Thin Gore-Tex Gloves — Rare as Hen Teeth?

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This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

My hands stay warm. Mittens are to me as useful as ski boots on a golden retriever. Thick gloves? They live in my pack, only seeing light during cold events. Thus, 99.99% of my winter fun is enjoyed in thin gloves. That doesn’t mean junkers. Gloves I like need a friction palm, reasonable durability, and a modicum of warmth. Most importantly, without something like a Gore-Tex layer they get too wet while working with climbing skins or digging snow pits. My latest favorite has been the Mountain Equipment Cascade Xtrafit Glove. I’ve got some days on these now. Pittards leather palm is holding up, and they do keep my hands dryer than without Gore, though I’d be happier if they breathed slightly better (perhaps by limiting the area covered by the Gore-Tex). The gloves do have one odd feature: A stretch neoprene panel up by your wrist that can’t stretch much due to the way it is hemmed and shaped. This doesn’t cause any problems, it’s just kind of strange. So I just ignore and enjoy. They work well.

Mountain Equipment

Mountain Equipment

Sadly, I can’t find any etailers for the ME Cascade Extrafit. Readers, suggestions for these types of gloves? Feel free to leave shopping links, we’ll curate.

I’m thinking these BD gloves might be of similar utility.

Readers also suggest Outdoor Research Warrant, which look good. I’ll get some for testing.

I just tested a North Face Etip Apex glove: fail. It wet through to my fingers quickly in the faucet test, and the liner pulled up out of the fingers enough to make it tough putting the gloves back on. I bought these for the test, back to Sports Authority they go. Shucks, they looked promising.

Comments

27 Responses to “Thin Gore-Tex Gloves — Rare as Hen Teeth?”

  1. Tyler December 6th, 2013 9:44 am

    I feel your pain Lou! I’ve found the Outdoor Research Warrant Gloves to work well. They are listed as an ice/mixed climbing glove but work well for skiing. No insulation on the palm. Light insulation on the back of your hand. Pittard’s, goretex… It’s an under the cuff fit, not sue how you fell about that.

  2. Rich December 6th, 2013 10:20 am

    Lou, there are a bunch of UK retailers who list these gloves. Not surprising I suppose given ME are a UK company.

    http://www.facewest.co.uk/Mountain-Equipment-AW13-Cascade-Xtrafit.html

  3. Brent December 6th, 2013 11:26 am

    The Mountain Hardwear gloves with OutDry have been working very well for me over the last few years. The waterproofing is legit. The Hydra (now Hydra EXT) and Typhon with the liners pulled out have very light fleece inside the back of the hand and the leather palm is holding up well.

    http://www.backcountry.com/mountain-hardwear-hydra-ext-glove-mens

    http://www.omcgear.com/mountain-hardwear-typhon-glove-men-s.html

  4. Greg December 6th, 2013 12:15 pm

    I’ve become a fan of these recently:
    http://www.rei.com/product/766531/manzella-silkweight-windstopper-gloves-mens
    Durability isn’t great, and they’re not goretex, but they’ve met my needs for a lighterweight glove – keep my hands (reasonably) dry, and keep the wind off.

  5. Lou Dawson December 6th, 2013 12:33 pm

    Windstopper actually works pretty well as a water resistant membrane, but soaks through too easily during heavy use such as shoveling. OR used to make a fleece windstopper glove that was my lightweight of choice, then they quit using membrane in it and it didn’t work no more…

  6. Ben December 6th, 2013 2:35 pm

    I have found the series of Flylow leather gloves to be great. They are warm and durable. They look like just work gloves but have a fleece lining that makes them warmer. I use them for bike commuting, back country and resort skiing. They are fine on all but the very coldest days at Loveland.

  7. Bill B December 6th, 2013 3:08 pm

    BD used to sell gortex shells.
    Later had a very thin liner.
    It is my go to glove.
    Add a thin wool liner glove for more warmth.

  8. Adam Garmon December 6th, 2013 3:22 pm

    OR used to make an unlined, taped gore glove that I loved despite a high price. Now I use the arcteryx alpha sv glove despite the high price:) I really enjoy having as solid a waterproof barrier I can find with the ability to take out ALL inevitably wet lining. I use them for skiing, boating, everything and slip whatever necessary lining in. My main gripe is the leather can be slickish. I put silicone lines for grip on the palms of a previous pair with some success. Keep rocking!

