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Outdoor Research StormTracker Heated Review

A unique heated glove built for more heat-producing, dexterity-requiring winter activities like ski touring, ice climbing, or fat biking
Outdoor Research StormTracker Heated
Photo: Backcountry
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Price:  $265 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Low profile, warm, dexterous, affordable for heated technology
Cons:  Not warm when battery is dead, lacks versatility, wets out quickly
Manufacturer:   Outdoor Research
By Travis Poulin ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 17, 2020
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56
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#17 of 21
  • Warmth - 25% 5
  • Dexterity - 25% 8
  • Water Resistance - 25% 4
  • Durability - 15% 5
  • Features - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Outdoor Research StormTracker is lightweight and low-priced for a heated glove and very dexterous. It has the same heating system as many other heated gloves but lacks insulation on the back of the hand. The design is sleek and the gloves are very dexterous but the soft shell construction provides little warmth if the batteries die, and it lacks waterproofing. The StormTracker certainly has an appealing look with a straightforward design — in fact, you can't tell it is a heated glove at first look until you try it on. It proved to be a good touring glove when the heat was off but it lacks utility at the resort in cold temps. Due to the small niche it fills, this model isn't one we'd recommend to most snow sliders. We don't know a lot of backcountry skiers that ask for heated gloves, so we don't think they are particularly necessary for that. They could be useful gloves for winter commuting by bike, though, as well as ice climbing, though we did not test them in this capacity.

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Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award 
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$199 List
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$179 List
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Pros Low profile, warm, dexterous, affordable for heated technologyWarm, water resistant, durable, dexterous, lightweight and packableExcellent dexterity and durability, fairly warm, water resistantWarm enough, weatherproof, inexpensiveWarmest mitt in our review, bomber shell, nice extra features, nice loop to facilitate drying, good thumb ergonomics
Cons Not warm when battery is dead, lacks versatility, wets out quicklyExpensive, lacks some featuresExpensive, lacks some nice featuresPoor dexterity, slightly tight fit around the knucklesPoor dexterity, liner packs out a little quicker than other options
Bottom Line A unique heated glove built for more heat-producing, dexterity-requiring winter activities like ski touring, ice climbing, or fat bikingWith top-tier performance across the board, this glove is what we recommend to those seeking the best pairA weather-resistant and warm glove that retains dexterity, ideal for ski touringA warm and fully featured ski glove for a great priceThis contender offers the highest level of warmth yet still allows you to perform basic tasks required of resort skiing
Rating Categories Outdoor Research St... Arc'teryx Fission SV Arc'teryx Sabre Gordini GTX Storm T... Black Diamond Mercu...
Warmth (25%)
5.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
9.0
Dexterity (25%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
4.0
2.0
Water Resistance (25%)
4.0
10.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Durability (15%)
5.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Features (10%)
6.0
7.0
4.0
9.0
10.0
Specs Outdoor Research St... Arc'teryx Fission SV Arc'teryx Sabre Gordini GTX Storm T... Black Diamond Mercu...
Double or Single Glove Single Single Single Single Double
Gaunlet or Cuff? Cuff Gauntlet Cuff Gauntlet Gauntlet
Palm Material Goat leather Leather Leather Polyurethane Goatskin Leather
Waterproof Material Gore-Tex Infinum Gore-Tex Gore-tex Gore-Tex Shell: Pertex Shield, Liner: BDry
Insulation Type Back of hand: 60g/m2 PrimaLoft
Palm: 60g/m2 PrimaLoft Grip
133g Primaloft Gold Eco and 200g Primaloft Silver Eco Primaloft Megaloft 340g Primaloft Gold and high-loft fleece lining
Nose Wipe? Yes Yes No Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


A lightweight, low-profile heated option.
A lightweight, low-profile heated option.
Photo: Travis Poulin

Warmth


The StormTracker did not fare well against competitors in warmth. As with many heated gloves, the warming system is great when the battery is on but struggles to hold heat when the batteries are off or dead. The warmest part of the glove is the well-constructed goat leather palm. Had the glove been made with goat leather on the back of the hand as well it would have scored much higher. Without juice in the batteries, this is easily one of the coldest gloves we tested.

Without the heat on, this glove was very cold. This is of less...
Without the heat on, this glove was very cold. This is of less concern in the backcountry, where physical exertion warms up hands quickly, than at the resort.
Photo: Rachel Croft

Dexterity


Dexterity is where the StormTracker gained back some points. The minimal insulation of the glove provides excellent dexterity all around. The soft goat leather palm is easy to break-in allowing the glove to perform basic tasks at the resort and in the backcountry. The Stormtracker excelled in tasks such as buckling boots, adjusting zippers, and using tools for binding adjustments. Tieing knots and manipulating ropes are possible in these products.

The Heated StormTracker is a dexterous glove -- it's this metric...
The Heated StormTracker is a dexterous glove -- it's this metric where its performance shined brightest.
Photo: Rachel Croft

Water Resistance


The StormTracker is breathable and fairly waterproof in the field. Our ice bath submersion test defeated the glove almost immediately because of the soft-shell assembly on the back of the hand. If you don't plan to fully submerge the glove, which most users don't, the waterproofing is adequate.

This glove was quick to get wet compared to competitors. It's not...
This glove was quick to get wet compared to competitors. It's not ideal for storm days, especially in wet-snow climates like those often found from Washington down through California.
Photo: Rachel Croft

Durability


Despite the construction, the StormTracker is relatively tough. The goat leather palm was able to withstand rope tests and technical use — this may be the best feature of the glove. The synthetic back of the glove arises concerns because that is where the heating element is located. There is very little padding making the most expensive part of the glove (the heating system) vulnerable to damage.

It's easy to charge the battery components of these gloves, but be...
It's easy to charge the battery components of these gloves, but be sure to give them plenty of time -- they don't charge very quickly.
Photo: Travis Poulin

Features


The features of the StormTracker are practical and appealing. We would use this glove any day for warmer weather in an unheated version. The zippered, extendable gauntlet makes for easy entry and the pull-on loops make getting these on a breeze (though they can't seem to keep the wind out). An elastic wrist allows for a perfect fit. Since these are techy gloves, we appreciate that they are touchscreen compatible, which works pretty much as advertised. Two features the glove lacks are a cuff cinch and a leash but the StormTracker slides flawlessly under the sleeve of a jacket to keep the snow out.

Value


For an entry-level heated glove, the StormTracker has an appealing price point but what you gain in savings costs you in performance. However, it could be a great choice for certain areas of the country like early and late season Colorado resort skiing. If you are going to jump into the heated glove game there are several better options that are comparable in price and much tougher. The value of these gloves increases if you're searching for a heated glove for activities that require increased dexterity, like winter biking and ice climbing.

Conclusion


The Outdoor Research StormTracker Heated didn't quite live up to our hopes of finding a great heated glove that doesn't cost a week's pay. Outdoor Research makes great products overall but this particular product has shortcomings that may not be the best choice. In this case, it may worth dropping a little more cash for a higher quality product if heated gloves are a necessity in your gear selection. Or, go for an unheated pair of mittens if you struggle with cold fingers, and save a lot of cash in the meantime.

Travis Poulin