Marmot Alpinist Pro Gloves: Warm and Dexterous for the Big-Thumbed

Posted on: March 29, 2008

MSRP: $75

"Man, I wish my thumbs were bigger." Testing these gloves is, unquestionably, the only time in my life I have uttered that phrase. The Marmot Alpinist Pro glove has, far and away, the largest thumb of any glove I've ever worn. I don't know how to rectify this fact with the rest of my impressions of the glove, which were generally positive.

The positive. The glove was warm, even down to sub-zero temps. It allowed me a fairly high degree of dexterity for a glove of its thickness—to the point that I was able to manipulate carabiners, tie knots, build anchors and generally do everything I would normally strip to my liners to complete. The palms and fingers were a leather or faux-leather substance that maintained a solid—though not mind-blowing—grip, even in the face of powdery snow, the occasional ice-up and generalized wintery fun. They seemed to shed external moisture quite well—not waterproof, mind you, but certainly resistant. Finally, they seem quite durable. Over several months of constant use, I have not seen any noticeable wear and tear or damage. The normal thrashing that palms take from the ancient ice screws I use has not seemed to have any effect.


The gripes. The aforementioned thumb sizing was a constant irritation. Not only did it make my thumbs cold, it was the one part of the glove that prevented me from fully utilizing the otherwise dexterous cut of the gloves (I think we've all had the tip of the thumb catch in a 'biner gate). The insulation on the inside of the glove did not seem to be well attached, so on warmer days, when my hands would get a touch sweaty on the approach, removing the gloves—and putting them back on—became slightly more of a chore.

Overall, these are a solid, relatively dependable glove for the weekend or semi-frequent ice climber, assuming that they fit. If you have enormous thumbs, these might become an excellent all-around glove. While my impressions are generally positive, the few gripes I had would likely prevent me from taking them on any truly alpine excursion, as things that are moderately annoying climbing ice in Hyalite Canyon become deal-breakers climbing an alpine route of any seriousness—for that I'm going back to my old glove combo.

Pros: Warm; dexterous; durable.

Cons: Freakishly large thumbs; awkward inner liner.


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I'm quite pleased that they fit someone. As I indicated in the review, they're generally a good product. My concern was based on the fact that I've never encountered glove-fit problems before with any other glove, so I didn't think that my hands were strangely sized.

2008-03-31 16:22:07

I've only had these gloves for about a half a winter, but I also have the Alpinist Tool Glove and some powerstretch liners by Marmot. Gloves are one of those things that I feel 'you just need to try on.' So, I've tried on lots of gloves.

In my case, Marmot size XL gloves fit my hands spectacularly well. Better than Mammut, OR, Arc'Teryx, NF, Patagucci, or EMS gloves.

Maybe I'm a freak, a mutant or whatever; but sweet jesus these things are perfect for my fingers. I have rather long fingers with (yes) long thumbs, in general my hands are rather skinny and bony. Most gloves work "ok," but my fingers always feel constrained by the glove - not so with Marmot gloves. So hey, diff'rnt strokes and all that - there's at least one nut out there who thinks they are simply perfect in terms of sizing.

Your gripes about the insulation match my experiences: Taking the gloves off can require a little bit of care so as not to invert the liner. I also wouldn't mind some sort of clip loop.

2008-03-30 19:19:32
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