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Climbing Gloves

Outdoor Research StormTracker Heated Gloves

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MSRP: $264.95

The StormTracker heated gloves, made for all-around winter use, from skiing to ice climbing to bike riding, also beckon to the many of us (often women) who have poor circulation and struggle to rock climb with wooden fingers even in cool temps.

The gloves use a rechargeable lithium battery pack to create heat, which extends up the back of the hand to the first finger joint. A color-coded button sets heat at low, medium or high. I’d love to use high all the time, but must be strategic, or the batteries would conk out after two and a half hours. You could buy and bring extra batteries ($50), but by setting-hopping I can extend the heat to around five hours—about a winter-cragging day out for me. The touchscreen is stonker, so you don’t have to remove a glove to change settings, and the elements heat up quickly. Lined and with soft shells and goat-leather palms, the gloves are warm even turned off, and dexterous enough for ropework.

To me, the gloves are born to belay. In cold weather, even if I can get warm on one route, by the next climb I’m freezing from standing and belaying. Now I can actually keep my hands warm on belay duty. When changing over to climb, I don’t start out at an automatic deficit, and that’s rad.

Last year I was so fed up I was ready to give up even trying to climb in the cold. This season I am rallying anew. I also plan to bring the StormTrackers to cliffs or boulders in shoulder season or just iffy weather.

——Alison Osius

On sale now at Backcountry.com for $198.75

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This article appeared in Rock and Ice issue 248 (February 2018).

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