Olympia Sports has earned a reputation for high-quality, reasonably priced snowmobile gloves that fit great and last a long time. And every once in a while they come up with a really novel idea like this one: the Gore-Tex 2-in-1 Commander glove allows riders to choose full insulation on the palm side or no insulation there for maximum “feel” on the handle bar grips.
The gloves, $64.95 a pair, have a divider that allows wearers to slide their hands in either the insulated section (for maximum warmth) or un-insulated section (for the best grip). I have to admit that I was skeptical about this idea until I tried it. But I quickly realized that this was just what the doctor ordered for the widely variable temperatures of early spring conditions, mountain riding or for snowmobilers who want feedback from the bars. And with the Gore-Tex insert and moisture-wicking liner, the construction of the Commander glove kept my hands dry and comfortable in just about any weather condition.
I ended up reaching for them just about every time I rode last winter. This isn’t a novelty product. It really is a premium glove in every respect. The all-black outer shell is heavy-duty nylon and cowhide with a rubberized palm patch for the best possible grip. Primaloft insulation, a synthetic down that insulates even when damp, provided plenty of warmth and 1-3/4-inch gauntlets with draw-strings kept snow and wind out of my sleeves.
The shield wiper was too far back on the left thumb to be useful, but that’s the only shortcoming of this glove that quickly became one of my real favorites. They slide on easily and they provide a good seal at the wrists with every jacket I wore. This is one pair of gloves that definitely won’t get buried in the back of my closet. It’s available from dealers and catalogs that carry Olympia hand wear. — David Wells
Wrist seal: 1.8/2