Most of the United States has been locked in a nasty cold front the last couple weeks, which is a good chance to test out some cold-weather gear.
As with most things in the gear world, finding a pair of gloves that fits your needs isn’t always as simple as it would appear.
I’m training for a hike in Scotland in May and, because my day job is completely sedentary, sitting out a training day because it’s 10 degrees outside isn’t a great option.
I picked up the Seirus Soundtouch Xtreme All-Weather gloves at REI on the clerk’s recommendation, and I’ve got about 10 hours of outdoor wear in the snow.
Here’s the rundown on these gloves.
Cost: $54.95 at REI
What Seirus says: Soundtouch Technology Gloves, so you don't have to take them off. Form-fit & waterproof. Has anXTREME DryHand Waterproof / Breathable insert layer, a spacer knit shell, fleece-lined, a stretch cuff, and a ToughTek palm. Patent-pending Soundtouch touchscreen pads for your smartphone. Form-fit next to skin fit.
XTREME WARMTH. 100% waterproof. The warmest, driest, most comfortable lightweight glove. As warm as bulky gloves.
What I say: Hmmm. All-weather? The warmest?
Usage: Two 5-mile hikes, 28 lb-pack, 750-ft elevation gain in the snow. Two 30-min dog walks.
Temperatures: Between 10 and 24 degrees farenheight
Review: Mixed. The gloves are, as advertised, breathable. When it’s 10-degrees out and you are not doing anything particularly strenuous – like walking the dog or making quick run to a convenience store – your hands get cold quick in these gloves. Like, real quick.
All weather? Let’s caveat that a bit. When I was on the trail and working up a sweat, these gloves were super warm and toasty. On a few occasions I had to crawl around and under fallen trees inn wrist-deep snow, and my hands remained perfectly dry.
The packaging says the gloves wick moisture but after a couple hours of use the liner became sweaty and damp. That’s an invitation for frostbite when your activity levels drop.
When I was just walking my dog around the neighborhood, the breathability really worked against these gloves. My hands got very cold and I wasn’t out there long enough to really start generating enough heat.
In terms of fit, they do hug your hand nicely and are easy to get on and off. They allow some dexterity, but it took me a few tries to unlock my phone and texting wasn’t exactly easy. (This might be something for another review, but Google’s first-gen Pixel shuts down if its too cold outside. My work iPhone is a lot heartier.)
Takeaway: These gloves did a good job keeping my hands warm during moderate levels of activity in sub-zero temps. However, they are not very versatile and there is certainly nothing in the packaging or on the website that would indicate that they are inappropriate for low-impact use.
In fact, the packaging indicates the opposite. So, if you are looking for something that can serve you well in multiple settings, I’d look elsewhere.
These are going back to REI.