Outdoor Research Super Couloir Sensor - Women's Review
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Outdoor Research Super Couloir Sensor - Women's
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|Pros||Warm glove, good dexterity, water resistant, durable||Warm, lightweight and packable, breathable, waterproof, single construction, dextrous||Warm, soft, water resistant, quick drying||Warm, versatile, dexterous for a mitt, touchscreen-compatible liners, excellent value||Great price, breathable, warm, comes with liner glove|
|Cons||On the expensive side, sensor feature doesn't work consistently||Expensive, won't fit super small hands||Poor dexterity||Not a lot of extra insulation||Not fully waterproof, less durable construction|
|Bottom Line||These technical gloves are equipped to handle the most severe weather without compromising dexterity||This unisex glove is off the charts for almost any adult, noticeably feeling different and excelling above other gloves on the market we have tested||This toasty mitt keeps fingers extremely warm and dry with a waterproof and breathable exterior and lofty insulated removable liner||A mitten that is weather-resistant and dexterous at a reasonable price||A 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|
|Water Resistance (25%)|
|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 Sensor 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.
The Vertical X synthetic insulation used in the Super 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Should You Buy the Outdoor Research Super Couloir Sensor Gloves?
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 are a good value when compared to gloves with similar performance.
What Other Women's Ski Gloves Should You Consider?
If you can afford a slightly higher price tag, the Arc'teryx Fission SV is our top recommendation. We feel it is a little bit warmer and provides even better dexterity with a similar technical look. Need ultimate warmth for bitter cold conditions at the sacrifice of dexterity? The Black Diamond Mercury Mitts are super warm and weatherproof mittens that will serve you well on the coldest days, and they cost a little less.
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