M.T. Elliott - SNEWS

Gear Trends: Next season's gloves find the $100 sweet spot

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This year, it’s all about fit, price, and weatherproofing.

Dry Hands

Treated down is no stranger to softgoods. The technology debuted years ago in jackets as a way to capture all of down’s loft and warmth without having to deal with its poor performance when wet. That same ingredient is now finding its way into gloves. Though limited to just a few offerings, treated down seems poised to capture a larger share of the glove ingredient market.

Workin’ It

Leather work-style gloves continue to sell well, according to Mike Donohue of Burlington, Vermont’s Outdoor Gear Exchange. “The brown leather insulated work glove has gone from being popular with just the core skier and liftie crowd to a mainstream audience,” he says, attributing the trend to a perception of durability.

That $100 Sweet Spot

Lots of brands are making warm, waterproof ski gloves in that magic $100 range, according to Phil Leeds of Jackson, Wyoming’s Skinny Skis. Brands like Outdoor Research and Black Diamond are even incorporating tech features such as touchscreen-compatible fingertips and knuckle padding into new styles to stand out at this price point.

Re-curved Fit

A few years ago we saw dramatically pre-curved fingers that were great for gripping poles and axes, but not as comfortable for daily use, says Donohue. The pendulum is swinging back to a more relaxed, versatile fit that has some moderate curving and straddles the line between dexterity and comfort.

Photo courtesy of Leki

Photo courtesy of Leki

Leki’s Copper S Glove ($129) is a work glove with a goatskin leather construction that’s aimed at everyday use and freeride skiers. Cool feature: a clip-in loop that works with Leki’s Trigger S poles. EVA knuckle pads and a neoprene cuff protect against wayward branches and chills.

Photo courtesy of Outdoor Research

Photo courtesy of Outdoor Research

An example of Outdoor Research’sre-tooled ski glove line, the Southback Sensor ($99) includes a thumb and forefinger sensor, a tech feature that’s pretty much mandatory in today’s world. The Gore-Tex outer is insulated with Enduraloft and the goat-leather palm boosts grip. Back-of-hand pockets are a nice stash option.

Photo courtesy of Gordini

Photo courtesy of Gordini

Gordini’s new women’s mitt, the Aerie ($100), employs DownTek for maximum weather-resistant insulation. The 700-fill down is housed in a pre-curved nylon shell with goatskin palm and trim and an Aquabloc waterproof liner.

Photo courtesy of SealSkinz

Photo courtesy of SealSkinz

The Sub Zero Glove ($90) is part of SealSkinz’swarmest Puffa range, with a wind- and waterproof shell and water-repellent DownTek insulation. Pre-curved fingers and polyester dots boost grip.

This article was originally published on p. 32 of the Day 0 issue of Outdoor Retailer Daily Winter Market 2017.

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