Arc’teryx Fission Gloves ReviewNovember 8, 2016
- Thin leather susceptible to harsh use
- Not warm enough for extreme cold
Arc’teryx’s Fission Gloves are good all-around gloves and a great choice in most conditions for skiers who prefer over-the-cuff design. They’re lightweight and comfortable with good dexterity, but don’t offer enough warmth to make them a good choice for extremely cold weather.
The Fission gloves kept our hands warm on mild-to-cold days, and the soft shell material on the outside of the glove blocked out even the fiercest winds, but once temperatures dropped down to near freezing levels, neither the insulation nor the shell were sufficient to keep fingers from getting uncomfortably cold. During the ice bucket challenge, the cold became noticeable at about the 17-minute mark and was significant by the end of the 30 minutes, although the gloves did keep our hands completely dry for the duration of the challenge.
The soft leather in the palm of the Fission gloves and a relatively thin lining combined with the form-fitting design of the gloves allows you to get a good grip on poles, but the grip could be improved with outseams on the fingers and reinforcements in critical areas.
The soft leather in the palms of the Fission gloves wraps up over the tips of the fingers and gives the gloves some of the best dexterity of any of the gloves we tested, but the insulation in the fingers creates a puffy feel that detracts from the dexterity.
The Fission gloves are lightweight, and while they held up to a season of use without showing any real signs of wear, the leather on the palms isn’t as thick and the synthetic material doesn’t create the feeling that the Fission is quite as bulletproof as some of the other gloves in the test.
The Fission were among the most comfortable gloves we tested. The lightweight and airy design can make you forget your wearing gloves at all.
Features & Design
The Fission gloves are extremely lightweight and packable. The soft shell material combined with the GORE-TEX lining kept out wind and water, and the quick-release cinch strap on the long cuff made them easy to tighten down and release. The gloves also feature glove clips and loops on the fingertip that allow you to clip them on to a jacket and keep snow from falling into the glove as well as a thin glove leash that’s easy to strap to your wrist and is virtually unnoticeable to wear. The material on the thumb is rather abrasive to cold noses, however, and the design of the gloves could be improved with the addition of a nose wipe.
Although they are often not given much thought, ski gloves are one of the most important tools in a skier’s arsenal. To give readers a better appreciation of how gloves perform in different conditions, we tested these gloves in every possible real-world skiing condition we could – from blue-bird days on the resort to cold, wet, blizzardy conditions that keep most sane skiers home. Because warmth and waterproof are such critical elements, we also subjected each of the gloves to an ice-bucket challenge where the gloves were worn for 30 minutes while submerged in a bucket of icy water.
Christopher Cogley is a freelance writer who spends as much time as possible biking, hiking, camping, and exploring the outdoor playground of Western Colorado where he lives with his wife and two boys.