Concepts 'Moderate Cold' Acrylic - Black/Grey Touchscreen Gloves (2013)

4stars

Concepts ‘Moderate Cold’ Acrylic – Black/Gray Touchscreen Gloves (2013)

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Price: $11.99 (list $22.99)

At $11.99, the Concepts 'Moderate Cold' Black and Gray Acrylic Touchscreen Gloves (2013) are a steal. These soft, form-fitting gloves offer high conductivity and a simple sophistication at a very affordable price.

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Editor’s Note: it appears that By Concepts has closed shop and is no longer offering their gloves either on their website or Amazon.  Should this change, the site will be updated.  It’s sad to see these guys go, as their gloves were excellent.

For reviews of other knit gloves on this site, click here.

At $11.99, the Concepts ‘Moderate Cold’ Black and Gray Acrylic Touchscreen Gloves (2013) are a steal.  These soft, form-fitting gloves offer high conductivity and a simple sophistication at a very affordable price.

Conductivity

Doug Stein, the founder of Concepts, approached the creation of his gloves with their ultimate functionality as his first priority – they needed to work with touchscreens.  As a result, the gloves perform flawlessly.  Surprisingly, a number of major glove manufacturers have failed to appreciate this basic premise and instead of starting from the ground up, they have simply added touchscreen elements to existing gloves.  This is not unlike putting airplane wings on a minivan – it often doesn’t work and it can look pretty awkward.

To make their gloves conductive, Concepts weaves stainless steel thread into all ten fingertips.  This material, combined with the snug fit (something that not all knit gloves do as well), enables users to easily type with both hands on a tablet’s virtual keyboard and precisely maneuver around smaller screens like a phone.

Construction

Overall, the construction of these gloves is very good.  The cuff is snug and well-proportioned, and the knit body of the glove is robust, while still being soft and comfortable.  Though not made for rugged outdoor adventure, these gloves are perfectly suited for regular day-to-day activities.

Concepts could improve the construction in two areas.  First, the webbing areas in between the fingers and thumb would benefit from some re-enforcement – the thumb on one of my gloves had signs of a small hole forming.  Second, the connections on the sides of the fingertips were a little bit rough leading to a couple of loose threads sticking out.  This had no noticeable effect on the precision or conductivity of the glove, but I worry that over the life of the gloves these smaller issues might lead to larger problems.

Warmth and Dexterity

As the name would suggest, this particular model is meant for moderately cold weather (down to about 40 Fahrenheit/5 Celsius).  Any colder, and you will probably want to put on thicker gloves (such as the Concepts ‘Very Cold’ Wool Touchscreen Gloves).  However, owing to the fact that they are lighter weight, well-constructed, and very soft, they are incredibly easy to move in.  I actually forgot that I was wearing mine at one point, making them among the most dextrous gloves I’ve tried.

Design

Concepts has refrained from going very far out on a limb with their design, and while they are not Haut couture, they are not meant to be.  Indeed, the design is simple, but elegant.

First, the fingertips have a darker, dyed conductive thread, which comes relatively close to matching the black of the body of the gloves (more so than the picture suggests). For a number of years glove manufacturers used silver colored (or undyed) thread on the tips of conductive gloves.  While this was fine when touchscreen gloves were first introduced to the market (as it served to distinguish them to consumers), at this point, silver colored fingertips only make sense if they are a conscious design decision that enhance the gloves (which they rarely do).  There’s no need to scream ‘I am a touchscreen glove’, so it’s nice to see gloves that don’t.

Along similar lines, Concepts has avoided over the top  graphics or ‘high tech’ labels on their gloves, instead choosing to attach an unobtrusive, tasteful tag on outside bottom edge of each hand (though they could get away with having just one to add some nice asymmetry).

Finally, the cuffs have a thin, restrained line of grey which adds a nice contrast to the typical dark colors of winter clothing, but can be hidden by a sleeve if needed.

As with many touchscreen gloves, this pair would benefit from having traction or grip material on the palm and/or fingers of the gloves.  Touchscreen devices such as phones and tablets are very smooth and can easily slip out of gloved hands, especially with softer material like acrylic.  Additionally, something I noticed when traveling by public transportation, holding onto the commuter bars on trains and buses is challenging without any grip pads. As such, this slight modification could prevent some expensive accidents and make for easier commutes.

Overall Value and Conclusion

These gloves are great – they do what they promise and they do it well.  Moreover, for around $12.00, they are among the best value for knit gloves I have seen.  So if you are looking for medium warmth gloves that you can use around the hood, you should definitely get the Concepts ‘Moderate Cold’ Black and Red Acrylic Touchscreen Gloves (2013).

Specs

Material

  • 90% acrylic
  • 5% spandex
  • 5% conductive thread

Styles (2013 line)

  • Moderate Cold Acrylic Black with red cuff highlight
  • Moderate Cold Acrylic Black with grey cuff highlight
  • Very Cold Wool Black with red cuff highlight
  • Very Cold Wool Black with grey cuff highlight
  • Very Cold Wool Grey with black cuff highlight and light grey fingertips

Sizing

  • Regular  (for medium to large size hands)
  • Small  (for small to medium size hands)

Gender

  • Unisex

Washing

  • Machine wash cold
  • Lie flat and air dry
  • Do not tumble dry

About Concepts

Conceived of by Doug Stein while walking his dog on a Montreal winter day (if you have not experienced winter in Canada, you do not know the meaning of cold), Concepts was founded on the principle that the first priority of touchscreen gloves should be to enable users to precisely and accurately interact with touchscreen devices.  For a company that is recently out of the gate, Concepts is one to watch going forward.  I spoke to and corresponded with Doug on several occasions and was impressed with his thoughtful approach to his work and willingness to field questions.  Concepts is a company I would highly recommend doing business with.

Conclusion Rating
Conductivity
5 stars
Construction
4 stars
Warmth
3 stars
Dexterity
5 stars
Design
3 stars
Overall Value
5 stars

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