Tactical Mitt SystemTactical Mitt System - Printable PDF
It is probably a safe bet that all will agree that tactical operations in extreme cold are the most miserable. Depending on the depths the temperatures plunge to, everything freezes and in some cases breaks!
Even the simplest of tasks, become monumental due to bulky clothing , fogging eye wear, and poor hand wear. Poor hand wear exasperates the tasks. If you choose gloves, they are good only for mildly cold temperatures. I f you choose mittens, the bulk and lack of dexterity limits you to simple grabbing motions. Heaven forbid operation of radio buttons or adjusting sniper scope turret knobs. With few alternatives, most resort to using gloves and freezing their digits off!
To solve this issue some manufactures have created insulated gloves that are “pre-curved” in the fingers and back of palm. The problem with this design is that the extra seams reduce “flexibility” especially in extreme cold as the material build up at the seams stiffens. Rather than a warm glove, the user is saddled with a glove that is expensive to buy and does not perform well as a glove or a mitt!
Snipers, especially LEO's, Often are required to "keep a bead" on the target for extended periods of time. In sub-zero temperatures with no gloves or very light gloves, the cold can be numbing to the fingers. Not good for precise trigger control! The designers at Drop Zone have a solution with the Drop Zone Tactical Mitt System.
Other enterprising hand wear designers have made mitts with fold back finger tip areas allowing you to expose the fingers for those moments were dexterity is required. The problem with design is that the edge seams build up, creating what amounts to an uncomfortable and bulky welt right in the palm of the hand making it difficult and fatiguing to hold onto things, such as rifles for any length of time. An added short coming is that these “fold-a-way” finger tips usually secure closed with hook & loop tape, that often collects snow and ice, rendering the closure useless.
Still others have tired button holes for finger trigger egress in the palm of the mitt, which suffer from seam build up and lack of secure closure.
Some have even tried to split the mitt, ending up with a device that looks like a lobster claw and offers zero for trigger control.
What is the solution?
The Drop Zone Tactical Mitt System
(Click for a larger image without labels)
- Synthetic Palm & Thumb for max flex when cold.
- Removable, launderable, nose wiper.
- "One Tug" shock corded cuff drawstring.
- Wrist adjustment.
- Lanyard loop.
The Drop Zone Tactical Mitt System is based on Two Major components and Two Minor components all of which are sold separately.These components are:
- The Drop Zone Tactical Mitt Shell.
- The Drop Zone Squeeze Me Mitt Liner.
- A pair of generic chemical hand warmers.
- A pair of generic tactical gloves.
The system is designed to be modular, giving the user total control over temperature protection versus tactility.Recommended and tested combinations include:
- Shell alone.
- Shell with hand warmer.
- Shell with glove.
- Shell with hand warmer and glove.
- Shell with Squeeze Me Mitt Liner.
- Shell with Squeeze Me Mitt Liner and hand warmer.
The Drop Zone Tactical Mitt System is anchored by the Mitt Shell. Quite simply without the shell you have no protection.
The Tactical Mitt System - Shell
This fellow is warming his trigger hand in the Drop Zone Tactical Mitt System, Over Mitt. He has light tactical gloves on, for protection and trigger feel. The Over Mitt has a chemical hand warmer, activated, giving off the heat he requires, so he can take the shot.
The Drop Zone designers had their act together when they put this unit on the drawing board. They first started with fabric selection. They chose a shell fabric that was highly water resistant, but not waterproof, for exceptional sweat evacuation.
After all, hands sweat.
Another criteria set forth was that the shell fabric had to remain flexible at sub zero temperatures. Can you imagine how tiring it would be holding a rifle all day while fighting a poorly designed mitt’s stiff fabric? Continuing with the “flexible while cold” feature, the loop fabric on which the removable nose wipe mounts, is a stretch knit. The reinforcing fabric for the palm is a synthetic leather chosen for its cold flex properties as well!
This photo shows a Mitt Shell that has been turned inside-out. You can see a hand warmer partially inserted into the hand warmer pocket. Generic hand warmers are not included, but are commonly available.
Design details include an adjustable wrist shirring (strap) that is anchored with elastic at one end and hook & loop at the other. A thumb tab is thoughtfully provided so one can adjust while wearing the mitts.
The cuff of the mitt shell is a gauntlet style, allowing the user to pull it up over coat sleeves. A shock cord with a stationary cord lock provides a weather proof seal with a simple tug of the cord. Opposite of the cord lock a loop of paracord has been installed for a user optional retention lanyard.
But perhaps the coup de grace of the whole Tactical Mitt System Shell mitt is the chemical hand warmer pocket. This pocket allows the use of an independent heat source, in this case a hand warmer sachet. The tremendous advantage here is that the user can eliminate the need for bulky insulating layers, allowing the use of light weight gloves. By using a light glove within a mitt shell, the user can quickly with draw his hand from within the mitt, while still having some degree of protection as afforded by the light glove.
When the gloved hand is cold, it can be place back into to the warm heated mitt shell for instant relief! This is ideal for snipers or surveillance teams who must keep heat generating body movement to a minimum while at the same time maintain high tactile control of knobs, buttons and triggers.
Keep your digits toasty with the Drop Zone Tactical Mitt System, Mitt Shell.
The Tactical Mitt System - Liner
The Tactical Mitt System, Squeeze-Me Liner Mitt is essential for those that do not wish to use the chemical hand warmers, or for those, for logical reasons, want or need to ration the chemical handwarmers for the times they are really needed. These suckers are warm!
The second major component of the Drop Zone Tactical Mitt System is the Squeeze-Me Liner Mitt. The Drop Zone design team used the same insulation used in the now famous Drop Zone Squeeze-Me field jacket liner for the mitt liner.
This insulation has numerous features that make it ideal for a mitt liner. First are its hydrophobic properties. It will not absorb moisture, making it the ideal choice when used next to sweaty palms. And speaking of sweaty palms, the insulation launders very well. Just wash with mild soap, gentle cycle and warm water (not hot). Hang to dry. The insulation is very resilient, lofting and collapsing very easily. This property is important as it increases tactility for the mitt wearer, allowing better feel and easier grab and hold benefits. If you have ever worn a stiff glove or mitt you’ll know that softer is better. Another benefit of this softness is that user can easily pack or stuff the mitt liners away when just using the mitt shells.
The fabric used for the mitt liner is a 70d taslan nylon, chosen for its breathability, durability, and tactility. Any color as long as its black, of course! Black is the preferred color for liners due to ist heat absorbing qualities.
The cut is 3 dimensional, rather flat like a gingerbread man. The 3D cut allows for better loft of the insulation, not to mention it promotes a better, more natural fit of the hand. An elastic shirring on the back of the wrist insures snug retention of the mitt liner to the hand.
Like the Tactical Mitt Shell the Squeeze-Me Mitt Liner is finished off with lanyard loops for convenience.
Ordering Information - Tactical Mitt Shell
Ordering Information - Tactical Mitt Liner