While ski touring is usually a popular winter pastime for many around the Kootenays, Mama Nature is saying “no” this season all too often. But that means there’s lots of time to diversify: which is great for practicing glacier walking, tying knots, making haul systems, going climbing—or testing gear.
On all those fronts, I’ve been noodling around in the Mountain Hardwear Men’s Hydra Glove for the early part of the season, and am not going to get all geeky about it.
I’m usually partial to all-leather gloves, but this gauntlet-style offering, with Mountain Hardwear’s Hydra Span material as the body, in combination with the goat-leather palm, might actually be the way to go. Leather is notoriously hard to keep dry, but the benefits include dexterity and toughness. Mountain Hardwear’s managed to include all those things in this one glove with this hybrid construction. Almost every storm this winter around Neslon has ended in rain, but the Hydra stays warm and dry. It’s light, which is perfect for the wet, warm and sleety weather, and because of the tight fit it’s easily as dexterous as an all-leather glove.
Mountain Hardwear has also put the least amount of seams on this glove as possible. It’s a simple design that keeps the weak points cleverly away from the tips of your fingers and your knuckles, and other high-wear areas. Two drawstrings make it simple to snug up, even with the gloves on, and there’s really nothing else to adjust. It’s a fuss-free system that’ll speed up your transitions when you’re ski touring, or give you a nice tactile advantage when you’re climbing or mountaineering.
What are the cons, you might ask? Well, surely there are some, and in this case it’s that these don’t have a ton of insulation (which is why they’re so tight, and good ’n grippy), so really cold weather is not where they shine. But it would have to get pretty darn cold for this to be problem. The only other small thing to pick on is that, even though it’s a gauntlet, you’d need awfully skinny cuffs to fit them over, if that’s your thing. I like to tuck them under, so it’s a non-issue for me.
Altogether, the Men’s Hydra glove is a tough, weatherproof and grippy glove that delivers exactly what you pay for.
Price: $150 CDN
- Over and under cuff design enhances versatility
- 4-way stretch nylon soft shell fabric offers a snug, flexible fit
- Wraparound finger design reduces cold spots and improves dexterity
- All leather palm is rugged and very dexterous
- Durable water-resistant goatskin palm and fingers
- Soft suede thumb patch for wiping wet noses
- Thick fleece liner keeps hands warm all day
- Pull-on webbing loop at wrist
- Carabiner loop for hanging gloves off harness keeps gloves dry when not in use
- Body Fabric: Hydra Span
- Insulation: Thermal.Q™ Elite [Back of Hand: 180 g/m²]
- Fabric Palm: Water-resistant Goatskin Leather
- Fabric Laminate: OutDry® Waterproof Technology
- Weight: 6.8 oz. / 192 g.