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Gear Review: Arc'teryx Phase Liner Gloves
I looked at my skin stretched tight between the cold metal and the rest of my hand. This wasn't going to end well for me. You would never think, in Southern California at least, this kind of thing would happen. “I need some gloves,” I said out loud to the air around me. Then I pulled my hand away from the tripod leg and jumped from the stinging sensation in my middle finger. It could have been worse; I escaped with only an angry red blotch on my hand. I’ve heard of people leaving chunks of skin behind on frozen metal.
Despite my luck, I began the search for a pair of gloves thick enough to keep my hands warm but thin enough to be able to push buttons on a camera easily. Several years ago, my parents gave me a perfect pair of gloves. They served a few years before falling apart. Enter the Arc'teryx Phase Liner glove. While it is designed to be used as a liner for an outer pair of gloves or mittens, it fit my needs perfectly.
These gloves have just enough warmth to take the bite out of a cold morning but allow me to use my camera like I had bare hands. I purchased them online at Arcteryx.com for a reasonable $35 with free shipping. I decided on a fashionable black color to compliment my black rain coat but the gloves come in a slate grey as well. They have worked equally well in working situations such as photo shoots, soccer matches, and formal occasions. They do have a yellow strip that runs the length of the cuff but between the gloves’ long cuff length and tucking the cuffs into a long sleeve shirt or coat, you don't see it.
After about a month of use I have had a handful of loose threads, but trimming them the problem seems to have subsided. Overall they have been tough enough to survive the outdoors including the rain (they dry quickly) and have shown no other signs of wear or tear. I was unable to find an environmental policy on Arc'teryx but their media section does include an article stating their commitment to reducing per-fluorinated chemical contamination caused by textiles. The company is also a member of the Outdoor Industry Association Sustainability Working Group. If you are looking for a light glove with versatility I recommend the Arc'teryx Phase Liner glove. If you are looking for something more heavy duty, check out arcteryx.com for their full glove line up. If the liner glove is any indication, their selection of “real” gloves will be rough and ready.