The Fission SV runs large, so consider choosing one size smaller than you usually would. It's also a unisex glove, and our lady shredders chose it as their favorite overall.Editor's note: The Fission SV review was updated on December 1, 2022, with product-to-product comparisons and alternate purchase recommendations.
Arc'teryx Fission SV Review
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Arc'teryx Fission SV
|Price||$199 List||$130 List|
Check Price at Backcountry
|Check Price at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
$119.95 at REI
$45.00 at Amazon
|Pros||Warm, water resistant, durable, dexterous, lightweight and packable||Dexterous, well-made, water resistant||Warm enough, weatherproof, reasonable price||Incredible warmth, weather resistant, durable, reasonable price||Warm, great features, comfortable, inexpensive|
|Cons||Expensive, lacks some features||Not that warm, tight fit, no wrist gauntlet||Poor dexterity, slightly tight fit around the knuckles||Poor dexterity, could have better features||Not dexterous, bulky and cumbersome|
|Bottom Line||With top-tier performance across the board, this glove is what we recommend to those seeking the best pair||These dexterous and durable gloves have the best touchscreen-compatible features for using your phone in cold weather||A warm and fully featured ski glove for a great price||These mitts provide extreme warmth and weather resistance at a good price, nailing the two most important aspects of ski mittens||A quality mitten that is super warm, comfortable, and relatively inexpensive|
|Rating Categories||Arc'teryx Fission SV||The North Face IL S...||Gordini GTX Storm T...||Black Diamond Mercu...||The North Face Mont...|
|Water Resistance (25%)|
|Specs||Arc'teryx Fission SV||The North Face IL S...||Gordini GTX Storm T...||Black Diamond Mercu...||The North Face Mont...|
|Double or Single Glove||Single||Single||Single||Double||Single|
|Gaunlet or Cuff?||Gauntlet||Cuff||Gauntlet||Gauntlet||Gauntlet|
|Palm Material||Leather||Goat leather||Polyurethane||Goat leather||Synthetic leather|
|Waterproof Material||Gore-Tex||FUTURELIGHT insert||Gore-Tex||BD.dry||DryVent|
|Insulation Type||133g Primaloft Gold Eco and 200g Primaloft Silver Eco||Heatseeker™ Eco||Megaloft||340 g PrimaLoft Gold, high-loft fleece||Back of hand: 250g Heatseeker Eco
Palm: 160g Heatseeker Eco
Our Analysis and Test Results
Arc'teryx consistently makes some of the highest-performance winter gear, and the Fission SV is an all-around masterpiece. We loved its warmth, weather resistance, and durability. It is also lightweight and stylish.
The Fission SV is a warm glove that is best used during cold days at the ski area, below about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is warmer than that, or you are skiing bumps or hiking for turns, this glove might be too warm. Its warmth is especially impressive given that the insulation doesn't deter from the dexterity of the product. This glove is not as warm as the electronically heated options, but it isn't too far behind, either.
We reached for the Fission SV when the forecast called for the coldest temperatures of the winter. It is filled with synthetic insulation that somehow feels puffier than the insulation in any other glove. Putting it on feels like putting a puffy jacket over your hand. Somehow, this doesn't get in the way of breathability, and this glove is also one of the more breathable gloves that we tested. Breathability and warmth are often mutually exclusive, but that wasn't the case here.
The Fission SV proved to be one of the most dexterous contenders in our review. We were blown away by how much we could use our fingers without needing to take our gloves off. The fingers are fully insulated and stayed warm on the coldest days, and yet also provided more dexterity than most others that we tested. It features a snug fit from the fingers through the wrist, excellent tailoring, and soft leather.
Right out of the box, the leather palm and fingers feel supple and broken in. The stretchy softshell exterior fabric allows for a tight fit that also stretches when you bend your fingers, adding to the dexterous feel. Fingertip seams are somehow very low profile and don't get in the way of fine motor tasks. Furthermore, the leather reinforcement patches on the palm are also low profile and are barely noticeable from a dexterity standpoint. There is no wrist cinch mechanism, but the elastic wrist gasket does a great job of keeping the glove locked in place and preventing the fingers from sliding around. The thumb is also well-tailored, which we found to be an attribute that most other gloves lacked. On top of all of that, these gloves feel less thick than other gloves in our review, even if the Fission SV packs more insulation.
The Fission SV is the most water-resistant glove we have ever tested. A Gore-Tex membrane ensures that no water penetrates into the interior of the glove, and the softshell exterior fabric is also tremendously water-resistant, meaning that the fabric outside of the waterproof membrane doesn't absorb much water either. All of the seams on the leather palms and fingers are watertight, and the gauntlet cuff is well-tailored and effective, worn inside the jacket or out.
Over the course of our testing, we wore gloves in all kinds of ski conditions, including some of the wettest that we have ever encountered. One tester wore these gloves while skiing during a rainy stretch in Washington, where rainfall measured over three inches in two days. Other gloves soaked through relatively quickly, but these gloves repelled water efficiently and didn't soak up very much water. Furthermore, they were very quick to dry at night, whereas other gloves might not have dried in time to be used the next day. In our two-minute bucket submersion test, these gloves came out as dry as they entered.
Most gloves in our review feature a leather palm, including the Fission SV, but this model stood out for its durability. The leather is soft and supple straight out of the box, it's also very durable, resisting wear and tear over the course of our testing. The stitching is tight, the construction is solid, and the other materials are strong as well.
Arc'teryx includes leather reinforcement patches on high-use areas of the palm, fingers, and knuckles, but even after using these gloves for technical ski tours including plenty of rope work like rappelling and lowering, the leather palm showed no signs of wear. The glove has fewer seams than other models, meaning the glove has fewer weak points where the materials could be pulled apart, creating holes over time. We were also impressed by the durability of the softshell exterior fabric, which is very supple and breathable. We expected it to rip or get snagged eventually, but even after extensive testing, we haven't found any reason to doubt its strength. The glove's weather resistance has not been affected by use, either.
The Fission SV has a decent amount of features that are useful for both resort skiing and backcountry skiing, although not as many as other gloves on the market. Overall, we found that this model has exactly what we needed. It features an elastic wrist gasket, a storm gauntlet with an elastic pull cord, and a clip to keep the gloves together when traveling or to hang when drying. It also features a small loop on the ring finger for hanging the gloves cuff-side down and low-profile elastic wrist leashes that work well.
This glove lacks the bells and whistles of other ski gloves, but our testers thought the Fission SV did not lack anything that was a deal-breaker. In fact, most testers liked the low-profile and svelte design, which keeps packed size and weight at a minimum. These will disappear into a pack when not in use. We like that.
Should You Buy the Arc'teryx Fission SV?
Arc'teryx is known for its quality products and high prices. In this instance, the price isn't actually that high compared to other gloves on the market, and it is significantly cheaper than the heated models. Overall, this glove outperforms all other ski gloves that we tested without outpricing the other options by very much. For the occasional resort skier, these gloves are probably not worth the price. But for the avid skier or snow professional who needs a glove to provide warmth and water resistance in any conditions, these gloves are the best money can buy. Furthermore, their durability and the great Arc'teryx warranty program make these gloves a safe investment.
What other Ski Gloves Should You Consider?
If you need a glove that provides all-around performance, but you are shopping on a budget, check out the Gordini GTX Storm Trooper II. The Rab Khroma Freeride nearly matches the performance of the Fission SV, and it does so at a slightly lower price. If you want even more warmth, the Black Diamond Guide is the warmest glove on the market that doesn't have a battery-powered heater. And if you want the warmest glove possible, the Outdoor Research Prevail Heated is the best electrically-heated glove.
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