Hands-on Gear Review

Arc'teryx Beta AR Glove - Women's Review

Arc'teryx Beta AR Glove - Women's
Top Pick Award
Price:  $235 List
Pros:  Most breathable glove, completely waterproof, lightweight design, maintains same level of warmth throughout the day
Cons:  Not very warm, takes a long time to break in, leaves muppet fleece on your hand, might pack out long-term
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Waterproof Material:  N80px, GORE-TEX 3-layer Pro, DWR finish
Insulation Type:  Polartec
Palm Material:  Goatskin Leather
Manufacturer:   Arc'teryx

Our Verdict

Product Discontinued
This glove is no longer available. However, we do have an updated review of women's ski gloves with top models from Arc'teryx and others.

It was a treat for our team to wear and test the Arc'teryx Beta AR glove, which ultimately ended up winning our Top Pick for Wet Climates. One of our testers has spent most of her winters in the Pacific Northwest and typically finds her gloves soggy after the first hour…and cold and useless after the second. The Beta AR glove was put to the Washington State winter test! It continued to stay dry and keep fingers warm after hours of slogging through heavy, wet snow.

However, given its ridiculous price tag of $235, we weren't that excited about its lack of warmth and its lack of the features we typically look for in a top-tier product. Unless you're looking for a top performer in nasty, wet conditions, we actually don't recommend buying it. Unlike the Hestra Heli Mitt - Women's (our Editors' Choice Winner) and The North Face Montana Glove - Women's, this was one of the coldest gloves tested, comparable to our Best Buy Award Winner, the Outdoor Research Arete - Women's. The fleece on the removable liner liked to stick to our hands if it came into contact with any moisture. We were also left wishing for larger pull tabs and a little more mobility. Despite these caveats, it was the most waterproof glove with a fantastic ability to regulate temperature. As a result, it was still warm when wet, giving it a specialized position as our best wet weather.



RELATED REVIEW: The Best Ski Gloves and Mittens for Women

Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Amber King

Last Updated:
Friday
February 6, 2015

Share:

The Arc'teryx Beta AR glove is designed with a three-layer GORE-TEX shell, removable fleece liner, and durable leather palm. Packaged together, the Beta AR is a durable and super protective glove that will continue to perform over multiple seasons of use. It has a special use in wet conditions and earned accolades as the winner of our Top Pick for Wet Climates award.

Performance Comparison


Mush mush! These gloves were perfect for this warm day dog sledding in Leadville  CO. The 3-layer GORE-TEX with a fancy face fabric cuts the winds and kept our hands toasty. This is our Top Pick for Wet Climates for a reason.
Mush mush! These gloves were perfect for this warm day dog sledding in Leadville, CO. The 3-layer GORE-TEX with a fancy face fabric cuts the winds and kept our hands toasty. This is our Top Pick for Wet Climates for a reason.

Warmth


With its fuzzy inner lining, this model kept our hands warm (without using hand warmers) down to 0F. This is partly due to the fact that the outer GORE-TEX shell never allows water in and successfully wicks water vapor away from the skin and out through the shell membrane. When testing at Bridger Bowl on a -20F day, we were able to slip hand warmers easily between the liner material and the outer shell, where it rarely shifted and heat comfortably radiated for the life of the hand warmer. However, when we cross country skied without hand warmers in Quebec City at -10F, our hands were left frigid on the track. We lasted ten minutes before our fingers turned into chunks of wood and we switched into the much warmer Hestra Heli Mitt.

The liner is made up of Polartec insulation that performs well to 15F. The shell cuts the wind and breathes  while the removable liner allows you to dry out the gloves quickly.
The liner is made up of Polartec insulation that performs well to 15F. The shell cuts the wind and breathes, while the removable liner allows you to dry out the gloves quickly.

Water Resistance


Most gloves we tested featured GORE-TEX technology, yet each glove still performed differently when testing the waterproofness of the shell. The Arc'teryx Beta AR glove comes with a top-of-the-line GORE-TEX Pro three-layer shell. This breathable, completely waterproof material is what is used in high-end hardshell jackets that withstand some of the toughest conditions. This, in combination with its goatskin leather palm, earned the Beta AR our Top Pick for Wet Climates. Some other gloves we tested (like the Marmot Randonnee Glove - Women's) use a GORE-TEX insert but don't have a waterproof shell material. The outer material on these styles of gloves can take on water and become heavy and uncomfortable (even though your liners remain dry). We prefer the fully waterproof design of the Beta AR, which doesn't absorb any water.

