Gear Review: Black Diamond Virago Mitt

Tuck chemical handwarmers in these mitts for long-lasting heat.

[deep cold]

Like cozying up to the fire after a stormy day? This is the next best thing when that fire is still far away. A zippered compartment on the backside of these goat-leather and four-way-stretch nylon mitts is sized for a chemical handwarmer (we like HotHands, That heat boost, plus a fleece interior (palm) and Thermolite insulation (back of hand), create ovenlike warmth.

“The combination widens the usage from skiing on 10°F days to summiting foul weather Fourteeners in negative temps,” says a tester who went skiing and peakbagging in Rocky Mountain National Park’s Bear Lake area. A Gore-Tex XCR lining keeps moisture out, and a soft nose-wipe is gentle on dry skin. Problem for some: tight thumbs. $100; 8.4 oz.; (unisex XS-XL);