The Fission Glove by Arc'teryx is our Editors' Choice for winter ski gloves. We love its beautiful craftsmanship and the fantastic balance of breathability and warmth. It is quite versatile - perfect for all outdoor winter sports.
We fell in love with the durable materials and lifetime warranty offered by the Fission gloves. The only major downside is the price and fit. While most all other gloves and mittens in this review feature a 'women's specific fit' the Fission Glove has a unisex fit. Unfortunately, this means that women with very small hands will not fit into a pair of these gloves, but women with medium to large sizes are in the clear. The price tag is much higher than other gloves in this review. However, they do come with a lifetime warranty and feature bomber materials that we'd expect to last for years.
The Arc'teryx Fission Glove is our Editor's Choice for winter gloves this season!
Warmth & Breathability
The Fission Glove stands out for its amazingly awesome balance of breathability and warmth. When resort skiing at Telluride resort during a day that dipped into the negatives, our hands were warm all day, even while shivering on an open chairlift high in the air for 15 minutes. Not only does it perform in cold temperature, but on a warm day in the San Juan mountains, we were surprised at how well this glove breathed while hiking uphill.
The warmth comes from its insulation. It is loaded with both PrimaLoft Gold and Silver insulation, making it one of the warmest gloves tested in this review. The Fission features 133g of PrimaLoft Silver insulation on the back of the hand where most heat is lost on cold days. On the palm, there is 100g of PrimaLoft Gold, allowing for less bulk and more dexterity. Throughout the glove is 100 g of PrimaLoft Silver.
Heather skins uphill to the top of a mountain in Southwest Colorado.
In addition to great warmth properties, we love that the Arc'teryx Fission features a large cuff with quick-cinch straps that help to retain or release heat when temperatures fluctuate throughout the day. While this is glove offers a great level of warmth, its far from being one of the warmest options out there. It's perfect for the skier who likes to go hard at the resort all day (when it's not too cold) or for the person who seeks out the solace of the backcountry. It's this beautiful balance of breathability and warmth that earned the Fission its place as an Editors' Choice Award winner.
The insulation is thin and warm, while the liner is easy to slid on and off - even with wet hands.
In addition to great warmth, the Fission excels in its ability to wick and repel water. The outer of the glove features a soft shell material primarily made of 85 percent nylon and 16 percent elastane materials. It is fully equipped with a semi-permeable Gore-Tex XCR insert and a leather palm that keeps water droplets from sinking in while allowing water vapor from the inside of the glove to escape. Even though the soft-shell material does not seem completely waterproof, we were really surprised to learn that it didn't seep during both our field and in-home tests.
In this test, we put on each glove, submerged it in water and squeezed our hand into a fist. This test helped us determine which gloves were actually water resistant, and which weren't.
During our dunk tests, we submerged the glove underwater and squeezed 100 times. We also weighed the glove before and after to see how much water the glove absorbed. In this particular test, only 3.75 oz of water was absorbed, and no water seeped into the soft-shell material of the glove. In our field tests, we went skiing in cold, wet conditions while the snow fell continuously throughout the day. Our hands stayed warm and the gloves did not saturate. This was our experience throughout our testing period. As a result, we awarded this glove with one of the highest scores for water resistance.
Here we see that the Arc'teryx glove absorbed very little water after our dunk tests!
This glove provides great dexterity to perform fine tasks like pulling snacks out of your bag after you get above tree line.
With a proper fit, this glove has great dexterity. The thin insulation in the palm provides more dexterity than other bulkier options in this review.
We really like the leather palm that makes gripping items like a zipper or ski ticket easier. We find it easy to take skins off and on during backcountry travel. It is easy to do up boots and attach ski lift tickets with gloves on. The only downside is the limited sizing options.
The cinched wrist provides a more specific fit that provides a little bit more dexterity. That said, this glove has a unisex fit, so it felt a little floppier than other gloves that have a female-specific fit.
Since it is a unisex glove, the fit is not designed specifically for women. As a result, the XS will only fit a woman with medium sized hands. We really wish that Arc'teryx developed this 'unisex' glove with a larger range of female sizing options.
Giles takes the Fission gloves for a spin on a climb in Red Rocks to truly test dexterity and its performance as a climbing glove. We found (by the way) that this glove did the best in our climbing tests and is probably the best choice (in this selection) as a winter climbing glove.
Even though this glove doesn't feature touch-screen compatibility or a hand warmer pocket, the features that it does have are functional for any ski glove. This simple glove features a removable wrist leash and adjustable one-pull wrist leash.
If you want a glove that could be used for ski mountaineering, make sure it has a carabiner loop like the Arc'teryx Fission Glove.
The gauntlet is long, fitting well overtop of bulky clothing. We also liked the carabiner loop on the finger, making this a great option for both skiing and climbing in the wintertime. In addition, it is one of the lightest contenders tested, making it a great option for lightweight missions.
We love the quick one-pull cinch and release and removable leashes!
Durability and Construction
Featuring a leather palm, abrasion-resistant fabrics, and fantastic craftsmanship, this glove stands out as the most durable and well crafted. Throughout our testing period, the insulation did not pack out, even after many hours of wear and tear and washes. This glove earned a perfect ten in this category for all the features listed above, including a seamless stitch on the outside of the glove.
This glove has a small stitch pattern that provides better durability than the rest. In addition, some of the seams are seamless, meaning less fly-aways!
We also liked how closely spaced each stitch was, without any flyaways. Just impeccable craftsmanship! We also really appreciated the lifetime warranty that accompanies any Arc'teryx product.
The leather palm featured in the Arc'teryx Fission Glove provides great durability.
With a great balance in all the metrics, this is one of the most versatile gloves tested. Take it with you on cold days, down to the negatives, at the resort, or on mild days in the backcountry. This glove is a perfect addition to any skiers wardrobe. Whether you live in wet or dry climates, this glove can do it all! Not only is it great for skiing, but it can be used for most alpine and cold-weather activities.
Take this glove cross country skiing, backcountry skiing, or to the resort. We love its versatility and performance! This is why it is our Editor's Choice for winter gloves this season.
With a higher sticker price than most ($189), this is the most expensive glove in this review. That said, we think the price is worth it, especially given the craftsmanship and durability of the glove.
The Arc'teryx Fission Glove is our Editors' Choice for gloves because of its fantastic balance of warmth, breathability, and water resistance. In addition, we love its lightweight and comfort provided with soft and cozy materials. Get comfortable on the resort slopes or explore the backcountry with the most versatile gloves tested this season.
Heather is psyched and surprised at how breathable and warm this high-performance single-construct glove performs on the mountain.