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Outdoor Research Carbide Sensor Gloves

rated 4.00 of 5 stars
photo: Outdoor Research Carbide Sensor Gloves insulated glove/mitten

I wanted a warm, Gore-tex over-the-cuff-style glove with wrist straps for skiing and snowmobiling and that's exactly what these gloves are. The fit is great, the quality has held up so far, and the price is ranged correctly for the value that you get.

Pros

  • Extremely warm
  • Windproof and weather-proof
  • Over-the-cuff closure works well to keep snow out
  • Wrist lanyards keep you from losing gloves
  • Sensor touch pad works better than expected given the size

Cons

  • Palms are a little more bulky than I would've liked
  • Dexterity isn't the best, although you have to consider that against the warmth

 

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Outdoor Research's Carbide Sensor Glove

Outdoor Research's Carbide Sensor Gloves are a thick, warm, cold-weather glove designed for significant exposure. I bought a pair of these for a snowmobiling trip to Speculator, N.Y., last January and they kept my hands warm on the sled. Daytime morning temps were -15°F and afternoon temps hovered around 5 degrees.These gloves are fully featured and while the dexterity is somewhat low, that should be expected with such a thick, warm glove.

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Leather palms

The fit:  I wear a large in almost all men's gloves, and these gloves fit alright.  The glove sits in the crotch of my thumb and forefinger just right, the girth at the palm is the perfect level of snug, and my fingers extend to the ends of the insides of the glove. Sometimes it feels like the fingers could be slightly longer because there's about half an inch between the base between my fingers and the base between the glove's fingers, but I'm not sure if this is to accommodate larger hand sizes, for additional space for warmth, or just because OR could've made longer fingers and a shorter "hand". I give the fit 4/5.

The feel:  These gloves feel bulky but I would say that's par for the course for the temperature these gloves are designed for. The construction feels solid, the palms, fingers, and backs of the hand are leather, and the rest of the glove is nylon. The internal lining is soft on the hands and the wipe on the back feels kind on the nose. Aside from a slight bulky feeling, they feel good on the hands.

The function:  When I thought about the glove's function, I thought about a) its ability to keep my hands warm, b) the ability to take them on and off when I needed more dexterity, and c) the other features like closure, dexterity, etc. 

These gloves are warm!  They kept my hands warm in New York's Adirondack Wilderness in late January when the temps were -15°F and I'm not sure what else I can say. They were almost too warm for skiing in Colorado in February, but it was either that or my liner gloves and I never had to worry about cold hands with these.

These gloves come on and off relatively easy. The thumb pull loop at the base of the glove is a little small, but it functions generally well enough. I figured if I was choosing a bulky glove to keep my hands warm, at least they could come on and off easy for tasks that required fine dexterity.

If I could change anything about the gloves I would make the pull loops a little bigger and I would add a second bar tack to make sure they didn't pull free from the glove. The loops are sewn into the glove's cuff on the seam, so if the loop pulls loose, it's likely to compromise the glove's cuff. That hasn't happened to me, but I could see how someone reefing on the loop might rip the stitching loose.

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If I could change anything, I'd make the pull loop larger and I'd reinforce the loop with a second bar tack

The wrist loops are low-profile and easy to stretch over your wrist, and when you're wearing the glove you forget you have them tethered. That's a huge benefit because you can let them dangle without fear of dropping/losing them if you need to take them off for some reason temporarily. The wrist loops are also detachable—They're affixed with a girth hitch to a metal loop.

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Wrist loops and the cuff closure are excellent
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The lanyards attach with a girth hitch to a metal ring

The nose wipe on the back of the glove is soft but rubbery enough that I can clean the snot off later...An often overlooked feature.

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The nose wipe is a nice feature

The glove gets its name from the sensor touch pad on the thumb and forefinger. The sensor pad works alright for clicking buttons but you really can't type with it because the glove's finger pads are so large. I would say given the size of the fingerpad, the sensor tips work better than I would've thought.

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The sensor pad on the fingertip works alright, but the glove is large so it's hard to be precise

The closure on the glove is excellent. The elastic on the wrist is just right and keeps the glove in place. The elastic in the cuff keeps everything out.

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The wrist closure works really well

All around, I would rate the features at a 4. I'd give the glove a 5 for features if the pull was a little larger and reinforced.

My recommended uses: I would use these gloves anywhere I needed a  more durable glove, or anywhere that I needed maximum warmth. I'd recommend these when you're prioritizing warmth over dexterity and durability over weight given the leather palms and backs can take a beating, but may not be the lightest materials.

Who would like this: You would like these gloves if you had average-sized or short-fingered hands, you wanted an extremely warm glove that you could wipe your snot on, and you were looking for something to wear over the cuff of your jacket.

Who wouldn't like this: You might want to look for a different glove if you're planning to use them in temps above freezing, you really need a glove with high dexterity, you have unusually long, skinny fingers, or you want a glove that fits inside/under the cuff of your jacket (these are over-the-cuff gloves and wearing them under a jacket cuff feels really bulky.  I tried it to see how it would feel.)

Experience

I've owned these gloves for a year and I've used them snowmobiling in upstate New York and skiing in the Rockies. Prior to these I had a pair of Spyder gloves, and I've since picked up a pair of OR Extravert gloves for warmer conditions.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $115

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Specs

Men's
Price MSRP: $115.00
Current Retail: $115.00
Historic Range: $40.23-$115.00
Reviewers Paid: $115.00
Fabric GORE-TEX insert Main Fabric: Black/Storm: 85% nylon, 15% spandex stretch nylon twill shell, Madder/Saddle: 100% Polyester laminated fabricPalm: Water resistant goat leather palm, 100% Polyester tricot lining, VerticalX 100% polyester (85% recycled) insulation 130g/m2Back of Hand: 100% polyester tricot lining, VerticalX 100% polyester (85% recycled) insulation 200g/m2
Weight 9.6 oz /273 g
Women's
Price MSRP: $115.00
Current Retail: $115.00
Historic Range: $57.48-$115.00
Fabric GORE-TEX insert Main Fabric: Black/Storm: 85% nylon, 15% spandex stretch nylon twill shell, Madder/Saddle: 100% Polyester laminated fabricPalm: Water resistant goat leather palm, 100% Polyester tricot lining, VerticalX 100% polyester (85% recycled) insulation 130g/m2Back of Hand: 100% polyester tricot lining, VerticalX 100% polyester (85% recycled) insulation 200g/m2
Weight 8.1 oz /230 g
Product Details from Outdoor Research »

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