Most pogies are made from Neoprene. Neoprene is a synthetic ‘fabric’ made from Chloroprene and foaming agents, plus heat. We wear this ‘fabric’ next to our skins in wet suits, and stick our hands in it for warm as a pogie material. It works well, in the sense that it’s warm when wet, and relatively durable, and kinda stretchy. However, dear reader, let me tell you about Chloroprene. Chloroprene exposure has these fun side effects: Carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, Reproductive toxicity, aspiration toxicity, liver functional abnormalities, immune depression, lung cancer, etc etc. It’s nasty.
Fifth Season thinks that you shouldn’t have to feel bad about the products you buy, but only if you don’t buy products that endanger workers lives and damage the environment. Pretty simple metric. There’s also the radical thought that nice stuff can still be made in the US, outside of a factory setting. The Fifth Season Manhaden pogies are made in Maine, in an off the grid cabin, by a guy who thinks the latest suspension technology worth considering was designed by Bob Girvin.
The Manhaden Pogie is made from simple ingredients, all of them US made: Waxed Canvas, Johnson Woolen Mills Wool, Brass Lift the Dot Fasteners, recycled stainless steel brake cables, and recycled bike inner tubes. They’re wind proof and highly water resistant. Waxed cotton looks better with age. Wool stays warm when wet and is naturally anti-microbial. Warm with mid weight gloves down to 10 degrees. Warm with wool mittens down to 0.
V1 of these pogies are designed for drop bars with non-oversized top sections. That means they work for Nitto bars and Salsa Cowchippers and such, but not with Spank Flare bars or Ritchey Beacon bars.
A pair of Bar Mitts will run you 75 to 125 bucks, depending on insulation level. They’re made of cheap, hazardous materials in China, where ecological manufacturing standards are about as low as the worker safety standards. The Fifth Season Manhaden Pogies are US made by one guy, using all US made materials that you can handle start to finish with bare hands and no mask. They’re a bargain at $170. If Filson made pogies in the 1950’s, this is what they would look, feel and function like.
Oh, and neoprene is ugly! Waxed canvas and wool are never ugly and never go out of style. Pogies usually make a bike look worse, but the Manhaden Pogies arguably make a bike look nicer.
Works with most drop bars. Two covered hand positions inside and out. Works with some bar cons, but not all. Designed for internally routed brifters, or aero brake levers, like SRAM or current Shimano 105 or nicer stuff.