Concepts 'Very Cold' Wool - Grey/Black Touchscreen Gloves (2013)

3_5stars

Concepts ‘Very Cold’ Wool – Gray/Black Touchscreen Gloves (2013)

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Price: $11.99 (list $29.99)

The Concepts 'Very Cold' Gray and Black Wool Touchscreen Gloves (2013) are warm, form-fitting gloves that offer high conductivity with a straightforward, clean design. And at $11.99 they are very good value for money.

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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.

The Concepts ‘Very Cold’ Gray and Black Wool Touchscreen Gloves (2013) are warm, form-fitting gloves that offer high conductivity with a straightforward, clean design.  And at $11.99 they are very good value for money.

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 quite good.  The cuff is snug and well-proportioned, and the knit body of the glove is robust, though still  comfortable.  It should be noted, however, that while these gloves are labeled ‘very cold’ they are best suited for regular day-to-day activities on cold days rather than rugged outdoor adventure.

Concepts could improve the construction in two areas.  First, although the webbing areas in between the fingers and thumb is well enforced and strong (an area most knit gloves fall short in) the connections on the sides of the fingertips had several threads that had come undone.  While this had no noticeable effect on the precision or conductivity of the glove, I would worry that over the life of the gloves these issues might lead to larger problems.  Second, the wool is a little bit itchy.  I’ve tried other wool gloves and have not had this problem, so it likely lies on the type used.  Accordingly, these particular gloves could benefit from trying one of the softer, more comfortable wools like Merino, which is used in a lot of high-end athletic clothing.

Warmth and Dexterity

As the name suggests, the gloves are meant for very cold weather (down to about 4 Fahrenheit/-20 Celsius).  With greater warmth typically comes poorer dexterity, though these gloves do a surprisingly good job of remaining nimble and not feeling bulky.

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, although the fingertips use the traditional silver/light gray conductive thread, because they play off of the slightly darker gray of the body of the gloves they look quite nice. For a number of years glove manufacturers used silver colored (or undyed) thread on the tips of conductive gloves to distinguish them to consumers.  At this point, off-color conductive fingertips only make sense if they are a conscious design decision that enhance the gloves, which in this case they do.

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 each have a thin, restrained black line which adds a nice contrast to the lighter colors of the rest of the glove, 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

The Concepts ‘Very Cold’ Gray and Black Wool Touchscreen Gloves (2013) are a nice pair of gloves that perform as promised.  And for $11.99, they are very good value for warm knit gloves you can use for everyday activities.

Specs

Material

  • 50% wool
  • 20% nylon
  • 20% acrylic
  • 5% spandex
  • 5% conductive thread

Styles (2013 line)

  • Moderate Cold Acrylic Black with red cuff highlight
  • Moderate Cold Acrylic Black with gray cuff highlight
  • Very Cold Wool Black with red cuff highlight
  • Very Cold Wool Black with gray cuff highlight
  • Very Cold Wool Grey with black cuff highlight and light gray 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 cold winter day in Montreal (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
4 stars
Construction
3 stars
Warmth
4 stars
Dexterity
3 stars
Design
3 stars
Overall Value
4 stars

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