When we saw some people wearing FRDM gloves on an adventure, we wanted to test out a pair. With a lifestyle filled with hiking, fishing, and photography in all months of the year, these gloves seemed like they would be a great fit. We reached out to FRDM to see if they would send us a few pairs to put to the test. After trail running, fishing in the snow, and going on some hikes, here is what we thought of the FRDM Free Fit Glove.
Comfort: 4.5 / 5 stars
Warmth: 4 / 5 stars
Dexterity: 4.5 / 5 stars
Look: 5 / 5 stars
Overall Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars
FRDM Free Fit Gloves for Trail Running / Hiking | 5/5 Stars
This was probably the best application for the FRDM Free fit. The gloves were the perfect for regulating hand temperatures on runs between 15-30 degrees F. When things started to heat up a couple miles into the run, simply sliding off the finger tips was hugely helpful in cooling off. In addition to this, the gloves were super convenient for operating the phone. While trail running in Crested Butte, Colorado around sunrise, I was easily able to pull out my phone, snap a few pictures, and put the phone back away.
The easy flip of the glove across the fingers made this super easy.
All in all, these gloves seem to be really great for hiking / trail running in colder weather. They are thin enough to easily operate zippers and grab a phone. If you are a warm blooded person, these gloves will do well with just about as cold as it gets if you are running. If you are a hiker that often gets cold, you might want to consider the thicker FRDM Elevate Snow Glove, or Evolve Snow Mitt.
For Fishing in Cold Weather | 4/5 Stars
We got to try these in some cold weather fishing conditions. Our rod tips were freezing, the snow was falling, and only a few fish were to be had on the river. Overall, the gloves worked great, keeping the hands warm while still allowing for stripping in line and casting. The finger flaps should definitely be kept off of the fingers to truly feel the fly line.
I had the most success and comfort keeping one glove on, and the other stored away. Keeping the reel hand always gloved kept it warm with 20 degree F conditions. When rigged up with a streamer setup where stripping in line constantly is necessary, I found it easier to keep the stripping hand glove free. For nymphing or non-stripping setups, gloves on both hands were a great option.
FRDM recommends these gloves are best for 35 degrees F and higher – I would agree with this, and drop it to 25 degrees if you are a warm handed person like me.
For Photography | 5/5 Stars
As someone who is consistently hiking in pretty cold weather, and always needing to snap pictures, this glove setup was actually one of the best setups i’ve used so far. This will be my new “go to” cold weather photography glove. They are thin enough to operate the camera easily, especially with the finger flaps up. Even in colder conditions – these gloves are surprisingly warm, and are still plenty usable on my Canon setup.
- The Grip – The awesome topographical map style grip is insanely cool looking, and effective. Lots of grip on these gloves in the palm area.
- Touch screen compatible material even with the finger flaps on the fingers – this was super nice to have.
- Finger Flaps – They functioned far better than I thought they would. The magnet works well keeping them out of the way, and they are surprisingly easy to slip back on your fingers.
- It was also great to see how warm the gloves were even on the finger flap fingers. The design keeps the heat in, even on those “flappable” fingers.
Room For Improvement
- I wish the finger flaps were just slightly further down the finger. While fishing, sliding the line, if there was a little more skin showing, it would make stripping the line a little easier.
- The Grip – While amazing for most things, the grip is actually a little too much for fly fishing line. Finger flaps up (fingers out) is the best approach with these gloves.
Where can you buy these gloves?
If you are interested in purchasing, you can find these gloves on Amazon, or on the FRDM website.
Max DesMarais is the founder of hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued his frequent adventures in the mountains, always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about