Warmth Rating (from Dakine): 5
Reviewer Hand Size:
- Circumference around knuckles: 8 ¾”
- Wrist crease to middle finger tip: 8 ½”
- Gore Tex Waterproof / Breathable insert
- DWR coated leather palm
- Combination DWR coated leather / 4-way stretch soft shell outer shell
- 170g Primaloft insulation
- 400g Pile / 360g Wool liner
- Precurved fingers
- Adjustable hook and loop cuff closure
Test Locations: Alta Ski Area, Wasatch Backcountry, and Park City Mountain Resort
Days Tested: 14
There surely isn’t a shortage of glove choices from Dakine, especially since the company offers options that cover all temperature ranges and degrees of protection. Like the Dakine Commander glove I reviewed, the Excursion offers maximum weather protection and a rating of 5 on Dakine’s 1-5 warmth index (5 being the warmest).
The Excursion uses the same 360g-wool liner as the Commander, along with a similar mixture of DWR-coated leather and 4-way stretch soft-shell outer layer, but the similarities in construction seem to end there.
The Excursion incorporates slightly less insulation, using a 170g Primaloft insulation layer versus the Commander’s 225g insulation layer. It doesn’t use the Gore-Tex Xtrafit Technology with the waterproof/breathable Gore-Tex insert found in the Commander (more info on this topic later), it uses a slightly larger “hook and loop” closure cuff, and does not have the Commander’s padded finger / knuckle protection.
Sizing / Fit
According to Dakine’s size guide, my hand pushes into the size large range by a quarter of an inch. However, after trying on a few pair of Dakine gloves, I decided to go with medium. With the Excursion, I have been exceptionally happy with this choice, since this glove, when compared to the Commander and Dakine Impreza, runs the largest of all.
Unlike the Commander glove, which has a palm / cuff seam that happens to fall a little short of my wrist crease and hence caused me a bit of an annoyance (your wrist might be a better match), the Excursion offers me an anatomically matching fit.
The glove offers slightly more room than the Commander throughout, except at the fingertips, where the fit feels identical. This makes the glove feel a touch bulkier than the Commander—not so much to lose dexterity or feel clumsy, but enough to feel a little more cozy. The lack of foam on top of the fingers and knuckles also adds to the overall comfort level and ease of movement in the Excursion in comparison to the Commander.
The hook and loop closure cuff of the Excursion works very well and seems to use the perfect amount of material, providing easy entry and exit while open, and cinching down comfortably to fit under the cuff of all of my jackets. (The cuff wasn’t designed to be worn over your coat sleeves.)
The Excursion feels identical, in both fit and feel, to a size medium Black Diamond Patrol glove, except that the Patrol has a larger cuff. Compared to Burton, Serius, and Scott gloves I have used, I would also say the fit is comparable.
My sizing recommendation for the Excursion glove is this: if your hand measurement falls within a quarter inch (.64cm) of a smaller size, and you don’t like your gloves feeling excessively bulky, size down to the smaller size. Again, in my case, I measure just into the large, but am happy with medium.
As I noted, the Excursion feels only a touch bulkier than the Commander. But even though it is only a little bulkier, it feels noticeably less precise than the Commander. I’m confident this is due to the Excursion’s lack of the Gore-Tex Xtrafit Technology (a thin bonding tape used between the outer, insulation, and lining layers to provide a “close-fitting…glove with a single layer feel”). This isn’t to say that the Excursion is cumbersome or will require removal to perform small tasks. But it is to point out that the Commander offers exceptional dexterity for a glove providing as much warmth and weather protection as it does. The Excursion still provides above average dexterity for a glove of its weight, and again, it is very comparable to the feel of the Black Diamond Patrol glove.
Had I gone with the size recommended by the size guide, however, I do feel like the glove would be a little bulky and cumbersome feeling when trying to close a zipper, or pop open a plastic belt clip.
In my Commander review, I said that I hadn’t tested the Commander in truly cold weather. That wasn’t so much because of a lack of cold weather, but more because I was using the Excursion as my “go-to” glove on the coldest days. The Excursion is warmer than both my BD Patrol glove and the Commander, which is a little surprising since the Commander uses slightly more insulation. But the tiny bit of extra dead air space in the Excursion seems to trump the thicker insulation of the Commander, providing more warmth. (By the way, this is one of the primary reasons why you shouldn’t wear your gloves too tight.)
For my hands, which rarely get cold, I have found the Excursion to be very comfortable in temperatures ranging from 0 F / -17 C up to the lower 30s F / 0 C. For the coldest temperatures, it is important to stay fairly active, but since these are ski gloves, that seems appropriate.