I always say it’s the little things that matter, and liner gloves are among the littlest of kit. I’ve been using magic-stretch dot-palmed horse riding gloves as my liner gloves for the past few years and they’ve been great, with the single big issue that I tend to wear through the fingertips pretty regularly if I’m on rock or gadding about in the snow. But, there wasn’t anything I could see that was better. Until I was at the Montane showroom earlier in the year and stuck these on my wishlist.
Montane’s Power Dry Gloves are a wee work of art. They’ve been properly engineered around a hand instead of relying purely on stretch like most liners. This means a lot of seams which I was worried about at first, but truth be told the seams as soft, small and I don’t notice them.
There’s still stretch in there, the Polartec Power Dry fabric keeps its form well but flexes enough for the gloves never to feel restrictive, even though this sample size large is a very neat fit on my hands. There’s a little slack built in just above the wrist cuff which has elastic on the back of the wrist and this acts like a gaiter around your wrist, allowing movement without pulling at the cuff or pulling the fingertips of the gloves onto your fingers too much when you make a fist or grip stuff.
The fingertips are rolled-over, meaning no seams near your points of contact which given the light fabric make the gloves very dexterous. There’s grippy pads on the thumbs and first two fingers and these work well, I can even work a smartphone touch screen with them on as I’ve just discovered today.
They’re quite warm, I’ve been wearing them without outers when it’s been ear shreddingly cold. The fabric is a baselayer fabric though, so if you do get hot hands the fabric works away trying to get the sweat out and keep you dry. It does seem to work as well, my hands have been hot but never damp and sweaty, something I can get in my dot-palm gloves.
The smooth fabric and slim fit let the Power Dry Gloves slip into outer gloves or mitts no problem making them a good part of a system.
I’ve been using these for a couple of months at least and they’ve seen ice axes, poles, handlebars, camera, flasks, stoves and had snotters wiped on them many times which has meant many wash cycles. The fabric is bearing up well so far, a bit of bobbliness appearing but no holes or thread catches yet. Look like they should last well.
They weight F/A, I’m not even going to put them on the scales, the 40g on the Montane site is probably about right and they crush into the smallest corner. There’s reflective logos on there which make them good for night running or riding.
No doubt folk will be happier with the regular black versions, but these burgundy/purpley versions make me glad. The bottom line is that these gloves work incredibly well, the form, the fit and the function are all spot on. I’d put the seam at the join between the wrist and palm half an inch further towards the wrist to make them as close to perfect as I could, but it’s not a niggle as much as an observation.
The best liner gloves out there? I haven’t tried better.
More Montane coming soon.