Outdoor Research Sensor Gloves Review
For you travelers who avoid cold climates like the plague, this review may seem unnecessary. However, if you ever find yourself in the Andes mountains in the wintertime, or perhaps decide to take a day trip to the top of the Zugspitze in Bavaria, you might need a decent pair of lightweight gloves to keep your hands warm.
Outdoor Research (OR) has developed a fully featured, fairly warm, lightweight glove that sports a touch sensitive leather palm. In other words, you can operate a touch screen device with any finger without having to remove your gloves.
Dexterity and Fit
The OR Sensor gloves offer a decent amount of dexterity due to their thin nature. The palm leather is fairly pliable and the gloves perform well in moderate tasks like pulling zippers and unlocking car doors. When it comes to more complex tasks like operating a camera (which requires precise tactile feel of small buttons), the Sensor gloves suffer. To be honest, I never expected the gloves to perform well for camera operation, which is why I also carry around a pair of Etre Touchy gloves.
The OR Sensor gloves come in four sizes (S, M, L, and XL) for both men and women. They fit snugly, which great for people with skinnier or lower volume hands. People with wider hands, however, may not find them as comfortable. Unlike the rounder fingers, the thumb is sewn flatter, making for a tight fit that requires a breaking in period. The sizing chart is pretty spot on, so no need to size up. The goat leather palms are supple and soft, especially once broken in a little.
Warmth and Breathability
The OR Sensor gloves are not designed to handle ultra-harsh conditions. The 100-weight fleece lining is wind-resistant, however, and are rated to perform in temperature ranging between 25-45º F (-4-7º C). Personal experience has revealed that at 25º F (-4º C), your hands will still feel the chill, but it’s surely better than the alternative. A more accurate comfortable low range is around 35º F (1.7º C). The contoured wrist band fits tightly around the wrist and helps keep cool air from escaping while trapping heat inside. The gloves are breathable, so your hands shouldn’t get moist (don’t you hate that word?) from excessive sweat. The gloves aren’t waterproof, so I wouldn’t recommend using them in the snow or you’ll see a drastic reduction in warmth.
Some users complain that these gloves cause their hands to become too sweaty, although this only seems to be a problem with people who generally have overly sweaty hands.
Features and Ease of Use
The biggest feature of the OR Sensor is the touch screen sensitive leather. While most touch screen gloves only offer conductivity in the index finger and thumb, Outdoor Research employs what they call TouchTec technology, which allows the entire leather face to be used for conductive purposes. This is very handy (no pun intended) for four-finger swiping on larger devices. And because the entire leather palm is conductive, there are no gold thread patches or odd coloring on specific fingers to indicate that these are touch sensitive gloves. The fingers are slightly squared and hardened, which makes for satisfying, precise actions.
The OR Sensor gloves feature small clips for attaching the gloves to each other, so you won’t be digging around in your pack or luggage to find the missing glove.
While the OR Sensor gloves generally retail for around $70, you can probably find last year’s model online for less than $30.
- Weight: 2.9 oz (82.2 g)
- Waterproof: No
- Touchscreen Compatible: Yes
- Insulation Type: 100-weight Fleece
- Warmth Rating: 25-45º F (-4-7º C)
Overall these gloves are great for travel. They’re warm enough for most cold-weather purposes, but not bulky enough to take up much room in your pack. The touch sensitive leather is an awesome feature that ensures that your gloves will stay on your hands for longer periods of time, rather than having to remove them to fiddle with your electronic devices.