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

  1. Mike October 30, 2017 at 9:27 am #

    On the image of the inside of the glove you say it’s pulling instead of pilling. (Don’t publish my comment, I just want to let you know of the error).

  2. PS October 30, 2017 at 9:34 am #

    And they need a different color than smurfy blue. LOL.

  3. Paul Beiser October 30, 2017 at 10:03 am #

    Thanks VERY much Andrew! Just ordered a pair..

  4. Bret Grover October 30, 2017 at 1:29 pm #

    Have you looked at/tried the sealskinz gloves? they have several styles and am wondering how they stack up. They have been on Massdrop recently for $20-30.

    • Andrew Skurka October 30, 2017 at 2:27 pm #

      It’s been a very long time. My only experience with them, probably a decade ago, was very negative, with delamination of the entire sock.

      I’m generally skeptical of membranes that rely on DWR, which I think these do, as well as face fabrics that are susciptible to wet out, which again these are. I imagine having a hand stuck in a damp glove surrounded by a soaking wet fabric that takes forever to dry. What am I missing? What’s been your experience?

      • Bret Grover October 30, 2017 at 3:45 pm #

        I have not tried them, the $70 regular price tag has kept me from wanting to try them out, but for $30 possibly. I recently tried the grease monkey neoprene gloves with a thin fleece liner ( I found your post afterwards) and I didn’t have the problem of cold feel, but I will agree that they are “sticky” or hard to grab things other than trekking poles.

  5. ian October 30, 2017 at 2:10 pm #

    We use Atlas gloves commercial fishing in Alaska, but never the insulated version you are using. Even in the winter you hands will get sweaty and gross with the insulated version. The insulated gloves are also impossible to dry.

    The setup we use in both winter and summer is the un-insulated version of Atlas gloves and and a light cotton liner. You will stay just as warm as the insulated version, but you when your hands get damp you can switch out liners. Fresh liners basically gives you a new glove feel, even if the pvc glove is damp. It’s a way better set up than the insulated Atlas.

    You can get both glove and liner on Amazon. Go with a size larger on the gloves to fit the liner.

    Glove – SHOWA Atlas 620

    Liner – Ansell ThermaKnit 78-101

    • Andrew Skurka October 30, 2017 at 2:25 pm #

      I have considered buying those just to compare, but went with the 280 series because they’d been recommended.

      My experience with the 282 has not been as negative as you suggest it might be. Yes, some perspiration does build up, but it’s easy to vent your hands — you just take the glove off. In fact, I returned from a 90-minute run in 33 degrees and freezing drizzle, and used these gloves comfortably the entire time, taking them off and putting them on as needed. Also, while the shell is probably not as “breathable” as the marketing claims it should be, it does have some level of breathability, unlike the 620 glove that you referenced.

      As far as a combo shell/liner (e.g. 282) or separate shell + liner (e.g. 620 + 78-101), I’m generally in agreement here. A system gives you much greater versatility than a single unit. However, there is some value in the simplicity, and the combined unit can be taken into colder temps when you use an additional liner, like I do with the 282 and Duraglove. Nonethless, my next step in this process is to find some liner-less shells like the 281, and give them a whirl.

  6. Mr Graham Faithfull October 30, 2017 at 2:30 pm #

    Have you come across Buffalo Mitts? Not made from Buffalos 🐃, but a pile and pertex construction. They are not technically waterproof but you don’t feel cold and wet when they are soaked. And they are made in Sheffield England.
    http://www.buffalosystems.co.uk/products/mitts/

    Review from Ray Mears website
    https://www.raymears.com/Bushcraft_Product/888-Buffalo-Systems-Mitts-Olive-Green/

    • Andrew Skurka October 30, 2017 at 2:46 pm #

      I know of them, but I’ve never seen them in the US.

      Whether due to body type or environmental conditions, I really struggle to be warm when wet. With a BMI of 21 (6 feet, high-150’s), wiry extremities, and a very efficient aerobic engine, I tend to get cold easily and to warm up slowly. Also, I think the thin air and low humidity of the Rockies and High Sierra makes precip feel colder — there’s less air mass and more evaporative cooling. Bottom line: I’m interested in finding a solution that keeps external precip out.

  7. Lagrandeimage October 31, 2017 at 6:19 am #

    Hello Andrew,

    I was really really looking forward to your feedback on the glove issue and I am not disapointed.

    To get this straight, there are loads of work plastic gloves on the Internet. What set these gloves apart from the bunch for you? The W/P shell? Are there not other gloves that have a W/P shell?

    For example, Showa does a lot of other glove models? Why this model and not the others?

    Just want to make sure I understand well what set these apart so I can look for similar options my side of the pond.

    Anyway, just ordered the Showa 281 because I prefer the unlined glove + liner option which I feel is more flexible. I will test this definitely but I would like to find other alternatives which are less ugly if possible and with a better cuff.

    • Andrew Skurka October 31, 2017 at 2:50 pm #

      You’re right, there are loads of waterproof gloves out there, made of polyurethane, nitrile, PVC, latex, etc. I have not tried them all, so my comparative analysis is limited. I went with the 282 model because they were recommended to me by at least two people, Jakuchu Ito (who described them as popular in Japan among backpackers and skiers) and a client who had bought them on Jakuchu’s recommendation and validated the idea to me.

      The 281/282 are partly appealing because they are breathable, not just waterproof, which will extend their comfort. I’m usually skeptical of waterproof/breathable materials, because my experience is that they’re not reliably waterproof and their breathability is over-hyped. But there are some membranes that have eliminated the Achilles heel of WP/B fabrics, the DWR finish, and perhaps the Temres shell is one of them. It’s hard to imagine how water will penetrate this stuff.

