Women’s Wind Challenger Fleece Gloves
Owner Review by Andrea Murland
December 6, 2013
|| Andrea Murland
|| amurland AT
shaw DOT ca
British Columbia, Canada
|| 5 ft 2 in (1.57
|| 130 lb (59 kg)
I began hiking frequently in 2006 and have
since hiked in Western Canada, Australia, and spent 2 months
backpacking in the Alps. I spend most weekends either day-hiking or on
2-3 day backpacking trips, with some longer trips when I can manage
them. I also snowshoe and ski in the winter, but don’t have a lot of
experience with winter in the backcountry yet. Elevation is typically
500-3,000 m (1,600-10,000 ft), in the Canadian Rockies and the Selkirk,
Purcell, and Monashee ranges. I try for a light pack, but I don’t
consider myself a lightweight backpacker.
|| L.L.Bean Inc.
| Year of
Challenger Fleece Gloves
|| US $24.95
Lilac/Violet Quartz (no longer available)
Navy, Black/Carbon, Bright Navy/Light Cobalt
| Listed Weight:
||56 g (2.0 oz)
Care Instructions: (from tag):
Machine wash cold water with like colors, do not bleach or use fabric
softener. Tumble dry low, remove promptly. Do not iron or steam press.
Do not dry clean.
The L.L.Bean Wind Challenger Fleece Gloves are midweight windproof
fleece gloves. They are made from Polartec Windbloc fleece and have a
synthetic covering on the palm, first two fingers, and tip of the
thumb. The manufacturer also tells me that they have a durable
water-resistant (DWR) coating to help them stay dry. The gloves have
elastic around the wrist and the L.L.Bean logo embroidered on the back
of the cuff. Each glove has one end of a buckle, so the gloves can be
I purchased the Wind Challenger gloves in early 2012 and have since
used them for many outdoor pursuits. They have been my primary gloves
for ski touring, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and winter hiking.
I often wear them alone, but occasionally with a shell mitten on top
(usually on the way down while skiing). I have worn them in dry and
snowy conditions, in temperatures from about 5 C (41 F) down to about
-20 C (-4 F). Overall, I’ve probably used them for about 30 days of
backcountry use, including several overnight trips.
Comfort & Fit:
The Wind Challenger gloves fit me acceptably well. They fit well when
first pulled on, without being snug. There is a bit of extra space
around the back of my hand, but my fingers reach all the way to the end
of the fingers and thumb on the gloves. However, as I move, I find that
the glove creeps a bit, and my fingers pull away from the ends of the
gloves, so if I need to do anything requiring dexterity these gloves
aren’t great. I am able to handle my skins, adjust my poles, and do
simple tasks with my gear, but really digging for anything in my pack
requires me to take them off. As well, the material is quite thick, so
that affects the dexterity. The synthetic material on the palm is not
as flexible at cold temperatures, so that makes it a bit harder to do
tasks when it’s really cold too.
I find the gloves to be comfortable. There are tags on the inside of
the wrist but I don’t find that they bother me. The material on the
palms provides enough grip to drive and use my poles without slipping.
Warmth & Wind Resistance:
These gloves are pretty warm. At temperatures around freezing and
colder, I find that my fingers are cold when I put the gloves on and
start whatever activity I’m doing, but that as I move my fingers warm
up. Once I’m moving, I’m comfortable down to about -15 C (5 F) without
another layer. Above about -5 C (23 F), my hands get too warm and I’ve
been known to take the gloves off. That’s not a great range, but it
covers most of the days that I’m out.
The wind resistance of the gloves is good. My hands still get colder
when there’s a wind blowing than when it’s calm (the nature of heat
transfer), but I can’t feel the wind coming through the gloves. The
gloves will get wet if they get snowy or if I’m sweating. Once they get
wet my hands get cold.
The durability of these gloves has been pretty good. There are no
holes, despite ski edges. There is a bit of wear on the synthetic
material on the fingers. I did get the gloves (with my hands in them) a
little to close to a propane heater once, so there are some patches of
the fleece that’s been melted and isn’t as soft or fuzzy as it used to
The L.L.Bean Wind Challenger Fleece Gloves are a good windproof fleece
glove. They work well for my active winter pursuits, but they aren’t
quite my favourite gloves.
Dexterity isn’t great
Fingers are a bit too long for me
Read more gear reviews by Andrea Murland