We know, we know, gloves? It’s almost March. Mother Nature has been pretty stingy with the winter weather in New England this year, but we got out there when we could and reviewed our favorite choices for keeping our digits warm!
Black Diamond Women’s Mercury Mitt: These mittens are great for winter hiking, and I found that the dexterity of the gloves would also make them ideal for skiing, mountaineering, and ice climbing. The Kevlar goat leather palms allow for durability and dexterity; I have seen them reviewed by others as standing up well to repeated rope work and rappelling. I was able to remove the liner and keep the waterproof outer mitten shell, which was great for keeping my hands dry and well ventilated on warmer days. I’ve also used these with a thin wool glove liner for extra warmth. These mittens are definitely warm-I did not hike the entire time in these gloves, but rather used them when my fingers needed extra wind protection and warmth, especially on the summits of higher mountains above tree line. As for fit, they feature a women’s specific fit in a range of sizes from XS to L. For reference, my middle finger (from knuckle to tip) measures ~10 cm and I got a size S, which fit well without excess fabric.
Consider these if: you need a warm glove with good dexterity and a removable inner liner.
Outdoor Research Women’s Stormbound Mitten: This winter I’ve been in search of the perfect winter hiking glove and gave these a spin on a few hikes. The soft built-in full glove liner was super soft–it felt like my hands were in clouds! It also may have contributed to increased dexterity, which was definitely the best feature of this glove. I hike with my dog and have to use my hands to maneuver small buttons on his electronic collar remote – something I can’t always manage to do with bulky mittens. I was really impressed by the dexterity of these; however, at the end of the day, I prefer a glove with a removable liner for flexible layering. If you are planning to use these for ice climbing or mountaineering, be sure to remove the long cord and wrist pull loop so it doesn’t get caught in gear. As far as fit goes, I ordered a size small (middle finger 10 cm from knuckle to tip), and they fit well.
Consider these if: you need a warm glove with good dexterity and want a soft built-in liner.
Outdoor Designs Diablo GTT Glove: Sometimes it seems easier to find the man of your dream than the perfect glove, but these did not disappoint. The Diablo GTT was tested in the White Mountains and found to be a versatile mid-layer glove that holds every promise: perfect stretchy fit, breathability, great dexterity, water and wind resistance. It is a well-priced stand-alone piece for winter hiking, alpine climbing, XC skiing, or chilly autumn days at the crag. The goat leather palm and the grippy finger tips gave it great dexterity; this also makes them impossible to use as a liner. These gloves were slim fitting and breathable, and can be worn while you’re working hard on a difficult ascent. My middle finger measures 10.2 cm from knuckle to tip and a size small fits great.
Consider these if: you need a thin, breathable glove with good dexterity.
Outdoor Research Metamorph Gloves: These are my go-to for everything from chilly climbing days and morning bike commutes. Made of thin “Radiant Fleece”, these gloves keep the warmth in while still being quite thin. They have a flip top on both the mitten and the thumb for extra dexterity and even have magnets hidden inside the fabric to keep the flaps open. I’ve had these gloves for two seasons and the magnets and fleece are still going strong. The long wrist length also ensures that you won’t have that annoying gap between your jacket sleeve and glove. The only thing I could think to add to this glove is some grip on the palm, but even without that I feel comfortable belaying in these on with my fingers and thumbs exposed. As for sizing, my middle finger is 9.5 cm from knuckle to tip and a small fits me well. They are unisex, so no need to size up. Overall, these gloves have been there for me on mild winter and chilly fall days, and I expect that I’ll continue to get some good wear out of them.
Consider these if: you need a thin, all-around glove that can double as a liner.
Emily, Mary, Shannon & Caro