REI ONE GLOVE
BY TOM CALLAHAN
September 30, 2007
tcallahanbgt AT yahoo DOT com
Seattle, Washington, USA
5' 10" (1.78 m)
170 lb (77.10 kg)
I started backpacking as a kid in eastern Pennsylvania, using a heavy cloth pack, canvas tent, cotton sleeping bag. Oh how I've seen gear evolve. I now live in WA and get out regularly in the nearby Cascade Mountains. I do a variety of day hikes and multi-day trips. Usually I try to include a good off trail scramble with these trips. During the winter I do a good bit of snowshoeing. I also enjoy getting out and doing some glacier climbing, summiting prominent peaks like Mt. Rainier (14K ft/4K m) and Mt. Baker (10K ft/3K m).
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.rei.com/
MSRP: $46.00 US
Size: M, available in S, M, L, XL
The product is described by the manufacturer as a multisport glove that is warm, wind- and water-resistant, stretchy and breathable, with rugged, grippy leather palms.
This glove is made with what is commonly termed soft shell material. The shell exterior has a smooth finish and a soft fleece interior surface. This shell material is slightly stretchy. According to the product label, the gloves are constructed with a 65% polyester, 35% Lycra/Spandex shell. At the time of this review the REI web site describes the shell as 64% nylon, 31% polyester, 5% Lycra spandex which was the composition of the previous design.
The gloves have Pittards Armortan® leather covering the full palm. This leather extends up all the fingers and the thumb. Pittards Armortan® leather is described as breathable, waterproof and offering "increased abrasion resistance up to 25%" (compared to regular leather I presume).
The fingers are four panel construction. The cuff is a gauntlet-style. The gloves may be attached together at the wrist by means of a small plastic clip. Each glove has a small loop on the cuff for hanging.
I have used the product while snowshoeing, camping and glacier climbing in the Cascade Mountains, generally at elevations above 3,000 ft ( 900 m). During the winter months I have used the gloves in temperatures as low as 15 F ( -9 C) and in weather conditions that ranged from clear/sunny to wet snow/rain. On summer camping trips I've used the gloves while hiking and around camp under both dry and wet conditions with temperature ranging from 35 - 75 F ( 2 - 24 C). On one particular glacier climb I wore the gloves up as high as 12,500 ft ( 3,800 m) until the combination of wind, 20 mph ( 32 km/h), and low temps, 25 F ( -4 C), necessitated an insulated glove.
Under these conditions I have been able to evaluate these gloves for warmth, water repellency, durability and ease of use.
Here is how the gloves performed during usage in terms of Warmth, Water Repellency, Durability, and Ease of Use.
These gloves have kept my hands warm down to 20 F (-7 C) when they were dry and I was engaged in an aerobic activity. When I stopped at this temperature my hands would begin to feel a chill and I would have to keep moving my fingers to keep them warm. When in camp and engaged in light activity such as preparing dinner, these gloves would keep my hands comfortable and warm down to 40 F (4 C).
When very active in cool, dry conditions, I will often wear a synthetic shirt with no jacket and the REI One Gloves. The gauntlet cuffs are outside the cuff of the shirt and the large cuff opening allows cool air to reach my wrists which made them chilly at times.
On the warmer end of the scale, when not engaged in aerobic activities, I could wear them to around 50 F (10 C) and not feel as though my hands were overheating. This makes them an excellent glove to wear on cool evenings around camp at high elevations.
These gloves provided good wind stopping protection in conditions up to around 20 mph (32 km/h). Beyond that my hands would begin to get noticeably chilled under cool conditions.
The soft-shell type material is advertised as being water-resistant, not water-proof and this is indeed the case. Under light rain and misty conditions, water will initially bead up on the gloves and after two hours water will have begun to soak through in places, such as the back of my hand. Within a half hour of being out in a steady rain, water will soak through these gloves. Water will also soak through when engaged in activities that place your hands in direct contact with wet snow, for instance when practicing self-arrest with an ice axe or engaged in snowball fights with my kids. I have had these gloves for 6 months and have not washed them or felt the need to renew the water repellency.
These gloves have held up well. The palms have endured many hours of gripping poles while snowshoeing and hiking with only minimal wear to show for it. I have also done some rock scrambling while wearing these gloves which has caused some scuffing of the leather but nothing even close to a tear. I am not able to discern whether the Pittards leather holds up any better than regular leather, or validate the manufacture claim that it offers 25% better abrasion resistance. Through my usage, the shell has held its shape and has not stretched out. I am satisfied the durability of this material and it has met my expectations.
Ease of Use:
These gloves slipped on very easily when my hands were dry. When my hands were damp it took a little extra tugging. The inside fleece material felt soft on my hands. The exterior of the glove is smooth and was not too rough on my nose whenever a little wipe was needed.
The gauntlet style cuff makes for a wider opening that enables these gloves to slip on and off easily. But at times this wider cuff opening necessitates some extra stuffing to get the cuff inside the sleeve of my shell jacket.
The fingers are cut very full which makes the glove slightly bulkier than I would have liked. This extra material made it more difficult to retrieve things out of my pocket and pack.
The leather palms helped provide a good grip when using trekking or ski poles. Finger dexterity is also good. Here's a rundown of my ability to perform a number of common backpacking tasks:
- could zip and unzip a shell jacket
- could tear open and seal a freeze dried food package
- could operate my digital camera
- could tie a bowline in an 8 mm climbing rope
- could operate my MSR Whisperlite stove
- could not light a small disposable lighter
- could not tie a bowline in small twine
The small snap clip is a nice feature as I liked keeping the gloves attached to each other when not in use. This made it easier to find my gloves when I've stuffed them in my pack.
The fabric enabled my hands to breath when engaged in high energy activities. Even after several hours of snow shoeing, my hands would not be damp with sweat while wearing these gloves. This goes a long way in keeping my hands warm and comfortable.
These gloves have met my expectations and are good all-season gloves. They are great for winter outings when you are engaged in a highly aerobic activity. These gloves also do well keeping my hands warm on cool nights at high elevations when camping in the summer.
I would prefer a straight, form fitting cuff rather than the gauntlet-style cuff. A straight, form fitting cuff would provide for a better fit, would keep me warmer and would make the gloves fit better over my soft shell jacket sleeve.
When overnight backpacking or out on a day trip, I don't like to take any more gear than absolutely necessary. These gloves provide a sufficient measure of protection from wind and rain, keeping my hands warm under a wide range of conditions. This versatility ensures they go out on every trip. However, these gloves do have limitations in terms of water-repellency and warmth. So I do not rely on them exclusively and will also bring along waterproof, insulated gloves when I anticipate being out in extremely wet and/or cold conditions.
Pros & Cons
Pros: versatility, breathability, durable palms with good grip
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
Cons: bulky fingers, gauntlet-style cuffs
Read more gear reviews by Tom Callahan