Outdoor Research Arete - Women's Review
Cons: Lacks warmth, tight fit
Manufacturer: Outdoor Research
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Outdoor Research Arete - Women's
|Price||$98 List||$200 List||Check Price on Amazon|
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|$60.47 at Backcountry||$38.51 at Amazon|
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|Pros||Good dexterity, double-glove design, lots of features, light and packable||Warm, lightweight and packable, breathable, waterproof, single construction, dextrous||Super warm, removable liner, durable construction, weather resistant liner||Very warm, dexterous for a mitt, durable shell, waterproof, removable and water resistant liner||Warm, versatile, dexterous for a mitt, touchscreen-compatible liners, excellent value|
|Cons||Lacks warmth, tight fit||Expensive, won't fit super small hands||Bulky, difficult to get liner back into glove, expensive||Liner packs out after a season, split finger design leaves index finger cold, no leashes included||Not a lot of extra insulation|
|Bottom Line||Built for the alpine, these gloves breathe and protect, but they're not for the resort||The best all-around unisex ski glove that you'll find on the market||A durable, warm, and comfortable glove||A versatile mitten with dexterity that's perfect for all types of winter activities||A high quality and fairly priced double-construction mitt that'll perform at any of your favorite winter locales|
|Rating Categories||Arete||Arc'teryx Fission SV Glove||Black Diamond Guide - Women's||Black Diamond Mercury Mitt||Gore-Tex Mitten|
|Water Resistance (25%)|
|Specs||Arete||Arc'teryx Fission...||Black Diamond...||Black Diamond...||Gore-Tex Mitten|
|Waterproof Material||100% nylon oxford shell outer mixed with dobby nylon||84% nylon/16% elastane, Gore-Tex||GORE-TEX waterproof insert||Pertex Shield||Dry-Ride Two Layer & Gore-Tex Insert|
|Insulation Type||Radiant Fleece 95% polyester, 5% spandex||200g PrimaLoft Silver and 133g Gold synthetic fibers||170 g PrimaLoft® Gold insulation||340-grams Primaloft Gold w/ high loft synthetic insulation||ThermaCore Synthetic Insulation|
|Palm Material||AlpenGrip||Goat leather||Goat leather||Goat leather||Leather, Sticky Icy Grip Palm|
|Inner Glove Material (if applicable)||Same as insulation type||Octa Loft||Boiled wool and 200 g fleece palm lining||High-loft fleece||Fleece|
|Double or Single Construction?||Double||Single||Single||Double||Double|
|Gauntlet or Cuff Length?||Gauntlet||Medium Cuff||Medium cuff||Gauntlet||Gauntlet|
|Special features||Carabiner loop, removable leashes, thumb pull, pocket on liner glove||Unisex fit, kevlar stitching, removable wrist leash, carabiner loop||Nose wipe, knuckle padding, no leash, kevlar stitching||Nose wipe, trigger-finger liner, carabiner loop, no wrist leash, foam padding on knuckles, kevlar stitching||Nose wipe, leashes, warmer pockets, wrist cinch|
|Sizes (Women's)||S, M, L||XS, S, M, L, XL||XS,S,M,L||XS, S, M, L||XS, S, M, L|
|Fit||Fits very small (size up)||Fits large (unisex sizing)||Fits small||True to size||True to size|
|Warranty||Lifetime||Lifetime||1 year||1 year||Lifetime|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Our best recommendation for backcountry skiing, the Arete by Outdoor Research, boasts a versatile double-construction with a fantastic water-resistant shell combined with a super breathable construct. It's a great option for the hot skins uphill and milder days at the resort. Choose a different glove or add hand warmers when the temperatures dip down just below freezing.
Warmth is not the Arete's strong suit, and we would not recommend taking these babies out on cold resort days. But, if you choose to, make sure to add a warmer liner or additional hand warmers. So why isn't this glove as warm as others?
First, the removable liner is incredibly thin. It is made from lightweight polypro material, so it performs well in temperatures only above 20F. In temperatures that creep below 20F, it will not insulate enough unless you use hand warmers as a secondary option. Even then, the gloves won't be warm for long. That said, this liner wicks quite well. Second, the outer is incredibly breathable (and water-resistant). If you plan on hiking in the backcountry, this is a great option.
As a result, this is one of the coldest gloves tested. If you want to make it warmer, you can always buy a thicker liner and size up with the glove to accommodate the extra bulk. Otherwise, leave this glove only for mild days at the ski resort or for hiking in the backcountry.
This glove uses a nylon outer shell with a GORE-TEX insert. As a result, it is not as waterproof as a full GORE-TEX glove. During our field tests on both wet and dry days, this glove held up to the elements and stayed dry. We were surprised to see that it absorbed very little water during our dunk tests, providing evidence that it is very water-resistant.
Though not designed to be waterproof, note that the liner material can act like a sponge if you either sweat too much, or find yourself using your liner while having contact with the snow. One tester used the liner exclusively while ski-touring, and she cleaned the snow from her skins and removed her tail-clips in the liners. After only a few changeovers, the liners became too wet to keep her warm any longer. If you're hiking in the backcountry, make sure to hike with just the gloves, and put the liners in your pockets to avoid saturation. Or, choose to use this glove on warm days or in dry climates.
If you need a glove that will allow you to pick-up, put-down, zip-up, or clip-on, the Arete is the glove for you. Scoring the highest points for dexterity, know that you will be able to perform a plethora of tasks like clipping ski leashes, removing climbing skins, and putting a splitboard back together.
The removable inner liner is what provides the glove with amazing dexterity and versatility. If it gets too hot, simply slip the liner out and use the shell on its own. Or, just use the liner if the shell is too hot. The beauty of the liner is the silicone gripping material on both the palm and fingertips. This allows you to easily use hands and fingers without needing to take the liners off. While out ski touring, testers were able to easily transition between the shell and then the liner to get the best use and comfort out of the glove.
When combining the liner and shell together, the Arete still proves to be one of the most dexterous gloves we tested. The one issue with the removable liner and shell combo is that it sometimes took extra effort to slide the liner back into the shell of the glove. Sometimes it would bunch up and cause frustration that testers did not experience with higher-end products.
Outdoor Research designers did not skimp on the extra features for the Arete Glove. It includes an incredibly soft nose wipe, big loops at the cuff to help pull the glove on, and an amazing removable liner that can be worn on its own.
Not only that, but if you tend to lose your gloves on the chairlift, it has a removable leash. It also features a carabiner loop, providing an attachment point to your harness. Oh — and if it's cold outside, slide a pair of hand warmers into the pocket on the liner for additional warmth. All in all, we loved the features of this glove! We just wished it had touchscreen compatibility.
Durability & Construction
Outfitted with a nylon palm (instead of leather), this glove is not as durable as other contenders in this review. It showed quite a bit of wear and tear after several days of intensive use. In addition, the liners seemed to pack out and wear in the fingers. After many years of use, we have seen this palm material degrade and wear out.
This glove offers a great value for those seeking a glove that'll perform for all sorts of aerobic activities. Take it with you while summiting mountains, cross-country skiing, or on early morning winter runs. It has versatility in its applications, offering great overall performance for a good price.
The Outdoor Research Arete wins our Top Pick for Backcountry Adventures due to its fantastic breathability and versatile double-glove construction. Take it with you on all your backcountry adventures — just avoid wearing it on the really cold days when temperatures drop below freezing.
— Amber King