Submitted by: pikabike on 11/26/2007
I had been wearing Sealskinz gloves, which I consider unsatisfactory due to extremely slow drying time, tendency to stink even when washed after every use and turned inside out to dry, difficulty of donning and doffing, and--quite simply--their leakiness AND lack of warmth even when dry. Their best feature was decent paddle feel.
The Glacier gloves are far superior to either Sealskinz or standard neoprene gloves (which I tried and immediately ditched because of their horrible feel on the paddle). These dry more quickly, don't stink, are easy to don and doff (the gloves hold themselves open), allow good paddle feel, and are warm. Best of all, the gloves don't let ANY water in unless the wrists aren't cinched well enough. More on that later.
I tested them first by dunking my hands in the 49-degree water. No water entered the gloves at all. These gloves are very well-made. Hands stayed toasty warm.
Next, I practiced static braces, sculling while lying with back on the water, and rolling. As expected, some water pushed into the gaps around my wrists. Still, my hands remained warm. The fingers fit snugly enough that the water couldn't get there, and what got into the palm area seeped out later. Sensation was good enough that feeling the blade edges' position was no problem. Best of all, I didn't get the usual neoprene "squirm" that drives me nuts. I LOVE the pre-curved fingers.
I finished the test by simply going for a paddle of about 7.5 miles. The gloves were so comfortable I kept them on the whole time. No squirm. The interiors were damp from the seepage yet didn't feel slippery-nasty as I've had with neoprene gloves. The fuzzy interiors remained pleasant on the skin.
By the way, these gloves are ice-climbing gloves, not paddling gloves, LOL. They may be the best cross-sport application I've encountered.
The ONLY gripe I have is I wish there were a better way of snugging the wrist openings. Overlapping gusseted cuffs with stretchy cinch straps, perhaps???? Meanwhile, these gloves are better than anything else I've tried. If they can't improve the openings, I'll be quite happy with them as they are.