A top-of-the-line option for those who choose to spare no expense when it comes to their cold-weather outdoor gear, these gloves have what it takes to stand up to conditions from a family ski resort to an intense mountain climb.
Designed to be a leading product for those undertaking complex, technical climbing expeditions in extreme cold, the Altis embody a great challenge in engineering protective wear for frigid conditions: producing gear that stands up well to the cold without simply piling on more insulation. After all, you’re not going to be gripping a sheer, frozen cliff-face in gloves that are so thick that they could impair your dexterity and motor control. The demands of climbing in any condition require that the climber has the best grip possible, which in this case means designing a product thin enough not to be a hindrance, but still protective enough to stand up to the worst the elements have to offer.
It begins with an outer layer of GORE-TEX, one of the most sophisticated synthetic fabrics on the market, hybridized with leather. Able to remain both waterproof and highly breathable due to surface pores that are 20,000 times smaller than a drop of liquid water, but many thousands of times larger than a molecule of water vapor, a layer of GORE-TEX ensures that water will only be traveling up and away from your skin, never toward it.Beneath that you’ll find a layer of Moonlite Pile fleece, tightly woven for exceptional heat retention without excessive bulkiness. That’s sandwiched between the GORE-TEX and an inner lining of ultra-fine, lightweight PrimaLoft One microfiber, which is itself tightly woven to prevent moisture penetration. Those three highly sophisticated materials, one on atop the other, make a recipe for a genuinely protective piece of cold weather armor.
However, there’s one more layer—in addition to the exceptionally solid construction of the item itself, as described, there’s also a removable GORE-TEX insert for when you expect to be facing the very worst of bad weather. Two layers of GORE-TEX, one of fleece, and one of PrimaLoft One adds up to a glove you could bring just about anywhere on the planet. Just be careful, with the insert in you might find them too warm for some conditions.
A Climber’s Best Friends
We’ve discussed what make the Altis great winter-sport gear in general, but to really understand what makes them so special we have to recall that they aren’t designed to be “general” winter sport gear. These are specially-engineered items, so while they may do great on a trip up a mountain for your ski or snowboarding trip, they’re also robust enough to go up a mountain the hard way—by hand. If you’ve ever wondered what kind of gear serious mountaineers pack to ascend a peak, you’re looking at it.That’s possible in part thanks to the hybridized leather in the palms; leather isn’t just warm and durable, it’s also waterproof when properly treated, and provides excellent grip. The construction is also designed to allow for maximum dexterity, so your hands’ movement won’t be obstructed.
Not everyone will need gloves this heavy-duty, and the price tag might be steep for some, but if you’re looking to invest in a grade-A product that’s tough enough to last through many adventures, these might be just right for you.