TNF Gloves CloseFit Gloves — Gore-Tex Infinium


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | January 15, 2019      
The North Face -- CloseFit Glove

The North Face — CloseFit Glove

Heads up on something excellent from The North Face. For decades I’ve sought the ultimate “thin glove” for ski touring. Criteria: Tight and form-fitting on the hands, waterproof-breathable membrane. Purpose: General use during warmer days, with warm hands, and handling snowy things such as ski bindings and climbing skins. Apparently TNF read my mind. Out they come with the CloseFit, a thin, read that T-H-I-N glove that includes a ePTFE layer (engineered by Gore-tex under their Infinium brand-extension).

Heads up on Infinium, it’s a variety of four fabric weights from Gore-Tex, comprising softshell and fleece, all with a ePTFE layer. From what I’ve seen, basically Windstopper engineered for the twenty-first century. Thin Windstopper gloves were always my go-to, excellent to see a reprise.

Constructed with the thin version of Infinium fabric, the CloseFit glove is formfitting and as my testing revealed, plenty breathable (though it’s still a membrane backed fabric, so you’ll want something 100% breathable for super-warm temperatures). TNF makes the gloves using a molding process with “30% fewer seams.” I’m not sure what that’s in comparison to (typical marketing spreech), but the CloseFit fits close, easily as dexterous as any other thin backcountry glove I’ve tried — and better than many.

About the vaunted lack of seams: I got a chuckle out of the unnecessarily taped hem fold, resulting in reduced stretch where you need the glove gauntlet to stretch when you insert your hand. I remedied this by cutting a small slit in the hem. I’ve got big hands, optional mod.

In all, a nearly perfect glove for warmer days when you handle wet and snowy gear. Recommended.

Party with Gore-Tex Infinium. when you’re danced out, check the TNF Infinium products at Backcountry.com



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23 Responses to “TNF Gloves CloseFit Gloves — Gore-Tex Infinium”

  1. DJ January 15th, 2019 1:37 pm

    On warm days when I handling wet and snowy gear, I like these:

    https://www.amazon.com/12-Pack-370BLK-Nitrile-Gloves/dp/B0035UWIAW

    100% waterproof palms (nitrile), super breathable on the back, and 1/20th the cost of TNF ones.

  2. Shnae January 15th, 2019 3:16 pm

    @DJ

    Funny, I use those gloves all the time at work but never considered them for skiing. I might start packing them now. Kincos brand (or similar) work gloves seem to work great for me at temps above 20F and Black Diamond Mercury mitts have me covered when it’s colder.

    Any variety of $20 mechanic’s gloves seem to work perfectly for cold weather mountain bike rides too.

    Not to knock TNF or other manufacturers but there’s a ton of non-ski specific gloves that work well at a fraction of the price out there.

  3. DJ January 15th, 2019 4:04 pm

    Also, the Nitrile on the Atlas glove finger tips kicks any “touch sensor” glove for the all-important smart phone usage in the backcountry. Taking off gloves to take a pic or use GPS is lame. Don’t get me started on how many lightweight liner gloves I have purchased that are advertised to have special finger tips to work with screens that “work” very poorly or not at all.

  4. Lou Dawson 2 January 15th, 2019 5:45 pm

    Having worked with my hands nearly my entire life, I’ve of course used all sorts of work gloves, and taken them skiing. The rubber coated gloves can be ok, but every time I use them I find myself thinking I’d like a waterproof breathable. They’re also colder than one might expect, as the rubber conducts heat quite well. Not saying any of these gloves are something a skier would intend for colder weather, but at first glance you might think they would work. Also, the TNF gloves are _really_ thin… A bit of an apples oranges comparo, come to think of it. Lou

  5. Joseph January 16th, 2019 1:35 am

    These are great for trailrunning and other sports as well, I have a pair too. They’ve been selling really good here in Europe, lots of people seem to love them.

  6. Jernej January 16th, 2019 2:59 am

    Norrona Lyngen dri1 is the only current glove I’ve found so far that fits my criteria – tiniest bit of insulation and waterproof. The main problem… it costs 150+€ which I’m just not going to pay for a glove.
    https://www.norrona.com/en-GB/products/lyngen/lyngen-dri1-gloves/?color=7718

    I’ll definitely check out this TNF closefit as it’s a more palatable 65€. Until then I’m fine with 5€ gloves from Lidl whenever the temps are above -10°C.

