Outdoor Research Alti Gloves Review

The Alti Gloves are a warm, durable model perfect for riders who like to explore the backcountry or who need premium protection in harsh winter conditions. What they lack in flexibility, they make up for in versatility and comfort.

Quick Summary

  • Where to buy: Amazon, Outdoor Research
  • Best for: Backcountry skiers looking for a strong glove with durable construction and great temperature control.
  • Pros: These are some of the warmest gloves money can buy. The double construction basically gives you a two-in-one option, and the outer shell is extremely water-resistant. The insulated liners are also comfortable. The light membrane provides extra breathability.
  • Cons: This full glove doesn’t have the flexibility noted in lighter models. That can impede movement and make specific tasks a bit tricky. The liner could also be more durable.
  • Alternatives: Black Diamond Guide, Arc’teryx Fission SV, Outdoor Research Capstone

Why Trust Me

I’ve been hitting the slopes since I was a kid. I enjoy getting out in the snow and have hands-on experience with a wide range of different skiing items. I have spent ample time analyzing these gloves and have spent a lot of time seeing how they perform in different environments.

Detailed Review

The Alti Gloves are great options for any backcountry skier. Their superior construction doesn’t just ensure you stay safe in cold or unpredictable conditions, it also provides a lot of extra versatility. This is basically two gloves in one. You get a lighter shell when you need some breathability, as well as a tougher exterior when you need warmth.

Warmth and Comfort

First and foremost, the Alti Gloves get exceptional marks on the warmth and temperature regulation scale. My biggest gripe with a lot of modern gloves is that they lock you into either being too warm or too cold. The design completely gets around that by basically giving you two gloves that do a good job on their own.

The liner is light and easy to maneuver, while the outer layer is extremely insulated in a way that easily blocks out rain, ice, or snow. Riders who routinely experience tough conditions will find that additional outer protection to be incredibly reliable time and time again. It will keep you warm in a multitude of environments.

However, if things get too hot, the liner works exactly as you’d want it to. Not only does it provide an exceptional amount of flexibility and ventilation, but the weight is right in line with what you’d find with other stand alone options. I was impressed with both gloves and found them each to be great at what they do.

Great, and Not-So-Great, Flexibility

As anyone who routinely wears warm gloves knows, a larger shell will cut down on flexibility. That’s the case here. When you’re wearing the full shell, the Alti Gloves simply don’t offer as much dexterity as I would like. Not only are they a bit stiff, but the construction is restrictive around the thumb and palm areas. That won’t be a big issue when wearing the internal shell, but with the whole glove on, know you’re going to run into some issues.

This glove isn’t quite as constricting as other warmer models, I just would like a bit more movement. You’ll still be able to buckle your boots or manage your zippers, but trying to access food from your pack easily is going to take some work. How much that bothers you comes down to how much you need the insulation. For some people, it’s worth it. For some, it’s a big inconvenience.

Durability and Water Resistance

I also like the sturdiness of these gloves. Ski clothing needs to be tough enough to stand up to falls, tears, and cold weather. The Altis live up to that standard, providing you with exceptional synthetic material. There’s no leather here. Rather, you get PrimaLoft insulation backed up with an AlpenGrip material on the palm and nylon on the back of the hand. Though that means you lose some long-lasting durability, you gain an impressive amount of water resistance.

Some people might prefer the feel of leather, but that trifecta ensures you’re able to push on extremely rough days and not worry about external moisture seeping in and making your fingers cold. Even the interior glove does a fine job of ensuring you never get too chilly.

Additional Features

When looking at gloves, I always like to see what traits that go beyond simple keeping your hands warm. In the case of the Alti, you get a few characteristics that I found to truly enhance the overall functionality.
First, the gauntlet comes with a fully adjustable cinch and release that can be operated with one hand.

That’s extremely useful when you need to shift your fit as you ride. That’s then backed up by a cinch on the inner glove, which is the number one reason you can use them on their own.

The removable liner here is, as mentioned above, truly wonderful. Many two-glove designs don’t quite deliver, but you’ll have no issue with the Alti. The liner can stand on its own, and it’s breathable enough to act as a true alternative option.

Price and Value

Value is one area where these gloves shine. You’re essentially getting two for the price of one, and the two you get work extremely well both together and apart. On top of that, Outdoor Research bundles them with a strong warranty should anything go wrong. Overall, they don’t cost too much, do a lot, and are protected by the company.

What I Like

The stand out feature of these gloves is how well the liner and glove work on their own. I always love versatility in my ski gear, and the Alti takes it to a whole new level. The liner works on its own, and combines with the outer glove to create a warm, comfortable clothing item.

The Alti glove offers comfort on two levels. There’s nothing worse than cold hands, and the insulation does a great job of working with the tough material to keep you dry in any and all conditions. That works with the warmth to ensure your fingers never get too uncomfortable.

What I Dislike

The limited flexibility of the full glove is something to take note of with this model. It’s not going to be a deal-breaker, but there will be quite a few tasks you won’t be able to do with them on. Having to remove your gloves to unzip a pack or fish something out of your pocket is always a bummer.

I wish the inside liner was a bit tougher. That’s not something you would necessarily expect out of a thinner glove, but a bit of extra durability would have made the already useful feature even better.

The Alternatives

The Alti gloves undoubtedly offer a lot of versatility. Even so, if you want other options or are looking for a different model with other premium traits, these are all solid:

  • Black Diamond Guide – This is a good choice for skiers who want another warm glove that’s also inside the Alti’s price range. They are not the most flexible option on the market, but they are tough, sturdy, and will dry quickly. A great option if you’re someone who often finds themselves in rough weather.
  • Arc’teryx Fission SV – The Fission SV is a warm-but-lightweight glove that I personally enjoy. This model costs a bit more than the Alti Gloves, but you get quite a bit for that higher price. The water resistance is impressive, the lining feels great, and the lighter shell is easy to pack. A versatile option.
  • Outdoor Research Capstone – If budget is no issue, the Capstone Heated Gloves serve as a premium alternative to what the Altis offer. These are definitely bulkier than some would like, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find something warmer or more durable. Perfect for people who mainly care about comfort and protection.

FAQs

Do these gloves tear or rip easily?

The Alti Gloves have a strong construction that can withstand a lot of abuse. They should not rip or tear.

Are these warm?

Yes. The Alti gloves utilize a comfortable insulation and strong materials to keep your fingers toasty even in the coldest conditions.

Do these gloves come with liners?

Yes. The Alti gloves come with a removable interior liner as well as a tough outer glove.

Final Verdict

Few gloves have the functionality or versatility seen in the Alti. The glove does something a bit different, which gives you more options. You can use them as a warm choice for when temperatures get extremely low, and you can just put on the liner for when things get too hot.

These are not the most flexible gloves around, but the incredible warmth and comfort more than make up for that. You should make sure you can utilize the liner and glove before purchasing the Alti, but if you can take advantage of the design, it’s absolutely something worth considering.

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