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In all respects, Glider Gloves feel like the Cadillac of touchscreen garments. They’re beautifully designed, protective against the elements and provide a grip quality akin to Spiderman or perhaps G.I. Joe. But does its superiority justify a $15 premium compared to other products in the market?
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My initial impressions of the Glider Gloves are good. It features a combination of clean, elegant design and solid construction quality.
Glider Gloves (Urban Style) design come packaged in a thin, plastic box. There’s a brief text blurb explaining how Glider Gloves offer touch-screen compatibility. Its fabric contains woven copper fibers, allowing its wielder to operate capacitive touchscreens. Capacitive touchscreens, which differ from resistive screens, run a weak electrical current through its surface. Your finger possesses weakly conductive properties, which through touch activates the touchscreen. The conductive fabric emulates this effect.
Upon first inspection, the Glider Gloves come off appearing quite handsome. They feature minimal, horizontal striping throughout the entire glove. The interior hemline of the glove uses bright blue thread. I particularly enjoy the hexagonal rubberized grip, which lines the interior portions of the glove. Overall, its appearance places Glider a touch above of its competitors.
Testing the Glider Gloves Out
To get a benchmark to compare the Glider Gloves with, I picked up a brand Glider claims to outperform: Agloves, available from Amazon at $5-16. Agloves use a silver nylon, instead of the copper fabric used by Glider Gloves, to activate capacitive touchscreens. I evaluated it on the basis of its touchscreen performance, warmth and comfort, and overall functionality.
Using the Agloves, I found that the overall touchscreen performance was good, although frequent problems showed up. For example, I couldn’t drag down the notifications menu using my second generation Nexus 7 tablet. However, the touch sensitivity worked well enough on all my other Android devices.
Glider Gloves, on the other hand, functioned without issue for activating the notifications menu. Granted, there have been reports of touchscreen issues on the Nexus 7. Unfortunately, I can’t explain why this would fail to work properly with one glove and not with the other. This is particularly confounding, as silver provides superior conductivity, compared to copper. As silver also offers anti-microbial properties, it makes me wonder why Glider Gloves went with copper. Perhaps silver is too conductive?
Glider Gloves did seem to experience some difficulty activating small icons, although it still marginally outperformed the Agloves using the touchscreen keyboard. Using the outstanding SwiftKey (read our review of SwiftKey), I couldn’t tell the difference between either glove. Overall, I prefer the snugger fit of the Glider Gloves over Agloves.
Warmth and Comfort
Glider Gloves provided warmth in 46 degree Fahrenheit weather, with a wind speed of 12 mph while using my bicycle. It’s important to note that the Agloves performed equally as well providing comfort. The difference between the two lies primarily within the texture and snugness of the fit. Glider’s product feels noticeably snugger than Agloves’s. On the other hand (pun intended), Agloves feels softer, providing a pleasant, fuzzy feel. Ultimately, it’s apples and oranges. If you like a softer, fuzzy feel, go with Agloves. If you prefer a snug, smoother sensation, go with Glider.
Functionality is where Glider Gloves comes out far ahead. The hexagonal rubber grip on its palms and fingers allow for more active use. While bicycling, I often reach for a metal sports bottle – the Agloves did not provide much of a grip. The soft, fuzzy feel made it difficult keeping hold of slick metal objects.
Glider Gloves, on the other hand, make you feel like Spiderman.
On the Downside
Glider Gloves aren’t perfect. There are some very minor build quality issues as well as special washing instructions.
A few errant strands of thread stuck out from the Glider Gloves, requiring trimming. While these were just minor aesthetic imperfections, I expect a bit more from a $24.99 pair of gloves. However, Agloves featured far worse thread work, including a defective finger. Glider Gloves again come out far ahead of the competition.
Special Washing Requirements
The biggest problem I had with Glider Gloves is that they require hand washing. However, to my knowledge, all touchscreen gloves require special treatment.
Should You Buy It?
If you’re living an active lifestyle, involving activity such as bicycling or jogging, or you need extra grip, Glider Gloves come out far ahead of cheaper touchscreen apparel. I would dare say that you should probably pay a bit more just for the grip alone. On the other hand, if you’re just looking for an inexpensive means of interacting with your devices while keeping your hands warm, cheaper alternatives may fit your wallet a bit better.
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