  7. bob hughes January 16th, 2019 8:07 am

    Any suggestions for a 1 or 2 buckle boot more geared for touring over performance that can be punch out for a protruding ankle talus bone ?
    It is time to replace my worn out Scott Cosmos.It took a few punches to get those to fit.
    Thanks

  8. Mike January 16th, 2019 10:17 am

    Only problem with these gloves is that they’re NOT waterproof. Look up the gloves, read any of the descriptions, no where does it say water proof, or even water resistant. The closest thing is the DWR finish. I’m not saying they’re not nice gloves, or don’t serve a purpose, I’m just saying they’re not water proof. They might resist some light sprinkle, or touching snow once, but I wouldn’t handle anything wet or snowy with them for more than a few seconds.

    If you want a thin, warm, WATERPROOF glove, I’d recommend the Seirus Xtreme All-Weather series. I’ve had a couple pair of the “Hyperlite” ones, and they’ve been awesome. They are thinner than any glove of comparable warmth, and warmer than any glove of comparable thickness. And, unlike these TNF gloves, they ARE waterproof. About the same price too. Perfect gloves for ski touring down to about 10-20F (going uphill) and winter bike commuting down to about 30ish.

  9. swissiphic January 16th, 2019 10:21 am

    Lou; maybe not applicable to your desert like climate but…being a coastie in b.c., it’s been a lifelong struggle trying to find the optimum ski touring glove system for true coastal warm storm, rain, sleet and slushy conditions. Figured out a pretty decent glove component system for those specific conditions. There are a few mental leaps to make to accept the paradigm shift. Firstly, forget about breathability. Other than brand new gloves with any wp/breathable insert, gloves of fabric or leather or combo construction will eventually either damp out or soak out rendering the ‘breathable’ insert completely useless…it turns into a rubber glove….sooo, why not just start with rubber…full rubber. I use size XXL thin vinyl nitrile gloves with a bit of an extended wrist gauntlet, bake em at 300F in a convection oven to get em to a bit of a moldable temp, then insert hand sheathed in a cheap dollar store fleece liner glove…grip ski pole and it molds just right. Since breathability is out the window, I simply swap to another cheap fleece dollar store liner when hands get a bit damp…for me, usually takes about an hour of uphilling in rain/wet snow or sleet conditions. For successive liner swaps, it’s seems like the time intervals get longer…hands stop sweating as profusely as the day wears on.

    A summary of benefits to this system: First off, super cheap; about 3 bucks on the hand at any one time and maybe another 5 bux in back up vinyl nitrile and fleece liner gloves in the pack/pants pocket. Incredible dexterity and finger feel cause the component system is so thin in profile. Warmth is acceptable if one maintains movement. Gloves stay super light on the hands due to no sponge soaking effect. Very easy liner swapping cause there’s no friction/stiction between the micro relaxed fit vinyl nitryle and the fleece liner. Handling gear at the vehicle or snowmobile is a much more relaxed procedure ’cause there’s no worries of getting your gloves soaked touching really wet stuff and a slushy car….same with back at car at end of day cleaning the foot of wet cement or slush that accumulated during the ski time window. Durability has been surprisingly good….7 days of ski touring using the system and only one shell failure due to ski edge slice…and even so, no big deal, just bring a bunch of backup gloves just in case.

    A few liabilities were; not ideal for pure lift served downhill days in warm storm conditions…hands get cold on chair rides. If ski touring up to a different temp zone that introduces consistent sub zero temps to the equation, hands got cold…pretty simple solution was wipe off the free water and use some overmitts for continuing in the cold temp zone. The vinyl nitrile seems to stick extremely well to skin glue….i experimented with spaying one glove with rain x and the other with scotchgard…but seemed to be effective in reducing the extreme stick to moderate and perfectly acceptable usable ‘somewhat tacky’ performance.

