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Outdoor Research Super Couloir Sensor - Women's Review

These technical gloves are equipped to handle the most severe weather without compromising dexterity
Outdoor Research Super Couloir Sensor - Women's
Credit: Outdoor Research
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Price:  $160 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Warm glove, good dexterity, water resistant, durable
Cons:  On the expensive side, sensor feature hard to use
Manufacturer:   Outdoor Research
By Jacqueline Kearney ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 8, 2021
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75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 13
  • Warmth - 25% 7.0
  • Water Resistance - 25% 8.0
  • Dexterity - 25% 8.0
  • Durability - 15% 7.0
  • Features - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

A technical option for the skier who needs warmth and performance, the Outdoor Research Couloir Sensor Gloves balance dexterity and warmth. This Gore-Tex and leather glove is ideal for someone who wants to be able to handle ropes, tie knots, and adjust gear and clothing without having to remove their gloves. This glove handles severe weather with ease; hefty insulation and waterproofing keep the outside out and fingers warm and dry. This was one of the warmest non-heated gloves we tested and an excellent balance of functionality, weatherproofing, and warmth. It's ideal for the skier or ski industry worker who demands high-end performance.

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Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
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$200 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Warm glove, good dexterity, water resistant, durableWarm, lightweight and packable, breathable, waterproof, single construction, dextrousWarm, soft, water resistant, quick dryingWarm, versatile, dexterous for a mitt, touchscreen-compatible liners, excellent valueGreat price, breathable, warm, comes with liner glove
Cons On the expensive side, sensor feature hard to useExpensive, won't fit super small handsPoor dexterityNot a lot of extra insulationNot fully waterproof, less durable construction
Bottom Line These technical gloves are equipped to handle the most severe weather without compromising dexterityThis unisex glove is off the charts for almost any adult, noticeably feeling different and excelling above other gloves on the market we have testedThis toasty mitt keeps fingers extremely warm and dry with a waterproof and breathable exterior and lofty insulated removable linerA mitten that is weather-resistant and dexterous at a reasonable priceA well-priced glove that'll work fine for your ski trips this winter
Rating Categories Outdoor Research Su... Arc'teryx Fission S... Black Diamond Mercu... Burton Gore-Tex Mitten Dakine Camino
Warmth (25%)
7.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
5.0
Water Resistance (25%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
4.0
Dexterity (25%)
8.0
9.0
3.0
4.0
7.0
Durability (15%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
5.0
Features (10%)
7.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
9.0
Specs Outdoor Research Su... Arc'teryx Fission S... Black Diamond Mercu... Burton Gore-Tex Mitten Dakine Camino
Waterproof Material Gore-Tex 84% nylon/16% elastane, Gore-Tex BD.dry Dry-Ride Two Layer & Gore-Tex Insert Nylon Shell (black part), Hoxton (75% nylon, 25% polyester) DWR treatment, Leather palm (water-resistant)
Insulation Type VerticalX polyester 200g PrimaLoft Silver and 133g Gold synthetic fibers 170g PrimaLoft Gold
Back of hand: 133g PrimaLoft Gold
ThermaCore Synthetic Insulation 110/350g high loft synthetic
Palm Material Pittards Oiltac Goat leather Goat leather Goat leather Leather, Sticky Icy Grip Palm Goat Leather
Inner Glove Material (if applicable) n/a Octa Loft Polyester Fleece 150g tricot, 100% polyester
Double or Single Construction? Single Single Double Double Double
Gauntlet or Cuff? Cuff Cuff Gauntlet Gauntlet Gauntlet
Special features Nose wipe, touchscreen compatible, carabiner loop, pull on loop, removable leash Unisex fit, kevlar stitching, removable wrist leash, carabiner loop Nose wipe, carabiner loop, removable liner Nose wipe, leashes, warmer pockets, wrist cinch Google wipe on thumb, touch screen compatible liners, removable wrist leash
Fit True to size Fits large (unisex sizing) True to size True to size A little smaller, size up if you're unsure

Our Analysis and Test Results

The OR Couloir Glove is a top performer in many categories. It kept our fingers warm, and we never had to take them out of the gloves to perform dexterous tasks. The grippy leather palms mean you never have to worry about frozen snow and ice preventing a good hold on a rope or an ice tool. Heavy insulation and waterproof/breathable Gore-Tex create a sturdy barrier to any weather: cold, wet, and wind are no match for the OR Couloir Glove.

Performance Comparison


Outdoor Research Super Couloir Sensor - Women's ski gloves - the or couloir sensor glove strikes a nice harmony between dexterity...
The OR Couloir Sensor glove strikes a nice harmony between dexterity and warmth.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Warmth


The Vertical X synthetic insulation used in the Couloir is dense and warm. There is 133g in the palm and 200g in the back of the hand; this maintains movement and retains heat where your hand doesn't produce it as naturally. If you want the warmth for riding chairlifts and icy days, but can't bear to lose the function of a glove, consider these. The large adjustable cuffs on these gloves also ensure that no drafts or ice creeps in, even if you take a tumbling fall. As far as gloves go, these were some of the warmest that we tested. Some of our testers were still able to feel the cold at our fingertips on the most frigid of days, but only the coldest of the cold.

