Smurf (Showa 282) Winter Hiking Gloves Review

Showa 282 Temres Gloves (also called Smurf Gloves or Japanese Fishing Gloves) are low-cost, single-layer, waterproof/breathable gloves lined with synthetic insulation that make excellent winter hiking and snowshoeing gloves. Priced at $20-$26/pair (depending on size) on Amazon Prime, they’re not the most stylish gloves since they’re intended for industrial applications like frozen food handling, cold storage, and outdoor wet work, but they can work remarkably well if you don’t mind looking like a Smurf with bright blue hands. 

Specs at a Glance

  • Waterproof/breathable: Yes, with caveats (see below)
  • Exterior: Micro-ventilated Polyurethane
  • Liner: Nylon/Acrylic
  • Color: Smurf Blue
  • Size: 10.6-11″ (270-280mm, size dependent)
  • Weight: 4.6 oz (130g) in size XL (runs small, so size up)

The Showa 282 Temres Gloves have a seamless double-coated polyurethane exterior which is completely waterproof. The palms and fingers are coated with a roughened nitrile coating, that feels like bits of sand stuck to the outside, which improves your grip and provides a surprisingly high degree of dexterity for a winter glove. For example, I can buckle all my backpack straps, put on microspikes, adjust my snowshoe straps, hold an ice axe in the ready position, take pictures with a camera,  and even open Keebler/Lance snack cracker packs while wearing these gloves. I don’t own any other winter hiking gloves or liners where that’s the case.

The Showa 282 glove comes in one color - Smurf blue
The Showa 282 glove comes in one color – Smurf blue

The wrist gauntlets on these Showa gloves extend below the wrist but are open, non-adjustable, and somewhat flared. This is good and bad. It’s good because the gauntlet opening helps vent perspiration and augments the micro-ventilated polyurethane waterproof/breathable coating, particularly in dry winter weather. But if you require more heat retention, it’s best to use the gloves with a hoody sweater that had thumb loops that extend beyond your wrists to help seal in your body heat or a jacket with velcro or elastic cuffs that can be sealed over the gloves’ gauntlets.

Insulation

The interior of the gloves is lined with a thin acrylic lining that’s bonded to the exterior so it won’t slip inside and bunch up. It’s surprisingly warm as long as you’re actively hiking or snowshoeing and generating some body heat. If you stop though, the gloves cool off fast, and it requires about 20 more minutes of strenuous activity, like snowshoeing, to warm them up again. In other words, they’ll keep your hands warm during active use, but hold heat relatively poorly if you’re not moving vigorously. That’s a good reason to carry a warmer glove that you can switch to during long rest breaks.

That said, I’ve taken these gloves down to zero degrees Fahrenheit on all-day 12+ mile snowshoeing hikes and my hands have remained warm, remarkably dry, and toasty while we’ve been moving. There’s value in not sweating multiple pairs of gloves out on long hikes and snowshoeing trips although I always carry an assortment of different gloves for different purposes in winter (see Winter Hiking Glove Systems).

One caution I do want to mention has to do with windchill. If your hands are damp from perspiration trapped inside the glove, be very careful to avoid blowing cold wind if you pull them out. This can lead to a flash-off effect where the perspiration evaporates very quickly, causing your hands to get very cold. If you’re not careful this can lead to frostnip or frostbite, surprisingly easy.

The gloves are insulated with a nylon:acrylic insulation which is surprisingly warm in quite frigid winter weather.
The gloves are insulated with nylon/acrylic insulation which is surprisingly warm in frigid winter weather.

While these Showa gloves are made with a micro-ventilated polyurethane coating to be breathable, I wouldn’t put too much trust in their breathability level, given my experience with polyurethane-coated rainwear. The open-ended gauntlets are probably responsible for the bulk of the gloves’ ability to vent moisture through evaporation. I’d still advise you to actively manage the level of perspiration you experience inside the gloves by actively venting the gauntlets if you feel yourself perspiring. By actively venting, I mean pulling your sweater/jacket sleeves up to fully expose the glove lining or folding the gauntlets up so the base is exposed to the air.

Showa also makes a 282-02 version of this glove (available at Walmart) with an extended and adjustable gauntlet which may be of interest if you feel you want extended wrist coverage. I haven’t tried it yet for winter use but would welcome any feedback if you have. I suspect that they’ll be warmer but less “breathable” because the liner cannot evaporate perspiration as easily.

The insulation in these gloves is their weakest point in terms of durability and it begins to pile and compress with each use.  Still, there’s something to be said for a $20 pair of do-most insulated/waterproof gloves that never require any DWR maintenance or washing, even if they only last for one season.

Smurfing up Mt Hale, White Mountains
Smurfing up Mt Hale, White Mountains

The insulation also takes a while to dry if it gets damp, so I’d recommend these only for day use and not overnight trips. In addition, there’s no good way to turn the gloves completely inside out, and in particular, the fingers, to dry them more quickly, because the insulation is so tightly coupled with the exterior. While you can force them inside out, doing this tends to tear apart the insulation, so it degrades more quickly.

I dry mine on a boot/glove drier that blows hot air into the fingers; otherwise, they take 2 days to dry even if positioned near my woodstove. My glove preference for overnight use is to carry a waterproof/breathable shell and several pairs of fleece liner gloves since fleece is easy to dry with body heat overnight and retains warmth when it gets damp.

While the gloves do have a gauntlet, it is open at the end and can’t be shut to trap heat.
While the gloves do have a gauntlet, it is open at the end and can’t be shut to trap heat.

When it comes to sizing, the Showa 282 Temres Gloves run about a size small. I wear an XL that still provides plenty of room for my fingers, but is too small to fit a liner glove into. I normally wear a size large gloves.

Recommendation

Showa’s 282 Temres Gloves are low-cost, insulated gloves designed for cold temperature industrial use that make surprisingly good winter hiking and snowshoeing gloves if you don’t mind looking like a blue-handed Smurf. They provide a remarkable degree of dexterity for an insulated winter glove, they’re fully waterproof and windproof and can be worn in very cold weather. While they’re not for everyone, they’re an interesting option as an active waterproof glove in a winter hiking glove system or if you want to get into winter hiking and snowshoeing but need to keep your gear costs in check.

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Last updated: 2022-05-07 00:21:03

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