“More like a jacket than a glove.” That statement is being thrown around in reference to a next-generation product from Canadian brand Arc’teryx. The handwear, called the Lithic Gloves, comes to market later this year at a “jacket level” price (see below).
Arc’teryx is known for its high-end jackets and outerwear. It previewed the Lithic Glove last month at industry trade shows, winning more than one award from publications nominating “best in show” picks.
I got a pair of the Lithic Gloves to try out for two weeks in the depths of a February chill. Though my demo was not a full test, the trial gave me a good idea of what distinguishes the gloves from products that cost half as much. Here’s some first look feedback.
The Gear: Arc’teryx Lithic Gloves
Price & Availability: $249; coming to market mid-2015.
Details: Look close at the handwear and any gear geek can see it’s different — laser-precise lines, taped seams, three-layer fabric construction, articulated fingers, and a dense nylon instead of leather laminated on the palm make the gloves stand out.
Jacket-Like Glove: The outer fabric feels like an Arc’teryx hardshell jacket. They are waterproof thanks to a Gore-Tex membrane, and the company uses three kinds of PrimaLoft insulation (a synthetic goose down) to balance warmth, bulk, and the nimbleness expected in a glove.
Precise Grip: I could easily buckle and adjust ski boots with the Lithic gloves on, and jacket zippers were no problem. For their warmth — good down to about 10 degrees F in my test — the gloves offer above-average dexterity.
Mapped Insulation: The insulation is thicker in the cuffs and on the back of the hand, keeping hands cozy, while thinner on the fingers and palms. This “mapped” insulation lets you grip a ski pole or ice axe solidly while maintaining overall warmth.
Worth The Investment? For the premium performance you pay a price — a huge $249 in this case. Arc’teryx built these gloves to be pinnacle products in its line. They are tough and should last for years. For guides, ski-mountaineers, backcountry enthusiasts, or anyone else who sees handwear as mission-critical equipment, the Lithic gloves are a new option.
Final Take: The Lithic Gloves come to market later this year as a part of a major glove line launch from Arc’teryx. Try a pair on to get a glimpse at the design and direction high-performance winter gloves are going.