Inconceivably rad gloves and mittens from the Land of the Rising Sun
Japan’s standing among Western skiers nears mythical status: It’s spoken of in wistful whispers, a culturally curious utopia of ramen, onsens, and powder. Oyuki, an up and coming Japanese apparel manufacturer, aims to make durable and practical winter accessories that will withstand the elements and keep riders on the mountain longer. After spending a few weeks testing two of the most popular models this winter, we're convinced that it's succeeded.
Oyuki, which means "Big Snow", was founded in Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island which is at the heart of the countries storied storms. The company soulfully crafts everything from base layers to balaclavas, but most noteworthy is its flagship line of gloves. Inspired by Japanese principles of functional simplicity, the gloves feature clean lines and are made with premium materials like goatskin leather, Gore-Tex, and PrimaLoft Gold Insulation. Although Oyuki’s been snowballing in Japan for seven years, the 2017/18 season marks a prudent introduction into America.
The goatskin leather Sencho is perhaps the most traditional ski glove in the line. Though slim-fitting and low-profile, the Sencho is surprisingly warm and withstood frigid temperatures on a testing trip to British Columbia’s Whitewater Resort.
When exploring Whitewater’s surrounding backcountry, testers also dug the Pep Trigger mitt which was designed by one of America’s most iconic powder skiers, Pep Fujas.
“I really appreciate a simple aesthetic,” Fujas says, whose years in the industry designing K2 skis have made him invaluable to Oyuki’s R&D process. The Oregon horizon Fujas grew up admiring adorns the mitt in striking stitching, and his signature graces the comfortable neoprene cuff closure. The thumb and forefinger move freely—helpful when ripping skins or assembling split boards—while the pinky, ring, and middle finger are kept together to maximize heat retention. There's no compromise between warmth and dexterity.
Don’t just take our word for it, though. Much like skiing in Japan, Oyuki’s gloves are so near perfect that you might not believe they’re real—at least not until you slip your fingers inside, cinch the cuff, and ski ‘em for yourself.