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Outdoor Research Bitterblaze Gloves

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rocknice2 · · Montreal, QC · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 3,480

Anyone try these out yet? I'd like to hear what they are like for ice climbing. They look great!

Bitterblaze Gloves

Zack Robinson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2018 · Points: 0
rocknice2 wrote: Anyone try these out yet? I'd like to hear what they are like for ice climbing. They look great!

Bitterblaze Gloves



I read a review somewhere saying the execution wasn't that great.  But I'm mostly responding so I get notifications from people who have actually used them.  The insulation technology looks awesome, and I've considered getting a pair.

Jason4Too · · Bellingham, Washington · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 0

My wife and I both have pairs, she has climbed a bit in hers and I have only skied in mine.  I'd agree that they are good but not quite great.  I can feel the aerogel insert, especially in the finger tips and there is a crinkly feeling to them.  It's almost like they have a foil layer that you can feel crumpling up as you squeeze a fist.  They don't have quite as much leather coverage in the fingers as the Project gloves had and they didn't gusset the cuff which makes them a little harder to get in and out of.  In short I like the Project glove better but these fill the same niche purpose as the project glove.  My wife has said that in cold conditions she really appreciates having them on ice but most of the time it isn't cold enough to justify.  She loves her OR Mixalot gloves for most of her ice climbing and has a pair of RAB gloves that she wears in moderately cold conditions that she goes to before it gets cold enough to put on the Bitterblazes.

vermaine · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 10

I have climbed in them. Yes the insert crinkles a little. but the aerogel definitely insulates from frozen metal, and the gloves are reasonably articulate - not as great as the alibi's but for an insulated glove for cold temps, they work well. I do think the Projects were a bit more insulated though...

rocknice2 · · Montreal, QC · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 3,480

That crinkle feel, does it affect the grip of is it just a different feeling.
I looking at these for colder of wet days out. I have other gloves for mild temps.

Ryan Pfleger · · Tahoe · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 25

How is the dexterity compared to other warm gloves. Say the Alpine Alibi?

vermaine · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 10

the alpine alibis have a relatively thick wool insert. The bitterblaze is more in line with the OR project, and the BD punisher. just dexterous enough for hard WI5 leads, and warm enough for cold days. I have not had the aerogel affect grip at all, just a little annoying. And I would guess that with more abuse, they will pack out and break in a bit. 

Gabe B. · · Madison, WI · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 86

I put some on in REI and in their current state, they feel best suited to belay gloves or seconding gloves. They would be nice for handling cold ass ropes and things like that but are not dextrous enough to grab the coffee grinder handle on ice screws or fuck with small carabiners (easily). I'm still intrigued though...

Ryan Pfleger · · Tahoe · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 25
Gabe B. wrote: I put some on in REI and in their current state, they feel best suited to belay gloves or seconding gloves. They would be nice for handling cold ass ropes and things like that but are not dextrous enough to grab the coffee grinder handle on ice screws or fuck with small carabiners (easily). I'm still intrigued though...

Wait, I thought they were MORE dexterous than the Alpine Alibis? I can place screws just fine with the AAs, provided the carabiners are full size, like a Photon.

Micaiah W · · Drake, CO · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 5
Ryan Pfleger wrote:

Wait, I thought they were MORE dexterous than the Alpine Alibis? I can place screws just fine with the AAs, provided the carabiners are full size, like a Photon.

No,  definitely not. More insulation (good for warmth), and the finger tips are floppy. Kept getting stuck in carabiners when i clipped the rope. Tried them on a few leads,  retired them to belaying or seconding. OR just didn't put as much effort into the fit and tailoring of these as their other ice gloves. 

Wish they didn't discontinue the Project gloves,  those things were excellent.  Hope my old pair lasts thru the rest of the season

Better maybe for someone with skinny fingers,  if you can size down one size from normal.

  1. Edit: I was referring to the current Alibi II glove.  Never wore the discontinued Alpine Alibi
rocknice2 · · Montreal, QC · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 3,480

I have the Alibi II. Only use it in warm weather so it's not a comparison to the new glove.
The Projects are a direct comparison.

Micaiah are you saying the BB's are sloppier than the Projects? I found those a bit looser than the Contacts. Which fit me perfect.

Micaiah W · · Drake, CO · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 5
rocknice2 wrote: I have the Alibi II. Only use it in warm weather so it's not a comparison to the new glove.
The Projects are a direct comparison.

Micaiah are you saying the BB's are sloppier than the Projects? I found those a bit looser than the Contacts. Which fit me perfect.
Micaiah W · · Drake, CO · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 5

Yes. The Project for me was a perfect fit.  The Bitter Blaze,  while a bit warmer,  was too sloppy for a lead glove.

If the Project was loose on you,  then downsizing in the BBs may be an option. For me,  the fingers were cut way too long in the BBs.  Downsizing gave me the right finger length,  but constriction around the palm.

Ryan Pfleger · · Tahoe · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 25

Anybody try the OR Ouray glove? Also uses aerogel. How does it compare?

Kevin Mcbride · · Canmore AB · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 478
Ryan Pfleger wrote: Anybody try the OR Ouray glove? Also uses aerogel. How does it compare?

It's just the women's version of the bitter blaze 

Ryan Pfleger · · Tahoe · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 25
Kevin Mcbride wrote:

It's just the women's version of the bitter blaze 

Ahhh, thanks. They show up under Men's Gloves at Backcountry.

Anna Ferntheil · · ANCHORAGE · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 13

I have climbed in the Ouray, size m, and find them very warm,almost too warm, and dexterous. I did size down-to the point that the fingers look too short on me. I have long, skinny hands though and usually have slop in my ice gloves. I also have the alpine alabi, size s. I find I have more slop in the fingers of the AA than the Ouray. They are also not as thick. For comparison I also used the projects in a medium which were too sloppy for leading for me.

For as thick as the Ouray gloves feel, if sized down a little, they get surprisingly good dexterity. I found less slop in the fingers than the AA. I typically wear a men's M / women's L in gloves. As far as I know they Ouray gloves and Bitterblaze are the same glove, just men's and women's versions. 

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 440

If you can when trying out gloves grab some tools off the rack and see how it feels  to hold the tools. I also fiddle with biners if there are any available. 

swaghole · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 0
Ryan Pfleger wrote: Anybody try the OR Ouray glove? Also uses aerogel. How does it compare?

My wife has them.  She doesn't like them because of the loss of dexterity from the stiff aerogel insulation.  She's been trying to break them in some more but they remain too stiff.  

Jason4Too · · Bellingham, Washington · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 0

My wife spent 10 days in Canmore in early February and was climbing in very low temps which put her in the Ouray gloves almost every day.  She said that when the conditions pushed her to go to those gloves she was really happy with them, especially as they broke in.  She also has a pair of Mixalot gloves that she climbs in as well as some Rab gloves that are thin but lightly insulated to fill the gap between the Mixalots and the Ourays.  She did a lot of belaying and climbing in the Ourays and they are showing wear but are doing pretty well for as much mileage as they have seen.

Kyle Tarry · · Portland, OR · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 424

Does anybody have both the Alibi II and Mixalot gloves to comment on how they compare?

I have a pair of the Alibi II and like them a lot, but they are pretty minimal in terms of warmth and insulation.  Wondering if the Mixalot is similar, or warmer?

I've tried some of the other popular gloves from OR (Stormtracker, Super Vert) and found that the fingers are often too long and as such they don't work for me on lead.  Too bad, because the level of warmth and insulation was just about right.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Ice Climbing
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