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Outdoor Research Capstone Heated Review

The warmest glove in the test when the batteries are charged, a great protective and warm glove.
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $500 List | $500.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Very protective, 6hr battery life on low, durable, super warm when powered
Cons:  Pricey, heavy
Manufacturer:   Outdoor Research
By Jeff Rogers ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 12, 2018
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86
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 17
  • Warmth - 25% 10
  • Dexterity - 25% 7
  • Water Resistance - 25% 9
  • Durability - 15% 7
  • Features - 10% 10

Our Verdict

For those of us looking for a full-featured resort skiing glove for extremely cold resort days or a glove to help with consistently cold fingers, the Outdoor Research Capstone Heated glove is the best glove you can buy. With the advantage of battery-powered heat, this glove is easily the warmest option for a day spent skiing. With a 6hr battery life on low and significant padding and reinforcements throughout, you will be able to ski for most of the day without switching batteries and protecting your hands from the occasional tree limb. For the skier who must have it all, the Capstone Heated Glove delivers almost everything a glove can, winning our Top Pick among the battery-powered models.

Skiers that have cold hands and do not want to resort to the use of batteries, and the extreme price tags associated with such models, should take a look at the Black Diamond Mercury Mitt. Or, for a less expensive, but less warm, battery-powered model, check out the heated Black Diamond Solano Heated.


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Price $500.00 at Amazon$189 ListCheck Price at Amazon
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Pros Very protective, 6hr battery life on low, durable, super warm when poweredVersatility, durable palm, lightweight and packable, dexterous, ergonomic shape, freedom of movementSuper warm, extremely tough, great weather resistance, removable liners help them dry quicker, our go-to expedition gloveWell designed features, tough as nails, dexterousWARM, lifetime warranty, basically two gloves in one, super water resistant
Cons Pricey, heavyLong gauntlet tricky to get under jacket, gauntlet can slowly open, expensiveNot very dexterous, take time to break in, if in between sizes you should consider sizing upNot as warm as other high-end ski glovesNot super dexterous, inner glove not as durable
Bottom Line The warmest glove in the test when the batteries are charged, a great protective and warm glove.Easily the most versatile model for conditions, climates, and activities with top-tier performance across the board make this glove our favorite overall.For really cold activities, where giving up some dexterity for some serious warmth is a must, these gloves are hard to beat.This is an excellent day in day out resort glove for skiing in milder climates.You'll love this glove if you do multi day tours and spend a lot of time in the backcountry.
Rating Categories Capstone Heated Arc'teryx Fission Black Diamond Guide Marmot Ultimate Outdoor Research Alti
Warmth (25%)
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
9
Dexterity (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
6
Water Resistance (25%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
10
Durability (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
8
Features (10%)
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
Specs Capstone Heated Arc'teryx Fission Black Diamond Guide Marmot Ultimate Outdoor Research...
Waterproof Material Gor-Tex insert Gore-Tex Gore-Tex insert Gor-Tex insert Gor-Tex insert
Palm Material Goat leather Leather Goat leather Cow-hide leather Alpengrip
Gaunlet or Cuff? Gauntlet Gauntlet Gauntlet Gauntlet Gauntlet
Insulation Type PrimaLoft® HiLoft Silver 100% polyester Primaloft Gold Insulation Eco and primaloft silver eco PrimaLoft Gold and boiled wool PrimaLoft® Gold PrimaLoft® HiLoft Silver 100% polyester
Double or Single Glove single single double single double
Nose Wipe? Yes Yes Yes (thumb) Yes Yes (thumb)

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


The Capstone glove at the summit of Mt. Snow on a cold winter day. You can clearly see the padding on the fingers as well as the large gauntlet cuff.
The Capstone glove at the summit of Mt. Snow on a cold winter day. You can clearly see the padding on the fingers as well as the large gauntlet cuff.

Warmth


If you have clicked into/are reading this glove review, chances are your main concern with you hand layering is warmth. The idea of a heated glove has been poorly executed in the past, and we are happy to announce that is not the case here. The Capstone achieves strong and even heat in each finger, placing the warmth directly along the highly vascular area of the back of the hand and putting a fair amount of insulation on the palm where heat conducts away at a rapid rate while holding ski poles.


As soon as you click on the gloves and they enter the default red colored mode known as "high," you start to feel them working. Fifteen seconds or so pass, and the entire glove gives your hand a sensation of warmth and about a minute in you are forced to turn the glove down or off to prevent your hands from sweating. Yes, it happens that fast and with that much heat! The lead tester remarked he only "spot heated" his hands with the gloves, only putting them on high for a few minutes each time his hands got cold. Our female testers enjoyed using them on low continuously. When the batteries died, this glove was not very warm, similar to the Marmot Ultimate.