After dunking this glove under water  we learned that it only added about 0.1 ounces of water...and that was probably just the droplets that stay on top of the glove. This is our most waterproof glove tested - in the field and in the lab.
After dunking this glove under water, we learned that it only added about 0.1 ounces of water...and that was probably just the droplets that stay on top of the glove. This is our most waterproof glove tested - in the field and in the lab.

While testing, we subjected each pair of ski gloves to winter fly fishing along the Blackfoot River in Montana, cross country skiing in Quebec City, trail skating in Montreal, and learning how to snowboard in Leadville, CO. In each test, our hands were left dry while maintaining a consistent level of warmth throughout the day.

Dexterity


The goal of any glove is to perform as well as using your bare hands while keeping your fingers insulated and warm. A glove's performance in this area becomes noticeable when you attempt certain tasks with gloves on, such as zipping up a coat, going in and out of your daypack, or trying to tighten up your boots. If you need to remove your glove to complete these tasks, then it is failing you, and exposing your fingers to cold. The leather palm of the Beta AR is incredibly durable and will allow you to use the glove without any concern of wear or tear, however, that same material can be slightly slippery, as was the case in this instance.

Dealing with pins is normally a gloves-off experience. Even though the Beta AR could not help us remove our skins without removing the shell  it was still above to perform tasks like switching from touring mode to ride mode on our splitboard.
Dealing with pins is normally a gloves-off experience. Even though the Beta AR could not help us remove our skins without removing the shell, it was still above to perform tasks like switching from touring mode to ride mode on our splitboard.

The Beta AR removable liner is a feature that not only keeps your hand warm, but can also be used as a stand-alone glove. While ski touring, many people prefer to use the more breathable glove liners while ascending and then wear the shell and liner together for descending, and this system works well. The Beta AR liner works like a second skin, with its ability to grip and hold onto anything while still keeping your hand warm. Additionally, the Beta AR is remarkably easy to put on and take off. Among other gloves with removable liners, we found it challenging to try to pull the shell on over the inner liner; it takes extra time to push the liner fabric out of the way and fully extend the fingers into the glove. The Beta AR does not have this problem and is incredibly easy to slip on. However, we did find that trying to perform certain tasks (like removing backcountry skins) required us to take the shell of the glove off, which other gloves like the Outdoor Research Arete didn't require. Our only other complaint about the liner is that we aren't huge fans of the Muppet-like fluffy fleece that comes off on your hands after they have become damp.

We really tried to lace these skates  but in the end - this glove just didn't have the dexterity needed for this particular task. The only glove that did was the Pow Gem.
We really tried to lace these skates, but in the end - this glove just didn't have the dexterity needed for this particular task. The only glove that did was the Pow Gem.

Features


Arc'teryx is known for creating high-end outdoor products that have a sleek and efficient design. The Beta AR Glove does not delineate from Arc'teryx's design philosophy in that regard.

After a day of dogsledding  we give the dogs some love in the kennels. The cinch straps on the Arc'teryx Beta AR were handy here.
After a day of dogsledding, we give the dogs some love in the kennels. The cinch straps on the Arc'teryx Beta AR were handy here.

We were surprised to learn that the Beta AR is missing a feature that many people typically look for in a glove. Like the Swany X-Cell II Mitt - Women's, it is one of the few gloves tested that does not come with a soft material on the thumb to act as a nose-wipe. Now, this might not seem like a big deal, but after trying to wipe your nose only five times on the thumb of the Beta AR, the skin will become raw and sensitive. Also, it didn't have any pull loops - a feature that we found to be pretty useful on gloves like the Outdoor Research Southback - Women's. For a glove that retails for $235, we would expect a fully loaded model.

The cinch cord and easy pull and release hem tightener pictured here are two of main features that the Beta AR glove offers.
The cinch cord and easy pull and release hem tightener pictured here are two of main features that the Beta AR glove offers.

Aside from that, the Beta AR contained the other bells and whistles that we look for: a removable liner, cinch cords at the wrist, and the ability to use hand warmers. Furthermore, they have removable wrist straps. A great feature for somebody who tends to lose their gloves on the lifts.

Slide a pair of hand warmers between the liner and shell on colder days. Or  feel free to take out the liners if you decide to hike uphill...the Beta AR is a very versatile glove that has a special place in the backcountry. Not only that  but the 3-layer GORE-TEX is incredibly waterproof  earning the Beta AR our Top Pick for Wet Climates.
Slide a pair of hand warmers between the liner and shell on colder days. Or, feel free to take out the liners if you decide to hike uphill...the Beta AR is a very versatile glove that has a special place in the backcountry. Not only that, but the 3-layer GORE-TEX is incredibly waterproof, earning the Beta AR our Top Pick for Wet Climates.

