Dakine Navigator ReviewOctober 3, 2012
- Soft leather with wraparound construction on the fingers provided great dexterity and gripped well
- Wool lining on the back of the hand was very comfortable and handled moisture well
- Trim fit
- Not waterproof
- Cuff was a little bulky when worn under the sleeves, a little tight when worn over the sleeves
- During use, the forefingers twisted slightly off center, exposing the seam to wear
We don't expect much out of $60 ski gloves, but this one managed to impress. The Dakine Navigator is a simple, very comfortable and well-designed glove that works well for early spring touring in fair weather. But it's not waterproof, which dramatically limits its range of use.
The only insulation in the Dakine’s Navigator is the lining, which is made of wool over the back and polyester over the palm. The palms, fingers, and the back of the cuff on the shell are soft leather and there are stretch nylon inserts on the sides of the fingers, the backs of the thumbs and hands and the front of the cuff. Leather is used generously to cover wear points. The leather is water repellant, not waterproof.
Grip and Dexterity
The combination of the soft leather and well-placed stretch nylon gave the gloves first-rate dexterity, and the soft, leather shell had adequate grip. They were exceptional for working and fiddling with equipment and while skinning.
Durability and Design
It’s a pet peeve of mine when glove fingers twist during use and the seams end up running under my fingertips, which can be uncomfortable and exposes the seams to wear. The Navigators I tested had this problem. I didn’t manage to wear through the seams, but it would be possible given time.
Warmth, Waterproofness, and Breathability
The wool/poly linings were very comfortable and performed well. I found that having wool on the back of the hand for warmth and comfort, and poly under the front of the hand that wears harder to work very well. The linings didn’t bind up when putting the gloves on and taking them off over wet hands. Breathability was excellent, but the Navigator isn’t waterproof – they leaked within seconds during the bucket-plunge test. The leather didn’t absorb water very quickly though, and moisture didn’t present a problem for me during spring tours.