In reality, there probably isn’t much new technology out there to improve on the concept of the glove. Manufacturers got the whole wind protection, insulation formula down years ago. But that isn’t to say that the Majik Wands glove from Columbia doesn’t do a great job of doing what gloves do best.
As part of the company’s 2010 Omni-Heat line of winter sports gear, the gloves boasts 100 grams of thermal insulation and a water/windproof outer layer that effectively keeps hands dry in all but the sloppiest of conditions. It also includes a mildly reflective interior lining designed to reflect the user’s body heat back to the hands (think space blanket).
The whole Omni-Heat thing deserves some extra discussion, given the full-court press that Columbia has been giving the line in the sports media lately. By utilizing a two-part system to prevent heat loss – pile insulation to trap warm air and a reflective layer to keep body heat close to the skin — Columbia claims that Omni-Heat offers the highest heat retention per gram of any synthetic insulation on the market today.
Omni-Heat is capable of boosting heat retention by 20 percent on average. Although I don’t have access to the high-end diagnostic and testing tools that I would likely need to validate those claims, I can confirm that the 50 percent recycled content Majik Wands is wicked warm in real-world use and doesn’t seem to get “too hot,” as sometimes happens with backcountry gloves. It breathes well, too.
As far as the gloves themselves are concerned, the Majik Wands fit my hand a little looser than similar models, but the long, cinch-able cuff makes up for some of the uncertainty. I’m not sure I won’t someday pull out of a glove on a technical descent, or get one caught in a snowshoe pole, but I think cinching down on the wrist should mitigate those concerns.
Sure, the name is a little much, but the Majik Wands glove is, in reality, a fine glove that does what it says it will without slowing you down with extra bulk.