The North Face Etip Gloves
23rd Mar 2012
I’ve had quite a few comments about these gloves, and not all of them complimentary. Not sure why really. I think it’s cool to knock geekiness which is what they really are. Essentially they are a nice pair of gloves made of stretchy material, but with a modern twist. If you’ve ever tried to use a touch screen device whilst wearing gloves – and let’s face it there are more and more of them, from phones and tablets, to cameras and MP3 players, and we’ve had a spate of super-cold winter’s of late – then you’ll appreciate that wearing normal gloves means you can’t effectively use the touch screens without removing them first. The Etip has a small pad of shiny material that the makers call X-static, built into the thumb and forefinger of each hand. The material makes absolutely no difference to the general use of the glove – they are not really designed for the sort of temperatures where the thinner material would result in colder tips – yet works a dream on touch screens. Add to this the fact that the palm is covered in tiny silicone dots to make sure that you don’t accidentally drop your device into a snowdrift, and it’s a neat idea. I actually used them as my inner gloves within a pair of hefty technical mitts on a recent trip to Scotland for some winter climbing. I keep my compact camera tucked inside by neck line and was able to take regular photos in bad conditions thanks to these gloves (previously I’d have had to take off my gloves entirely at the risk of freezing my hands, and would inevitably have taken fewer shots). It’s a shame they felt the need to add the little ‘on / off’ symbol to the glove as it detracts in my opinion. This is a nifty innovation that I am sure we will see copied by many so no need to draw attention to it, just lead the way. My main complaint, which is consistent across all TNF gloves, is one of sizing. My ‘large’ gloves must be aimed at large children as they are really quite small. As a result the stitching is parting in the same place on each glove (just down the outside of each thumb where the hand is widest). I’d say they are a great pair of gloves, but make sure you get at least one size bigger than you think. They retail at about £30.
More info at The North Face Website.