Cold weather running glove comparison

I live in New Hampshire where running in cool or downright frigid temperatures can occur as early as September and last into April. Having the right gear is important to make it through winter where the old adage “there is no such thing as bad weather only bad gear”, holds true.

Cold weather gear has to take me through snow, freezing rain and sleet so choosing what to wear whether on a 30 minute run or a 4-hour adventure isn’t a casual decision and what to wear on my hands are key.

I wear a women’s or men’s size small or medium depending on brand and my hands are usually the first to get cold and the last to warm up.

The six gloves reviewed are:

URP-glove-review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Objective stats:

Brooks Adapt Glove II Outdoor ResearchAfterburner Glove Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Barrier WxB Glove Salomon Equipe Windstopper Glove *The North Face Runners 2 Etip Glove **The North Face Runners 3 Overmitt 
Price $50 $59 $100 $80 $30 $35
Temp rating 40-65F 0-20F 40F cold conditions cool conditions mild to cold conditions
Touch screen compatible x x x
Water resistant x x x x
Wind resistant x x x x
Adjustable wrist x x
Clips x
Reflection x x x
Sweat/snot wipe x x x
Pull strap x x x
Grip fabric x x x x x
*tested with and without The North Face Runners 3 Overmitt.** tested only with The North Face Runners 2 Etip Glove. The North Face site says it can be worn separately.

My Thoughts:

 

Brooks Adapt Glove II (women’s small):

brooks-adapt-glove-II

Tested at 27F

Highlights:

  • Designed with nighttime running in mind and uses reflective fabric on both the glove the nylon cover
  • Detachable LED light (right hand only) is an added safety measure that has 3 settings. It’s pretty small so I’m not sure how effective it is but it can’t hurt
  • Long cuffs that fit snuggly
  • Only glove reviewed that comes with clips
  • Large sweat/snot wipe
  • Very comfortable, soft fabric with a lot of grip
  • Touchscreen compatible

Lowlights:

  • Floppy nylon cover,
  • Nylon cover covers the sweat/snot wipe.

Final thoughts:

The Brooks Adapt Glove II is a hybrid glove/overmitt that gives runners some flexibility in their choice of what to wear. It will meet the demands of cool and cold weather runners especially those who are on the roads after dark. I really like the versatility of the Adapt Glove and the nylon overmitt add a layer of protection against the wind. At 27F it kept in the heat generated from my hands but if the temperature dipped I could have easily stuffed chemical hand warmers in the overmitt. If gloves are all that are needed the nylon shell can compress comfortably into a pocket on the back of the glove. This glove is versatile which is important to me but it’s not without its flaws. The nylon cover is loose and while it didn’t come off it felt floppy and covered the entire sweat/snot wipe.

 

Outdoor Research Afterburner Glove (men’s small):

or-afterburner

                  Tested at 18F

Highlights:

  • Rugged design
  • Pull strap for easy-on
  • Padded water resistant suede palm
  • Soft and very comfortable liner

Lowlights:

  • Wrist is not adjustable
  • Clunky wrist cuff

Final thoughts:

The Outdoor Research Afterburner is an all-purpose cold weather glove that has a place in a runner’s arsenal. While the fit is a little on the bulky side it has the most comfortable (dare I say cozy) liner of the gloves reviewed. The OR gloves kept my hands warm at 18F while on a slow, low-heat generating run. I was concerned that the suede palms would get wet and soak through while scrambling up a rooty trail but my hands were dry the entire time. This is my new go-to glove for cold days where technical rock scrambling is required. One thing OR should consider adding is an adjustable Velcro wrist strap for a better, more personalized fit.