  10. Jim Milstein January 16th, 2019 1:52 pm

    Bob, both Atomic and Fischer make light touring boots with bakeable shells. Atomic’s is the Backland Carbon, a two-buckle job.Baking both shell and liner solves most fit problems in one go.

  11. Crazy Horse January 17th, 2019 5:00 am

    I know the goal of the AT ski gear industry is to reach the magic number of being twice as expensive as resort gear, but really!

    I’ve worked outside in Jackson Hole far too long to not have learned a few tricks about keeping your hands warm. It’s the exact opposite of having a breathable thin inner glove. A neoprene wet suit works by retaining a thin layer of moisture which is heated by the body heat to a comfortable level. The nitriile gloves mentioned by others work in the same way. Just sturdy enough to allow you to remove the outer glove for a minute or two when you want to thread a needle. I find that they add about 15 degrees to the cold tolerance of your outer gloves.

    While the nitrile material is OK, it is really designed for chemical resistance which you don’t need. My favorite are Gloveworks HD textured industrial latex brand. About $12.00 per 100. Perhaps they could be re-packaged and sold for $24.00 per pair for the ski industry?

  12. Drake January 17th, 2019 6:03 am

    swissiphic: Great idea. I have never used a similar system for ski touring because it’s too cold and dry. I have used a similar system for landscaping in early winter and rolling up wet cold sod for which it was awesome. Liner with rubbermaid glove then a work glove overtop.

  13. wtofd January 17th, 2019 10:21 am

    Brilliant suggestions, Swiss and CH. Looks like the Ammex website has a number of ready-made options.

  14. David January 17th, 2019 10:28 pm

    Crazy Horse, just one thing to keep in mind with latex gloves- many people will develop a latex allergy with repeated exposure. In the old days all medical gloves were latex (both surgeons gloves and exam gloves). When they started to be used more universally for any patient contact (mostly around the beginning of the AIDS crisis) and the demand went sky-high, manufacturers got cheap, and gloves started to have more free latex particles on them, which, coupled with the powder coating to make them easier to put on, led to a dramatic increase in latex allergies. That’s why in the medical world everyone has gone to neoprene or similar materials.

  15. david January 17th, 2019 10:30 pm

    correction- nitrile, not neoprene.

  16. XXX_er January 18th, 2019 9:47 am

    my ski gloves still get wet from perspiration so i use disposable vinal gloves as a vapor barrier inside a normal glove to keep the insulation dry which adds a bit of warmth

    at -10 C my gloves will be bone dry after a day of lift skiing and at 7$ for 100 they are cheap but they don’t hold up for BC skiing so I just pack 3 sets of gloves

  17. Mason January 18th, 2019 1:43 pm

    Others have posted similar gloves, and looks like swissiphic made a cheaper version of these, but I have started trying these guys out in the PNW once I read Colin Haley’s beta about using them for climbs in Alaska. They are similar to how swissiphic describes the performance of their custom gloves, not super warm but fully waterproof and when you are moving they do pretty great, especially when it is dumping wet snow. That thin layer of internal insulation helps decrease the conduction issue Lou mentioned, and while it is not entirely eliminated I’ve been pretty happy with them. Typically put them on when making the transition to downhill and wear them starting on the uphill if I need to (always wearing a thin liner glove underneath).

    Japanese-made so you need to size up 1 or 2 sizes. I wear a large in most american gloves, have XL in these and can squeeze a thin liner underneath them (I could probably size up to XXL).

    https://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Waterproof-Breathable-Technology-Insulation/dp/B015WU50K2/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=showa+temres&qid=1547843633&s=Home+Improvement&sr=1-3

  18. swissiphic January 18th, 2019 4:36 pm

    Did more vinyl nitryle glove system testing today. Back in Stewart, B.C. and a coolish storm hit hard this morning. Ski toured in temps ranging from minus 2C at car and minus 4C at top of ski tour. It was nuking snow with accumulations of 3cms/hour…driven by wind and humidity was kinda high (I was in the fog for half the ski tour).

    I used some thicker fleece gloves with a windproof insert and stuck em into the vinyl nitrile. Rubbed ski wax on the shells to prevent sticking on skin glue. Worked like a charm.

