What I would change: Need to have women’s sizes.
Best for: Wet Scottish winter climbing, walking and mountaineering.
Description: Inner and outer glove – Inner is a windproof soft-shell with palm grippers, which covers the hand snugly. Outer is a separate super-waterproof glove, with high gaiter, nose-wipe thumb panel, easy function gaiter-tightener and arm-hangers.
Fit: I bought a men’s small and they fit very well. They don’t come in women’s sizes (yawn). I have rather large hands for a small woman, so usually buy men’s gloves anyway. I doubt very much that those with small hands would have the same luck.
Functionality: These fine gloves accompanied me on a most exciting 14-hour Scottish Winter climb – up 300metres of grade II & III mixed rock and Ice in on Bidean Nam Bean, Glencoe, earlier this year. The event was rather epic for me, but I must say that the gloves did an outstanding job under the conditions – being in the snow and wetness for 14 hours, clinging onto a pair of technical axes for dear life, protecting my hands from the extreme cold that sets in when you’ve not eaten all day. They are flexible enough, considering their substantial bulk – I was able to do a surprising amount of things which I hadn’t expected to be able to do.
Design: Whoever designed these gloves paid close attention to how the design would help the wearer in cold, damp, snowy and icy conditions. I have been told that no gloves are completely waterproof, as water seeps in through the arm holes and snow drifts in when you take them off. This is the case, but if you take care to prevent water ingress through the arm holes, then these are very well functioning – very high quality waterproofing. The arm gaiters come very far up the arm, which was perfect for getting coat sleeves quickly in and tightened up. The system for tightening and loosening the wrist gaiters is brilliantly designed – functioning without needing fine motor skills (which you don’t have with frozen hands covered in gloves!).
Cost: I paid £20 for a brand new pair on Ebay, not realising that these cost upwards of £80 in the shops. Having said that, I would unequivocally buy these again, even at £100, if I were looking for a pair of mountaineering gloves.
Verdict: Hardwearing gloves, with outstanding waterproofness and great functionality.
You can find out more about the specification at the Mountain Hardwear website