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Outdoor Research PL Base Sensor Glove review: high-performance handwear for high intensity activity

The Outdoor Research PL Base Sensor is a fleece–fabric glove for use alone in milder conditions, or as a base layer in colder climes

Outdoor Research PL Base Sensor Glove
(Image: © Outdoor Research)

Our Verdict

A really effective liner glove, which also performs well as a single-layer glove for high intensity activity. The Outdoor Research PL Base Sensor Glove is priced reasonably and generally just does the job you want it to do in an efficient, unfussy way.

For

  • Lightweight Breathable and quick-drying
  • Contact print on thumb and forefinger is smartphone-compatible
  • Good liner glove

Against

  • Not waterproof
  • Not designed for standalone warmth
  • Slightly awkward finger stitching

First impressions

The lightest model in US brand Outdoor Research’s fairly extensive range of fleece gloves, the PL Base Sensor is expressly designed as a liner glove to be worn under a pair of chunkier mitts or gloves for winter mountain pursuits – essentially, you can think of them as base layers for your hands.

Made from an extremely light 50-weight polar fleece fabric, with a soft inner and a smooth shiny face, they slide easily under bigger gloves. The fabric used has a little stretch for a close fit, the glove has a nicely tapered wrist.

The Outdoor Research PL Base Sensor gloves also have touchscreen compatible Sensor technology for use with smartphones, plus a minimalist grippy silicone print on the palm that isn’t overly tacky, but which stops your phone from sliding out of your grasp (and tumbling off down the hillside).

Specifications

RRP: $24 (US)/£18 (UK)
Unisex: Men and Women’s versions available
Sizes: Men’s S, M, L, XL, women’s S, M, L
Materials: 50wt polar fleece with silicone print palm
Weight (per glove): 25.5g /0.9oz
Colours: Black/Coyote

In the field

The Outdoor Research PL Base Sensor have quickly become our preferred pick as a liner glove thanks to their streamlined but effective set of features. For similar reasons, we also like them as lightweight stand-alone gloves for trail running and hillwalking.

The inner is snug and comfortable, but they are thin and dextrous enough to tackle the majority of tasks without needing to take them off – though admittedly the slightly awkward finger stitching could be improved to make very fine work easier.

They’re not particularly water-resistant, but they manage moisture well and dry quickly. And though they can only offer limited warmth, it’s still enough to take the chill off in exposed locations and boost the thermal efficiency of heavier weight mitts or gloves when worn as part of a winter layering system.

While the Outdoor Research PL Base Sensors are not the most hardwearing glove around, our pair have stood up to general use very well (and markedly better than other lightweight gloves we’ve tested) and they’re also relatively inexpensive.