Breathability


There are many keys to a successful glove, but one of them is the glove's ability to breathe. If you are active while using your glove, you will eventually begin sweating. Without the ability for the glove to move heat or water vapor (sweat) out of the shell, your hand will become cool and clammy, possibly leaving you susceptible to serious consequences like frostbite. For example, if you're skiing at the resort, let's say you start out exerting energy while skiing or snowboarding downhill, which causes you to perspire in your glove. You then spend a solid five minutes in line waiting for the chair lift and then another 10 minutes riding back to the top. In that fifteen minute time span, your hands can become incredibly cold if the fabric is unable to wick the moisture away from your skin.

Taking a minute to dry our hands out while testing gloves up at Washington Pass in the North Cascades of Washington.
Taking a minute to dry our hands out while testing gloves up at Washington Pass in the North Cascades of Washington.

The Arc'teryx Beta AR glove was by far the most breathable glove tested and was able to moderate the temperature inside of the glove during these breaks from activity. This is a result of the GORE-TEX exterior and breathable liner. However, as a trade-off for this breathability, it wasn't the warmest of the lot. If you need something that will keep those digits toasty, check out our Editors' Choice Award Winner, the Hestra Heli Mitt or the Swany X-Cell II - a mitten and glove hybrid.

Durability


After over fifty hours of intense use, this model looks like it just came out of its packaging. From using the pull-start on a snowmobile excessively over the course of a day, to fly-fishing, ski touring, shoveling, trail skating, and cross country skiing, they seem indestructible.

The goatskin leather palm is thin enough to allow good dexterity and is highly durable. Just make sure you treat these gloves at least 1 - 2 times per year with a snow sealant.
The goatskin leather palm is thin enough to allow good dexterity and is highly durable. Just make sure you treat these gloves at least 1 - 2 times per year with a snow sealant.

The goatskin leather palm and GORE-TEX shell contribute significantly to its overall durability. The Beta AR glove comes without the added padding and stiffness found in The North Face Montana, and allows more freedom of movement. However, it's important to note that the palm of the glove needs to be treated with weather seal at least once a season to maintain this fantastic water resistance. The GORE-TEX 3-layer fabric will also need a DWR treatment to maintain its waterproofing.

The outer is made up of 3-layer GORE-TEX Pro making it highly waterproof  the reason why the Arc'teryx Beta AR won our Top Pick for Wet Climates.
The outer is made up of 3-layer GORE-TEX Pro making it highly waterproof, the reason why the Arc'teryx Beta AR won our Top Pick for Wet Climates.

The one weakness with the Beta AR is the durability of the liner. The fuzzy microfleece exterior can snag easily. It also attracts dirt and snow. Even though the liner did not begin to show tremendous wear and tear, there is concern around its longevity after a whole season of use.

Best Application


The Beta AR is designed for a wide variety of winter activities in moderate, wet climates (0 - 30F). You can bring them ski mountaineering, backcountry skiing, or just to the resort. Some women find themselves throwing away gloves or mittens after just one season due to wear and tear, but the Arc'teryx Beta AR will withstand multiple years of use and abuse. Keep in mind that this glove will require the use of hand warmers for temperatures below zero degrees, so don't buy them if you are looking for an ultra-warm pair of gloves. But if you are looking for a durable, super waterproof glove, definitely put them on your "must buy" list.

The author testing the Arc'teryx Beta AR while descending the Coleman Headwall of Mount Baker. The leather palm helps securely grip the ice axe.
The author testing the Arc'teryx Beta AR while descending the Coleman Headwall of Mount Baker. The leather palm helps securely grip the ice axe.

Value


At a price of $235, the Beta AR is one of the most expensive gloves on the market. We would recommend buying this product only if you are living in wet climates or need an extremely breathable glove. They have a specialized use for wet weather, but can pretty much be used for anything except extremely cold weather. You get a durable product that won't saturate and weigh you down. In this regard, we think it's worth its weight in gold. However, if you living in a dry climate and don't interact with the wet stuff too much, check out a more affordable glove like our Editors' Choice award winner, the Hestra Heli Mitt.

Conclusion


The Arc'teryx Beta AR glove for women is hands down the best glove that we tested for wet weather, winning its position as a Top Pick. With its no-frills functional design and durable materials, the Beta AR is the glove to choose if you find yourself needing a glove that will withstand blustery wet powder days and hours in warmer, wet snow.

Melanie Silber rips down at the resort on a warmer  wet  humid day. The Beta ARs were a perfect complement for this wet weather day.
Melanie Silber rips down at the resort on a warmer, wet, humid day. The Beta ARs were a perfect complement for this wet weather day.

Amber King

You Might Also Like

OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: February 6, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 100%  (1)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


Have you used this product?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...