POW Gloves is giving you the upper hand in the great outdoors

POW Gloves is giving you the upper hand in the great outdoors

All images courtesy of Karl Gray. Skier: Drew Joliwicz

It’s 1997, a group of friends are headed for the famed powder stashes of the Pacific Northwest at Stevens Pass when the idea hits them: Prisoners of Winter, POW. Flash forward 21 years, POW Gloves has grown from a backseat brainstorm to one of the leading glove-specific brands in the world with distribution in 43 countries. Born out of the basic need for quality gloves that protect from the bitter and soggy conditions of Washington winters, POW Gloves has always operated on the idea of being outside, no matter the weather, “all day, every day.”

Since first hitting the market in 2002, selling gloves out the back of a car in local resort parking lots, POW Gloves has remained focused on the development of handwear, and handwear only. “While other companies produce a multitude of other categories, with gloves being merely an afterthought, POW remains committed solely to handwear,” says Dan Egan, head designer and co-founder of POW Gloves, “which uniquely enables us to do it better than the rest.”

From design to development, the creation process of a POW glove is meticulous, taking at least a year to deliver a product that stands up to the superior standard of POW and sets the bar for other brands. Once the design team, led by Egan, agrees on the look for a new glove or mitt, technical synthetic fabrics, grade “A” leathers and Gore-Tex technologies are chosen for the specific function of the glove. For example, the Royal Gore-Tex Glove is the love child of supreme functionality and show-stopping steez thanks to the creative use of distressed leather. “We didn’t innovate distressed leather,” says Egan, “but we worked hard with our factory and leather tanneries to develop a water-resistant distressed goat skin leather that could be used on our Gore-Tex gloves.”

In 2017, POW Gloves moved its headquarters and created a Test Lab in Glacier, Washington, at the base of Mt. Baker. This relocation now makes it possible for POW’s designers to take a product directly from the Test Lab, out the front door and into the wild environment of the surrounding mountain ranges. Within this real-world environment, Egan and his team are able to examine the waterproofing, breathability, dexterity and other components that make a POW glove stand out from the rest. “We get new development prototypes out in the elements and put them to the test as soon as we can to determine what is working and what is not,” explains Egan. “We work closely with our factories to make the changes needed to improve product build and performance.”

Coupled with POW’s diligence throughout the development process, the brand’s key partnership catapults its quality factor, ensuring every pair is “built to last.” After years of phone calls, meetings and showcasing product, Gore-Tex signed on as a partner in 2010 to give the 2011-12 product lineup a waterproof, windproof and breathable liner, and the same is true today. Depending on the glove’s purpose, POW employs one of three Gore-Tex technologies: Gore-Active for extreme breathability; Gore-Grip for improved dexterity; and Gore-Warm for optimal warmth. Along with its Gore-Tex product lineup, POW also offers less expensive gloves for those on a tighter budget who don’t want to sacrifice performance.

In an effort to make its products more accessible to more consumers, POW began utilizing HIPORA inserts to create a line of high-performance gloves at a lower price point. HIPORA is a fabric consisting of a three-layer microporous coating structure. The first layer, furthest from the hand, prevents water from passing through. The second, honeycomb-like layer lets moisture in to expel through the first layer and the third layer–closest to the hand–adds dense protection against the winter elements. Between its Gore-Tex and HIPORA products, POW Gloves truly has a high-quality glove or mitt for every snowsport enthusiast–no matter the activity or disposable income.

Whether you’re slipping on your very first pair or you’ve been a loyal customer since the company’s humble beginnings in the PNW, POW’s obsessive attention to detail, key partnership and a shared passion for plundering fresh pow make it easy to see how it has become a rising star in the winter glove industry. “Our values remain the same as when we started making gloves in 2002,” says Egan. “Make great products for the activities we all enjoy and have fun doing it.”

Featured Gear

Vertex GTX Glove

A tough pair of gloves are an instrumental part of a good day in the great outdoors. The Vertex is a leather hand protector featuring a Gore-Tex insert to keep water out and provide breathability, a micro-fleece lining for soft comfort and 113 grams of Primaloft Gold insulation for a boost in warmth. POW made this baby with foam panels built into the back of the glove, which will protect both your hands from damage sustained off piste and keep the Vertex intact for many adventures to come.

Empress GTX Glove

Ladies, treat your hands like they’re royalty with the Empress GTX Glove. Lined with super soft micro fleece and boasting 100 grams of 3M Thinsulate, your fingers will stay toasty no matter how low the mercury drops in the thermometer. A “Grade A” leather shell treated with Teflon DWR and a Gore-Active insert make these hand jackets practically bomb proof, keeping you protected even when Mother Nature throws a wild tantrum. A no-snag velcro wrist closure and wrist leash up the security factor for when you’re hot doggin’ around the mountain.

All Day Glove

The All Day Glove is perfect for late winter and spring skiing when the temperature is starting to rise. These puppies are lined with ultra-soft micro fleece on the top of the hand for comfort and leather on the palm. The glove’s exterior features a corded nylon shell that provides incredible durability and dexterity and the silicone palm grips like an Undertaker chokeslam. The glove also sports a wild Magic Forest print designed by Sydney, Australia-based artist, Steph Elise, for that little something extra.


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