My pair of Rab Baltoro Gloves were finally put through their paces this season with 10 solid weeks of skiing in Val d’Isere and they performed brilliantly. A simple softshell glove, with excellent dexterity, warmth and water repellency.
The durability of the glove surpassed my expectations, I was almost resigned to having to buy a new pair whilst in resort before leaving the UK. The rubber grips on my ski poles must have tried their best to wear away at the Pittards leather palms, but aside from some darkening of the leather and slight curling of the material at the seams there is no sign of wear.
When it came to the insulation of the gloves, they did as well as could be expected. The colder days, say below -10C, the heat retention was quite poor and I did end up with some numb fingers occassionally. For the most part though I was more than comfortable in them; wicking and breathability weren’t an issue and being a climber I do get very sweaty hands, I was comfortable in all conditions in that respect. The pile lining along the top of the wrist section was very comfortable and when paired with the drawcord closure made sure that no cold air or snow got into the gloves. 60g of Primaloft on the back of the hands was very welcome and did a great job of protecting against the windchill experienced when hammering it down the pistes
Simple features such as the karabiner loops on both middle fingers, reinforced thumb, index and middle fingers, and upper palm areas, elasticated cuffs, and a small buckle to keep them paired up are all useful and make for a well rounded all mountain glove. The only feature that let me down was the supposed flocking material on the back of the thumb, when your nose is constantly running it’s nice to give it a wipe every now and then, but when the material doesn’t particularly absorb anything it can make life that little bit less comfortable.
The materials used in these gloves, as with all Rab products, are very high quality and are manufactured to exacting standards, they won’t let you down when you need them to perform at the most crucial stage of your activity whether it be ice climbing, skiing or guiding. I would recommend investing in some good liner gloves to pair with them if you do feel the cold more. Fit is always important with gloves; too much free space results in heat and dexterity loss, and too tight, surprisingly, gives the same result.
These gloves are widely available from all good outdoor retailers so I’d recommend trying on a pair if you’re in the market for some good softshell, all mountain gloves. Colour-wise, I believe it was Henry Ford who said (paraphrased) “You can have any colour as long as it’s black”.
Weight: 380g (Medium Pair)