Gloves were a hot item at this year's Winter Market, with the work glove look showing up just about everywhere. Here are a few highlights of the gloves and mitt styles that caught our eyes at Winter Market.
Arc'Teryx -- It was inevitable for Arc'Teryx to jump into the glove market, seemingly everyone else already had, but, as usual, it upped the ante. An asymmetric glove insert developed with Gore and foam thermomolding, plus Arc'teryx-typical design touches gives the new line exceptional fit and comfort. At $175 retail, the Alpha gloves and mitts also raise the bar for price tolerance -- yowza!
Cloudveil -- Cloudveil's Zero-G glove combines two of the biggest glove trends we saw at Winter Market this year -- work glove styling and soft-shell materials. The glove's SuperSteer leather not only looks great and is softer than a baby's backside, but it's also impregnated with materials the company says can resist moisture and dirt. Schoeller fabrics on the knuckles and back of hand protect from wind and manage moisture.
Drop -- Predominantly a snowboard glove maker, Drop "drops" a lot of names when showing off its glove line. Among its new product is the insulated MFM (for snowboarder Marc Frank Montoya) Protector which has an AquaBloc waterproof/breathable insert and a removable two-piece wrist guard.
Ibex -- Branching into a new category, Ibex showed its new three-piece glove. A company spokesperson said doing the gloves "felt right" and was one of the easier categories to produce. The Wool Work glove is 100-percent Loden wool with Pittard leather on the palm and fingers and has an adjustable wrist. The Climawool glove has a Climawool exterior, wool interior lining and Pittard leather palm. The only unisex glove, the Back Country, has a waterproof nylon exterior, wool lining, Primaloft insulation on back of hand, and an elastic wrist and drawcord hem.
Manzella -- Not to be outdone by the apparel side of the market, Manzella continued with its use of soft shell materials into its Z-Fleece and Z-Tech glove lines. According to the company, these gloves will cover 90 percent of a user's hand-wear needs in every type of sport. The Expedition 850 uses Polartec Power Shield to block windchill and shed rain and snow, and has a Skelletek palm for better grip and abrasion resistance. The lightweight Trekker 100 is a short gauntlet style with Gore's Windstopper soft shell and eliminates moisture while transferring moisture vapor.
Marmot -- Marmot's R&D department has its hands full with 39 glove styles, 14 of which are new and 10 are updated. One newbie in the multipurpose glove collection has a familiar outer shell -- Precip -- and Rubbertec reinforcement, a lightweight PVC-coated material for grip and abrasion resistance. The Dolomite is a soft shell, trim-fitting glove with Pittards Oiltack leather on the palm, which is said to offer a great grip for ice tools and ski poles. The mountaineering line's Fusion mitt uses the same insulation technology in Marmot's Fusion sleeping bags. Designed for extreme conditions, the Fusion has a quilted layer of 650-fill down and Primaloft insulation next to the hand and a MemBrain fabric shell outer.
Patagonia -- Patagonia threw out its existing glove line and recreated the 2003 line from scratch. It's using new fabrications and materials, such as Lesanova leather with a high DWR. The new Primo for skiing is a combo of leather and Primaloft, and passes the company's quarter test -- picking up a quarter with the thumb and index finger while wearing the glove. Going one step further, the Stretch Element glove for mountaineering and ice climbing can pass the dime test, functioning almost as if the wearer were gloveless.
SmartWool -- We're so used to seeing wool offerings only from the folks at SmartWool, that it's hard to picture them using any other type of fabrication. But done it they have with technical fabric additions in its new specialty and insulated gloves. Ideal for a variety of sports like running, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, the Pocket glove has a ripstop nylon shell with waterproof leather palm and a wool lining (aha, still had to have some wool in there!). Among its new insulated gloves and mitts is the Outta Bounds for men and women. A multifunctional snow glove (skiing, snowboarding and ice climbing), the Outta Bounds has a Travis water - and abrasion-resistant nylon shell, Triad waterproof/breathable insert, wool liner, articulated grip, wrap-tip fingers and a two-way cuff closure.