 

Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Barrier WxB Glove (men’s small):

pi-pro-glove

Tested at 30F

Highlights:

  • Extra-long cuffs
  • Adjustable Velcro wrist straps
  • Water proof
  • Reflective material
  • Rugged design

Lowlights:

  • Not touch screen compatible
  • Expensive
  • Runs large

Final thoughts:

The Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Barrier WxB Glove is designed for mountain biking with close attention given to finger dexterity for shifting and braking. It plays out well for running though and has a lot of the same functionality such as grippy palms and fingers. The size small ran on the large side but this actually turned out to be a good thing as I could easily use chemical hand warmers or add a pair of thin gloves for extra warmth. I was comfortable in 30F and would use them on a wet day and the rugged design would make them a good choice on trails where hands are needed to navigate rocks and steep terrain. Overall, the Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Barrier WxB is a good glove that has a specific purpose but the price is on the high end.

  

The North Face Runners 2 Etip Glove with the The North Face Runners Overmitt 3
(men’s small)

TNF-combo

                  Tested at 35F and 16F

Highlights:

  • Glove – large sweat/snot wipe area that starts at the tip of the forefinger and ends at the bottom of the thumb
  • Glove – very comfortable stretchy fabric
  • Both the glove and the overmitt have grippy fabric on the palm
  • The glove-overmitt combo can handle a wide variety of weather conditions

Lowlights:

  • Overmitt cuffs are on the small side
  • Overmitts are like nylon bags that fit over the glove so doing anything that requires dexterity is a challenge

Final thoughts:

The North Face is marketing the Runners 2 Etip Glove and the Runners Overmitt 3 as a layering system “that runners can wear individually or together depending on the conditions”. At 35F I tested the gloves which are thin enough that I could manipulate the zippers on my pack and take picture with my phone but was still insulated enough that my fingers didn’t freeze.

It’s a bit unfair to test this glove-overmitt combo at 16F when they’re rated for “cool” (gloves) and “mild to cold” temperatures (overmitts) but sometimes you have to push the limits. I started my run at a casual pace and my hands were still cold after 10 minutes but that’s what I expected. What I didn’t expect was that as soon as I hit a hill my hands and the rest of my body warmed up with the overmitts holding in the heat generated from my hands. For the next 40 minutes I never experienced cold fingers making it clear that the glove overmitt combination works well and provides runners with some good options.

The pull straps on both the glove and overmitt work in my favor too since I often wear a pack while running. Rather than stuffing one or both in a zippered compartment Iuse a small carabineer to clip them on the back of my back leaving precious space for food and other items. I love the options this combination gives me and the fit of the glove is just about perfect!

 

Salomon Equipe Windstopper Glove (women’s small)

salomon-windstopper

Tested at 30F

Highlights:

  • Cozy, soft liner
  • Lots of silicon grip on the palm
  • Heavy, durable outer shell

Lowlights:

  • The small felt like an x-small so consider sizing up
  • Not touch screen compatible
  • Expensive

Final thoughts:

The Salomon Equipe Windstopper is a sleek looking, general, all-purpose glove designed to keep cold temperatures at bay. My hands instantly felt warm in the soft lining and the cuff, though on the short side for me, allows for a personalized fit. I use and love Salomon products and expected that I would feel the same about the Equipe Windstopper. Unfortunately it falls short because it’s an expensive, basic cold weather glove. In all fairness I tested a glove that didn’t fit me very well which no doubt impacted my experience. However, if it had pull straps, or a sweat/snot wipe, or…something I might feel a little differently about the cost. I’m sure these gloves work very well for some people but they just weren’t the best for me.


Conclusion:

Each glove offers something specific and it really depends on what your needs are and how you prioritize things like reflection, grip or touch screen compatibility. If I had to choose I’d choose…nope I can’t do it. I have a reason to wear every one of these gloves at some point during the winter months. Happy trails!


jdarrow-2013-TARCThis review was written for URP by Jenny Darrow. Jenny loves running the rugged trails of her hometown in Peterborough, New Hampshire. She enjoys running all distances and is hoping to graduate from the 100k distance to her first 100 miler in 2015.

All products were provided to Jenny by URP and the manufacturers. All words and thoughts are her own.

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