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I own Haglöfs Grepp Glove which are quite thin but have a Windstopper membrane. I like those gloves because they offer great grip. But I am also a bit confused because I got really cold fingers on my bicycle during the winter with approx. 30 km/h speed. It wasn't that cold (0°C/32°F) so I wouldn't get frosty fingers with those gloves without the wind, especially when I am making sports. Is the membrane not working like I expected? It is said to be 100% windproof, so wind-chill shoudn't be the major issue. Is this just marketing or is it the unfortunate exposure of the finger tips while cycling?

That all being said I am searching gloves for mountaineering. I am not explicitly planning to do winter tours. I was thinking in getting a second, thicker pair to wear over the thinner one. I don't know if this might be a good choice. I have to clip carabiner, use ropes and (un)tie knots. I will grab in the snow, it could be raining the whole day and there might be quite strong wind - and not just 30 km/h...

All those thoughts make me doubtful although I am not expecting really cold temperatures at all. So which system is recommended to protect the hands, if most important requirements are those for typical glacier/alpine tours:

  • water- and windproof
  • good grip
  • layering?!

Taking a pair waterproof gloves of construction workers besides the Softshells could be a solution? Or even add very thin liners or mittens?

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1 Answer 1

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From looking at the pictures I would say that for the "default" conditions at summer glacier/alpine tours they should be perfectly fine. In dry but slightly coldish conditions they will give you good grip and rope handling, as long as you don't have to dig through snow with them.

The reason why you have got cold fingers while cycling might be on the one hand, that there is no "100 % windproof" unless you take something like a rubber glove, which will not breathe at all. The second and more influencing reason might be, that while cycling the blood circulation into your fingers might be affected due to leaning with your hands on the handlebars and also due to the fact that you will not be able to move your fingers too much while cycling. As you are walking you will play with your fingers unconsciously to keep them warm.

For the case of bad weather I would get me a second pair which is more water resistant. This can either be an independent pair of gloves with own insulation or some overgloves that fit over your given pair of light ones. If you choose the overglove version, you will have to check if they need to be just more water-resistant or should also have a bit of insulation.

I have used fleece gloves (without windstopper but about the same thickness) on my last high alpine tour and was perfectly fine with them. But I had a second pair of thicker and more water-resistant ones in my backpack for the case of a snow storm where my fleece ones would have been way too thin and also would have gone wet quickly when working in the snow.

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I like the answer and accept it. On an alpine tour with good conditions without regular snow contact, my gloves will be just fine. But I need to be equipped also for an alpine course where I have to grab in the snow, building anchors, training fall and rescue of crevasses and so on. I might buy a second thicker, more waterproof and maybe a very thin, waterproof pair. –  EverythingRightPlace May 1 at 10:16

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