      The 281/282 also has a nicer feel to them than conventional waterproof gloves. They’re more stretchy, less rubbery, and less stiff.

      I also ordered the 281, to compare. They should be more versatile than the 282, but they won’t be as warm, e.g. 281+liner vs 282+liner. If I like them, my plan is to stitch a cuff closure onto them, and maybe hope that Showa contacts me about making a signature rain mitt. 🙂

  8. Michael October 31, 2017 at 9:47 am #

    Andrew,

    Have you tried anything like:

    http://www.pearlizumi.com/us/en/Shop/Ride/Road/Unisex/Essentials/Gloves/P.R.O._AmFIB_Lobster_Glove/p/14341508021

    Or does this have the flawed waterproofing you were talking about?

    Can you tell me why the Showa’s work for warmth? I can see the keeping dry, but with just rubber is that enough in the cold?I get chilblains on my hands, so I would love to get this solved as winter approaches.

    • Andrew Skurka October 31, 2017 at 2:39 pm #

      “Water-resistant” doesn’t work, IMO. Normally that means the fabric has been treated with DWR. DWR quickly degrades due to abrasion, and so too does your water-resistance.

      I’m also skeptical of conventional waterproof/breathable fabrics that rely on DWR, for the same reason. Only a few fabrics have found a workaround, including Columbia’s OutdryExtreme and Gore-Tex ShakeDry.

      The 282 model has an acrylic pile liner, kind of a cheap fuzzy fleece. It’s adds warmth to the glove because it traps air between your hand and the shell (which is closer to ambient temp). The same result can be achieved by using a liner-less glove and adding your own glove liner, e.g. 281 model + DeFeet Duraglove.

  9. John October 31, 2017 at 7:14 pm #

    These Atlas blue gloves are very familiar to the tech scuba diving crowd (use for dry hands for dry suits in cold water). But most don’t end up using them because they are hard to dry out and terrible dexterity.

    I’d suggest trying these instead. Same Atlas company, but way more dexterity as they are thinner and don’t have the fragile built in liner. Instead, I simply use some reasonably thin ragg wool gloves underneath them. They’ve been down for 60+ minutes in 34 degree water at depth and done great.

    Gloves:
    https://www.seamar.com/item/ATS620-SZ/GLOVE-PVC-ORANGE/

    Ragg wool liners:
    https://www.refrigiwear.com/product/ragg-wool-dot-speciality?color=BRN&size=MED&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI1om01Jic1wIV0luGCh3idwKIEAQYASABEgJRCfD_BwE

    And at all of $3.03 a pair, I use them all over place in the house and garage.

    If either get wet accidentally, they are cheap to swap out for a second dive. But in hiking, they’d be easily turned inside out and dry out super quick compared to the fluffy blue Atlas ones.

    • Andrew Skurka October 31, 2017 at 7:40 pm #

      Have you seen the 281/282 in person? I think the dexterity is better than you seem to think.

  10. John October 31, 2017 at 7:53 pm #

    Ah, I’m confusing them with the Atlas Showa 495. Look very similar, but different gloves.

    https://www.seamar.com/item/ATS495-SZ/GLOVE-PVC-BL-REMOV-LIN/

  11. stuart smith November 2, 2017 at 12:03 pm #

    Hello Andrew I have read your report with interest. I have looked for the perfect glove for a long time and now have a mountain of them to choose from. There isnt one (yet!)
    I have used these Showa gloves also in the UK a maritime climate zone. They are nearly there, as you say.

    Please have a look at my take on gloves here. http://aim-adventureinmind.blogspot.co.uk/

  12. Mike November 6, 2017 at 12:19 pm #

    Check out the SHOWA 406’s

    https://www.showagroup.com/products/search/product/406

  13. Lagrandeimage November 7, 2017 at 5:34 am #

    Hello all,

    I got my Showa 281 yesterday evening.

    Out of the box impressions :

    1) very light,
    2) good dexterity I was expecting something much more thick.
    3) tends to size small IMO : the glove is not very well sized for layering. I took an XL (the largest size available). The only liner that I could fit is a thin wool one.
    4) Easy to put on with a thin liner,, when you take it off the liner tends to come with it.

    I gave the kit (glove plus thin wool liner) a run this morning during my bicycle commute. Weather was sunny but fresh with temperatures around 8°C:
    1) Cuff was not really an issue as I stuffed it in my sleeve.
    2) right away from the start I felt cold spots from the wind.
    3) halfway through the trip, my finger tips were very cold and hurting despite the glove liner.

    So this first experience was not very convincing.

    Do note there are other factors to condider:
    1) I was dressed very lightly probably too lightly for this weather. For the last several days, I have been testing the limits of my fall equipment (short, uninsulated softshell, synthetic long sleeve tshirt, light cap and neck gaiter) and today was it. Changing to a more adapted equipment for cold weather will probably improve things as the body concentrates blood in the vital areas of the body when there is not sufficient insulation for all body parts.
    2) My hands/fingers are usually cold due to bad circulation.
    3) Using it for bicycling put the glove in a situation it may not be suited to.

    Nonetheless I am a bit skeptical on the use of this glove for cold weather because the glove is not adapted to layering. Even with adapted equipment for the rest of the body you need a certain level of insulation thickness for the fingers in cold environnement. But the glove’s size does not allow for a sufficiently thick independant liner IMVHO. Of course, YMMV according to your hand size.

    I will try to test a slightly bigger liner tonight but not sure it will fit in. I will give feedback tomorrow.

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