An excellent, lightweight, very comfortable and well-featured glove for a wide range of energetic outdoor activities during the colder months.
- Super lightweight
- Moisture wicking and highly breathable
- Comfortable, four-way stretch material
- Good grip
- Touchscreen fabric that works
- Massive, annoying label
- Not waterproof
- Limited high vis
From a highly engaged Italian brand based in the shadows of the mighty Dolomites, comes the Karpos Polartec Glove, a lightweight multi-activity thermal glove designed for people who like to play hard in cold places, by people who spend their lives doing the same.
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There are various good features on the Karpos Polartec Glove, but the defining factor is that it is made from Polartec Power Stretch Pro fabric. This means the gloves are comfortable, durable and dynamic, with four-way stretch and top-shelf tensile strength and abrasion resistance.
They hold their shape perfectly, and the outer fabric of the palms boasts a branded sticky grip, for keeping hold of poles, bottles and handlebars. The glove has a silicone-printed logo on back of the hand, which is small but relatively luminous, the fingers are nicely shaped for dexterity, comfort and warmth, and it features touchscreen fabric on the index finger.
• RRP: $60 (US) / £45 (UK)
• Unisex: Men’s and women’s versions available
• Sizes: XS-XXL
• Materials: Polartec PowerStretch Pro fabric
• Weight (men’s large, per glove): 23g/0.8oz
• Colors: Black
In the field
I used the Karpos Polartec Glove for hillwalking, hikes on the moors and early morning trail running in the late winter, and found that it provided a good level of thermal protection when required – especially at the beginning of a frosty dawn adventure. The material wicks really well, and the level of warmth is perfect for higher energy activities. Once your heart starts pumping and the blood reaches your fingertips, these gloves allow your hands to breathe, so you don’t need to take them off.
They offer excellent dexterity, so tasks ranging from opening gates and getting to things stashed in backpacks is easy, and the touchscreen material on the index finger actually works (unlike some gloves we’ve tried) when you want to use a digital device such as a smartphone, or access navigational apps such as komoot. The palm features a silicon pattern of the brand, which provides really good grip for firmly holding on to poles, phones, handlebars (you can cycle in these gloves no problem) water bottles or whatever.
The four-way stretch material and excellent design makes them very comfortable (the Polartec material really is excellent all round). They’re not waterproof, and are relatively thin, so there is a limit to the thermal protection they can provide, but this isn’t a problem when you’re engaged in high-intensity aerobic outdoor activities such as hill hiking, trail running, cross-country skiing or climbing. Plus, they dry relatively quickly.
For some reason, they have included a gigantic, irritating label, containing detailed washing and care instructions in 15 languages – carefully cut this out, and you’ll shave a gram.
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