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Gear review: SmartWool Liner Gloves

Some girlfriends get flowers. I get SmartWool Liner Gloves. ‘Come home from work and there they are—a warm gesture of true love.

I mean, what are roses going to do when my digits are frozen on the hill? SmartWool Liner Gloves on the other hand, are made of New Zealand merino wool, which produces “the softest, strongest and whitest wool on the planet,” according to Steamboat Springs-based company.

Wool replaces cotton when it comes to performance wear because it wicks moisture away from the skin while its still in vapor form, keeping you drier. And wool’s fiber’s tiny holes help regulate body temp while you’re gettin’ active in the cold. Merino fibers also reduce odor because bacteria doesn’t linger thanks to those first two qualities .

I was excited to get my polar paws into these multi-sport gloves, because SmartWool socks are proven for plush comfort and warmth. I’ve been wearing the liners on cold mornings and evenings, and inside my mittens while snowboarding. I also intend to wear them under extra large bike gloves.

In true SmartWool fashion, the unisex Liner Gloves are cottony-soft and cozy; completely absent of wool itch. They’ve got next-to-skin stretch, reducing their bulkiness or bunching inside outwear gloves. The wrists are slightly thicker for durability pulling on and off, and snug for keeping these minimalist gloves in place while you’re shredding through life.

The stitching in the Liner Gloves is not so tight that a good stretch doesn’t expose light through them. They’re not performance enough for me to hike in them alone during the winter. I’d say sub 40 degrees and I’m donning something burlier to shield against the cold.

But the looser stitching also makes them ideal as that extra layer of warmth inside gloves or mittens. I wore them night boarding and could feel the warmth generated—something I dig, especially when there’s hours worth of pow to devour. Still, I’d ditch these if temps rise above 20F—because of their awesome effectiveness.

The minimalist design, however, also exposes some vulnerability in the finger tips and between the fingers, and I already have a tiny snag in one. They’re basic liners and should be treated as such.

The Liner Glove’s versatility is great, but their price is a bit steep at $18. ‘Course, your dollars support SmartWool’s eco-friendly, socially-conscious initiatives (happy sheep, happy growers; read about it here).

I say—happy hands, happy sheep, happy community—now that’s Smart…(Wool).

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