Gear Review | AspenTimes.com

Gear Review

Tim Mutrie
Gear photo - Swany gloves at Aspen sports
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The day of skiing had hardly been remarkable. Hardly skiing, really.It was October, Independence Pass was still open and a minor storm had just come through. So in a crack-of-noon-club dash for something – would it be real skiing, or a glorified dog-walking expedition on skis? – we headed east to the lower Lost Man trailhead.Hitting rocks, roots and reeds with most every stride at first, we skinned up toward Midway Pass finding better snow the higher we got. Though it was starting to get dark as we arrived at the top of the switchbacks, we spied one gently sloping meadow that looked like it might have enough snow to serve up some good turns. No such luck. And the descent back down the switches was dicier than the slog up. Good thing for rock skis.

Still, back at the parking lot, there was an uplifting mood in the air. That first-ski-tour-of-the-season feel.Then, as I propped myself up against the Jeep to take my boots off, Trina slammed the hatchback door on my right hand.”Aeeoooowww!”I hollered instinctively, ripping my gloved hand back.Trina turned white.I took off my glove expecting to see black fingernails in the making.

But wait … it didn’t hurt. The hatchback had caught the tips of my pointer and middle fingers, but somehow they were fine. They didn’t even sting.Then I looked at my gloves, and smiled.”Reason 1,001 to own Swany gloves,” I said.At first, though, ski gloves priced from 74 to 110 bucks struck me as overpriced.So, naturally, I didn’t actually buy my first pair of Swany gloves. Nope, I salvaged a fairly new pair from a one-time couch-surfer who’d worn out his welcome with me, who had left the gloves behind in another worn-out-welcome friend’s storage unit. In any case, pretty soon I knew this was going to be a long-term relationship.The breathability was unmatched – all gloves get wet, but Swany gloves dry quickly, even as you’re wearing them. They’re warm enough for resort skiing in the local climes (and thick enough to offer some unexpected protections as well) – probably too warm for uphilling or touring but trusty backups to have along in case it gets nasty.

Then there’s the fit. From Day 1 (I’ve purchased another pair as Swanys do wear out eventually), they fit like well-worn hockey gloves, flexing with every action of the wrist, hand and finger. And the gauntlets, or wrist cuffs, don’t get twisted in the cuffs of your shell. They just slip right over easylike, meaning it’s a cinch to cinch ’em down and open ’em.Pretty much all my friends and family now have Swanys.Aspen Sports carries them (as well as in mittens and junior sizes), and I asked a shop worker what he thought of Swanys.”They are the best gloves, I’ll say that. It’s the only glove I buy,” said Bert Lindvall.Protection from slamming car doors is not, however, guaranteed.Tim Mutrie’s e-mail address is mutrie@aspentimes.com


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