  9. d December 6th, 2013 5:12 pm

    “The Mountain Hardwear gloves with OutDry”

    Agree that they are onto a winner with OutDry, but durability lets them down terribly.

    Columbia also use OutDry, but no removeable liner.

  10. Bar Barrique December 6th, 2013 9:47 pm

    I have been using the Komperdell Frottee ( I think that is what the’re called), for a couple of years. They are a seamless sort of neopreme.stuff. Not the warmest glove, and, they can get a bit clammy if your hands are cold, but any breathable fabric requires heat to work. Durable but kind of pricey. They are the best thing that I have found for wet conditions, or falling snow when temperatures are not too cold.

  11. skimole December 6th, 2013 10:12 pm

    Ya… People always laugh at me when I walk into a store and ask for the thinnest gloves they have.

    As for the BD gloves, try them on first — they fit funny.

    Arc’teryx Cam SV Glove (http://www.arcteryx.com/product.aspx?language=EN&gender=mens&category=Gloves&model=Cam-SV-Glove) have been a good compromise with lots of breathability and a little warmth.

    I’ve also had good luck with ‘pipe’ gloves — they are thin, but tough and designed to be dragged in snow.

    However, on the up I just give up and use my XC lil’Sports or bare hands.

  12. Landon December 7th, 2013 9:02 am

    Lou, I have a pair of OR gloves that are very similar to the Warrant that I use for ice climbing here in the Canadian Rockies. That little bit of Primaloft makes them surprisingly warm. IMO they would be too warm for the uphill part while touring (except on very cold days or for those who have cold hands). I normally use thin fleece gloves with Windstopper, but have definitely longed for some thin Gore-tex gloves at times (admittedly it’s normally very dry and cold in the Rockies but I occasionally make my way over to Rogers Pass). Hopefully the Wildsnow community can come up with some good recommendations!

  13. Pavla December 7th, 2013 9:28 am

    This may be close to what you are looking for:

    http://eu.dakine.com/p/gloves/ski-snowboard/mens/impreza-glove?clr=OTN

    I’m satisfied with them and it really took me a lot of time to find this kind of gore-tex gloves without insulation (finally I found them in skateboard shop after no success in outdoor shops))

  14. Lou Dawson December 7th, 2013 9:43 am

    Leave it up to Dakine. What is it about those guys? We seem to always end up using some of their products. Current ski bags, the lightest with rollers we could find, yeah Dakine. Then there are our chainsaw backpacks. And now these gloves are a must-have!

  15. John Gloor December 7th, 2013 11:54 am

    I have a pair of these Klim Goretex gloves. I’d say they are kind of mid-weight though. http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/klim-powerxross-gloves.

    For warmer conditions I use these uninsulated windstopper gloves. http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/klim-inversion-gloves. If you have larger hands, Klim makes gloves that will fit you

  16. Michael Weigley December 7th, 2013 12:55 pm

    Hi Lou, I am looking for the same thing. I’ve used cross country skiing gloves in the past but they aren’t waterproof.

    In addition to the BD Arc glove you mention in your post, BD also makes the Terminator glove. It is thing, flexible and waterproof.

    http://blackdiamondequipment.com/en/climbing-gloves/terminator-glove-BD801664BLAKXS_1.html

    I tried on both the BD Arc and BD Terminator and preferred the Terminator. It fits snug with light insulation and seems to have good dexterity.

    I looked on the BD website and said it is specific to ice climbing, but I don’t know why they specifically say ice climbing rather than ski touring as well.

  17. Mårten Pettersson December 7th, 2013 3:27 pm

    For me this system works very well:
    Ski Trab, not water proof glove with an extra “wind mitt” that you pull over four fingers when it is cold. Zoom the picture. http://skitrab.com/en-us/c-6-gloves/140-gara-world-cup-gloves.html
    Works very well. I really like the option with the wind mitt. When you go fast, you don’t want to stop and open your back pack, picking up your warm mitts. Often you are a bit frozen, do not stop to change. With this gloves you put over the wint mitt in 3 seconds.

