The Alpinist Mountain Standards reviews apply Alpinist's tradition of excellence and authenticity to gear reviews by providing unbiased, candid feedback and anecdotal commentary to equipment tested (hard) in the field. Our panel is comprised of climbers who use the gear every day as part of their work and play. Only the gear they would actually buy themselves, at retail price, qualifies for the Alpinist Mountain Standards award. The five-star rating system is as follows:
One Star = Piece of junk.
Two Stars = Has one or more significant flaws, with some redeeming qualities.
Three Stars = Average. This solid piece of gear is middle-of-the-road on the current market.
Four Stars = Better than most comparable gear on the market. It has one or two drawbacks, but still 90% positive.
Five Stars = Is there such thing as perfection? An Alpinist Mountain Standards award-winner.
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Rab Power Stretch Grip Glove: Almost Too Sticky!
Posted on: October 11, 2007
This lightweight glove packs a punch for as light as it is and as well as it climbs. Had the temperatures been more normal in the Tetons this season, I probably would have squeezed more milage out of the thin Rab gloves, but global warming had most of us stripped to light sleeves—and certainly gloveless—many a day up high.
My first impression after getting these stretchy gloves on was that they would be too tight and too sticky. But after managing ropes and climbing with them, I was a convert. The tightness equated to warmth unrivaled in a glove of this weight, and the stickiness made the most tedious of tasks with gloves on a breeze.
Finding the gloves almost disturbingly durable after a few uses, I tried prying off the silicon sticky bits on the palm side of the glove—just to see if they'd come off. They wouldn't. I also tried to convince myself that the gloves were so tight that they would decrease my circulation and make my fingers cold. They didn't.
The fabric choice and craftsmanship that went into making the Power Stretch Grip Glove is excellent and among the best I've seen for a glove of this weight.
The one downside to these gloves is that they are not wind-resistant. Upon investigating Rab's website, however, I found they make another glove of similar weight, called the Phantom Grip. This other product is wind-resistant and has the same sticky "dual layer continuous silicon palm print," for those of you who want to keep the wind out.
I'm definitely keeping my eye on Rab's products as they enter the U.S. market and will be checking out other gloves in the line.
Pros: Lightweight and warm; very sticky; quality craftsmanship and fabric, which dries quickly.
Cons: Not wind resistant (but the Phantom Grip glove is); seem tight at first.