The Capstone has a large gauntlet and allows us to easily activate the on/off button
The Capstone has a large gauntlet and allows us to easily activate the on/off button

Water Resistance


The Capstone Heated are truly waterproof in both the submersion test and in the real world on resort testing. Even when fully submerged for a few minutes in our bucket testing, and then frozen overnight in a freezer, the gloves came out, were turned on, warmed up and thawed out, and were wearable. We wanted to make sure the gloves were weather resistant, and the electronics were water resistant too.


These gloves performed well in all areas of weather resistance except they do take quite a while to dry out after they have become wet. This is due to the amount of material involved in making the glove and pocket to hold the batteries; it just takes a longer time to dry out fully.

Dexterity


For a glove of this size and weight, we did not expect much dexterity from this contender. However simple tasks such as buckling a boot or opening a zipper with a zipper pull were manageable. You won't be tying knots in rope with this glove or writing a letter, but you can surely operate all your normal tasks during a day of skiing at the resort. We found the dexterity was enough to get by, but we often took this glove off to do many tasks using the included wrist leashes.


Something unique to heated gloves is the presence of an electronic system on board, with this, you must have an interface to go through the modes and switch the glove on and off. The button and interface of the glove are straightforward and easy to operate. You simply hold the button down for a few seconds and the glove defaults into high mode, which is ideal since it results in the glove heating as quickly as possible. One difficult task is switching the batteries while keeping your gloves on. These are located under the wrists in small pouches with a simple wire plug attachment. This is another benefit to the glove, interchangeable batteries. We would have hated to see a design where the batteries are part of the glove.

The capstone was always asked for in the group of testers  here we see tester Josh Webb using all of the features of the glove except for the touchscreen capability. The wrist closure  gauntlet cinch  and heating element are all being used.
The capstone was always asked for in the group of testers, here we see tester Josh Webb using all of the features of the glove except for the touchscreen capability. The wrist closure, gauntlet cinch, and heating element are all being used.

Durability


When you invest $500 into a pair of heated gloves, you want them to last year over year with constant use. I have found that these gloves are wearing very well. The stitching is accurate and well laid out. There are reinforcements throughout the palm of the glove and on the back of the knuckles.


These have had leather stitched in for more durability on high flex and wear areas. The gloves alsofeel like a tank. They seem very protective and durable in design. Outdoor Research also has a lifetime warranty.

Here you can see the location of the battery and the palm reinforcements.
Here you can see the location of the battery and the palm reinforcements.

Features


One thing you can count on with a flagship heated glove is features. The Capstone has almost every feature you can imagine except for a goggle wipe. The glove has beefy wrist leashes, reinforced palm, a wide, tight sealing gauntlet, padding on the back of the hand, a velcro wrist tightener, a nose friendly thumb, touchscreen capability and of course, three different modes of heat. It is loaded with features and with that comes price and weight. We found that the heated glove battery life is quite different from the stated battery life, equating to 6hrs on low, 2hrs on medium and a single hour on high. This may be a negative to some, but it is plenty of battery power to keep your hands warm or warm them up when they get cold. Each tester that used this glove never drained the battery to empty over a day of skiing, and that is what matters most. The batteries are removable and rechargeable via a plug-in wall charger. This means you are able to swap out batteries if you do end up running out.


The touchscreen capability of this glove also works well. We were able to use this to manipulate an iPhone 6s with life proof case while riding the chairlift. This is a great luxury as it allows you still to use the heating feature of the glove while doing whatever it is you need to do on your phone, whether it's taking a picture of the kids skiing or shooting a text message to your buddies. While doing it all, your hand can stay in a what one tester called "a toasty heaven."

Best Applications


For those who suffer from cold hands, Raynaud's Syndrome, are older and colder, and for those who love to have the latest technology and luxury in their skiing arsenal.

Value


At $500 this glove is expensively priced. We believe the price is quite high for what you get, and that this glove is not a bargain by any means. You are simply paying for the best-heated glove on the market, and the price reflects that. No other glove we've come across has the same feature layout executed so well, so think of the high price being for the best of breed heated glove.

Conclusion


The Capstone is the flagship of Outdoor Research's heated glove lineup, and it shows. Each detail on the glove has been thoroughly analyzed and thought out. While not as durable as the Black Diamond Solano, the glove is warmer and backed by a lifetime warranty. If you can swallow the price tag, this is the heated glove to buy.


Jeff Rogers