The little things can make the biggest impact when it comes to outdoor gear. Your winter jacket can be top of the line, but if your hands or feet get cold, no jacket in the world is going to keep you comfortable. Ensuring the extremities are warm is a common problem for cold-weather adventurers and skiers, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that by the time we’re all done buying the pricey gear — the jacket, the skis, the winter sleeping bag — we cut corners on things like gloves, socks, and hats.
Even so, the $350 price tag on the Outdoor Research Lucent Heated Gloves will no doubt send a shiver down your spine. “How much for gloves that I’ll probably lose?” True, purchasing these babies will require a commitment similar to the one you make to own a nice pair of sunglasses; but given that they have the ability to alter your entire outdoor experience and completely eliminate cold hands for good, it’s an investment worth considering for those who spend a lot of time outside during the winter.
Weighing just over a pound and powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, the Lucents output 60 percent more heat than the average heated glove and distribute it better to include the back of the hand, whereas most heated gloves only heat the fingertips. Heated gloves remove the need for external heating devices, such as hand warmers, and this model features three settings (high, medium, low). The batteries will last for 8 hours on low, 5 hours on medium, and 2.5 hours on high — but since the gloves are made with a GORE-TEX insert (waterproofing) and an EnduraLoft line (insulation), they will retain a majority of the heat they create, allowing you to use the heating system sporadically (extra batteries can be purchased for long backcountry trips). They just might become your new everyday winter gloves.
(Note: If you’re considering heated gloves but still aren’t sure about the financial commitment, the cheaper, a lighter Storm Tracker model is also an option.)
Fabric: Gore-Tex insert, nylon shell, EnduraLoft polyester insulation
Battery: rechargeable lithium ion
Average Weight: 17.9 ounces