wind is a thief of body heat? It is. Ever notice how you can feel perfectly warm and cozy…. until a gust of wind whips on by and then you’re suddenly shivering? That’s wind for you. So, to have a pair of mittens specifically designed with the windproof material is awesome! This means your hands have a better chance staying warm, no matter how windy it is. The Classic Regular Mitten is also treated with a durable water repellent- which will keep light snow/rain from penetrating the mitten.
Like the GlovePro, the Classic Regular Mitten is insulated with the AERIS technology. This special insulation is what keeps your body heat where it belongs! What’s amazing about this glove is how it will keep you warm from -35 to 50 degrees. How about that? You can literally pack this glove with you while your ice fishing and while sightseeing in San Francisco.
As Mark Twain once said, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” The Classic Regular Mitten is a great glove to pack in an emergency kit or in the trunk or your car if you ever get stranded on the side of the highway in December! The Classic Regular Mitten is also budget friendly too at just $49/pair. At this price, you could buy a pair for your whole family in case the power ever goes out or if you need spare gloves for out of town guests.
Before you purchase the Classic Regular Mitten, pay close attention to the sizing. Fortress recommends wrapping a sewing tape measure around your hand, just below your fingers to determine size. You don’t want a glove that fits too small or too big!
The Classic Rugged Mitten is the brother to the Classic Mittens, with a few more bells and whistles. Like the Classic Mitten, the Rugged Mitten is not meant for heavy labor. So, if you are working outside for long periods of time, this is probably not the right pair of gloves for you. However, they stop cold weather in its tracks. The gloves feature wrist tab pulls and a longer cuff to protect your wrist from the cold weather. Wrists tabs also keep snow from getting inside your glove. Did you know most of the time gloves get wet from the inside out? Yep, they sure do. Once snow or rain gets inside your gloves, your hands get wet, your gloves get wet and suddenly you can’t feel your fingers. In general, it’s always a good idea to choose gloves with cinches to keep that wet weather away.
The Classic Rugged Mitten is made of polyester, windproof material, and durable water repellent finish. These elements all work together to keep your hands warm at all times! The palm and thumbs areas are also reinforced to prevent early wear and tear. There’s nothing worse than skiing at your favorite ski resort only to discover the rope tow is eating through your new pair of fancy gloves. I hate it when that happens.
With a pair of Classic Rugged Mittens, you don’t have to worry about that. The gloves also have a mesh lining that works hard to keep your hands warm! The Classic Rugged Mittens will keep your hands nice and toasty in all different climates, from -35 to 50 degrees F when worn in unison with Fortress Classic Pants and jacket. The Classic Rugged Mitten is a little more expensive than the classic, ringing in at $99.
If you were ever planning a visit to the North Pole or Iceland, this might be the pair of gloves you pack in your suitcase. But, don’t get too excited, the Arctic Extreme Mitten is only on pre-order right now. According to Fortress Clothing, this is the warmest glove it sells. The glove has the highest insulation value out of any of its gloves, with 1000 AERIS Insulation technology. The glove is rated to keep you warm in -60 degrees F all the way to 30 degrees F. That’s incredible.
With the Arctic Extreme Mitten, you will have warm hands in the most extreme of conditions. In addition to an incredibly well insulation value, the gloves are also windproof and will keep you warm- even if you get wet! Like the other Fortress gloves and mittens, the Arctic Extreme is lined with polyester mesh to keep those hands and fingers toasty.
The outer shell is also specifically designed to be both breathable and lightweight. It’s almost like the extreme mitten will give me magical powers. I wonder if it will help me get to the summit of Mount Everest? Probably not . . . or will they? These mittens are not intended for heavy labor. So, they’re best suited for arctic explorations, long walks along a snowy ridge or bombing down at double diamond run at your favorite ski resort.
Like the other mittens, you’ll find the perfect fit/size by wrapping a tape measure around your hand and coordinating the inches with the size. The Arctic Extreme Mitten rings in at $169 and available for pre-order right now. Not sure though how long it will take to get your gloves with the pre-order. Check with the company before you place your order.
Fortress Clothing is setting the bar in the outdoor gear industry! If you want warm hands, Fortress has you covered!