Swany X-Change II Ski Glove
I don't know about you but I'm rough on gloves. I put them through the ringer. I guess between backcountry skiing, resort skiing and all the hiking I do with my skis that gloves don't stand a chance. The fact of the matter is that beyond being built tough a glove has to be dexterous, warm, and just feel good on the hand. Otherwise, why bother, right? Over the years I've had a number of gloves from companies like Reusch, Black Diamond, Swany, Gordini, and Head but it had been a while since I slipped my hand into a pair of Swany gloves. My first pair of Swany ski gloves lasted me for a few years and were some of the best I have ever owned. But like all of my gloves, they too saw some extra stitching after some time but still gave me an extra year or so of enjoyable use in the mountains. It was with anticipation then that I tried out the X-Change II. Review of the Swany X-Change II Ski Glove First slipping on the Swany X-Change it was quite comfortable and not too bulky. The fingers are pre-curved to add to the fit and feel. I was glad to see a glove with "idiot cords" which I really like since I take my gloves off and on quite often for photos or to dig into my pack or jacket. The gauntlet is minimal, unlike some gloves that feel like they go to the elbow. I was stoked on the design. My first time using the X-Change II was on a SUPER cold day with air temps at -5 degrees and wind chill near -15. They felt good on my hands as we set out to skin up to the top of Wolf Creek Pass here in Utah. But after a few minutes I got cold hands and my fingers never warmed up. I shrugged it off and figured no glove would keep me warm that day. Over the next few times skiing I would say that these gloves were more cold than warm. I started to wonder if the plastic like material that was on the inside of the fingers was conducting the cold and making my hands cold. I do get cold from time to time regardless of the glove, but it was more often than not that the Swany X-Change II had me tucking my fingers back into the palm area to warm up. I found a pattern one day after skiing Alta where we hiked to Gunsight and High Eddies. When I did something to warm up my hands, like hiking, the gloves seemed to stay warm. So I made sure that over the next few times skiing that I was warm to start out with and they performed better, but still not to my demands. I've now put almost 3 months of use on these gloves over 25 days of skiing (resort and backcountry) and they are starting to show some wear and tear on a couple of seams. I didn't notice it until riding the lift at Brighton last Tuesday when we were enjoying 25" of new powder. If I had to estimate how long they will hold on, I'd say that I could put another 10-15 days on them until they would need some stitching. Remember, I said at the start, I'm harsh on gloves. But this was my experience with this model. Features of the Swany X-Change II Ski Glove Uni-pull cuff cord is easy to use "idiot cord" so that you don't drop them when you take them off Quick release strap for better fit AquaGuard lock-down zipper utility pocket - fits a heater pack Swany Dry Lining tri-plex insulation with Dryfinger II insert Leather reinforced palm My recommendation if you're hard on gloves like I am then spend the extra $40 and purchase the Swany X-Cell II Glove that is all leather. But if you're not harsh on gloves, ski a few times each year and sensitive to the wallet, the X-Change will likely last you and serve you well. Buy Now - Get the Swany X-Change Ski Glove from REI or you can buy it direct from SwanyAmerica.com Update: So I was skiing Alta today and bumped into a guy that had the X-Change II and after 10 days of use his looked nearly brand new. Admittedly he did say that he hasn't been using poles since he's teaching his kids to ski, but that these gloves have held up well for him and he has been warm in them. Goes to show that each user of a product will have different results.