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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Outdoor Research StormTracker Heated
|Price||Check Price at REI|
Compare at 3 sellers
Check Price at REI
|Check Price at REI|
Compare at 2 sellers
|$48.96 at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
Check Price at REI
|Pros||Low profile, warm, dexterous, affordable for heated technology||Warm, water resistant, durable, dexterous, lightweight and packable||Excellent dexterity and durability, fairly warm, water resistant||Warm enough, weatherproof, inexpensive||Warmest 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 quickly||Expensive, lacks some features||Expensive, lacks some nice features||Poor dexterity, slightly tight fit around the knuckles||Poor 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 biking||With top-tier performance across the board, this glove is what we recommend to those seeking the best pair||A weather-resistant and warm glove that retains dexterity, ideal for ski touring||A warm and fully featured ski glove for a great price||This 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...|
|Water Resistance (25%)|
|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|
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
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