Montane’s Tigertooth Pro Glove is a technical softshell alpine glove that provides enough dexterity, warmth and water resistance, to hold a mountaineering ice axe in the ready position in cold winter weather. The problem with most high dexterity gloves is that they don’t provide enough insulation when gripping an ice axe is cold winter weather. The pick and adze get really cold which radiates into your hand and is very uncomfortable.
You’d think it would be easy to find insulated, water-resistant gloves capable of this level of dexterity but they’re actually few and far between. Most gauntlet style mountaineering gloves are monstrous fat-fingered affairs that are impossible to wrap around an ice axe adze and pick, particularly ski mountaineering axes like the ultralight Camp USA Corsa Ice Axe that have shorter adzes. I know many people who use this particular ice axe, including myself, because it only weighs 7.2 ounces.
When holding an ice axe, you need to grip it so that your thumb, index and middle finger are wrapped the adze part of the axe, so you can fall on the pick and use your bodyweight to break a fall. While my crampon footwork is usually good enough to prevent falls, I have had to self arrest a few times in my hiking winter hiking career, where the consequence of an uncontrolled slide would have been very grave.
The Montane Tigertooth Pro Glove is constructed from Polartec Power Shield Pro, a breathable softshell fabric that is windproof and highly water resistant. The gloves have short gauntlets to prevent heat loss from your wrists, but lack keeper cords to prevent them from falling off your arms or blowing away in a gale if you drop them.
The gloves are insulated with a non-removable fleece pile liner which dries very quickly between hikes and still provides warmth if your hands sweat and make it damp. The liner has an articulated Neoprene cuff to seal in warmth and prevent snow or moisture from falling inside the gauntlet and wetting the insulation as well as an adjustable hem to prevent heat loss.
The palm and fingers are covered with water-resistant leather that softens up with use and provides an excellent grip. The finger tips and palm seam are pre-curved for increased dexterity. The back of the knuckles are padded with Neoprene for warmth and protection when using ice tools, and the middle fingers have a carabiner loop on the outside for harness storage (large enough for a wiregate biner), when not in use.
Weighing 7.5 oz in an XL (5.7 oz in a size M), the Tigertooth Pro Gloves run small, like pretty much all Montane clothing. My advice is to size up by at least one size.
Disclosure: Montane provided Philip Werner (SectionHiker.com) with a sample pair of Tigertooth Pro Gloves for this review.