When it comes to gloves, I am one picky son-of-a-bitch. There is nothing worse than ill-fitting, less-than-warm, ugly-as-sin gloves. It’s inexcusable. So why are sub-standard gloves so omnipresent in skiing and snowboarding? The answer is simple; few companies care enough to put the time into design. That is, until now.

The Arc’teryx Vertical SV ($250 CDN) is a short-cuffed version of the Alpha SV gauntlet glove. The North Van company’s meticulous approach to design shines through in the Vertical SV’s simultaneously clean and technical design, and anatomically superior fit. Where as with most gloves I end up cutting off all the ridiculous snaps, cords and buttons that clog up design (seriously, who’s gloves blow off in a crash?), the Vertical SV has nothing but a wide Velcro strap at the wrist to keep the gloves on, and that’s all it needs. In fact, when I go to take them off, I often have to undo the strap before being able to easily do so. The glove features a removable Dri-Fit liner underneath its Gore-Tex exterior.

I was concerned that the short, thin cuff would lead to cold wrists but have found it not to be a problem. That being said, I do use thumb-looped base layer to form a seamless layer between arm and hand. I’m still surprised Arc’teryx jackets don’t feature built-in lycra inserts in the sleeves like some companies do. I find them the easiest and most low profile way to avoid snow up the sleeves.  Of course, this isn’t a review of a jacket, it’s of a kick ass glove that does exactly what it’s supposed to—keeps my hands warm and dry in the coastal climate…not an easy task. At first, the gloves were awkward but soon packed out to the shape of my meat hooks and became like a second skin. In the past three weeks of coastal weather (which brought everything from massive storms to bitter cold to sweaty, swass-inducing warmth) these gloves managed to keep me comfortable. My hands did perspire a bit on the warmer days but I am a sweaty mess on those days anyways, so I don’t blame it on the gloves. Overall, the Vertical Sv performed exactly how I expected it to. It’s a stellar product from a company that knows the details matter, even in the smallest parts of our gear.

Looking for the nerdy tech stuff? Here’s the goods straight from the Arc’teryx site:

“Engineered with Tri-Dex™ Technology. The outer shell and liner both feature a unique finger construction that provides an aggressive, anatomical fit. Snow-shedding laminated cuffs open wide for easy donning/doffing and seals tight with a wide, Velcro® backed cuff tab.”

Check them out here: www.Arcteryx.com