Basic summary: Two thin but exceptionally warm gloves with high merino content designed for aerobic activity. Both are strong options for stand-alone use in moderate winter climates, and can be layered under a more weather resistant layer for extreme conditions.
|Weight (size medium)
|98% merino, 2% nylon
|88% merino, 9% nylon, 3% lycra
|Touch screen compatible
|Thumb and index finger
|Thumb and index finger
|Lower intensity, longer duration activity
|High aerobic activity
One of the primary benefits of merino wool apparel is its exceptional warmth to weight ratio; a thin baselayer can typically provide an impressive amount of warmth, allowing you to travel light without compromising comfort. Additionally, the fiber’s moisture-wicking capability and breathability help with thermoregulation, and natural odor resistance makes it easy to wear day after day.
Considering these obvious benefits, it’s somewhat baffling that merino wool isn’t a more common primary material in gloves. There are probably 20 different companies making wool socks, but when it comes to providing the same love for your fingers, the offerings are relatively few.
Luckily, Icebreaker is doing its part to remedy this. We’ve been using two glove models – the Quantum and the Sierra – consistently since late fall, and they’re all we’ve needed to stay comfortable with temperatures into the low 30s. If your winter conditions are harsher than that, both models are thin enough to easily layer underneath a mitten or waterproof exterior.
The only quibble we have with testing these two gloves is that it’s rather difficult to tell them apart. Their fit and feel are identical, and while the grip patterns on the palms are slightly different, the functional difference is generally imperceptible. Fabric composition is higher in merino in the Quantum than in the Sierra, but again, from a performance standpoint (determined by insulating capacity, speed of moisture wicking, or security of fit) you probably won’t be able to tell the difference. Both have a convenient clasp to clip the pair together to hang dry. Even the price point is identical.
The product pages for each glove list some ideal uses, which indicate that the Sierra is the choice for higher aerobic activity and the Quantum is more suited for all-day adventure – however, either of these gloves is more than capable of delivering the goods in terms of comfort and performance.
The Icebreaker Quantum and Sierra gloves are available now at www.icebreaker.com.