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Kit review: Mammut Gore-Tex Eigerjoch Gloves

Written by Fiona February 12 2013

I have been testing a pair of gloves for winter cycling. If, like me, you suffer badly with cold and numb hands you’ll know all about the very specific agony of “Freezing Cycling Hands”. On some bike rides I have spent the entire time with FCHs, and resulting in a Very Long and Agonising Thaw afterwards.  So, when anyone offers to send me gloves that might just keep my hands just the tiniest bit warmer I always get very excited.

url-6The problem is that I just don’t think people realise how bad my FCHs are. And I have been disappointed by allegedly “warm” cycle gloves on many occasions.

For years I have worn ski mittens with liner gloves underneath. I have had several pairs of black mitts and my famous Furry Mitts. They are pretty good at keeping my hands warm but they end up soaked through when it rains. The other problem with mitts is the lack of dexterity for changing gears.

Testing Mammut Gore-Tex Eigerjoch Gloves

The very kind people at Gore-Tex in Livingston sent me a pair of these rather pricey (around £120) Mammut Gore-Tex Eigerjoch gloves to try. They are aimed at the skiers and climbers who need waterproof and windproof protection and some elements of hand dexterity. The gloves come with X-TRAFIT™ Product Technology, which means they have “improved grip combined with durably waterproof and windproof protection and breathability”.

The technical stuff (what Gore-tex say):

GORE-TEX® Gloves with X-Trafit™ Technology are ideal when a close fit and high tactility are desired. They provide optimum grip for excellent control, durable waterproofness for dry hands, and breathability for climate comfort.

Key advantages:

  • Close fit, high tactility
  • Improved dexterity combined with durably waterproof, windproof protection and breathability
  • Three-layer comfort, one-layer feeling
  • Ideal for motorcycling.

Wearing the gloves while snowboarding

I first tested them while snowboarding in very snowy conditions and they kept my hands warm for 95% of the time. I do have very poor circulation so when temperature plummeted I don’t think there was much that would have kept my hands warm. These gloves did the best of any I have ever worn (apart from heated gloves). They are also 100% waterproof and very breathable.

The lobster pincer styling means your thumb and forefinger are in their own thumb and finger holes, while the other three fingers are kept warm together in a narrow mitten compartment. The gloves are extremely comfortable to wear and very warm.

Unlike other similar gloves these are fairly non-bulky. They can’t be super slim because then there would be no warmth but in terms of the heat to bulkiness ratio I think these are very well designed. They allowed me to get in and out of snowboard bindings without having to take my gloves off. This has never happened with other gloves because I normally need more dexterity.

Wearing the gloves while cycling

The gloves have been excellent for keeping my hands warm on winter bike rides. I have still had cold hands at times but when I compare them to all other gloves they score very highly. The main problem as been in the thumb and forefinger length. When you’re cycling you push your hands forward on the handlebars. This is natural as you are bent over the handlebars. For this reason, my thumb and fingertips have been forced against the end of the gloves and that has led to some numbing. My hands have warmed up quite quickly but the first 30 mins to hour of a ride has seen my thumb and forefinger cold at times. I would suggest to Mammut that they slightly extend the thumb and forefinger and add in some extra tip padding.

The thing is, I don’t think these gloves are designed for cyclists and I think I was given them to try on a bike. If Mammut, or any other brand, decide to manufacture a similar glove for cycling the only small improvement required is the lengthening of the thumb and finger. Then again. I have long fingers so it might be my abnormal hands that have seen my thumb and forefinger “forced” towards the top of the gloves.

Anyway, slight moanings aside, these gloves have been the best I have ever tried for FCHs – and I am delighted to have been lucky enough to have been sent a pair. I would pay £120 for them, too. Gore-Tex can be pricey but it usually does exactly what it says on the label, which is worth paying for.

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