Outdoor Research Waterproof Liner Gloves are fleece gloves lined with a waterproof/breathable insert to prevent external moisture from reaching your hands. Lined with Ventia, which is OR’s proprietary waterproof/breathable layer, they have a tightly woven external face that’s good for shedding snow and a plush polyester liner for warmth.
While they are effective for everyday activities like scraping the snow off your car in the morning or chopping wood, your hands will perspire inside them during sustained high exertion activities like winter hiking or snowshoeing and result in chilled hands when you stop moving. They will also chill your hands if the external fleece gets wet since the waterproof/breathable liner doesn’t block the transmission of cold through the glove.
Specs at a Glance
- Material: [face fabric] 95% polyester, 5% spandex, [lining] tricot (100% polyester)
- Waterproofing: Ventia membrane
- Palm Grip: silicone
- Claimed Weight: [large] 2.8oz
I’m a big fan of wearing inexpensive fleece gloves for winter hiking because they’re warm, lightweight, and breathe so well. The only problem is that snow sticks to them like glue. Unless you’re really diligent about brushing it off, it will melt on the gloves, make them wet and eventually too cold to wear.
But Outdoor Research has found a way to make Waterproof Fleece Liner Gloves (the first-ever, they claim) that can be worn by themselves or used as liners inside a shell glove or mitt. The exterior of these gloves is not fuzzy but has a tightly woven face fabric so snow doesn’t stick to them. They also have details like touchscreen-compatible fingertips, a pull-on loop, a silicone grip palm and fingers, and are true to size. While OR markets them as fleece liner gloves, they’re considerably heavier weight and can be used as single-layer gloves by themselves.
However, they accumulate perspiration when used for sustained activities like cold weather hiking and snowshoeing. While the Ventia layer is breathable, it’s not breathable enough to keep up with the perspiration of your hands during sustained activities and the interior glove liner will become soaked, usually within an hour or two, leading to cold hands when you take a rest and stop moving vigorously.
This is compounded if the exterior of the gloves becomes wet which will conduct the cold through the Ventia liner and into the interior glove liner. When that happens, you’ll want to quickly change to a pair of dry gloves to warm up your hands again.You can prevent these liner gloves from getting wet in colder weather by wearing them under a shell glove or mitten, but that is also likely to make you perspire more during high exertion activities.
These OR Waterproof Fleece Liner Gloves are good for casual use and shorter bursts of cold weather activity but eventually fail to keep your hands warm if you perspire in them and their exterior gets wet (which is usually unavoidable). It was a good try but these gloves don’t eliminate the need to carry multiple types of gloves and to layer them for sustained high exertion cold-weather activities like hiking and snowshoeing. See our article on Winter Hiking and Mountaineering Gloves Systems for more information.
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