Stay Warm And Use Your Whole Hand With These Capacitive Gloves For iPad, iPhone [Review]

Multitouch warmth. Oh, yeah.

Multitouch warmth. Oh, yeah.

It’s no longer a surprise to walk into a store that sells gloves and mittens and finding a pair with capacitive spots on the thumb and forefinger. These gloves let you tap on the screen of your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, or other touchscreen device without having to take off your gloves, thereby saving you from potential cold hands or frostbite.

Living in a cold city like Anchorage, AK, I’ve come to appreciate the ability to use my iPhone when I’m outside, but really haven’t found a pair of gloves that let me use my iPhone naturally and easily, until now, with these knit gloves from Glove.ly. These soft, warm knit gloves now let me use my forefinger, a pinky, a thumb–indeed, a whole hand or two–to tap, swipe, and multi-touch gesture my way around an iPhone or iPad screen.

I’m fairly in (g)love.

The fine folks at Glove.ly sent along two pairs of their whole-hand gloves, each woven with special silver fibers that transform the entire glove into a capacitive surface. The first pair, named “Classic”, feel fairly typical of other knit gloves you might find at a retail outlet. The second, “Cozy,” provide an extra gentle layer of fuzzy yarn on the inside of the glove, enveloping my hands in calm, comfortable warmth. For feel alone, the Cozy version of Glove.ly gloves are a wonder to wear.

The “Classic” gloves had fewer touch errors than the “Cozy” version

Wearing these gloves about my daily tasks out and about in town, I quickly found them indispensable. My hands were kept much warmer than without gloves, and I easily forgot that I was wearing them at times, since I could easily pull out my iphone, tap in the security code, check email, swipe through websites and eBooks, play games, and the like. I ultimately chose to wear the “Classic” gloves more often, since they had fewer touch errors than the “Cozy” version, perhaps due to the extra non-capacitive fiber in the latter.

Not my dog. Nor my hands.

Not my dog. Nor my hands.

One size fits all may be true, on average, but I found both pairs to be on the small side for my larger hands. They’re completely usable, but the fingers don’t completely meet the webbing between my fingers, and the wrist section just about hits my wrists. They’re on the small side. In addition, with the Cozy style pair of gloves, the right hand glove was just a minute bit smaller than the left, making them feel a little awkward even in their velvety smoothness. Still, I’d rather have capacitive gloves run a bit small than large, due to the fact that the glove touching your skin is what makes it all work.

Magnets Glove.lyThe little magnets woven into the wrist area of each glove is a stroke of brilliance, too, as they provide a way to keep your gloves together when they’re not on your wrists. The magnets aren’t super strong, so I wouldn’t trust them for secure glove attachment in an extreme situation, but they’re good enough to stuff in a pocket or purse and not fall away from each other. The magnets also give you a nice visual cue when putting on the gloves; I placed it on the inside of each wrist when I slipped them on to differentiate between left and right gloves (though they’ll work on either).

Bottom line, the Classic Glove.ly gloves are worth the $25 asking price (you can even get a discount if you Tweet about them, as well). The Cozy version of the gloves (not yet on the site for sale) feel amazing, but I had some trouble with the irregular size of one of the gloves, and an occasional mis-tap. If you live in a place where keeping your fingers warm is important, and you want to be able to use more than your thumb or forefinger to work with your iPhone or other touchscreen device, Glove.ly is a fantastic, affordable option.

Cult of Mac rating: Excellent

  • Westerley

    these gloves are terrible! I have a pair and the multi-touch part of it doesn’t work anymore! I got these back in December. I’m highly disappointed by this…

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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