Are you seeking a fab all round glove for winter? Read on....
Women have shoes and handbags….I have gloves – I just love buying gloves! This winter I thought I’d treat myself to a new pair of gloves to replace my pretty worn out Mountain Equipment Guide gloves. My choice was the Black Diamond Impulse Glove, a similar but different glove to their predecessor.
The first standout feature of the Impulse glove is the sticky leather palm, a must have for winter mountaineering. Whilst on test the leather has indeed been nice and grippy, but better yet – durable! I was slightly hesitant that this stickier palm would be at the sacrifice of a high wear rate, but after months of handling Ice Axes, Crampons, Ropes and all other things winter, they’re still in tip top condition (despite having caught them on the odd spike here and there)!
The glove is what I would call a Medium to Heavy-weight glove. There are certainly thicker gloves out there (ME Couloir Glove / Rab Baltoro Guide) which would provide greater levels of warmth, but at the loss of dexterity – which is another key feature for winter mountaineering in my eyes. Striking that balance of warmth and dexterity is sometimes tricky, but there are ways to solve this great conundrum. With this said, the Impulse Glove is amazingly warm for the ‘weight’. It has a high pile lining on the inside which just doesn’t seem to do any wrong. Throughout the test months I was always impressed as to how long I kept the gloves on for with regards to the temperature drop as the days went on. Only a few times did I bail to my Primaloft lined Baltoro Guides.
The glove is of standard cut, unlike many winter gloves which are ‘gauntlet’ style. Gauntlet gloves do aid keeping your wrists that little bit toastier, and provide a slightly longer barrier from the water / snow that can sometime get up your sleeves, but the cut of the Impulse glove helps contribute to that non-bulky feel of the glove. One of my favourite features of my old Mountain Equipment Gloves were the excellent elastic lanyards that you looped over your wrist to prevent the loss of the glove when taking it off for short periods of time. Many winter gloves have a similar sort of feature (usually a piece of string) but the Impulse glove does not have this- However, they do have a small loop on which you could easily fashion your own! The wrist hosts a solid Velcro fastener which has also proved to be faultless.
There is one word I haven’t mentioned so far, and for some it is a big deal when buying gloves…do you know what it is yet?....Waterproof! And no, they’re not. Waterproof gloves, whatever membrane you subscribe to; always have a limited period of effectiveness whilst out in winter. In truth, I’ve never had a pair of waterproof gloves remain that throughout the whole day. The best pair of waterproof gloves is a pair of marigolds – and probably the cheapest option too! I’m yet to see someone sporting this look in the hills, but ‘never say never’! I subscribe to taking multiple pairs of gloves with me on the hill, and the Impulse glove will remain one of those pairs for a long time now. So does this mean they get wet easily? Well, no! Even after digging snow shelters and playing about in the snow was there a mild feeling of dampness coming through the palm, which again impressed me. The lack of waterproof membrane does mean that the gloves dry nice and fast, whether it is from moisture from the outside or inside.
You can tell I’m pretty impressed with these gloves, and I think if you’re looking for a bit of an all-round winter glove for when it’s not super cold the Black Diamond Impulse Glove isn’t a bad place to spend your hard earned cash!
They can be found here at Cotswold Outdoor - and don't forget - make a booking with us and get discount off these bad boys with Cotswold!
This review was written by: Matt Le Voi
Matt has been working in the Outdoor Industry for over 7 years and has worked on and off in outdoor retail for about the same length of time. This combination of both being on the 'sharp end' using and abusing kit and also working in-store means Matt has a great knowledge on what should be expected of kit and how it compares to other options on the market. Matt, as the Managing Director of Lakeland Mountain Guides, is proudly an affiliate with Cotswold Outdoor, The Keswick Boot Co, EDZ Performance Layering, a Ruffwear Brand Ambassador and supported by Aquapac.