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Reviews > Clothing > Gloves > L L Bean Wind Challenger Fleece Gloves > Owner Review by Andrea Murland

L.L.Bean Women’s Wind Challenger Fleece Gloves
Owner Review by Andrea Murland
December 6, 2013

Tester Information

Name: Andrea Murland
Email: amurland AT shaw DOT ca
Age: 28
Location: Elkford & Kimberley, British Columbia, Canada
Gender: Female
Height: 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Weight: 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.

Product Information

Manufacturer: L.L.Bean Inc.
Manufacturer's URL: www.llbean.com
Year of Manufacture: 2011
Model: Women’s Wind Challenger Fleece Gloves
MSRP: US $24.95
Size: Small
Sizes Available: Small, Medium, Large
Colour: Deep Lilac/Violet Quartz (no longer available)
Colours Available: Alpine Gold/Deep Navy, Black/Carbon, Bright Navy/Light Cobalt
Listed Weight: None
Measured 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.

Description

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 connected together.
Wind Challenger Gloves

Field Conditions

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.
Wearing the Wind Challenger Gloves

Review

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.

Durability:
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 be.

Summary

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.

Thumbs Up:
Windproof
No holes
Good grip

Thumbs Down:
Dexterity isn’t great
Fingers are a bit too long for me



Read more reviews of L. L. Bean gear
Read more gear reviews by Andrea Murland

Reviews > Clothing > Gloves > L L Bean Wind Challenger Fleece Gloves > Owner Review by Andrea Murland



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