Outdoor Research HighCamp Gloves Review
Outdoor Research HighCamp Gloves are insulated waterproof winter gloves with soft goat leather palms and touchscreen compatible liner gloves rated down to -15 F / -26 C. They’re best used in cold and exposed mountain terrain when you need to balance the competing demands of insulation and dexterity. For example, if you need to grip an ice ax in the ready position or tighten your backpack’s hip belt, you need the dexterity of a glove. Mittens won’t cut it.
The HighCamps’s outer glove is waterproof, insulated with VericalX synthetic insulation, and has an additional sewn-in 100 weight fleece liner. In addition, the HighCamps come with a separate pair of fleece liner gloves, which you can use by themselves, as liners inside the HighCamp gloves, or any other shell glove or mitten you own. The outer HighCamp gloves also have gauntlets that can be tightened or loosened with one hand, ladder locks on the back, idiot cords to prevent them from blowing away, and pull loops to help you pull them on. The fingers are pre-curved and also have finger loops so you can clip them to a climbing harness.
Most of the time I just use the HighCamp gloves without the separate liners, since they’re already quite warm, and I use the liners by themselves when I just need a lightweight glove to keep my hands warm on brisk mornings. The liners have a silicone imprinted grip and touchscreen compatible forefinger and thumb. These liners are nice to have if you use a phone for navigation or reference, as many of us increasingly do.
The nice thing about this multi-part glove system is that you can mix and match the layers depending on your needs. For example, you could wear the liners by themselves when you’re skinning up a hill and then switch to the dry and insulated outer glove when you ski back down it and want a waterproof glove for the descent. The HighCamp is really like owning two gloves in one.
While the leather palms on the outer glove are water-resistant, they do absorb water if soaked and it can take a while for them to dry. These gloves are also not warm enough for very cold temperatures below 0 degrees despite their -15 F rating by OR. Still, they’re excellent gloves for cold weather use, both with and without the touch compatible liners.
I’ve found that the OR HighCamp Gloves run about a half-size small, so size up.
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