Arc'teryx Fission SV Glove Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Warm, lightweight and packable, breathable, waterproof, single construction, dextrous
Cons: Expensive, won't fit super small hands.
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Warm, comfortable, and dexterous. This lightweight glove is our Editors' Choice for its breathable construction that offers warmth all day long. Whether you're building up a sweat while taking on the mogels, or pizza'ing down your first blue run, this glove has it all…if you can afford it.
Rated for "severe weather," the Fission SV is Arc'teryx's warmest glove on their line. Built for skiing and snowboarding in cold Canada winters, this glove's warmth comes in the form of high-quality insulation with the ability for the glove to breathe and vent. We have tested it down to zero degrees Fahrenheit, where it faired just fine. For ladies that run a little bit cold, you might want to add an additional thin glove for a little extra insulation, as it's not built for winter in the Arctic circle, but best for active warmth while you're adventuring in the winter wonderland.
We've had the opportunity to test this glove while backcountry skiing, shoveling snow, and getting in the early season. The coldest day we got to test it reached to about zero degrees F in the high altitudes of Colorado. The first thing we notice about this glove is its super lush liner. The material in the liner is quite breathable, and also loaded with insulation, feeling a lot like a down-filled construction. When flipping the glove inside out, we noticed that the interior has a fleece-lined palm to help wick away sweat. This feature is huge as sweaty hands can lead to cold hands when standing still.
While hiking uphill on a warm day, we immediately had to take this glove off. It is much warmer than the previous version of the Fission glove. That said, we are impressed with its wicking ability, which no other glove exhibits, and even more impressed that the material offers sufficient breathability right through the thickness of the fabric. Loaded with 200-grams of PrimaLoft Silver insulation and 133-grams of PrimaLoft Gold, it offers plenty of warmth for its surprisingly lightweight design.
If you're a lady that runs warm and needs a glove that both breathes and offers great warmth, this is our top recommendation. For the vast majority of North America, this glove is suitable for resort and backcountry skiing.
Built with a waterproof exterior, this glove is waterproof, absorbing only a tiny bit of water during our tests, and offering exceptional performance while skiing in wet weather.
The exterior shell (the colored part) is made from a material that Arc'teryx calls Fortius 1.0. This is a 160 g/cubic meter of Nylon (84%) and elastane (16%) that stretches and protects. The exterior is treated with a DWR treatment, which promotes the beading of water upon contact. Given that Nylon is absorptive, we imagine that once this treatment wears off after use, the material will saturate without treatment. An at-home DWR treatment before every winter isn't a terrible idea.
The palm and high abrasion areas are built with a pliable double layer of goat leather that offers great weather protection. During our water tests, we submerged the glove and squeezed our hand 100 times, trying to agitate the glove to see if water leaked at the seams. After this test, the water absorbed a little bit into the Nylon material but never penetrated into the liner. In fact, it only absorbed about 2.2 oz of water in this test, showing its ability to resist water. Water didn't leak anywhere on the glove.
This observation is further validated when we took the glove outside. When shoveling snow, skiing, and doing chores around our house, it protected our hands, keeping them dry and warm. If you live in wet climates or need a glove that is very water-resistant, we'd recommend the Fission SV. Just be sure to treat the leather, and reapply the DWR treatment once it wears out to retain performance.
The Fission SV's performance in this metric is truly a class of its own. This glove is extremely dexterous! We were able to zip up zippers, unclip boots, put skins on, take them off, and all the rest. This is largely attributed to it's a thinner design that strategically places the lofty yet compressive insulation in particular parts of the glove. The digits don't feel "stuffed," and the fingers have a huge range of motion and mobility. If you need a glove that you don't need to take off while digging snowpits, making transitions in the backcountry, or to adjust your helmet, this is one of our favorites. It would function well as a belay glove while climbing as well.
As a unisex glove, it's not built specifically for women's hands. The fit of a glove can affect dexterity significantly. If you only need this glove to simply grasp your ski pole, adjust your helmet, or put your boots on, then it's not a big deal if the sizing of the glove isn't perfect, and this still might be an easy choice to make. Just be sure to expect that the fingers of the gloves are longer with a wider profile around the width of the hand. Be sure to consult the sizing chart on Arc'teryx's website before buying these gloves. If anything, be sure to measure your hand and size down to ensure the proper fit, and thus, the dexterity that you need.
While we haven't had a lot of time to test this glove and this latest version has only been on the market for just a little while, we can only assess its construction and materials. If this glove is anything like its predecessor, then durability is going to be bomber. However, we haven't had the hands-on experience to say for sure — yet. Wait a couple of months, and we'll get back to you.
Looking at the craftsmanship, first glance, it looks absolutely beautiful. The shell is constructed of materials that look quite durable, with seam construction that looks flawless. It is constructed with kevlar seams throughout the palm and in high wear areas. The location where you'd hold a pole offers reinforcement of materials that, we imagine, will offer more materials for better durability in these high abrasion zones.
We used this glove while skiing about 15 hours this season (so far). The materials still look new, and the interior materials haven't packed down. In fact, PrimaLoft is a highly durable synthetic insulation, with the Gold and Silver offering some of the best durability on the market. We imagine that the warmth of this material will continue, however, as we said before, time will tell.
This glove is fairly simple and has all the bells and whistles you'd want for resort skiing.
It has a single glove construction, meaning that you can't remove the liner. It has enough room inside the glove to add a thinner liner of your own if you'd like a little extra insulation. It comes with a carabiner loop on the finger, meaning you can clip it to a harness, making it an excellent belay glove option if you prefer hanging out at crystallized water walls in the winter.
We also appreciate the one pull cinches that are around the medium length cuff, and the simple and removable leashes that any resort skier can appreciate.
These gloves are not smartphone adapted, so be prepared to take off your glove if you need to text on the chair. They are also unisex in sizing, so you can share them with your partner if you have the same size hands! Score? Maybe not.
It's no doubt that the highest performing glove is also going to be quite expensive. However, you won't find one that offers the same amount of warmth in a breathable construction with such great dexterity. If you do, please let us know, we'd love to test it! With excellent craftsmanship, we suspect this glove will last you for many years if you take the time to keep up its maintenance, with the DWR treatment and leather.
The ladies that'll find the most value are those seeking a highly dexterous and warm glove with a super comfortable fit, that'll actually fit into the unisex categories. That said, there are other less expensive options that offer more warmth but less dexterity. If you can't afford the price on these, be sure to check out those options too.
The Arc'teryx Fission SV Glove is a newly redesigned glove that offers ample warmth and dexterity. It offers one of the most breathable designs tested, loaded with insulation that is compressive, and a liner that is cozy for all-day wear. If you're seeking a lightweight and packable glove with application from the resort to the backcountry, this outstanding glove is our top recommendation.
— Amber King