First off: Disclaimer in that I’ve never found a single pair of gloves that I’ve been really happy with for the winter months! So this was always going to be a hard ask to please me.
I need my hands and fingers to not only be warm but also be able to feel whatever they are touching. Whether that’s my various camera buttons, attaching filters or just taking something out of my pocket.
I’ve very particular with my gloves and I haven’t actually found anything that can match my now very old and failing Lowe Alpine gloves. As I use my camera a lot, being able to feel items and keep my fingers warm is key! I have some very warm gloves that are thick and some very thin gloves that are pretty useless at keeping me warm in extreme conditions – but let me feel.
So the thought of the Buffalo ones which are thin and also apparently warm seemed ideal.
Yes – when I had them on, yes my hands were warm enough. It wasn’t really freezing conditions. Wind chill was down to around -6, but it was still raining. So in this regards – they are good. Small, thin, lightweight and still able to keep my hands warm.
BUT– I purchased the small size so that they are tight (perhaps a tad too tight, but if I did get the bigger size I don’t think will have made a huge impact on my judgement) enough to give me enough feel. This sort of worked as with them on, I was able to operate my camera without too much hassle. Such as turning a dial or pushing the shutter was fine. But the material is very smooth, which meant that gripping items wasn’t great, but most annoying was the lack of a tactile feeling through them. For example I was trying to get items out of my pocket (cleaning cloth) – and I couldn’t. I’d no idea if my fingers were touching what I was after or not. Just couldn’t feel for finer items.
The smooth material also made it very hard to hold items confidently. Which is very much less than idea for my usage when you are trying to pick up a filter and attach it to my camera. I even had issues opening some of the zips on the buffalo jacket due to the lack of touch and the smooth material.
Cold hands now
Ultimately this lead to me taking at least one of them off and on regularly, just so I could do things! So lets say I wanted to get a tissue or a cloth out of my pocket, this was just impossible with the gloves on (off came a glove). If I wanted to swap my lens filter or pick up my sandwich – impossible (so off came a glove). When on the summit – were my hands warm? Not really, as I had to remove the gloves often enough. If it was a proper winter summit, I’m sure my hands would have been totally freezing.
The hike up was dry, until we reached around 6-700m. After that, nothing but rain, but not always really heavy rain. The rain was driving at us on the summit, but I’ve been in much much heavier showers. So how did the gloves stand up to the rain? Well by the end of the walk which involved around 3-4 hours of walking in the rain, my hands were rather prune like and the gloves were soaking wet. Yes my hands were still warm enough – but they were very wet. This really felt like a let down for some brand new gloves.
Will I use them again?
I do not know? I probably will, but possibly for a back up or only if I’m going somewhere that space is an issue. For now I’ll stick to my Lowe Alpine Fingerless mittens with a little cover flap.
4 out of 10
Keeps your hands warm if you can keep them on.
Don’t expect to feel anything while using them.
Felt windproof and a secure fit.
Too expensive for what they are.