We also love the tricot lining in these gloves. We really like how soft it feels and how quickly it warms up once hands are in the gloves. Another essential feature of this material in combination with the Gore-Tex lining and 2L exterior is that it wicks moisture extremely well, preventing dampness and additional cold. This breathability was key in keeping our fingers consistently warm in the stop and go of arduous mountain days. Finally, the Gore-Tex insert blocks icy winds impeccably.

Outdoor Research Super Couloir Sensor - Women's ski gloves - the ability to cinch down the cuff locks out cold drafts and snow.
The ability to cinch down the cuff locks out cold drafts and snow.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Water Resistance


The Gore-Tex liner and DWR coating are particularly effective in the Couloir. The exterior of the glove beads water well for the most part, and any water that permeates this exterior is quickly stopped by the Gore-Tex liner. The cuff of this glove wicked moisture away, and helped redirect falling snow and ice when we were climbing in them.

The only area of suspect in these gloves is the stretch panels between fingers and on the lateral side. While we did not experience any leakage, we do wonder if consistent water or ice sitting on these panels could chip away at the water resistance of the rest of the glove over time.

Outdoor Research Super Couloir Sensor - Women's ski gloves - couloir beaded water extremely well during a spray test for the dwr...
Couloir beaded water extremely well during a spray test for the DWR finish.
Credit: Jackie Kearney

Dexterity


Our favorite feature of the Couloir is how dexterous it is. This glove is jam-packed with details to improve its technical ability. The grip of the Pittard's Oiltac leather palm persisted through wet and icy conditions. This was an excellent performer when we took it to technical tasks such as rope work and carrying ice tools. The elastic on the underside of the wrist also ensures that the glove stays in place, keeping fingers in the tip of the glove and increasing dexterity.

The pre-formed curve of the glove, with lighter insulation on the palm, also makes it easy to bend fingers and grip effectively. We noticed this when adjusting ski boots with ease, and accessing the small zipped chest pockets on our jackets. The stretch panels between fingers and on the lateral edge of the glove also improved gripping ability.

Outdoor Research Super Couloir Sensor - Women's ski gloves - we can perform most ski specific tasks with ease while wearing the...
We can perform most ski specific tasks with ease while wearing the Couloir gloves.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Durability


The 2L polyester and goat leather construction of this glove feels hardy and durable. The body of the glove is reinforced with thick leather on the back of the first finger and thumb for high use. The remaining fingers also have Oiltac leather that wraps around to the backside. We also love the leather reinforcement where the cuff elastic adjustment and pull-on loop are attached, another high use area. Like with all leather products, this durability is partially reliant on maintenance and re-upping the water-resistant finish on the leather section of this glove.

The supple feel of the grippy palm does draw into question its long-term durability. We wonder if the textured leather will be more susceptible to water and weather and wear more quickly than the rest of the glove. We think a good feature to counteract this would be an additional pad of leather over the seam between palm and thumb to reinforce this high use area. All and all, this glove feels hefty and well constructed.

Outdoor Research Super Couloir Sensor - Women's ski gloves - leather palms and reinforced thumbs protect high use areas.
Leather palms and reinforced thumbs protect high use areas.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Features


We love the features of this technical glove. The Couloir has everything you need for a day at the resort to a long technical ski descent. The removable leashes give you the option to use them only when you want and ditch them otherwise. The carabiner loops provide the choice to clip gloves to a harness or backpack when not in use. We also like how the large pull-on loops make it very easy to put on your second glove. These gloves also have a very nice suede nose wipe patch to help keep your nose unfrozen and dry.

Our only complaint with the Couloir Sensor is that our testers had a hard time getting the "sensor" function to work. The first finger and thumb have a leather finish that OR claims is compatible with smartphone screens, but we have yet to have success with this feature. Also, this glove does not have an external pocket for a hand warmer, which can be a lifesaver on sub-zero days if you have cold-prone hands. These shortcomings, however, pale in contrast to the performance of all of its other features.

Outdoor Research Super Couloir Sensor - Women's ski gloves - removable leashes ensure you won't drop a glove off the lift when...
Removable leashes ensure you won't drop a glove off the lift when trying to use your phone or while getting a ski pass.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Value


The Couloir holds strong value. They fall at the mid to upper end of the price range in this review, but no other glove we've tested scores higher and costs less than this one. If you want a higher-performing glove, you will certainly have to pay more to find one in the current ski glove market. If you don't necessarily need the dexterity and features of this glove, you may be able to find a similarly warm and water-resistant glove at a lower price point, though.

Conclusion


If you seek a technical glove to work with you in harsh weather and demanding activities, consider the Outdoor Research Super Couloir Sensor Gloves. This option is quite warm yet sacrifices little in the way of dexterity. Whether you are a professional or an avid recreationist, if you demand technical performance, dexterity, and warmth out of your gloves, the OR Super Couloir gloves are worth the investment and a good value at that.

Outdoor Research Super Couloir Sensor - Women's ski gloves - we love the couloir for its warmth and dexterity; it's an excellent...
We love the Couloir for its warmth and dexterity; it's an excellent choice for the snow professional or performance-driven skier.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Jacqueline Kearney
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