Common sense would have me climbing in a pair of wool Dachstein mitts again if I had a pair with me...which I didn't. Dachsteins with a reasonable over shell are good down to any temp I want to climb in and warmer than anything else I have used...first time every time no matter the conditions.
But easy to use placing rock pro and screws they aren't. They work but just barely compared to say a pair of Hydras.
Like double boots.... there is a fine line between what is fun to climb in..like a pair of Phantom Ultras and what keeps my feet warm and happy like my Spantiks.
So a couple of gloves I looked at this fall that I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
The first two were the Arc'teryx Zenta AR ($185 retail) and the Alpha SV Gloves ($275 retail) and the third was the Outdoor Research Firebrand ($320. retail)
Dave's shorted lived review here on the Zenta. They recieved high marks from Dave's comments.
Dave's Zenta's were a medium and I use a XL. Good thing too as I was still on the hunt for a warmer glove than even the Zenta.
But get real at $300 for a pair of gloves I wasn't in too big of a hurry. You can buy a state of the art ice tool (just one of course) or a Narrona down jacket or a damn good Feathered Friends down bag for $300 for chrimney sake! In the right place at the right time $300 will get you a season pass.
The Zeta was impressive. But I wanted a removable liner as well. The Alpha SV and the Firebrand were the other two options and I wanted the warmer of the two. Once you get your hands into a pair of each brand that is obviously going to be the Firebrand.
Simple to figure that out as the Firebrand ($320 retail) is the thickest glove intended as a cold weather technical glove that I have ever seen and with the most amount of dexterity. Most of the insulation is on the back of the hand, fingers and thumb. So you can actually use the Firebrand for some pretty delicate work. The fit on this glove for the insulation involved is simply amazing
But make no mistake this is a serious glove...in cost and where you will use it.
While the Alpha SV Gloves ($275 retail) is no doubt a nice glove and should be for the price, the OR Firebrand is in a totally different league and has a totally different intended use imo. Think super charged, and armored Humvee verses a Ferrari here. Both will do an amazing job if you know when and how to apply the technology. Tough comparison...obvious differences and much the same like the great deterity in both.
But FMR...$300 for a pair of gloves?! I still find that hard to fathom no matter how good the glove is. May be I should just stay indoors more.
Yes, it is cold...even climbing quickly in a puffy and Typhons.