Columbia Snow Stryker Softshell Glove Review
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There are a number of companies on the market that make quality winter gloves. In the last few years, Columbia decided that it would step up to the plate and compete with the outdoor technical big dogs by not only making basic snow and ski gloves, but technical gloves and mittens which more advanced skiers and snowboarders would like to wear. This season I’ve been testing out the Snow Styker Softshell glove that is a technical ski and snowboard glove that incorporates Columbia’s popular OmniHeat for warmth and Outdry for waterproofing.
The majority of material used on the outer of the Snow Stryker is a softshell fabric. At a glance, you might think much of the glove is made from leather since Columbia uses a similar color as the leather used on other parts of the gloves. On the palm and bottom side of the fingers, there is a durable leather that is used for high wear areas on the glove. This is the area that you are typically gripping onto a ski pole. There is also a piece of suede leather that covers the index finger so if you need to wipe your nose, it would get chaffed. The cuff of the Snow Stryker is made from the softshell material with an elastic cord attached to get a secure fit around the wrist which helps keep in warmth and snow out.
The inside of the gloves has OmniHeat which are silver dots that reflect the bodies heat back to the body instead of venting out. And while the look of these dots look like they would get clammy, I’ve yet to experience that. The Snow Stryker glove does a good job at retaining heat, but it does not have a lot of insulation in it. This means that if you are not generating a lot of heat with your hands, the outside cold will eventually transfer through the outer fabric and make your hands cold.
Fit & Use
The other material or textile used in the Columbia Snow Stryker glove is Outdry. Outdry is a thin piece of waterproof material that bonds to the outer layer of the gloves which prevents water from getting past the first layer of the glove. This is different from other waterproof layers like Gore-Tex which have a glove like layer within a glove or a boot within a boot where a layer of moisture can build up between the outer layer and the inner waterproof glove layer.
The fit of the Columbia Snow Stryker is a little big, so I suggest sizing down if you buy these gloves. I typically wear an XL in other gloves and mittens, but my hands have too much room in the gloves I tested. Extra room creates a lot of dead space for cold air to form and it also prevents the warm inside from sitting next to your skin. A baggy fit also prevents you from getting a good secure hold on a ski pole. Did I mention you should size down??
For temperatures, I suggest using this glove in temperatures down to 10 degrees Fahrenheit and if you go below that to add a glove liner. If you go backcountry skiing where you are exerting a lot more energy and heating up more, these gloves should keep you warm in colder temps.
In the end…
I would recommend this glove, but it comes with some conditions. First, size down. Second, these are not an all or most leather glove, so as long as you don’t go in expecting a lot of leather, you should be happy. For more information on the Snow Stryker Softshell Glove and other Columbia products, visit www.columbia.com