By Spencer Durrant | Managing Editor
The new Orvis PRO Insulated Convertible Mitts are a revelation for anglers like me who love fly fishing in the dead of winter. Winter fishing is always a battle between keeping your hands warm and staying on the water just a bit longer to catch the last of a great midge hatch. For years, I’ve tried different varieties of gloves, hoping to find one that worked well at keeping my hands both warm and dry.
That’s the real killer in the winter – getting wet. If your hands are wet, they’re going to get cold – and they’re not warming up until you head back to the truck.
So, it makes sense to try and stay dry right off the bat. And while the Orvis PRO Insulated Convertible Mitts aren’t outstanding at keeping water off your skin, they do an admirable job. They’re also incredibly warm, comfortable, and easy to fish in.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at what makes these gloves such a great product.
Orvis says that these particular gloves were inspired by their PRO Hoody, which is one of the best fishing coats I’ve ever used. Orvis employs the same shell fabric and insulation in the Insulated Convertible Mitts that you find in the PRO Hoody – nylon ripstop and 80g Primaloft Gold Active. The Primaloft really helps when the wind kicks up. It’s not so warm that your hands start sweating, though, which also helps keep your hands warmer for a longer period of time.
One of the biggest problems I’ve had with gloves in the past is finding a pair that allows me the dexterity I enjoy without gloves. Feeling the line, feedback from my cast, and tying knots all require the utmost freedom-of-movement from your hands.
As far as gloves go, these Orvis ones give you decent dexterity. Orvis achieves this by utilizing some ultra-stretchy fleece, which has the added benefit of warmth, throughout the Mitts.
These Mitts come with the standard finger and thumb flaps, but unlike other gloves I’ve used lately, Orvis opted to not use a button or other snap to keep the flaps out of the way when you need your fingers. At first, I wasn’t a fan of that design quirk, because folding the flaps into pouches above the thumb and hand felt a bit too bulky. Once I figured out how to fold the flaps without adding bulk, though, I realized that I never snagged my fly line on my gloves.
On other gloves, the buttons and snaps that hold the flaps down are like a magnet for fly line. Removing them essentially makes the Orvis PRO Insulated Convertible Mitts virtually snag-free.
One of the best ways I’ve found to keep my hands dry – and therefore warm – is to use nitrile gloves beneath my main gloves. The nitrile is waterproof, but doesn’t have any insulation, which is why wearing them with another glove on top is a must.
Some gloves don’t layer well, but these new ones from Orvis layered better than I expected. Even adding the nitrile gloves didn’t take away from my dexterity.
And speaking of layering – these gloves are a piece of cake to take off. Finger loops on the middle and ring ringers, and the wrist cuff, make it easy to remove these gloves without resorting to puling on them with your teeth.
The Orvis PRO Insulated Convertible Mitts are probably the best fishing gloves I’ve ever owned. They’re light, provide tons of warmth, and when paired with nitrile gloves, they do a fantastic job of staying dry. At $79, they’re a good deal, too. You likely won’t have to buy a new pair of gloves for years after pulling the trigger on these ones.