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Bar Mitt Review - By Hanger Talk

I start this test flight by saying..... I don't really like to use bar mitts myself.
Most of the mitts I have seen have been quite restrictive, but I know a lot of Trike pilots like this type of product. So, as I said when I first started writing Hangar Talk - Flight Test, I will give you my honest evaluation of the product.



Punkin Head Air Sports have produced a number of products for Trikes and three axis Ultralights, and the Bar Mitts have been made with the same outstanding quality. The Bar Mitts come in a variety colours and trims. They are made of Cordura, polarfleece and have a foil thermal layer.  The Bar Mitts are tapered to keep the air flowing around the mitt, instead of the mitt punching into the airflow. The Bar Mitts are really a simple design, and they work really well.

I have done a flight test on bar mitts before and one of the problems is fitting them to the control bar. I don't like the idea of leaving a glove or bar mitt on a Trike when it is sitting on the ground or in a hangar. Why? Well a good friend of mind left her bar mitts on the bar over night, and in the morning there was a very large and ugly spider which had taken up residence in one of them. Not a nice sight at all.
           
The Punkin Head Air Sports Bar Mitts are designed to be removed when not in use. This is a great idea. The Bar Mitt Velcro's around the control and then each side of the mitt Velcro's together to make the Bar Mitt complete. Another good innovation is a see through sleeve on the top of each mitt, large enough to fit airfield diagrams or a folded map.

THE TEST FLIGHT
I must admit the Bar mitts are very easy to fit. You need to leave the push to talk outside the mitt, as it would be quite hard to make it work from the inside. For this test flight I also decided to wear a pair of light weight flying gloves. I wished I hadn't. The flight plan would take me from 800 feet up to 3500 feet and the test flight would last one and a half hours. The temperature at 0700 hours was 2c, and at 1000 hours it was a balmy 19c, so  this would be a good work out for the Bar Mitts. After take off, the first thing I noticed was that my hands were warm.

No I was wrong they were very warm, and I decided to land and get rid of my gloves. So, starting again.... I climbed to 3000 feet AGL. My hands were still warm. 20 mins into my flight and my hands were hot. But my sleeves of my flight suit didn't come out of the Bar Mitts as happened last time I did a mitt test. To use the push-to-talk, it was easy to just take your hand out of the mitt. But this is where my glove would have been helpful, because my hand quickly started to get cold.
           
As far as manoeuvring goes.....  I was a bit worried about the mitts limiting my arm movements. No problem at all, even with high banking, ... the mitts are designed to give you good movement on the control bar. After 1.5 hours of flying my hands were still warm, not cold. I could have flown for a lot longer wearing only the mitts.
           
I have seen a number of the Punkin Head Air Sports Bar Mitts on Trikes and after speaking with the pilot about them, I would say they are a winner.

ROUND UP
Good Points: The Bar Mitts are light weight and really made well. They do the job they were designed for. I would say no gloves are needed at all. The mitts are easy to fit and easy to get your hands into, even at high speed. I had my Trike with the Streak wing at a speed of 75 knots and I still found it very easy to get my hand back into the mitt. The see through sections on the top of the mitts are very handy.

Bad Points: The only one I could find was the temptation to leave the bar mitts on the Trike
and I don't think this is a good idea, as described above.

How Good: I like them, even though I would never use them myself. For those of you that  read the test flight article regularly will already know that I have a number of different flying gloves
and I am well catered for in that department. I think that the Bar Mitts are of a standard that I would recommend them to any one that doesn't like gloves, or if you suffer from cold
hands while flying.
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