Terra Nova Extremities Tuff Bag Over Mitts might be a mouthful to say but they're brilliant for tourists, commuters, mountain bikers and anyone else who carries on regardless through the wettest days. Near as damn it 100% waterproof, their textured polyurethane palms pack pancake flat and offer faultless grip in monsoon conditions but pairing them with gloves made from less sophisticated fibres impairs their breathability and they're a happier union with flat, as opposed to road Sti controls.
In essence these are featherweight (53g) gore-tex shells treated with a specialist coating designed to resist contamination from oils, cosmetics and everyday foodstuffs that might otherwise block the pores-impairing the fabric's efficiency. The coating seems to work too, accidental coffee spillages and ground in chocolate flakes haven't impaired technical performance. Cuff closures and adjustable wrist grips seem genuinely single-handed affairs-second nature intuitive, meaning they whip on and off in seconds for unexpected pannier rummages; although their slightly crinkly texture and 'Creature from the black lagoon' profiles take a little adjusting to.
Quickly forgotten when riding on the tops or hoods, gear changing required a more considered approach-especially cajoling the Univega's Ultegra bar cons along the block- it's much the same story with Ergo/STI shifters too. No such bother with retro thumbies or under-bar types and braking's totally unaffected. Purchase and control are excellent-whatever type or texture of handlebar covering you put your faith in. It came as little surprise to discover regular outings in wet, blustery conditions made no impression on the outer fabric and a very loose cuff was the only way moisture could encroach.
Taking this to their logical conclusion, I directed the garden hose at point blank range for five minutes without effect. Neutral black and blue are as tasteful as you'll find, lending themselves to generic outdoor duties. That said, I found the reflectives a little too discrete during the hours of dusk and darkness so slipped little blinkeys to the cuff closures for additional presence when signalling.
Great over mitts for touring, mountain biking and foul weather commuting but work best with flat bar controls
road.cc test report
Make and model: Extremities Tuff Bag Mitts
Size tested: Black, Large
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"Classic, simple over-mitt with a durable PU palm and thumb providing extra grip and better abrasion resistance". Does just this without fuss or fanfare.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
"GORE-TEX® Paclite fabric keeps weight to a minimum is highly breathable and pack down to a palm sized ball, making it ideal for backpacking trips, walking or even mountain marathons and adventure racing. The adjustable wrist and one handed drawcord closure keep the mitt secure on your hand and help prevent" water entering through the cuff."
Seem to live up to their tuff moniker.
A featherweight 53g by my scales
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Tuff Bags are superb foul weather over mitts that lock out the worst Mother Nature can hurl your way and come into their own with flat bar controls. However, changing gear with road Sti/bar cons takes a bit of practice and mounting little LEDs from the wrist grips accentuates nighttime safety.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Pretty much everything given their generic outdoor design brief.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing, although mitts per se work better with flat bar controls.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Quite possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 38 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)