When layering up for a winter run or hike, we usually put a great deal of thought into what clothes we’ll be wearing. We pick technical layers for close to the skin, add an insulator or shell to provide warmth and protect us from the elements, and even select footwear based on the conditions. We’ll even look for a warm hat to keep our head warm in the wind snow. So why is it that we often just grab any old pair of gloves to provide protection from our hands? As it turns out, the right pair of gloves can make all the difference, offering performance and warmth for our winter adventures.
I was reminded of this recently when I had the chance to test out a pair of North Face Gore-Tex CloseFit Tricot gloves for the first time. As the name implies, these gloves come equipped with a Gore-Tex layer and are designed to hug the hand nicely, maintaining dexterity without compromising warmth. The end result is a great active glove that runners and hikers are sure to love on their cold weather outings.
When designing these gloves, The North Face elected to use Gore-Tex Infinium, which is a version of Gore that offers protection from the wind and extra warmth, but isn’t waterproof. That helps improve breathability, which can be extremely important when the consumer is taking part in high-energy activities such as running and hiking. Conversely, that means that these gloves are not waterproof at all, which is a bit counter intuitive for those of us who have used Gore-Tex in our gear for years. That said however, Infinium has proven to be highly effective at providing protection from the wind, without impacting fit, comfort, or mobility in any way.
The ability to move your hands and fingers in a natural fashion is part of North Face’s CloseFit design too. This allows the Tricot to –– well –– fit like a glove, giving it a more natural feel. In fact, these gloves are a bit snug when you pull them on, but not in a distracting, inhibiting way. Instead, they are comfortable, lightweight, and maintain a niche level of nimbleness to your digits.
Other nice features of the Tricot glove include a subtle silicon dot print pattern on the palm that make it easier to hold on to things, and reflective elements that shine surprisingly brightly in dark environments. The single-seam construction is a nice touch too, eliminating possible friction points or areas that can wear faster. But the best feature of all is that these gloves are touchscreen compatible, allowing you to interact with a smartphone or watch without having to take them off. For those of us who use such devices on a run, that is extremely handy to say the least.
Typically when I go for a run in cold conditions I start off with gloves on my hands but invariably end up taking them off once I start to warm up. The Gore-Tex Infinium layer in these gloves have excellent breathability however, so I find myself not having to remove them quite so often. This level of breathability also means that the gloves don’t get damp with perspiration quite so easily too, making it easier to wear them for the entire workout.
Priced at $45 these gloves definitely fall into the performance line. At first glance, you’re likely to wonder why you’re paying so much for a glove that is so thin and light. But the proof is in the pudding here, and it isn’t until you’ve had a chance to use them that the value starts to shine through. It’s about then that you realize they’re worth every penny and you’ll never want to be without a good pair of running/hiking gloves again.
Find out more at thenorthface.com.
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