Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Glove choices 2017/18

Yes, my hands are still quite nesh. However, I have reduced my vast pile of gloves to only a few that are in regular service, and this gets refined still further for winter use.
Generally speaking mitts are now my main choice for warmth, so nothing with fingers really gets a look in. If you have warm hands in gloves, I envy you. If you don't - read this.


My general rule is to have a warm layer and a waterproof layer (obvious, no?). With any luck, the warm layer is also windproof, and the waterproof layer is even more so. For running they need to be as light as possible, but this does mean some level of fragility if you're heading up over rocks and scrambly bits.

Running - Warm layer

From last winter I have been using Montane Prism mitts. They are ridiculously lightweight and pack down so small I sometimes think I've forgotten them. They see regular use throughout the year and are now beginning to show some signs of wear. As they are a synthetic insulation, holes in the fabric shouldn't mean they leak much (as a down glove would). When they get wet, and the wind is blowing, without an extra waterproof layer on top, I do find that the temperature in my hands gets lower...
That's the size of em.

small - but warm. (mine are the old style with no touch screen snazzy bits like the new ones)
The other thing that is a bit annoying about these is that even though I have small hands, and I have a size S, getting your hands INTO the damn things is a bit of a pain. The wrist restriction is very tight indeed- great for not letting anything into your hands, but an annoyance to get them on. As you can see, my pair are beginning to "go" at the wrist closures.
Oooohh - beginning to go at the seam. (what a rubbish picture)
The Super-prism mitts are out and about now, but they're heavier. As a solution, they are pretty neat, but once they get wet, that's it. I'd rather have the versatility of 2 gloves which are equally light.

Running - Waterproof layer

Extremities tuff-bags. Made of Goretex paclite, these are as waterproof as you're going to find. Also, even without an inner layer, the amount of wind that they cut means they are a decent warm layer on their own. No - there is no insulation, but the palm is ever-so-slightly re-inforced.
These, added on over the Prisms, or indeed, any other glove or mitt really make a massive amount of difference to hand warmth and dexterity (once the gloves are off). I'm onto my second pair of these, not because I have worn any of them out yet, but because I was an idiot and lost a pair at a race.
Blinking brilliant mitts.

Tuff Bags - with a decent palm grip

Tuff bags - with a good closure around the wrist as well. The gauntlet is long and also has an elasticated cuff.

Walking/rescue - Warm layer

Considering that I'm probably going to put these through a lot more abuse than the running mitts ever get, these mitts have to be proper solid and (hopefully) unbreakable. Considering that these Montane Extreme mitts are still going 4 years later shows that they are made of stern stuff. No they are not waterproof, and the insulation is pile, but wow, they are solid and dependable. The inners to the Waterproof outerlayer of the Montane resolutes are made of the same insulation, but without the solid palm material. Both of them get used as insulation layers, but often as not, the Resolute outers get deployed over whatever else I am wearing.
The thing I love about the extreme mitts is you can "carry" them like this

The fluffy inside of the resolute mitt. (the palm on the extreme is like this, whereas the back is Primaloft)
My extremes are going on the thumb...

Walking/rescue- Waterproof layer

My Montane resolutes are getting a little long in the tooth - and are unfortunately no longer made. You can see the material over the thumbs is getting worn a significant amount so "waterproof" might be overstating things a little too much at the moment. The palm is rock solid, and for the most part, these are indeed waterproof. Should I buy another pair? Well... I really only need a pair of the waterproof shells - and luckily enough, Montane make a pair. Not eVent any more - they have a deal with Gore now, so there is a set of shells in Proshell - the Endurance Pro-mitt. Expensive... but lovely.  Mountain Equipment also did much the same thing, but I can't see it in their current range - Extremities also do something much the same - the Guide tuff bag - oooh, choices.
delamination? de- something-ing on the thumb of my Resolute mitts.


  1. Tim, must agree. After amassing a large glove collection searching for that 'magic' pair, I reached the same conclusion that it's mitts for me supplemented by 'hot hands' or similar when it's really cold.

    Quick question - 1st sentence - 'nesh'??

  2. According to a quick google....: Nesh is an English dialect adjective meaning 'unusually susceptible to cold weather'

    and yes - shakey hand warmers are a marvellous thing.