Outdoor Research Alti Mountaineering gloves are designed for technical climbing in very cold weather or at high altitudes where you need to be able to grasp and manipulate tools and ropes. I wore them quite a bit this past weekend ice climbing and they really kept my hands warm in some harsh conditions.
The shells are waterproof Gore-Tex with leather palms and are anatomically curved with a soft shell stretch fabric on the back of the hand for better dexterity. The leather palm provides a very good grip on tools such as ice axes compared to something like fleece gloves that will slip off the shaft.
The Altis come with a pair of liner gloves insulated with Primaloft One, making them exceptionally warm and easy to dry at night in your sleeping bag. The shells themselves have Tricot insulation and can be used alone if your hands become too warm or if you need finer motor control to get at food or adjust clothing in high wind and cold temperatures.
The gauntlets on the Altis have elastic locking cinches at their base which you can tighten down to keep the wind out, in addition to an idiot cord that will prevent them from blowing away in high wind. There’s also a nice wrist cinch strap that you can tighten to keep the glove from slipping off your hand.
Having worn these gloves for five years, I can tell you that they are exceptionally warm. This is due to their superior insulation and the fact that the gauntlets cover and insulate your wrists at the point where your veins are close to your skin. In fact, they’re so warm that you probably don’t want to wear them as ski gloves.
Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.
Written 2009. Updated 2014.
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