Despite smartphones and tablets being commonplace these days for just about everybody and their grandmother, most non-techies that you run into probably don’t own a pair of touchscreen gloves. That is, winter gloves that don’t require you to take them off to use your iPhone, iPod or iPad. I’ve tried out a couple cheap pairs in recent years from Amazon and elsewhere, but they’ve never really been warm and/or well-made enough to use on a daily basis.
This year I’ve been trying out a few of the more expensive pairs available from one of the original companies making touchscreen gloves, Mujjo. I’ve put a couple different pairs from Mujjo to the test over the past month during a cold Canadian winter to see if they’re really worth the extra cash.
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DESIGN | FIT |
I tried two different pairs— a double-layered wool-lined pair pictured on the left and an all-leather pair pictured above on the right. I also got a couple different sizes to compare the difference in fit between the various sizing options. Both pairs of the gloves are made to be unisex with a range of three sizes for each.
The double-layered wool gloves look a lot like your standard knitted cotton glove at first glance, but there are also some nice touches of black leather that you can see on the strap and matte black leather button in the image above. You’ll also find silicon bumps for grip all over the palm and front of the fingers. The outer layer of the glove feels a little on the plasticky side compared to a pure wool or cotton glove, but that’s likely from the silver-coated nylon fibers knitted into the fabric that make it conductive for touchscreens and help give it that salt and pepper look.
The glove also contain acrylic and spandex and do a pretty good job of being water-repellent as far as knitted gloves go. Luckily the inside layer, which also acts as the lining for the glove, is made of a super-soft black wool that make the gloves extremely comfortable on the inside. Fit with these gloves won’t be as much an issue as with the leather. All the gloves are stretch to fit: S/M for hands on the smaller side and M/L for everyone else. If you have really big hands, go for the XL.
Ethiopian Lambskin Leather & Cashmere:
The all-leather gloves feature a bit more of a tapered, fitted design, as you’d expect with a fashionable pair of winter leather gloves. A leather strap on the wrist has two buttons for various wrist sizes, and the extremely soft leather has a matte finish that the company says adds water and wind proofing properties.
The gloves look and feel like any $100+ pair of leather gloves you’d find in a department store and the cashmere lining certainly doesn’t hurt. Keeping with the traditional leather glove look, these don’t have the silicon dots for grip.
The biggest problem I had with the gloves was the fit. I had two sizes to choose from: 7.5 and 8.5 (the gloves come in 7.5, 8, 8.5, and 9). The tips of the fingers and most the glove fit perfectly, but the thumbs were always a bit too long on the 8.5’s. That caused some problems with function (more on that below). Unfortunately bumping down in size wouldn’t work as that would cause the fingers to be short. It seems many reviewers on the company’s site complain of the fingers being too short or when bumping up to the next size, the thumbs being too spacious.
The best part about both pairs of these gloves is that the properties that make them work with a touchscreen are embedded over almost the entire glove. That means you won’t have to worry about using just a specific part of your fingertip like with some of the cheaper touchscreen gloves on the market.
I also had no problems with reliable input with the touchscreens on my iPhone and iPads recognizing my fingers at just about the same rate as if I wasn’t wearing gloves. The biggest problems with function came from the fit of the leather gloves. Since there was an extra bit of material at the top of the thumb—the digit I use most for input on my iPhone—the glove would cover too much of the display and I could’t see what I was tapping (pictured above). Fortunately I didn’t have the same issue with the knitted gloves.
There’s no doubt about it, the leather gloves—even with their cashmere lining—won’t keep you warm in a harsh winter. With weather here in Toronto hitting -20° and below in recent weeks, it was clear the leather gloves won’t cut it for long periods of time in extreme temperatures. The double-layered knitted gloves, on the other hand, held up surprisingly well. On the coldest of days they still didn’t keep my hands completely warm, but they did the job for most of January and February on a day-to-day basis.
SHOULD YOU BUY THEM? |
I’ve sided with the double-layered knitted gloves. If not for the better fit and the lower cost, the warmth of the knitted gloves are necessary, at least for my climate. That being said, if your temperatures don’t get quite as low as it does here, the leather gloves will probably be sufficient. After using the Mujjo gloves, I’m glad that I didn’t give up on touchscreen gloves completely, as they are certainly much better than the $5 – $20 gloves you find on Amazon.
The double-layered knitted and leather gloves are available from Mujjo’s site for $33/$100. The company also sells a single layer knitted glove in various colors for $30.