There was some very cold days here this winter. And thank God I had FTP gear to survive. I had been shopping for new gloves for quite some time. I tried most of the work gloves available on the market. And there was NO WAY I was going to buy those trendy 120$+ ski gloves from all the popular brands loved by puffy-coated ski and outdoor enthousiasts. After some research, I stumbled upon this small Utah based retailer, Free The Powder.
"My wife and I founded Free the Powder to offer gloves and mittens of the quality and price that we ourselves had searched for, but could seemingly never find. I’m a backcountry skier who gets cold hands easily, which means I need really warm hand protection that also provides excellent dexterity for handling gear. The problem is, warmth and dexterity are on opposite ends of glove design. And having a limited budget compounds the problem. So, after 40 years in ski country as a ski racer, backcountry ski bum, and mountain climber I set out to find a solution to this problem. Thus began an extensive research and development odyssey in 2013. Now, with the help of a small team of designers, leatherworkers, and a group of dedicated skiers and Ski Patrol, we have found a solution to the problem, and are proud to offer you Free the Powder Gloves."
So I got my hands on a pair of Season Pass gloves and Polar mittens. The Season Pass gloves are designed to strike the perfect balance between versatility and dedicated hand protection. Premium cowhide leather, with just the right amount of EVA knuckle padding and 200+ grams of FTP's own Breathefil, a special blend of synthetic fibers that maximize breathability and minimize hand-sweats. And the Polar mitts are designed to keep you on the mountain when everyone else is heading for the lodge, made of premium cowhide leather, ultra-breathable 4-Way stretch softshell, and 300+ grams of Breathefil™ insulation. Like pretty much everthing in 2018, they are made elsewhere. Pakistan in the case of FTP products.
They are both very nice designed. As FTP's founder Chase was telling me, We make gloves that are designed with extra insulation and all-stretchable materials that break in over time for optimum long-term performance and fit. Most glove brands are made for the showroom, with lighter insulation and rigid materials.
They are very well made. They do need some time to break in, but once they do, they are super comfortable. The Season Pass gloves offer very nice grip and control, with some nice padding. I never found gloves very warm for my poor old hands. Even tough my hands were still freezing at only 15F outside, the Season Pass gloves were still a lot warmer than my leather work gloves. I wish I had ordered a bigger size to use liners. (Some of their models already come with liners...)
Mittens are always warmer than gloves, and so were the Polar Mitts. They are just the best and warmest mitts I had. I just wish I had ordered them one size up too. I measured my hands according to their instructions, ordering mediums. I find them a tad small for my hands. I'll probably give them to the wife and order some more large gloves and mitts...
Price is quite good compared to similar other products. Keep in my that you always pay a very high premium for the brand name. They also make their own special treatment and water-proofing cream. An all-natural blend of Lanolin, Beeswax, Cocoa Butter, Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, and Tahitian Manoi Oil. According to FTP, it is so good that it can be used for gloves, mitts or even on your own face... I'd like to see what they can do for leather boots...
FTP Season Pass Gloves: 80$
FTP Polar Mittens: 90$