Just In - Montaine Prism Glove
New in for review from Montane are the new for winter 2013 Prism Gloves, a pair of super-lightweight and improbably packable winter hand-warmers aimed at walkers, climbers, runners and anyone else needing some light and compact finger-warming insulation.
The Montane Prism Glove, like the big brother Prism Jacket, uses 40g Primaloft Eco synthetic insulation inside a windproof Pertex shell, with a soft, next-to-skin brushed microfleece liner. Weight on our digital scales comes out at 62g for the pair along with the tiny stuff-sac supplied or just 28g per glove.
They pack down to a ludicrously small package too, something like, oh, a hard-boiled egg or a small apple maybe, making them eminently portable, even if you're doing the sawn-off toothbrush, lightweight OCD thing with your pack contents.
But don't get the idea that because they're light and compact, that they're either not warm or nicely designed and made. For a start, the compressible, hydrophobic PrimaLoft fill makes them - at first try anyway - impressively warm for such a light glove with the brushed microfleece inner upping the comfort ante even further.
Out in the real world, the Pertex outer shell will prevent wind chill and we're thinking that the hydrophobic insulation should make for decent damp weather performance and fast drying times making them potentially ideal for UK conditions.
Fit is good for us, just about 'right' all round. The box-fingers are pre-curved for comfort and fit and snug-fitting elasticated cuffs should sit nicely under jacket sleeves. There's also a handy tape cuff-loop to help with pulling them on.
Finally, there are fabric 'grip-dots' on thumb, index and middle finger which use conductive thread so they're compatible with touch-screens. They worked fine with the editorial iPhone.
Not everything's wonderful though. The combination of quite a slick fabric and the fibre fill means the gloves feel quite slippy on smooth surfaces and we only narrowly avoided a tea-mug disaster as a result. A quick experimental trial run suggests they may be fine with textured or spongey foam trekking pole handles, but less reliable with shinier, plastic types.
We'll also be trying them with ice-tools and bike grips to see how they manage there. Cooking? Hmmm... Having said that, we reckon they'll make brilliant pack and forget till needed emergency gloves. Great for cold, windy walking or running and potentially ideal for anyone coming off the top of a winter route with damp gloves and wanting dry, warm-ish and compact replacements for the walk out. A bit like modern Buffalo mitts in fact.
One last thing; that stuff-sac really is tiny and we can see it going walkies all too easily. One answer is simply to loop the shock-cord through a pull-on loop and tuck it away when the gloves are in use.
Do Not Wash
Oh, and an oddity for you, according to Montane's web site: 'Due to the many different components involved, MONTANE® does not recommend that you wash your Prism Gloves'. It begs the question: just how skanky are you prepared to be for the sake of lighter, smaller gloves. [Update: Montane tells us informally that you could almost certainly wash the gloves using the same settings as a Prism Jacket at 30˚C with a mild detergent, Nikwax Tech Wash is their recommendation].
Review to follow, but first impressions are that for warmth to weight ratio, there's not much else out there that'll touch them. Maybe the Buffalo Mitt, which is around the same weight, but far more basic in terms of construction and fit.
The Prism Gloves retail for £35. More information at www.montane.co.uk/range/accessories/prism-glove