Late last fall, I tested a pair of Showers Pass Crosspoint Wool-Blend Waterproof Knit Gloves. As the cool of autumn darkened into the cold of winter, I had the opportunity to test the gloves under a variety of weather conditions.
I found the gloves to be ideal for cool, wet weather wear since they were able to keep my hands warm and dry even in chilly, driving rainstorms. They are now my go-to gloves for wet weather wear.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $50. At the time of this writing, they were on sale for $36.40 from www.showerspass.com. That is a bit pricey for gloves, but they outperform similarly-priced competitors for wet weather wear.
Raynaud’s Syndrome is a medical condition in which the small arteries of the patient periodically constrict, reducing the flow of blood to one or more extremities. It is typically triggered by cold or stress.
My oldest daughter, “Ella”, has Raynaud’s Syndrome in her hands. My father also had Raynaud’s Syndrome, so I am guessing that she inherited the condition through me via a recessive gene. For her, the condition is triggered by cold.
Ella is a very active outdoorswoman and athlete. Even when she was a young child, she was the first person I would invite along whenever I was going on an adventure. If I was cross-country skiing out into a wilderness area to speak to a group of college students on a retreat, or taking a bus into the city to buy a 50-pound bag of rice, Ella was my preferred companion.
Since Ella is so active outdoors, it is important for her to have gloves that do a good job of keeping her hands warm and dry. This autumn, Ella and her husband went on a two-day bike trip. Temperatures were expected to be quite cool and wet. Ella wanted to make sure that she could keep her hands warm regardless of the weather, so she bought a pair of Showers Pass Waterproof Knit Wool Gloves for the trip.
My wife and I visited Ella and her family shortly before she and our son-in-law left on the trip. I saw the tag for the Showers Pass gloves on the counter in her kitchen. I was immediately intrigued.
What really caught my attention was that the gloves are both wool and waterproof. That seemed like an ideal combination for keeping hands warm and dry while pursuing outdoor activities like bike riding, hunting, camping, or hiking. I wanted to try out a pair in various weather conditions to get a sense of how comfortable and durable they might be. I contacted Showers Pass, and they were kind enough to send me a pair for testing and evaluation.
The gloves arrived three days later in a USPS First-Class Package. They were sent from Showers Pass, 2101 SE 6th Ave., Portland, OR 97214. I was once again surprised that so many good companies can survive in the harsh legislative and social environment that defunds the police and then through Measure 114 removes the ability of the citizens to defend themselves from the resulting crime. The gloves consist of three bonded layers. The innermost layers is a merino wool-blend (38% merino wool, 38% acrylic, 20% nylon, 2% lycra, and 2% spandex) that wicks moisture away to keep hands warm and dry. The middle layer is a waterproof and breathable Artex polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) membrane that keeps water from getting in but allows moisture out. The outer layer is a wear-resistant nylon-blend (95% nylon, 5% rubber) to protect the two inner layers. There is also a silicon print pattern bonded to the palms and the inside of the fingers of the gloves to provide grip under wet conditions.
The gloves are made in Taiwan. (Free China.)
The gloves are available in heather black, grey, or fatigue green. The pair that I tested is fatigue green.
As I put on the gloves, I found them to be very comfortable, with accurate sizing. My hands are on the border between large and extra large. If a pair of large gloves is cut at all small, I find them uncomfortably snug. But the Crosspoint gloves in size large fit me perfectly.
The strategy of making waterproof garments from three layers of material can be traced back to Charles Macintosh and his eponymous raincoat (although the misspelling of the raincoat as “mackintosh” has become standard). This three-layer strategy involves sandwiching a more fragile waterproof membrane between two layers of more durable fabric. The mackintosh raincoat consisted of rubber membrane sandwiched between two layers of cotton fabric. The best modern rainwear utilizes a similar strategy. Materials like Goretex consist of a breathable, waterproof inner membrane (such as expanded PTFE) sandwiched between two protective layers of puncture and wear-resistant fabric like nylon or polyester.
The genius of the Crosspoint gloves is that the inner and outer layers are made of differing materials, allowing the inner layer to be optimized for warmth and wicking, while the outer layer is optimized for wear resistance.
For more than a month, the Crosspoint gloves accompanied me and whichever jacket or coat I was wearing each day. In pleasant weather, the gloves started out in the pockets of my everyday jacket. On rainy days, they were in my raincoat. On snowy days, they were in my coat.
I used them to walk the dog through crisp autumn leaves, in driving rainstorms, and in falling snow. I used them for driving. I used them for carrying cold gallons of milk from the grocery store to my car. I used them while scraping ice and snow off of my car’s windshield. I found them to work well in all of these settings and more.
One of the more interesting tasks involved my youngest daughter, “Rivka”. Rivka is of a literary bent. By that, I do not merely mean that she enjoys reading Dorothy Sayers, J. R. R. Tolkein, and Mark Twain. I also mean that she earns her daily bread through her skill as a writer.
A family of squirrels had taken up residence in the attic of Rivka’s house. She asked for my help driving them out. I began the quest by going up in the attic to encourage them to leave. Getting up in the attic is easier said than done. It involves contorting oneself into a tiny cupboard over a closet, and then somehow twisting from there through a trap door into the attic. Once I was up in the attic, I shouted, waved my arms and otherwise made myself an unpleasant neighbor for a family of squirrels.
When it seemed that the squirrels had left, I went up a ladder on the north exterior wall of the house to stuff steel wool into the hole in the eaves that the squirrels had been using as their door. While I was up on the ladder, I noticed that Rivka had some leaves clogging her gutter, so I cleaned it out. The gloves did a great job both of protecting my hands from the steel wool, and of keeping my hands warm and dry when buried in a gutter full of cold, wet, slimy, decomposing leaves. They were the most comfortable gloves that I have ever worn for cleaning out gutters. I would not normally recommend wearing a pair of relatively expensive gloves while cleaning out gutters, but I do like a pair of gloves that can rise to the occasion when called upon for unexpected tasks.
Another thing I really appreciated about the gloves was the degree of dexterity and tactile sensitivity that they allowed. I could easily operate the keypad on my garage door, and I could reach into my pocket with the gloves on and find the correct key fob for the car I was planning to drive.
The gloves really came into their own under wet conditions. When the rain was pouring and the water was streaming off my coat, my hands remained perfectly warm and dry.
When temperatures fell below freezing, I began to notice that the gloves were not quite as warm as I could have wished for those conditions. But for any temperatures above 32 degrees Fahrenheit, I found them to be quite comfortable.
Ella had a similar set of experiences with her gloves. She did not feel that they were the only layer that she would need in the cold of winter, but she did like them very much for use in above-freezing temperatures and for driving.
I found the Showers Pass Crosspoint Waterproof Knit Gloves to be outstanding for wet weather conditions. They were not quite warm enough for below freezing conditions, though they were thin enough to be used as glove liners when temperatures dropped.
If you need a pair of gloves to keep in your raincoat to keep your hands warm and dry in a chilly, driving rainstorm, I can’t think of any gloves that would do a better job. I highly recommend them.
Showers Pass was kind enough to provide me with a pair of their Crosspoint Waterproof Knit Gloves for testing and evaluation. I tried not to let their kindness interfere with my objectivity, and believe that I have succeeded. I did not receive any financial or other inducement to mention any vendor, product, or service in this article.