Outdoor Research Lucent Heated Gloves
Size: XS-XL (mens sizes only)
Weight: 17.9oz/507g (Large)
Despite the high price tag of the Lucent gloves ($350), I felt I need to try these gloves out and give them a whirl. Thank goodness for Black Friday deals! I got the Unisex size small, equivalent to the Women's medium OR mitts/gloves I've owned in the past. Before your first use, you need to charge the batteries which takes the better part of a day. Re-charging thereafter is significantly shorter.
Test Day #1:Resort Alpine Skiing
The temperature was -8C with a windchill. The resort I skiied in the east has relatively long chair rides and short ski runs. Therefore I was sitting more than I was moving. I spent the first few runs without the battery on at all. These gloves have insulation on their own, and was sufficient for the first hour or so. After than, I tried them on the low setting, (push the button 3 times) but the heat wasn't adequate so I spent the rest of the day either on the medium (push button 2 times) or high (push button once)settings. On high, you can really feel the heat on your thumbs, index fingers, and less so in your pinky fingers but they aren't cold despite the uneven heat distribution.
Test Day #2: Ice climbing
The temperatures today were again around -9C with a strong windchill and gusts of 28km/hr. I climbed with just my husband on single pitch ice, and so we were moving most of the time. I found that the 'low' setting was best for ice climbing. It allowed my fingers to stay warm while climbing and belaying without sweating and the gloves never came off, allowing me to do all climbing related tasks with my gloves on! The OR Stormtracker heated gloves intrigue me to use on ice as well, especially when manipulating smaller objects.
Test Day #3: Winter Camping
The daytime temperatures were around -5C and the nighttime around -10C. We snowshoed into our camp and as soon as I stopped moving I donned the Lucent gloves. I was able to set up the tent, cook using the stove and unpack my pack all without taking the gloves off. I had the gloves on all three settings depending on how much I was moving and how fast the nighttime temperature was dropping. I really appreciated not having to touch metal objects such as tent poles, stoves, and swiss army knives without gloves on as I usually would have to if using mitts.
Pros: Lightweight, warm, user friendly
Cons: Not feminine in design, batteries run out after 2.5hours on high!
In conclusion, I'm in love with these gloves. Women with cold hands take note! They have revolutionized my winter recreation enjoyment and possibilities and allows me to wear gloves when I could only do that before if it was above 0C or 32F. They are user-friendly, lightweight, and bottom line, they work. I don't think I'll be using them for winter aerobic activities, but they will always be in my pack just in case. The only thing now is to get another set of batteries ($25) for multi-day expeditions. A pair of OR Stormtracker heated gloves and/or a pair of Lucent Mitts may also be in my future. I can't thank Outdoor Research enough for a FANTASTIC product!