Waterproof? Really?

I’ve spent two out of the last three weekends walking in torrential rain and driving wind that seems to have tested the limits of my supposedly waterproof outer layers; both upper and lower, but the most disappointing waterproof item I have is/are my gloves.

My Rab Bergen overtrousers are less than 12 months old and seem to perform reasonably well. I was quite damp around the top of my legs last weekend but that’s the first time they’ve let any water in and I’m not sure I got them on in time anyway. My Berghaus Paclite Jacket is about 20 months old, and that stopped beading almost a year ago and now seems to let in a small degree of water so I end up with damp clothing at the end of a walk – some of this I’m sure is internally generated, but much of it also comes in through the jacket. I can almost live with both these levels of waterprooflessness (to coin a Monty Python phrase).

Finding a decent pair of waterproof gloves though seems to be an annual problem. I’m currently dissatisfied with a pair of Trek Mates gloves, purchased from Go Outdoors a few months ago – at the start of the rainy season. I don’t tend to need gloves very often, but when I do it’s inevitably very cold and windy and as often as not, it’s raining to boot. When it’s not raining the gloves are fine; they keep hands warm and toasty. They worked great on St. Sunday Crag in March with ridiculously high winds and minus double digit wind chill.

St. Sunday Crag summit, in howling wind

But once the rain starts to fall they become sponges.

I tuck them into my coat sleeves and cinch the sleeve tight over the top so that water runs down the outside of the glove and not into it, but still, despite being “waterproof” they are soon full of water.

These aren’t the first waterproof gloves I’ve tried either, previous pairs also seem to let water in very quickly. I’m beginning to despair of ever finding gloves that will keep my hands warm when it’s cold and keeping them dry when it’s wet. My search will continue though.

If you have any suggestions, I’d be happy to hear them…. Thanks in advance.

lonewalker

Fell-walker, trig-pointer, peak-bagger, Wainwright-er & Pennine Way author, with a passion for long paths, malt whisky, fast cars & Man City

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1 Response

  1. I’d argue that the purpose of rain gear (waterproof) is not to keep you dry, but to keep you warm. There is simply no gear/magic material that will keep you dry – it’s up to you to discover how best to regulate your temperature with appropriate layering and by setting a pace where you don’t sweat to much.

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