Outdoor Research Lucent Heated Sensor Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
These gloves perform well across the board, including in dexterity where warm gloves usually come up short.
With battery-powered warmth, the Outdoor Research Lucent has a leg up on most of the competition. A dual-cell lithium-ion battery charges in about two hours with an included charger port and cable, and fits into a pocket on the inside wrist panel. There are three settings of warmth, with the highest setting keeping the hands downright warm for up to two hours, and the lowest setting providing a nice baseline of warmth for the entire ski day.
The Lucent doesn't provide as much warmth as its cousin, the Outdoor Research Capstone, but in our experience, it provides as much warmth as we could ever ask for. The Lucent also heats the entire length of each finger and does this more effectively than any other heated glove on the market. Our usual strategy was to turn the heaters on to the lowest setting before leaving the parking lot, which kept our fingers warm during cold mornings, and we'd turn the heat up if our hands got cold from there. Often, we had the heat on during chairlift rides, and we turned the heat off when skiing downhill. Only rarely do we use the higher heat settings with these gloves.
Most heated gloves provide plenty of warmth, but in a rush to pack as much insulation and heating infrastructure as possible, the fingers and palms get so bulky that the glove becomes unusable. Our testers have used the term "hulk hands" to describe the dexterity of other heated gloves. The Lucent is a welcome departure from this pattern, with plenty of dexterity for most tasks on the ski hill. We can grasp the small zipper pulls and drawcord tabs on our clothing, adjust our helmet and boot buckles, and even pull out a phone with these gloves.
The balance between warmth and dexterity is what sets great gloves apart from the rest of the pack, and the Lucent strikes the sweet spot. While there are warmer or more dexterous gloves out there, the blend of warmth and usability makes these gloves our favorite in the battery-heated category. We had no problem performing small motor tasks, but if you find yourself having to reach over and adjust the clothing of your kids often, you might want a more dexterous glove.
With a Gore-Tex lining and tightly-stitched seams, the OR Lucent keeps all weather at bay. In our testing, we weren't able to get liquid water to penetrate the interior of this glove. We dunked our gloved hands in a bucket of water for five minutes and didn't notice any moisture getting in. The palm leather and reinforcements will eventually wear down and become more absorbent, but during our test period, the shell fabric did a great job of beading all liquid water off of the glove.
The gauntlet cuff could be larger, and we found it difficult to fit the cuff over the largest puffy jacket cuffs, but it works on most jackets. The battery pocket has a zipper that isn't waterproof, but the interior of this pocket is constructed with hardshell fabric that won't let water get past this pocket. There aren't many weak points in the construction of this glove, and we'd recommend it to users in even the wettest winter climates.
The Lucent is made with burly leather on the palm and fingers, with synthetic reinforcement patches across much of the palm. In our experience, the thumb pad is one of the first places to wear thin, and there is no reinforcement here, which may be due to an effort to preserve dexterity. All of the seams are tightly stitched, and we had no issues with durability during our testing period.
The back of the hand and wrist are made from a hardshell fabric that feels rough and durable, and easily deflects sharp surfaces. The knuckles feature impact pads that are reminiscent of alpine racing gloves, which could help with durability, though we don't often see critical wear in this location.
The Outdoor Research Lucent Heated Sensor Glove is packed with features. The wrist gauntlet helps keep the glove sealed to the outside elements, and keeper leashes help prevent loss while taking the glove off on chairlift rides or the parking lot shuttle bus. There is a small fabric pull loop that helps the user pull the gloves to the end of the fingertips, and an elastic wrist cuff that helps keep the glove snug over the hand.
We like the external knuckle pads, which make the gloves feel more aggressive, and the battery-powered heat feature is an obvious winner. But even when the heat isn't on, the battery pocket is useful for the occasional storage need. There is touchscreen-sensitive leather at the tip of the index finger, which we found to be moderately useful, though more dexterity is needed to make this feature more valuable. And finally, there is a small plastic snap connector that keeps the pair of gloves together. The pair comes in a mesh bag for safekeeping with the charger and international adapters.
These gloves aren't cheap, but they are cheaper than other flagship heated glove models, and the increased dexterity over those models makes these gloves a great value. The Lucent performs well across the board, even when the batteries aren't loaded, and they seem built to last to protect your investment.
The Outdoor Research Lucent Heated Sensor Glove is a great option because it incorporates a battery-heated system into an otherwise excellent cold-weather glove, earning our top honor for gloves focused on warmth. If you are looking for a heated glove that will also deliver good dexterity, weather resistance, and features, this is the model we recommend.
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