Aspen Times Weekly: Arc’Teryx ‘Future Glove’
“More like a jacket than a glove.” That statement is being thrown around in reference to a next-generation product from Canadian brand Arc’teryx.
The company, known for its high-end jackets and outerwear, previewed the Lithic Glove last month at industry trade shows. I got a pair to test for two weeks in the depths of a February chill.
Look closely at the handwear and any gear geek can see it’s different — laser-precise lines, taped seams, three-layer fabric construction, articulated fingers and a dense nylon instead of leather laminated on the palm make the gloves stand out.
They are waterproof thanks to a Gore-Tex membrane, and the company uses three kinds of PrimaLoft insulation, a synthetic goose down, to balance warmth, bulk and the nimbleness expected in a glove.
I could easily buckle and adjust ski boots with the Lithic gloves on, and jacket zippers were no problem. For their warmth — good down to about 10 degrees Fahrenheit in my test — the gloves offer above-average dexterity.
The insulation is thicker in the cuffs and on the back of the hand, keeping the gloves cozy, and it’s applied thinner on the fingers and palms. This “mapped” insulation lets you grip a ski pole or ice axe solidly while maintaining overall warmth.
For the premium performance you pay a price — a huge $249 in this case. Arc’teryx built these gloves to be pinnacle products in its line.
They are tough and should last for years. For guides, ski mountaineers, backcountry enthusiasts or anyone else who sees handwear as mission-critical equipment, the Lithic gloves are a new option.
They come to market later this year as a part of a major glove line launch from Arc’teryx. Try a pair on to get a glimpse at the design and direction high-performance winter gloves are going.
Stephen Regenold writes about outdoors gear at http://www.gearjunkie.com.
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