January 1, 2016

Intentional Partnerships: Burton and GORE-TEX® Gloves

We've all had those days—the mountain conditions are so good, but also so cold.

When you’re riding back up in the chairlift, and your hands start to resemble frozen protrusions rather than the wiggling digits we rely on to do just about everything, it’s a problem. You badly want more laps snowboarding or skiing untracked turns in perfect, airy, powder. You want more floating, more flying.

But your hands are simply too frigid to keep going. Still, how can you stop?

With the right equipment, like a pair of Burton-designed GORE-TEX® Gloves with Gore’s new +Gore warm technology, you don’t have to. These gloves promise to be the warmest GORE-TEX® gloves that you can find (in Burton’s collection).

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How? More than 25 years of partnership between the two brands that has resulted in high-quality gear, which now includes the unique +Gore warm specification, found on nine different styles of Burton gloves. This latest technical innovation measures the thermal resistance of a finished glove in the presence of moisture.

Rigorous on-mountain field trials took all the layers and materials in gloves into account—from the lining that goes next to your skin to the shell material—to determine those glove styles that keep hand temperature above 15 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes after activity stops. Because blood circulation in the hand is reduced when activity stops, that’s the point where cold hands become uncomfortable hands, according to Gore research. Gloves and mittens that succeed in meeting this warmth measure earn the +Gore warm label. For avid mountain enthusiasts, that means longer days and more fun.

Since 1990, the two companies have enjoyed a strong partnership, as both are known for their premium products and customers who enjoy limit-testing activities. Doug Crawford, Gloves and Accessories Sales leader for the GORE-TEX® brand, called the long relationship “synergistic.” In fact, according to a 2015 Snowsports Industries America report, the Men’s Burton GORE-TEX® Glove is the industry’s best seller. This latest collaboration continues that tradition.

“Burton got on board with this technology immediately,” Crawford said of their efforts together on the +Gore warm products. “And they absolutely did work very hard to qualify their biggest glove styles.”

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To Carolyn Schmidt, Burton’s Soft Goods Business Unit director, the reason is simple: key snow product technology. “You want to partner with the best,” she said, adding that the GORE-TEX® brand “is renowned globally for the technology to keep your hands warm and dry.”
That doesn’t mean the qualification process was easy. Earning any GORE-TEX® brand certification requires rigorous, multistep testing in their labs for breathability, waterproofness, and other quality indicators.

“With Gore + warm, it’s now added an additional step,” said Schmidt.

“It’s really kind of finding the perfect mixture of shell fabrics, to insulation, to the lining, and there’s even special patterning involved,” she added. Such details ensure enough air circulation within the insulation.

That’s important because when consumers buy a quality ski glove, “it’s not a small investment,” said Crawford. For example, the Burton [ak] 3L Hover Mitt, certified by the +Gore warm technology, retails for about $160. Other +Gore warm styles range from $70 to $95.

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But the hard work was worth it. Burton gloves with the +Gore warm label are now the go-to styles for snowboarding luminaries like Jake Burton, the brand’s founder, and Olympic medalist Mark McMorris.

Schmidt believes that the number one thing customers are looking for are warm hands. “Nobody wants cold hands.”

And now nobody has to have them. Ride on.

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