Dear RBH Designs,
Thank you so much for creating mittens that literally helped save my hands (and job) from peril while I worked in far-flung corners of the world.
For three years I lived and worked in villages along the border of Chechnya in the remote Caucasus Mountains. My job included training the border guard forces in alpine skills, cold weather survival, and mountaineering search and rescue. Although I love the outdoors, a huge challenge to me has always been that I have Raynaud's Syndrome, a condition that cuts off blood flow to my hands, making them extremely susceptible to frostbite, numbness, and excruciating pain brought on by cold temperatures. Out of shear desperation, I have tried just about every product and method available in order to combat my ailment--including chemical heat packs, insulating devices, hot water bottles, various gloves and mittens, and even prescription heart medicine in order to increase blood flow to my hands. I can attest that your mittens were one of the best solutions that I found to combat the cold.
Because the inner vapor barrier prevents sweat and water vapor from being absorbed into the insulating material inside the mitten, the mittens kept my hands just as warm after several hours of vigorous work as they did when I first put them on. This essential design feature allowed the mittens to continue working during extended deployments to the field, whether I was building snow cave shelters, climbing 17,000 foot high mountains, or instructing students on emergency avalance probing techniques.
Besides being essentially waterproof, the quality of the construction and materials of your products is excellent. The leather palms always allowed a sure grip on equipment like snow axes and climbing equipment. After several seasons, I'm still using my original pair of mittens without any problems.
Loving the outdoors, yet being born with hands that don't work well in cold weather, has been a life-long struggle for me. However, finding a product that helped solve this problem was a godsend. Much of the pain, suffering, and impaired motor skill I previously experienced as a result of Raynaud's has been alleviated by your mittens. The end result is that I was able to conquer the cold and train people in life-saving skills.
Thank you for providing such an outstanding product!