Outdoor Research makes a ton of great clothing. [And, as a side note, they are making some great media too—check out the Verticulture Blog for some great reads from great climbers like Kyle Dempster, Madaleine Sorkin and Nik Berry.] But one thing they do arguably best of all is produce exceptional gloves for mixed, ice and alpine climbing.
The OR Lodestar Gloves are one of those exceptional new products. The glove is soft and supple and have become my preferred winter-climbing glove for everything from backcountry or uphill skiing to ice and mixed climbing. The gloves are constructed out of Polartec Power Shield High Loft fabric, which I found to provide fantastic warmth to weight and good protection against the elements. That said, these gloves can get wet and I wouldn’t use them on ice pitches that are running with meltwater. But for mixed climbing or cold, dry ice climbing, I would definitely choose the Lodestar Gloves because of just how dexterous they are.
I can literally pick up paperclips off of tables in these gloves. Or use my car or house keys. Placing ice screws and clipping ropes to carabiners, then, is no problem.
Wiping snot in these gloves isn’t great. Unlike other gloves I’ve tested, there’s no soft landing strip to clear my running half-frozen nose. One small gripe.
I like the bit of leather on the back of the hand. It gives a little grip if you encounter an icy hand-jam type of situation.
My favorite feature is just how easy they are to take off and put on. I can easily take a glove off or put it back on one-handed! I highly recommend these gloves for any aerobic and technical outdoor vertical sports.