Junk in the Trunk: Warm Digits in the Backcountry

OR’s new heated gloves are made for cold days out of bounds

OR Stormtracker Heated Gloves
MSRP: $235


Gloves can be a pain in the backcountry. You're constantly swapping because you need a thinner pair for the up and a thicker pair for the down. The thicker pair is useless if you need to adjust anything mid run, and if you take them off you risk losing them to the wind, or a cliff, etc.

To try and cut down on all the messing around, Outdoor Research recently announced that it's launching a pair of heated backcountry gloves (Fall '14) that should help most of us simplify the process of keeping our fingers warm.

The gloves are called the Stormtracker Heated Gloves and the design is based on the original Stormtracker (a classic in the line). Like the original, the heated version is thin, dexterous, breathable and perfect for pushing buttons on a beacon or synching your ski carry straps. The outside of the glove features Gore Windstopper and there's also a leather palm, so you can beat them up.

The heat is generated by water-resistant, rechargeable batteries that pack into the cuff. Unlike some heated gloves that create hot and cold spots, the Stormtracker spread a nice, even heat. There are three levels of warmth, which can be changed with a simple click of a button that sits on top of the cuff. OR says fully charged batteries will give users eight hours of warmth on low, five on medium, and two and a half on high; plenty of time for a cold dawn patrol or a longer tour in the middle of the day.

The heated Stormtracker gloves are not going to replace your extra warm, end of the world gloves that you pull out when it's below zero and the winds are blowing 40 miles an hour. They're not going to be as warm as the other heated gloves in OR's lineup, like the Lucent. And priced at more than $200, they’re spendy. But I suspect that if you own a pair, and you like to be in the backcountry, they're going to be on your hands the majority of the time.