As an outsdoorsy type, I'm always delighted to receive a gift voucher for a favourite outdoor store for Christmas or birthdays. It's not just the thought of a new piece of outdoorsy kit but also the anticipation of a couple hours wandering around the store fondling fleeces and salivating over self-inflating sleeping mats.
I got a Tiso gift token at Christmas and over the winter months I've been using the mountaineering gloves that I bought. I got the Mountain Equipment Guide gloves in the women's version which cost £50. They come in sizes extra small to large and also in a manly version in sizes small to extra large. I've picked out the main technical specifications below.
I especially like the wrist loops which saved the gloves being whipped away in the gales we've had all winter. I wore the gloves on a snowshoe trip in the Monadhliath when the tops were absolutely freezing. Normally I would have reached for mitts in those temperatures but the Guide gloves were so warm that I didn't have to. They are especially warm considering they are fingered gloves. Despite the thickness, dexterity was pretty good and I could take photos, undo buckles etc.
On another occasion I used the gloves while walking for several hours in heavy snow that turned quite wet but the gloves stayed warm and dry inside. The gloves are very flexible and the leather palm is beautifully soft, providing grip on trekking poles, ice axes and muesli bars. My only minor complaint is that the cuff is a little bulky which is mostly due to the toggle for adjusting tightness. This meant it was hard to pull the sleeve of my waterproof jacket over the top. That aside I'm absolutely delighted with them.
As winter gloves, they won't have many more outings now until next year as spring has definitely sprung. If it's spring, that means it's my birthday soon. Here's hoping for another big, fat voucher!