    When it is super cold, for decents. A light Marmot mitt, plus a fleece liner. http://marmot.com/products/details/precip-shell-mitt

  18. Les December 7th, 2013 10:44 pm

    Dry Guy waterproofing spray offers superior advantages to other waterproofing methods and keeps your fabrics breathable!
    dryguywaterproofing.com

    Whether it be your winter jacket, ski jacket or even fleece jacket, waterproofing your outerwear is easy, and when you have a good product, you only have to do it once during the season.

    Now Available on Amazon

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=bl_sr_sporting-goods?ie=UTF8&field-keywords=Dry+Guy+Waterproofing&node=3375251

  19. Jonh December 8th, 2013 9:13 am

    I got myself for Christmas ( I know it’s not there yet but…) some Sentry Glove from Black Diamond. Gore-tex, full leather palm and only a light fleece inside. I’m a fan!

    I also found the armada Delata one of the option on the way
    http://armadaskis.com/product/gloves/delta-gore-tex-glove/
    On paper they must be a little bit warmer, but I choose the Black diamond for the palm hand in leather instead of synthetic suede. But the price is great for a Gore-tex inside glove (75$)

    And If I have an extra 200$, I will love to have a pair Arcteryx Caden glove. I try them on, and it’s the greatess fit I ever had. But for 250$, you can get 3 pair of armada or 2 black diamond or 10 FlyLow…

  20. Nils December 8th, 2013 5:38 pm

    The Mtn Hardwear outdry gloves breathe well, and are what I take for most tours, but the durability isn’t great & even the XLs are very snug. I called MH to suggest they offer these in normal sizes, but they weren’t very receptive unfortunately.

    The primaloft OR gloves are ok for women or smokers with poor circulation ;) but a sweaty mess in aerobic backcountry use.

    Years ago it was a lot easier to get uninsulated WPB gloves.

  21. Kjetil December 9th, 2013 4:04 am

    I have the short version of the Arcteryx Alpha glove (guessing that’s called the Caden now). It’s the only time I have been ashamed after buying gear because of the cost, but they are the best fitting glove I’ve ever had. More importantly the dexterity is great, since I take lots of pictures when I’m skiing. I run hot and mostly I wear no gloves on the up. If it’s a little colder I’ll put on some superthin liners, and if the wind picks up I take the Arcteryx “shell-glove” over the thin liner. The thicker liner that came with the gloves lives in my pack, so if I’m cold or the thin liners are soaked in sweat I’ll take them out. So the way I would layer my torso, is also the way I layer the hands.

  22. Ben W December 9th, 2013 7:51 am

    I also seldom need and insulated glove. OR Stormtrackers are my pick. Amazing fit, quick to dry (keep the leather conditioned) and they hold up great if you keep them away from ropes.

  23. Mike D December 9th, 2013 11:15 am

    I just picked up the OR Versaliner glove. 100 wt fleece glove inside a Pertex shell. You can use the liner and the shell together or separate. If it’s decent out, I’d rather not be wearing a shell on the way up, too sweaty for me. Then throw the shell on for getting my hands in the snow. Those are my thoughts at least, I’ll just have to see if it’s a workable system for my ski touring.

  24. cseilern December 10th, 2013 6:23 am
  25. Lou Dawson December 10th, 2013 6:45 am

    Wow, thos POC gloves look super nice!

  26. wick December 10th, 2013 7:49 pm

    I’ve got to second what Mårten Pettersson says on gloves…Ski Trab & CAMP (and Dynafit) make similar, perfect gloves for ski touring in the Elks! Any light weight glove with a nylon wind mitt offers such amazing range of temperatures. Just be careful with when touching tech bindings with the nylon!

    http://camp-usa.com/products/winter-gloves-hats/2096-g-comp-wind-power.asp

  27. Daydé December 11th, 2013 10:16 am

    I absolutely love the mountain hardware epic glove. i prefered it without the longer wrist, as it was in the past, as my wrists always get hot under my jacket (Rab Stretch Neo, also love this for CO). i find the gloves to warm as I use them, so when I touch my face they are warm to the touch. this also makes them stick to snow a bit when digging a pit (downside) but theyre more breathable and stay more dry without becoming saturated and do a little better day after day without drying (better than my hestra alpine pro gloves – which i also love for their durability in the BC). the epic (and alpine pro) work with a touch screen when warmed up too… gotta love that :D

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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