Size: Medium (7.5 – 8.5 in. / 19 – 21.5 cm)
Warmth Rating from Dakine: 2 out of 5
Review Hand Size:
- Circumference around knuckles: 8 ¾”
- Wrist crease to middle finger tip: 8 ½”
- Gore Tex Waterproof / Breathable insert
- Nylon / Poly DWR coated Shell
- 150g Tricot lining
- Synthetic Suede with Silicon grip palm
- Pre-curved fingers
- Adjustable Hook and Loop cuff closure
Test Locations: Alta Ski Area; Wasatch Backcountry; Park City Mountain Resort
Days Tested: 18
Intro / Construction
As winter wears on, there inevitably comes a time when my toasty leather gloves like the Black Diamond Patrol or Dakine Commander just seem to be a bit overkill, so I’m always on the look out for a good, dedicated spring glove.
On paper, the Dakine Impreza glove looked like the perfect spring resort and touring option. It features a DWR coated nylon / polyamide shell, a Gore Tex membrane for water protection, a very light 150g insulating liner, a short wrist cuff, and a synthetic suede palm covered in a thin spider web of silicon for gripping slippery items (like cell phones or wet skis).
It’s been a very warm spring here in Utah, so I’ve been using the Impreza even more than I had expected.
So far, they’ve performed exactly as I had hoped.
Sizing / Fit
According to the Dakine size guide, my hand presses into the “large” measurement range by a quarter of an inch. Despite the size guide recommendation, however, after trying on a couple pairs of Dakine’s gloves, I decided to go with medium, and I have been very happy with my downsizing decision.
The fit is just spacious enough around my knuckles, fingertips, and lower palm / wrist (the common tight spots), while still providing a very low-profile fit without excess material in the palm area when gripping a ski pole.
Unlike my Dakine Commander glove, the wrist seam of the Impreza falls directly over my wrist crease, providing a very anatomical cuff-to-palm junction. And the hook and loop Velcro closure is sized and works perfectly: it provides enough room while unattached to easily slide a hand through the cuff, yet can be locked down tightly enough around my wrist to guard against foreign objects entering. This is all accomplished without having a pile of material where the fabric overlaps itself.
Overall, I’d recommend sizing down if your hand measurement is close (i.e. within a quarter inch) to the smaller size. This will provide a sleek, athletic fit, which I think most people will prefer in a spring-type glove, where warmth isn’t necessarily the most important factor.
As I just described, the glove is not bulky in any way, so grabbing hold of a small zipper or popping open a plastic clip is nearly as easy as with a bare hand. There also isn’t a need to take the glove off while placing a hand into an opened pocket or backpack to search for all but the smallest of items.
This glove doesn’t feature the Gore Tex Xtrafit Technology used in the Commander, however. (Xtrafit is simply a thin bonding tape used between the outer, insulation, and lining layers to provide a “close-fitting…glove with a single layer feel,” which was very noticeable while closing a zipper with the Commander—there was no slipping between the layers of the glove, so I didn’t have to squeeze so tightly with my fingers.)
In the Impreza, I could feel a slight bit of slippage between the layers of fabric when my finger movement needed to be very accurate or powerful. I did not experience this with the Commander.
And really, the addition of the Xtrafit Technology would be the only way I could see the Impreza offering a higher degree of dexterity while still retaining all other positive characteristics.
The Impreza glove is rated only a 2 on Dakine’s 1-5 warmth scale, with 5 being the warmest. With moderate energy output, I found the glove to be enough for me while skiing the resort or touring in temperatures down to around 25 F / -4 C. I wouldn’t want to be left standing around for long at these temps, however.
I found myself the most comfortable while skiing the resort in the Impreza when the temps hovered close to freezing all the way up to the upper 40s F / 7-9 C. In this range, my hands always seemed to be warm enough, regardless of activity level, and I also never seemed to overheat.