[best for wet and cold]
When you need just the right combination of warmth, agility, and bomber waterproofing (alpine climbing in the Pacific Northwest anyone?), pony up for these gloves. Our tester, a first-year mountain guide for Rainier Mountaineering, Inc., wore the Alpha SVs during a dismal day of crevasse rescue training on the Muir Snowfield. “Working a wet rope in wet snow in a steady downpour in 35°F weather is the perfect recipe for wooden finger tips—if not full-on hypothermia,” he says. “But my hands stayed dry and warm through six hours of mucking about.
Plus, the Alpha SV has better dexterity than any glove this warm that I’ve ever worn.” The secret? A complex stitching pattern that keeps all seams—from the supple leather outer to the Gore-Tex Pro Shell membrane and removable Polartec Wind Pro fleece lining—away from the tips of your fingers. Gravy: The cinchable cuff is the easiest and quickest we’ve seen—pull the bungee to tighten and a webbing tab to loosen. Caveat: For the price, you could fly to Phoenix and be plenty warm. $275; 8.4 oz.; (unisex XS-XL); arcteryx.com