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Walking Equipment and Accessories

Rab Xenon Gloves | Review

Rab’s lightweight pair of gloves offer all the right ingredients for facing a cold day in the hills

Why We Chose The Rab Xenon Gloves: Lightweight, warm, extremely packable.

The Rab Xenon Gloves are a nifty pair, very nifty indeed. In short, they tick all the boxes.

First of all, they’re incredibly light – just 65g, that’s as light as, um… a battery. Then they’re very, very packable. In their little stuff sack, they’re not much bigger than, um… a tangerine. And then they’re warm and super comfy as well.

The secret is the clever mix of ingredient brands Rab have partnered with for them. We’ll start with the key one, and that’s PrimaLoft. There’s a 40g/m² fill of their Gold synthetic insulation used with these, it’s not much but it does a lot. We’ve become big fans of PrimaLoft here at OutdoorsMagic because we know it works, providing you with lightweight insulation almost comparable to down with the added edge of being able to perform even when it’s wet. It can also be machine washed, which is an important factor when it comes to everyday-use gloves like these (check the full care instructions before you do this though).

“The packability is brilliant, but it’s the comfort that I really like about these. They’re so snug.”

The second key ingredient is the Pertex Quantum outer fabric. This also has a number of useful traits. It’s tightly woven, enough to block out the wind, but it still pairs well with the PrimaLoft fibres, allowing them to reach their full loftiness. It also offers a surprising amount of durability given how light and thin it is. You wouldn’t want to challenge it too much, but for hiking and general non-technical use it’s fine.

On the palms there’s a nice microfleece lining, and finally, on the inside there’s a silky-feeling nylon. You can clip the gloves together to keep them paired, shove one inside the other, or stuff them both into the little stuff sack they come with.

A microfleece lining is found on the palms, to aid grip. Photo: Chris Johnson
Coming in at 65g, the Xenon Gloves make for a perfect backup pair or liner. Photo: Chris Johnson
Pertex Quantum gives the Xenon windproof properties. Photo: Chris Johnson

Considering their small size and low weight, these are a great option for keeping in your pack as that spare or emergency pair on summer hikes, or they’re useful for all-day use on those days when the weather can’t make up its mind. They’re also pretty nifty as an extra liner under your winter gloves or mitts on any sub zero days out.

We generally only include exciting, breakthrough-type kit in our Outdoor 100 product series, and while these weren’t initially considered by the team for it, their incredibly simple functionality really won us round.

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, Outdoors Magic Editor

“These came with me on a 96-mile hike along the Beacons Way last February. I’d set out expecting full winter conditions, and was fully geared up for that, carrying these for use as liner gloves under my burlier Mammut mountaineering gloves should things get really cold. In the end, the temperature turned out to be surprisingly mild and the Mammut gloves remained mostly in my pack while these kept me covered pretty much day and night. And they were great.

“The packability is brilliant, but it’s the comfort that I really like about these. They’re so snug, and the thin PrimaLoft fill allows your fingers to remain almost fully dextrous so you can easily fiddle with zips, laces or a camera while wearing them. They aren’t touch screen compatible though – I guess that could possibly be considered a downside.”

The Xenon Gloves come with a stuff sack which makes them pack down extremely small. Photo: Chris Johnson

Rab Xenon Gloves

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