Thursday, February 10, 2011

Gear Review - Glacier Gloves

           I’d been fortunate enough to have been handed the chance to review these Glacier Alaska Pro gloves by the folk at the Outdoors Bloggers Network back in December 2010. Due to postage circumstance the items arrived Mid January 2011.

            Produced by Glacier Glove they are advertised as “… waterproof and has 60 grams of Thinsulate Insulation. Leather palms and index fingers allow for great durability and dexterity”. So I’m thinking warm and dry with the chance to be able to use tools etc. instead of having to remove my usual cumbersome gloves that I own, every time that I needed to fumble in my pockets..

            For me to receive this item to review was at first daunting as I didn’t really have a clue on how to go about the task in hand. I thought that the best thing to be done was to just stick them into my walking coat and head out onto the trails, after all this is what I do and where they would get the most use. So wrapped up and with gloves to hand, so to speak, I headed for the higher trails on and around Moel Famau where the temperature upon these walks did not rise above -2 degrees centigrade and was usually around -6 degrees centigrade, not as cold as the previous month but with the wind threatening to sear off any exposed extremities on the more open areas of the trial I should receive some idea on how that they perform temperature wise.

            Putting them on initially in the car park the first thing that I noticed was the fit and feel of these gloves. My other gloves have ‘cuff straps’ to secure them and once one glove is on the second is not easy to secure comfortably. The Glacier Pro has elasticated cuffs which meant that both gloves were easy to put on, involving no deep blasphemous mutterings from yours truly. The polyester lining give the gloves a ‘soft’ feel to them and the whole item felt lightweight making me wondering how they’d perform once on the more exposed parts of the trial. A small gripe about the fit was that although the fingers fitted well enough upon my thumb, index and second fingers the other two fingers were slightly long on both hands, not a problem that I’ve had with other gloves, although barely noticeable and certainly not uncomfortable, the thought of would they be ok when undertaking tasks that require some dexterity without having the need to remove them crossed my mind.

            As I climbed higher and reached the exposed areas on the tree cleared shoulders of the hill the exposed area of my face was beginning to feel raw as the wind blasted the already cold air into me. At this point it should be noted that when faced with such conditions previously I’ve found my gloved hands buried into my coat pockets as the wind seemed to find a myriad of ways through them. But here the full value of the Glacier Pro could be felt, or that should read could not be felt, for it was only further along the trial in the hospitable lea of the hillside that I’d remembered that I was wearing these gloves to test. To be honest I’d forgotten that I was wearing them as my hands felt warm and unencumbered, not once had the thought of them retreating into the depths of side pockets had come to me, a testament in it’s self I think. Rated at 60 gram Thinsulate there are heavy options for more extreme conditions but as long as your active I’m confident that these are more than adequate for the weather I’ll be experiencing over a British winter.

            As for being able to perform tasks whilst wearing these gloves? For even none too dexterous tasks my original gloves would require removing, exposing digits to cold and wet conditions upon numerous occasions. About the only thing that they were good for would be holding onto my walking pole. I was still concerned about the slight misfit on my two outer fingers but decided that I’d try them out at a couple of tasks in any case. For starters the walking pole was no problem, but its grip is wide and shouldn’t have been a problem in any case. With my heart in my mouth slightly, I decided to attempt to use my camera, after all it’d be nice to have toasty warm hands whilst providing you folk with pictures of the cold flora and fauna that’s part of my ramblings. Even with the slight gripe that I’ve already mentioned there was no reason to worry. As expected wearing any glove makes using something as fiddly as my camera a slower, more careful process which indeed was the case here. But I was able to use the camera with confidence as the pictures below go too show. Also clipping/unclipping Willow’s lead upon later walks was not a problem, this with it having clips on the smaller side (well she’s not a Wolfhound).

            One final observation is the pattern covering the gloves, advertised as RealTree Max 4 pattern. Although differing from my hunting coat the cameo pattern is not displeasing and appears to break up the shape of the hand better than my one block green gloves.

            Overall I’m impressed with these gloves, if it hadn’t being for the small gripe over finger length then I’d have been very impressed, saying that, the fitment in no way hindered me when I employed them in multiply dexterous tasks. They have now become a firm and fast addition to my winter gear, dispelling my previous gloves to the ‘it may come in useful one day drawer’. I have not had chance to employ them in heavy tasks to test how the hand grip works under more pressure put temperatures here at the moment negate the need for gloves and I really wanted to give my first impressions of these gloves to you. The bottom line is would I recommend these? Then the answer would be yes, definitely, but as in all things try the fit before you buy, I can live with the slight gripe as they perform so well in all areas. Oh almost forgot are they waterproof? Well ten minutes under a tap says yes, definitely.

This here is the first time that I’ve attempted to write a gear review in any shape or form so do not be expected to be blinded by science, deep insight or big words. I've attempted to write this review as clearly as I can, giving my honest opinion of the item. Oh and another thing is that I am in no way connected to the Glacier Outdoor company in any shape or form and have received no payment for reviewing this item. If you have any further questions ask away and I’ll answer as honestly and clearly as I can.


Anonymous said...

That is a well written and informative review of Glacier Gloves. Thanks so much for your insight. I have used Glacier Gloves products before and can put my stamp of approval on them also.

Frugal Queen said...

So glad they are good, nothing worse that a husband with cold hands!

Murphyfish said...

Thank you Mel

Well that raised a smile this morning ;-)

Shoreman said...

Thanks for the review, John. I've been thinking about getting a pair. Now I can move forward with confidence.


Murphyfish said...

Happy to be of service Mark

Karen Thomason/Gordon Setter Crossing said...

Good review John. I'm impressed that they proved to be VERY water proof. Did they happen to tell you about what price they retail for? Dan could use a good pair of waterproof gloves for changing out frozen water buckets in the kennels.

Murphyfish said...

Hi Karen,
On the Glacier site they are listed at $39.99, I'm sure that they will be able to give you a list of local outlets. They almost make me wish that the weather had not turned milder - almost ;-)

Nearly there Claire said...

Wooo, get you! Ha ha..reviewer extraordinaire!!! I'm missing for a few weeks and I come back and you've gone all professional on me!
I have a lot to catch up on so I'll see you soooon my friend. xxx

Murphyfish said...

Hey Claire,
No need to worry me dear, I'll soon be back to the inane stuff ;-)

John Gray said...

I could do with a good pair of gloves any spares?

Murphyfish said...

Unfortunately John G. On this occasion I was only sent the one set to review and I thought that I'd do a long term test review on them.... well that's my excuse anyway, thanks for dropping by my good fellow.
John W.