Review: Showa 282 Gloves || Preferred cold & wet solution, but imperfect

The Showa 282 Gloves, which feature a textured and abrasion-resistant waterproof/breathable shell, with an insulating acrylic liner. They’re the best option I’ve found for hiking and running in cold-and-wet conditions, but they’re still imperfect.

When hiking or running in cold and wet conditions, keeping my hands comfortable has been a chronic challenge. On multiple occasions I’ve pulled into a campsite, trailhead, aid station, or my house with inoperable and painful fingers.

To minimize (or perhaps even, to end) this suffering, this summer I looked beyond conventional rain mitts like the REI Minimalist Waterproof Mittens and Outdoor Research Revel Mitts, which are fundamentally flawed, especially for long-term use, for reasons I explained at the start of my search.

In July on the Pfiffner Traverse Yo-yo, I carried Grease Monkey Neoprene Long Cuff Gloves, which I found at the local Home Depot for $5 and which weigh 3.0 oz in size Extra Large. They kept my hands dry, but I kept looking for a better option: they were smelly, cold to the touch, and annoyingly grabby (and thus fussy to put on or take off, especially if my hand was damp).

These $5 latex gloves kept my hands dry, but they were smelly, cold to the touch, and grabby.

Review: Showa 282 Temres Gloves

The better option proved to be the Showa 282 Gloves, which were recommended to me by Jakuchu Ito, a reader from Japan, where the 282 gloves are reportedly popular with hikers and backcountry skiers, as well as “people in the fishing industry etc. that have to deal with ice and cold water a lot.”

I used the 282 gloves during Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) and while guiding trips in the High Sierra. Conditions in both locations were conducive to testing. During UTMB I faced intermittent rain throughout the race, plus wet snow and near-freezing temperatures on some of the high passes. And in the High Sierra, morning low temperatures were regularly in the 20’s, and one day we had accumulating snow that transitioned into cold rain.

Sporting the 282 gloves on a crisp September morning in the High Sierra at 11,000 feet, with temperatures still in the 30’s.

The Showa 282 gloves have a waterproof/breathable polyurethane shell and an insulating acrylic liner. I have found them to be reliably waterproof, moderately warm, and sufficiently durable. They’re also cheap, at just $20 including shipping. Among the options I have tried, these are the most effective solution yet for keeping hands comfortable while hiking or running in cold rain.

However, if the goal is to make perfect rain handwear, the 282 gloves have room for improvement, specifically with the liner and design.

Key specs

  • Weight: 3.5 oz (size L), 4.2 oz (size XL)
  • Textured waterproof/breathable polyurethane shell
  • Articulated fingers
  • Seamless knit acrylic liner
  • 10.6-11.0 inches long (270-280 mm) when flat, from tip to cuff
  • $20 on Amazon with Prime shipping

Shell

In a Showa brochure, the waterproof/breathable shell (branded as Temres) is described as “micro-ventilated polyurethane.” But I’ve been unable to find specs for hydrostatic head or MVTR, or more information about its construction.

Based on my field use, I would describe the shell as reliably waterproof and marginally breathable. I’d prefer this combination (over, say, temporarily waterproof and reasonably breathable) because there is an easy solution for overheating hands: take your gloves off. The material reminds me of Columbia’s Outdry Extreme, which does not rely on a fragile DWR finish to remain waterproof.

The shell is textured, for improved grip on items like trekking poles, zipper pulls, and shelter guylines. However, the 282 does not have sufficient dexterity to, say, tie a shoelace. The material is somewhat rigid, and the shell was molded in a natural hand shape, with articulated fingers and thumb.

The shell has a micro texture for improved grip.

For backpacking, the shell seems amply durable. My pair shows no signs of use after a few weeks in the field, despite abrading them against trekking poles, grabbing granite talus, and snapping fire wood. In the EN 388 test for industrial gloves, it scores 4/4 for abrasion-resistance and 2/4 for tear-resistance; its puncture- and cut-resistance is marginal, at 1/4, with a score of 0 being the worst.

Liner

The seamless knit acrylic liner serves two functions.

  • Insulates the hand from cold ambient temperatures; and,
  • Buffers the hand from moisture inside the glove, e.g. accumulated perspiration.

Unfortunately, it’s the least durable component of the 282 gloves. My liner is badly pilling (though it’s not shedding). More problematic is that it’s detaching from the shell, which can result in misalignment between the fingers/thumb of the liner with the fingers/thumb of the shell.

The liner adds warmth and buffers the hand from moisture, but its durability is questionable. Notice the extensive pilling after just a few weeks of use.

Showa also makes a liner-less version of the 282, the Showa 281 Gloves, which I haven’t tried but would like to. They could be worn barehanded in mild-and-wet conditions, or paired with a lightweight liner glove like the DeFeet Duraglove Wool (my favorite) for cooler temperatures. They will not be as warm as the 282 gloves when paired with a liner glove, as I needed to do when temperatures were in the 20’s and 30’s.

Fit

A local retailer is unlikely to stock the Showa gloves, so they’ll probably need to be purchased online without trying them on. I’ll share my sizing experience, to help you.

My hand size:

  • Length: 8.25 inches from wrist to tip of middle finger, + 0.125 inches for glove liner;
  • Width: 8.25 inches around the palm, + 0.25 inches for glove liner; and,
  • Middle finger: 3.375 inches (3 3/8) from base to tip.

I purchased the 282 in two sizes:

  • Large fits very well when worn barehanded, although I’d like the fingers to be a smidge longer. When paired with the Duraglove liner, the Large is too restrictive.
  • X-Large is a bit clumsy when worn barehanded, but doable. When worn with the Duraglove liner, the fit is excellent.

The acrylic liner packs out after some use. If a size feels slightly tight when brand new, it’s probably the right one for you.

Design

If Showa was interested in making handwear that was optimized for backpacking and hiking in cold rain, it would make two changes to the 281/282.

First, it would offer a mitt, which is inherently warmer (and lighter and easier to manufacture). Gloves have more dexterity, but that’s rarely called for — and, on those occasions, it’s easy to take off a mitt and then put it back on.

Second, the cuff must be narrower, or have an adjustment (e.g. webbing with ladder-lock buckle). The width and length of the 281/282 cuff makes it difficult to shingle underneath the wrist cuffs of a waterproof/breathable jacket. When not shingled properly, rain water can run down the arms and into the gloves. For a better design, reference the aforementioned REI and OR rain mitts.


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