Although perhaps not the sexiest product I’ve tested, few pieces of gear pleased me as much on my last trip as the Mountain Hardwear’s new Momentum Running Gloves. They have all the dexterity and handling of a liner thanks to a nominal amount of stretch and articulated cut, but due to a few additional features, they really differentiate themselves from the standard glove baselayer. The softshell material, which is a wind-resistant and breathable polyester blend, kept my fingers functional everywhere from sub-40 degree mornings in the Ansel Adams Wilderness to gusty ascents in the Ritter Range. Despite weighing little more than a couple of quarters, these are one of the warmer pairs of summer-weight gloves I’ve tested.
The real novelty factor, of course, is the trap door for the index finger. You wouldn’t even know it was there if you weren’t looking for it, ergo it doesn’t leak warmth as I had feared. I was able to effectively use this feature several times while checking our route on BACKPACKER’s GPS Trails app during an early morning ascent, and the trapdoor also helped out when I needed a fingernail for things like trying to open a camera battery door. Is it necessary? Probably not, but the convenience factor is definitely a plus. Although they have a DWR finish, these gloves get soaked pretty easily, as I found out on one of our glissades back down to camp. They don’t dry quickly either, but after spending the night in my sleeping bag, they were good to go by morning. Fortunately, they are easily snug enough to be worn underneath a waterproof shell.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for summer-weight gloves that have excellent warmth to weight ratio while still providing enough dexterity for you to tie your shoes, make (a little) room in your pack for a pair of these.