I don’t necessarily need gloves that are entirely waterproof (hard to retain long-term waterproofing on complex finger seams) but I wanted something made of a fabric that I wouldn’t have to ring out. So I started shopping around for a solution and noticed that Mountain Hardware has got a good selection of gloves that seems to fit the bill but also seem tough enough to grab onto tree branches and rocks and not fall apart or having their breathability compromised in less than a year (in my opinion, gloves, like boots, are a short term investment—but I hike a lot). Touchscreen enabled fingers would also be nice.
These days, there’s a lot of marketing mumbo-jumbo associated with gear branding that I don’t tend to put a lot of stock in (like attorneys and psychic mediums, marketing professionals are experts at baffling people with bullshit)—so I like to read between the lines to get a better sense of what I’m going to spend my money on. The gloves I settled on, the Rotor™ Gore-Tex Infinium™ Glove, were advertised as breathable, windproof, light but tough (built for rock climbing)--but the details were gobbed up with with marketing salad (Gore Tex Infinium, Prima Loft Gold, Rotor, 3L Windstopper—each followed with a little “TM” like boxcars after the engine). I did some research. I still have no idea what a “Rotor” is supposed to do for me. The Primaloft is pretty straightforward—it's insulation--in this case a pretty thin layer of it. The Windstoppper obviously is supposed to stop wind, but the Gore Text isn’t the kind of waterproof-breathable fabric Gore Tex is known for—it is Gore Tex’s “Infinium” fabric line, a high-tech windproof fabric.
Having hiked halfway through the winter with them at this point, the gloves have earned my respect—in fact I’d say they are probably the best lightweight glove I’ve ever owned. Here’s why: