REI Co-op Gauntlet GTX - Women's Review
Cons: Not super warm, lacks durability
Manufacturer: REI Co-op
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The REI Co-op Gauntlet GTX Glove is a thin, dexterous option that offers a nice level of warmth and comfort. It performs well during active days in cold weather but should be left at home when the temperatures seriously plummet.
Looking for exceptional warmth? You're not going to find it here. While this glove does feature a synthetic polyester fill that retains heat in the wet conditions, it's one of the least warm gloves tested. While the polyester fill provides some level of insulation, the shell isn't very windproof. Our testers experienced cold hands while plowing down the mountain, but found that warmth was retained in the glove heading up the chairlift.
When assessing the make-up of the glove and testing it in the field, we observe that the shell is quite porous and breathable. This allows the glove to breathe, venting moisture readily, ensuring that hands don't stay wet and moist during the day. This is great for activewear, however, when just sitting around in super cold temps, we found our digits turning to blocks of ice. Many other gloves and mitts in this review provide a better sanctuary from the cold, but it still has a place as an active-wear glove that will keep your hands warm in mild to cold conditions.
Outfitted with a Gore-Tex outer, we are surprised by the level of water resistance offered in this glove. The material itself does wonders when in contact with snow, however, the craftsmanship is where this ship sinks. In our water tests, we learned that when encountering water on the surface, it does a great job wicking away moisture. However, when submerged underwater, and truly put to the ultimate test, this glove leaked through the seam, making our hands wet and damp. When wearing it in wet conditions, we observed a similar level (or lack thereof) performance. While this glove does ok, it's not a top recommendation for wet climates where you might see a lot of moisture.
We are actually quite impressed with the level of dexterity found in the thinner construct of the liner and shell. As a single-gloved design, it does not have a removable inner liner, but a sewn-in fleece that wicks away moisture. The insulation itself isn't super thick, and the thinner design promotes dexterity. The only issue we encountered was if the glove simply didn't fit correctly. The fingers are quite thin, so if you have thicker fingers, you might experience "sausage fingers" where you can hardly use your hands. That said, most of our testers thought the fit was on par, allowing them to zip up coats, take off skins, and fiddle with bindings without a fuss.
The features are perfectly balanced for what this glove intends to provide in performance. To sum it up, we have a carabiner loop on the finger, allowing you to clip this glove to a harness when not in use.
There is a cinch strap around the wrist for a precise fit. There is also a cinch strap around the base of the cuff (that is shorter) that provides you the opportunity to lock in warmth or loosen for increased ventilation.
It features a single construction where you can't take out the liner. However, you can fit an after-market liner inside of the glove for additional warmth.
As an added bonus, there is a great little nose wipe to keep your face dry when your nostrils begin to dribble.
Constructed with a lower-end Gore-Tex outer and a synthetic (not real) leather in the palm, this glove is fairly durable, but not the most durable out there. The features are seemingly lower quality in construction, with the carabiner loop lacking reinforcement, and stitching showing some fly-aways. That said, we didn't observe any issues during our testing period and warmth didn't depreciate with use. Overall, durability is about average and on the lower end of the scale when comparing it to other options in this review.
Inexpensive with decent performance. If you prefer a single glove design and don't need a super warm option, this one presents a good value.
The REI Co-op Gauntlet is a low-priced option that offers a full Gore-Tex shell, great breathability, and decent weather protection. It'll keep your hands warm in mild conditions, but has its limits when the temperatures begin to seriously plummet. If you seek a glove that is highly dexterous, this is a great option.
— Amber King