    Fingers got a bit cold during the gear up process but performed the ‘slap the knees with hands/fingertips’ trick to get the circulation pumping. Hands stayed toasty warm thereafter.

    Performed some pretty heinous high exertion post hole bootpacking in ice glaze frozen breakable crust in a bombed out steep forest section. Had to grab the snow a bunch for balance and to pull from holds. Was stoked to be wearing rubber for this.

    After about 1.5 hours, hands were quite moist but still warm. At top of the ascent after another 45 minutes or so, fingers again began to cool quite rapidly after stopping for the d/h transition. Wiped off the free water and stuck the system into some nice overmitts for the descent. Heat was retained and successful descent was negotiated.

    Got to the deproach section which included some kick and gliding and sidestepping through some gnarly avy debris lobes. Removed the overmitts, and resumed the higher exertion work. Hands stayed warm to car.

    Back at the car, 12cms of snow accumulation in various stages of semi melt were disposed with through simple hands swipes….wiped the mud off the tail lights, cleaned the door handles…then cleaned the shells with clean snow…good as new. Wouldn’t have done that stuff without a grimace with the regular leather/goretex units.

    Pulled the liners out and they were soaked….but hands were still warm…a very good test day. If I had one more set of these same liners for the day of touring, i’m thinkin’ hands woulda stayed dry.

  19. swissiphic January 18th, 2019 4:56 pm

    Mason; I have a few pairs of similar gloves to the ones you linked to. For general outdoor labor in cold rain/wet snow they’re fine but I found for ski touring the liabilities outweighed the benefits.
    1. Dexterity is lacking…rubber too thick/rigid. I found i had to take them off to perform dinking around/gear adjusting, eating, etc…duties. Plus, I couldn’t smoke my cigarettes with ’em on…with vinyl nitrile system, no problem.
    2. Gauntlet doesn’t have a closure system. it’s cumbersome to try to force the circumference under jacket wrist closure to produce a seal. If you wear them outside the jacket wrist, snow creeps in when yer doing any kind of field work with hands in snow.
    3. .While out in the field, if the liner pulls out in hemmorhoidal fashion, it’s prit near impossible to stuff all the fingers back in while in the field if they’re damp and yer in a hurry. I ended up removing the liner material and just using fleece liners that are re/re able.
    4. While light, they’re not as light as the vinyl nitrile system.

  20. Phil January 20th, 2019 8:52 am

    Lou,
    Your thread has been seriously highjacked by enthusiastic DIYers, and I appreciate the constant frothing of their effervescent minds. However, a few years ago I had a pair of thin Windstopper gloves that I loved until they fell apart. I ran across them in my ski-stuff box the other day and got wistful recalling our many campaigns together. You’ve rekindled my hope of finding glove-love again with your review of the NF CloseFit gloves. Thanks.

  21. Lou Dawson 2 January 21st, 2019 1:03 am

    Thanks for the comment Phil, here at WildSnow we are all about DIY, so the more the merrier. On the other hand, thin “Windstopper” type gloves such as Close Fit really are wonderful for drier climates, way less sweaty than many alternates, and again, wonderful for handling skins and bindings on a warmer day.

    For what it’s worth, we do use the breathable rubber work gloves. They’re useful, but not the thin, form fitting glove the Close Fit is.

    Old review covering thin glove concepts:
    https://www.wildsnow.com/11587/thin-gore-tex-gloves-skiing/

    Lou

  22. Jim Milstein January 21st, 2019 6:42 pm

    So, I got a pair of TNF CloseFits. They fit my hands pretty well, don’t have bulky seams, work well with Apple touch screens and touch pads, but I have not yet proved them out in the wild. Why this comment? It is the aroma. They seem to be perfumed. Some may find it pleasant, but I hope it subsides soon. They are not so perfumed as to be noxious but just enough to annoy.

    Maybe the odor is inherent in infinium, an element new to me. What are its boundaries, if any, and is it crossing mine? I will ask a friend who took a chemistry course and report back.

  23. Alin January 23rd, 2019 12:30 pm

    Used these touring in the PNW for a couple of months already. So far so good – never got moisture in and the material seems to be resistant so far to the abrasion from the sharp ski edges.





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