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.
Outdoor Research StormTracker Heated Review
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
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Our Analysis and Test Results
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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