Sierra Designs has had our back with killer technical gear since 1965, the golden age of backpacking and camping. With everything from tents to mens technical clothing, they have been a solid and impressive brand. They have never been about flash — they have always been about making gear that performs for the most technical athletes, but also works for the common man.
That same ethic is now extended to a new 2011 line of gloves for snowsports and cold weather activities. One of the most eye-catching of the gloves in that line is the Enforcer.
Sierra Designs’ Enforcer glove is clearly for snowy play, from backcountry skiing to ice climbing. It is a gauntlet style over-the-cuff glove with convenient dummy strings (so that when you take your gloves off on the ski lift you don’t lose them, they just dangle from your wrists). Of course, be aware to not just let the gloves dangle there for too long on precipitous days, or else the insides will fill up with falling snow and get cold and wet as will any glove that you leave exposed like that.
The Enforcer glove boasts Sierra Designs’ Tropozone waterproof/breathable insert as well as Thinsulate insulation. It uses at least two different thicknesses of leather in the palm — a thick black leather for the high-wear zones, and a thin and supple tan leather where you need dexterity. An extra plus? There is a nice quarter-moon pad on the heel of the hand.
One impressive bit about the Enforcer glove is that its fabric seams are welded — making the fingers more waterproof than stitched seams and much more flexible and free-moving than most box-style stitched glove fingers. The fingers are also well-articulated to improve the natural fit and grip over ski poles or an ice axe.
The Enforcer glove also has a waterproof zippered pocket on the back of the hand, presumably for a hand warmer. But having used these gloves in the field I have to say that the zipper is too small to conveniently fit a hand warmer into it. You’d have to really shove it in there. But it’s perfect for a car key or those bills you want to have on-hand when you meet a yeti in the backcountry that wants to cash a cool hundred.
- Welded fabric seams
- Well-articulated fingers
- Waterproof, breathable, burly
- Dummy strings
- Comfortable lining that doesn’t tend to pull inside-out
- Excellent, I mean excellent leather material on the palms
- Good fit for a gauntlet-style glove, if that’s what you’re looking for
- Zippered pocket on back of hand doesn’t seem very useful at the current small size — I would prefer using that space for some knuckle padding, and ice climbers would especially appreciate that
- No significant ventilation for warmer days
My Verdict: Sierra Designs Enforcer Glove
With the Sierra Designs Enforcer glove, you have a gauntlet that surpasses most other gauntlet-style gloves I’ve seen. The palm materials are exceptional for good touch and durability, and the welded seams and articulated fingers make for excellent dexterity. If you don’t mind the zippered pocket, and you’re looking for a gauntlet-style glove, this is the one for you. Retail price is $109.