RefrigiWear’s ComfortGuard Gloves are a decent pair for a bargain price
Though it’s not without its flaws, the ComfortGuard Glove from RefrigiWear is an exceptionally priced, surprisingly comfortable winter glove.
Made for comfort and designed for warmth, the ComfortGuard glove became my go-to pair for shoveling and outdoor winter work. That said, I quickly learned that the “breathable” barrier was a little less so than advertised, which led to an unexpected issue, but I’ll get to that in a minute. For the most part, the RefrigiWear ComfortGuard Glove performed a lot better than most similarly priced alternatives, and as an always-handy option I’d recommend picking up a pair for your winter outdoor gear kit.
Wyoming winters are renowned for touch-and-go weather, accented with the occasional kill-you-if-you’re-not-careful snow shower. Fortunately, this kind of weather is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, and an essential requirement for enjoying the below-zero wilderness is having the right gear. When I first got my hands on these babies, the timing was perfect. My last pair of bargain bin winter gloves had come undone at the stitching, and my backup fingerless polar fleece mittens just weren’t cutting it. So, as soon as the ComfortGuard Gloves showed up, I strapped them on and put them to work.
Admittedly, I used these gloves for shoveling more than anything else, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t give them a proper testing. When you’re out at 6:30 a.m. scraping fresh snow off the sidewalks, frozen fingers can be disastrous. One of the first things I noticed about the ComfortGuard Gloves is they kept my digits nice and toasty, and that’s thanks to the super soft interior lining. While 120g Fiberfill plus foam insulation with brushed tricot lining is material jargon to me, I appreciated the comfort and warmth immediately. Pair the nice lining with an outer poly-twill backing and suede cowhide palm (which was clingy enough to grip my shovel but smooth enough to not stick uncomfortably), and the overall ComfortGuard Glove package is respectable at first glance. It’s a one-piece glove, with the lining stitched in, and the pair is easy to strap on and tuck under a coat sleeve.
BONUS: Whenever I hear “waterproof,” it’s second nature to doubt and immediately test. Before I gave these gloves and outdoor test, I couldn’t help dunking my gloved hands into a bowl of water. After all, what’s a gear review without some unconventional testing? Unfortunately, the waterproof barrier did almost nothing. The fingers soaked through in a matter of seconds, and what I was left with was a wet, heavy glove. Granted, I have no trouble at all with water leaking in when I’m out shoveling, but if you planted your knuckles in a stream while out snowshoeing with these on, there’s a good chance they’d soak through almost immediately.
Now, for the unfortunate side effect of the waterproofing/lining pairing. In my opinion, the breathability of the outer shell is sub-par, and it’s something that’s almost a deal breaker. Given the generous nature of good ol’ Wyoming winter weather, I found myself having to shovel again a few hours after my first go with the ComfortGuards, and then again a few hours later. When I slid my hands into the gloves each time, there was still moisture trapped inside the inner lining. There was still very apparent dampness in the palm and finger areas. Not a waterproof issue, per say, but a sweat issue that seemed to be caused by the lining. To remedy this, I got in the habit of throwing the gloves into the dryer after every use, and this does the trick, but it’s a notable pitfall of an otherwise decent glove.
My criticisms aside, I’ve still got the RefrigiWear ComfortGuard Gloves sitting ready on the shelf next to the front door, and I use them regularly. As snowshoe/hiking gloves, they’re a bit bulky for digging into a pack and possibly less weather resistant than advertised, so not quite equipped for longer trips and wet snow. I still prefer something thinner for short hikes and a glove that’s more heavy-duty if I’m going to be digging out a snowmobile later in the day. As a 4-wheeler keep-the-fingers-from-freezing glove and a pair for regular shoveling, these will do the trick. For the price, which is a big selling point, they’re a little nicer than I was expecting. If you’re in the market for a heavy-duty glove to pair with your thousand-dollar snowmobiling gear, the ComfortGuard Gloves probably aren’t for you. If you’re looking to outfit the whole family with new winter gloves and don’t want to break the bank, skip the Walmart specials and pick up a few pair from RefrigiWear.