Outdoor Research VersaLiner
Comprised of an insulating liner made of Polartec…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $47
Comprised of an insulating liner made of Polartec fleece and a removable waterproof breathable shell made of ripstop fabric, this is a good lightweight modular glove system for use in cold conditions, especially when rain or snow is in your hiking forecast.
- Lightweight (3 oz)
- Zipper pocket
- No cinching capability at wrist cuff
- Need to periodically re-apply water repellant on shells
For me, these gloves fill that need during late Fall/early Spring, when temps are in that range of 20 to 40 degrees. I find these gloves particularly useful this time year when the weather turns colder and precipitation is likely.
The inner fleece liner keeps my hands warm. The fit is great (I wear a size XL). They’re breathable and moisture resistant. The zipper pocket conveniently stores the outer shell. As an added bonus, a chemical hand warmer packet can be inserted into the zipper compartment as a way to keep your hands warm in very cold weather – the zipper pocket is the perfect size. The silicone dots across the palm and fingers of the glove provide a great gripping surface (holding on to your trekking poles, for example) and are nimble enough to use on electronic touch screens (GPS, cell phone, etc,). The outer shell protects the inner liner from moisture, and also functions fairly well as a wind block.
The liner and the shell are long enough to cover below my wrist, well beyond where my watchband ends. They fit snug, but it would be an improvement if there was a cinching strap to get the snug fit to your personal liking. I’m usually wearing an intermediate layer like my Patagonia R1 Hoodie and fit the thumb loop over the glove liner. Between the gloves and the Hoodie, there is no gap where cold air/moisture can get in.
I’ve used these gloves for two full years now, in cool-to-cold weather in the Midwest. I admit that I was disappointed when the outer shells wet through during one particularly heavy downpour shortly after I received them. The shells, while technically waterproof, can wet out in heavy downpours, and are especially prone to leaking at the seams. The first time this happened, I sprayed them with a commercial water repellant treatment (Nikwax Spray-on Waterproofing). It worked, so now I do it every so often, to keep the water beading up on the shell. No problems since that first time.
In summary, a very good, functional glove system for this time of year – but make sure to periodically re-apply spray-on waterproofing to keep the shells from wetting out.