Gordini GTX Storm Trooper II Review
Cons: Poor dexterity, slightly tight fit around the knuckles
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Storm Trooper II scored well in most categories, putting up fierce competition to the more expensive models. For most skiers, this glove is totally sufficient.
The Storm Trooper II is a warm glove. It is packed with synthetic insulation, including plenty in the fingers. Our test included cold days with temperatures around zero F and high winds in Jackson Hole and British Columbia, and our testers never hesitated to reach for this glove when the weather forecast predicted cold conditions. We can't say the same thing about other gloves in our review. These gloves will keep your hands and fingers warm on most days of the season. When the temps drop below zero Fahrenheit, these gloves aren't quite enough, but the zippered pocket on the back of the palm holds a handwarmer pouch.
The inside of the glove features a soft fleece lining, adding warmth and comfort. Of note, the cuff gauntlet is not insulated, which was actually a plus in the eyes of some of our gear testers, as it reduced bulk that could otherwise impede wrist movement. The glove also features a wrist cinch to keep out cold drafts that is easy to pull tight and to release with gloved hands.
These aren't as dexterous as some of the more refined gloves in our review. Thick synthetic insulation through the fingertips kept us warm, but also prevented us from using our fingers for more detailed tasks like searching through a pocket or pulling zippers with small tabs. For example, a tester had to put their hood up on a windy and cold chairlift ride and tried to pull the cinch cords on their jacket's hood, but had to remove these gloves to do so, leading to cold hands.
Over time, the thick insulation packs down slightly where the fingers bend, adding dexterity to the glove after a short break-in period of 5-7 days. Even after that, these gloves aren't the most useful for people who need to use their hands or who like to fiddle around with gear all day. They are dexterous enough for most resort skiers, but for ski patrollers, backcountry skiers, or parents who might need to open pockets and make adjustments every chairlift ride, we'd recommend a different glove with more refined dexterity.
We should note that the glove fits closely around the knuckles, so if you are on the fence between two sizes, choose the larger one.
Our testers were impressed by the water resistance and weather protection of the Storm Trooper II. As the name implies, these gloves are equipped to handle the worst winter weather on the ski hill. Tight seams and a Gore-Tex membrane keep water outside the glove, and the cuff gauntlet is long enough to reach high up the jacket sleeve. In the wettest weather, the low-profile gauntlet can easily be wrangled underneath a jacket sleeve. Both the cuff drawstring and wrist cinch are easy to operate with gloved hands.
The only weak point in this glove is the hand warmer zipper. It is not waterproof, meaning water will eventually soak through this zipper and seep in via the handwarmer pocket. In our bucket immersion test, water eventually seeped into the handwarmer pocket and waterlogged the glove. The Gore-Tex membrane prevented any moisture from reaching our hand, but the glove still felt heavy and soaked, and a good bit colder. This test is extreme, and most skiers won't have to deal with this kind of moisture, but it is helpful in separating the best gloves from those claiming water resistance but not following through.
Year after year, we continue to be impressed by the durability of the Gordini Storm Trooper II. These gloves are built to last, while others in this price range tend to wear out after a full season of use. We have yet to find a flaw in this glove's construction, and its weather resistance and warmth have barely faded after multiple ski seasons.
The construction of this glove is on par with the high-end products in our comparison, with tight seams and reinforced fabric inserts in the most used areas. The insulation has also impressed us with its ability to retain warmth after years of use. In general, gloves tend to develop holes before the insulation packs out and loses its warmth characteristics, but these gloves seem to last forever.
The Storm Trooper II has most features we look for in ski gloves. It comes with a great gauntlet cuff, a wrist cinch with a large and easy-to-grasp pull tab, and a soft fabric panel on the outer thumb to wipe moisture off a goggle lens or to wipe your nose. It even comes with a zippered pocket on the outside of the palm that is designed to accommodate hand warmer pouches. The gloves also come with removable leashes and a clip to attach the gloves for easy hanging.
The gloves don't come with liners or touchscreen compatible fingertips. We could not get the glove to operate a smartphone screen, but it wouldn't matter anyway because the fingers are not nearly dexterous enough to push small buttons. We all like to think that touchscreen compatibility isn't a big deal, but it is really nice to be able to keep your gloves on while using your phone. Some models in our test are able to work a smartphone screen effortlessly, while the Storm Trooper II will need to be removed to do things like change your music, answer the phone, or take photos.
These gloves are the clear choice for skiers on a budget who are looking for a warm, weather resistant, and fully-featured glove for heavy use at the ski area. They provide nearly the same performance as the highest-rated gloves in our review, at a price most skiers can afford. They are also great for other winter tasks, like shoveling and clearing wet snow off the car. On top of all that, these gloves are durable, making your investment a smart one.
The Gordini GTX Storm Trooper II performs remarkably well for how inexpensive they are. With high performance in each category except dexterity, we can recommend these gloves to anyone who wants a warm and weatherproof ski glove for resort riding. For users who need to perform fine motor tasks regularly, like ski patrollers, backcountry skiers, and parents of young children, we'd point you towards a glove with more dexterity. For skiers on a budget, or anyone who wants to save some money without compromising too much in performance, these gloves work nicely.
— Jeff Dobronyi