January 21, 2019

Glove Quest, Round I-Lost-Count

Since it's ludicrously frigid outside (at least in the Northern hemisphere), I thought I would assist you in whiling away your time by helping you spend money.  You're welcome.

We all have our own physical quirks that make shopping for gear agonizing fun.  This joy is multiplied if you also want said gear to last more than one week & you don't make $100,000 a year.  When it comes to gloves, I have to scour size charts & reviews with extra fervour to determine whether something might fit my enormous hands with crazy long fingers.  I can't ride sans gloves because my delicate, wussy skin falls off when...it touches something.  Whee.

Also an expert on using things ALL the way up
I am still using my Horze Lyon gloves (reviewed here), which I still love & can't believe remain functional after 4+ years.  They don't have holes yet, but are wearing too thin to use in winter.  I've also been struggling with another issue:  phone use.

Miss you button: GET IT?!!
While I am definitely not sitting on my horse texting or browsing the interwebz, there are times when I need to operate the touchscreen (I MISS BUTTONS. SO. MUCH.) without having to remove gloves.  I use GPS sometimes, especially on new or extensive trails.  I've been using the free Equilab app to track riding/longe sessions, which means I want to start it right before I get on.  Half the time I forget to leave my left glove off when I lead Echo out to the mounting block, so I have to remove it to start the track.  Annoying.

In a much MUCH rarer, but much more important scenario, I recently had to dial 911 when I witnessed a nasty fall.  I was sitting on Solo & I was the only person who had my phone strapped to me (I use a calf holster, so that if I fall, the phone doesn't contribute to a back or pelvis injury the way it might on a belt).  Those seconds to pull off a glove felt really really long when I wasn't entirely certain whether the fallen rider was (a) alive or (b) suffering spinal or brain injuries (she wore a helmet, got a concussion, but was fortunately otherwise ok).  This wasn't an experience I'd thought much about before, but I sure do now.

I didn't need anything super insulated since I already have the SSG 10 Below (also wonderful & durable).  And I categorically refuse to pay $40+ for a pair of hand covers for horsey riding.  I set out on my quest.

Contestant #1:  Noble Outfitters Perfect Fit 3 Season Glove

Pros:  Technically less than $20 ($19-something at SmartPak).  Claimed to be "cell phone compatible."

Cons:  NOT touchscreen compatible.  I suppose technically you can still sort of use a cell phone while wearing these gloves.  I mean, they don't cover your mouth.  :/  But you certainly can't operate the screen; I even tried using my off-hand, just in case they were designed by some thoughtless person who assumed everyone was right-handed.  Nope, the right one was just as ineffective as the left.

I was also mildly irritated that the published size chart showed how to use a dollar bill to measure your hand.  It's 2019, people:  I'm not a millennial, but I still have fully embraced electronic payments & I would guess I'm in the majority of people who don't carry cash anymore.  After ~15 minutes of googling, I finally found a size chart with real measurements on it.  The gloves still didn't fit very well though & the material felt pretty cheap.

Summary:  A "meh" would be excessively generous.  Returned them.  Thankfully SmartPak makes that easy, although it would be even easier if there was a UPS store in my rural area.

Excuse usage dirt
Contestant #2:  Ovation Tekflex Stretch Comfort All Season Riding Glove

Pros:  I got these on clearance, but regular price is still less than $20 ($18.99 I think at Riding Warehouse).  The XL fits my giant mitts decently.  And they ARE touchscreen compatible, no misleading claims here.  I was pleasantly suprised at how super-grippy they are as well, they would be great in any discipline.  Material feels sturdy & I like that they extend a little farther down my wrist for more sun protection in summer/warmth in winter.  They aren't insulated but my easily-frosted extremities were comfortable at 40-45 degrees.

There is a simple size chart consisting of normal measurements using a ruler.  The olive green accents were on sale, but they do come with other colors.  The accents are very subtle though, which I prefer.  Especially when I was competing, I hardly wanted attention called to my not-always-obedient hands.

Touch pads on thumb/touchy finger
Cons:  None so far.  If I was being really picky, is it really necessary to have a product name with EIGHT words?

Summary:  I love these gloves far more than I expected.  I would definitely buy them again if they hold up.   

Giant awkward thumbs-up: thanks, Ovation!
What about you?  Have you found an affordable glove that you love?  How do you deal with the phone issue?  My old Sony phone had a "glove mode," which actually worked; the new LG is rather crappy & does not. 


  1. THANK YOU for this. I also struggle with gloves, esp in the winter.

    1. You're welcome, hope it helps! The Ten Belows really are the best thing I've ever used in the winter. They are truly waterproof & have delicious Thinsulate lining so my hands are sometimes TOO warm (but I'm ok with that). They are still flexible enough to tack up & ride in & ALSO come in giant hand sizes. :)

  2. It's funny, I actually adore the Noble Outfitter gloves, and I am very picky about gloves!

    The material does feel light but it wears like iron, I swear. I have never even worn a pair of mine slightly thin.

    It may be a fit thing because I am kind of the opposite from you when it comes to size: I have verrrrry short finger that are a bit on the thick side. I'm 5'9" and wear a 5 or 6 in gloves! And the Noble Outfitters are perfect for me. So I can see why a longer-fingered person might not love them.

    This is going to seem a bit ridiculous since they are so cheap but these are actually my current favorite winter riding gloves: https://www.ridingwarehouse.com/SSG_Fleecee_Knit_Winter_Riding_Fleece-Lined_Gloves/descpage-SFLG.html

    For me, the SSG 10 Belows were SO thick that I could not even make a fist with them, much less ride or do anything productive.

    1. Ya know, I could see that for someone who has short fingers, that is definitely what they were designed for (I usually wear a 7 or 8).

      I'm glad to hear the material wears better than it feels. If they had fit me properly I would likely have kept them because the phone issue is, overall, a convenience issue. But since they didn't & I was pretty irritated that the one feature I chose them for didn't work, I issued a cruel rejection, heh. But thank you for sharing your experience, because that will also help others who do NOT have my enormous orangutan-fingered graspers!

      Also, (a) I think those fleecy gloves look delightful, how does the knit hold up to things like tightening a girth & does hay stick to them? and

      (b) If you have small, short-fingered hands, I can DEFINITELY see how 10 Belows would turn those into useless boxing gloves.

      This is a perfect example of why shopping for sized things is torture, ROFL, we are the same height!!

  3. You can buy metallic embroidery thread and do a few stitches through the fingertips of your gloves to make them touch screen compatible.


    1. How did I not know this?! Thank you for this super handy tip!

  4. i go through weird phases with gloves. for years i rode with gloves every time, no exceptions. but now i'm off the wagon i guess and only wear them when i have to for shows or when its too too cold.... lately in the cold i've been wearing $8 gardening gloves from the hardware store. they're super thick but not actually as warm as i hoped....

    1. I have envy for your ability to ride glove-free without bleeding.

  5. Most gloves that have said "touch screen compatible" I've still struggled with.