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Outdoor Research: Gloves For Stone Cold Operators

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When you see $360 Multicam gloves, it’s a clue they are probably some pretty specialized kit made for people that requested certain capabilities. The updated MGS Shell Gloves from Outdoor Research are just this kind of gear.  Seattle-based Outdoor Research, one of the prime suppliers of harsh weather gear to all those Tier-One-Spear-Tippy kids, makes some impressive and well-thought out clothing systems.

Years ago, when the United States Special Operations Command went shopping for a “Modular Glove System,” O.R. responded with a USA-made modular setup that was very well received (a lower cost offshore variant option for those that don’t need the Berry Compliance.) The 2.5L Gore-Tex waterproof-breathable MGS Shell Gloves are comprised of two pieces: an outer shell that can be worn standalone, or as part of an integrated system layered over a combat glove or an even warmer insulated liner.

The Inner Liner and Outer Shell of the OR Glove System

The Inner Liner and Outer Shell of the OR Glove System

The larger outer shell glove offers protection in wet environments across a broad range of temperatures – like when rolling across a freezing desert in the middle of the night in an ATV – but allows the user to quickly pull off the bulkier outer shell from a more tactical-use glove underneath, without ever exposing the skin to the elements or having to literally switch gloves.

The MGS Shell Gloves are made with a unique, proprietary seam-sealing process resulting in reduced bulk and weight as well as enhanced dexterity and tactility. They are actually sewn and constructed around a 3-D foam hand model rather than sewn flat like cheaper gloves are. The original solicitation requested that all insulation be removable to speed drying time as well as allowing the insulated liners to be swapped out when wet, and these continue to offer that functionality. Naturally, they have all the expected buzzwords at this price level: waterproof, windproof, breathable, and touchscreen compatible.


Whether you need this level of modularity and flexibility in your handwear, you can decide, but O.R. has an impressive lineup of gloves for many uses and users. Check ‘em out at:

Outdoor Research is at SHOT Show booth #31000 – swing by and while you’re there, be sure to also check out their awesome Infiltrator Jacket and Pant set while you’re at it.

Rags-trade trivia moment: One year, O.R. produced the most Gore Products in the Outdoor industry, measured by units produced.

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