For those who don't know Outdoor Research, we're a brand built on sweating the small stuff, because long before we made bivvies and baselayers (and umm, Lederhosen) – it was gaiters and gloves that grabbed our focus. It's no secret that good gloves can make the difference between pleasure and pain, especially if the needle on your fun-scale regularly dips towards type 2, but how to choose from such a vast and varied range as ours?
We reckon it's a visit to your local independent outdoor store.
Who better to guide you through our gamut of gloves than those most 'hands on' with the product; those closest to the conditions; those most down to earth when it comes to giving solid advice? Presenting their top picks as a taster of what you'll find, we bring you the staff from Britain's best loved outdoor stores…
Daniel Abbatt, Shop Manager - The Climbers Shop, Stoney Stratford
Product Pick: OR Illuminator Sensor Gloves (srp £85)
Illuminator Sensor Gloves work for me. When combined with a thin liner they seem to be just the right balance of warmth and dexterity for mid-grade winter climbing in Scotland. The undercuff fit, pinch fingertip construction and soft goat leather make them feel very light and dextrous enough to fiddle with nuts and screws. And yet the Primaloft and Ventia membrane mean they've been warm enough that I rarely need to change to mitts. I've also managed not to lose them to the wind thanks to the elasticated wrist loop. I'd recommend them as an all-round Scottish winter glove or for slightly colder/longer summer Alpine routes.
Tom Richardson, Expedition Specialist - Outside, Hathersage
Product Pick: Alti-Mitts (srp £200)
I have witnessed several cases of frost bite in the Himalaya caused by people not wearing /having adequate warm mitts. At worst it can be life changing. I have also had plenty of opportunity to try out a wide variety of differing gloves and mitts over the years too. My favourites for such trips are OR Alti Mitts which I have been using since 2013.They are a system really. The outer is very lightweight flexible Goretex with a tough leather palm for gripping tools and ropes. A measure of "for real use" design is that they don't have a stupid bit of fleece for a nose wipe ( a carrier of frozen snot that cuts your nose if you use it more than once). The outer mitts are also insulated with Primaloft and have a wrist attachment loop and more useful a back of the fingers loop that keeps the glove open end downwards so you can carry them without filling up with snow. The inner has a smooth nylon shell and pile lining that can move within the outer and is windproof on its own. I wear them with a thin liner glove. High altitude essentials I would say.
1.Summit with Lhotse and Chamlang behind
2.Dressing and protecting frost bitten hands while awaiting helicopter rescue.
Cathy Casey, Managing Director - Joe Browns Llanberis/ Capel Curig/ Climbers Shop Ambleside/ Stony Stratford
Product Pick: See Gripper SensorGloves for nearest equivalent, srp £45
We have a LOT of gloves in our house. Gloves for climbing, gloves for cycling, gloves for running, gloves for horse riding, gloves for ski-ing, gloves for kayaking but for me, the one pair that go with me everywhere are my Outdoor Research Windstoppers. They are on my hands while walking my children to school, they are in my car waiting after a peeling off wet running gloves, they are in the top of my canoe bag for when we stop to wild camp, they come on every trip away and they are ALWAYS in my pack on the hill, whatever the weather.
I can't actually remember how old they are, maybe five, possibly six years and in that time not a stitch has failed. The grip is wearing off the fingers but even the bare fabric underneath isn't showing signs of wear after such continued use and abuse!
Made from fleecy windstopper my trusty gloves have been wet through on greasy wet summer Lake District climbs, offered dry warmth to walk down from winter routes and protected my increasingly poor circulation while sitting around campfires in the freezing Himalayan night. They are, in fact, the one item of clothing that my daughters know they can't share!!
Rob Turnbull, Managing Director - Outside, Hathersage
Product Pick: Arete Gloves, srp £90
I have used the Arete Glove for several years now and they are my go-to, all round winter glove. They consist of a heavy weight hard face fleece liner and a waterproof Gore-Tex outer glove. The liner is warm and dexterous enough for walk ins and has sticky grips on the palm and fingers, as soon as it gets higher or colder you can pull on the over glove and it really warms things up. I wouldn't say they are designed as a technical climbing glove, but they are great for easy gullies (saying that I have done some harder routes in them as well). For me they really come into their own for winter walking where the versatility is very useful.
About Outdoor Research
Outdoor Research® is dedicated to inspiring the journey ahead with award-winning technical apparel and accessories. Based in Seattle since 1981, we are committed to improving our customer's experience through innovative materials, purpose-driven features, and versatile products that are backed by our Infinite Guarantee®. We rely on the real-world testing of our athlete ambassadors, mountain guides, and local adventurers involved in our core sports: alpinism, rock and ice climbing, hiking, backpacking, paddling, trail running, and backcountry skiing and snowboarding. We're here for the fun, adventure, excitement, and For the Journey Ahead™. Get to know us at www.outdoorresearch.com or follow the journey via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.