The 3-in-1 design of the REI Switchback gloves includes touch-screen compatible liner gloves and waterproof shells that can be worn together or separate to keep your hands warm in all weather.
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Rated 4 out of
Uphill Harry from
Impressive Glove but Dissapointing LinerThis review is focused on fit, dexterity and warmth. I have not had enough experience with the gloves to comment on the waterproofness or durability.
I normally wear a size large glove. The large was slightly too short in the fingers for me. I went with the XL and I am happy with the glove. The liner, feels fine in the glove, but on its own it feels like it is one size too big.
The glove is surprisingly nimble for its size. I am pleased with the lack of a bulky feeling that I get with similarly warm gloves. The palm-side surface is nicely grippy. I could easily hold the smooth metal pole of a snow rake (removes snow from a roof) at 10 degrees F with no slippage at all.
The liner is somewhat disappointing. It is a bit baggy, reducing dexterity and tends to stick in the glove a bit when you remove it, so you have to remove the glove carefully to leave the liner on. I have not tested the touch sensitivity with a smart phone. The gauntlet is nice and big, making it easy to pull it over bulky winter jacket sleeves. I was concerned in the store about the little plastic end on the elastic cord being hard to pull, but it turns out I never pull the elastic cord all the way into the cinch mechanism, so it works pretty well even with the gloves on. And it doesn't leave a cord or two hanging way out like other gauntlet designs.
Let's start with the liners. They were really disappointing in terms of warmth in the glove. The ends of my fingers in particular got cold very quickly in 10 degree weather. Unacceptable to me. To compare, I tested the glove with a thin, tight fitting, grippy Under Armor liner and the SmartWool Liner Glove sold by REI. Both were noticeably warmer than the liners that came with the Switchback gloves. Once I switched liners, I was very pleased with the warmth of the glove relative to its bulk. With the thin Under Armor liners, my fingers did get a bit cold 15 minutes into a 5 degree F hike, but it was OK. With the Smart Wool liners I was warm for the full 90 minutes of hiking and roof raking at 5 degrees.
In summary, I am glad I bought the gloves and would buy them again due to the impressive warmth to dexterity ratio (with the right liners) and really nice gauntlet. I will never use the liners. 5 stars for the gloves. 2 stars for the liners.
Date published: 2014-03-26
Rated 3 out of
Be aware of New Design ChangesI have had three pairs of Switchbacks and have loved them. Indeed they are the only glove I have used for ten years for all my cold weather activities. On the new design, there are three issues. 1) The touch sensitive liners by necessity, do not have the velcro attachments to "lock" them to shell of the glove, 2) the liners now are a tighter fit so when you remove the shells, the liners stay on, 3) the "unisex" extra large is smaller than the "XL Men's" sizes they had previously so the gloves were to tight. Also note that the gloves (ordered on-line), did not arrive with the "detachable Wrist Restraints". I returned the gloves immediately.
Date published: 2014-03-21
Rated 5 out of
Great gloves!!!Great gloves, my only complaint is they turned inside out when removing. I pushed them beyond their scope though.
Date published: 2014-03-21
Rated 2 out of
Ricky Vien from
One use and it's out for count.When I saw these gloves, I thought they were perfect! My friend had a pair of black diamond gloves that were similar and thought these were just as good at half the price. The leather grip felt supple already and had a good grip. The nose wipe on thumb reminded me of snowboarding gloves and the high sleeve was great to keep snow and water out. The inside lining felt thin but had the ability to work with touchscreens(tested in store) so I thought PERFECT!
Well that came to a screeching halt during its first use when I went up to Mount Haystack. At first, I had already noticed the lining wasn't working well in the cold, whether it be the cold or the constant adjust and the PERFECT angle it had to be on the screen, so photos were no good.
It turns out to be one of the worst winter seasons and I was using my ice axe during the hike and climb A LOT. I noticed my hand was getting moisture and thought it was just my sweat maybe although I was near summit and I we were crawling at this point.
Finally after the descent, I inspected the glove. It looked as if the glove had MANY climbs under its belt and ready to new one already. The leather I thought was solid was more pleather than anything so it was worn to the under seams explaining why I was getting moisture into the glove. The lining started taking in some water, hence cold hands.
Date published: 2014-03-22
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