Hands-on Gear Review

POW Gem Review

By: Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 6, 2015
Price:  $80 List  |  $40.68 at Amazon - 49% Off
Pros:  Breathable, great fit, low profile, high dexterity, durable
Cons:  Missing pull loops, absorbs water, only one-year warranty
Manufacturer:   POW
61
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth - 30% 4
  • Water resistance - 25% 6
  • Dexterity - 25% 9
  • Features - 10% 4
  • Breathability - 5% 7
  • Durability - 5% 8
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Our Verdict

If you're looking for a single cuff glove with a no-frills construct and a high level of dexterity, look no further! The Pow Gem is a cute, stylish glove that will keep you warm through most winter weather and has versatility in both the backcountry and the resort. Due to its highly breathable nature, you can put these gloves on during aerobic days! Hike up, switch over, and ski down without having to expose your hands to the elements - a perfect complement to any cold weather kit. You might want to leave these at home for warmer backcountry days and instead consider the Outdoor Research Arete - Women's double glove. For any other weather situation, consider these cute gloves that come in 3 snazzy colors - black, blue, and purple.


Our Analysis and Test Results

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Hands-On Review


The POW Gem is a warm and highly dexterous single cuff glove that is cute, warm, and durable. It's perfect for the backcountry on cold days or at the resort in the spring.

Performance Comparison



The Gem was a favorite among our testers for its good fit  sleek look  warmth  and great dexterity.
The Gem was a favorite among our testers for its good fit, sleek look, warmth, and great dexterity.

Warmth


Hosting 113g/m3 of PrimaLoft Gold insulation, the Pow Gem did an amazing job keeping our hands warm to 0F. While cross country skiing in Quebec City in -20F weather, our hands became chilled, but this glove was warmer than the Outdoor Research Arete. We think this is due to the GOLD insulation and the overall snug fit. Not only that, but because the glove breathes really well, it does a fantastic job regulating temperature. Not the warmest glove out there, but a good option for those living in climates that experience regular winter temperatures between 0 and 30F.

These streamlined gloves feature PrimaLoft Gold insulation and are perfect for moderately cold days.
These streamlined gloves feature PrimaLoft Gold insulation and are perfect for moderately cold days.

Water Resistance


Losing a couple points in this category, this glove is armed with a reinforced goatskin leather palm (that is completely waterproof) with a nylon softshell and DWR coating. The Hipora waterproof lining does a great job keeping the moisture away from your skin and wicking it away from the inside.

The goatskin outer provides fantastic waterproofing  but does become soggy in wet weather.
The goatskin outer provides fantastic waterproofing, but does become soggy in wet weather.

Trading in complete water resistance for breathability, we noticed that the Gem absorbed about 2.4 ounces of water when performing the dunk test (comparable to the Marmot Randonnee Glove - Women's). The upside is that it didn't take very long to dry out after being completely wet, giving the Pow Gem a 6/10 for water resistance. If you want a cuff length single glove with a little more water resistance, check out the Mountain Hardwear Skistar - Women's. Or if you want a double glove, check out the truly completely waterproof Arc'teryx Beta AR Glove - Women's.

Dexterity


Scoring the highest out of all the products tested (9/10), the Gem is THE MOST dexterous glove and mitten of the fleet. We could clip boots, tie shoes, attach lift tickets, and put together our backcountry set-ups without a problem.

Assembling the splitboard and clipping bindings - this was no problem for the Gem. An incredibly dexterous glove indeed!
Assembling the splitboard and clipping bindings - this was no problem for the Gem. An incredibly dexterous glove indeed!

In fact, this glove only had to come off to operate our phones as it doesn't have any touch-integrated technology. This high level of dexterity is due to the fantastically articulated palm and optimal fit - two things we didn't experience with any other glove. If you're looking for a single, cuff length glove that you don't need to take off, take a look at these gems.

Brittany is pictured here taking off her skin - a feat that we could usually achieve with our gloves on.
Brittany is pictured here taking off her skin - a feat that we could usually achieve with our gloves on.

Features


This is a low profile, no frills glove with very few features, similar to the POC WO Mitten. This is the norm for most cuff length gloves. However, we did enjoy the integrated nose wipe on the thumb and the neoprene cuff that allowed for a snug fit.

The thin  soft material pictured here will keep your nose from chafing after multiple wipes on particularly bone chilling days.
The thin, soft material pictured here will keep your nose from chafing after multiple wipes on particularly bone chilling days.

We were sad to see that there were no pull loops at the base of the glove - something that we really liked on the Mountain Hardwear Skistar. Some of our testers had problems getting the glove on without these loops. Also, there were no connecting clips - something that was present in every other glove and mitten pair. So if you're prone to losing gloves, know it does not have any features to help keep them with you.

Breathability


This is a fantastically breathable glove! One of our testers wore this model skinning up and skiing down on a sunny 25F day and her hands were a little sweaty - but she was impressed overall. The PrimaLoft insulation in combination with the softshell material makes this one of the most breathable gloves tested, comparable to the POC WO Mitten and Swany X-Cell II Mitt - Women's.

Brittany skins up and skis down on this blue bird day without taking her gloves off. Although her hands were a little sweaty  the glove has impressively breathable. This is attributed to its thin leather design  great fit  and seamless fingertips.
Brittany skins up and skis down on this blue bird day without taking her gloves off. Although her hands were a little sweaty, the glove has impressively breathable. This is attributed to its thin leather design, great fit, and seamless fingertips.

Durability


Throughout our testing period, we did not notice any wear and tear. This was after cross country skiing, skating, skiing, skinning, and just general play in the snow. The tips of the fingers have a reinforced leather flap running over the top, without the seams meeting at its weak point. What does this mean? A well-constructed glove. Just make sure to treat the goatskin palm with leather sealant one to two times a season to ensure waterproofing.

The only real qualm we had with the Pow Gem is it only has a one-year warranty. All other products offer a lifetime warranty which has us questioning why this Canadian company hasn't stepped up their policy. Other than that, this is an incredibly durable glove that should last you many seasons.

Best Applications


As a cuff-length, no-frills glove, this model is perfect for colder backcountry days where you don't want to take your gloves off from the skin up to the ski down. It's also a great option for moderately cold days while sitting on the ski lifts or doing laps on a powder day. This glove sits comfortably under any jacket cuff. Avoid them for extremely cold days and use the Hestra Heli Mitt - Women's instead.

Take these gloves skinning on old country roads  or take them out to the resort on days that aren't too chilly.
Take these gloves skinning on old country roads, or take them out to the resort on days that aren't too chilly.

Value


For only $75 the Pow Gem is an incredible value for the low price. Any good glove will cost upwards of $100, but this glove is an exception. We think it's totally worth it. If you are looking for a double gantlet glove at a good price, check out our Best Buy Award winner, the Outdoor Research Arete. Or if you are looking for a longer single glove, check out the Best Buy runner up, the Outdoor Research Southback - Women's.

Conclusion


A fantastic cuff-length glove that is no-frills and no bulk, this product boasts a high level of dexterity. This cute glove does a fantastic job in the backcountry by allowing you to hike, changeover, and ski down without having to take any gloves off. A fantastic glove option for only $75! You can't go wrong.

Amber King

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Most recent review: February 6, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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Rating Distribution
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5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
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