The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of gear

Arc'teryx Fission SV Glove Review

Our favorite ski glove tested with a unisex fit. Despite not being gender-specific, this glove is off the charts for any adult, noticeably feeling different (and better) than other gloves on the market.
Editors' Choice Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $200 List | $149.19 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Warm, lightweight and packable, breathable, waterproof, single construction, dextrous
Cons:  Expensive, won't fit super small hands.
Manufacturer:   Arc'teryx
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 18, 2019
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
85
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 12
  • Warmth - 25% 8
  • Water Resistance - 25% 8
  • Dexterity - 25% 10
  • Durability - 15% 9
  • Features - 10% 6

Our Verdict

No glove out there can compete with the Arc'teryx Fission SV Glove for dexterity and warmth. Loaded with highly breathable and compressible PrimaLoft Silver and Gold insulation, it'll keep your hands warm while chilling out on chair lifts early morning, or while getting the goods on a dawn patrol early morning in the backcountry. This glove stands out as our favorite because it feels light and thin with a huge range of mobility. If you need to keep your gloves on all day while performing fine tasks, this glove is the one to really consider, if you can get the fit right. Unisex in design, it's important to make sure ladies size down with this baby. If you can get the fit to work, you'll be happy and comfortable all winter. It has many features that extend to uses beyond skiing such as ice climbing, snow hiking, ski mountaineering, and more.


Compare to Similar Products

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.

Performance Comparison


This glove earns our Editors' Choice for its durable  breathable  and protective construction. Highly mobile and dexterous  it's suited to wear at the resort  in the backcountry  or on your next alpine adventure.
This glove earns our Editors' Choice for its durable, breathable, and protective construction. Highly mobile and dexterous, it's suited to wear at the resort, in the backcountry, or on your next alpine adventure.

Warmth


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.

The insulation is compressive  warm  and lofty  resembling down in a lot of ways. The flexible construction of the glove allows mobility which conducts heat more efficiently on colder days in the mountains.
The insulation is compressive, warm, and lofty, resembling down in a lot of ways. The flexible construction of the glove allows mobility which conducts heat more efficiently on colder days in the mountains.

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.

Nolan sports the Fission SV (a unisex glove) early morning before heading up Red Mountain Pass in Colorado.
Nolan sports the Fission SV (a unisex glove) early morning before heading up Red Mountain Pass in Colorado.

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.

Getting ready to head to the hill. This glove offers awesome warmth for all sorts of winter chores and activities...not just skiing.
Getting ready to head to the hill. This glove offers awesome warmth for all sorts of winter chores and activities...not just skiing.

Water Resistance


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.

We weight the glove after it's been immersed in water. During this test  it only absorbs 2.2 oz of water! The original weight starts at 3.25 oz.
We weight the glove after it's been immersed in water. During this test, it only absorbs 2.2 oz of water! The original weight starts at 3.25 oz.

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.

The shell of the Fission is quite water-resistant doing very well in our tests. It repels snow and water without issue.
The shell of the Fission is quite water-resistant doing very well in our tests. It repels snow and water without issue.

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.

Dexterity


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.

Even with gloves that are a little too big for this tester  we can still perform all the fine tasks needed while backcountry skiing and adventuring in the backcountry.
Even with gloves that are a little too big for this tester, we can still perform all the fine tasks needed while backcountry skiing and adventuring in the backcountry.

Durability


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.

The bomber palm is made from flexible goat leather and reinforced with kevlar stitching. Excellent craftsmanship.
The bomber palm is made from flexible goat leather and reinforced with kevlar stitching. Excellent craftsmanship.

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.

Features


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.

The removable leashes are simple and adjustable. It girth hitches into a small loop on the interior of the glove to stay intact.
The removable leashes are simple and adjustable. It girth hitches into a small loop on the interior of the glove to stay intact.

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.

The carabiner loop is present on both fingers of this glove if you need to clip your gloves to your harness.
The carabiner loop is present on both fingers of this glove if you need to clip your gloves to your harness.

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.

The fit is large. Here we see a size Medium  which this tester normally wears  but the glove is much larger.
The fit is large. Here we see a size Medium, which this tester normally wears, but the glove is much larger.

Value


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.

Do everything you need to do in the snow with your gloves on! These highly dexterous and warm gloves offer the best performance that money can buy.
Do everything you need to do in the snow with your gloves on! These highly dexterous and warm gloves offer the best performance that money can buy.

Conclusion


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