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Climbing Gloves

Outdoor Research Stormcell Gloves

Field test report for the Outdoor Research Stormcell Climbing Glove.

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Outdoor Research StormCell | $119 | outdoorresearch.com

The StormCell is a midweight, wrist-cut ice and mixed-climbing glove. It has a GoreTex insert and synthetic leather reinforcing on the palm. I used it for ice and mixed climbing in Colorado, and for approaches, driving and winter work like bringing in wood for the stove. In dry conditions and temps down to about 20 this is a great glove. What little moisture gets on the gloves doesn’t get to your hands thanks to the GoreTex liner.

I do, however, have a major big beef with the inner glove. If you are in sloppy conditions and you are taking your gloves off and on, as you often do to rig anchors, lock carabiners and do other delicate tasks, and your hands get damp, when you remove your hand you pull the liner partly out of the shell. This makes it almost impossible to get your hand back in the glove. You end up with two fingers in one finger hole and a wadded up mess. I was out in epic wet blizzard conditions and my hands froze because I couldn’t get the gloves back on. I  had to thaw and dry my hands in my crotch and warm the gloves next to my skin under my shirt before I could even get the gloves partly back on. For that reason I’ll never use them again in anything but really dry conditions.

The fabric on the outside of the left index finger also split after light use, for no reason that I can determine.

Positives: The large pull-on loop is nice (and you need it). A small Velcro tab  closes the glove just past your wrist bone. I like this because it doesn’t interfere with  a jacket cuff. The palm is medium sticky. It’s not sticky enough for dry-tool mixed climbing, but you wouldn’t want this glove for that anyway because your hand slides around inside too much. The glove is just sticky enough to grip tool shafts for conventional ice and mixed climbing, and is just slippery enough so you can use it for rappelling, although I wouldn’t make rappelling with the glove a habit because you’ll burn through the palm.

ABOUT THE RATING

I gave the StormCell one out of five stars, a low rating, because the problem with the inner glove pulling out makes them nearly useless for ice, alpine and mixed climbing, which defeats the purpose of a weatherproof glove.